Random Observations #3 (Updated)

May 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm (Icepick) (, , , , , )

So many things have changed since I was my daughter’s age.

  • There’s one fewer planet in our Solar System now.
  • There are a lot more planets known now, all outside our system.
  • When I was her age, we went to the Moon; these days we have to hitchhike rides to low Earth orbit from the remnant of our one-time mortal enemy.
  • Which means that all those planets are just that much farther away now.
  • The brontosaurus is no more, replaced by the more taxonomically correct apatosaurus.
  • The disposable diaper.
  • The mores and morals of the country.
  • The socio-economic and demographic structure of the country: we’re a lot more like a Third World country these days in so many ways.
  • Extremely powerful computers are so common that they’re hardly remarked upon anymore – except by people roughly my age and older. We remember when computers of any power were much less common than toasters, not more common than radios.

UPDATE: wj makes the following additional, excellent point in the comments:

I’d add ubiquitous cameras. It’s not just that everybody has a cell phone with a camera . . . and seems to use it constantly. It’s that cameras seem to be in every public space, and running most of the time. No doubt this is handy for police trying to track criminals. But it means that you have to get a long way into the country to have any chance of any privacy in your life.

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Random Observations #2

April 19, 2013 at 8:21 am (Icepick) (, , , , , )

  • The news media has been falling on its face this week. The coverage of The Boston Massacre II has been wretched. That said, other observations mentioned below are contingent on the information I’m getting as of 8:00 AM Friday, April 19th, 2013.
  • Today is 20th anniversary of the Branch Davidian massacre/fiasco, and the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. (That latter event took place at 9:02 AM CDT. I’ll be happier when we roll around to Noon today without much incident.)
  • How perverse that the explosion in Texas was near Waco.
  • This is all like a faint echo of 2001. An unexpected bombing followed by deadly mail. Here in Florida we’ve even had the first shark attack of the Spring, over in New Smyrna Beach. All that’s needed are comeback hits for Afroman and Andrew W. K.
  • And how typical of the times that the things that might make for fun re-runs are the things that don’t happen. (Yes, I liked “Because I Got High” and “Party Hard” – both stupid fun-time songs, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.)
  • And yes, I mean a faint echo. BM II, while awful, is obviously dwarfed by the scale of 9/11/2001. And fortunately no one has been killed by any of the ricin letters, which makes this less deadly than the anthrax letters. Still, fun times these aren’t.
  • The two guys in Boston are/were better terrorists than thieves. Holding up a convenience store? Really? Convenience stores are designed with the idea that they’re going to be held up repeatedly, so you can’t get much money out of robbing one. If that was part of their efforts to get away they clearly didn’t know much beyond how to make a bomb.
  • One of the guys is named Joker? Really? Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19. Sound out that first name, or listen to the media members.
  • Post script: This morning I got the scrambled eggs absolutely perfect. Naturally, this is the morning my not-quite-three-year-old daughter decides to NOT eat her eggs. You don’t eat them, little girl, and I will!

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Random Observations #1

April 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm (Icepick) ()

  • Is it just me, or have others noticed a distinct improvement in the quality of homeless people and beggars lately? I haven’t been downtown in a few months, but the last few times I went it seemed that the homeless people hanging out around Lake Eola and the main library were younger, neater, cleaner, more organized and clearer of eye than previously. The other day leaving Sam’s a beggar was working the exit of the parking lot. He was better dressed than I was, frankly, his sign stated that he had been out of work and had two children to support, and he was selling water. He had probably bought the water at Sam’s from the look of the case. I didn’t see his price, but if he was selling them at a dollar a bottle he stood to make 80 to 90 cents profit on each bottle. Sell ten or so in the hour and you’ve just earned minimum wage. Don’t, and you’ve spent an hour standing in the hot sun for nothing.
  • The main character in the children’s show Dino Dan is clearly having a psychotic breakdown – and none of the other characters seem the least concerned about it!
  • My wife and I should have had children at least ten years earlier.
  • Colgate Total Advanced toothpaste is apparently made with catnip.
  • How the Hell did I get so old?

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