Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Weekend Of Celebrations : Part 2



Day Two of my Weekend Of Celebrations and I can reveal some news about one of my Blogs you may not be familiar with. About the same time I was launching the News From Nowhere Blog I came up with one of my daft ideas : one which might just amuse me, keep me fit and answer a question about the growing power of the Internet. With all the powerful sources of information that were now available on the Internet, was it possible to virtually travel anywhere in the world - to see things, hear things and experience things from the other side of the world, without ever stepping outside your domestic comfort zone? That was the question and I decided to test it out by taking my dog Amy on a virtual walk from Los Angeles on the west coast of the USA to New York City on the east coast. To make things as realistic as possible we would cover the mileage. So I invested in a pedometer and measured how far we walked on our daily perambulations and each day I would plot it on Google Earth, transposing West Yorkshire for the California coast. As we passed through first of all Southern California and later Northern California I would check out the website of each small town we passed through, read the local newspaper and listen to the local radio station. It became an eccentric odyssey and my Blog "Fat Dog To The Big Apple" recorded the journey in some detail.

For two years I reported on our virtual journey on a weekly basis with photographs, maps and impressions of the places we virtually visited. Earlier this year we eventually crossed the State Line from California to Oregon and both Amy and I decided to take a few weeks off as a reward. And weeks dragged into months and we remained where we were, precariously balanced on the State Line. So my Bloggy birthday present to myself is to restart the journey and to explore the highways and byways of Oregon. Well, virtually explore them that is. If you would like to follow our progress you can do so on the re-awakened Fat Dog To The Big Apple Blog.

I also said that I would brush the dust off one or two of the posts to the News From Nowhere Blog from that first month of activity. Here is one I posted on the 15th November 2006, entitled Californian Sob. Hopefully it is still fresh after three years.

CALIFORNIAN SOB

Cousin Dave called in for a cup of tea this morning. Whilst we were drinking tea and avoiding work he received a text message from his son. Like everyone of a certain age, Dave struggled with his attempts to send a message back - and we got to thinking of the perils of predictive text. What if they had predictive text back in the days of semaphore - a useful way of saving on arm-power. Or what if the early Morse-code operators had predictive Morse. Imagine the conversation between the sinking Titanic and the Steamship California :
TITANIC : S.O. ...
CALIFORNIA : Sorry!, Sorry For what?
TITANIC : S.O. ...
CALIFORNIA : Sob? What are you sobbing about?
TITANIC : S.O. ....
CALIFORNIA : Oh For Heavens' Sake, SOD OFF then.

13 comments:

  1. How on earth do you find time to do all these wonderful things? It's a great idea though; I look forward to reading the postcards.

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  2. What a fantastic virtual journey and what a tremendous idea. I have often thought how great it would be to visit all of my blog friends around the world—this would be one way to do it!
    (Heading over to sign up to follow you in your travels.)

    Liked the SOB joke too!

    Kat

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  3. Alan! Please keep walking north! You will end up in my little town of Port Townsend, Washington. ;o)

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  4. Love the Fat Dog idea - will take a look at the blog and follow you on your travels. Out of all of the daft ideas, Alan, yours are simply the best.
    And yet another reference to the Titanic... thanks for that!

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  5. Did you walk through Santa Monica on your virtual tour?? I hope you and Amy enjoyed the palm trees and sunshine :)

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  6. Alan, now I understand your reference on my Muir Woods post. You've set yourself quite a task with a pretty ambitious blog. I look forward to following, you've got a hell of a way to go yet.

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  7. What a great idea! I'll be following this one with interest; I know it may be a year or two but you'd best plan on swinging by virtual Indian Valley, Idaho on your way east!

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  8. What a great idea. I bet when you started that you didn't have a clue how successful that it was going to be. I haven't checked it out yet but I will bookmark it and spend some time on it. You have probably been places that I haven't ever been. I will see if you visited my two brother's cities.

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  9. You & Amy are the Jack Kerouac + Woody Guthrie of the 21st Century!Tis Like hopping on a Virtual Frieght Train!

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  10. Thanks for all your comments. I will try my best to work in all my blog friends into my virtual travels, it matters not if such a circuitous route takes an extra year or two.

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  11. that is such a brill idea! Keep it up. So clever.

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  12. I love that idea. I live not too far from the Oregon border in California...about an hour south.

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  13. Alan, I can't possibly regularly visit another blog but I will have a look on the weekend. As for predictive text, I never mastered the art!

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