I always feel a bit like Andy Rooney this time of year. If you watch CBS' "60 Minutes," you'll know Rooney as the curmudgeony journalist who comes on at the end of the show, ranting and raving about this and that. Sometimes he's clever and funny, other times not. On the last Sunday of 2009, Andy's weekly essay included everything from resolutions that he's not making to changing New Year's Day from January 1 to September 1.
Surprisingly, he didn't clean out his desk.
But 'tis the season for oodles of journalists to disassemble their drawers, write wrap-ups, and pen best-of's, worst-of's, and top-ten's. And when the coming year is also a new decade, there's even more pressure to package up the past. I'm not big on making lists. Outside of my annual Sleeping Around: My Top Ten Beds that I post shortly after the new year (I'm a travel writer, hence the title), I try to maintain some semblance of listlessness.
But the past year was a biggie for me when it comes to tech-y type stuff. As somebody who received an Olympic typewriter for Christmas back in the mid-60s, I've come a long way since pounding out silly stories on my prized manual machine whilst talking on our party-line phone bolted to the kitchen wall. I now own an iMac and a MacBook, and live in a four-phone house that's both DSL and WiFi friendly. Several months ago, I finally joined the smartphone crowd, purchasing a Droid. Now, instead of hauling my MacBook on the ferry to check my emails via Boingo, I simply slip my smartphone into my bag and sail away.
Not only can I check my emails and browse the web, I can update my status on Facebook (822 friends); tweet my whereabouts on Twitter (780 followers); take photos (which I can email or post to Facebook or Twitter); Google Talk (in real time); check the weather (29 degrees in Langley); and figure out my location (I'm a flashing blue dot on an island in Puget Sound).
Oh, and I can phone home.