Inmarsat-3A few minutes ago, I was sitting in my living room, holding a little piece of plastic and metal to my ear, no wires connecting me to any plugs on the walls, talking to a friend in Virginia as he drove down a highway.  Space Cadet JimmieJoe was jumping up and down in my head again, amazed.

When I was 12, the Space Cadet often daydreamed about the future.  There were spaceships and incredible computers.  Meals would be selected on a screen, and be magically transported to the table by a conveyor. Communication anywhere on the planet would be simple, quick, and complete with video. Super sonic jets would whisk you to anyplace on Earth in a short time, and, of course, flying cars would be everywhere.  Think – “The Jetsons”.

Well, the future is here, but it looks a bit different than Space Cadet JimmieJoe imagined.

Cars are still firmly grounded (and the space cadet continues to give me grief about that), food comes from the freezer and is zapped in the microwave oven (which is cool in it’s own right), and the fastest commercial planes still take hours to get anywhere, not even counting the hassles of the airport.

The computer is a bit different, too.  Instead of the humongous machines of Sci-Fi B movies, they’re in almost everything now, and practically invisible.  Heck, cars today have more computing power inside each one than all of NASA’s capability when Apollo 11 thrilled Space Cadet JimmieJoe with the first Moon landing.

But the phone call.  There I was, sitting in my home in central California, casually talking to a friend as he was driving down a highway in Virginia, 2,180 miles away.  No wires connected either of us to anything, and as we chatted our voices bounced out to a communications satellite, 24,500 miles out in space and back down to Earth.  Our conversation undoubtedly bounced around the east and west coasts, but as far as we could tell, he might as well have been standing outside my front door.  We could have easily activated a video call, had we wished.  All that technology in use, and at no extra charge beyond my monthly rate.   Just incredible.

I live in the future, and I love it.  Oh, and apparently hoverboards are real now.

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