Posts Tagged ‘TV

30
Sep
09

Memo from the over-30 crowd

I got this in an email today, and it made me smile.

Of course, it also made me think of the many times that my parents told me how lucky I was… and the times that I heard my grandmother explain to my dad how lucky he was.

It’s amazing to remember that color TV was an optional luxury when I was a kid, that changing channels involved reorienting the antenna, and that “channel hopping” meant seeing what was on the three channels we could usually pick up, plus the fourth that came in if there weren’t any thunderstorms.

Likewise, every time I look at an iPhone, my mind reels with the thought that my first experience on a computer involved typing BASIC code from a book into a teletype that punched paper tape, dialing the local corporation’s mainframe computer with the school’s rotary phone, shoving the handset into an acoustic coupler, and feeding my tape through the reader… all in hopes of seeing the computer print “Hello world!” on a piece of paper.

Wow. Just wow.

Well, at least I can rest in the knowledge that the iPhone will NEVER read paper tape — ever. Ha!!!

(Note — Some of the language is a little rougher than I usually post here. You won’t pass out or anything, but I wanted you to know before you shared it with others.)

Continue reading ‘Memo from the over-30 crowd’

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18
Jul
09

A legend of news passes on

CBS news legend Walter Cronkite died on Friday. He was 92 years old.

Like most families of the 1960s and 1970s, my family spent a lot of time watching television. We ate dinner to the local and national news, wiled away evenings with sitcoms and variety shows, and learned about the world through various National Geographic specials. Most of it slipped from my memory since then (probably on the same night that I originally watched it), but some things remain.

Among those memories, I distinctly remember watching Walter Cronkite.

Dad called him “Walter Crankcase” sometimes, for reasons I never knew. As a child, he was like the grandfather I never had, telling me things that I needed to know and reassuring me that, despite everything, the world was fundamentally okay. I remember him reviewing the casualty rates during Vietnam, telling me about the moon landing, and sharing all kinds of other stories, from fun to sad to dramatic.

He did it all with a calm power. I knew that I could trust him. I just knew.

Those nights listening to Walter’s newscasts probably impacted my desire to go into journalism, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Even thought I turned off the TV many years ago, I’ll miss you, Mr. Cronkite. For me, you were the grand gentleman of the news.

17
Sep
08

Of war and wounds

When it comes to war, a lot happened on September 17.

Back in 1862, Union forces rebuffed the Confederate’s invasion of Maryland in the famous battle of Antietam (or Antietam Creek, as they said back then). It ranks as the bloodiest day in U. S. Military history, as 23,100 soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured. That’s enough people to complete over 270 NFL football rosters or pack more than 90 movie theaters to capacity. It’s two-thirds of my hometown’s entire population — men, women, and children. That’s a lot of people. In one day.

Moving forward to the Korean “conflict”, the long-running TV series M*A*S*H premiered on this day in 1972. Ironically, former President Clinton chose this same day in 1999 to lift the 50 year old restrictions on trade, travel, and banking with North Korea.

Oh, and Barry Bonds hit his 700th career home run on this day in 2004. (His pharmacist is so proud!)




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