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If you're gonna be out in the rain anyway, why not listen to some tunes? An umbrella would provide the perfect reverberation for music -- there could be little mini speakers on each umbrella spike, providing the listener with stereo sound -- maybe even THX. Radios are SO small and cheap these days
-- it couldn't be too hard to do. The whole thing could be powered by a 9 volt battery, and would add very little additional weight (or cost) to the umbrella...
||Then why not add a WAP device to the umbrella that will report directly from the Weather Dept. when the rain's going to stop and whether you may able to reach home without getting drenched!