Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twenty Years have passed, Boy!

Twenty years have passed, Boy
But the memory still warms me
Wild Flowers in a Mason Jar

A couple of months ago, I received my HP 20 year long service certificate. Twenty years ago, I'd just left Singapore Airlines, where I had an Engineering job and had been having a good time cavorting around the aircraft hanger and within the aircraft airframes. I was about to start a new career, in systems support for business mini-computers. The internet was just a research thing back then, but we did have a connection and got a lot of joy from the text based, terminal based apps of the day. This was well before Andreessen & Bina created Mosaic, the browser that would later become Netscape, the browser that would mark the start of the consumerisation of the internet.

The Smell of Rain......
and the Warm Earth in his Hands....

JenMei, now just starting her second year in Stanford, was born 20 years ago.
We were driving a dark metallic grey Honda Quintet back then.
Home was a 2 bedroom Bayshore Park apartment for which we were heavily (but in retrospect, thankfully), in debt.
My home PC was a IBM PC XT Clone with green monitor and an add-on mouse that required a special ISA card (think jumpers, IRQs, I/O addresses). I remember buying the mouse specifically to try out Win2.x. All the other DOS apps I was using had little need of a mouse.

...his face was mirrored in the window
And his reflection flew across the moonlit land

The Song of the Month (which is a rather odd naming convention, as I've not been very monthly about my song posts) is John Denver's "Wild Flowers in a Mason Jar", from his "Some Days are Diamonds" album. There are many great lines in the song. But what I like best about it is how it builds images of a journey, and a look back to simpler times.

Were those really simpler times, 20 years ago? George Bush the Elder was president of the US, Gorbachev was leading the Soviet Union, Margaret Thatcher was PM of the UK, Corazon Aquino was president of the Phillipines, and Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister of Singapore. The Soviets were pulling out of Afganistan, fleeing fighters and weapons that were later turned on the providers of those very weapons. Salman Rushdie was hiding to save his life. Exxon Valdez committed major environmental carnage against the Alaskan coast. Solidarity joined in the Polish Elections and the country saw a non-Communist become the elected Prime Minister. Massacre in Tiananmen Square. Ayatollah Khomeini moved to the next world. Tim Burton's version of Batman hit the cinemas, with the oddly cast Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne. Aung San Suu Kyi began her house arrest that carries on till this day. Nelson Mandela's party took part in elections in South Africa, signalling the last days of Apartheid. And .........Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" premiered on Fox.

And so much has happened since then. We've said goodbye to lots of people who have left the physical world. We live in a different place. Our thinking has expanded & broadened. There's bigger geographic distances between family members. We've visited many new places and learnt new things. We have grown.
Twenty years have passed, Boy
But the memory still warms me

Wild Flowers in a Mason Jar


timmie poopy said...

hey daddy. one more thing happened in 1989. wallace and gromit had their first show, A Grand Day Out. So timmie was created! (yam yam he says.) Source: "It was his second half-hour short featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his quiet but intelligent dog Gromit, following 1989's A Grand Day Out, and preceding 1995's A Close Shave." -Wikepedia

i had a hunch, so i wikipedia-ed it:D

xingrencha said...

And Nov 1989 saw me finishing a short program at Insead, preparing to return home to S'pore when the Berlin Wall came down!

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