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Wherever I Hang My Hat Is My...Office

I reported, wrote and filed today's column from a Starbucks in Vienna. I would have transmitted the picture that I took too except that I'd tossed the wrong cable in my briefcase. Turns out an iPod cable will not work with a digital camera, no matter how hard you try to push it in.

This is my brave new world. While The Post newsroom is being renovated, many of us are being encouraged to work from home. It's taking some getting used to. Forget "If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?" I'm pondering, "If a man doesn't have to go into the office, does he have to take a shower?"

This existence is possible only because of advances in technology, of course, both in computers (laptops, digital cameras, cellphones) and coffee (how did people get any work done in the days before mocha caramel soy latte frappucinos?). My week of setting up an office wherever I can find a wi-fi signal has given me a new appreciation for people who say they're addicted to their smartphones. For if you can work anywhere, you begin to expect the trappings of work--the habits of work--anywhere.

And that brings us to talking and texting while driving. Since reading those reports a few weeks ago about how dangerous it is to talk on the phone--even hands-free--while driving, I no longer make calls. And when my Blackberry rang yesterday while I was on the Beltway, I didn't answer it. I felt virtuous.

I think the only way we will stop distracted driving, at least distracted driving involving cellphones, is to ban it outright, enforce it and stigmatize it. (The Post has an editorial on this today.)

Ewww, Gross
On a semi-related matter: I was walking to the Forest Glen Metro last week. Just after passing under the Beltway, the path splits to the left and goes down some stairs. Looking down I was surprised to see a guy relieving himself against the wall. He was talking on a cell phone.

Now, I'm not sure which is worse: urinating in public or talking on a cellphone while urinating or talking on a cellphone while urinating in public.

By John Kelly  |  August 27, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
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Interesting point of view. My Prius has two little buttons on the steering wheel. One is a phone hung up, the other a phone off the hook. My iPhone is in my pocket. Don't need to touch that. If the phone rings, my radio shuts off, the screen on my dashboard tells me who is calling (if they're in my book -- else just the number is displayed), and I push the button and talk to the person as if they are in the seat next to me. To ban that would be the same as banning talking to a passenger in my car (which can be much more distracting, especially if it is my wife :).

If I want to make a call, I have a speed-dial list on my screen. One press of a button, much like changing a radio station only easier, and the phone dials and I talk.

I remember back in the eighties using CB radio (remember "Smokey and the Bandit"?) and it was much more complex. If all cell phone usage was like my Prius's, there would be no problems.


Posted by: revry | August 30, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

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