Monday, May 19, 2014

Modern Marvels

Imagine this: you're driving down the freeway in middle-of-nowhere Nebraska (which has been scientifically proven to be flatter than a pancake) and you pass a sign that says "Monument ahead DO NOT STOP."

Little odd, no?  I mean, don't they usually want you to stop and take a look at monuments that someone took the time to create?  But then you drive a couple more miles and then you see this.

And you kinda get why the sign says not to stop.

That was the story at the end of my family's Mormon pilgrimage summer vacation (I'm oddly conflicted about which phrase to strike out there . . . ) back in 2001.  *insert obligatory moment to note just how freaking long ago that was here*  So naturally we had to stop and see just what the crap this was, even though it wasn't in the plan and it was the end of the trip so we were all pretty exhausted and more than a little sick of each other.

Turns out it's a museumAnd a pretty cool one too.

We didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked, seeing as it was an unscheduled stop and my parents are all about schedules, but we weren't rushed through it either.  The part I remember most was at the end.  While you're inside you can totally forget you're actually on a bridge over a freeway and there are cars speeding under you at seventy-something miles an hour (is the fear of being on a bridge when it collapses a phobia that exists?  I'm pretty sure this place could create it).  But at the end there are a couple of windows and you can see those cars whiz past while right behind you is a display talking about people traveling this same route on covered wagons and how the change from one to the other happened in only just over a  hundred years (1840s to 195-Eisen-whatever).  For some reason that's really stuck with me in the thirteen (oy!) years since.  The speed of advancement once the ball got rolling, you know?  Foot to animal took forever, then animal to wheeled stuff took less of a forever, then motorizing the wheel only took, like, a blink of a forever and then before you know it Montana has no speed limit and then BAM! it does before I get a chance to Autobahn it up to Glacier.

On another note, other technology has, naturally, kept up . . . or at least kept on advancing just as (or more) quickly (thank you Phonecians!).  In the 1840s you pretty much weren't going to see the people you left behind again, and you probably wouldn't be hearing much from them either - depending on where you ended up, anyway.  It might even be a year before they knew whether you made it without dying of dysentery or something. (side note: need that shirt!!)

Fast forward to the 80s when my parents (and I) moved from Washington to Idaho.  Not quite as far, but still far enough to have blown some 1840s minds if we'd told them we could make the trip in a day.  A very long day . . . but a day.  But still there was no way for my grandparents to know we hadn't all died of dysentery car crash or vanished into some sort of black hole until we got there, got moved in, got a phone line set up, and called everyone they knew (because as I understand it, they couldn't just text everyone their new phone number way back then) to let them know they were here and how to contact them.  But still, only a couple of days to get there and let everyone left behind know we were there.

Fast forward a bit more . . . I'm planning on instagramming our entire trip.  And updating my facebook status every time we stop for gas.  Not only will everyone we know know when we arrive (and pretty much the moment we do), the people we're crashing with will know almost exactly when to expect us the day we're heading to their place.  And if we do get sucked into one of those black holes?  There will be literally at least a hundred people who know roughly what area to start the search and exactly how long it's been since we were accounted for.

How amazing is that?!?!

It must have been nice to be able to let your kids just run all sorts of amok until it got dark, and it certainly must have been tons cheaper to grow your own non-chemically-infested food . . . but I'll take living in the here and now over pretty much any other time.  Because here and now is pretty freaking cool.

P. ost  S. cript
I wanted to post the cheese episode because it's eriously my favorite, but I'm having some trouble finding it.  I suppose this one will have to do instead.  :-)


  1. I thought the Phoenicians taught us our A-B-C's ... or was that James Bond? I'm so confused!

    And in other news ... I can count on 2 hands and 1 foot when you'll be back in Orlando. Unfortunately, I don't know my schedule for 6/2 yet, but if you somehow end up here ahead of schedule, I'm pretty sure I have 6/1 off.

    1. Yeah . . . we have a hotel reservation in Tallahassee that night so I'm thinking probably not. (and also the apartment complex office isn't open on Sunday. and they're not expecting us until Monday) We thought about doing the last leg (Beaumont - Orlando) in one but it's just long enough to make for an unpleasant day and the thought of having to unload everything at the end of it . . . yeah, no. So we'll be there Monday. But if you're off Monday we're probably hitting up Earl for lunch as soon as we get unloaded. :-)

  2. I don't know if I'll be off on Monday, but my office is at Team Disney, which is right across the street from DTD, so I could probably join you for lunch even if I'm working.

    1. I'll text you when we're heading over then. (unless we decide to go to Cici's instead, lol)