Whoda Thunk It?

About twenty years ago when you we laying around the pool looking up at the clouds and dreaming about what great things might come in twenty years you might have been thinking about hover-cars without tires and cures for cancer. Who would have ever thought that these things would be popular:
  • Premium Coffee Drinks: 20 years ago I had never even tasted a cappuccino much lest tasted one. And I used to be very happy with the taste of Folgers.. even the instant crystal version seemed okay way back then. Sadly those days of cheap caffeinated drinks have given way to very expensive brews and blends. I wouldn't touch that Folgers these days - unless you offered me some at your place of course.
  • Bottled Water: This one still amazes me. I remember having to buy bottles of water when I was in China in 1987 and thinking how lucky I was to live in a place where the water from the tap was clean enough to consume orally. Now I have a water filter on my refrigerator - even my ice cubes are pure. Sadly I still use the kitchen sink to fill up my glass.
  • Liquid Soap: Anyone remember the days when each sink had a soap dish that hosted a communal bar of soap that we all used to wash our hands? These days each of my 5 of my 6 sinks have their own liquid soap dispensers. I have to admit that I do like the feel of the Dial liquid soap that we use - and it is antibacterial as well!
  • Crocs: When I was growing up guys did not wear sandals and we called those rubbery foot things "thongs" (i.e. flip flops) that we mainly used in public showers. These days everyone wears Crocs (see image) - I have two pair of them. They are cheap.. after all most of them are made of rubber (mine have canvas or leather trim) and pretty functional. Even so I still see a lot of sandals and flip-flops out there.
What have I forgot? I know that there are other things that have surprised me over the past 20 years. Can you think of any other stuff?


  1. sometimes i marvel at how little the world has changed in twenty years. Agree with you on bottled water (we used to say Evian spelled backwards was Naive). The idea that everyone in the world needs to have their own phone with them at all times has come as a surprise.

    I still have confidence that Star Trek beaming will happen in my life time.

  2. I am rooting for the Star Trek replicator Ed.

  3. I'm constantly amazed at what is going on in the world of electronics and computing. We had a computer back in the 90s, but we had dial-up and could never imagined being able to go on-line with a device anywhere.

  4. Party lines went the way of carrying a little phone with me all the time.
    20 years ago there wasn't a little car that could parallel park itself(as shown in the commercials.)
    20 years ago we didn't have our own personal coffee brewers that do everything but wash the dishes.
    20 years ago i couldn't use a computer, let alone chat with someone in real time on FaceBook. What was FaceBook for goodness sake?? (:0)

  5. I love getting a pedicure....I didn't have an idea what that was 20 years ago.

    How many years did I roll my hair, and sleep in those painful rollers... Does anyone have rollers in their bathroom today?

    Like Photowannabe....What is the world was a blog, or a fb, and today I lost without them.

    Fun post Bob....

  6. Yes, it is a fun post! Microwaves - when we first looked at one in 1984 at Montgomery Wards, yes that was a large department store I couldn't imagine who would need a microwave.

    Department store - don't see them any more. Now they are malls, kiosks, shops, etc.

    I didn't see or touch my first computer until 1988 went I went back to college as a married man and father. It was all typewriters.

    Home Printers. Holy cow! I used hand cranked memograph machines to reproduce copies

    How about carbon paper. What a mess that was. Now we have laser jet printers, laser jet printer paper.

    Email, Instant Messenger, Yahoo, Google, unbelievable what we have.

    CD's? Heck my youngest daughter was married an in her early twenties before she ever held a " long playing (LP) phonograph record.

    What happened to the reel to reel and 8 tracks?

  7. VERY FUN post and comments! Reel to Reel tapes...oh my gosh that brings back the best memories of my father! He turned me on to rock and roll when I was 4 (The Beatles) and somehow had this thing rigged up to record me singing along with the Beatles on his reel to reel. Wish I still had it.

    Ooops, I got off topic. I can't think of anything to add that has not been said above other than my personal favorite: the iPod. If you would have told me 20 years ago I could carry around every single song I owned in my pocket to listen to whenever I pleased I would though you were high on wacky weed.

  8. Nothing surprises me but I probably would surprise you in that:

    1. I still drink the instant coffee stuff, every morning without fail... whatever happened to be on sale. Folgers, Maxwell House, doesn't matter. The stuff was called "Mountain Blend" this last time I went grocery shopping.

    2. The soap dishes with the bars of Ivory are still located at each of our sinks. That liquid stuff is way too expensive plus not real nice on the environment (via the landfill) when they're empty.

    3. I've never seen a pair of Crocs up close, let alone tried a pair on or owned a pair. Brand names of anything mean nothing to me. .99 flip-flops work good for us.

    I buy flour in 25# bags, make my own bread, don't have cable television, just got a cell phone a couple months ago, and once my computer kicks I probably won't replace it.

    But I like good whiskey, going dancing on Saturday nights at the roughneck joint around the corner, and read The Enquirer. So I'm not TOO out-of-touch, I guess. Just "down home" you might say. :-)

    Enjoy your Dial. :-P

  9. Thanks all for the great comments - this has turned out to be a fun post!

    I had not included anything electronic but wow has that world changed. Even a geeky one-time COBOL programmer like me never dreamed of disc drives that could hold a terabyte of information on a laptop. And flat screen HDTVs still impress me.


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