Friday, April 15, 2011

The Things They Do Nowadays!

Okay, I admit it, I’m not really 25. And my daughters are not older than me. Sigh. I am a middle-aged woman who is totally amazed with the changes in technology over my lifetime.

I remember when it was a big deal to go down the street to the neighbors’ house in order to see Walt Disney Wonderful World of Color in actual color. Our TV was black and white, as were most of the TV’s back then. Most TV shows were filmed in black and white too, so it really wasn’t a big deal. Right now, I’m sitting across the room from a 42-inch flat screen (a gift from my daughter and son-in-law). Times have changed.

I remember the evening I recorded the last few minutes of an episode of Scarecrow and Mrs. King on our spanking new VCR thingy, I was totally blown away. Back then, transistor radios were cool; and calculators, which could do little more than add and subtract, were all the rage. It was a fun time. I now have to capability to record four shows and watch another, all without tapes. My cheapo cell phone can  do the calculations, along with texting, reminding when my favorite show is on, I can play games, and oh yeah, I can call people on it. The pone is about the size of my first calculator and smaller than my first transistor radio.

While people are talking about changing to Blue Ray, I still have a VCR (it’s a VCR and DVD player—so there!). I love DVD’s. They’re much more reliable and definitely easier to store. We currently have a huge box of VHS video tapes that we don’t have room for, but replacing them would be impossible, or expensive, which amounts to about the same thing.

I also have a record collection. No, really, records. Vinyl man, it’s cool, dude. But I digress. I know CD’s are easier to store, have better sound, and are incredibly cool, but I love my albums. Of course, now there is the download thing. But what happens if you accidently delete the thing? And I change what I like to listen to a lot. And then much later I like to go back to my old stuff because after a while it becomes fresh again. Therefore having CD’s that I can then download onto a computer or MP3 player makes more sense to me. Or, maybe I’m just a bit behind the times? Oh well.

Actually, mostly I listen to the radio (or computer equivalent) most of the time. Pop when I’m writing and classical at other times We leave classical radio on all night. It’s great to wake up in the middle of the night to hear something familiar, relaxing, and uplifting; or new and beautiful. Everybody has their own favorite music, of course. For the record (or is that CD), I listen to and enjoy many different types of music. And have written while listening to many of them. Pop works right now, but may not for my next manuscript.

Speaking of manuscripts, I wrote my first “novel” with pen and paper (may you never be unfortunate enough to read the pathetic thing). I tried to type the thing into a typewriter. I type fast, but make a LOT of mistakes. I truly don’t believe I’d be published if I had to do all the work on a typewriter. Did I mention I have a love/hate relationship  with my computer? But then, many people do.

The thing is, I’m lucky enough to have been born at a time when technology was changing; I’ve had a chance to see all this stuff happen. And I was lucky enough to enjoy watching the space program take off. To see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, and I was old enough to understand what was happening. The moon landing was one of the highlights of my life. I’m glad I was there.


  1. I can't even imagine typing on an old-style typewriter now. The pain of the typo would kill my creativity!

  2. I wrote my first novel on one of those electronic typewriters with the little - and I do mean LITTLE - window that lets you see each line before you hit enter. Or was it return? Can't remember. It was torture. Every mistake or changed line meant ripping out the page, or pages, and doing it again. Shadow used to wait for the balled up paper. I'd toss them down the stairs and she'd play for hours with them. As soon as she heard the typewriter whirr to life she'd sit by the door and wait. :)


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