Friday, January 27, 2012

Phone Booths and the Nobel Peace Prize

I saw an old re-run movie the other night that made me think about the invention of the ordinary phone booth. In the movie, the actor needed to make a private call, so what did he do? He stepped into another world, inside the quiet offered by the phone booth. But, why the need for the phone booth. I mean, all you need to make a call is the telephone, right. The early telephones could have been hung from wooden posts, making it possible to make the call regardless, right? Was there a need for a booth?

But, a thinking person invented the phone booth. Back when, it was not enough to just to be able to talk on the telephone, some thinking person thought it would be best to be able to have an environment for talking; a quiet place that was yours and not everyone's; a place that shielded you from everyone else, and everyone else from you. Think of all the lives that have been changed, ever so slightly, by not feeling the strain of others' private conversations that just so happened to be held inside of phone booths.

Today, we have no phone booths. My conversation is your conversation and your conversation is my conversation. We know of no bounds for talking to anyone; anywhere; in any tone; and at any volume. We have lost the phone booth and the feeling that went with it. We have lost our peace. Lives have changed because of it. 

Willaim Gray, my hat is off too you. I recommend you receive the Nobel Peace prize for the countless lives that have been left un-tainted by conversations not meant to be overheard.

Monday, January 9, 2012

They are in a cage.....

Our 3-year old grandson, Benson, loves cars, fire trucks, tanks, and Spider Man. I thought he might also like airplanes. So, off we go to the Air Force Base for a day of holiday fun (2nd of January 2012).

We arrive at the base and crawl under and around a F-105. It was huge. I asked Benson if he knew what kind of plane it was, and he told me "it is a fast one, papa." He got that question correct.

Next we drive by the flight line and parking ramp. There's always something going on at the ramp. Lo and behold about 20 or so F-16 fighters were parked under canopies. I pointed, "Look, Benson, there are a bunch of airplanes over there."

His eyes got big, and he said, "Papa, can we take one"?

(No, we can't just take one, there are practical issues like how are we going to get it home, and then what are we going to do with it. I am sure your mom and dad would like it in the front yard...)

Then we pressed our noses to the flight-line fence, getting as close to the sheet-metal, gray machines as we could, when he said, "But, papa, they are in a cage. They are in a cage, papa, ...... do you have a key?  But, papa, where is the door, maybe we can walk through the door, and take one."

(After all, there were twenty or so of the things, it wouldn't hurt for a 3-year old to take one, just one, now would it....similar to how we take just one gummy bear, or one potato chip, just one.......)

Anyway, next time, maybe at an air show, we will get closer, and be in the cage with them.