The Changing of the Decade

It’s hard to believe, but it is almost 2010. Ten years ago, Bill Clinton (D) was President of the United States. 9/11 was just a date, and hadn’t yet been indelibly linked to a horrific act of terror. We were all worried about the ‘Y2K’ computer bug destroying the universe, but the stock market was doing great and the Internet was the new, happening thing. Our computers had megabytes and megahertz, not gigabytes and gigahertz. iTunes and the iPod didn’t exist. Mac OS X and Windows XP hadn’t yet been released (I was running Windows 98 at the time). I had a cell phone, but had just gotten it recently and it didn’t have SMS, MMS, email, Internet, or anything except for basic voice capability.

I was a high school senior and active in the Lane Memorial United Methodist Church youth group. I don’t think I had decided for sure where I would be going to college—I was considering Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and George Mason University (GMU). I was working part-time for the Atlantic Mutual Corp. as a web developer, but was pretty sure I didn’t want to do that for a living. I started my first really serious romantic relationship on New Year’s Eve, exactly ten years ago this evening.

Things have changed a lot since then. George W. Bush (R) narrowly won the Presidency and served two terms before the U.S. elected its first mixed-race President, Barack Obama (D), last year. Terrorists killed thousands on 9/11/2001, launching us into war with Afghanistan and—later—Iraq. North Korea became a nuclear power, and Iran is well on its way to doing the same. The dot-com boom busted, then the market recovered, then it crashed brutally again last year. The U.S. government spent trillions on bailouts and buy-outs and ‘stimulus’.

I picked GMU and got a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration. I moved out of part-time web development into part-time media relations, then right back into web development (where I remain) as my full-time career. I started dating my best friend Melissa in November 2001, then married her in May 2005. I stayed active with the United Methodist Church. I built up my personal web site from a tiny Internet outpost into this sprawling site you see today. Some friends have come, some have gone, and some have stayed constant. I’ve been through four cars, three computers, two dorm rooms, two apartments, seven cell phones, two iPods, and who-knows what else. I learned to like coffee. I learned to shoot and bought my first gun, then several more.

This last year especially has brought about many major milestones and changes in my life. Melissa and I left the United Methodist Church and joined the Roman Catholic Church. We bought our first house. After five years with Plexus Scientific Corp., I left for a new job with Network Solutions. Why make one major life change when you can make three all at once, right?

So what’s on-deck for 2010? Good question. Whatever happens, I’m sure it will be interesting.

I wish you all a very happy, safe New Year. May God bless you in 2010 and beyond.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.