Friday, June 3, 2011

Impressive!

I'm continually amazed with today's technology.  I guess this began in earnest when I purchased my first "car phone".  And it was just that!  Installed in my vehicle for a mere $1,400.00 and $.55 per minute (A minutes plan?  Family plan?  Futuristic words to be certain), it was fantastic!  A few years later, I bought a new car so I transferred the unit from one to the other at a cost of $1,000.00.  And then suddenly, phones were portable!  A phone - in a bag! Here was this little suitcase kind of thing
which was okay even if you had to fly because the airlines allowed you to take two carry-on bags back then.  And when they shrunk phones down to something that was called a "brick"?  Oh my!  Even though everybody who had one looked like they were on a battlefield, somehow it was cool. 

But just think what this technology could do!  I remember working with a 3M client many years ago.  He frequently traveled to Russia.  In the middle of a real estate transaction, I needed to call him in Moscow.  And, with a few taps on the keypad, the call went through - from my car!

OK.  So all of this is seriously dating me because if you don't know what a cassette player is, you've no idea what I'm talking about. (I remain totally impressed though.  To this day, I still wonder how they get all those silver tubes to fly!)  Anyway, here's the point.  I have another new cell phone.  It also makes calls to people in Russia, Kenya and even California.  I can now send text messages to those faraway places (or to the person sitting across from me).  I can take pictures or videos and send them to Costa Rica if I want.  I get email (multiple accounts) and track my calendar activities and surf the web all from my phone. They call them smart phones now!  I guess they are.

But today, I used this smart phone to purchase a book on Amazon.com and within seconds the entire volume was downloaded directly TO the smart phone on an application called Kindle. It took only seconds. I didn't read it right away because I was talking on the same phone while it was downloading!  A cell call to Russia is a little less impressive now.

All this rambling and I'm supposed to be talking about homeless kids - where is the connection?  I'm getting to that. This newly purchased book was written by Brianna Karp.  On my to-do list, I've been going to buy a copy for months now. I just haven't made the time.  Today, I made time.  I decided that I wanted to know more about Brianna's story and so with the help of amazing technology, I will be spending the weekend learning about this girl and why she became homeless.

Entitled The Girls Guide to Homelessness, it's been referenced in my Google alerts a number of times in the last 6 months or so.  In the most recent alert, Brianna responded to reader requests that she have a "Donate Now" button on her blog. She responds;
"If you *really really really* feel like you want to “donate” to me, buy a copy of the book or hire me for a public speaking engagement or something, if you’d like.  At least then I’ll feel like I’ve given you something in exchange – I’ve put nearly two years of hard work into that book, besides working temp and my 9-5 job.  So that way I can feel like I’ve at least earned your generosity.  I do NOT want any money or other compensation sent directly to me.  Some people think that’s cool, some people call me a dumbass for it and say I should take the money because it could help me, but it’s my own personal feelings about e-panhandling, and has been since the beginning, when I was anonymous.  I’m a huge fan of earning my keep."
Impressive, indeed.


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Reminder
Genesis Shelter, School on Wheels and Stride are in competition for $1,000.00. 
You can vote for the winner. 
Polls are open now but you must be registered. 
Registration closes at Noon (CDT), Tuesday, June 7.
Polls close at Noon, Wednesday, June 8. 

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