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It’s 2013 and instant communications has reached new levels with the likes of facebook, twitter, high speed Internet connectivity, cellular data networks, Skype and more. The “tech” industry appears to be moving at breakneck speeds to find even more innovative ways to bring us “the world,” “our world,” in less cumbersome if not more intrusive ways. Eyeglasses that allow you to read email or automatically pull up information on people in view using face-recognition technology. What is the next step? Is it embedded tech in the brain? Are people at some point destined to be connected to their small communal collective if not the entire world collective by means of an always-on invisible tether to the information cloud?


Have people become so interdependent on others for their own survival, or satisfaction? Have we shunned privacy to such a point in society that it’s looked upon as shameful to -not- be engaged with others seemingly full-time? Must we be constantly bombarded by social interaction that we barely have a private moment? Where then is the limit of privacy?

Through facebook one can see and read the latest news about their friends whether it’s important or not, whether you’re interested or not. Conversations have degraded into small sound bites; easy enough to digest but remaining hollow of nutritious content. Friends seem compelled to respond as if they are in the same place at the same time; vicariously living through others. They want to know what’s happening, so much so that it becomes an addiction at some point, but does it matter?
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For nearly 15 years it was the one thing I took care of the most. I treated it like it was the most valuable thing I had (which it was). I cherished it, I cared for it; I made sure it was the one thing in my life that would last. The next 10 years however, I hardly ever touched it. Today I’m reminded of the terrible things that can happen due to neglect over time.

I’m speaking of my 1971 Mach I Mustang. In 1986 it was pretty much “done” with new bodywork, paint, new engine and transmission, was all cleaned up, and became my every day driver. I would wash it and wax it on weekends. I would enter it in car shows, sometimes taking home a trophy.

No it wasn’t a show car, nearly but not quite. There were still small details I’d never bothered with, like the interior door panels or concourse correct things. It was my baby, specially modified in just the right areas to be -my- ride, personalized to -me- and nobody else. For years upon years I continued to take care of her.

Even when I moved into a new house, the first thing I did was make sure I had a garage to keep her in. The everyday driving habits tapered off after 10 years and found me driving a 1987 Jeep Cherokee Sport. She (the Mach I) lay silently in the garage, waiting for her turn to come again. Eventually it did, as I would still try to make a car show here and there or take her out for just a drive. But then one day the engine started making expensive noises, so she got parked until I could rebuild an engine for her.

In 2001 she got that new engine. A fresh rebuild I had done myself. New everything and even some special go-fast parts to make her purr. Once again she was a live horse in my stable ready to ride anytime I was ready. Sadly, she became an outdoor horse not long after that because I now owned a 1973 DeTomaso Pantera.
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I had a random thought, and I wrote it down. Was it as accurate as the first thought that ran through my brain? Who knows? But it was directly related to the thought.

The mind working faster than I can write. 100 years ago we must have been thinking slower. Maybe even just 50 years ago. Today I can’t even type as fast as I can think the words (and I can type pretty fast). The trouble is, if no one takes the time to write the words down, they may be lost.

Well that was the thought; doesn’t necessarily make much sense. In today’s society with the availability of the Internet, more people as a percentage of population than ever before are now able to write things down and have other people read them. Beyond that we had a short period of pod-casting, then video-casting seems to have become the norm. Still, what happens when the Internet goes away? What happens to all that stored data? It’s not in books.

I can pick up a book written hundreds of years ago, thousands for that matter. But what about today? Will someone in a hundred years look back to this time and wonder what it was like? Will they be able to scour a data resource like the Internet today and find the random thoughts of people like me?

Probably not.

Asa Jay

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This is a delayed post. I originally wrote this on a plane earlier this month. I’m just now getting around to editing and posting it

I’ve owned a Blackberry Storm 2 for about two years. It’s my work cell phone, or at least it was until I recently traded for a Motorola Droid 3. I’ve had the Droid now for a couple of weeks and I’m not sure I like it much better than the Blackberry. There are some specific reasons related to my job that I wanted to update to a Droid, but some of the inconveniences, not having the same features as my Blackberry did, are driving me a little crazy.

The first thing I tried to do on my new Droid was to customize the vibration sequences used for my various notifications. Blackberry allowed me to choose three different vibrations: short, medium and long, and three different patterns: single, two and three vibes. This worked out really well as I could use a single short vibration to indicate a new email had come, while I used two short vibrations to indicate an instant message of some sort. This helped me prioritize what I needed to respond to without having to look at the phone. With the Droid, I didn’t have any of those choices.

The Droid had one vibration, that was it. So I had to go out and find if there was an application to fix that for me. After searching for some time I came across Light Flow Lite. It had quite a few more features than the standard Droid set that came with the operating system. But it was still limited and in the end, I couldn’t really set up the specific signaling I had wanted. Even after setting things up using this app, some of the settings reset randomly and it was bothersome. I think it’s stable now so I can move on. My next problem was “holster” mode.
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This is a delayed post. I originally wrote this on a plane in October of last year. I’m just now getting around to editing and posting it

Once again I find myself on a plane, taking some extra time to write. This time, the impetus for my wandering mind is five young gentleman who boarded the plane. Unlike those you normally see on a civilian plane, these are fresh troops from our military, each traveling in uniform to home or a new deployment. It’s not often I have the privilege to fly with these men, so when I have the chance, I like to thank them.

Today, the thanks comes in the form of snacks. Today, we are flying from Atlanta to Salt Lake on Delta. It’s about a four hour flight. If you didn’t get something to eat before boarding, and if you’re not sitting in first class, the best you can do for free are peanuts, pretzels or cookies, and a soda pop. If you wish to spend a little money, Delta offers larger snacks, such as small sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers; that sort of thing.

So why should our troops have to pay for a treat like that? Note I’m not throwing blame at Delta or asking them to serve these to our troops for free. However, if it’s within -my- power, and honestly not a plane load of them, it’s my honor to buy them what they wish. I was in the military and now it’s time to pass on the thanks I’ve received in the past.

I was in the Air National Guard. I did nearly 21 years. There may be rivalries between the various services, but when push comes to shove, each of us, no matter Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, we have each others back. When it comes down to it, we are there for each other, we are one team. So it’s never mattered to me which uniform they wear; they’re all servicemen and women.

Politely calling a stewardess aside and asking her to do this for me is such a small sacrifice. Yes, it may take a little green out of my own pocketbook, but it helps strengthen the green they wear. It offers up a Thank You for their service and it provides an example I am hopeful others would follow.

If you’re sitting in first class, but don’t really need to, or if you’re in coach and see these young men and women, I challenge you to find in your heart the thing you can do for them. Offer your seat if it’s better, if you can. Offer to buy them a more substantial snack, if you can. At the very least, help make them feel welcome among us. They deserve our respect, and we shall gain theirs in return.

What can you do today, or the next time you are on a plane, to tell others you are thankful for the freedoms our troops have preserved and are willing to die for… for you.

Asa Jay

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Copyright 2014, Asa Jay Laughton