Thursday, May 25, 2006


When I was a little guy, and I'd see pictures or film from my parents' childhood, I'd comment that they were from "The Black and White Days" because there was no color. I didn't realize that it was simply the technology and insisted that at some point, perhaps in the 60's, somebody introduced color to the world. No, I don't mean color photo processing, I mean color to the REAL world. Before that, people just lived in black, white and their varying shades. I think they got a kick out of that, but didn't really want to be associated with older movies - from, you know, The Black and White Days.

My birthday is this weekend and although I'm never really all that excited about getting older, I think I have finally come to terms with it. After all, there's no stopping it. And as I (we) age, technology continues to surpass itself both growing (improving) and aging simultaneously. Can we grow and improve with it?

I recall being around 10 and my parents gave my grandparents an answering machine for their telephone. My grandparents, in their mid 60's, had a hell of a time figuring out how to use this fine modern machine despite my frequent tutoring sessions. A call to their house in their absence would usually be a humorous experience with the answering machine sputtering out a half recorded outgoing message that was obviously made in utter frustration. The VCR we gave them a year or two later was just as frustrating for them to figure out. I actually felt bad for the battered remote control.

My parents are a little more technologically savvy, having laptops and digital cameras. But I can't help but smirk watching them look through bifocals trying to navigate the neverending features, often frustrated. That is, until I see a teenage kid punching out HTML code (and other difficult computer lit things) as if he's been doing it since he was in the first grade. Mostly, because he probably HAS been doing it since he was in the first grade- but also because I realize that I'm not so far off from fumbling with (ever advancing) modern technology the way my parents do and my grandparents did. Any changes to this very website are a major undertaking for me. When I was in high school, to have a 386processor with 4MB of hard drive was not only an expensive venture, but a modern marvel at that.

This makes me ponder what technology will be like if I ever have kids. Will they say, "Dad. Wow! You grew up in the VCR Days!!" or "You grew up in the One Dimensional Days!"? Who knows. But it's one more step toward senility for me. Did I mention that I'm okay with that?

*side note: Spell check didn't recognize VCR! Scary!