Friday, April 13, 2012

Now, where was I?

All of the posts I've written in the last two years, yet didn't post start the same way. I give a lame excuse why I haven't written anything in two years. They basically fall into two categories. About half of them were political rants. They were entertaining, informative and totally correct. But, rants are rants and even though my political rants are real knee slappers, I usually let them gather dust in my journal. The second category is me trying to figure out if I'll retire when I'm eligible to do so on September 1, 2013 and what I'll do with myself if I do. Since I can retire with a marvelous pension at age 60 and the rest of you poor schlumps will probably have to work til you're 70, they came out as a tad boastful. Albeit in a witty and entertaining fashion.

When I first started writing this blog in 2008, I picked all the low hanging fruit pretty early. Other than political rants (Hey ladies! Those Republican bozos don't like you!) or retirement (Is it against the law to buy your first fishing pole after you turn 60?) I'm pumping a dry well. Writer's block, Texas tea. I've always thought that when that day came, I could always come up with something. I'm the guy who could get C's on essay tests in college without ever attending class or buying the book. My so-called line of bullshit was stretched pretty thin that first year. Go back and read some of that (crap) finely written prose. I still get Google hits on Dumbo and various similes.

Like everyone else, I felt I knew how things were going to turn out as I got older. I see myself as a fairly intelligent guy. I graduated college in the middle of the pack without really trying. As I look back on things, I realize that I was wrong pretty much all across the board. In some ways that's a good thing and in others, not so much.

Thirty years ago, I figured that when I got to be the age I am at now, I would be riding a caboose, just like my dad. Well, soon after dad retired, they replaced the cabooses with blinking red lights and there's no hiding for dear ol' Max.

Being somewhat of a loner who was basically scared of women, I had always figured I'd grow old alone and die alone. Instead, I met Jenny, we fell in love and I have a marvelous family that I adore. Jen has showed me how truly great life can be and its my sincerest wish that Shane finds someone like her someday.

When it comes to science and technology, I figured that it would come gradually but I never imagined anything like it is now. After all, it took nearly 20 years to get color TV. When I was at Purdue in the fall of 1971, I took a computer class. The school's computer took up the entire basement of the building it was in and was considered the state of the art. When you wrote a program, you had to type up a punch card for each line of code. One of the ways they would "wow" the new students would be to run a program that had a stack of cards two feet high. There was a plotter that plotted the line of an equation on a graph. The program was a whole ton of equations and when the computer plotted all of them, it turned out to be a picture of an elephant. From the time the TA fed the cards into the card reader and the graph was plotted, it took 30 minutes! Right now, the cell phone in my bag has much, much more computing power than that monster computer.

We used to laugh at mom who would just use her computer for playing solitaire, but that's me now! In the mid 70's, I once wrote a 2000 line program on mom's Commodore 64 computer to do payroll for Railroad Inn. Now, I need to call a help desk to figure out how to hit "enter" on a laptop running the railroad crew management program. I thought I'd always be cutting edge, like in 1971, but I ended up computer challenged. I don't play solitaire, though. My game is Minesweeper. My best ever time on expert is 94 seconds. Jenny thinks that I'm the only person in the world still playing Minesweeper. Like usual, she's probably right! I also love Facebook. It has allowed me to get acquainted with relatives I didn't really know, like Lisa Ley and Marsha Cook (Can't wait til this summer!). They're such sweethearts. I'm starting to tough base with old Army buddies like Andy Kovach and Steve Gipson and am able to follow the life and times of old school buddies and cousins who live far away. In five years, there will be something bigger and better coming along and when Jenny or Shane tell me about it, I'll enjoy it too.

Those of you who have read this blog in years past know that Jen and I have a fuzzy buddy in New Jersey. You know New Jersey and its governor, Chris Krispy Kreme. Fuzzy lives just down the road from Stephanie Plum and spends his time bailing out the Jersey economy in Atlantic City. It seems that retirement woke him up and since I've last posted, he and his long, long time best girl, Barb have gotten married. So, here's my blog congrats and I hope you two have many, many more years together.

Finally, since I've posted last, my daughter Shannon gave birth to my second granddaughter on 09-09-09. Her and Mike named her Taylor Maxine McClure and she's just as cute as her sister Jaden without the red hair. Having a baby named after me is the single greatest honor I've ever received. Shannon and Mike's tribute to me still has me walking on air.

Hopefully, I'll post a little more often than before. That'll stimulate the blogdom.


Shannon said...

Welcome back :o)

Two things:
First, Taylor couldn't have been named after a better person. She loves her "Paw-Paw J" to the moon and back!

Second, I still play Minesweeper, too! Mike thinks it's just a bunch of clicking, but dear 'ol Dad taught me well :o)

I still "greater-than three" you!

fuzbukt said...

Welcome back, Max. Figured you were just trying to collect your thoughts for two years.

Missed your wit, but maybe I was only half right on that.

Look forward to more amusing missives.

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