Speaking of Backpacks…

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Good morning from Newark International Airport’s Terminal C President’s Club 1. I’m waiting for my flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to keynote the New Mexico PRSA, as a favor to my good friend Benson Hendrix.

As I sit here, I can reflect, which is always fun. And I can learn how to use my right thumb for the space bar, since my left one is infected and hurts like hell when it makes contact with anything at all. Because of a skydiving accident? Because of a marathon where I had to claw my way to the finish line? No. Because I was putting a piece of mail into the mail slot in my building, and snagged my thumbnail on the lip of the slot, and it ripped apart, and I didn’t disinfect it in time.


So I went to Showstoppers last night, and the Digital Life preview event the night before that. Two things struck me out of everything I saw:

Guitar Hero, and the Backpack Shield. Both for different reasons.

Walking into the Digital Life Press Preview, I was assaulted by “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” coming out of massive speakers, and reporters from several major pubs all trying to look cool, jamming on a plastic guitar in front of a giant computer screen.

Here’s Stewart Nacht from cheapassgamer.com making an attempt. I pronounce that cheapassgamer.com is the best website for gaming in the entire universe. I say this to balance out the bad Karma I just got for making fun of Stewart Nacht in the photo below.


What’s that line from Almost Famous, where Lester Bangs is talking to Cameron Crow? “They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool. …”

Nothing but love, Stewart. You’re cool. As is the technology behind Guitar Hero, despite virtually no one being able to look cool as they play it. Naturally, I’ll be getting one. I’m not cool, either. But this is nothing new.

While there, I ran into Jeremy Charette of Digital Media Thoughts. We escaped and grabbed some dinner, where we discussed why I still can’t get the audio from my HD cable box to sync up with the video from my TiVo.

The next night was Showstoppers, where I met Kerry Clark, the President of Backpack Shield. Backpack Shield is exactly what it sounds like: A Kevlar shield you put into the back of your child’s backpack. When the shooting starts, your kid is supposed to take the backpack off his back, hold it in front of him, crouch down so it covers his head and his heart, and run like hell.



I understand the technology. I really do. And in some sick kind of Columbine, VT, and now St. John’s way, it makes sense. I guess it just saddens me that we’re living in a society where this item has to exist. And it frightens me to think what other items are going to become standard in my child’s backpack, assuming I ever have a child, who has a backpack.

And no one better give me any crap about how “well, Peter, if you moved out of NYC, you wouldn’t need something like the Backpack Shield. Really? Last time I checked, Columbine was in a nice, quiet suburb.

Just kinda sad, I guess. But hey, Taser was demo’ing their new “personal line” last January at CES, remember? I certainly do… So I guess we just have to accept it.

Finally… My laptop bag is the evil laptop bag of doom. Actually, it’s not – but a roll of Poker Chips can certainly look like a brick of C-4, according to the Neanderthals at the TSA, who raised the national security threat level this morning as I passed through security. Cameraphone photo of my laptop being swabbed for anything stronger than the lingering smell of Witch Hazel compliments of my boredom during the process.


And really finally, because they’re calling my flight, one of my favorite websites is I CAN HAS CHEESEBURGER. If you haven’t seen it, it’ll suck you in to the weird world of LOLcats.

Here’s my contribution, me and NASA, compliments of a quick thinking Jeremy a few months ago at a party in my apartment.


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