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

Comments

Richard, HA, I didn't see the last line coming! I beg to differ, you are not obolete! I love both the photo and the post!

If I ever get down to see Dad (probably not, and its not a happy story) but if I do, I am bringing my camera and following you around!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 10 years ago

You are so right.  Some of those items were a gift, or a big deal when you bought them, and it is hard to just toss them out.  I live in a lot of clutter because of that mindset and I wish I could change. 

Posted by Sandra White, Experienced Residential Resale Broker (John L Scott Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I will never see a train again without thinking Atlas Shrugged.

Just sayin....

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 10 years ago

Andrea...

That would be a lot of fun! Come on down! ;)

Sandra...

I still have a jillion floppy disk laying around. Why? There is no logical explanation for that! lol and thanks.

Missy...

Ah, an Ayn Rand fan are we? THX.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 10 years ago

I liked the post.  I too was forever altered by Atlas.  Unlike old technologies you have the ability to reinvent yourself over and over again.

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) about 10 years ago

Richard, you are irreplaceable! Atlas Shrugged is one of my favorite books - should have known you and Missy would be familiar.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) about 10 years ago

Hi Richard.

I must say I did not even know cabooses were no more.  You learn something new everyday!

Thanks for writing,

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 10 years ago

Brian...

But I have reinvented myself so many times that I am tired! ;)

Maria...

I think that most real estate agents and mortgage brokers would be individualists! And to think that the Federal government will have an ownership stake in GM (shudder) THX

Ken...

I haven't seen one on an active train in over 20 years! I did ride n one once, though!

 

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 10 years ago

Hey I'm getting kinda tired but I still have a few more good years left in me. Kinda like an old locomotive with a rebuilt egine.

Posted by Cameron Wilson, The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ (Labrum Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Atlas Shrugged should be required reading, particularly NOW.

I digress...my original comment was going to be you will never be obsolete!  ;-)

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) about 10 years ago

Richard,

Am exploring the outside blogs recommended by Brad as great examples.

I am still charmed by trains - was even in ensemble-created play set on trains and in trains stations. Bet you don't know many people who can walk and make it look like the train is chugging along...

Won't even address that last line 'cause you know we all need you.

Posted by Irene Kennedy about 10 years ago

Richard, I too love trains.  The loss of the Caboose was a loss of an era!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 10 years ago

My husband gets rid of EVERYTHING obsolete and not useable. In fact, every six months he waits until I go out and 'cleans' house. Everything not in use or a dumb buy of mine goes to the Goodwill.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) about 10 years ago

Richard - I have been purging our house of a lot of "stuff" lately, including a ridiculous amount of technology.  To answer the final question in your post, it will be a cyborg.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 10 years ago

Great train pic - we visit Stroudsberg about once a year, sometimes going to the train museum. Good times - especially riding them while smelling the wood burning stoves lit in the cars. ahhhh.

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) about 10 years ago

The US National Park Service has a national historic site train museum located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  They have several train cars on display as well as a short steam train ride.  The Steamtown National Historic Site is a great way to spend a few hours when you are in the area.

Posted by FN LN about 10 years ago

You are right on this one Richard. I am continually updating my stuff as technology wears out or becomes outdated. Tax write-offs too...

Your building consultant for life in Nashville, TN

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Just the word caboose makes me laugh - your posts always make me smie and wonder. Thanks

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) about 10 years ago

Richard,

I am not to sure there will be anything or anyone that will be able to replace the "ENFORCER".  We used to do the same thin in San Antonio when we were kids.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 10 years ago

Cameron...

Ah, that's it. I need a major overhaul! Thanks my friend.

Susan...

Atlas Shrugged will NEVER be required reading in our lifetimes, and that's too bad. Thanks As always for the kind words!

Irene...

I love trains and everything about them. I need to write more posts about them. Thanks for those very nice words!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 10 years ago

I remember my Mom used to always point out the Caboose at the end of a train when I was a child. The trains never look the same anymore.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

Hey Richard,

great post!

You can never become obsolete especially to us here in the rain!

Posted by Tony Orefice, Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC (Wilkinson ERA/www.TonyORealtor.com) about 10 years ago

Richard,

I guess I have not been paying attention to my trains.  I still thought there were cabooses.

Posted by Brenda Harmon (Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas) about 10 years ago

Never thought about technology as abeing outdated...this could include lots of other things in our head also....in this economy, wonder what ideas we might get rid of too???? 

Posted by Sandra Scott, REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ (DPR Realty) over 9 years ago

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