Great Advances of Mankind Since 1970 (the lesser list)

Quote of the Day      “Whatever one man is capable of conceiving, other men will be able to achieve.”      –Jules Verne

TB was inspired today to add another entry to the acclaimed “lesser list” series.  I was standing in line at Kroger congratulating myself for the sage decision to follow a cart with only a half dozen or so items.  I did not, however, take note of the cart’s user, a kindly looking lady of approximately 117 years, until after I unloaded my groceries.  Yep.  A check writer.  And there is only one kind of grocery store check writer left–the kind that waits until everything is rung up and bagged to even begin fishing in their satchel to find the check book.  She found the book and began to write.  Then she stopped, looking confused.  After about a three second delay–it seemed like five minutes–the appropriate neurons fired and she asked for today’s date.  She then finished up in pretty good order with the check writing and proceeded to the stage where she entered the transaction in her register and adjusted her balance, before exiting the line with her goods. I then watched the three people I was racing through other lines walk smugly from the store along with some latecomers to their lanes I’d not even taken note of.  

It’s one of those little defeats in life’s daily game that can really drive you nuts.  But TB happened to be in good spirits today, and also believes the elderly deserve some consideration for their ancient customs, so rather than wallow in the defeat I simply swiped my card, passed her on the way out the door and accepted the incident as a reminder of mankind’s continual advancement.  Today I present you with a partial, lesser list of the advances that truly have made life better for all of us since the year of my birth.

  1. Pay at the Pump–no chance of getting behind a check writer here or even worse, an uncertain cigarette buyer.  This alone has probably saved TB from hundreds of miniature meltdowns.
  2. The Mexican Underground Railroad–there was a time when the arrival of Taco Sombrero caused great excitement in my twelve year old world.  Now, thanks to the need to transport immigrants around the country while teaching them a skill, a bit of language and to pay them six bucks a day to send back to Guadelajara, TB and you can enjoy all the chips and cheap chimichangas we can stand. Viva Mexican joints!
  3. Red Light Sensors–these aren’t in use everywhere and they aren’t perfect, but they often give us that extra five seconds a day without which we’d truly suffer.
  4. ESPN–more college football now airs on Fall Saturdays than used to in a whole season, and even my Bulldogs are on the tube more often than not.  
  5. The upgrade from no chicken nuggets to McDonald’s chicken nuggets to Chick-Fi-Let’s.
  6. Throw away contact lenses.  TB doesn’t like the idea of someone shooting lasers in his eyes so he can do away with specs, and hates wearing them all the time, but is also too imprecise and lazy to take care of old fashioned contact lenses.  Throw-aways have changed my world.  I can now buy cheap shades at the 7-11. 
  7. Satellite Radio–I love my cross country, channel 12 on XM.  My other numbers are 44, 54, 46, 49, 144, 150, 151, and 167.  Can’t wait for the next generation–a la carte pricing.
  8. XBox 360 Football–I posted awhile back about the old x’s vs o’s Atari 2600 game.  We’ve come a long way baby.
  9. Automatically Flushing Toilets–No longer must we execute the old kick flush, so fraught with danger, in public restrooms.
  10. Self Serve Movie Popcorn Butter–Evenly distributed top to bottom coating is still difficult, but no longer unattainable.  
Ahhhh, progress.
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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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2 Responses to Great Advances of Mankind Since 1970 (the lesser list)

  1. supercynic says:

    One advance that I think is a curse is the cordless telephone. At first, I thought this was neat. However, I now find that I hate them. All the telephones end up scattered around the house or end up in one bathroom at the farthest end of the house. Based on my constant complaining, my wife found and bought a rotary dial black telephone with a cord. That hunk of nostalgia works and ain’t going anywhere. I love it.

    The auto flush is great, but I just use Sen. Craig to flush for me.

    I can’t believe you didn’t put the clapper in there — not because it’s useful, but those commercials are the funniest thing to come along in a while.

  2. Jessie Lou says:

    Just when you think you know someone ….. I never notice how impatient you are! By the time you are 117 you will be using your check card backwards and continually swiping it wondering why it doesn’t work until the clerk takes it from you and does it for you. That maybe your underlying reason for doing so in the first place giving you the opportunity to flirt with the cute checkout girl and graze her fingertips. This will be your cheap thrill of the day at age 117. After all that excitement you will then forget your pin number!

    Now to gross you out. The automatic flush maybe really wonderful; however, it spews forth an ungodly amount of germs into the atmosphere so make sure you don’t catch yourself in your zipper as you hurry away from it.

    On a totally separate note. Thanks to you and my son for getting me over my reading hump. I am now back to being able to read books – hadn’t had the capacity postK. Now have a few books going at once which was also unheard of before.

    See Coach Croom made it through media days. Anxious to see how Houston does it in Oxford where the debates are the real ticket this September. I am excited about football season! I am hoping G is still in Oxford to experience the debates – I’ve raised a democrat who can debate me incessantly about anything. Got to love it!

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