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Saturday 17th Feb 2018

Remember back in the Pleistocene era, when we just had touchtone phones? Around the time of 4800 BAUD modems? When Beta tried to rain on the parade of VHS, and cassettes were happening?

That was when a "portable" video camera weighed about 10 pounds, and rested on your shoulder, and long before the first batch of portable phones. Though, I vividly remember the first one of those I saw: it was huge, and sat in a giant cradle, plugged into a cigarette lighter, and looked as stupid in retrospect as those portable video cameras do today.

Well, for the past week I have been up in the mountains, at Donner Pass, near Lake Tahoe at around 7200 feet of altitude.

Meaning my cell service is, at best spotty; that is, we can maybe get one bar in our bedroom and the bathroom, but none in the living room or kitchen.

The truth is, one of the reasons I like coming up here is just that: that no one can get to me unless I want them too.

While we have no television reception, we do have TVs with DVD players, so this is the perfect place to catch up on Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad episodes without much distraction.

We do have DSL, though, allowing me to write and post and edit and follow the scores, and while I could probably subscribe to SiriusXM, and stream on our iPhones, or subscribe to MLB.com or NFL.com, I am just not that interested (I do get Extra Innings and Sunday Ticket at home).

Not that I don’t follow the scores when I am up here, but mostly just on-line or via MLB At Bat.

Since the Athletics are in the throes of a great pennant race with the Rangers, I have been following those scores to the best of my ability.

However, I don’t remember not being anywhere near where there was coverage of the NFL for the first weekend of the season.

In fact, I worked the Athletics/Astros game the Thursday the NFL season opened, so I missed that game, and got up to the mountain house Saturday afternoon, meaning no NFL Today or any of that stuff.

So, Sunday morning, I set my four rosters just by using the basics that MyFantasyLeague (and if you don’t know this great site, shame on you!) provides, winning half my games. Although the two I lost were simply because I did not trust my instincts, leaving Jordy Nelson on the bench against the Niners defense.

So, despite my somewhat deprived access to technology, I was able to set lineups for all my football and baseball teams and track their progress, or lack thereof, as often as I liked.

I did think about driving into Truckee, to the Blue Coyote specifically, to watch as they have food and 21 flat screens, but it just didn’t seem that important, and I don’t think the only reason for this is age.

Still, it did make me think of the early days of fantasy baseball, when I tracked games on CompuServe with the aforementioned 4800 baud modem. Back before there were commissioner services, when we had to download the weekly USA Today stats, American League on Tuesday, National on Wednesday, and have someone convert using a DB program (I think we used a product called Paradox) and we would get standings once a week.

This is a far cry from my being able to track pretty much anything I want up here.

Right now, it sort of feels like the best of both worlds, but it does make me wonder what we did way back in the dark ages, back in the 70’s when dial phones still ruled?

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