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Things sure aren't what they used to be, are they? We were just at a yard sale at a local church this afternoon and we were amazed at the large collection of OLD things. There were old tools, old records, old clothing, etc. I even found some old Davy Crockett cards that I collected when I was a kid and Davy Crockett was my hero (before Mickey Mantle).

Ever since the expansion of the internet and everyone’s use of it (and even for many generations before) we've heard people say, "Things aren’t what they used to be" and "Life sure isn't what it used to be" as we recall the way things were in our youth. We know when we hear a car with its booming subwoofer go by shaking our car (and bones) we can't believe that this is what the new generation calls music! Life seemed so much simpler then. There was more time to do things. Even the rocking chair now seems extinct.

We suppose we could go on and on about how different things seem from what they used to be and we would get no argument, only added examples from everyone else's life stories. But it's how we react to those differences, how we deal with them, how we adjust that might make a little bit of a difference. Along with seemingly everyone else, we have become somewhat computer literate. We communicate via e-mail nearly every day. We have a running account with Amazon.com. We have purchased quite a number of things from eBay. And where would we be without GOOGLE? The computer has become a staple of life we would find hard to be without anymore. We get our movies from Netflix. We navigate our car with the help of Carmine, our Garmin Nuvi GPS. We listen to music using our iPods. We use our microwave oven more often than not. We order our theater tickets over the internet as well as pay many of our bills. We may not be leading the charge, but we guess we can say we've entered the 21st Century.

When we bought Carter-Creagh more than 13 years ago, it was the newest, shiniest thing out there and we were so proud of it. Carter-Creagh was even on display at the Catalina Yachts East Coast Rendezvous in Newport that summer. Even though we don't have the latest in electronics on board, we have updated it with an ice cube maker, a generator, a roller furling main, a 26-inch flat screen TV with DVD player and stereo audio system, a saltwater wash down pump, etc. We don't have the latest in C-Map chart plotters but we are on our 4th laptop computer with at least our 6th version of Nobeltec software for our navigation system. And we just had the latest in bottom paints put on, the Interlux Intersleek 900.

And that brings up our next topic, improvements. Things have gotten better, not just easier. We, among many other sailors, have become much more environmentally conscious. We care more about our earth, or are at least more aware of it and are doing things to help, like never before. We're trying to clean up the water and the air. We bought a Toyota Prius mostly for the purpose of using less fossil fuel to get us where we need to go. Our new bottom paint is not anti-fouling (and polluting). It is like a slick rubber glove that marine life has trouble adhering to.

And life has improved for many people over the years; it's not just easier. Just look at social relations in our country. Though we have a long, long way to go, life is getting better for blacks, Hispanics, Asians, gays and many other minorities who were much more oppressed only a few years ago. We are happy to think that this is real progress.

Even though we have twinges of nostalgia for the things of our youth, we recognize that the only thing that was better "back then" was that we were younger. And our memories fade as we get older – remembering all the good stuff and filtering out the pain. Yes, the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. And now in our later years, even with angioplasties, hip replacement surgery, medicine to help stabilize diabetes and pain relievers to help us deal with arthritis, life is getting BETTER and we hope that in some small way we have been a part of it.

In a couple of weeks we will be off to our 20th (?) Annapolis Sailboat Show to see what’s new and to have a great time with great friends like you. Then it's off to Florida for the winter and our new home in Venice on the southwest coast. Be well and be happy to be alive and part of the progress happening around us all the time. Happy sailing.

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Catalina Yachts • 21200 Victory Boulevard • Woodland Hills, California 91367 • Phone 818 884-7700
Catalina Yachts Florida • 7200 Bryan Dairy Rd • Largo, FL 33777 • Phone 727-544-6681


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