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Well, another year turned the corner today. Unbelieveable when I think of the technology advances and social changes.
What's changed?
Kids don't have the same opportunities now. Building Heath kits, wood projects, model airplanes, chemistry sets (my older bro blew his eyebrows off when young). They don't seem to have the independence and right to do things on their own. If you screw up, you move onto other things.
Everything is organized for them by their parents. Rather than take a bat and ball and meet at the local playground, they must join a "league" and be graded every weekend. WHOEVER HEARD OF BURNOUT PLAYING BASEBALL?. Funny how society got on perfectly well without the pressures. If you were good on the sandlot, good. If you didn't get picked first when teams were made, you worked harder but you left this on the field. My Dad took me on the side, one time at a local lot, and asked me if I knew where I lived.
People are no longer responsible for their actions. If a kid fails at school, the educational system is blamed. If a kid doesn't act right, he must have an emotional problem. Rule at home was act right and don't bring home bad grades (I kind of bent this rule on all counts. I paid for it; not the school).
We have been buying foreign and losing jobs for umteen years. Now, we want Bush or Kerry or Nader (or whoever) to fix it. Like it was their fault.

I am always amazed to see that you can buy a calculator that fits in your hand and has the same power as the early space craft. I remember as an engineer seeing a fellow walk into the office with one of the first calculators. It could do a square root. Man that was awesome! $80 in 1980 money. Now, $80 will get you one that has memory, graphing capabilities, etc..............MathSoft allows you to really solve equations. Not just numerically but with the symbols. Paid $60 for an introductory version from them-still amazed by it.
Video games are out of this world.

Cars? Much simpler in the 60's but you had to have the feel. Pump the pedal twice before hitting the key or feathering the choke. Now, you just get in and turn it on (they start better now in the cold weather). Automatic trannies weighed a few hundred pounds and lasted forever. Motors were bullet proof. It was very evident that they would be life reduced when one could survey the junk yards and see rusted out cars with perfectly good drive trains.
Had grease fittings on the front ends. I would pay extra to have them now on a new car.
Disk brakes replaced drum brakes. Hooray! CV boots-lousey.
An entertainment system has taken the place of the radio. As the sound systems have increased in quality, the songs have gone the other way. Try whistling a New tune.

Jobs were more plentiful. Graduating in 69, companies took all the engineering grads that they could. High school grads were also absorbed into the labor market by the manufacturing plants. WHO GAVE A F--- ABOUT METRIC! The push for metric in the US was a bust that wasted billions of dollars. It seems idiotic in retrospect that many a company paid more attention to going to metric than to improving designs. In 1969, we put a man on the moon with no problems. A few years ago, we had a satellite crash due to a mix up between metric and inch.
Metric. I've heard of 2 versions. Soft metric which only refers to using metric fasteners. Hard metric which means every part must be metric in dimension. Soft metric can be argued as a global marketing scheme. Hard metric is limited in the fact that the customer (foreign or domestic) is supposed to but the shafts, cams, gears, frames, etc. from the parent company not outsource them to local machine shops and reverse engineer them. How many company officers enacted an edict that hard metric will be followed whereupon the plants were scrambling to find metric raw materials? 1" is not 25mm. Consequently, prices of material sky rocketed. Hard metric is only useful if the CEO's are looking to manufacture out of the US in the future.

Greenspan basically stated that I'll work until I die. Then, I can collect what's due me. Question, if the government ever figured some miraculous way to pay the debt (something like a super EBIDA-how I love bean counters), would they repeal any postponements in social security payouts? Things only go in one direction with them. Why don't we stick the state and federal workers' pensions in the same till? Since they are running the bank, how about a little show of trust?

All in all, I'm still around. Cannot wait for spring and take in some car shows and do some fishing when the wife is working me.
 

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This was a nice little read. I just etched another mark on the wall myself this past week, but I'm only 20.

And of everything that I agree with you on, the one that made me smile the most was this nice little quote:

"As the sound systems have increased in quality, the songs have gone the other way. Try whistling a New tune."

Thanks,
Scott
 
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