The Truth or Dare Poll (for the record, now that everyone has had their fun...)

Subject: The Truth or Dare Poll (for the record, now that everyone has had their fun...)
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 16:34:55 -0500

First, congratulations to all. From the poll results curve, it appears that most people guessed correctly their age with respect to mine. And it is also clear that my initial assertion was correct: When I was in sixth grade, most of you were not yet born.

Second, the question I asked that started all of this silliness has still not been answered. I asked...

But while we're on the subject, when I was in sixth grade (long before most of you were born), I learned that when you borrow money you "make" a loan and the banker "takes" a loan. I wonder if those of you in the banking industry still use the words that way or if that usage is now totally obsolete.

So does anyone have an answer for me?

Okay, on to the trivia:

1. I remember:

Dumont television. Bendix washer. Laundry blueing. Cooked laundry starch. Milk in glass bottles with paper caps (home delivered, through a milk chute, and in small glass bottles at school, too). Moron jokes. Buster Brown. Hopalong Cassidy. Roy Rogers. Watch Mr. Wizard. Milton Berle ("Why is the television on the stove? So I can watch Milton Berle.") Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. Howdy Doody. Candy cigarettes, wax lips, Bonomo Turkish Taffy. Trolleys in downtown Cleveland, followed by the modern trackless trolleys (electric buses running on a catenary), ragmen driving horsedrawn carts on their routes downtown.

2. First paying job was as the system programmer on an IBM 1620 (summer before senior year in high school). Numeric machine language, SPS, Fortran with Format. 20K BCD digits. I/O via card reader/punch. Console typewriter was a B-2. (Wikipedia has an _awesome_ article on the 1620!)

3. JFK assassination was during my senior year. If you don't want to do the math, I was in sixth grade for the 1957-58 school year. Born in 1946. Just turned 59.

4. Things I've done, many for pay, some not, as near to sequentially as I can muster (listing only the first instance of each category to save space), starting in junior high school:

Copy editor
Math tutor
Systems programmer
Humor writer
Engineering programmer (7094 II at NASA, summer job)
Door-to-door encyclopedia salesman (and pretty good at it)
Cutter (steel plate)
Book designer
Paste-up artist
Programming instructor
Advertising copywriter
Advertising art director
Book editor
Newsletter editor/designer/graphic artist
Community organizer/trainer
Magazine compositor
Book reviewer
Landscape gardener
Warehouse helper
Deli counterman
Cheese buyer
Lithographer (camera work, stripping, platemaking)
Bindery hand
Certified organic vegetable farmer
Magazine columnist (vintage farm machinery)
Herbarist (raised herbs and dried flowers; manufactured potpourris, flavored vinegars, and decorative products; managed wholesale and retail trade)
Fry cook/grill man (one weekend a year, for the fire department fair)
Technical writer
Electronic publication specialist
Marcomm writer
Web designer/webmaster

And, of course, each of those jobs entailed learning a number of skills, most of which came in handy later.

Nowadays, I'm hardly doing any tech writing--just whatever comes in over the transom. Mostly I've been editing fiction lately.

Dick Margulis


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Pay or Repay a Debt?: From: Lisa Dugger
Re: Pay or Repay a Debt?: From: Martin Bosworth
Re: Pay or Repay a Debt?: From: Dick Margulis

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