Club Chaos Agents - All Things Hollish, Wacked, and Jacked

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Sometimes old technology still works, but it has had its day and it isn't needed anymore.

Seaboard Coast Line Steel Cupola style caboose in Hogansville Georgia June 2009When I was a lad, I loved trains. My brothers and I would go to the park down the street that bordered the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks. We would find a good spot to watch the trains go by.

We would wave to the engineer in the front, and then waited for the end of the train and the caboose. On a good day we would get a friendly wave from the conductor riding in the steel shanty at the rear of the train.

Every freight train ended with a caboose. It was always the last car, and it carried the conductor and a brakeman, who watched the train from the rear and made sure that all was well from that perspective. The conductor also did reports in the caboose as the train went on its way to the next destination.

When the train was stopped, the brakeman would walk back down the track with a lantern to warn approaching trains that the rails ahead were blocked. The caboose served as both the crew's office and lodging place, as they slept on board their moving workplace!

But by the 1980's, the caboose was slowly replaced with an electronic signaling device at the end of the train. The device could signal following trains, and alert the engine crew of technical problems with the equipment.

The caboose, which had served the railroads for 140 years, was now an obsolete piece of technology. There was no need to add the extra weight, and the two workers were no longer needed.

It still worked, but it was neither efficient nor cost effective. As a result, most were sold for scrap or reconfigured for work trains. The age of the caboose is over.

If you look around your house or office, I'll bet that you can find a hundred pieces of obsolete technology that had its day but is no longer useful. I wonder why we have so much trouble letting go of these things.

We know we'll never use them again, but we paid so much for them that it's hard to say goodbye. And so they collect into a mass and gather dust.

Come to think of it, I'm getting on and I'm not all that useful anymore either. I wonder what will be used to replace ME?

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All content, including text, original art, photographs and images, is the exclusive property of Coweta Fayette Real Estate, Inc., and may not be used without the expressed written permission of Coweta Fayette Real EstateNewnan Georgia. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted, Copyright 2003-2016. Richard Weisser REOS, E-Pro. licensed Auctioneer. 770-827-6225.
Learn more about Coweta County and Fayette County Georgia Real Estate, and to search the entire Georgia MLS for free with no registration required. Visit CowetaFayetteRealEstate.com! Photos of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. North Georgia Photos. Photos of Coweta County GA and photos of Fayette County GA.

Comment balloon 24 commentsRichard Weisser • June 03 2009 06:50PM
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