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Ding! It is now okay to use portable electronic devices'?¦to play Solitaire!!

The second the plane is safely in the sky and cruising toward its destination, the flight attendants give us the go-ahead to utilize our precious electronic devices. Out come iPods, iPhones, PDA's, laptops, portable DVD's, and the myriad of other devices that now litter the marketplace. And I am not immune'?¦I reach for my own laptop and dive into my own agenda of things I have told myself I can 'do on the plane'? as I make my way to my destination.

That is when I spot it'?¦and no matter how many times I see it, it still shocks me. The white collar professional'?¦wearing the outfit (black pants, colored collared shirt, nice belt and dress casual shoes) and carrying the bag (black leather with bag tag containing a business card)'?¦hunched over their company provided and paid computer or PDA'?¦playing Solitaire!!!

This singular act irks me more than I care to admit, especially in today's tough economic climate. There are still people who have the time and inclination to play Solitaire all the way from Philadelphia to Atlanta?

I am not afraid to admit that this is a sick fascination that has gotten to the point where I will actually get up and walk the plane to see if I can identify any transgressors. I will move seats if someone near me is blissfully lost in a game, as I am unable to concentrate on anything other than what else this person could be doing and why they are wasting life's precious time.

I have even started a group on Facebook where people like me (I am the only member to date) can discuss alternatives to playing solitaire'?¦alternatives that lead to personal and professional betterment instead of wasted time... Some popular options include:
'?¢ Create to-do lists to organize what you need to do and by when
'?¢ Merge/enter to-do list with PDA or Computer calendar program
'?¢ Write a hand written note to family, friends, clients, politicians, etc.
'?¢ Pay bills and/or manage finances
'?¢ Update charts/activity reports/spreadsheets/proposals
'?¢ Brainstorm ideas that you think would make your company/group make money, operate more efficiently, or increase morale. Put into an e-mail and send to your manager
'?¢ Write an article for your company's monthly newsletter
'?¢ Create e-mails saying hello and checking in with family members or business clients you have not spoken to in over 4 weeks
'?¢ Read a book that is relevant and beneficial to your person or profession
'?¢ Review general company correspondence or industry trades/news
'?¢ Review and study sales materials for a product or service that you are not very familiar with at your own company or a company you do work for
'?¢ Download and/or sort through digital picture library
'?¢ Enter information from collected business cards into computer contact list

Some of you out there might be Solitaire players'?¦or Bubble Breaker, or Texas Hold 'em, or Tetris'?¦.and all I ask is that you stop yourself the next time you go to tap or click on the 'games'? folder of your personal electronic device. Ask yourself if there is anything else you can do before you lose yourself in Solitaire??

And if all else fails'?¦I recommend Spider Solitaire and challenge you to beat my score of 1504, playing with all four suits.

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