Friday, October 4, 2013

So You Feel Old, Eh?

From time to time, I hear people complain about feeling old. This I find highly amusing, since the comment is often uttered by people who are least fifteen years younger than I am (I'm forty-eight).

Whereas some of the younger generation can and should be scoffed at for uttering such a phrase, older folks like myself, who happened to utter that phrase, should not be scoffed at. Why? Well, to quote Fire Marshal Bill, "Let me show you something!"

I often utter that phrase because more often than not, I'm coming across staff members who were born starting with my freshman year of high school (1979) through my five year reunion (1988). So when I say, "I'm feeling really old", I mean it.

Having said that, here are a few interesting tidbits about me that the average reader of my blog probably has never experienced.

1} I grew up in the pre-public Internet age.
2} The most popular pre- IBM or pre-Apple computer for public consumption was the Tandy computer. Retail price: around $3K.
3} Computer language was either BASIC or COBOL.
4} I loaded programs via cassette or 5.25" floppies.
5} Yes, I said 5.25" floppies.
6} I am an original first-generation MTV viewer. MTV came out during my senior year of high school.
7} I am pre-cable TV. You know, rabbit ears for analog?
8} Vinyl was king, cassettes were queen, and eight tracks were going bye-bye.
9} All those shows you watch on either TV Land or ME-TV I watched first run.
10} I've watched about one half of M*A*S*H as first run.
11} I remember when Fox Television was created.
12} Pay phones were in vogue.
13} Cell phones did not exist.
14} Regular leaded gasoline, the environmental community's stupidest and most successful banning to date, was around when I was growing up.
15} You could smoke and buildings.
16} Jai Lai was a major thing here in Connecticut.
17} No social media, unless you count the tabloids that were prevalent, as well as TV Guide and the entertainment section of the newspaper.
18} Speaking of newspapers, I read them voraciously.
19} I had hair.
20} PBS was the only station that had quality children's programming.
21} All those cartoons that you see in reruns from the seventies and eighties? I watched them when they were FRESH AND NEW.

So my friends, these are the kind of things that I have experienced while growing up, and if I should happen to mention them to others, I get blank faces as a response.

So how 'bout you? Have you grown up with a few things that the younger generation has a problem in comprehending, understanding or relating to?


  1. I am so glad smokers can't smoke in buildings anymore. I lived through that. :)

  2. Lynn: In our state, they basically extended that concept to every public building except the ones located on the two main Indian reservations.

    But yeah, it's a good thing.

    Debra: Compared to some of my co-workers and apparently to some of my readers, I guess I am.

    Still, I am old enough to have experience most everything that I have listed first hand, and yet young enough to still get away with a lot of schtuff. :D

  3. Wow, man. You're pretty old. :)

    I know these things as well, of course.

  4. Charles: Yup.

    Sadly, it'll probably get worse the older I get.

  5. My 50th high school reunion is next year if that makes you feel any better. My first television had an antenna on the roof and the shows were all in black and white. Cigarettes were welcome everywhere.

  6. Funny, I was just thinking about this today. I was having coffee with a friend and the kid I am advocating for and two police cars, an ambulance, and a SWAT vehicle sped by. So of course we all jumped on our phones to figure out what happened.

    And then I had this, WTF! moment. Because this wouldn't have been possible when I was his age.

    Mind you, I felt old enough thinking that, so I didn't say it out loud!

  7. M: I remember those days of making sure I had enough pocket change to use the payphone to check in from time to time. I also remember when a call on a payphone cost one thin dime.

  8. I try not to think about my age, and then I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and go "Sh**T, when did that happen??" :D

  9. Joe: I usually get like that if I meet someone at a later age that I originally knew at a younger age.

  10. As you know G, I am only a few months older than you so in many ways our experiences are the same:)

    My kids don't understand the lack of choice I had a kid - about pretty much everything partially that was because life was much simpler back then but there other factors too - like a large family, lack of finances. My children just don't appreciate how much they have and what fantastic opportunities they have. I also wish they would read more - but hey - even the best books have a hard job competing with the thrill of an xbox...

  11. Jane: I don't think any of my kids would understand and they definitely don't appreciate what they got and history behind what they got.

  12. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about aging. I'm only 41 - still just a kid!

  13. S.R.: Why you're just a yung 'un. :D

  14. Rotary, 5-digit party lines. (Telephone) We were the two rings... You could pick-up n listen in to every one else's calls!

    We got our first console color tv in'73- 19 inches was the largest available!

    Elementary School hand-out papers were "mimeo-graphed" with a hand-cranked machine, not printed, or copied.

    The best Macs at college had 4 Megs of RAM! PCs with Windows used 4 menu options. They sucked. I learned Basic code writing.
    We called texting from computer lab to someone in another lab terminal in real-time, building to building "Electronic Phone". There was no net out of campus.

    I played the first Mario-Bros n Link (of Hyrule) video games on the original Nintendo with my growing children.

    Got more but out of time!

  15. Snaggle: Okay, now you're making feel really old, only because while I don't remember party lines;, I do remember having a rotary telephone.

    And playing the original Nintendo.

    And Atari.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at