15 July 2007

Gadgethead Drama

This meeting has a lot of technological firsts for me:

  1. This is my first annual meeting with a cell phone (I got a prepaid phone in January and just last week upgraded to a regular plan).
  2. It's my first annual meeting with a laptop (I bought one in May).
  3. And it's my first annual meeting in a hotel with high-speed Internet -- at least, I think it is, but I wouldn't have noticed because I didn't have a laptop (see #2).
  4. And it's the first time I've written blog posts during an annual meeting -- made possible by #2 and #3, as well as a visit to the Internet room in the Activities Area.
  5. It's also the first annual meeting when I lost my PDA.

What? Lost my PDA?

Yep, that's right. When I saw Jocelyn before a program, I reached for it to check for when I was going to a reception so we could set up a time to meet for dinner. Uh-oh! It wasn't there!! I double-checked all my pockets -- jacket, bag, jacket, bag, pants. Not there, not there, not there.

OK, think, think, think ... where did I last see it? At lunch with James? Yes, I think so. OK, go back to the Riverside Internet Cafe in the Riverwalk. Too bad the staff person hadn't noticed it. I left her my name and cell number (see #1), just in case.

Now what? Maybe I didn't really have it at lunch -- maybe I last saw it when I was at the Legal Research Instruction Roundtable. OK, go back to the Hilton. The room was being set up for something else. The man arranging the tables said I should look for someone in Security. I did, and she got on her walkie-talkie to the office. No Palm had been turned in, but she took my name and number (see #1). You never know.

OK, back to the Convention Center. No one had turned it in to Hospitality or Registration. I left a pathetic sign on the message board, then went upstairs to catch the end of the program I'd started to go to. Finally, I went to the AALL staff office. Nope, no one had turned in a PDA. Someone there also took my name and number (see #1).

I really was doing a pretty good job keeping a grip on my emotions. This was just a physical object. I was fine, my loved ones were fine, no one was in danger. Everything was backed up on my laptop (#2), as well as my work PC and our home PC. It would be disappointing if I never found it, but life goes on.

And then Mary said I should check my bag one more time. I humored her and took out every scrap -- the bag of nuts (in case I get hungry), the napkins (in case I spill), the biography of Sandra Day O'Connor (because I so enjoyed Joan Biscupic's talk), the umbrella (wasn't that an amazing rain storm?), the baseball hat (in case it rains enough to want to keep the rain off my glasses but not enough to bother with the umbrella), the final program (to keep track of what's happening where and when), the squeezeball I'd picked up in the Exhibit Hall. Not there... Oh! Look! It was there! Right at the bottom of everything! Wow. Good news. And wasn't it great that I got in that nice brisk walk from the Convention Center to the Hilton and back? And I can share my dramatic adventure in blog post (see #4).

Gadgets help us (setting up my lunch date with James was much easier than in past years when we just exchanged notes on the message board!), but they also present new challenges -- like keeping track of them!

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