Sunday, February 26, 2012

Come fly with me?

The futuristic concept for travel in 40 years' time was recently unveiled in London by Airbus - and should terrify those who already have a fear of flying.  (That would be me ...)

Airbus engineering executive VP Charles Champion said: "Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment."

Window on the world: Gone are the small aircraft windows in the 'vitalizing zone' which provides a panoramic view for passengers.

Passengers will be able to see everything to the sides and in front of them.  (Blindfolds might be handy come takeoff and landing time!)

In the cabin concept, the 'vitalizing zone' helps passengers relax, with vitamin and antioxidant-enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments.

The aircraft's walls change according to light conditions. There holographic pop-up gaming displays and in-flight entertainment by the heat of passengers' bodies. The technology could mean travellers might even be able to read bedtime stories to their children back home!

Starry, starry night!

The cabin wall membrane controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers views throughout the day and night.

Airbus believes that mid-century passengers might be able to enjoy a game of virtual golf or take part in interactive conferences, while the cabin 'identifies and responds' to travellers' needs.

Anyone seen my ball?

Passengers will be able to play virtual golf in the interaction zone on the plane. In the 'interactive zone' there are virtual pop-up projections taking passengers to whichever social scene they want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers.

All the same, I'm thinking, "noooo way" ... perhaps it's a good thing I won't be around to have to decide!  LOL!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reality or illusion?

Tuesday mornings rock!!!

“How so?”, you ask?

The morning after ABC’s The Bachelor, I can always count on several like-minded devotees at my office ready to diss n’ dissect. (With vigor!)

Ranging in age from 60-something to 35, we’re an unlikely fan base. Even some fellows feel compelled to sit in.... tho’ their detachment can be mighty annoying. (“Can’t you at least PRETEND to be outraged?!?”)

Adding to my interest, this season's cast briefly included the great-niece of a friend! (Tho’ early on she had the good sense to remove herself from the tempest.) My friend was really worried: “I sure hope she doesn’t do anything to embarrass the family!”

So, I’m totally ambivalent about “Bachelor Ben” – who’s probably a decade younger than my own son .... yet we love to hate this year’s “mean girl.” (The jury’s out whether Courtney is really wicked, or terribly misunderstood due to sneaky careful film editing.)

Some nights it feels I’m witness to an impending train wreck ... alternately shaking my head or verbally assaulting the TV screen. (Is it really necessary to remind us each week, ”There is only one rose remaining.” .....arrrrgh!)

Yes, there are better things we could be doing for 2 hours each Monday night. But for some silly reason, I’ve been addicted for years. (Critics claim there’s a science behind the public’s fascination with reality TV, but frankly, their explanations sound boooooring.)

Now, I’m IN-eligible .... But wouldn’t it be great fun to see a Golden Girls-type spin-off series, featuring eligibles of a “certain age”!

Just curious ... would YOU ever consider going on a reality show?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Things ....

Happy "day before"!

Have to admit, I'm sometimes suspicious of the (unspoken) obligation that comes with certain holidays. And, I suspect DH and I are both at our wits ends what to DO, to mark Valentine's Day. 

He knows better than to bring chocolates or roses; "bling" and I don't speak the same language.
Now a foot rub? ...or popcorn for supper?  Color me, Happy!

Not sure why it seems appropriate to the occasion -- but I chortled out-loud when this line appeared in a recent e-mail:

Home is where everybody goes when they get tired of being nice to people.

"When was the last time I bothered to freshen my face before heading home?"  or,  .... "Why didn't I pause to empty my mind's 'trash can' at the workplace back door?"

Now, it's a blessing to realize DH actually listens to me.  He accepts, "just as I am."  
But!  Looking back, it doesn't seem so long ago that Insecurity Monster (whose grown old along with me), wouldn't dare allow me show my true colors ... or gosh-forbid, an un-made face!

There's gotta be a middle ground!
And I recall, it's those Little Things that mean the most.  

A friend once related a story of waking one morning to discover her toothbrush laid out ~ with paste already applied!  
I'm not sure why that tale has stuck in my mind, but it goes to show how thinking outside the box ... smiling at a stranger ... or volunteering a compliment might brighten someone's day.  

And doesn't it feel so good?

Before closing, I'd like to share a favorite, personal Valentines experience:

A loooooong time ago (in another life, it seems), I'd been growing impatient with the status quo of a relationship that seemed to be going nowhere.   A phone call mid-day, simply stated I had a surprise waiting.

Come 5:00, I rushed home and up the stairs to my tiny apartment.  Threw open the front door ... nothing.   Senses on high alert, I peeked in the bathroom.  Nothing.  Hugging the wall, I spun into the bedroom.  Nothing.

Literally!   Where my furniture once stood, there was a hand-written note:  "If you want to sleep in your own bed tonight, you'd better get over here."   We were married a few weeks later.

Have you a favorite or a funny Valentine's memory?   I'd love to hear!

...Meanwhile, thank you for being my Valentine's blessings, every day of the year!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book Review: Emory's Gift

... with apologies to those who do so well, I'm compelled to attempt a book review!

Publisher's Summary
After 13-year-old Charlie Hall’s mother dies and his father retreats into the silence of grief, Charlie finds himself drifting lost and alone through the brutal halls of junior high school.

But Charlie Hall is not entirely friendless. In the woods behind his house, Charlie is saved from a mountain lion by a grizzly bear, thought to be extinct in northern Idaho.

And this very unusual bear will change Charlie’s life forever.

I wholeheartedly agree with one reviewer's words:  ".... a page-turning, insightful look at how faith, trust and unconditional love can heal a broken family and bridge the gaps that divide us."

Personally?   Were I not a fan of W. Bruce Cameron's previous book, I might not have given Emory's Gift any consideration.
Unfortunate, perhaps.  Yet, when selecting a book (i.e., friend) I'm nervous to venture outside my comfort zone.

Adolescent social misfit?  Ya.   But I've never been a lonely 13-year-old boy ... nor inclined to the fastastical.   How could I possibly relate?

Well, it's been a long time since a work of fiction has touched my heart in this manner.  After the final page, my mind just wouldn't let go.... like trying to come fully awake from a night filled with vivid, bittersweet dreams.

The narrator allows that folks sometimes ask, "Did it really happen?" 
... and I'm reminded of J.M. Barrie's sweet line from Peter Pan, "If you believe, clap your hands!"

Yes. I'm clapping!

(P.S. - If you've read this wonderful book, I'd love to hear your impressions!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy .... whaaaat day?

Our office atmosphere had been Library Quiet-ish this morning ... when, I heard a muffled expletive from "Lady" Diana's quarters next door.  

Hmmm ...I'm guessing the Nazi's  I.T. department has struck again. 

Ironic.   Today -- February 1 -- has been dubbed, "Change Your Password Day" .... another holiday proposed some random techie.

Have your heard?   A recent "man-on-the-street" poll in London revealed that 1 out of every 4 persons gave up their personal passwords to a complete stranger in exchange for a chocolate bar!

Now, I'm all for perpetuating on-line security.  No big deal to nidge a vowel here n' there.  Right?

Except, our personal passwords ... at last count, I've 11 of 'em just to perform my job duties each week ... cannot be replicated and, in several cases, must changed every 45 days.   

These crazy combination of letters, numbers and characters defies logic ... particularly since I signed a document a while back promising I wouldn't verbally divulge nor commit a password to printed form.

Not sure how others get around this mandate, but I've discovered an archaic practice (aka, Gregg shorthand) works admirably, especially when combined with (equally archaic) editing shortcuts from h.s. journalism!  

(Olden folks rule -- hee-hee!)

Just curious... did you celebrate CYP Day?    Suppose I'm being overly ambivalent?