Thursday, March 16, 2023

We're So Spoiled

Vinyl Record
A while back I got a song stuck in my head. The only line I remembered was "There'll be one child born to carry on, to carry on." So I googled it. I found out that it's a song called "When I Die" by Blood Sweat & Tears. (The song came out in 1968.)

I clicked on the YouTube link in Google to hear the song. And I heard seemingly random pops and clicks in the recording. Being an older fellow, I immediately realized that the YouTube video was recorded off a vinyl record and the pops and clicks are what vinyl records develop if they aren't cared for lovingly. And maybe even if. And we used to put up with it because that was the only way to enjoy music other than listen to the radio (where you didn't have a choice of what to hear).

Later cassette tapes came out but they had "tape hiss." And, yes, I'm ignoring 8-tracks.

I remember when CDs came out and I first listened to them and they were amazing. No pops and clicks and the music was as clear as anything. The first CD I bought was Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits because it had "Money for Nothing" on it. I also bought it on cassette so I could listen to it in my car.

CDs lasted a good long time (maybe 20 years or so) before digital music came out on iPods. Now we can download music or stream it. But it all sounds good compared to what we used to have. We are spoiled these days.

And yes, I know, some people are going back to vinyl. Don't as me why.

Do you remember vinyl records? Or 8-tracks? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Name, Image, Likeness

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has, in its wisdom, allowed college sports players to market their name, image, or likeness (NIL) for money. This is a big change from before when the NCAA wanted to protect the amature status of their players to the extent that buying them a round of golf or giving them a fruit basket was enough to get the University of Washington Huskies into trouble for "recruiting violations."

The NCAA is, for some reason, the unquestioned, all-powerful leader of all college and university intercollegiate sports. Never quite understood why.

Not sure how much I like this NIL stuff. One Gonzaga University basketball player has done multiple ads for a Spokane Indian casino. The ironic thing is, Gonzaga is a Jesuit school and the player is working with a casino.

I suppose this is a way for players to make a little money. But in some cases, it could be a lot of money. Just depends on how marketable the player is. I've heard of college sports players hiring agents for this purpose. 

Also, for years the NCAA and the universities/colleges have used the players' NIL for promotional purposes without compensation to the player. Now maybe they will have to.

But I see large possibilities for abuse and exploitation of young students. This is an experiment that will have to be borne out.

How do you feel about NIL? Does it worry you or not? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Kids These Days

I recently visited my smart, cute, amazing grandson who is three years old. And I marveled at how he knows how to use a tablet computer and to ask his father to play the "soundtrack" from a movie (because he likes the songs but the movie itself scares him). His father can pull up lots of kid-friendly videos on YouTube on his television, too (apparently there's a kids' YouTube; who knew?). 

And I thought about when I was three years old. Now, I don't specifically remember much from when I was three years old (except the John F. Kennedy funeral that I came across one day on television and thought it was a boring parade). But I do know that my electronic entertainment options were two black and white television channels. I lived in a rural area of Idaho and there were, literally, only two channels. (This was long before cable television.) I think we had an antenna on the roof, not rabbit ears.

And I, as the youngest, was the remote.

We did, occasionally, get to go see a movie at the theater. Disney movies, mainly. I didn't know what a "soundtrack" was until I bought the soundtrack (on two vinyl records) for Star Wars.

We had two channels until early 1970s when we got a PBS station. Then in 1976, we got a third commercial station. Cable television came at about the same time. I remember my parents being unhappy that HBO was going to show R-rated movies. My thought was, "Don't get HBO, it's an extra cost anyway."

My parents didn't get a color television until about 1968. Computers? Tablets? Smart phones? All many decades away. 

Kids today are growing up in a completely different environment than I did. They have access to all sorts of thing both good and bad. Parents need to keep an eye on what their kids are doing.

Did you grow up under different circumstances? Which did you think was better, then or now? Let me know in the comments below.