Kinda, Sorta, Maybe


Over the weekend, I managed to stumble across my old laptop bag; I’ve had it for several years and purchased it well before I had an actual laptop to slide in there. It’s designed a bit like a briefcase, but has straps similar to a backpack so I could carry it by hand or slip it on my shoulder. It made multiple journeys from Wisconsin to BotCon over many years.

I spotted it at Walmart and decided to snag it for the inevitable. I would eventually get a laptop and I would need something to carry it to the convention. Besides, I was working at Walmart, so I got a discount–a whopping ten percent–off the purchase price, sans taxes. It wasn’t terribly expensive, either.

The sad thing? It’s more or less outlived its usefulness.

The last time I went to BotCon and took Alexa-1 was over five years ago. That was probably her last trip; I have a tablet, as well as a smartphone. Prime has a tablet and smartphone of his own. Everything we needed Alexa for can be done on either our phones or tablets. I can make posts via the WordPress app on my phone. I also have an app for the tablet, but it doesn’t seem to be on the same level as the one on my phone, but it works in a pinch.

I don’t need Alexa to upload photos anymore. I have a decent camera on the tablet and a really good one on my phone. I can snap a picture and upload it to WordPress with a couple of taps.

I don’t need Alexa to upload videos, either. To be absolutely honest, I don’t need to bring my digital camera or Alexa along with me on any future trips. I have what I need in my pocket.

Do I miss that? Maybe. It was part of the routine for packing up before BotCon: Find the laptop bag, check to make sure that Alexa’s lock was inside, find the camera and SD cards–the big ones, not micro!–along with the case to carry said SD cards, find any and all needed supplies for the mouse, the camera, Alexa, and get everything in a location where I could easily find it. This would be the time of year when I would be getting the last few items together; my suitcase would already be packed and my outfit for “Departure Time” would be set aside.

Now that won’t be happening anymore.

We’re looking at next year for a possible BotCon relaunch but Alexa won’t be coming with us. Prime himself has said as much. She’ll be staying home, since we really don’t have the need to take her. We have other ways of accessing the net; she isn’t necessary now.

Once we’re out of the pandemic, it’ll be a “New Normal” in a different sense. We’ll be leaving something that we saw as an absolute necessity behind because she’s more or less outlived her usefulness. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still working but she’s not needed on a convention. I can post my BotCon Reports from my phone, which doesn’t leave my pocket. Am I going to miss taking her? Yes.

It’s an end to an era. I knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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