What a world we live in and how fast it’s all happened!
by Charlie Leck
For an old guy, it’s an incredible, astonishing, stunning, wonderful, phenomenal, stupendous world we live in, dag-nabbit; and, it’s amazing how quickly it all happened. I often wonder what’s next. I hope I live long enough to see a few more of these marvels.
The photo above shows me celebrating, with my family, my 40th birthday – just a bit over 30 years ago. On that day it 1980 there were no cellular telephones, no electronic readers and no iPads…. There were also no video tape machines… A couple of months after this photo was taken, we purchased our first computer – a dazzling Apple II that the kids could play the simplest little games on. That was followed by an Apple IIe and then a laser printer that was as big as a living room easy-chair and an IBM Advanced computer that had a hard disk with 20MG of storage space. Wow!
And then the consumer technology world exploded and here we are today. I love my iPhone like crazy and wouldn’t ever give it up; and soon, I suppose, I’ll give into my lust and purchase an iPad.
Friday, I bought a Blueray Player….
I thought, when I purchased it, I was just getting an advanced DVD player on which we could watch movies (cinemas) in a “higher definition.” I pulled out the old DVD player and the VCR tape player (which is no longer useful) and was pleased that I could trash both of them and their confusing remote controllers.
But now, I read, I needed HDMI cables rather than the old connecting cables (“make sure your television is new enough to have HDMI outlets”). I went back to my local BEST BUY store, pissed off that the sales person had not told me I’d need a special cable and a TV capable (cableable) of handling them. $69 later, I headed home with the new cable.
Well, after hours of work I got our new Blueray player all hooked up. I powered it up and all sorts of amazing things happened. It wanted me, first off, to go on-line. It wanted to download the newest updates to its internal software program. It instructed me that I’d need to connect the player to our cable service or allow it to “discover” our wireless internet service.
Wait just a minute here! I’m a 70 year old godger. What the hell is going on? Can’t I just install a player into which I can stick a Blueray video disc so that I can watch a movie in high definition on my high definition television?
It’s all pretty overwhelming. There was my new video disc player giving me stern instructions about its set up. Okay already! I happen to have a wireless system in my house and so I gave it permission to connect. It tried and failed. I moved away from the quick start manual and picked up the hefty, thick, full user’s manual. It took me a couple of hours of trial and error work, but I got the danged thing connected and then it wanted me to make a list of the 15 channels I wanted on my MY TV LIST. I don’t know why, but I did it. Then the player urged me to begin a membership with NetFlix or Blockbuster and movies could be downloaded to my player in very quick time so that I could view them without waiting for a hard disk to arrive. Amazing! I tried it and it worked! Instant (well almost instant) movies on demand for the low cost of a $7.99 per month membership! I never!
I proudly told my wife what I’d done. She came into the living room and looked at the gadget.
“Well,” she said in amazement, “now we’ve got the latest.”
“No,” I replied, “this thing is telling me that now we should upgrade to a 3D TV.”
She shook her head and went back to the kitchen and gave the danged-gab newest food processor on the face of the earth a whirr!
On the TV, a Progressive insurance commercial was playing. It featured an old fellow chatting with the pert, peppy sweet young sales clerk, and he spills out a long chain of old-fashioned expressions that make Flo go dizzy: mumbo-jumbo, flibbity-flab, gobbley-gook, okie-mcsmokey, dag-nabbit, skittley-doo and diggity [see the commercial here]!
I got it old-fellow, and I understood every word you said – all part of my parent’s regular vocabulary and I've used every one of those expressions myself.
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