I’m not sure if I’ve ever specifically expressed this, but we live in an amazing world during exceptional times. A lot of stuff is good. Some of it is bad.
Today I’d like to mostly discuss good stuff. You can go somewhere else for politics, etc.
OK, so it’s kind of odd here in my house. Many large ticket items can be dated from various deployments.
Well, almost all of our electronics dated from the final Afghan trip, 2011. Do the math, that stuff was getting long in the tooth. For example, the laptop I’m typing on. The bluetooth has given out, several of the keys are illegible and some of the software is glitchy.
If I haven’t written five hundred thousand words on this MacBook, I haven’t written one. It is an amazing machine.
A big reason I didn’t replace it sooner was because of Apple’s dumb butterfly keys. They were notoriously unreliable. Hey, Apple! I buy Apples because they are reliable, not because they are cutting edge or cool. So for years I held off until they fixed the problem with the “new” Magic Keyboard. Ha. All this is is a refinement on the tried and true scissor keys.
But I digress.
Lemme get to the core of this post.
Amazon Prime Day.
They blew my doors off with the deals. Seriously. A lot of people don’t care for Jeff Bezos or the Beast. My response is that he saw an opportunity and took it. If he wouldn’t have, someone else would have and people would be cussing whomever instead.
In regard to the mom-and-pop stores, they are gone. In my little village the main street used to by filled with small shops. Empty storefronts or gap-toothed holes remain where lives used to be.
There’s no going back; the changes are coming hard and fast.
In fact, there is a noticeable acceleration. Within my lifetime we have gone from rotary dial phones to cheap crappy Walmart phones that could literally build an atom bomb.
Which brings me full circle to where I want to go with this today.
For the full price of one laptop I got the laptop as well as a pile of other stuff to replace the obsolete/malfunctioning 2011 purchases.
So in practical terms I got electronics that are far more capable than the old ones for HALF the 2011 price.
For example. We bought a replacement sitting room TV for a ridiculous price. I won’t say how much, but it was stupid.
The TV is a full foot (30.4cm) larger than the old one, was much easier to set up, is far more capable, and the colors are intense, cinematic.
And it cost 60% less than the old TV in 2011 dollars.
I’m still shaking my head. See the remote above. If I want to watch (name the app), I push a button. Or (and I wasn’t aware of this when I bought the TV) I can push a button and have Alexa find me whatever.
I’ll bet a first grader could set up this TV. Ten or twenty years ago this would have been a mighty struggle for 1/100th the capability; I remember well.
My old TV is outclassed in every respect by this unit. It is simply amazing.
And that is but one item.
But look, this brings me back to the point of this post. We live in a world filled with amazing stuff; many of us exist at a level of comfort which would have been foreign to our grandparents. The world has so much potential. Seriously; the TV is an infinitesimal speck of the whole.
So why do many of us want to screw it up? Are people so bored or stupid that they want to tear down what our ancestors have built?
Leave your guns at home.
When the time comes, exercise your right as a citizen to vote.
This is a democracy. Compromise and imperfect solutions are part of the experience.
This is a peaceful and beautiful land; the vast majority of the residents have never known war or hardship.
Let’s keep it that way; let “Call of Duty” be the closest that many come to the sound of the guns; or a rainy camping trip be the worst misery that the vast majority see.
Look at your humble TV remote; you are holding the product of a thousand generation’s knowledge and wealth.
Me, personally? I am floored by this.
So if you feel like it, let today be the day that you take some joy out of simple things.
Let life be long. Live and let live.
And now I have a Netflix button and Alexa.
Life is good.