been too busy lately to do much posting, so here's a spin-off from a post from Cunning_Linguist, on his rant to 20-somethings:
hmmph. back in MY day, kiddies, Atari whatever hadn't been invented.
Only rich people had color tv and we had a tiny black and white with rabbit ear antennas. High tech was wire coat hangers and tin foil. Low tech was when you made your little brother stand in just the right place so the rest of yahs could see the last five minutes of National Geographic.
Eight tracks were cool, and only pot-smoking city kids knew what FM radio was. Rock and Roll was what you could pick up on AM radio, 62 WHEN, when the signal wasn't blocked by a mountain or clouds.
Library. Right. That big room at school where you did your research because the nearest library was a half-hour drive on good days. Conveniently located in town, next to the school.
You think a Dot-matrix printer was tough? Try writing a perfect 10-page report, in ink, by hand, on college-ruled paper. The word-count part is especially fun. Typewriter? Go to the library, chump. What, your mother works and doesn't get home in time to drive you back to town? Well, I'm sure you'll figure out a way to get it done.
Telephones: Party lines—listen for the ring. If it's not yours, it's your neighbor's, so pick up the telephone very quietly (so maybe they won't notice the click) and listen in. Sort of like conference calling, only you don't get to pick the participants.
Microwaves: There was a rumor when I first went into the service that someday you'd be able to have one in your own house. At the time, "microwave" referred to a large antenna-looking dish that conventional wisdom said could fry you.
First microwave oven I ever saw was a cast-off a neighbor gave to my dad. Being of a scientific bent, the first thing we did with it was try to cook a sugar ant that happened to come with the microwave. We turned the dial (yes! DIAL!) and set it for five minutes. We jostled for position in front. We watched. We waited. The ant crawled. We waited. We watched. The ant continued crawling. We were discussing the merits of stopping the microwave to position the ant closer to the center of the cooking area when the glass plate on the bottom of the microwave split wide open with a loud CR-AACKKK!!! My dad and I jumped out of our skin, looked at each other, started laughing and turned off the microwave. We opened the door and turned the ant loose, apparently unharmed. Who the heck knows what that microwave was doing to us while it was busy not cooking that ant.
Cars. Ah, yes, we did have those. But shiny and sporty weren't high on the priority list, so when our white Datsun got too rusty our mother went to the store and came home with a case of Candy Apple Red. It's not as easy as it looks, folks. The car was Candy Apple Red when every can had been emptied, but the concept of "full, even coverage" did not apply.
Running water: You run a mile to where the local tourist spot keeps two toilets and a shower stall in an unlit, unlocked basement. Luckily, you're so far out in the sticks that the only bad guy you worry about is the boogeyman.
Hair dryers: Hair dries or freezes on the walk home. Depends on the weather.
Electronic Entertainment: The sky is clear, you have a fresh C battery, and the transistor radio you got for Christmas still works.
So, offsprings, please quit asking me for another subscription to World of Warcraft; go log in to your state library accounts to research your papers; and submit it on time via BlackBoard.
Text your buddies to arrange a ride to the game, remember to download your favorite music to your Cells, and someone please order more ink for the laser jet and have it delivered overnight at no charge.
Meanwhile, I'll load the dishwasher, move the laundry to the dryer, check to see if the dry cleaning's been delivered, and set the coffee pot for 7:30. Put my cell phone on vibrate and check my email while listening to voice mail. Then I'll log in to work, and while I'm at it, pull up my favorite Internet radio station and check the news while I work on that report. Dang, I can never seem to get enough done!