Hey glory, glory, hallelujah
Welcome to the future
- Brad Paisley
Yesterday was a milestone birthday for me. Yes I turned the big 4-0. There was screaming in the aisles, panic in the streets and even some crying. As I look back on the 40 years of my existence I realize that this world has come a long way. So here are the things that stick out in my memory of the last 40 years:
The world of entertainment has come a long way. Some ways have been good, other ways not so good. For instance, the first TV I remember was Black and White and didn't have a remote control. We then moved to a color TV. Then it wasn't good enough to just get over the air television. A little something called Satellite TV started (even though we didn't have it). The next move was cable TV. How many channels? How could we possibly watch them all? We've gone from Analog to Digital signals to High Definition and who knows what they will think of next. Video games went from huge machines in an arcade to little handheld devices. Computers went from mainframes to PCs. I could go on and on and on, what with the web and email, video conferencing, blogging, social media, etc.
Communications have evolved as well. Growing up we had what was called a party line. That's where two houses share the same physical connection but have different phone numbers. So you had to be careful when you picked up the phone so that you didn't hear the neighbors conversations. Of course the phones started as Rotary dials (how many of you have even seen a rotary dial phone?). Now they are moved to push button and are no longer required to be tethered to a wall outlet. But that wasn't good enough. Satellite phones and cellular phones became prominent and now we have Smart Phones that let us combine computer and communications.
Do I even have to mention any of this? Let's just think about it. The 70's. Enough said. The 80's. Enough said. The 90's? Not too bad. The 00's? Well if the 70's and 80's have made comebacks in this decade you can imagine what my children will say when they write their blog entry (if it's even called that) when they turn 40.
Ok, I admit it, I'm a geek. No surprise there. If you look at the Science Fiction that has been written there have been some great things put out. Four TV sequels to Star Trek (1 at least that was popular). Stargate, Dune (in movie form), Sanctuary, Farscape, V, and we could go on and on. I've read a ton of books, some better than others. Overall I think that Science Fiction has come a long way.
Yes Sesame Street and I are the same age. Of course if you ask anyone there are times when I'm just like some of the characters. I mean how can I not be goofy like Bert and Ernie? Or try to convince others that I have a big friend like Big Bird (Mr Snufalafogus for those who don't know) that no one else has seen? I've been hungry like Cookie Monster, as grouchy as Oscar, and as zany as Grover.
From an historical perspective there was a lot that has gone on. A man on the moon happened the year I was born. The Iran Hostage situation. The Gas shortage in the 70's. The Cold War coming to a close and the Berlin Wall being brought down. The fall of Apartheid in South Africa. The First Gulf War. 9/11 a day that changed our thinking. The first African American president of the United States was elected. Democracy has been given to peoples who never thought they would have it. For example, I was there when Chile held their first elections after Pinochet decided to step down.
The Big Question
No one has asked me but I think it has to be addressed. "Am I where I thought I would be at 40?". I don't think I can answer this one as I never put down on paper (electronic or otherwise) where I wanted to be when I turned 40. Let's just take a look at where I'm at. One: I have the most wonderful wife in the whole world (and I'm not just saying that because I got an iPod Touch for my birthday). Two: I have five wonderful (although sometimes challenging) children who love me as fiercely as I love them. Three: I live in a wonderful area (except in July and August when it feels like we live in Hades) with a beautiful home and great neighbors. Four: I have a stable job that provides for my family and allows me to keep life in balance. Five: I'm healthy (even if today I'm coughing and feverish). So overall I would have to say that I am exactly where I want to be and have no regrets.
Finally, if the next 40 years are like the previous 40 years I'm going to be one happy 80 year old man.