Leave it to Beaver

stickbl4I was just thinking about growing up in Fresno. As with every generation even I compare my upbringing to how kids are being brought up these days. I remember my parents and grandparents doing the same thing to me and my friends. At this moment I can’t remember much about what they said besides the fact that we kids were spoiled and we have so much more than they had. The usual rant from grandparents seems to be ‘when I was a kid I used to walk to school, up hill in the snow, both ways’. My parents would say ‘you kids have all the best toys, video games’ and whatever else we had that they didn’t. Now, I say these kids don’t get to think about a damn thing. They watch the TV for their opinions, they download porn to form their ideas about sex and are interrupted in the guise of being protected by their pansy ass parents from experiencing mistakes they might have a chance to learn from. There still might be a difference between the have and have-nots since some kids don’t have computers, video games or parents that want them to lie around the house. Some kids still get to have adventures in their neighborhood.

Compare how kids play baseball today in contrast to how we used to play baseball. Today kids get a RIDE to a nice green baseball diamond with a backstop, bat and ball and everything. If mom or dad don’t give them a ride so what, they just turn on EA Sports baseball on the Xbox. This is what it took for us to play baseball: we had to each go digging in each other’s garages for something that resembled a bat. Sometimes we had a wiffle bat that wasn’t too damaged from being run over by cars or our bikes or chewed up by the dog. Otherwise a broom handle worked just as well as long as we had a couple so moms wouldn’t notice. Once we ‘modified’ the broom mom couldn’t use it again. IF we found a bat the next problem was finding a ball. These were difficult to come by since we constantly lost them by hitting them in trees, in sewers or to total destruction. We knew better than to walk inside and ask for a couple bucks so we could WALK down to the store to buy a ball so we learned that a sponge wrapped in tape did just fine. Again, we ‘borrowed’ from mom’s collection of sponges and went back to the garage to find a good sort of tape that could take a beating. Electrical tape worked the best but we had more ducted tape lying around so we usually ended up playing with an awkward gray ball-like object. The ball would sometimes rip and would require more tape so after a few games the ball got way too big and heavy which required some backup sponges for new baseballs. So now we had the ball and bat. We didn’t even think about getting mitts for everyone and we drew the bases out on the street in chalk which needed to be retraced often. Play ball!! And watch out for that car!!!

Let’s compare how the kids today play street hockey. Today kids get their parents to buy hockey sticks, roller blades, and again drive them to a nice park where there is a rink just for street hockey with goals on either side. WE never even thought about playing street hockey. Do you know what a hockey stick costs?? Neither did we but we knew it was more than the couple bucks we couldn’t get from our parents for a baseball. We did play street hockey a few times though. Here is how it went:

One day when the street was littered with garbage anticipating one of those big garbage pickups, we saw a tree lying in the street. Bored out of our minds as we sat on a curb outside our homes and while waiting for a good idea to come to us we envisioned (more like a hallucination) hockey sticks in a that tree. It was a short discussion because we never had the opportunity to play hockey before. Off to the garage to find the saw that would craft our hockey sticks. The sticks turned out to be all awkward but since we made them ourselves there was no use letting that stop a good game of hockey. As usual another problem was the ball or in this case the puck. At first we did try a racket ball but the damn thing was way too bouncy and couldn’t be reasonably controlled. We needed something different and I am sure it was my brother who had a perfectly good pack of bubble tape. For those kids out there who don’t know bubble tape looks like a hockey puck. My brother distributed all the bubble tape to the players and fans (sometimes other neighborhood kids would show up to watch). We then took the container put some rocks in it and taped the edges all the way around the side with electrical tape. We used the garbage cans for goal posts; couple from one house and a couple from another. We didn’t know what rollerblades were and roller-skates were out of the question. Nikes worked just fine. The games didn’t last long for two reasons; we ended up breaking the puck somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour and most of the sticks weren’t long enough so we got tired of playing the entire game running around constantly bent over.

The difference between our parents and us is I think our parents envied us for having the things we had and what seemed to them to be a more convenient life. I, like most people my age don’t envy the kids these days. I rather, feel sorry for them. We had the sort of freedom that caused us to see everything differently. We didn’t make due with what we had; we made what we had better and used it in ways only kids could imagine possible.

Mind Space

Earth_s-Solar-systemOf all the ways to measure something time as we know it is going to be the most inefficient way to measure the distance between events. We put our entire mortality in a length of time. We scale our intelligence and maturity by it. I am sure that most of us have had a health issue that we related to our age by saying something like “I am not old enough to have this happen to me”. Some of us have said something like “When I get to be [of such an age] I hope I don’t get cancer or alzheimers”. If we were to take the linear aspect of time away from our experience we might expect to realize the same day over and over or we might be able to realize that a day is an event that doesn’t relate to time but a turn of the moon which rotates around the Earth which also turns as it rotates around the sun which also turns. We have all been conditioned to believe there is an appropriate time to sleep and be awake. My dogs don’t seem to get it but how can they, especially when they still haven’t gotten around to realizing the ass licking thing should not be done while company is over.

I am not going to lead into a rant how time is useless or ineffective because it is nice to have a measurement to determine when things will happen so we can know when to show up for movies or when we can leave school and avoid detention. (remember I only made it to High School)

I am also not talking about how we take human years and dog years and prorate dog years so we can compare us to them. Who needs to relate to their dog that much?

Back to what I was going on about the Earth and revolutions. Lets recapitulate: A good place to start is with a year. The year is 12 months which is usually 30 days half the time, 31 days the other half and 28/29 for some reasons I don’t know for one month. But at this point you can see how inefficient and we haven’t even gotten to the complicated part yet. Then we have 24 hours in a day (one revolution of the Earth) which breaks down further to 60 minutes per hour and another 60 seconds for each minute. The point I am going to make will be leveraged off the revolutions of the Earth and not in the minutes of our days.

Most of us realize an entire year when the Earth travels around the sun once which breaks down to 365 Earth revolutions before we start celebrating again. Now consider having been on another planet. The entire Earth calendar is not going to work. The most practical planet to live on besides Earth is Mars at this point which is much smaller. A smaller planet means shorter revolutions (days) and it is farther away from the sun (longer years). If people were to populate another planet would they actually age slower because of the long year or faster because of the shorter days?? Of course not!

What it really comes down to is the phenomena of time is over rated and use to gauge too much more than a measurement between events. We use it to indicate what illness we might be expecting even to the point of when we might find it reasonable to contemplate death. How many 20 year olds have a will??

Of course this is an over simplification of the subject as I have other shit to do. Just thought it might be interesting to go over as I find another way to put this in better perspective.

Check back often as I might have better answers to the problems of time.