Cassi Creek. Twenty-five years ago that line made more sense than it does today. E-mail was not a common household or personal tool. Cards, letters, bills, and all manner of communication on paper existed only in the form now called “hard copy.” Now we deal with e-mail, voice mail, instant messages, text messages, and a rapidly increasing number of ways to hasten the flow of more or less valuable bits of data while the hard copy data transfer becomes less and less the norm.
We send very little hard copy mail now. What we send is mostly greeting cards to family members. We still receive our bills in hard copy form, but we pay them electronically. We’re of the generations that still trust computers to savage us in some manner, leaving us lacking the information we so carefully stored on our hard drives, and on various generations of floppy disks, tapes, and CD-rom s. Of course, we no longer have the hardware to read and utilize floppy drives of any size and tapes. Our newest computers are being built without an internal hard drive or a means to read CD’s. We are expected to purchase software on line and down load it to our machines by way of the “cloud.” Our data storage, they tell us, is secure, safe, and readily available even though it exists only in the nebular, semi-mythical “cloud.” Is it any wonder that our backup consists of paper files?
All of these electronic communications travel between various hardware devices at immense velocities. Megabytes of information are exchanged within seconds. We’ve become used to rapid response and now apply the standards of computer data transfer to all forms of verbal communication.
We’ve made great strides toward downgrading our language and grammar knowledge and utilization. 4U is not a word, CUL8r not a sentence. Two people engaged in a conversation, converse, they do not conversate in a convo.
However, not all things take place at internet speeds. Letters and other items that use our traditional postal service for delivery, still move much the same as they did in the last century. The methods for collection and delivery are still dependent upon carriers picking up mail from collection points and delivering it to people’s mailboxes. Between pickup and delivery, each item goes through sorting and distribution to the proper post office and route for delivery.
I’m waiting on a letter, or a collection of documents from the Veteran’s Affairs regional office. It was most likely mailed Tuesday, from Nashville. It will be contained in a standard 8x11 manila envelope. I had hoped it would arrive today. No such luck. VA has my e-mail address and could have sent me the documents via e-mail as well as by hard copy. I’ve never been very patient when it comes down to things beyond my control. There’s a lot riding on the information carried in these documents. So I’ll spend the rest of the day pacing. There are two more delivery days this week. If I pace enough, perhaps I’ll walk off a couple pounds.