Friday, September 12, 2008

September Featured Relative of the Month, No. 2

What would you get if you crossed a Jedi knight with a toad?

Our family's second September birthday is for our oldest grandchild S, who is fast leaving childhood behind. Last year's milestone was getting his driver's license, this year he gets to vote for the president!

Present Times
S says:
"I feel most comfortable when I am surrounded by technology. Oh, and I'm going to be the next CEO of Apple Inc."

Comment on Twitter during class: "Dang! It's hard to do schoolwork and follow the Apple Keynote address!"

"Outside recording to Utterz on my laptop."

"Just played Wii Fit, Guitar Hero for DS, PS3, and played around with an iMac and a 32GB iPod touch all in 3 hours."

LOL. I'm IMing my sister via Facebook, and she's just upstairs =]

Recent Olden Times
When S was about 9, his favorite movie was Star Wars, he liked to read Roald Dahl books and design cars with Legos. He loved swimming, biking and using walkie-talkies; was on the safety patrol at school, a Cub Scout, sang in Chorus, started learning Alto Saxophone. He was a very good artist, on the honor roll, received an award for FCAT, got a scholarship to the Environmental Studies Center for 2 weeks at Camp WET. He liked Toaster Strudels and going to Cici's Pizza. He wanted to be a car & bike designer when he grew up. The most important things to him were his family and computer, and his wish was to have lots of friends and be a good singer.

At about age 10, S said:
“When I tell my children about when I was a boy, they’ll say ‘Oooooo! That was a looong time ago!’ I’ll say if you think that was a long time ago, let me tell you about when my Mom was little, and my Grammy and Grampy, and my great-grandfather.”

When S was little, here are some of the things he didn’t have. Some weren’t even invented yet: Cordless phones, cellular phones, pagers, rollerblade skates, the Internet and e-mail.

When his parents were little, they didn’t have color TV, computers, CDs, calculators, a dishwasher, a microwave oven, videotapes or even video cameras.

When his Grammy and Grampy were little, they didn’t have TV or even TV dinners. They had records and a record player instead of music on cassette tapes. Cameras used black and white film, and there were no small portable radios that ran on batteries.

When his great-grandfather was little, he didn't have a car, telephone or even electricity!

Future Olden Times
Someday in the future Grampy S can say to HIS grandchildren:
When I was born, there were no iPods! I didn't have an e-mail address until I was 12 years old! Pluto was still a planet! I had to walk uphill to school -- both ways! And there wasn't a hill nearby, so I had to walk until I found one, walk up it, and then go home!

I had to be content with computer games that looked 2-D like Donald Duck Alphabet Game, Mickey Mouse Fun With Numbers and Mixed-Up Mother Goose. Our computer stored information on huge floppy disks. We didn't have DVD players. We used VCRs that sometimes ate our tapes! Our cars didn't have cup holders! We had go to the library to look things up in encyclopedias if we wanted information, and then write it down on paper! You couldn't just run to your computer and type in a few words to find out anything!

A Look Back:
(With thanks to the Beloit College Mindset List):
S was born in 1990 when headlines sounded oddly like those of today. Rising fuel costs caused airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; big car companies faced declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush increased the number of troops in the Middle East.

His class of 2009 grew up in a time when computers and rapid communication were the norm. They seldom used landlines during their adolescence. They live on their cell phones and by texting. Most have never used a postage stamp. Few have shared a bedroom, but many have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world on the Internet. S is part of a multicultural, politically correct generation that has never feared the Russians.
To those his age, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson (both d. 1990) have always been dead.
They don’t remember the first President Bush. (1989-1993)
They were just born when the Soviet Union broke apart (1991) and don't remember the Cold War.
They grew up with computers in the house.
They always had cell phones and voicemail.
They invented their own language to use with text messaging.
They grew up with digital clocks. Half past three or quarter to four may have no meaning to them.
Tamper-proof packaging was created before they were born. (1982)
Atari (1970s) predates them, as do vinyl record albums.
They never played Pac Man (1980) or heard of Pong. (1st video game, 1972)
They never saw a TV set with only 13 channels, or black and white TV
There always were VCRs and you could always rent or buy movies.
They cannot fathom not having a remote control. (early 1980s)
Roller skating always meant in-line for them. (1990)
Harry Potter could be a classmate.
They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
GPS satellite navigation systems and karaoke machines have always been available.
Carbonated drinks have always been in plastic bottles.
Bottle caps always were screw-off and plastic.
Shampoo and conditioner have always been in the same bottle.
Gas station attendants have never pumped gas for them; they never heard a gas station attendant ask "Want me to check under the hood?"
Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
With technology, they recognize that some people "just don’t get it."
Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Disneyworld.
Martha Stewart has always been setting the style.
Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
IBM never made typewriters; they don't have a clue how to use one.
McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
Popcorn has always been made in the microwave.
They have never been able to color a tree with a raw umber Crayola.
The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno. (1992)
Some were given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in their playpen.
The US has always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
Lenin’s name has never been a major city in Russia.
Employers have always been able to do background checks on employees.
Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone. (1990)
Personal privacy has always been threatened.
The CD was introduced the year they were born.
They have always had an answering machine.
They have always had cable TV.
Caller ID has always been available on phones.
Yellow ribbons have always been a symbol of troop support. (1990)
They never went swimming and thought about Jaws. (1975)
Soft drink refills have always been free.
Windows 3.0 made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
Moscow has always had McDonalds.
The Hubble Space Telescope has always been up there in the heavens.
98.6 degrees or higher has always been measured in the ear.
Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
There have always been charter schools.
They have always had Goosebumps.

Top singers of 1990 were Mariah Carey, Madonna, Bette Midler, Wilson Phillips, Sinead O'Conner, New Kids on the Block, John Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Michael Bolton and Phil Collins. Milli Vanilli received a Grammy for Best New Artist, then lost it for lip-synching.

At the movies: Dances with Wolves; Ghost; Hunt for Red October; Total Recall; Die Hard 2; Dick Tracy; Kindergarten Cop; Edward Scissorhands; Gremlins 2; Back to the Future III; Jetsons: the Movie; Ghost Dad; Look Who’s Talking Too; Rescuers Down Under; Robocop 2; Rocky V; Joe vs the Volcano; Problem Child; Ducktales: the Movie.

Some 1990 TV shows: Quantum Leap (1989-1993); Law & Order (1990-present); The Wonder Years (1988-1993); Star Trek: Next Generation (1987-94); Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-95); Cosby Show (1984-92); MacGyver (1985-92); Baywatch (1989-99). Some of his favorite boyhood shows were: Home Improvement (1991-99); Rugrats (1991-03); Lois & Clark (1993-97); Animaniacs (1993-98).

Fun toys were: Sega Game Gear; Dino Riders Ice Age series; Nintendo Game Boy; Sega Genesis; Super Soaker; Dino Riders; Micro Machines; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures; Power Drencher; Koosh Ball; Pictionary; Starcom: US Space Force; Glo Worm Glo Friends.

Prices: New house, $123,000; Car, $9,400; milk, $2.15/gal; Bread, $1; Gas, $1.08/gal; Postage stamp $0.25; Movie ticket, $4; Harvard tuition, $13,500; Minimum Wage: $3.80/hr; Avg income, $19,777.

The week S was born, Ellis Island, where several of his immigrant ancestors came through, reopened as a museum.

Timeline: 1990 to 2008
1989-92: George Bush president of US until age 2
1990: 70% of Americans live in cities; Hubble space telescope launched; East and West Germany reunited; Seabrook, NH nuclear power plant on line after 20 years of protests and legal struggles; Smoking on domestic airplane flights banned; Start of Sci-Fi cable channel; Joshi computer virus forced users of infected machines to type "Happy Birthday Joshi" to regain control. Ford acquired Jaguar. GM introduced Saturns; IBM makes "industrial strength" PS/1 computer; Microsoft releases Windows 3.0; World Wide Web/Internet protocol (http) and www language (html) created; Universal Studios Florida opens to the public.
1991: Soviet Union ends; Iraq attacks Kuwait, US attacks Iraq; World Wide Web available, age 1
1992: Hurricane Andrew hits Florida, age 2
1993-2000: William Clinton president of US from age 3 to 10
1993: Hubble telescope fixed; Catholic Church apologizes for its treatment of Galileo in 1600s; Hit movie Jurassic Park; Pentium processor invented, age 3
1994: Existence of black holes proved; giant East coast ice storm; Microsoft's last competitor, Commodore Computers bankrupt, age 4
1995: American Terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City, age 5
1996: DVD (Digital Video Disc) recordings, age 6
1997: Cloning living beings begins; Mars pathfinder lands, age 7
1998: Pres. Clinton impeached; US attacks Iraq - again; Titanic most successful movie ever; 1st 1 GHz microprocessor - DEC Alpha CPU; 1st MP3 player, age 8
1999: Pokémon, age 9
2000: Working draft of human genome completed; North Pole ice melts - 1.5 km of open water; Playstation II ships - most powerful video system to date, age 10
2001-09: George W. Bush president of US from age 11 to 2009
2001: Satellite Radio begins; X-Box console released; Wikipedia goes online; Muslim terrorists destroy World Trade Center Sep 11th, age 11
2002: 10th solar planet(oid) discovered; Euro currency starts, age 12
2003: Shuttle Columbia destroyed during re-entry, age 13
2004: Water verified present on Mars by Odyssey Lander, age 14
2005: Hurricanes Katrina, Rita devastate New Orleans; Microsoft ships Xbox 360, age 15
2006: PS3 ships from Sony; Wii ships from Nintendo, age 16
2007: Comet McNaught swings by the sun - extremely bright, age 17

Riddle answer: Star Warts


The Steveo said...

Thank you!!
I really enjoyed reading this post, it was better than a birthday present =]
I liked the Future Olden Times! And I forgot that I said that when I was at age 10, about comparing when my mom and grandparents were little.
And I realized something that isn't in this blog: the fact that all of my toys included batteries. I thought that was neat.
Thank you so much again!

Anonymous said...

What a great blog! It's great to read all the history because S and I are so close in age. I didn't realize all the major events we'd lived through. Happy 18 to S! I'm so jealous that he gets to vote this time around. :P

Some more things that weren't in the blog:
The original Tamogatchi. I remember when they came out we bought over 20 of them.

I also remember there actually being VHS tapes to rent at Blockbuster.

Thanks for a wonderful entry