I have been complaining, since I was about 16 years old, about physical cash. I simply don’t see the need for it, and I never have. Back then I might have been a little premature, almost no fast food restaurants had even caught on, pay at the pump wasn’t a thing. The idea that you could go anywhere expecting to pay with a credit card was unreasonable. Today, there is just no excuse whatsoever to have an establishment which is cash only. The drive-in movie theater down the street has a wireless network at this point, so I’m less than persuaded about the claim that its too difficult or too expensive. Anyway, when credit cards became a standard in the world of gas pumps and MickeyDs I said there were two impediments to credit cards completely supplanting the need for physical currency. The first is the transfer of small amounts of money between individual people. Pay pal is getting closer, but I think the real solution is USB plugged units and cell phone devices that can take credit cards. The latter is a ways away, since most of us still can’t afford a true Treo or Palm device which is in anyway close to the tech that would be required. The former can’t be far, in my mind, maybe in combination with something like PayPal that would allow you to easily scan credit cards and communicate with an authentication provider. Maybe security issues are still too important, but since you can purchase virtually anything online with only the credit card number, it seems that the actual scan of the card could only be an upgrade.
The second impediment: vending machines. Well, without my knowledge someone, at least someone at the Courtyard Marriott in Danbury, CT, has fixed this problem. Sure, the Diet Pepsi was a buck fifty, but I’m always happy to pay a bit more for the convenience. I obviously cannot even emphasize how wonderful it would be if I never had to go to an ATM again. Its like the whole world is my Sonic drive-in.
Back to the Olympics. I have two quick takes:
- Apollo’s last night was legendary, prolly the greatest night during the Torino games. That gold medal race was incredible and even Olympics haters have to admit that the 500 meter short track is up there in the most exciting minutes in sports entertainment. Apollo was incredible, going wire to wire to hold off a great dash by the South Koreans. Not to mention that his coming up the backside to squeeze the American team into bronze was a great comeback, since I said with about 4 laps to go that they were stick-a-fork-in-them-done. By far the most excited I’ve been about “the chase for bronze” pretty much ever.
- Am I a Bodeist? I had really mixed feelings when I saw the interview following the DQ in the fifth bonering of a ski race Bode had executed in a row. I mean, since Dave and Dan there has not been this much hype let down this fast. D00d came in with the potential to be the greatest winter games athlete of all time (though I guess anyone who enters 5 events does so) and left without making noise even once. That’s not even to mention that he didn’t look good or get DQ’ed because sometimes, when you push it all the way, you miss a gate. He sucked cuz he was lazy and partied too hard. At the same time, I saw a lot of my own attitudes towards being rich and famous in Bode’s series of excuses for not winning gold. He refused to apologize for living the life he wants to live and said basically “Skiing is my job, not my life.”
I totally respect that in a professional athlete, if anything it reminds me of the things I was thinking right after Ricky Williams took off for Bongville. I guess I was conflicted simply because, as much as I want that from a professional, I do not want it from an Olympian. The good stories, see Apollo above, are too much fun (I mean like actually inspiring, and not just like the Fugees cover of “No Woman, No Cry” sort of way) and with Bode the only good stories are that he applied his lips to the snow in a sort of sucking motion for two weeks.
Alright, I am food drunk from tonight’s Mardi Gras steak dinner, and Hippo needs to take her medicine, though this is a claim that Hippo herself, seems to dispute.