300 extension switchboard, similar to the one I operated at the
downtown Minneapolis J C Penney store
This time it made me aware of something else: the problem I have been having with my CD player. It skips, grinds, and won't let go of the CDs. Christmas music is without a doubt my very favorite music. My tradition is to start playing it on the afternoon of Thanksgiving and continue playing it until around January 15. No fooling. With my CD player on the fritz, what to do??? After our retreat, I headed to Best Buy. To the young man who greeted me inside the store, I asked, "Can you point me to the CD players?" "Do you mean 'Electronics'?" "Yes. That's right." To my surprise, the selection left a lot to be desired. Oh, I could have had a Hello Kitty model, or a slick, turquoise disc that resembled the hub cap on a car. Somehow I couldn't see either of them in my living room. I walked out wondering how I was going to solve this problem.
Oh, I know, there are the more modern gizmos - ipods, mp3s (not sure what they are), etc. But I don't think I'm ready for that.
I do know the big ticket items that have been a part of my past: B/W TV - we got our first one when I was in 2nd grade; a transistor radio - my brother bought me mine when I had to ride a bus to school during my junior year of high school. I still have it; my first experience as a switchboard operator - on a real, 300 extension switchboard at the downtown J. C. Penny store in Minneapolis; my introduction to computers - first on the IBM 1401 and a couple of years later on the Honeywell 2200. The computers were HUGE back then! They were housed in a climate-controlled room, having 4 tape drives - each the size of a large, free-standing food freezer, an 80 column card reader, a processor, and a high pitched printer - the reason I don't hear so well; a cassette tape recorder/player; a VCR, to be followed by a DVD player, and a CD player.
Oh, I have progressed with much of the new technology - such as the Inter-Tel switchboard which I operated at my last job. It had this new, amazing feature: voice mail! I'm even typing this on my laptop computer. But I may have to wait for the ipod until one of my grandchildren can give me instructions!
Last night my brother helped me pick out a replacement sound system for my living room. Hopefully, it will let me enjoy my library of CDs for a very long time. Some things are worth holding onto.