50 today.

Today is my 50th birthday.

On a day like this, one tends to reflect upon the past. What has happened to me in the past 50 years? A lot. 10 years ago I was one of the stars of online photography.

Now people ask “Who is that guy?”

Well, that’s gonna change!

But what else after living 50 years?

We’ve went from barely getting a man into orbit to landing a man on the moon, then suddenly barely able to get a man into orbit again. Thus I’ve learned that no matter how big of an achievement a country can pull off, it can always be reversed by politicians who can’t see past the next election or news cycle.

We went from having a B&W TV set and only one or two TV channels with nothing to watch, to ultra sharp wide-screen TVs with 5 to 1 Dolby sound and over 1500 high definition TV channels… and still nothing to watch. But it’s in HD!!

Went from listening to music by placing a 12” black vinyl record on a record set, the mechanical clunking it’d make then the scratchy music would come out of small plastic speakers.… to CDs and not-quite-as-good-as-vinyl sound but no scratches and pops… to small devices which can carry thousands of CDs, download music from anywhere… all the way back to 12” black vinyl records because they simply sound better.

Computers took up whole FLOORS in buildings. Apollo had the computing power of a digital calculator. Now everyone has one, often two, computers which more processing power than all of the Pentagon in 1959. In 2009 almost every computer int he world is connected. We went from 300 baud modems and dial-up bulletin boards to uncountable websites. We also went from acquaintances and friends being people you actually knew and saw in person to people you think of as best friends being folks you’ve never actually met in person.

We’ve come from landline telephones with rotary dials to completely wireless devices. You got to hate people with lots of 9s or 0s in the phone number, it’d take forever to dial the number. The telephones were wired into place and everyone could overhear you talking. Now I don’t have a wired in phone at all, can take the thing anywhere. But after 50 years I’ve learned the damned phone will still “ring” when you’re busy. But the phone also has no right to be answered anyway.

Twinkies haven’t’ changed one bit.

Models haven’t changed one bit – they’re all still young, beautiful and damned flaky. But now if I don’t hear from a model before meeting her, I know she’ll probably not be at the meeting, and the further I have to drive to the meeting, the greater the chances the model won’t show up. Radio silence means the model is a flake.

After 50 years, my opinion that family & friends takes priority over any job or career still stands. Jobs come and go, family and friends can’t be replaced.

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