Thursday, August 25, 2011
Living out in the woods, there are a couple of lifelines I’ve come to depend on. The Internet is my main news, information, and communication system. It’s also where I do a lot of my shopping.
Of course, shopping on-line is only as good as the delivery service. Out here, I depend on the US Postal Service and UPS. When I hear the Postal Service is in serious trouble, I worry. Will Saturday delivery be discontinued? Any truth to the rumor of them dropping to 3 day delivery weeks for rural areas? Will my local post office close?
I haven’t heard anything troubling about UPS, but I didn’t hear anything negative about other delivery services that no longer do business in our area either.
Home delivery depends on the viability of the whole transportation infrastructure. Places out in the hinterland will be cut off first. I wonder if or when it’ll reach the point where it’s too expensive to get deliveries out to my house. It happened in the past with other services. Commuter planes don’t come to my town anymore. The train station is closed. Taxi service is gone.
While on vacation, it struck me how useful the whole Internet shopping thing has been for me. One example, my interest in sailing. There are no marine supplies stores nearby -not even much of anything for the freshwater boater. I just ordered some bottom paint for the sailboat, and even got free delivery.
While vacationing on the coast, I had the pleasure of checking out a bookstore. Finally, I thought, a store that will stock nautical books. They did have a good selection. Looking over their shelves, I was struck by how many nautical books I owned. I had many of the good ones already. Sure, their shelves were full, but how books on knots does a person need? In the real world you’ll probably only use a half dozen or so anyway. How many basic sailing books? How many books on boat construction? In the end, I didn’t buy anything at all. Most of my nautical books were bought on-line and delivered to my door. It’s a modern miracle that I don’t take for granted.