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Archive for the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Category

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“Mail; It was called mail” said the elder Fox. “Envelopes; stamps; you know, I think I’ve heard of it…” replied the younger Fox.

That’s Fox, Joe Fox, for those of you boning up on your movie trivia.

In the real world, once upon a time, “The Post”, aka mail, was the only way to communicate. Not just letters, but telegraph, telegram, and even telephone revolved around the “Post Dispatch” for generations.

As a college kid, I experienced the world for the first time on a mission trip to West Germany. Yes, there were two Germany’s once upon a time, but I digress. “The Post” (office) was the only way to communicate. Letters were sporadic ways to let the folks back home know how you were, but phone calls were expensive and hard to make. You went to the Post, paid up front for a 10 minute call, and waited your turn for a booth. The operator connected you, and when your 10 minutes were done, the line went dead.

Talk about discipline…

Fast forward to 2011…

Our family devices were all abuzz during the night. Everyone got a text. It seems that China Girl had found a “Post” in the heart of Beijing, circa 2011. In these days, it is spelled WIFI. Accordingly, the texts were followed by something called “Skype”. What language is that, and can it help explain why I’m so tired this A.M.?

So, we will eagerly await her next post, literally and figuratively, via the WWW.

In the interim, thanks for reading mine.

🙂

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Frank Navasky: She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco!
Kathleen Kelly: No, don’t say that. Really. We don’t know that for sure.
Frank Navasky: Well, who else could it have been? It was probably around 1960.
Kathleen Kelly: Do you want some popcorn?
Frank Navasky: I can’t believe this! I mean, it’s not like he was something normal, like a socialist or an anarchist or something.
Kathleen Kelly: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.
Frank Navasky: Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!

(dialogue transcript courtesy of IMDB)

YGM fans likely recall the preceding dialogue, and the infamous Frank. From his typewriters to his twisted philosophies, this character was definably crazy. Crazy from the heat, one might suggest.

It has been blazingly hot in Oklahoma for weeks on end, and records for days in the triple digits are dropping like under hydrated flies. But, in the middle of this heat wave, people are doing some very strange things. Just this past week, a volunteer at a charity golf tournament in a conservative small town in northern Oklahoma took all her clothes off in the middle of the event as part of a putting challenge. Too much sun. Too much to drink. Too little protection. Crazy from the heat.

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And yesterday: let’s talk about yesterday. It was “tax free day”. A reported 45,000 people stood in line in 108 degree plus heat for 4 hours to “save money” while spending hundreds or thousands at the newly opened outlet mall in OKC. Admittedly, I have fallen victim to the euphoric heat the word “SALE” creates on a sign or a website. There is something about all caps letters shouting at you in a hot red color. And the bargains: “We can’t let them get away”. We don’t, but we let our money run, if not evaporate in the heat. Americans, yours truly especially, are bad about this. It may be hard to eat our bargains if it gets hotter in the future.

And shopping for anniversary gifts for the one you love. It seems that all logic and reason go out the window, especially with an August anniversary. Crazy from the heat.

Other “Crazy from the heat” moment examples out there? Here are but a few:

Beach living. Expensive condos. Over extended. Over exposed. Spring Break parties. Massive sunburns. Pictures to prove it. Crazy from the heat.

Anger. The heat of the moment. I just boiled over. That burns me up. Crimes of passion. Wars have been started and millions have died over seemingly small events. Crazy from the heat.

Politics. Nominating/electing somebody based on how simply how they look and sound, and the resulting euphoria and hope for change. Crazy from the heat.

And how about love?

It happened in Texas. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.

Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!

Hmmm. I think maybe she did, and she has the legacy of past gifts to prove it. Crazy from the heat.

Maybe crazy is not all that bad, after all. It is certainly not in short supply! 🙂

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A friend and colleague was coming home from the airport with me recently and was perusing content on his iPhone. He said “how did we ever get anything done before email?”. We had just gotten off a cross country “red eye”, so I will give him credit for a potential momentary lapse in discernment.

I thought for a moment about what he said, and the 2011 me agreed wholeheartedly, but the base model me took exception. Allow me to explain.

You see, I began my career circa 1988. They issued me a large leather bag and a gigantic “10 key” calculator, complete with a paper tape. They also showed me the supply cabinet, with it’s wealth of multicolumn spreadsheet form paper and other goodies made from wood pulp, but no computer. And we got a lot of work done. Boy, did we ever.

18 months or so later, we were all issued start of the art laptop computers, first generation MacBooks, no less. The processors were slow, the software was cumbersome, but we were expected to use them and become “paperless”. Instead, hours worked increased, pounds lugged to the client site doubled, we printed everything, and productivity trudged along for the ride.

Fast forward 23 years later, and we still have not gone paperless just yet, but I’ll admit it’s getting better. But, has productivity really improved, or do we just work more? After all, as my friend made his statement, we were riding home in a car after a 32+ hour day, and he was reading email while our greater conscious selves were napping.

A digital native, I am not. But i consider myself a wise gray haired immigrant who knows his way around the digital continent. Email. Cell-phones. Websites. Texting. Cloud computing. We are more accessible than ever.

While writing this, I took a Saturday morning phone call from a colleague in another department a few moments ago, and he was looking for the cell phone number of a colleague in mine. And he apologized for the “interruption”. Does that word even apply, anymore?

Points of contact are up, no doubt. More things have our attention. But does more get done, or do more things go on our to do list as “undone”?

Don’t get me wrong; I love the new digital world order. I would not go back, I don’t think. I have fully embraced my new nationality. But, it might be nice to visit the fatherland. I guess that is what books are for.

So, I guess my point here is that we can get work done, maybe even more without our “devices” to keep up with and upgrade/follow/maintain.

I’m going to log off now and go out to mow the yard. My friend has already done the same with his.

If you need to reach me, I’ll have my cell phone, just looking for the next interconnected unproductive opportunity to visit. 🙂

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I’m home sick today. Not fun, to say the least. You wake up, stumble around wondering how to go about your day, and then it happens. You hit your knees. Bowing, yes, but not in prayer. Offering sacrifices to the porcelain throne is more like it. Hours of sleep, sweating, and bad hair. The protein adorning the top of my head looks something like that belonging to a cheesy bad televangelist. Mr. Nasty, indeed.

So, aside from sleep, I do what every red-blooded American male does during a flat on your back illness. I watch movies on DVD. Not just any movies, mind you. Guy movies, like Jason Bourne, James Bond, John Wayne, and You’ve Got Mail. Yes, you read it correctly. The Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan Classic of the late 90’s is playing as this is written. It is a classic. Internet history, New York, imagery, great quotes, and a cute co-star all rolled into one flick.

“Do you ever feel you become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s Box of all the secret hateful parts — your arrogance, your spite, your condescension — has sprung open. Someone provokes you, and instead of just smiling and moving on, you zing them. Hello, it’s Mr. Nasty”. – Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in You’ve Got Mail.

Great quote, and great acknowledgement of the bad stuff in life, and not just those thing we sacrifice when bowing before the great porcelain throne…

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