From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Geezers & Gadgets

This is something I have been thinking about for some time and finally decided to write on the subject.

Technology as I knew it

A long, long, long time ago in a bygone era when I was just a wee bit of a lad some of the first technological things I remember were;

Rotary dial telephones and party lines (for you young still wet behind the ears whippersnappers that meant that there was more than one home on a phone line and each house had their own ring i.e. 2 shorts repeated, 1 long & 1 short repeated or another combination of long and short rings depending on how many homes were on that line.)

Wood cabinet cased AM only radios with large knobs and huge clock like dials. On Saturday nights we would sit and watch the radio while listening to "The Hayride", (or something like that) a show that was featured on WWVA, in Wheeling West Virginia. (Yes you read that right, sat and watched the radio)

Replacable needle phonographs with mono 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm records. Yes some in the family had an old wind up Victrola or two, but electricty had been invented and I mostly listened to 45's on a record player that was slightly larger than a kids lunch box. (PTG remembers those I'm sure)

Tube operated oval screen black & white televisions that you had to turn on at least 15 minutes before a chosen show so that they could warm up. These modern marvels were contained in large real hardwood doors on the front cabinets with a set of rabbit ears that slid up from the back of the set. In those days the only ones in the family that had a television was my Grand Parents and I thought the only thing that ever came on television was the Nightly News and The Lawrence Welk Show, that is until Hee Haw made its debut. (You could tell the houses were the money lived because they had an ariel affixed to pole on the roof of their spacious dwellings)

Memories on the rocks -stirred but not shaken

As I said earlier I have been thinking about this for awhile, but what really brought it to a head was something I saw the other day while having coffee and a crossword puzzle at the reataurant that is office away from home office. (the LA Times puzzle if you must know).

I hadn't really noticed the elderly couple that the Maitre' de had seated near me until his cell phone went off. Now I am not picking on the old folks here, I am going to be barging through the half century mark in a few months myself. It did bring my thoughts back to the working title of this missive and the ever increasing number of our more experienced citizens Geezers I see with high-tech tools Gadgets like cell phones, Digital Cameras and PDA's.

Don't get me wrong here either, I happen to think it is great.

Damn that's high-tech

Above I listed a few things I remember from my childhood, let me add to that list a number of other things that have come and some gone since those days.

  • Portable AM/FM radios
  • Reel to reel players/recorders
  • 8mm movie cameras (I bet PTG still has one)
  • The push button telephone
  • The 8 track tape player
  • Poloroid instamatic cameras
  • The cassette player/recorder
  • Beta and VHS tapes/recorders/players
  • Cable television
  • CD's and the associated players/recorders
  • Personal Comuters with the associated versions of DOS and windows 3.11 through the current XP ( We are still waiting for "Longhorn" or "Vista" or what ever they are calling it)
  • DVD's and their associated players/recorders
  • Laptops, PDA's, cell phones and a host of other electronic leashes that are designed to make our lives so much better.

My point is that all of these gadgets have come to pass in just about one single generation and at one time I fancied I could live without a number of things on that list. These gadgets were for the next generation, nothing more than hi-tech toys for the youth of today to play with and use in their bid to inheret the world from us aging fogies. We are in the midst of passing the world on to them why do we need to be on the cutting edge? Another thing to consider is that there are adults that may read this Blog that have never know life without some of these gadgets.

I wasn't dragged in kicking and screaming

12 years ago I swore I would never have a need for a computer, I didn't even want one, then someone showed me how beneficial it would be for my business. (DOS 6.1 etc. and then Windows 3.11) About that time I poo poo'd cell phones as well and ended up with one for the same business reasons. ($40.00 a month, no free minutes and $2.00-3.00+/- a call roaming charges if I remember correctly)

The way was already greased I just slid in

When I see people out and about that are far more senior in life than I using their cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and PDA's, I also consider how technolgy has crept up on me and how many of those devices I own and know how to use.

I guess I really shouldn't be suprised that we are partaking of the future since it was our generation that "invented" such a large portion of it that so many of us take for granted today. We (our generation) made it, why the hell shouldn't we use it?

But for different reasons maybe

The youth of today need these tools to succeed and get ahead in an ever changing fast forward world. That they are taking the tools we gave them, improving on them and succeeding in life with them is a credit to both our generations.

For the rest of us that have retired or nearly so they represent a way to keep in touch with our off spring of this generation as they grow up and leave the nest. They are a convenience that negates dropping a fistfull of quarters in a pay phone, waiting days for a stamped letter to be delivered/arrive or waiting days for Walgreens to develop the pictures that didn't come out. Can you say "look and delete"? I can. There are many that a generation ago would be limited in their mobility if it were not for a cell phone. Many older folks that are of limited mobility can be ever more in touch with the rest of the world through the internet.

For us older Americans modern technology may not be so much of a neccessity as it is a convenience.

Yea Geezers & Gadgets ..... has a nice ring to it .. ring oh wait ... is that my cell phone? ..ohh sorry where was I? ... doesn't it?

That reminds me I have work to do

After I use my PC to post this to the Blog I have to send a couple of pics on my digital camera phone to my desk top so I can photoshop, cut & crop them before I send them to the kids via email. Then I just might toss a bag of popcorn at the microwave, get some ice from the refrigerators built in ice maker, pour some Ice tea, pop in a DVD movie and sit back in my recliner and watch it on the big screen TV with surround sound theater quailty speakers.

  • Lawrence Welk: "A one na, anna two a anna a ...
  • Buck Owens: "I'm a picking
  • Roy Clark: "And I'm a grinning
  • David Brinkly: "Good night Chet"
  • Chet Huntely: "Good night David"
  • Walter Cronkite: "And that's the way it was"

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