A True Tale of Terror by Greg Wesson (@lombaki)
5:30 AM is often considered an ungodly hour, especially when sleep doesn’t start until 11 PM or later the previous day. Even when it’s a fairly regular wake-up time, it’s still brutal. Well, when I have to be an hour’s drive away by 7:50 and need an hour plus to get moving and semi-functioning, 5:30 is when my alarm clock goes off.
Needless to say, coffee is usually involved in my personal boot-up process. Even with the glorious chemical, though, the brain sometimes skips a groove.
On Tuesday, May 8th, I woke up at my usual 5:30 to a pretty nice surprise; a Dead Space update on my PlayBook. It’s a fairy large game, so I wanted to get the download going early while I cleaned up and got breakfast. I set my tab down by the front door from which I would exit around 7:00 so, as to be sure to take it with me; and take it I did.
I snagged it from it’s perch and headed out to my car to load all my gear in for the day’s work. Often, a full day’s worth of work gear takes two arm-loads so, I headed back to the front door to retrieve the rest of my necessities. Typically, the PB rests comfortably in the front pouch of my PowerBag Messenger Bag. Without a thought in the world, I closed my door, fired up the Sube and headed out for the approximate 9 mile but 20 minute drive involving 11 turns, pretty much all back roads.
I arrive at my first destination, gathered my PowerBag and my coffee and headed inside. At some point during the day, I went to retrieve my PlayBook from the PowerBag to take advantage of its larger screen and killer browser. Finding only my Kindle Fire in the front pouch, I thought that maybe in the fuzz of an early morning I had somehow mistook it for my PlayBook and that I had left my precious sitting at the house updating Dead Space. I resorted to using the Fire for my needs and continued on with my day.
From job one, I left to fill up my gas tank. I have a regular place where I buy my petrol and had plenty of time to make the drive, so I headed out at 4:05 PM. From my starting point to my new destination, I traveled another 12 miles via main roads. There were only four real turns, but several stop signs and stop lights. Braking, taking off, braking, taking off, turning, braking, taking off… Rolled into the station, filled the tank, and headed out to my next stop, the bank downtown.
From the filling station to the bank it’s a full 4 miles via our by-way at 55 MPH. On ramp, off ramp, and some slow going once I arrived in the downtown area. Parked, walked down to the bank, made my transaction, headed back, and pointed my Forester in the direction of my next stop, StarBucks.
From our downtown to the StarBucks closest to my evening job it is another 3 miles, but it only requires a short trip on a major road. Still, there are quite a few “stop and go’s” on that route. Once at StarBucks, I grabbed my Kindle Fire and sauntered in. I drank my beverage, surfed some sites, killed some time. Once the extra time was gone, I slid back into my car and drove to my place of evening employment, just up the road (backing out of parking space, stopping, pulling forward, stopping to let car pass in the lot, pulling forward, stopping at the road, pulling out onto the road, stopping at the stoplight, starting onto the road, hanging a right, pulling into the parking lot, finding a spot, and parking.)
What’s been really frustrating the whole time is that I can see the Bridge logo on my 9900, so I KNOW that my dear Tabitha is around in the car. Probably in my PowerBag somewhere, I just didn’t look hard enough. (I’m a B type personality if you didn’t catch on. Not much bothers me. I lose things on a weekly basis only to have them turn up at a random point in the future. Today I reclaimed my girlfriend-purchased Kermit the Frog lunchbox that I had left the Friday previous.)
Inside to my work I went. I was there for about two hours. When I returned to my vehicle, I paid attention and sure enough, my BlackBerry handheld Bridged to my PlayBook, so for certain it’s in the car. I figured I’d grab it when I got home which was a return drive of about ten miles over the course of twenty minutes. Naturally there were once again multiple turns, stops, starts, etc. And when I finally parked my auto, I hauled in my stuff and set my sights on finding that temptress of tech that taunted me too terribly tenaciously.
I checked the back seat.. I checked the front seats. I checked under the seats. I checked between the seats. I checked the back area. I checked them all over again. I checked the glove box where I’ve never placed my PB. I checked every single inch on the interior of that blasted car and then searched it again. I had about given up when I placed my hand upon the top of the rear hatch feeling, not the metal of the roof, but rather the glass of the screen of my lost luxury.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my poor, dear BlackBerry PlayBook had ridden the full 13.5 hours of the day, the ~40 miles of road, the full who knows how many stops and starts, on the top of my Forester. I can only assume that it was held there by the rails you see in the picture as well as the wonderfully rubberized back so lovingly placed there by the engineers at BlackBerry. I absolutely could not believe that it had survived the whole day sliding, gliding, stuck, who knows what, exposed to the elements (okay, the sun), on my car. No one saw it, or no one stole it, it didn’t rain on it, it didn’t tip off, fall off, bump off… My dear friends, I can only say that it remained affixed to my car by grace.
**Full disclosure; It’s not the first time I’ve left the PlayBook up there, but last time I remembered before I got too far.