Welcome to the Future -- 01/01/00
Wow! I really made it! Welcome to the Future! The Year Two Thousand!

You see, when I was a kid, I was fascinated by the year 2000. It was the future. It was when there would be rocket ships and space travel and robots and all kinds of cool stuff.

I used to listen to science fiction progams on the radio. Yeah, I had a hybrid childhood: the last of the radio generation and the first of the television generation. My great-aunt lived with us when I was very young. A very sweet white-haired little old lady, she was hooked on the most violent action adventure radio programs: Gang Busters -- Inner Sanctum -- The Shadow -- X Minus One I would sit with her and listen to them. Besides the normal affinity for reading cience fiction that seems to be shared by most bright kids, I was an avid science fiction fan before I could read. X Minus One was science fiction drama series, an anthology program, sort of an auditory Twilight Zone. We also listened to a similar program whose title I cannot pin down exactly but which I believe was contained in the program's opening tag line "bringing you tales from the year 2000 plus."

So here we are in the year 2000. Here I am in the year 2000!

People joke every year about messing up the date for the first few days. (A comic strip in this morning's paper had a character writing "January 1, 1999" on a check.) Naturally, decade changes can cause even more writing errors.

I can remember when we passed from the 1940's to the 1950's. I was writing 1949 as the date on tests papers and homework assignments in December, and when we came back to school in January we had to write 1950. I was struck by the magnitude of that change, two digits changed instead of just one. And I realized that when a century changed, then three digits changed, like 1899 to 1900, but that in fifty years from then, all four digits would change. Wow!

And I thought a lot about the future -- about space travel and rockets and robots and such -- and what would it be like in the future, especially once we reached the year 2000. I wondered if I would even be alive in the year 2000. I would be pretty old, but not too old to still be alive. I would turn 57 in the spring of 2000 if I were to live that long. Old... but not too old... I thought I had a chance at it... Recalling that did give me pause last week.... I mean, here I am, 56 years old, in good health, not in as good a shape as I would like, but not doing too badly, I was able to complete a five mile race on Thanksgiving Day, but wouldn't it be ironic if I got this close to 2000, just a few days short, but then not actually make it?

So... Wow! I made it! Welcome to the year 2000, welcome to the future!

New Year's Eve

Most of yesterday was aimed toward last night. We were planning a stay at home New Years, with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and her husband and their two daughters coming over for dinner and to celebrate New Year's Eve with us. I gave Nancy a four-pack of TaeBo tapes for Christmas. Early in the afternoon of 12/31/99 I joined her to practice with the Introductory tape. Based on that experience, it looks as if they will be a good set of exercise tapes. Took a quick shower and then down to the kitchen to start fixing food.

No fancy hors d'ouvre, more like plain old veggies 'n chips 'n dips. Fixed carrots and celery and brocolli and green beans and peas to go with French onion dip. Had potato chips and pretzels and corn chips and nacho chips to go with salsa. Had shrimp with cocktail sauce. Had a roast in the oven and potatoes boiling (for mashed potatoes) and was all set when they arrived.

Basically, adults hang out in kitchen and talk and drink and eat while kids are amusing themselves on computer and with video games on the tv in the living room. My sister-in-law brought some Rolling Rock Beer because she knew our refrigerator would be filled with darker brews that that. (Well, actually, mostly Killian's Red, but also some Sam Adams and some Guiness Stout.) Make gravy and mash the potatoes while we are talking. My daughter was working (salad prep for a restaurant) until at least ten pm, so there were eight of us for dinner. Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas (very popular with the kids), and a nice salad (romaine lettuce with cucumber and scallions and peas and radishes and tomatoes). My sister-in-law brought a delicious dessert.

Nancy had rented two movies -- My Favorite Martian and The Other Sister. -- Mostly it was the adults watching the movies. My younger niece joined us for the first one and then went off to the computer in the kitchen; her older sister was with my son on the computer during the first movie and then joined us to watch the second.

We stopped the movie a few minutes before midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square... and were annoyed to have Clinton forcing his way into the spotlight by picking that time to address the nation with a series of platitudes and cliches and political nonsense... My daughter managed to join us about two minutes before twelve.

Happy New Year! Chamagne toast. My son had videotaped our celebration of the New Year, so we had to watch a playback of those few minutes, and then finished watching the final ten minutes or so of our movie.

I had turned my laptop on shortly before midnight. I have been running a Y2K countdown as a screensaver and I was curious about what it would do at midnight. It counted down -- three, two, one -- and put up a message box that said I had now reached the ominous year 2000 "Bye Bye"

New Year's Day

Slept in.... Usually, during a work week, I get up between 5:30 and 5:45 in the morning, and on weekends I might stay in bed an hour or so longer. This morning I slept until 9:40! I have had the past week off (regular holidays plus personal floater holidays) and have been sleeping in later and later, but I can't believe that I slept until that late. Yes, I know I didn't go to bed until past two a.m. (My daughter was hungry -- she had been working all night in a restaurant kitchen making salads; they fed the staff pasta primavera, but she didn't like that -- but she didn't want me to reheat any of the roast beef dinner she had missed while at work, so finally I made her some tomato soup. I kept her company while she ate and then we were talking for a while. When I finally went to bed I read a few pages of a novel before falling asleep somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m.... so it's not as if I've taken to doing anything as decadent as actually sleeping for eight hours, but it's going to be tough getting back to my usual schedule on Monday.

I've had a slight scratchy feeling in my throat yesterday and today so have been taking lots of vitamin C, etc. I had thought about starting the year with a five mile run, but also don't want to start the year off by being sick, so I scaled back a bit....

Nancy and I went for a brisk walk -- we enjoy walking together and have gone for a walk a lot during this holiday break -- we walk a lot during the summer in the evening after dinner when daylight lingers but mostly we can only take walks on weekends and holidays. We usually seem to go for two mile walks, but today we covered around three miles. When we got home I changed into running clothes and went out for a two mile run.

And that's my entry for January 1, 2000.... typed on my laptop because Nancy is using our main computer to prepare lessons for the coming week. I'll have to sneakernet this over later on and post it. I also want to reset the hit counter, etc. I hope to put up entries fairly often, but given the time constraints of working, etc., I doubt that many will be as lengthy as this one.

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