Right Place … Wrong Time


Everyone knows that time passes on. There is no stopping it, unfortunately, but do you ever think about life itself? Your life? How might your life have been different if you were born a century ago, ten years ago, or even a century in the future? Well, maybe it’s just me.

Having recently turned 50, my thoughts have turned toward retirement and trying to become more healthy. I have worked too damn hard not to be around long enough to enjoy retirement, thus I have to push away from the table and get off my ass and exercise. When I think about life, though, I often think about what might have been.

Stage Goes Dark

I think about Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band, Queen, who died of AIDS at the young age of just 45 years old back in 1991, the same year NBA legend Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive. If Freddie had not contracted the disease for just a few more years, he would likely still be here today.

I often think of all the people that lived in the early 20th century that had life expectancies that probably would not eclipse my current age. How many people on this earth never got to see their 50th birthdays. I often think how nice it would have been to live in the Roaring Twenties, but it probably sounds better than it was. So many diseases back then could have killed you that now are eradicated or treatable.

Tick … Tick … Tick

I also turn my attention to the future. Yes, I am 50. Who knows how long I will live. 75? 80? 100? Hard to tell. What if I were born in 2067 and not 1967? How long could I expect to live? We’ve all seen predictions for the future and how far off they have mostly been. Yes, it would be great to be driving flying cars, but we have yet to realize this fantasy.

These days, you hear about people in the not so distant future possibly living well past 100 and maybe quite a bit more. When you go to the doctor, they would just do gene replacement, kind of like an oil change for our bodies. Who knows how long we might survive with “fresh oil”.

Marathon, Not a Sprint

Yes, modern medicine has come a long way in my lifetime. Promising treatments for Cancer, Alzheimers, and Diabetes are on the horizon. I guess, for me anyway, it is a race against the clock. Can we all avoid these common killers at least until viable treatments if not cures are available. Your guess is as good as mine.

Here’s hoping “The Show Must Go On” for another 30+ years!

 

Society’s Black Eye?


I know it’s a bit contradictory to be complaining about technology via a blog on the internet, but I can’t help but think the pre-internet and pre-cellphone eras were so much better. Yes, the internet and cell phones have given us so much convenience, but also some drawbacks as well.

I will now put on my “old man” hat. Back when I was a kid, you had to pick up a phone to actually call someone. No texting. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Snapchat. If you wanted to ask a girl out, you called her house, not just her phone, and hoped like hell that her Dad didn’t answer. If he did, you usually hung up, waited a half hour, and then called back again hoping for a different result.

Three Channels

No email. No internet. No social media to mislead the public. I think that is one of my biggest issues with technology these days. I don’t think people can handle it. Yes, some can, but I would argue the majority of us have a hard time trudging through the internet’s mass of news … some real and some not so much. People tend to believe the “news” that confirms what they are thinking. Back in the day, you had three channels with no 24-hour news cycle to peddle whatever agenda their particular channel pushed. Back then, it sucked, but I would give anything to go back to those times.

Much simpler times back then. People actually knew how to hold conversations and interact with each other. These days, it is much easier for people to sit in the basement glued to social media, bashing anyone that disagrees with them. Name-calling is now the norm.

Carbon Paper Blues

Jobs, now, are a hot-button topic. How many jobs have been lost to technology? When I first started in finance back in the late 80s, we had primitive computers. No internet. Green screens. Pretty much worthless except for keeping customer files. When you paid vendors, you pulled out the journal and had to hand write the check. You had to make sure you pressed hard because it had to go through the carbon strip to copy that amount into the journal. So many more things back then were manually done. Yes, things are much easier these days, but also much easier to do with fewer people.

Such is also the case with manufacturing jobs. How many jobs that used to be done by people are now done by robots and other automation? Yes, some jobs have gone overseas to the cheaper labor, but not all jobs are lost due to companies moving out of the country.

Tails Never Fails

I guess I look at technology as a double-edged sword. Flip a coin, I guess, to decide if the advancement of the internet and telephone are good things or bad things. I still lean toward the times I grew up in as being better overall even though we didn’t have 300 channels to watch, movies on our phones, or the ability to pound away on a keyboard to call someone an idiot. If you wanted to call someone an idiot, you had to do that in person, likely coming away with a black eye!

 

 

Keeping Up With the Clampetts


I have recently had a life-changing event happen to me. No, I didn’t get a new job or move to the Pacific Northwest like I want to, but what I did do may change my life just as much. I finally talked my wife into stepping into the 21st century, taking the plunge into modern times with a smart phone.

No longer will I have to cower in a far-away corner to send a text message, fearing the mere sight of my flip phone could cause an embarrassing wave of laughter. No longer will I feel the stares, and hear the hushed whispers when I pull out that communications relic. Being an old school kind of guy, I guess I should miss my times with the old phone, but I won’t. Not one bit.

The colors on the screen are so vibrant and crisp. It just feels right in my hand. Sports scores, highlights, emails, and games all at the touch of a button. I told my wife just the other day that I feel like I have been in a slumber for the past decade or so, now waking up to this “new” technology. I am like a kid in a candy store. We bought Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phones, so not the top-of-the-line, newest models, but they are new to us, and that is all that matters.

For being called smart phones, they have made me feel really dumb. Just tonight I was sitting in the bank, futzing with my new toy. I click on audio for a baseball game. I thought I had my volume turned down. Nope. It blared through the bank lobby like I was on a megaphone. My wife said my face turned as red as my coat. Oh, well. Give me a break. I’m new with this technology!

Another thing I am looking forward to with this new phone is the improved camera. Our old phones, you had to basically be sitting on top of the subject to even have a chance at getting a poorly lit, grainy photo. Those days have ended. The cameras on these phones have more mega pixels than the digital camera I bought in the early 2000s for my sports photography business. Amazing how technology changes.

My wife and I have never been ones to keep up with the Joneses. I guess if we can keep up with the Clampetts, that’s the best I can hope for. Well, I have to go. Either my phone is ringing or something I have cooking in the microwave is done. I haven’t been able to tell the difference yet!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4