I'M 50 YEARS OLD TODAY!!  Thank you for all of the birthday wishes I have been receiving on Facebook, and the wonderful gifts that have come in so far.  April gave me a beautiful sweater, knowing that at my advanced age, I'm SUPPOSED to complain about how the rooms are always cold. Brrrrr!

The gift I recently gave myself was losing 105 pounds!  How much is that, when you think about it?  
It's an entire AMY BELL!  (Link)  With my friend & cosplay accomplice on my shoulders, I weigh 313 pounds again.

Those pounds are more fun than THESE pounds were, I tell you.

I feel healthier at 50 than I did in my 40's and most of my 30's.  More on my weight loss can be found at this link if you are interested.  CLICK HERE

And now, it's time for my obligatory, hopefully humorous but probably rambling LOOKING BACK AT 50 ARTICLE detailing the significant births & events that occurred on this date, and trivial-but-amusing things which colored my own half-century of life.  

And in deference to my advanced years, I have done it all in LARGE TYPE... at least, I think I did.  I have trouble with computers because I'm 50 years old, not 12.  ONWARD!!

On October 23rd, 1967 at 9pm in Illinois, I was introduced to Earth-- the 7th of what would be the nine children of Gerald & Frances Ross.  In my five decades of life, I've seen much come & go, sometimes replaced, sometimes just fading away.  A few  things brightened my life.  Others I'm glad ended.   I hope this look back on 50 years brings you a few nostalgic smiles.  

I share this birthday with these esteemed people.

Brian Ross-- not me, but the ABC News reporter. Same name AND birthday! (68)
Ryan Reynolds-- movie actor, some say we look alike.  Yes, senility is creeping in, it seems. (41)
Weird Al Yankovic -- comic song writer. A person once said we looked alike... ONCE! (58)
JOHNNY CARSON-- the undisputed KING and pioneer of late night TV.  (1925-2005)

Videotape:  It was officially born in 1951, but it grew up & died in my lifetime.  I never saw a Betamax-- only had VHS in my homes.  However, when I began broadcasting I did work in 3/4-inch video tape for editing in the late 80's.

Reel-to-Reel:  These were THE tech for decades when I began my broadcasting career around 1988 in Armed Forces Radio.  They were phased out in the 90's, but I still remember using one to 'save the day' when the new computer system failed and we needed to air  commercials.  We gots to get paid, so...TAPE, RAZOR BLADE & GREASE PEN TO THE RESCUE.

Pet Rocks:  A national fad, and an art class nightmare as a kid.  At least during rock fights you could see the googly-eyed smiley face on the rock that brained you.  We were GRADED on these by my Art teacher, if that's any indication of the quality of my education back in the 70's.

RUBIK'S CUBE:  Invented in 1977, it really took off in 1980 and was the fastest growing fad I ever saw.  I actually solved the Rubik's Cube, albeit with the help of a book that showed me how.     You can still find these in novelty stores, but the craze will never be the same as that wave that crashed into the USA in the 80's. 


Typewriters:  I learned to type on an IBM Selectric and even submitted a high school journalism test on an ancient manual typewriter (Mr. Nukala gave me an "A-").  Now, everything is keyboards & texting, but the QWERTY keyboard pattern lives on.  

Here's another extinction from the typewriter era.

The CENT symbol:  Maybe the reason people only use $ and not ¢ is that there is hardly anything cheaper than a dollar these days.  It's not even on most keyboards anymore.  Go ahead and check... I'll wait.  Now you have to use a code to get one "Alt 155."  

The ¢ used to share a key on the third row with @ before the uppity little @ became "at" in emails and got promoted to the top row.  

Poor little ¢ was put out to pasture.  For a while, you could use a typewriter's  'c' with an  'l' overstrike to do it, but eventually typewriters died off and anyway, no one needed ¢.  Yes, ¢ became a washed up prize price fighter whose better bouts were behind him.  This article says that it was computerization more than price that spelled the demise of poor ¢.  I still miss the little guy.  He could have been a contender.

TWO SPACES after a period.  In typing class, I learned it was two spaces at the end of a sentence, and one after mid-sentence punctuation like commas.  My fingers still can't get use to just one space, but that's what has happened.  I suppose that part of the blame falls on getting Tweets to fit into 140 characters-- which I liken to fitting garbage into a smaller trash can.  HEY, IT MATTERS!!!  AND GET OFF MY LAWN YOU DARN TWEETING KIDS!!
LAWN DARTS!  I grew up in a generation that gave sharp, pointy, hand-thrown missiles to children AND CALLED THEM TOYS.  I'm not sure, but I bet there's an ancient king or two that was slain by such things.

If BB guns could poke your eye out, Lawn Darts could IMPALE you like you were a slow, clueless vampire!  I survived, but can you really say anyone who survived Lawn Darts was 'the fittest' or just slightly less unlucky?

Well, if you have made it through these old man ramblings, I hope you've enjoyed this slow walk along my 50 years.   I've come a long way and have worn  many hats; soldier, airman, paratrooper, medic, broadcaster, armorer, cannon crew member, deejay, pizza delivery driver, janitor, telemarketer, courier, and even a guy selling sodas up and down the steps at Indianapolis Colts games.  

If money is an indication of success, then I'm kind of lacking there, but I am wealthy in the love of my wonderful family  and a few close friends.  I am grateful that I was raised by two of the most amazing, honorable, and loving parents.  They also became my trusted friends later in my adult life, and I have missed them  terribly since they passed on.  I wish they could see me now.  I'd like to believe that they can.

I have a career that I enjoy and according to some, I'm pretty good at it.  I've been to Europe and Asia, walked on old World War I and II battlefields climbing over relics.  I've jumped out of airplanes, and have seen many beautiful places in this world.  I've even PLUNGED INTO ICE WATER for Special Olympics-- eight times!  And I just signed up for #9! (link to donate).

Hopefully, I've made this world a better place with my service to my country and communities, and have helped more than I have hurt.

Finally, here's a big shout-out to my Magic 98.9 & iHeart Media team, and all of my listeners/blog followers for making this a great place to work.
That's a totally diet-friendly Apple Oatmeal-Zucchini muffin, fyi.  Very tasty.  

Thank you once again for the well-wishing on my 50th birthday.  As these lovely balloons from my sweet sisters, Sharon and Stacey say, HECK YEAH, I'M OVER THE HILL!  But I'm a biker-- and any bicyclist knows that it's the uphill that sucks and the downhill that's the fun part!   ~Brian

Brian Ross

Brian Ross

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