If 2017 has been any indication, we can expect a wild ride in 2018!

Gary Matheny
Posted 12/31/17

Christmas 2017 is in the books and 2018 is staring us in the face.I hope everyone has enjoyed time with friends and family, had way too much to eat and shared in receiving and giving of gifts to …

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If 2017 has been any indication, we can expect a wild ride in 2018!


Christmas 2017 is in the books and 2018 is staring us in the face.

I hope everyone has enjoyed time with friends and family, had way too much to eat and shared in receiving and giving of gifts to brighten the hearts of others.

My wife usually begins dismantling all the decorations as soon as the sun comes up on the day after Christmas, her reason being that the birthday celebration is over.

For several years, our children have come up to celebrate after Christmas Day, usually the next weekend, and it drives her crazy to have the decorations up that long.

Decorating the tree is not one of my favorite things to do. Growing up, I always got the job of decorating with my mom, then Brenda and I had to decorate her mom’s tree.

So, I usually sit back and watch as the capable hands of my special lady craft her magic into Christmas.

Oh, the holidays.

On New Year's Day, my mother would go to the hutch and pull out four silver dollars. She gave each of us boys one to carry in our pocket for the day. It seems that the superstition was, if you have money in your pocket you would have money all year. 

However, if you spent money on New Year’s Day you would spend money all year as well.

The dilemma I had was that if she gave us money and we gave it back to her, wasn’t that similar to spending money, meaning we would be spending money all year? 

The greens and carrots had meaning too, something about being lucky and having money all year, but I don’t think it worked for any of us.

Looking back as a child of the 1950s, the year 2018 was light years away.

Never did I imagine that the world would change so significantly.

Technology has taken the world by storm and everyone, even small, really small children can’t get enough of it.

I remember watching in the 1960s a show titled "Lost In Space," about a family traveling the universe with a crazy professor named Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith always was doing things to get the family in trouble. The favorite words of his robot were, “That does not compute.”

The spacecraft in which they traveled from planet to planet resembled a Ford Aerostar. I remember thinking how futuristic it looked. Today, those vehicle are obsolete, antique if you will, and seldom seen on the highway. 

Then, there was the cartoon "The Jetsons." I loved "The Jetsons" as a young boy. George Jetson worked for Spacely Sprockets and he would fly his spaceship to the office somewhere in the starry galaxy. 

His wife, Jane, would call him on their video phone and he would quickly make his way back to their home in the stars to be with daughter Judy, son Elroy and Astro, their beloved pooch.

Recently, a couple of old guys like me were talking about all this intriguing technology and "The Jetsons" came up in the conversation. We all agreed that the video telephone was indeed the most fascinating thing to us.

We must not forget shows such as "The Twilight Zone," "My Favorite Martian," "Star Trek" …. in a galaxy far, far away. 

And, there was always "Space Odyssey 2001," a really strange movie where we were first introduced to HAL, the computer that went rogue and turned against Bowman, the human, in their race to Jupiter.

Today, we video conference, talk around the world on cellphones, talk into our car radios, and use FaceTime or Skype.

A scene from "Back to The Future, Part II" showed Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, doing a video conference with his boss on his big screen TV. Now, how cool is that?

While we are looking at things of a technological background, the entertainment industry with movies like "Star Wars" definitely comes to mind. The things they can do with cinematography!

Oh, technology and the things it does for us. 

I love the FaceTime option on my iPhone. It allows me to visit with my grandchildren whenever I, or they, wish.

At one time, I was able to remember telephone numbers as easily as my birthday, but with speed dial and Siri that doesn’t happen anymore.

I simply say, "Siri ..." and tell her to call someone and she answers in her most sensual voice. She calls, and says the name of the one I requested.

We have alarm systems on our homes that transmit the video to our cellphones, allowing us to see who is at our front door, no matter where we are.

It seems that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens at home, well,  we know about it immediately.

We store things in the cloud. We have megabytes and terabytes. We can listen to one radio station as we travel across this vast land of ours, and never lose the signal.

I read recently there is a micro-pill that can be swallowed to check the health of a human organ. When it completes the mission, it exits the body.

No, I won’t get graphic on this one.

I am anxious to see what the year 2018 holds in all areas of our lives. However, take time to spend with your family.

May the force be with you!


(About the writer:  Gary Matheny is retired after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry.  Now a Cleveland resident, he is the author of two books: "If The Shoe Fits" and "The Bullet." He also writes a popular blog, "Life Happens." Email him at and follow him at his website


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