Sunday, March 17, 2019

Day 3370

I'm glad I saw Apollo 11. The film got mixed reviews, but I think that anyone who is old enough to remember the event will agree with me. This wasn't just a movie, it was a time machine. The 65mm footage of the launch itself was spectacular, but what struck me the most were all the little details that brought the sixties back to life. Everybody smoked back then. It was amazing to see how many of the engineers and technicians at mission control were smoking cigarettes and pipes. Each of the flight controllers had a black rotary dial land line phone next to their console. Reporters were calling in their stories using pay phones. Some were typing on small portable manual typewriters. The men had crew cuts and a surprising number of women had beehive hairdos. This is exactly the way it was. It's funny how modern I thought the world was when I was in college. Back then I couldn't have imagined the world we live in today.

You can forget a lot in fifty years. As I was exiting the theater, a couple of older looking guys were commenting on the film. "How old were you when we went to the moon," one guy asked. "I was 8," his friend replied. "I was 6," the other guy said. Good grief. I must be really old. I was in college when the launch happened. The guys ahead of me at the theater looked old enough to be retired and I was at least ten years older than them. I not only remember Alan Shepard and John Glenn's first flights, I remember Ham the monkey. I was pretty young at the time, but I even remember Sputnik 1 in 1957.

When I went to the theater this afternoon I realized I was totally out of the loop. The guy at the ticket counter asked me to pick a seat on a touch screen. "I can't just go inside and sit where I want," I said. "No," said the attendant. "You have to pick a seat first." I guess even going to the movies is done on your phone now. You can get your ticket and pick a seat in advance. That explained why some of the best seats were already taken, even though the theater was almost empty when I went inside. I was so confused that I ended up sitting in the wrong row. "But it says Row G right on my ticket," I said to the guy next to me. "No, this is a G-Rated film," he explained to me. "Your seat is over there."

Later today, I watched another short film on my computer called Seattle is Dying. What a contrast. Apollo 11 was an incredibly optimistic story about one of the greatest achievements in human history.    Seattle is Dying is basically a cautionary tale about how civilization is literally crumbling under our feet. I guess that's the difference between 1969 and 2019. I used to live in Seattle. It was a great place in the early 70's. Seattle used to be called the Emerald City because it was so beautiful. The city now has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Drug abuse and homelessness are out of control. Parts of the city look like a third world country. Citizens don't feel safe anymore. You wonder how things deteriorated so quickly. It's sad. No wonder I would prefer to live in 1969.

It was nice to have a break from the usual Sunday chores today. I didn't really miss going to the gym. I'll catch up on chores tomorrow. The only useful thing I did today was make some temporary repairs to the balky French toilet. I've discovered that there's a weird little rubber piston in the flush mechanism that causes the toilet to run if it gets dirty. Periodically, I take the piston assembly apart and clean all the parts with alcohol. This usually fixes things for a few months.

Dash had a good day. He was still as slow as molasses, but he really enjoyed his outings in the park. The weather was beautiful and there were lots of things to smell. I wish I could do a better job of keeping him from stumbling. I do the best I can and we're still walking, so I guess that's all that counts. I evidently didn't do a great job of cleaning him up last night when he pooped either. He still had a brown tail when I woke up this morning.

I promised myself that I'll get started on my taxes tomorrow. I don't always keep my promises though.

Allie is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day