Welcome to the inaugural post of this experiment called “back40blog” – you are a witness to history! One day you will be able to tell your grandchildren where you were and what you were doing when Steve made his first blog post; one small post for man, one giant post for mankind! Yeah, big deal, right? Something like 20,000 people a day start a blog. I don’t know what I’m doing – I’m making it up as I go along. I guess this is what a color-blind person feels like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
Speaking of grandchildren, I became a grandfather yesterday! Elias weighed-in at 9 and 1/2 pounds. I think he was born with shoulder-pads on, ready to play offensive tackle. I’ve had many months to become mentally prepared to deal with the reality that my daughter is now a mother, and that I’m a grandfather, but I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet. “Everyone, please take one step to the generation on your right.” So now my daughter steps into mom, I step into granddad, my dad steps into great granddad.
So what will Eli be when he grows up? He’s huge already, maybe he’ll play in the NFL (the Browns could sure use some help), maybe a Sumo wrestler, nightclub bouncer, bodyguard, spokesman for Brawny paper towels, a stunt-double for the Green Giant, star in the remake of “The Blind Side”? I guess I need to buy him a blue ox for his birthday. Maybe Goliath would have been a better name, but I like Elias. Hopefully it won’t turn out to be a trendy name. What if Goliath became trendy? I wonder why names lose their appeal over time. Will we ever see a resurgence in popularity of names like Feargus, Ebenezer, Horace, Rufus, Lemuel, Silas, Enoch, Erasmus, Uriah, Hezekiah, or Abraham?
I’m back, just got off the phone with the new mommy (they live in another state). I heard my grandson for the first time! As I was asking for pictures, it occurred to me how technology changes our expectations over time. Way back in the 20th century we took pictures with a camera that used a coiled material we called “film”. We took this “film” to a place for processing, but we wouldn’t do this as long as we still had unused film left, even if there was just one picture left we’d wait until all the film was used up, and who knows how long that would take, it could be days, weeks! Then it might take as long as two or three days before they get to your coil of film, develop it, and get it back to the place you took it to. Then you return to the place, present your slip of paper with the secret code on it, give them money, and only then would the exchange take place -that’s how the deal went down, and it didn’t always go as planned; sometimes the deal went bad, one of the parties involved might be discovered wearing a wire for the Feds, there’d be an exchange of gunfire; it was always a tense situation even on the best of days. If you wanted to send pictures to relatives, you had to pay the picture dealer extra for duplicate prints, put them in an envelope, French a stamp, label the envelope, and drop it off in a mailbox. But the advent of digital cameras and PCs took the criminal element out of the equation. Now we can take pictures and instantly send them around the world; and that brings us to my point – in the old days you got the photos when you got them, and you were grateful! Now, barely 24 hours pass since your grandson Eli makes his debut and you want to know where the hell the pictures are!