Saturday, April 29, 2023

The Future as Seen by the Past

Dave, Olga and I all had a bit of a lie-in this morning (we slept late) and that felt great. Long overdue! I had a dream in which I went to visit my mother, and when I told people who she was they all gave me sad, sympathetic faces because they knew of her cognitive issues. But then when she appeared, she was perfectly normal. Her hair was gray, but it was cut the way it used to be when she was in charge of it, and she looked very put-together. I spoke to her in simple sentences, and she said, "Why are you talking to me like that?"

If only.

Yesterday was busy at work, but I feel like I'm on top of things. I got the reading lists compiled for the sixth graders and I've finished inventory from the 000s through the 600s -- with only two books missing so far.

I found a 1996 book about electronics that we somehow still had on our shelves:

Did you know that by the year 2000 we'll all be carrying a device called a MOBILE PHONE? Will wonders never cease!

(I weeded the book.)

For the record, I didn't get my first cell phone until October 2005. But I was admittedly a latecomer. I remember all my friends had one long before me.

Today I'm hoping to make serious headway in "American Dirt," which is pretty good but I haven't had a chance to really sit down with it and focus for any period of time. I also might mow the lawn if I get wildly motivated. Everyone's been complaining about our cool, damp spring, but the plants love it -- it's a jungle out there!


sparklingmerlot said...

Our first mobile phone was in '94 or '95. It had two batteries. One lasted 8 hours on stand by with about 30 minute talk time and the other lasted 12 hours on standby with less than 2 hours talk time. I remember a salesman friend having a car phone which was like a shoe box with a receiver on it.
Thank you for reminding my I am old!!

Moving with Mitchell said...

Mobile phones? What will they think of next? (Remember Dick Tracy and the 2-way wrist radios?)

When I was a teen, I used to regularly dream that my brother was suddenly no longer learning disabled (like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon). It was so real I would immediately check on him in the morning.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Did you know that by the year 2000 we'll all be carrying a device called a MOBILE PHONE?
You are wrong about that matey! There are still a few dinosaurs left - like me. We can't be tracked by the North Koreans and we can't receive warning alarms about an imminent Martian invasion. We are also not glued to mobile devices in every idle moment.

gz said...

I got my first mobile phone in 1998 I think....a nice Nokia half brick...I realised that as a lone parent of 4 aged 9-18 I needed to be contactable!
Funny thing is now that they don't often contact that way!!

Colette said...

I remember the first mobile phone I ever saw. One of my friends owned it and referred to it as a car phone. It was quite large.

Ed said...

I'm pretty sure I have you beat in this area. When I got my first cellphone, it was a flip phone and I think the iPhone was already out so it was sometime in 2007 or 2008.

Boud said...

The advance of the cellphone changed stories of suspense and murder mysteries forever! Now you don't have to get to the nearest place to call in your grisly discovery, and you can't click for help when the villain's in pursuit.

Boud said...

Can click, not can't, duh.

ellen abbott said...

Marc and I were very late getting our first mobile phone and we only did it because we planned a month long trip through the western half of the US and the kids. I don't remember what year it was though.

the last time I dreamed about my mother she was very disapproving and I was yelling at her that she was dead.

Ms. Moon said...

My mother dreams are like Ellen's. I have to remind the woman she's dead. Somehow in my dreams she's turned into a rather glamorous being which she never was while alive.
I listened to American Dirt as an audio book and I know that there was controversy with the author's claims of being Latinx (was that it?) but damn- it was a good book and I sure do remember it. Not easy to listen to in parts.

NewRobin13 said...

I'm trying to remember when we got our first mobile phone. We still have a landline. Isn't that wild? We hardly ever use our iPhone except for when we're out for a walk. It's our only camera right now.
I wish I could remember my dreams. I know my parents show up in them, and it's always so good to see them.

The Bug said...

I usually really enjoy my Mom dreams - we're usually just doing the same stuff we did together while she was alive. I wake up feeling like I got a hug from her.

I don't remember when I got my first cell phone (flip phone!) but I think it was around 1998? Can that be right? A bunch of us at work all got them at the same time - we felt very hip. Ha! Now I was a little later jumping on the iPhone bandwagon (my boss at the time wanted me to be more available to her so she got me a company phone).

Kelly said...

I think I mentioned before that my husband is working his way through all the old Perry Mason shows. He said there was one where Paul made a call from his car phone! I wish I'd seen it, too, since it was waaaay before that should have been possible in a TV show!

I had trouble putting down American Dirt once I began it. I hope you're enjoying it (if that's the right word for such an intense story).

Ellen D. said...

It's fun to see those old portable phones that looked like huge bricks on the old TV shows. For many years, the flip phone I had was a hand me down that I kept in my purse for emergencies only. I still use my landline for phone calls more than my cellphone but that's changing slowly but surely...

Sharon said...

I got my first cell phone in the mid 90's way ahead of a lot of people. But, since I was working halfway across the country from my home, it came in handy even if it was pretty chunky in size.
Such a pretty street scene in that top photo.

gz said...

Dreams can be very odd..putting impossible things together

The Padre said...

Phones, Too Funny And We All Have Our Stories - Stoked You And Your Tribe Crashed Out This Morning - Happy Sunday My Brother


Debby said...

I didn't get my first cellphone until 2009 or so. I had a commitment at school that I'd told my boss about, and he gave me permission to come in an hour late. Unfortunately, he forgot to pass the word along. The manager on duty called home to see where I was. My daughter answered. She didn't know. She was worried. She was afraid I'd had an accident. She drove all the way to school and saw no sign of accident. SHe came to the store, where I was at the register. "WHERE WERE YOU?" she demanded. I placidly explained. She left the store in quite a fit of anger. Much to my surprise, she slapped an inexpensive cell phone on the counter and bellowed, "You need to USE this."

And that is when I got my first cell phone.

Steve Reed said...

Caro: I remember seeing car phones in TV shows and thinking they were AMAZING. In college my roommate and I once drove around with an old phone in the front seat and he'd pretend to be talking on it while gauging the reactions of other drivers. We thought that was hilarious.

Mitchell: And now we have them -- or something close -- in an Apple watch. That's very poignant about your brother. Dreams can really get to the heart of things.

YP: You also can't call someone if you break your leg on one of your hikes! Just get a flip phone or something simple. Seriously. You should have one in case of emergency.

GZ: Yeah, I can see how being a parent would have made a phone more imperative!

Colette: I used to use one at work in the '80s that literally looked like a brick. And weighed about as much.

Ed: My first two phones were flip-phones. Dave finally got me on the iPhone bandwagon in 2009 or so.

Boud: It's true! Technology has changed so many old plot devices. So often when I'm watching an old show I'll think, "Well, they could easily solve THAT problem now!"

Ellen: I laughed at your comment about your mom, though I suppose it really isn't funny.

Ms Moon: Interesting that she becomes glamorous in your dreams. Maybe you saw her that way when you were young. (Or WANTED her to be that way?) I think the controversy over that book was somewhat overblown.

Robin: I primarily use my phone as a camera too. I almost never talk to anyone on it!

Bug: I felt the same after this dream -- like I'd seen my REAL mother again.

Kelly: I remember that episode! Here's a great Perry Mason web site, by the way, where fans leave comments and keep track of all the "actors" who routinely appear in the courtroom gallery shots. It's very amusing:

Ellen D: I almost never talk to anyone on the phone anymore. Now, with texting, it's mostly unnecessary. Which I love!

Sharon: That street is in Primrose Hill, not far from the park.

GZ (again!): Indeed they can. I think they do offer a little window onto our interior lives and our subconscious.

Padre: We NEVER "crash out" so it was a welcome event!

Debby: I think younger people struggle to understand why we older people don't adopt new things more readily!

Jeanie said...

That's a beautiful dream. And a poignant one.

I'm having a love-hate relationship with all electronics of late. It will pass... by the time it does, they'll change thing up again and it will start all over.