People in the world today must have a lot of free time on their hands, or else there wouldn't be things to do like Twitter. I've never done Twittering but I imagine it's kind of like texting only it has a trendier name hip urbanites prefer. Come to think about it, I've never texted either. People have tried to text me, but I could never figure out how to answer them, so I'd just punch the red button and they'd go away. Now Blackberrys on the other hand are pretty neat. I enjoy being able to use a phone, or read an email, but it was a year before I used the Blackberry they gave me here at work. I think I was worried I was going to turn into one of those mindless zombies that can't walk three feet without fiddling with the damn thing. Of course, as stylish objects go, a Blackberry is pretty out of it these days. To be cool in late 2009, one has to have one of those communicating devices that doesn't have any knobs or buttons on it. I have some friends who own those things and they are always cussing them out. I already catch myself swearing in public too much when I'm on the phone, so I don't think one of those knobless jobs would be a very good idea for me.
OK, I think I did a good job of running that subject into the ground, what else have we got? I know, let's talk about a new show that would be fun to watch on television. I'd like to see a weekly series on HGTV where they have a real estate agent help some guy try to find a shop building to move into. The show's content could run the gamut from what a poor man has to settle for to what a rich guy can get. Better yet, how about a show that reveals how much shop a person can buy in different cities for the same amount of money? It's not an original idea; they already do a show like that with houses. They set a price and then start traveling. The intriguing difference about industrial properties is it would be more like watching Extreme Homes where people live in all kinds of different structures. I know if a guy lives in Southern California and has a four-car garage for a shop, he's a lucky man. Take that same amount of money and plop him down in Moose Sphincter, Idaho, and he can find an old Ford or Chevy dealership complete with a showroom. Wouldn't it be cool to watch cable TV while sitting next to your classic truck collection in a vintage showroom? It would be like owning the ultimate Big-Window. The only problem I can imagine would be receiving some adverse attention if you got an itch and forgot you were in the public eye. That's the one universal truth about us gearheads, we all dream about owning the ultimate shop to create in. In my travels, I've met a lot of people who have realized this dream. In the colder climates like in Minnesota where Tim Bernsau and I went for Back to the '50's Weekend we saw a lot of high-quality, pre-fabricated buildings one can assemble on their property. Walking around the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, we couldn't believe how many manufacturers have full-scale pole-frame examples erected. Hey, I've got an idea, how about if I start Twittering; you know, use social media to communicate with the masses? Every time I discover a really neat old building that would make a good shop, I could Twitter the address and then everyone could get on Google Earth and see it for themselves. The only drawback I imagine might be if it were one of those addresses available with a Google Earth street view. What if some poor unfortunate trucker had already bought the place and was scratching himself in the showroom when the Google cameras drove by? Perhaps I could Twitter everyone when I'm not at home, so someone could take a shot at seeing if my dogs will let them over the fence. One of the neighbors could start Twittering as the uninvited guest met with some resistance and was now clutching his bloody nether regions as he screamed for help. The possibilities are just endless, personal injury attorneys could Twitter for clients, and then give updates from court as they attempt to beat Larry Parker's record for outrageous settlements. "Larry Parker got me, three million dollars, for hurting my finger on a Twitter device, so now I don't have to work as a dumb magazine editor." Naw, I love this job, I'll just sell one of my old trucks if I need some extra cash.-John Gilbert