BOOMING IDEAS

 

 

 

The prevailing attitude among the younger generations is that Baby Boomers are not capable of learning and accepting new technology.  Youth today have grown up using computers. Learning that type of skill-set is far easier when you begin at an early age. People of my vintage have not been given the credit they deserve for the successful adaption we made to new technology back in the ’50s and ’60s, such as:

POST-IT NOTES: When these little miracles of paper were first introduced, I quickly learned to peel each one off flawlessly. And then I came up with this great idea of using different-colored slips of paper for different things. This was not in the directions. Of course, Post-its are still used today.  I am constantly applying notes to my fridge, desk and mirror. Some habits really stick with you. (Sorry.)

THE ROLODEX: The word “Rolodex” is a combination of the words “rolling file” and “index,” and it was invented in 1956. The idea behind the Rolodex is actually 2,000 years old, but there were no phones then, so there was no point in making one. I was very good with my first Rolodex, meticulously fitting the notched edge of each card into the device. It took an unnecessarily long time to find the numbers I wanted, but then I finally read the directions and realized I needed to arrange the names alphabetically.

REMOTE CONTROL:  This gadget was first introduced in 1950.  I was an expert from the beginning. I mastered the on and off switch and could adjust the volume without even looking at the buttons. Channel selection required a little more skill, so for about a year I only watched CBS. The early models were not wireless, so I frequently tripped over the cord, but I never lost a remote. Those were the good old days.

ZIPLOC BAGS:  Sealing that little bag took a careful hand. The slots for closure were originally labeled “male” and “female” tracks on the box directions. As a youngster I didn’t know what that really referred to, but when it finally dawned on me, I started to enjoy packing my own lunches.

POCKET CALCULATOR:  I was a wiz at using these marvels. If I entered the correct numbers, I always got the right answer. My mother used one to balance her checkbook, but she didn’t trust it, always doing the math by hand to confirm the totals were correct. How silly. Everyone knows you do it by hand first, and then confirm it with the calculator.

TRANSISTOR RADIO: I don’t want to brag, but I could go from AM to FM seamlessly.  However, I frequently poked myself in the eye with the antenna. Kids today would be baffled by a transistor radio.  What’s the dial for?  Why can’t I ask it for directions to Greenwood, or to find out who invented the cotton gin? If these portable radios ever come back and you have grandkids, I’m available for tutoring.

VELCRO.  It was invented in the 1940’s and one of its earliest applications was for bras.  I was way too young to personally witness that application of the product.  Didn’t matter.  I was having way too much fun opening and closing Ziploc bags.

 

 

 

 

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THAT’S DEBATABLE!

 

Nothing is certain in politics, but it sure looks like the November battle will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The opposing campaigns are already debating the debates, outlining the rules that will govern the first TV match-up in October.  I looked up the rules and I wish Mary Ellen and I had been given some similar guidelines 35 years ago when we tied the knot.

 

   RULES OF DEBATE

 

(Direct from the presidential debate standards of conduct.)

 

NO RISERS OR PLATFORMS ALLOWED

My wife and I are about the same height, so in dress shoes she towers over me, giving her an unfair psychological advantage when we argue. No wonder I never win. Presidential history is pretty clear: the taller person usually prevails. For a few years when Mary Ellen and I had a minor disagreement, I’d put on a pair of high heels.  Mary Ellen commented that it was really weird, but she always added: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

NO QUESTIONS TO YOUR OPPONENT EXCEPT RHETORICAL ONES

Perfect. That’s the way Mary Ellen and I argue now.

“Is that any way to make a bed?”

“Is that what you call a pot roast?”

“Where does all our money go?”

“You don’t think you’re playing golf today, do you?”

 

NO PROPS OR CHARTS

I’m not sure I agree with this one. It’s much more effective with Mary Ellen if I wave a few Macy’s bills in front of her face while I complain that we’re not sticking to the budget. On the other hand, if my wife ever finds those dry cleaning receipts for my Wrangler jeans, it will come back to haunt me.

AN OBJECTIVE MODERATOR

I’d pick Seth. The other people in our neighborhood seem to like my wife better than me, but Seth always borrows my snow blower, so if we have an early snowfall I’m in luck.

TWO IDENTICAL DRESSING ROOMS

Advantage: Mary Ellen. My wife’s bathroom has a full-length mirror, a built-in hair dryer, a spa tub, a stall shower and a walk-in closet. At least, I think so. I’ve never been allowed in there. My bathroom is pretty much a toilet and a shower. Now, for Donald and Hillary, there must be an equal playing field. One needs a good mirror and lighting in order to fix hair and makeup. Hillary deserves similar facilities.

THE STUDIO AUDIENCE MAY NOT APPLAUD

How am I supposed to know if I’m making a good point if there aren’t lots of people clapping? After 35 years of marriage I still have no objective way to assess my performance. After the debate, Clinton and Trump can ask their spouses who won the debate. Somehow that hasn’t worked for me.

END OF THE DEBATE

Even in a contentious presidential discussion, the candidates are instructed to show respect by ending the debate with a handshake. After a little spat, Mary Ellen and I still do what we did when we first got married. Hillary and Donald, take a lesson from the Wolfsies… and give each other a high five.

 

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