going, going, gone

Have you noticed how many gadgets that were essential items in 2000 are mostly non-existent as we head into a new decade?

Fax Machines. I actually had a designated phone number for this gadget that I had to pay an extra $30 a month for. Several times a day I would send and receive documents using this device. Toward the end of its existence in my home office, I mostly received spam through it. That’s when I cut the cord and sent it to the dump. Now I have room for a cute charging station to charge my gadgets.

Landline. In 2008 we eliminated this once and for all. It’s now cell phones all the way, with each person having their own specific number.

Dial-up Internet. Remember the sounds that used to make? Sounded like aliens landing in the room. You can still listen to it here if you’re feeling nostalgic.

Handwritten Letters and Christmas Cards. You remember the ones that arrived in your mailbox outside? This year, for the first time, we sent out digital holiday cards, and saved a bundle in postage. We received exactly 20 Christmas cards in our outside mailbox this year. I'm very glad some have continued with this tradition.

Film Cameras and Film. With digital cameras and phones, the only film you’ll see around here is on our windows (and possibly a roll or two in the back of the freezer).

Telephone Books. Even though trucks still deliver these things in our neighborhood, if I see them coming, they don’t deliver to our house and haven’t since 2005. If they sneak them in, they're quickly thrown in the recycling bin (the books that is). I can search for any business or person on my phone or computer. I can even map out their exact location and take a look at their street. Scary!

Encyclopedias. Some of you are probably not old enough to remember these. People actually sold them door-to-door. They took up large amounts of space on bookshelves. They’ve been replaced by Wikipedia. People also did research in books like encyclopedias in libraries. Lately it seems when I go to the library, there are more people sitting at computers than browsing the isles of books. When my daughter does homework, it’s now Google she goes to first for information. I do still check out plenty of fiction and non-fiction books at the library though. You can’t beat this free resource for entertainment.

Classified Ads. These have been replaced by Craigslist. And their service is FREE. We’ve successfully sold many of our old gadgets through Craigslist in the last few years.

Checks. I rarely write checks anymore. Between debit cards and online bill paying, my checkbook doesn't get out very often.

Wires. So many wires used to be strung throughout my office. My new computer actually has just one. The mouse and keyboard are both wireless items that I can use across the room if I want to.

Here’s the newest gadget in my office...

red Swingline

It’s a Swingline.

“And if, if they take my stapler, I will, I will set this building on fire.”

(a line from one of my favorite movies from over a decade ago, Office Space)