Segway

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I believe it was an early summer afternoon, and me being the part-time king, I had just finished up a cool slice of watermelon and the usual soup & a sandwich university canteen lunch. As I went down the conveyor belt of garbage separation, plate cleaning, and tray return, I was just glancing back into the kitchen to see if I could spot the Portuguese guy and say “então pá… tudo bem,” but sure enough he wasn’t there. At that very moment, like a sign from the heavens, my spider-sense started tingling and over my shoulder I sensed something magical.

Rushing to throw his dishware into the machine, he seemed to move like a movie star not wanting to get caught by the paparazzi. But it was too late.. I had made eye contact. Once I realized it wasn’t a vacuum cleaner, I knew I was face to face with my first ever – live – SEGWAY.

Of course I’m slow, so by the time it hit me, the segway owner guy was already outside. I ran after him like a nut, pushing clueless Dutch students to the side. “HEY!” I shouted towards him. He half looked at me, as though he was thinking- oh no, another fanatic. I didn’t wait for a response.. shouting “HEY… That’s a…. A SEGWAY.” And all at once he unfolded it, winked at me, and said with a smug tone – “yes it is.” And BAM – in one swift move he was gone.. leaving behind the echoes of kinetic energy, or whatever that thing runs on. I stood there.. turned to anyone around me who would listen and kept repeating, “Did you see it.. that was a segway?” Few cared. One girl took pity on me and asked what a segway was… but I was too “in it” to respond.

That was it, my brush with greatness. Ever since that day nothing has been the same. I love my bike, but I long for a segway. Maybe I should take a segway tour.

Keeping with the tech theme today, I’d like to talk about a man and a company I’m not sure I like. Richard Branson… yes.. the Virgin. No, it’s not his planes, trains, disappearing megastores, or balloon rides that I’m upset with. Rather it’s his new plan: Virgin Galactic that I find asinine and wasteful. Somebody help me feel better about a billionaire starting a space tourism company that invests big money to send other billionaires into space for 5 minutes. The rocketman even waxes lyrical about one day putting a resort on the moon.

My problem with all this fun and alleged futuristic initiative? I consider it a complete waste of resources. Instead of spending money… private or public.. on advancing space research, this guy chooses to give some rich types another fancy thrill. He could create his own Mars Lander.. or fly the first private shuttle to the moon. But no no… crazy eccentric Swiss millionaires have to experience weightlessness first. I wish there were some international agreement that prevented this type of business move. Heavy handed? For Richard Branson.. I sure am.

Today’s Music: Jobim/Morelenbaum – Casa

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