Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Time Capsule

As my wife and I continue to “de-clutter” our house, I ran across the pictured item in our attic. If the lettering on the bin is difficult to read, it’s a year 2000 time capsule. They were selling these capsules right before Y2K (remember all the Y2K hubbub?) and I bought one, completing the questionnaires that came with the kit and sealing the canister securely with packaging tape.

It’s to be opened on 2025, so about 16 years from now. I’m not sure why I picked that year, but it certainly seemed far enough in the future. I remember getting ribbed a little, buying something so corny and gimmicky. Since one of the sections in the questionnaire asked for predictions, one of my friends volunteered, “I predict you got ripped off.”

Yeah, I still remember that. When Wendy saw what my cleaning had uncovered, she said, “Let’s open it!” No, I responded. Not until 2025. That’s the point of a time capsule.

“Who cares? Let’s open it now,” she insisted.

I pushed back. No. It’s not like we discovered an unopened gift or something. What’s the point of a time capsule if you open it just a few years after you put it together?

So Wendy pointed out that we probably could open it, take a peek inside, then close it up again and forget it all in a few weeks. Sorry, it stays sealed for now.

It is incredible sometimes to thing of the changes that have occurred in the past century or so. While going through some old sheet music I inherited from my grandfather, I saw an ad that pitched buying music for your “talking machine.” I guess something in the line of an old Victrola.

Even more recently, when I went to pick up some film for my camera, I was shocked to find what little selection there was. It’s assumed everybody has a digital camera now. I do have a digital camera, but I like the quality my old Nikon provides. Wonder if I can still buy film for color slides.

Whoever thought people could do without a landline phone. My eldest son doesn’t have one in his home. The computer age has spelled the demise of the daily newspaper, including our venerable Ann Arbor News. It’s almost a given now that Saturday mail is going by the wayside.

When we go on our vacation this week, I’m going to take my laptop. Who would have thought that some day you could take a picture, upload it to your computer, and post it to a program like Facebook, all in the span of minutes. Who sends post cards anymore? Well, I will be sending some post cards still. Any time I go on vacation, I always send one to my grandmother, who is 97-years-old this year. (She doesn’t have a computer.)


Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Our generation is sorta in the middle.My mother doesn't have a computer and she will only talk on a land line phone and write snail mail letters. That's it. Then the younger whipper snappers are all techies. We have a digital camera too and still marvel at the ease in seeing the photos on the computer screen and printing out the ones we want.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I was speaking with a friend about this recently. I used to think the technological advances in my grandmother's lifetime (1879-1967)were amazing (i.e., covered wagons to space travel), and they were. But considering the progress with other technology in my own life time, perhaps this has been even more astounding. I'm still pretty current with most of it, but one day there will be that "thing" that is beyond my comprehension, just as it was for Gramma with men in space.

Do you suppose every generation has felt this way, or is the process speeding up, as I perceive?

8:16 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Some days I sit back and look at how life has changed in the last ten years and I'm amazed. What will the world be like in fifty or a hundred years? I guess you and I will never know.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

TECHNOBABE--Thank goodness for your mother. Somebody has to keep our local mail carriers in business. My dad's a little ahead of me in the digital photo printing department. He can print great quality photos on his printer. My printer's pretty much dead right now.

LYNILU--I think every generation has felt the impact of modernization probably equally. When I was just a kid, the popular prediction was that we'd all be driving flying cars of some sort. But the automobile has remained remarkably the same in the past half century or better.

NANKIN--Hea, I'm holding out for a cure for death. I'm sure somebody's working on that somewhere.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

Yes, that is interesting. Some things have remained essentially unchanged, and often the ones from which we expected big things, while the greater progress is in newer areas, some previously unknown, such as computers, musical data storage, etc.

I'll bet you can remember when we thought those science fiction movies about space travel in very odd vehicles were "gonna be true," right?

9:03 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ There sure have been lots of changes over the years. I am still amazed at how computers work - if you misspell a word you just change it so easily etc etc. My actual hand-writing is dreadful now.Glad you liked the Unstoppable virus C-Nile. I haven't heard much about the swine flu lately. A couple of pigs got it at a piggery, (from a human) and were quarantined for weeks.
I hope you and your wife have a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia and
hope neither of you get sea-sick.
Take care, enjoy your break.
Regards, Merle.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

I hear you Dave, we've been discussing giving up the land line-except it's part of the "bundle" and then we'd pay more for the internet and the cable!

My parents don't own a computer either and I have to print everything I write out for them to read.

If they kept any of it-that may be the way I finally put a book together and send it to a publisher.

Have a wonderful vacation dear blogging buddy.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

I'm guessing that there might be some blue and gold products in your time capsule, as U of M's glory days seem destined to remain in the dustbin of history.

Thought you might enjoy this Wall Street Journal article:


Once, years ago, after watching Notre Dame beat Michigan with my father-in-law (a retired MSU prof), I remember his pithy remark: "The only thing better would be to see them both lose!"

Bon voyage! GO SPARTANS!!

7:30 AM  
Blogger jan said...

wouldn't it be a wonderful world if our ability to get along together matched our ability to develop and use technology?

That doesn't include the enemies of the U of M of course.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--I remember thinking that I was going to have one of those cars like George Jetson when I was old enough to drive. Or one of those houses where you could throw a lever and get above the clouds.

MERLE--I've been on boats a few times without getting seasick. Keeping my fingers crossed that my luck continues.

CARINE--Comcast is always trying to get me to "bundle" our services. But our cable TV doesn't work all the time. I don't need that kind of trouble with my phone or something.

BONNIE--Well, I'd like to see both the Irish and the Spartans lose. I know it'd be pretty hard for my alma mater, the CMU Chippewas, to defeat your favs.

But you never know ;-)

JAN--Seems like the more people we have in this world, the harder it is for everybody to get along. Hea, I do try to get along with those who don't cheer for my U of M Wolverines. So I'm doing my part.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

We don't have a time capsule.

I'm with Wendy. You could open it, chuckle, and seal it back up again. Even add a note that you did open it in 2009

6:29 AM  
Blogger CAROLDEE said...

GULP!! I had forgotten about postcards for sure! you are so right things change now at light speed and in the future well that is just scary.. It was announced awhile back that they would stop making the rolls of film. I thought of all us fans of the older cameras and just got so depressed.: (
Time capsules never made one but our school did once and I put something in one, life of me can't remember what the heck it was.
: )

8:12 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

What a good (even if a bit corny) idea the time capsule is, glad to hear you held out for 2025

6:36 PM  

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