Miss Brick House

At nineteen, in 1975, I was selling advertising for the OSU college paper, The Lantern, and submitting stories and getting published in the student “fringe” paper: Our Choking Times. The one where I won their respect as a budding radical, then went flying over the lines of professionalism to date Gil Scott-Heron.

I not only wrote about the older and otherworldly genius radical rapper, I threw caution in my hometown wind, hit the road with him, and well, you know. Ditching college for nearly a week, I boarded a tour bus with Gil, soaking up his celebrity and smiling a smug smile, when other girls stared with hungry eyes. Mostly I watched him read and read and read.

Now I knew why his lyrics were so intriguing. He devoured news magazines and books, speed-reading, thoughts on fire. I tried to be ready with an intelligent comment or witticism, while keeping the goal of my article in mind.

“I like talking to you,” he once said approvingly, eyes smiling as he looked up from U.S. News and World Report. And well my heart did little flips as the bus clipped along.

In 1976, I would have flashbacks of our recent time together: Gil, handsome, angular-faced and charmingly disheveled sat backwards on a chair across from me, as I lay robed in his hotel bed and dreamily drank wine. He enthusiastically entertained his enraptured audience of one. I alternated between laughter and awe, as he tossed off brilliant dialogue and humor with an upturned finger, woven in with his trademark political rhapsody and a wacked, uncombed, uncared-about afro.

My merriment only slightly dimmed by an shadowy sense of foreboding when Gil made a point of taking frequent “artistic time-outs” to do copious lines of cocaine from an album cover on The Holiday Inn hotel dresser. Credit to him, he didn’t corrupt me with his coke, which I had turned down the first day. I was still terrified by cocaine–then. And he let me stay happily “in my cups”, replenishing my drink stash at every rest stop. Back in that day, a man who never let my drink run out, was the epitome of a gentleman to me, which made it hard to focus on diamonds and more upscale amenities.

Wrenching myself away from that rendezvous for a season, I became the sometimes-faux, oft-times truly-dedicated student again and dove into my college classes for another year or so.

Mostly I wrote from the soul, without getting intimately involved–all in preparation for my coming career in broadcast journalism. That is until I got sidetracked again, but by this time I was twenty-one. Hey, I was grown! But my grown self was running a semester behind my scheduled graduation date. My degree had to wait for spells of heavy drinking, the local party scene and manic depression hovering in the wings.

At least school was out for a season, because it was the smoking-hot Summer of 77″!! A friend of a friend, a concert promoter, borderline dirty old man. (he was late 40’s which at 21 seemed pretty ancient.) This guy submitted my name to a contest, then told my friend that I’d be perfect with some coaching and could probably win.

It was a beauty contest, but sort of an invented one for publicity to launch Lionel Richie and The Commodores’ concert tour and promote the hit record du jour. The song soaring up the charts was “Brick House”–helping to make The Commodores one of Motown’s hottest groups. The contest was for Miss Columbus (Ohio) Brick House.

The winner at the national level it was promised, would also snag a movie role with the exceedingly cool, Billy Dee Williams in his next movie. I was jazzed beyond rhythm-and-blues. Fifteen girls competed at “Ciro’s”, the popular Columbus dance club, sort of Miss America style, in swimsuits and heels and then revealed their “intellect” or “wit” when asked a serious question.

To be honest, there was a girl who was a Brick House bombshell, with a sensational eye-popping figure, judging by the collective stares of the men in the audience, but the dear bombshell appeared dumb as a bag of hammers! (She wasn’t, just shy.) I was pretty adept at stringing a sentence together, and she fumbled over her name. Since they wanted a kind of spokesmodel winner, I won.

Sandi, the Bombshell, became the runner-up and we became fast friends, because at that point, The Commodore’s management closed down the contest and picked the two of us to go on Tour with the group.

We won gift certificates and free travel, limo rides, meals, money for clothes. We stood behind barricades in record stores in swimsuits, high heels and fake furs and signed autographs, along with The Commodores. I always wore a pair of slacks over my swimsuits in public when offstage, because I didn’t want to look sluttish. I was actually aiming for something sophisticated, sexy and upscale. Years later, Beyonce’ pulled it off.

Sandi and I roomed together, giggled, gossiped and drank champagne while we traveled to Philadelphia, Hartford, Connecticut, Boston, and made a pit stop in Dayton before the tour was to have a huge concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

It was at a packed arena in Philadelphia that I was “crowned” the official stage dancer on tour and I was ecstatic to be onstage with Lionel Richie and The Commodores.

“She’s a Brick House–she’s mighty, mighty!” they sung in snug, glittering military-style suits–a vision for testosterone-deprived eyes. And I’d do a wham-bam funky yet feminine, hip thrust as I wound my provocative dance to position myself in between Lionel Richie and William King.

“A-A-O-O-W”, I would think while William Orange actually sang it.

I was developing a serious crush on Lionel, but would try to reign it in whenever his pretty wife, Brenda, stage left, arms folded, looked at us, sullen from the sidelines. I was told by the road manager, she had been doing that for the last two years, but now it seemed definitely directed at me. That angst and heady excitement became a combustible mix that changed the show’s routine it seemed during one concert.

The routine was that Sandi would dance solo from stage right and I’d dance solo from stage left. Once during a concert the air charged with anti-matter, the routine was interrupted at the pit stop in Dayton. There was a rustling, a din, and then complete clamor and chaos.

Suddenly a “boo” erupted from the back. What had started as a tiny disturbance, quickly became something monstrous. 10,000 people packed in the arena began booing in a huge roar for almost a full, tortuous minute.

I was mortified, spinning dizzily as I finally stumbled offstage when the song was over, almost tripping over my sky-high heels. Try hiding wearing a neon-orange bathing suit. I ran into a photographer who was stage side, who became one of my best friends over the years.

“Why did they boo?” I broke out in little-girl sobs, heaving in-between blurted words, “I was thinking I did my best Chaka Khan dance moves,”

“I was in the back of the arena earlier,” Chuckie laughed, “and I heard a loud, crazy protest, people complaining—Miss Brick House is white! Miss Brick House is white!”. Then everyone started booing, not even knowing why they were booing,” he said. “Just really stupid.”

“But I’m not white!” I wailed, “I’m a black woman, a light-skinned black woman.” (African-American was not yet in vogue.)

“Oh, of course I can see that,” said Chuckie, “but wa-a-ay in the back with bright lights washing out your skin tone and the fact that you sometimes wear that straightened Farrah Fawcett-looking hairdo—well, I guess they just couldn’t tell.” Tears of laughter brimmed Chuckie’s eyes and he wiped them away with his knuckles.

I found it hard to laugh with him or even chuckle. To be booed by 10,000 people in a roar of disapproval back then, made me wish the earth would quake, open up and consume me quickly, no matter what the reason.

The next morning on the road again, I had washed and curled and frizzed my hair, letting it dry naturally. But I continued to whimper about the night before. Yet it seemed to disturb nobody but me, which I found amazing. I thought they would send me home. Then I remembered the performer’s mantra:

“The show must go on.”

I also thought of Lionel Richie’s smile. Did I care he was married? Only when I examined his wife’s face did I feel a wave of guilt. She seemed so unhappy about the nightly crush of women. Yet I wasn’t a groupie, I sniffed to myself. ‘Hey, I’m Miss Brick House! I’m not only with the band, I’m in the show!’

That sense of entitlement combined with the bitter-sweetness of an early hallway smile beamed in my direction. And light conversation between Lionel and me–and I only cared for my own selfish joy.

Our First Night in Rome

Rob confided after arriving in Amsterdam that he didn’t feel like he was in a foreign country, yet. That was how I felt until just a short time later on the second leg of our flight. I raised the plastic curtain at my window seat, which revealed the snowy Alps below. I saw peaks and glaciers as well as peaceful river valleys. In one I thought I saw Heidi and her grandfather as they waved.

Arriving in Rome our five couples took two cabs to two different hotels. Our van driver spoke a little English and pointed out some of the sights as we passed classical Roman ruins and sights within the city.

Soon we were in our rooms at the Cambridge Hotel, unpacked and asleep. As Americans we were all used to a hotel being a building with overnight rooms for rent at a certain location. In Rome we were introduced to Eurorooms where a hotel could mean just one floor of hotel rooms at a certain location, which means several hotels could share the same location with each floor being a different hotel.

Our rooms were all on the third floor. There was a continental breakfast on the first floor, and across from the office on the ground floor was a small business office for guests with a printer, a computer and connection to the internet.

Everyone at the different hotels shared the services including a very, very small elevator, which served us all. With either Rob or myself at the narrow end of the elevator, our shoulders touched the two outside walls. You would think that two people and a bag would be pretty much of an overload, but we never had any mechanical problems. It worked perfectly.

For eighty Euros a night each couple had a room with a lavatory and a shower combination. The bathroom was down the hall offering two toilets that also served as shower stalls. Our shower didn’t work and the “down the hall” option didn’t appeal to us, so we waited a couple of days for a shower.

The rooms had fifteen-foot ceilings and hand painted doors and armoirs. The floors were marble. We were lucky to get rooms at the Cambridge. The staff were helpful and the rooms were clean.

We didn’t book the rooms because of their brochure, otherwise we would have been disappointed. The brochure has great photographs and from appearances, you would assume you were booking accommodations in a four or five star hotel. The Cambridge is nowhere in those categories. Nothing came out crawling or scurrying during the night, so I was happy.

A window in the hallway looked out into a shaft where people dried their laundry on clotheslines. We thought this was quaint at first, but this is more universal. People everywhere in Italy dry their clothes outside, besides saving electricity, the warm air dries clothes quickly. It is very convenient. Out in the countryside the clothes pick up a fresh smell . . . perhaps, not so much in the city.

For us the climate was warm. A constantly running radiator in our room was a thorn in our side. I kept our window open, which was pleasant, but a little loud. In the late evening we could hear constant crowds having a great time, but we couldn’t see them. Peg and I would hang out the window and look onto a mostly deserted street. Just a few meters down the block there was a private courtyard or garden. Perhaps, there was unseen partying going on there, although Pegs says it belonged to a convent. If so they were having a great time after vespers. The garden provided a wake up call for Peg. She was awakened by birds singing, which is not a bad way to start the day.

After settling in I took a short trip around the block to scout out the area. I left a note and took a walk. I think I was looking for a friendly place to have a glass of wine or beer like Cheers in Boston. After walking a very short distance and turning a few corners I found what I was looking for. I chose the second bar on the block. I chose a seat outside on the street at the Amici Bar (we translated this to mean The Friendly Bar . . . and it was.).

I had hardly a chance to get comfortable when our group arrived. Jan and Mike must have turned the block to the Cambridge and I turned the block going the other way. Our mood and outlook changed from jetlag to adventure.

With a cigarette and a beer Randy’s eyes popped open and a smile spread across his face. A giggling Sue looked out at the occasional scooter darting past parked cars and confided between toasts, “This is what I dreamed Rome would be like.”

The staff at the Amici joked with us and plied us with a free taste of some kind of lemon liquor and excused our lack of Italian language skills.

Unlike America, almost any kind of store or shop is a drinking establishment in Italy. If you visit a Gelateria (an Italian ice cream store), you can order hard liqour. Randy is mostly a beer drinker, but is willing to try just about anything when he is on an adventure. A few days later in Tuscany we bought something similar to the Lemonchello, but it wasn’t the same. Perhaps, we should have taken notes.

Upon leaving the restaurant, we gave our waiter a Mountain Bar (produced by Brown & Haley in Tacoma, Washington. The candy bar is shaped like our own Mt. Rainier, which dominates the skyline of the Puget Sound area of home.). We knew the bar stayed open until 8:30 pm and opened again at 6:00 am. This gave us a restaurant we knew we could come back to if we couldn’t find another one that evening and also gave us a place for coffee in the morning.

We headed out to a “hop on hop off” tour bus of central Rome. I fell asleep during the tour and I don’t think any of us ever hopped off. The tickets were good for twenty-four hours, however. Keep your receipts. When visiting other cities in Italy (like Florence) you can buy discounted tickets from the same company there by showing your tickets from Rome.

After riding the bus, we were ready for dinner. Although it was still early for Italians to eat, we were starving. We stopped into the strangest place: The Living Room Bar Café (www.livingroomroma.com). We stumbled into what looked like a typical bar, and the waiter poured us each a glass of sparkling white wine. While we drank, the waiter stepped into the dining room and arranged a table for ten. Soon the music changed from techno-pop to geezer music and Frank Sinatra was crooning some of his worst songs as we all laughed and sang along. “So, here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson . . . whoa, whoa, whoaaaaaaaa.”

The bathroom featured swinging doors and toilets and lavatories that didn’t really work, but we had a nice time. The carbonara was excellent and the antipasti feautred parmasean cheese slivers, tomatoe slices, salami and rocket. The food was good and the wine went down easily.

We arrived back at the hotels early in the evening and laid down for a little nap. We were tired and happy to be in Rome.

The Cyber Public Square

If you have any concern that you are in a relationship that could end in divorce or a custody battle over where your children live and with whom, my advice to you is to close down any social networking site you maintain – it will make your lawyer’s life a lot easier.

If you’re not my client, please continue on as you always have, there is no joy like the joy of incriminating a party opponent with pictures and posts they themselves put out there in the public domain; nothing.

If you’re not the soul of discretion twenty four seven, (and c’mon people, who is?), there is potentially damaging evidence out there on the internet about you that you created and you posted.

So giving advice like disable your social networking site is easy advice to give and hard advice to actually take as the proliferation of social networking sites increasingly becomes the public square where many of us interact daily; but the problem with the cyber public square is that it is creating an easily accessed, rich, discoverable record that can be used by potential adversaries in litigation against you if you have not carefully censored yourself prior to posting anything.

If your lawyer isn’t asking you about your social networking habits, (or your spouse’s), at consultation – keep consulting for a lawyer who does -especially if litigation has yet to commence and you are merely exploring your options and obtaining information about custody law or divorce. The time to clean up your own footprint on the internet, (and to start down loading, copying and saving incriminating materials about a spouse or neglectful co-parent), is before a complaint is filed and served and litigants start discovery and looking over their shoulders and cleaning up their own respective acts.

Checking the internet for the client’s internet footprint, the party opponents and any potential witnesses has become ordinary due diligence for the family law practitioner in accessing you – the client, and your case. Don’t be offended if your lawyer wants certain posts or pictures off of your site, she knows what won’t play well in court and this kind of intrusion is something you should now expect from your lawyer if you are heading to court.

If you’re not willing to disappear from social networking sites, here are some basic tips for eliminating the possibility for having to spend a lot of time in court or at deposition defending or explaining yourself:

Eliminate references direct or oblique to drug or alcohol use on your site. If it’s something you like to brag about, it’s probably a problem and a major strike against you when you are making a case for why you should be entrusted with young children;

Eliminate posts where you have a drink in your hand or where you are “partying” – no one is going to pay attention to the fact that you testified it is one of the four times a year you actually had the energy to stay out late and have a good time last year – your choice to post this one tells others something else about you that you didn’t intend;

Avoid posts of music or video which are violent or suggestive in nature.

If your children have access to your site, do not post derogatory remarks about your ex., your ex-spouse, or the litigation you are involved in.

If your children do not have access to your site, do not post derogatory remarks about your ex., your ex-spouse, or the litigation you are involved in.

If your children have access to your site, remove anything you wouldn’t want them or their friends to see and don’t post anything that would make another parent question your parenting style.

Do not make your friends children or your children’s friends your friends.

If you are involved in a relationship you shouldn’t be in, you shouldn’t be posting pictures of you and the other person or information about your status on your wall.

While it may seem like we live in “Jerry Springer Nation”, where anything goes so long as a crime has not been committed, judges still form unspoken impressions of litigants based on traditional values during the pendency of an action that will silently inform their decisions for or against your case. Photos and posts from my space or facebook, (or God forbid dating websites), are highly influential to the Judge that hears your case because she knows the post was created by you at a time when you were by yourself, being yourself, as opposed to the version of yourself you want to present in a courtroom.

Many a family law practitioner has exclaimed, “Oh, I love facebook,” sardonically in the court house hallway or at deposition when they are confronted with pictures of their client engaged in unquestionably questionable conduct: sometimes it’s so bad, the case settles in the hallway. What’s fun about it for those of us who practice in this area is, it didn’t cost the price of a subpoena to obtain and it only took a few key strokes at the computer to confront an adversary with devastating proof of their own arrogance and stupidity.

Here are a few real life examples:

Father seeking custody of son who has remained “unemployed” but posts reference to pot smoking everyday at 4:20 p.m.
Father seeking custody of child posting amorous messages to his favorite stripper on her wall – the Father in this case was stupid and wealthy.
Mother accusing Father of excessive alcohol use posts pictures of herself and the girls on a “girl’s night out” clearly intoxicated.
Mother referring to father of her child as “dirtbag” on her wall.
Mother in the midst of custody battle for young children changes status constantly indicating multiple relationships and identifies persons whom the children are introduced to and confused by.

When it comes to social networking it might be best to always remember that anything you post can and will be used against you and to post accordingly.

The current advice on maintaining these sites can be laughable:

Don’t send messages or post them when drunk. Apparently some of us never learn this one – for those of you incapable of grasping the wisdom of this, thank you – you provide free entertainment for the rest of us.

Remove past posts, pictures or anything you don’t ever want to have to explain later. It’s a simple test – if you’re about to post something that you don’t ever want to apologize for or explain, save your bus fair and delete it.

Be judicious in any personal information that you post about yourself. A part of the attraction of social networking is self-promotion – letting others know what you’re up to and that you have a life – however, if you are claiming you are poor in court, don’t be photographed wearing high priced clothing and jewelry in exotic locales; on vacation, the casino, etc. For those of you in the Valley, that also means don’t take pictures of yourself standing in the walk in closet surrounded by shoes. For the guys, sleeve tattoos are not free and if you are claiming she stole your fishing pole, don’t post a photo of you and your girlfriend using it on the boat you claimed you sold.

Make your profile private and available to only those people who are your actual “friends”

The reality is, none of what you post is private if you have 375 friends in your network many of whom are acquaintances and who could be “frenenemies” in wait willing to give access to your posts to someone who is looking for evidence.

An old political maxim from the former mayor of Boston, James Michael Curley went something like this,

“If you don’t have to write it, say it. If you don’t have to say it, nod.”

The wisdom of this was, whenever possible; don’t create a record of what you’ve done.

Your lawyer might put it differently like, “pretend everything you write from now on will be read by a judge.”

A Trip to Tampa Bay’s Beaches Should Include a Visit to Watch AL East’s Best

If you plan on traveling to Tampa Bay’s beaches in the upcoming months, you’re in luck – things are just starting to heat up, and we’re not just talking about the sun’s rays, or the action on the beach.

The Tampa Bay Rays, the 2010 American League East Division Champs, will kick off their regular season at home April 1st against the Baltimore Orioles. This year’s team features a whole new look, which should excite even non-Rays fans.

The team’s biggest additions are former New York Yankees teammates Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Though some say both athletes are past their prime, others believe the two each have plenty of good baseball left in them. Damon will replace longtime Ray-fan favorite Carl Crawford at left field, while the often controversial, yet highly-entertaining Ramirez will play DH.

Though the departures of Crawford, first baseman Carlos Pena, shortstop Jason Bartlet, starting pitcher Matt Garza, and relievers Rafael Sorian, Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Randy Choate, and Chad Qualls may hurt the team’s chances to repeat, the team still is anchored by all-stars David Price and Evan Longoria.

Another intriguing factor for this year’s Rays team – Jeremy “Hell-boy” Hellickson, who was called up from Durham last season for the first time as a reliever, and this year will be fifth in the starting rotation. Though he looks like he’s still in high school, Hellickson’s finesse pitches are well beyond his years, with fans coming from all over just to catch a glimpse of baseball’s future.

Tickets to Rays games are incredibly cheap considering the product on the field, and when you compare them to prices fans in New York, Boston, and Philly will pay for tickets. The Rays are bringing back Family Fun Days for 2011, which means you and your family can enjoy a trip with plenty of perks, including kids’ meal vouchers, giveaways for all kids, and the opportunity for kids to run the bases after the games. Family Fun Days are every Sunday, typically in the afternoon.

If you prefer nighttime games, you can still get very affordable tickets – as long as $9 for tickets in the ever-popular TBT Party Deck, $9 in the upper decks, and $17 for outfield seating.

What’s even better – some of the Treasure Island Condos and Treasure Island Hotels are beginning to offer shuttle services to downtown St. Petersburg for Rays games. If your hotel or condo doesn’t offer this option, you can hop aboard the Suncoast Beach Trolley, and then jump onto the city bus. It will take you right downtown where all the action is. Even some Clearwater Beach Condos are beginning to do this, making the games and the fun accessible to everyone!

Battling the Evil Empire With Debt Consolidation

As October blows in we noticed today at the debt firm that the first chill was in the air even way down here in South Florida. The weather has a lot to do with the moods of Americans as we seem to be inexplicably linked to the hot and cold temperatures in relation to our hot and cold moods. One way to heat up the millions of Americans that have an exaggerated credit card debt load is anytime you mention going to battle with the Evil Empire armed with debt consolidation on your side.

Blood Boil

That phrase debt consolidation just makes some people’s blood boil with excitement and some with disdain. As we always tell you the truth is what we speak here and the truth of the matter is that the United States of America is going to one of league assignment economic and financial history ever since the Boston tea party wrecked our afternoon cup of orange pekoe! It is that bad and we all need to stand up and battle the evil Empire and utilize the services and the value that can be obtained through debt consolidation.

Evil Does It

There is no reason to run straight to the federal bankruptcy court and sign your name on that petition just to see if the judge will first of all except your case and second of all permit you to keep a few sticks of furniture and a few dollars in your savings count. Most individuals and companies that compare the process of debt consolidation with Federal Bankruptcy always seem to throw debt management under the bus and give Federal Bankruptcy the front seat. The bottom line is that if you’re in deep debt with credit card and other unsecured debt accounts you will have to go to battle with the Empire and your going to have to use debt consolidation as you sword and staff to ward off the offenses of this very challenging and worthy opponent.

Do Not Close Accounts

One way to settle the score with the credit card issuing companies that had you in chains for what seems like decades but could only be a few years is to limit the amount of action on those credit cards and limit them right away. Please do not close the credit card account since that will be demonstrative to the debt relief firm that can come in and help you battle the Evil Empire with a debt consolidation experience.

Debt Consolidation Resources

Ron Spann is the content coordinator for leading debt related websites that offer debt consolidation advice and guidance. Find out what to look for when applying to a debt consolidation loans service. There are a lot of things to consider before you finally choose the right debt solution to meet your needs. Be very careful in choosing the right debt counseling service. Debt counseling will not wipe out your debts instantly but it will assist you in re-establishing your financial reputation. Do not trust companies that advertise Credit Repair instead of Counseling and promises instant deletion of your debts.

Cell Phones – Some Considerations of the Cell Phone of the Future

Cell phone technology has been moving forward at break neck speed, and sometimes we may not notice it, but think back to just a few years ago and you can see all the new feature integration and race in the marketplace – a race to “wow” consumers and get them to choose a specific device. But before we talk about the current trends in cell phones and smart phones, let’s discuss the past evolution of these devices.

Since, I had one of the first mobile “cell” phones – I’d like to tell you a quick story to start out this discussion.

My first cell phones were state-of-the-art at the time, but if you saw them today, you’d laugh. One of them I actually kept; a Mitsubishi Transportable. This phone is about the size of a six pack cooler that you might take to your child’s soccer game, and it was quite heavy, as I recall it is well over 10 pounds. This of course included the battery pack to power up to 3 Watt phone.

Remember that Ion-lithium batteries at the time were just coming off the assembly lines and were quite expensive – they did not exist in this size for anything but NASA and military usage. These original cell phones I had were nickel hydride powered, quite an inferior battery technology for modern cell phones.

The Mitsubishi Cell Phone has a strap on it so you can carry it like a purse, and I often felt really stupid carrying it, until of course it rang, and I unzipped the top, pulled out the handset on the phone and began talking. I can recall that everyone stared as if I was a secret CIA agent, was working for MI6, and my name wasn’t Lance, it was really James Bond. You see, at that time not very many people had the cell phones and they were very expensive.

Another one of my first phones was a Audiovox 1000 model, which was quite large and it was mounted in my car, a car phone – cell phone. The box that ran the Cell Phone was mounted under the seat, and there was a cradle that held the headset. The headset had a cord on it just like a phone at home, before the cordless phones that is. Under the seat the box was about 3 1/2 inches high and the size of a laptop with a 17.1 inch screen.

This Cell Phone or car cell phone was wired directly to the battery with a couple of fuses. When I turned on the vehicle, the Cell Phone would automatically turn on. If I turned off the vehicle, I had to leave it on accessory with the key in the right position, unless I left the phone on which by-passed the ignition. When the phone rang and actually honked the horn, which got me into trouble a couple of times when the horn went off while I was driving behind a police car stopped at an intersection. I have a lot of stories to tell you about all those early days with the first cell phones, and you may e-mail me if you are ever interested in such experiences.

Folks today take all this for granted, as they don’t realize how cumbersome the original cell phones were, or how stupid they were compared to modern day smart cell phones. Today they give you a free cell phone when you sign up for service – back then you had to pay $1000 for a car cell phone, and as much as a couple hundred dollars to have it installed. It was quite a procedure, if you have a stereo system, and an XM radio put in your car at the same time, that is about how much work it took to do this. Therefore, at today’s labor rates you could easily pay three or $400. That’s definitely something to think about.

If I was talking to someone on the phone while the engine was running, if I turned off the car and moved the key to the accessory position I would dump the phone call, as I cut it out during that transition. However, having a cell phone in my car helped me increase my business. At the time I was only 17 years old – I had an aircraft brokerage firm and aircraft finder’s service and I would work off of fees whenever an aircraft that I represented sold. I also had a small aircraft cleaning service and was able to contact customers from my vehicle on the flight line, and my crews could call me when they were done with the job as they would use the local payphone to call me.

Thus, this mobile technology allowed me to make more money, and remain more efficient than the competition. Remember at the time this was leading edge technology, it was state-of-the-art, and I had it – the competition did not. No longer was I stuck in an office, I could run my business from anywhere and it allowed me much freedom. Often people today do not realize what it was like before mobile cell phones. Anyone who is in business now over the age of 50 certainly realizes, because they remember a time when there were no cell phones.

This was a period in our nation’s history where there were pay phones in every shopping center, every gas station, outside of every fast food restaurant, and people used them all the time. Business People who didn’t smoke filled their ashtrays with coins so they can stop and use the pay phone. Thus, allowing them to call clients, customers, vendors, and maintain their operations in the office. When cell phones first came into play they displaced the old Motorola technology of push to talk phones, which worked off a mountaintop repeaters, these phones were very big in the military, construction industry, and all the executives with large corporations had them.

Since this was radio technology, they worked farther than the first cell phones which had to be within 10 to 15 miles of a cell tower. Today, the cell phones are less wattage than they were back then, so the average cell tower is 6 miles or less apart. Back then the cell phones worked off three Watts, and now with 3G technology the wattage is under 1 W. This is probably good for the human biosystem, as it is putting less microwave frequency radiation into your brain, there will be fewer brain tumors, brain cancer, and other issues. There have been many studies including several with the Swiss researchers which seemed to indicate that the 3 W phones were quite unacceptable for human health, and they would slowly cook your brain as one researcher said.

Luckily, for the cell phone industry they were able to bury most of these problems and objections, as well as the studies that the Swiss did. Although, there were studies here in the United States, you would be hard-pressed to find those research studies and data on brain tumors, brain cancer, and their relation to the cell phones that people used. In fact, if you go to Google Scholar today you will be hard-pressed to find anything that would suggest that the cell phones could cause such horrible conditions. This of course is all still up for debate, but we try not to talk about it.

Perhaps, by going to 3G wireless, and lower wattage the mobile cell phone industry dodged a bullet of huge class-action lawsuits, and we may never know the damage we had caused. Nevertheless, as we talk about Six Sigma efficiency in corporations, or using modern management techniques in small businesses, no one can deny that increasing communication speed and reliability is by far a factor in the increase productivity in the 80s and 90s due to cell phones.

At the time I was literally running 1000 to 1200 minutes per month and although that service was much cheaper than the other choices such as the Iridium Satellite Phones, non-cell phone mobile units, as they did not use cell towers, rather satellites – you can imagine the costs of the original cells. They did not have an unlimited plan and once over your minutes, you paid the premium for each minute on that cell phone, my bill was usually $500 to 800 or more.

The other mobile phones at the time were not cell tower-based phones, they were push-to-talk and came in a brief case – it was considered quite James Bond at the time. And this was back in the 1970s, and I remember this, because I started my business when I was 12 years old washing airplanes at the local airport. Many of the businessmen who owned corporate jets had these types of phones. They were basically for the rich and famous, and business person. They didn’t work everywhere and you had to have pretty much line of sight to the nearest tall mountain, and that mountain had to have a repeater on top of it, which was hardwired into telephone lines, and the rest of the system worked with ground lines.

All this is very interesting, and we must consider that many folks today have never been alive when there were no cell phones. They have no clue how hard it was to run a business back in the days when there really was no mobile communication. The same repeater systems on top of the mountains that Motorola owned or which used Motorola hardware, also controlled the pagers. These pager systems were quite popular with people on call, such as doctors, and service personnel. Two-way radios, which work basically the same as the two-way push to talk briefcase phones, were used through a dispatcher for companies very often.

Later, just as cell phones came into play, someone came up with the idea of 1.5 way and two-way pagers. Instead of a one-way pager, someone who had what they call an “alpha mate” device could page someone and ask them a question (using a text message) on that page and the recipient could press a button for yes or no, Y. or N. and that information would be relayed to the dispatcher. People actually got pretty good at communicating this way. And you could send text type messages for the user of the pager to read. In reality these were the first text type messages, so the concept of having a mobile device and using text messaging is not all that new.

Two-way text messaging via cell phones is merely a re-introduction of that similar technology. Once people had cell phones they didn’t need to use the text pagers anymore, and that technology was leapfrogged as the price of the cell phone services was lower, as competition increased between companies like Sprint and AT&T. There were many other regional smaller players, but they eventually got bought up by the big boys.

The cell phone industry grew so fast in the late 80s and early 90s, that eventually there was coverage everywhere. Then something really weird happened, the promise of 3G wireless came into play, and folks started switching to that new system. I can tell you this – my first cell phones were much more powerful and worked much better than the cell phones of today.

Occasionally, I had a call dropped and there were not as many service areas, yes there were more dead zones, but the signal was much more powerful because it was 3 W, and since it ran off my car battery or a large battery pack in a small carry case, it had ample power to maintain that strong signal.

Today, when I use my AT&T cell phone, I am often cursing because the service is so bad, I wonder why I am even paying for it. In fact, the loss of productivity from dead zones, and the cell phone calls dropping, I feel as if AT&T should be paying me. Apparently, I am not alone many people feel the same way. Nevertheless, the 4G wireless is on the way and everyone will be switching to that so that they will have Internet access allowing them to do e-mails, twitter, video, and real-time text messaging without the use of ground lines

A good many folks do not know of a time when there was no email or internet. And most people who are in business today, who are under 50 years old do not remember a time when we didn’t have fax machines, the reality is that fax machines came into play about the time of the first cell phones. Mind you, there was still no Internet, no e-mail, and although ARPANET was being used by the military, and by think tanks, research centers, and top universities, it wasn’t really available to the public in the way we have it now.

Fast forward to today and now no one goes anywhere without a cell phone. Social researchers have noted fewer people wearing wrist watches. They don’t need a wristwatch because that is a standard feature on all cell phones now. Of course, this doesn’t help companies like Rolex who are catering to the young up-and-coming BMW crowd, if you look around you will see that most young executives don’t even wear a watch and most of our younger generation doesn’t wear a watch either.

It seems that the wrist-watch replaced the pocket watch, and the cell phones seem to be replacing just about everything. These days people use their cell phone or smart phones to do their e-mails, and these same phones act like a PDA, no one carries day planners anymore, although a few people do, myself included perhaps out of habit from using a day planner from the time I was 12 years old in my business until I was in my mid-40s. Perhaps, I am giving away my age, but sometimes old habits die hard.

Today with many laptop notebooks, PDAs, and smart phones, it seems none of that other stuff is needed. Including your human memory say many psychologists, who argue that this technology is causing the human brain to rewire itself differently because there are different needs to get along in the world. After all, all your best friends are on the speed dial and you don’t have to remember phone numbers anymore. And all your contacts and information is on your smart phone, in your e-mail program, or on your laptop.

Cyber security analysts worry that if the system crashes or God forbid an electro-magnetic pulse, neutron bomb, or nuclear device is set off high in the atmosphere it could destroy all the electronic equipment, including all the cell towers, your laptop, your television, your refrigerator, and your smart phone. Where will you be then, and can you rely on your memory and the brain you are born with to carry on your daily endeavors – scary thinking, but perhaps we need to address this as we consider the evolution of cell phones.

Today, our cell phones have changed the entire dynamics of our society. There are unspoken etiquette issues of cell phone use in public. There are rules when we can use our cell phones and when we can’t. Issues such as driving with a cell phone and the number of auto deaths which occur while people are driving and talking on the phone at the same time. There have been major disasters caused by texting while driving a bus or conducting a train.

The reality is that as our technology has evolved, it is evolving much faster than the human brain can to take it all in. Due to the multitasking required in our society to get along and the high pace and productivity that jobs require, many brains cannot cope or adapt fast enough. And this seems to be a problem, if some people are not able to make the switch, but they attempt to, sometimes while driving with disastrous results.

Our smart phones are becoming super cell phones that have more and more features, such as the ability to store music like the iPod, and vast amounts of data like our electronic PDAs. These devices are getting more high-tech each and every year and they are feature rich. Many have five to ten gigabytes of information storage now. One recent study in the cell phone industry noted that 90% of the people who own cell phones have never used all the features, and do not know how to program them, or even that they exist on their cell phone. Most people don’t even care, they use the features they want and none of the others.

This is a common problem with new technologies, and it is something that happened with that Beta and VHS recorders. What’s that old joke, there are tons of features on your video recorder at home, but no one knows how to use them, and before we all learned that we need to learn to use these features, the VHS video recorder is out in the new DVDs are here. Now cable companies offer boxes which can record multiple shows so you can watch later or pause a live TV program while you go to the bathroom, or go to the kitchen to get something to eat. Some allow you to use your cell phone to do remote programming too.

These are all things common challenges which are encountered and similar problems with any new personal tech devices which become mass consumer products. Cell phones and our current smart phones are no exception. It’s hard to say the future what types of new features in our cell phones will have. The sky is the limit, and the imagination and demand for more features and greater technology is readily apparent. The early adopters of such cell phone and smart phone technologies are willing to spend big bucks to have all-in-one devices. Therefore, these trends will continue.

Just to give you an example of some of the crazy ideas people come up with for future smart phones let me tell you a little quick story.

Our on-line Think Tank came up with a plan to produce a PhD or Personal Health Device, which tracks your diet – on your cell phone. How it worked was quite simple, when you are at the grocery store, you would scan all the items that you bought, and they would go into storage inside your smart phone. Each time you ate one of those items you would simply select what you ate, and punch in the number of servings and you would calculate and keep track of your calories, fat content, and recommended daily allowances in the major five food groups.

The smart phone would have a scanner system on it, later subsequent versions of this smart phone and personal health device would be able to scan products via RFID tags. Your phone could tabulate and even recommend what you should eat, how many more miles you should jog, and what you would need to maintain your diet to meet your personal health goals, and weight loss program. Sounds crazy doesn’t it, yes, it does, but the venture capitalists like the idea. So too, do companies that produce high tech smart phones today, as everyone is looking to get a jump on the competition.

GPS systems by way of smart phones or cellular high-tech phones is quite possible (now available), and you don’t even need satellites to do it. If you are within the realm of several cell towers your location can be triangulated quite quickly, which pinpoints your exact location within 10 feet. Ah ha, you see the problem in this too; What about privacy you ask? That’s a good point and that is another issue that people are quite concerned about with all this new high-tech personal smart phone innovations.

Google Phone and social networking connections appear to be on horizon. That is to say, linking your smart phone with all of your social networking friends, but apparently Google got into a little bit of a problem and noted that many people are not ready for that just yet. In fact, many people who are friends on social networks and make connections, have no intention of ever meeting these people in real life, and therefore they aren’t really friends. And since you don’t really know anything about those connections or friends on your social networking site, the last thing you want them to do is know exactly where you are within 10 feet.

That should appear to be obvious, and in the future it may not be such a big deal, but people are still a little paranoid and they like to have their privacy. Meanwhile, we read more and more articles about social networking gone bad. That is to say people using social networks to stalk other people, and this also concerns parents who have teenagers, who use social networks on a daily basis, and some that use them on an hourly basis, and a good many who seem to be texting every few minutes.

One recent study of cell phone users was able to have a 93% predictability of where a person might be based on the patterns determined by their cell phone, and when it was connected to any given local cell tower. The study found that most people stay within 6 miles of their homes. These patterns of predictability are a reality in our society and how we operate as individuals – nevertheless this brings up all types of issues that have attracted the attention of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, and it also touches on the issue of privacy and paranoia, it catches people off guard.

Then there is the new trend with smart mobs using their smart phones, and having fun with and meeting up in various places all at the same time. Although these schemes are used for fun, entertainment, and socializing, these same types of smart mobs have the power to destabilize a society or civilization. Consider if you will the use of technology in Tiananmen Square – should governments be worried about your smart phone technology, or the future of 4G wireless cell phones? They probably should be concerned with it, especially if it is used by a foreign government to provide mass protests against what would be a normal stabile government.

In other words it has uses in warfare, the CIA, in bringing down corrupt regimes which are enemies to United States. But rest assured – the same thing could happen in the United States where perhaps a communist rogue nation state decided to have protests in the United States in our major cities on Mayday. It could easily happen especially with our own technology being used against us, due to all the interconnectivity that it offers.

Does this mean that our government has to find a way to turn off all the cell phones in case of something like this happening?
Do they need a device to turn off certain cell phones from the system, while leaving first responders cell phones activated for communication?
And what about hackers, which might be able to send out tens of thousands of bogus text messages, or call masses of people into a trap, or stage a riot?

These are all questions we need to answer and we need to understand that the same technology we create to improve our productivity, our society, and help us in our daily lives with our families and friends can also be used against us.

And what happens when our smart phones become smarter than us? Some believe, as I do, that they already have. Most of the smart phones today have artificial intelligence systems within them, for instance a text messaging program which guesstimates which keys you are going to press next or what you are trying to say and it offers you suggest is so you can fill in the blank. Making your texting very quick. This is very similar technology that Google uses when doing a search and offer suggestions as you are typing to save you time. This is just one form of artificial intelligence in our smart phones and cell phones today.

There are many cell phones that allow you to use speech recognition to dial phone numbers, search your databases, or navigate the screens on your cell phone. The newest smart phones will be able to tell you when you are in proximity to a Starbucks and then give you GPS directions to find that location. This has big implications for retailers, advertisers, and consumers alike. They will begin to know your patterns and habits. All these technologies are available now and we will see them in the near future. Your cell phone will even become a payment device, hooked to your credit card information. All this technology exists today.

But what about the technologies which are just over the horizon?

We’ve recently seen at Comdex and CES shows the first generations of projection cell phones, that is to say video conference enabled cell phones which allow you to project to the other party onto the nearest wall or onto a table so you can watch. This will obviously be followed by the Holographic cell phones, which were similar to those that we saw in the Star Wars trilogy.

All these things will be available in the next five years, and you will most likely have them if you buy one of the high-tech cell phones in the near future. At first these technologies will cost a lot extra, but those prices will come down as the number of units built goes up and as more Chinese also purchase their first cell phone, adding another billion people who own such devices, therefore bringing the cost down for everyone – significantly!

By the year 2025 your cell phone will be a brain chip inside of your head, and you can think that you’d like to contact someone and it will dial the number and contact them. By 2050 you will be able to do thought transfer via the small devices, brain implant – perhaps smaller than a dime. And people born after that will never know what time were “thought transfer” did not exist, just like right now there are many people who have never known a time when mobile phones didn’t exist. And since Moore’s law also seems to apply to the cell phone and smart phone industries we can expect a size reduction as well as a power reduction to run this technology.

In other words, your biosystem will be able to power up your brain cell phone chip, just as it does your current human brain which works on about a maximum of 20 W. of energy, and you will be able to have an eyelid screen, so you can close one eye, and surf the Internet. It’s hard to say what the Comdex and CES Show in Las Vegas in the year 2025 will look like, it is probably impossible to pinpoint what these shows will look like in the year 2050. In fact, there may not be shows at all, you may be able to experience these trade shows in your holographic living room, video gaming center.

Walking the virtual halls of the trade show using your avatar and talking to other avatars explaining all the new technologies that are available for you might be the new reality albeit an Augmented or fully Virtual Reality. That appears to be where we are going, although it’s hard to imagine considering where we are today. Nevertheless, I can assure you people in the 1950s could not really have imagined the way in which our smart cell phones have evolved in the present period.

Currently, there seems to be a very big push in the larger cities like Atlanta and Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle, Boston and New York, Miami and Houston towards the 4G wireless, obviously this will continue. That is the full broadband Internet surfing on your smart phone, the ability to watch TV while driving in a car on your cell phone. And next comes the ability to project that TV onto any screen or flat surface that is nearby or available. The technology is getting more robust, it’s getting smaller, it’s getting smarter, and you have to decide how far you want to go with it.

Perhaps, I should write a quick eBook on this topic and explain chapter by chapter, the evolution of this ominous communication technology, and the future of smart phone personal tech devices. Let me know if you know any interested potential co-authors.

Battling the Evil Empire With Debt Consolidation

As October blows in we noticed today at the debt firm that the first chill was in the air even way down here in South Florida. The weather has a lot to do with the moods of Americans as we seem to be inexplicably linked to the hot and cold temperatures in relation to our hot and cold moods. One way to heat up the millions of Americans that have an exaggerated credit card debt load is anytime you mention going to battle with the Evil Empire armed with debt consolidation on your side.

Blood Boil

That phrase debt consolidation just makes some people’s blood boil with excitement and some with disdain. As we always tell you the truth is what we speak here and the truth of the matter is that the United States of America is going to one of league assignment economic and financial history ever since the Boston tea party wrecked our afternoon cup of orange pekoe! It is that bad and we all need to stand up and battle the evil Empire and utilize the services and the value that can be obtained through debt consolidation.

Evil Does It

There is no reason to run straight to the federal bankruptcy court and sign your name on that petition just to see if the judge will first of all except your case and second of all permit you to keep a few sticks of furniture and a few dollars in your savings count. Most individuals and companies that compare the process of debt consolidation with Federal Bankruptcy always seem to throw debt management under the bus and give Federal Bankruptcy the front seat. The bottom line is that if you’re in deep debt with credit card and other unsecured debt accounts you will have to go to battle with the Empire and your going to have to use debt consolidation as you sword and staff to ward off the offenses of this very challenging and worthy opponent.

Do Not Close Accounts

One way to settle the score with the credit card issuing companies that had you in chains for what seems like decades but could only be a few years is to limit the amount of action on those credit cards and limit them right away. Please do not close the credit card account since that will be demonstrative to the debt relief firm that can come in and help you battle the Evil Empire with a debt consolidation experience.

Debt Consolidation Resources

Ron Spann is the content coordinator for leading debt related websites that offer debt consolidation advice and guidance. Find out what to look for when applying to a debt consolidation loans service. There are a lot of things to consider before you finally choose the right debt solution to meet your needs. Be very careful in choosing the right debt counseling service. Debt counseling will not wipe out your debts instantly but it will assist you in re-establishing your financial reputation. Do not trust companies that advertise Credit Repair instead of Counseling and promises instant deletion of your debts.

Cell Phones – Some Considerations of the Cell Phone of the Future

Cell phone technology has been moving forward at break neck speed, and sometimes we may not notice it, but think back to just a few years ago and you can see all the new feature integration and race in the marketplace – a race to “wow” consumers and get them to choose a specific device. But before we talk about the current trends in cell phones and smart phones, let’s discuss the past evolution of these devices.

Since, I had one of the first mobile “cell” phones – I’d like to tell you a quick story to start out this discussion.

My first cell phones were state-of-the-art at the time, but if you saw them today, you’d laugh. One of them I actually kept; a Mitsubishi Transportable. This phone is about the size of a six pack cooler that you might take to your child’s soccer game, and it was quite heavy, as I recall it is well over 10 pounds. This of course included the battery pack to power up to 3 Watt phone.

Remember that Ion-lithium batteries at the time were just coming off the assembly lines and were quite expensive – they did not exist in this size for anything but NASA and military usage. These original cell phones I had were nickel hydride powered, quite an inferior battery technology for modern cell phones.

The Mitsubishi Cell Phone has a strap on it so you can carry it like a purse, and I often felt really stupid carrying it, until of course it rang, and I unzipped the top, pulled out the handset on the phone and began talking. I can recall that everyone stared as if I was a secret CIA agent, was working for MI6, and my name wasn’t Lance, it was really James Bond. You see, at that time not very many people had the cell phones and they were very expensive.

Another one of my first phones was a Audiovox 1000 model, which was quite large and it was mounted in my car, a car phone – cell phone. The box that ran the Cell Phone was mounted under the seat, and there was a cradle that held the headset. The headset had a cord on it just like a phone at home, before the cordless phones that is. Under the seat the box was about 3 1/2 inches high and the size of a laptop with a 17.1 inch screen.

This Cell Phone or car cell phone was wired directly to the battery with a couple of fuses. When I turned on the vehicle, the Cell Phone would automatically turn on. If I turned off the vehicle, I had to leave it on accessory with the key in the right position, unless I left the phone on which by-passed the ignition. When the phone rang and actually honked the horn, which got me into trouble a couple of times when the horn went off while I was driving behind a police car stopped at an intersection. I have a lot of stories to tell you about all those early days with the first cell phones, and you may e-mail me if you are ever interested in such experiences.

Folks today take all this for granted, as they don’t realize how cumbersome the original cell phones were, or how stupid they were compared to modern day smart cell phones. Today they give you a free cell phone when you sign up for service – back then you had to pay $1000 for a car cell phone, and as much as a couple hundred dollars to have it installed. It was quite a procedure, if you have a stereo system, and an XM radio put in your car at the same time, that is about how much work it took to do this. Therefore, at today’s labor rates you could easily pay three or $400. That’s definitely something to think about.

If I was talking to someone on the phone while the engine was running, if I turned off the car and moved the key to the accessory position I would dump the phone call, as I cut it out during that transition. However, having a cell phone in my car helped me increase my business. At the time I was only 17 years old – I had an aircraft brokerage firm and aircraft finder’s service and I would work off of fees whenever an aircraft that I represented sold. I also had a small aircraft cleaning service and was able to contact customers from my vehicle on the flight line, and my crews could call me when they were done with the job as they would use the local payphone to call me.

Thus, this mobile technology allowed me to make more money, and remain more efficient than the competition. Remember at the time this was leading edge technology, it was state-of-the-art, and I had it – the competition did not. No longer was I stuck in an office, I could run my business from anywhere and it allowed me much freedom. Often people today do not realize what it was like before mobile cell phones. Anyone who is in business now over the age of 50 certainly realizes, because they remember a time when there were no cell phones.

This was a period in our nation’s history where there were pay phones in every shopping center, every gas station, outside of every fast food restaurant, and people used them all the time. Business People who didn’t smoke filled their ashtrays with coins so they can stop and use the pay phone. Thus, allowing them to call clients, customers, vendors, and maintain their operations in the office. When cell phones first came into play they displaced the old Motorola technology of push to talk phones, which worked off a mountaintop repeaters, these phones were very big in the military, construction industry, and all the executives with large corporations had them.

Since this was radio technology, they worked farther than the first cell phones which had to be within 10 to 15 miles of a cell tower. Today, the cell phones are less wattage than they were back then, so the average cell tower is 6 miles or less apart. Back then the cell phones worked off three Watts, and now with 3G technology the wattage is under 1 W. This is probably good for the human biosystem, as it is putting less microwave frequency radiation into your brain, there will be fewer brain tumors, brain cancer, and other issues. There have been many studies including several with the Swiss researchers which seemed to indicate that the 3 W phones were quite unacceptable for human health, and they would slowly cook your brain as one researcher said.

Luckily, for the cell phone industry they were able to bury most of these problems and objections, as well as the studies that the Swiss did. Although, there were studies here in the United States, you would be hard-pressed to find those research studies and data on brain tumors, brain cancer, and their relation to the cell phones that people used. In fact, if you go to Google Scholar today you will be hard-pressed to find anything that would suggest that the cell phones could cause such horrible conditions. This of course is all still up for debate, but we try not to talk about it.

Perhaps, by going to 3G wireless, and lower wattage the mobile cell phone industry dodged a bullet of huge class-action lawsuits, and we may never know the damage we had caused. Nevertheless, as we talk about Six Sigma efficiency in corporations, or using modern management techniques in small businesses, no one can deny that increasing communication speed and reliability is by far a factor in the increase productivity in the 80s and 90s due to cell phones.

At the time I was literally running 1000 to 1200 minutes per month and although that service was much cheaper than the other choices such as the Iridium Satellite Phones, non-cell phone mobile units, as they did not use cell towers, rather satellites – you can imagine the costs of the original cells. They did not have an unlimited plan and once over your minutes, you paid the premium for each minute on that cell phone, my bill was usually $500 to 800 or more.

The other mobile phones at the time were not cell tower-based phones, they were push-to-talk and came in a brief case – it was considered quite James Bond at the time. And this was back in the 1970s, and I remember this, because I started my business when I was 12 years old washing airplanes at the local airport. Many of the businessmen who owned corporate jets had these types of phones. They were basically for the rich and famous, and business person. They didn’t work everywhere and you had to have pretty much line of sight to the nearest tall mountain, and that mountain had to have a repeater on top of it, which was hardwired into telephone lines, and the rest of the system worked with ground lines.

All this is very interesting, and we must consider that many folks today have never been alive when there were no cell phones. They have no clue how hard it was to run a business back in the days when there really was no mobile communication. The same repeater systems on top of the mountains that Motorola owned or which used Motorola hardware, also controlled the pagers. These pager systems were quite popular with people on call, such as doctors, and service personnel. Two-way radios, which work basically the same as the two-way push to talk briefcase phones, were used through a dispatcher for companies very often.

Later, just as cell phones came into play, someone came up with the idea of 1.5 way and two-way pagers. Instead of a one-way pager, someone who had what they call an “alpha mate” device could page someone and ask them a question (using a text message) on that page and the recipient could press a button for yes or no, Y. or N. and that information would be relayed to the dispatcher. People actually got pretty good at communicating this way. And you could send text type messages for the user of the pager to read. In reality these were the first text type messages, so the concept of having a mobile device and using text messaging is not all that new.

Two-way text messaging via cell phones is merely a re-introduction of that similar technology. Once people had cell phones they didn’t need to use the text pagers anymore, and that technology was leapfrogged as the price of the cell phone services was lower, as competition increased between companies like Sprint and AT&T. There were many other regional smaller players, but they eventually got bought up by the big boys.

The cell phone industry grew so fast in the late 80s and early 90s, that eventually there was coverage everywhere. Then something really weird happened, the promise of 3G wireless came into play, and folks started switching to that new system. I can tell you this – my first cell phones were much more powerful and worked much better than the cell phones of today.

Occasionally, I had a call dropped and there were not as many service areas, yes there were more dead zones, but the signal was much more powerful because it was 3 W, and since it ran off my car battery or a large battery pack in a small carry case, it had ample power to maintain that strong signal.

Today, when I use my AT&T cell phone, I am often cursing because the service is so bad, I wonder why I am even paying for it. In fact, the loss of productivity from dead zones, and the cell phone calls dropping, I feel as if AT&T should be paying me. Apparently, I am not alone many people feel the same way. Nevertheless, the 4G wireless is on the way and everyone will be switching to that so that they will have Internet access allowing them to do e-mails, twitter, video, and real-time text messaging without the use of ground lines

Funny Team Names

Coming up with a team name is all about being yourself. Think of something and put your own comedic twist on it. Be random. The Gold Fish Bowlers for a bowling league is a perfect example and that just came right of the top of my head. I was looking around the room, saw the goldfish bowl and wala. The next part is being creative. Do not do one that you have seen before because that mean someone else has seen it before as well. Like who has not seen some of those most common ones like the master batters. Besides that being common try to be clean. Your team name represents yourselves so do not do something dirty, but something that will represent yourself in the way you want it to.

Now here is a list to help you get some ideas. I know that you have seen some of these before. They may have caught your eye and made you glance back at that basketball team name and ask, are you serious. Yes, here is going to be a list of those funny basketball names that add excitement to the game we all love to play. But this isn’t going to be just any list. The is going to be the biggest, largest, hugest, gigantic, massive, mammoth, colossal, titanic, vast, gargantuan, giant, very big list you might every see, or maybe not. I have to see it is a decent size, but what would make it that substantial sized list is if you would leave a comment of name you have heard over the years.

Unleash The Furry
The School Bus Drivers
The Four Skins
Technical Knockout.
Players of Talent Players out of Talent
Wonderful Excellent Enormous Dudes
The Intentional Foulers
The Technical Foulders…
Basket Brawlers
The Wet Wedgies
Super Heroes in Training…..
The Extrema
Already Lost
We Lose
Control Freaks
Foodoo Doctors
Wii Not Fit
Smoking Tress and Stroking 3’s
Winged Beavers
Snapping Turtles
King Salmons
Wampus Cats
Wii Fat
The Three Basketeers
The Boston Three Party
The Three Amigos
Cunning Stunts
The Baseball Team
The Monkey Yummies
Lightning Zappers
Yahooligans
The Cereal Killers
Staying Yummy
The Fugitive Mangoes
Dazzling Stars
The Hot Dawgz
The Razzle Dazzle of Fantazzmanglers
Mighty Morphin Ginyu Force
Mischievous Polar Bears
The Flying Monkeys
Athletic Hippies
The Flying Apes
The Bankers
Flying Bacons
Crazy Catz
Lunch Ladies
You Lead And Afflalo

P.S. You are best of in tournaments trying to get a sponsor and using them as your team name. It is all about the money, isn’t it.

P.S.S. It should not be about the money. Play just to play the game. Enjoy it because you do not know when your playing will come to an end for some reason you do not see coming.

Boston Hotel Deals – What Are Popular Hotels in Boston? How Can You Find a Good Deal?

Boston has a “pedestrian-friendly layout”, making it easy for tourists and business travelers to get to their hotels, regardless of whether they arrived via airport or bus. The buses and subway trains conveniently serve all areas of the city. Before you get there, however, you must first look into Boston hotel deals and book a room.

If you’re a budget, you’ll find the least pricey hotels outside the city center. From charming little B&Bs east of the city to budget hotel hotels in the Malden area, there is accommodation for every style and budget. While business hotels tend to cost a bit more, there are still some fairly affordable ones like The Hyatt Regency, Hampton Inn & Suites, Charlesmark, Omni Parker House, and DoubleTree Club by Hilton.

If you’re interested in seeing the historic sites, you might want to stay close to the North End, as it is one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods. There are still narrow cobblestone streets and Old County treats like sweet rum cake.

Not going to be in Boston long? Just flying in for a day or two for business or layover? There are a few hotels to choose from at the Logan International Airport: Courtyard by Marriott, Embassy Suites by Hilton, TownePlace Suites, The Envoy, and several others.

If budget is your main concern, you can obtain Boston hotel deals by giving up some luxuries and being flexible. You might have to sacrifice a few luxuries to get a cheap rate. Flexibility is important also. The rates of hotels vary considerably throughout the year. Keep in mind that the hotels and B&Bs tend to be lowest in December, January, and February, with the exception of certain events such as the Boston Christmas Festival and Tea Party Reenactment.

The Best Places to Look for Boston Hotel Deals

Do a bit of comparison shopping online. Search for hotels on the dates you need to travel. Once again, if you are flexible, you will have more options. Use a trusted travel website to compare rates of all of the hotels in Boston with available rooms. You can narrow down your search by number of stars, reviews, location, ascending price, descending price, etc.

Look for travel promo codes and discounts that can be used at trusted sites. Some of them may be used to help travelers obtain Boston hotel deals. If you haven’t booked your flight yet, consider combining the airfare with accommodation. Online travel agencies sometimes give customers the option to “add a room” when booking a flight. You might save more money by paying for both together instead of booking them separately.

The best travel site for Boston hotel deals is GoThereCheaply.com. Discounts are available if you take care of your booking online. The company works hard to secure the best airfare and hotel rates for the top destinations across the globe.