Jay Cross
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New Yawk
Friday, November 12, 2004
I arrived in New York this evening, my first trip back here in years. Six? Seven? I wandered four blocks from my refuge, the Williams Club, to Grand Central for a wonderful dinner at the Oyster Bar. Curry-lentil-crawfish soup followed by a platter of salmon, calamari, giant shrimp, and Caesar salad, topped off with Normany apple pie and a snifter of Calvados. Yum.

Do I need to see the site of the World Trade Center while I'm here? I remember making sales calls in the WTC years ago. Grabbing a bite at its underground restaurants. Taking in the view from the top floor. Staying in the one hotel there. The day after the towers fell -- Jesus, what a sight! Goddamn buldings coming down as if they were filled with air and someone had pulled the plug -- I drew this image to memorialize the occasion.

I enjoy being on the road. (Willie Nelson is singing On the Road Again from my hard disk through a JetBlue headset as I write this.) In the Oakland Airport at 8:15 this morning, I noted in my journal, "Most people I know consider business travel a burden. Not I. To me, travel is an escape. It puts me in a contemplative mood. It gives me time to reflect. I enter into my little travel cocoon, sealed off fromphone calls and household chores. Since I’m only using my laptop, technical crap is minimal. And it’s times like these that I return to my journal." (Someone asked Baba Ram Das if his upcoming 22-city tour for SEVA wasn't going to jangle his psyche. No, he replied. "I'm always right here." I can identify.)

I mentioned I minimize hassle by traveling with a bare-bones laptop. The laptop in question, a new IBM X40, is a three-pound marvel. I've had it a month. I promised myself I'd keep this machine lean and mean. No weird software add-ons. It's not a desktop replacement; it's my travel machine; it's my PDA. I just glanced down to the lower right of my screen.

What the ...?

Last weekend at the Accelerating Change conference at Stanford, BJ Fogg, who's inventing the field of captology, i.e. computer persuasion, showed a short homemade movie starring stuffed monkey Bongo. Bongo goes on line to gather information for an upcoming picnic. Bongo fights with all manner of familiar obstacles. “Do you want to download updates from Microsoft? Your virus definitions are out of date.” I’ve been there, Bongo. Several times. Today.



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