Saturday, December 03, 2005

Meme: Weekend Assignment #88

Weekend Assignment #88: The Good New Days

Taking a page off my long ramble about technology yesterday, a Weekend Assignment to make you glad you're alive right this moment:

Weekend Assignment #88: Talk about something people have today that you wished you had when you were a kid. Note this doesn't have to be a piece of technology -- it can be anything that's around now that wasn't around when you were a kid. Clearly, this assignment favors the older folks in the audience, but even the younger AOL Journalers can look around and find something that they wish they had back when they could try to convince their parents to buy it for them.

Extra Credit: Rocket car to the moon or robot butler: Which do you want more?

Dear John,

There's no question that things have changed over time. And as several have pointed out, coveting some piece of high-tech would also imply consequential acceleration of other technologies to make the first bit feasible. A curmudgeon's conundrum.

I sort of wish they had all these neato manufacturers of high quality model railroading equipment that exist today. When I was a kid, you had either Tyco or Lionel to deal with for HO-gauge rolling stock, engines were underpowered, unable to haul more than three or four cars without problems and the stuff was cheesey.

My, how the times have changed. SWMBO and I are contemplating a new layout that will model the transition period of the fifties and sixties. She likes it because she'll be able to run steam engines. I like it because it IS my era. I came of age then. My memories of the seventies aren't all that pleasant, what with Vietnam, Nixon, Watergate, inflation, etc., but the sixties ... that was a different story entirely.

We expect to eventually spend hundreds, perhaps thousands on just a small layout for the spare bedroom. We are doing it for the kids inside of us. Our grandchildren live too far away and the neighbors have all convinced their kids to avoid the crazy old fart down the road that lives in the haunted house (it's very old and has lights on all night long! Brrrrrr, scary, dudes). We hope to have a combination carnival and circus as well as urban and rural scenes. That would have required building every scene from scratch in the sixties, or going with a larger gauge. Now they have laser cut kits and have perfected weathering techniques which give buildings and rolling stock that "lived in" look that makes the difference between "that's nice" and "wow, would you look at how real that scene looks."

So, there's my very selfish thoughts on what I wish I'd been able to get as a kid, because then I might have stuck with the hobby, instead of letting it slide for 40 years.

By the way, my choice would be the robot butler. And the robot maids. The robotic secretary would be nice, too. How soon can they be delivered?

Make sure you get some great gifts for your gals -- don't count on Sandy Paws to do all the gifting for you. Parsimony does NOT start at home.

And so it goes...


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