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Rest in Peace Mr. Ipodles, I Barely Knew You

July 21, 2006

As some of you know I am in Cincinnati, OH for a board retreat for the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students. I have never been to Ohio before and it was great crossing two states off the list. The airport is located in Northern Kentucky.

I had a direct flight from Seattle to Cincinnati and it was a quick four-hour flight. Pretty uneventful. I sat next to a woman who was traveling with her husband, son and daughter. But they were scattered nearby but different rows around the plane. The woman napped most of the flight. As she would nap, I guess she forgot that she was not napping next to her husband. She would lean against me. Lay her head close. She invaded my bubble. Quite unnerving.

When I stepped off the plane it was hot as hell. And it was humid. The humidity was so high that there was fog. That only happens when there is 100 percent humidity – a little fact I learned in my geography class. I would stand still outside and I would sweat bullets.

While we are close to Cincinnati, we are not in Cincinnati. The town is about thirty miles from Cincinnati. We are “camping” during our retreat. We are in 30-foot motor homes. I have a nice twin bed, a/c and power for my laptop. It is quite nice as campers go. The name of the town is New Richman and it is located right next to the Ohio River. This place is Anytown, USA. The town is quaint. Fireflies are as common as the rain is in Seattle. A large white gazebo is the centerpiece of the town. And the local ice creamery only takes cash but has ten flavors of ice cream and allows smoking.

It was surreal when we got to the river. We unhitched the boat from the trailer and then we went boating on the mighty Ohio. The fog remained. And it was hot. I sat in the shade but I sweat profusely. The rived is lined with barges that have run aground. They sit there rusted out like old ghost ships. The river tastes disgusting. It tastes like copper and I suspect that is from either the barges or the coal plants that line the river. After boating, we played volleyball outside. I sat my iPod Nano on a nearby table. All of a sudden, it started to thunder and lightning. A couple of drops of rain came down through the fog and landed to the ground. Then a flash of lightning lit the gray sky, followed by the loudest thunder I ever heard. It started to pour.

We ran undercover and listened to the thunder and the rain. About 15 minutes go by and one of my fellow board members runs outside to grab something. I thought to myself “Oh that is horrible, she left her cell phone out there.” But it was no cell phone, it was my iPod Nano.

A flicker of light would flash when I pressed a couple of buttons, but after that, it wouldn’t even turn on. The Ohio rain claimed one casualty that night and it happened to be my Nano. Rest in peace Mr. Ipoddles, I barely knew you.

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