To he who made food exploration easier and cooler -- a Tribute to Steve Jobs.

Today I type this with gentle, quiet fingers, instead of with my usual fury of flying phalanges.

There are few people in this day and age whom I can say were so influential, visionary and simply brilliant that, not only did they positively change the world as we know it, but also changed my own daily life for the better. Steve Jobs was one such person. When I think about his contributions to modern aspects of communication and computing -- making difficult technology easy, even fun, to use -- I am astonished. In history we've all learned about many such people -- inventors and technology innovators like DaVinci, Edison, Franklin, Einstein and so many others -- whose work utterly changed the world. And we tend to think that all the really great inventions have already been made, because we can't imagine more. 

Well, Steve Jobs did imagine more. And he brought those crazy, impossible ideas to reality. He manipulated a machine that was so indescribably complicated and difficult to use into something that is simple for nearly anyone -- wysiwyg on a computer, drag and drop, a mouse?? Welcome the Lisa and Macintosh. He created the ability to easily carry all your music in your pocket and listen to it wherever you are, whenever you want -- iPod. He enabled us to carry a telephone that does almost all of the things which that Macintosh and that ipod, and email and camera and movies and writing and access to any information anywhere in the world at any time and so much more, in one cool, sleek little Hershey's chocolate bar-sized package -- iPhone. He took a super-charged, easy to use Apple computer and squeezed it down into a thin, small, light and very sexy device that you can take anywhere as if you had your entire office in a slim envelope -- iPad. He even made it appropriate to spell proper nouns with a lower case "i" instead of a capital letter, thereby instantly identifying it to everyone as something technologically advanced merely by virtue of that little lower case letter. I could go on and on... but it's easier to say simply that Steve Jobs didn't just change the way we work, play, communicate and even speak; Steve Jobs changed our culture and directed our future.

As a Foodwalker, I use Steve Jobs' brilliant ideas constantly. Whether identifying where to go and eat, to finding it's gps location as I wander lost around unknown neighborhoods, or calling people to come join me because the food is so good, or taking impromptu pics of the food or stalls, or even sitting here now and writing this -- it's all made easier because of Steve Jobs and the global, user-freindly technology industry that he was so critically involved in shaping. Without his imagination, innovation, persistence and unyielding demand for excellence combined with aesthetics -- even to the point of trashing his own creations and starting over again -- many of us foodies would be working a lot harder today for no additional gain. And we wouldn't look nearly as cool, either....

So I take this sad moment of Steve Job's passing to set down the chopsticks, push away the noodles and marvel at the incredible man that was Steve Jobs. Apple will continue -- Steve himself even said that he believed its best days were still ahead of it -- and I have no reason to not believe him. I just can't imagine it, that's all. But imagination and bringing crazy ideas to reality was his forte, not mine, so he must have known what he was talking about when he said it. And that's good enough for me. 

So rest in peace Mr. Jobs, and thanks for making all of our lives better, easier and a whole lot cooler. Our children's children's children will one day study you in school and think to themselves that all the great inventions have already been made....