Monday, October 13, 2008

As time goes by .......

This week I celebrate my birthday.
Fifty-ish years of watching the world go by, seeing the changes. While they haven't been as overwhelming for me as they were for my father, who watched the world go from horse-based transportation to hybrid cars, and saw the end of smallpox, they've been pretty amazing nonetheless.
In the fourth grade, I did demonstrations in our grade school of the new Telstar satellite that was capable of handling thousands of phone calls, bounced from the Earth out into space and back again. Now we have thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth, routing billions of bits of data per second, taking pictures and processing signals, some handling what seem like almost mundane tasks. You get in trouble in your car, and a signal from a satellite goes to a call center from which help is dispatched. Make a call to France, watch cable TV, use your GPS. Satellites.
Smallpox is still essentially dead, but more than that, hepatitis-B is preventable and more diseases are being controlled all the time. What seems beyond the reach of science is human behavior, which accounts for most obesity and heart disease and other preventable problems.
Too many transformations to name or list, too many changes to ponder on one day. All that today is going to be used for is to goof off and read as many Robert Parker books as I can.
A couple of drinks, prime rib for supper and maybe a movie to celebrate on the day - nothing fancy, but also nothing to cause me to have to work too hard.
The only thing that would top it off would be to spend it Julia and Jared, but distance and reality prevents that so we'll leave it on the wish list.
It would be great to say how much I've learned over the years and how much more of this or that that I knew or blah-blah-blah, but I don't have that kind of feeling about it all. It's a hot and slightly muggy Indian summer day and should be like that all this week, good for lazing about and being intellectually lazy.
Time to watch the news but not to be wrought up about it, and to turn it off when it annoys me enough.
I'm shopping for scope rings and bases, getting the dogs' car worked on (yes, they have their own car - more on that at another time) and giving Capstar to the critters to control a sudden outbreak of fleas that's had Yoshimi racing around and scratching like mad, but work? Hard thinking? Creative and stimulating writing? Not for a couple of days.
Dinner and perhaps watching my first episode of "Dexter", that series a friend has been telling me about for over a year. Then, ala Samuel Pepys, "and so to bed" all the first of this week.
Easy. Simple. Lazy.
Y'all take care.

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