El Capitan

Two rock climbers made history this week when they successfully summited El Capitan, after 3,000 vertical feet and nineteen days of climbing. I have just a small inkling of the difficulty of this feat, because when we were at Yosemite a couple of years ago, we hiked up, not climbed mind you, only a third of that height and I was thoroughly huffing and a puffing by that exertion. Their feat was a testament to their strength and stamina, plus their willpower and courage. After peering up towards such lofty heights, it is time for me to return to earth and the more mundane matters of my life.

One bright spot this week was that I was accepted by Amazon in my application to them to purchase their new Echo. The Echo, is a Wi-Fi enabled sound system that can be operated by voice command. It is about the size and shape of a cleanser can. To tell you the truth, I am more intrigued with Amazon’s marketing strategy than I am with the product itself. Let me back up a bit here first. Three weeks before Christmas, Paul, who has the cube next to mine at work announced one morning that he had just received his Echo. He explained the application process and that it had taken him two weeks to be approved for purchase. I applied my own Echo that very same day. At the time, I was thinking of giving away the Echo as a Christmas present. Six weeks later, I finally received my permission to purchase my Echo. I’ll be the first to admit that Paul is more tech savvy than me. That might explain why his wait was only two weeks, while mine was six. In this world of instant gratification, of which Amazon is a major purveyor of, I am intrigued with their blatantly obvious delayed gratification inspired marketing strategy. I imagine that this strategy is a reaction to their disastrous Fire phone rollout. I have a just few more days to exercise my newly granted permission. The permission does come with one tangible benefit, at $99 the Echo is half off its regular price.