As I contemplate reviving my old podcast Uncle Warren’s Attic, I’m thinking of using a standard introduction that riffs off a piece I wrote many years ago:
I like old stuff.
The aroma of old paper and long-dried ink.
The scratches and pops that accompany a long beloved and cherished recording.
The pain-staking, jerky movement of models animated by stop-motion photography.
The expressive pantomime of an actor before microphones were invented.
The mind images painted by the actor who has only a microphone.
The earliest efforts to combine the two forms of film, silent and talkie.
The analog before the digital.
The carving of David from the stone using only hand tools.
Communicating over the miles with only paper and ink and willing couriers.
The power of words and the urgency to convey messages over the miles – over the years: We know 1535 better than we know 1286 because we learned how to leverage and preserve words better.
Paper has, so far, outlasted pixels. Vinyl has outlasted magnetic tape and the tracks of compact disc. Electronic devices preserve with great efficiency and searchability but then become obsolete. The old records have survived a century; the old books have survived for centuries.
The words and voices and songs of the long dead are still alive, and not just in the memories of the living – their words and music survive the next generation and the generation after that.
Where am I going with this?
OK, now that I’ve been blogging daily for more than a month, I can say out loud that my goal has become to give you a thought every morning in this space. But to what end? Why am I here? Why are you here, bless you, and what can I give you? Continue reading →
Did you say this is the year 2018?
That can’t be right. That’s the year I’m supposed to turn 65 and, like, I’m supposed to slow down, retire and start taking it easy and all.
And isn’t Pan Am supposed to have been running flights to the moon since at least 17 years ago? What do you mean, “What’s Pan Am?”
This is a very surreal moment, to be sure. Back when I first thought about what it would be like to be 65, it seemed so far away. I expected to be, well, I don’t know – older. Ready to be cast aside and forgotten. Content to sit in a chair and read a book or watch TV – OK, that part has come true.
Eyes and ears starting to wear out, check. Aches and pains here and there, check. Being skinny and unathletic as a teenager, I never figured to be overweight. (Still unathletic, well, yeah, I guess, but overweight?!?!?!)
Ready to be cast aside and forgotten, though, nope, not even close. I still enjoy looking around and sharing what I see and hear. I still enjoy engaging in this life thing and trying to figure out what it’s all about.
If anything, I’m frustrated because so much is out there to study and see and hear and share. It’s all so cool.
Slow down? When I’m just getting started?
Are you nuts?
I saw a quote recently that said nothing ever goes as planned – you wind up where you are by accident no matter what your big plans are. It’s a variation of the proverbial John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
And so, as I review my announced plans for 2017 for this month-late update, I don’t feel terribly bad about saying, well, Life happened. Continue reading →
A few days after the first of the year, I posted “My 5 goals for 2017.” How’s that going for me, three months into this latest 12-month adventure? Continue reading →
I got Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for Christmas in 1967 and listened to it for the first time in my room with the door closed. I was blown away with the creativity of the 1960s’ greatest band, probably the most creative force in rock and roll history.
In those days 1984 was in the far distant future, an awful time when televisions that never turned off would monitor our every word and action, and government agencies would be hard at work rewriting history for people with attention spans so short they believed whatever it was the agencies wanted them to believe.
In those days 2001 was almost unimaginable except for a very weirdly wonderful movie that would be released the next spring.
In those days today was so very, very far away, and I was younger than you are today, unless you’re younger than 14.
And now, here is that day that seemed so distant, here is the birthday they sang about.
And now, I wonder …
Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
+ + + + +
What do you need from me, anyway? I have put food on the table for 40-odd years by telling you about what’s happening around us – literally, as a news guy, figuratively, as a commentator and an author and once upon a time as a hobbyist singer-songwriter.
What do you need from me now?
Really. I’m asking.
Find the comment section below and fire away.