It’s been 35 days since you were born, or roughly 840 hours, or… well you get the point. There are a few things I want to point out to you so down the road when you read this, not that you have to, you have some idea of how far we’ve come (or not) and what life was like before you were able to remember.
You were born at a good time in our nations history. You narrowly missed having to live anytime under our former president (if you can actually call him that) George W. Bush. W, as we like to call him, was the worst President I have lived through (see for yourself) I hope you never have to endure anyone so incompetent at running a nation. So in January of your birth year, after 8 long years it all changed. We saw the first African American president sworn in to office and the end of a terrible regime came to an end. Barack Obama, brought promise of change and reform to the capitol and I sure hope for all our sakes he can deliver. I can’t say I agree with everything he has done thus far, but in contrast it’s like night and day (W being being the hour around 2:30 or 3:00 am when the night is at it’s darkest point). So hopes are high.
Being born an American is a great thing, make no mistake about that, but we’re certainly not perfect. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years and luckily right now it seems like that swing has a pretty efficient kick and pull to keep it going up. We have along way to go after W. Part of what W and his cronies did for us was start the “War on Terrorism”. There is far too much history for me to put into this post on that, but the short version is that W started an unjustified war in a country he had no business being involved with. Six years later we are still fighting that war and have started another one in a neighboring country, though that one falls into Obama’s pile of mis-steps. I can only hope that by the time you are reading this the “war on terror” will have run it’s course.
Luckily you were born, and will most likely live your childhood, in California. The state that everyone else turns their heads to. It’s like we are part of the US by default because we share the border, but Californians are a different breed. Now that may be totally biased, but at least in the Bay Area we tend to be a bit more progressive and liberal than a lot of other states. Though four other states legalized same sex marriage before us, Iowa being one of them, so maybe I should bite my tongue. I’m sure that by the time your old enough to care it will be legal here too. And then there’s our fantastic state park system, though in peril right now, we have a wonderful system of state, local and federal parks and open space. You will become great friends with the trees, ocean, lakes and granite that our state is sprinkled with. As long as we keep it protected.
You came to the world in the midst of what is being dubbed an “economic recession”, though in actuality it should be called “A bunch of money hungry bankers and investors who took advantage of the everyday person and brought not only our own economy but those of the world to a screeching halt, threw it in reverse and drove back down the road a ways until they crashed into the ditch all so they could make an extra billion or so dollars,” but I guess that doesn’t really fit as a news headline. Luckily the downturn in economic growth will have no affect on you, or at least I hope not. I know I said California was a great state just moments ago but we have some serious issues when it comes to balancing a budget and managing a state. So hopefully you don’t have to deal with large classroom sizes or closures of your favorite (or maybe not) state parks because of our de-functional state government.
On the day you were born, gas (maybe you will be using some sort of futuristic new fuel by the time you drive) was at $2.79 a gallon for regular. I suspect that if you are using the same petroleum we use today when you start driving it will run you about $26.99 a gallon (alright, maybe more like $6 a gallon but, I like to be dramatic). A gallon of (organic) milk is $5.50, give or take a few cents. Is it crazy that cow’s milk cost more than gasoline? A candy bar is about a $1, and you can still buy the daily newspaper for a quarter with the exception of Sunday, though newspapers may not even exist by the time you are interested enough to read them. The news will probably be podcast directly to your brain while you sleep so you wake up knowing everything that happened in the world the day before.
Growing up I always envisioned such a futuristic world that we would be living in. I’m sure this is, at least in part, thanks to cartoons like The Jetson’s and movies like Back To The Future (look on the hard drive, they’re bound to be there somewhere). I thought for sure by the time I called myself a “grown up” we would have flying cars and hovering homes and automatically adjusting jackets that can dry you in a matter of seconds. Alas, none of them yet, but maybe by your adulthood there will be (if not you might want to think about designing some of these things).
I guess now my job is to preserve this for you, so you can actually read it one day. It may not be until 2024 some time, but I will make sure you have the opportunity. I can’t guarantee that the video link will still be valid or that oil will still exist, but I am determined to keep this alive for you. So here’s to the virtual time capsule that one day you will read in utter embarrassment.