Saturday, July 29th, 1995
Hello from a city that is even more obsessed with being the site of the 1996 Centennial Olympics than it was before we left. We got back in town about a week ago, and now that there’s less than a year until those wacky games, we are surrounded by evidence of ‘progress’ towards the time when..ahem..The World Comes to Atlanta. I’m not sure where we’re going to put the world up, but maybe they can camp out in our back yard.
The running joke/half-serious remark throughout are trip was "so, are you renting your house out for the Olympics?" Well, (consistently enough,) we have no idea what we’re planning to do. Will we be here? Will we just have a big party? Will we get outta Dodge? Uh…I dunno.
Four thousand miles on the new vehicle later, we’re back and rested from our vacation, and find ourselves quite busy (no big surprise here.) I’ve got one client that wants a fancy video by the time of MacWorld, which, let me check, is August 8th, and Sammy has to get her dissertation proposal in by roughly that same time.
We spent the lion’s share of that time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which, some of the time, was as hot as it was down south. That’s not usually the way it’s supposed to be, but since our planet is probably wobbling out of orbit, these are indeed the consequences. We shot a lot of high-8 video during the trip (I have trouble spelling it ‘Hi-8.’ I also don’t like ‘lite’ and ‘tonite’) and if I can get over to Bill’s for a short moment or two, I’ll put together some frames from the trip for your perusal and to test the image-clogging capabilities of your Internet connection.
Meanwhile, back in the unreal world, here’s what’s happening:
I discovered that one of my alma maters, Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont now has a web page, as does my old college radio station, the fine, fine WGDR, 91.1 in Plainfield. I went to school here for a short while (that would be until I ran out of money), but I have to say it had a lot to do with forming me into the arcane individual I am today. I understand there was a recent reunion of folks from my old radio days, and darn, I was Michiganing at the time. Many of these people have moved on to do some good work at places like NPR, WCVB in Boston, the Smithsonian, and, then, well, there’s me.
Other sites I’ve stumbled upon since our return include the very creative and very funny Harry Shearer, who you either remember from Spinal Tap or his LA-based radio show LeShow, but not both. Then there are the Emmy folks–people who give out the gold statuettes for fine television; they’ve given my friend Mark West more than one, and, boy, do they look cool in his living room. (I’ve only won pathetic local/regional versions.)
For Macheads of all shapes and flavors, I have to recommend the Quicktime and Quickdraw 3D sites from Apple, and for complete programmer types, there’s the MacTech magazine pile of cool sites. And hey, Byte Magazine has finally made the connection. More Jerry Pournelle than you can stand, darn near.
Nearly-live video sites continue to proliferate–check out two from L.A.–er, Beverly Hills.
Friday, July 7th, 1995
Hello from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where all the wind gusts are strong, all the fourth-of-july hot dogs are good looking, and all the Internet connections are long distance. Well, maybe not all of them, but the ones I can get access to certainly seem to be, especially when viewed from this small corner of the world, where, apparently, touch-tone dialing has yet to make its appearance. With a Powerbook tucked under my arm, I trek from my wife’s parents’ cottage across the road to our friends Doug and Ruthette, who at least have a phone. Then, because it’s my cheapest option at this point, my little machine pulse-dials Atlanta, and, long distance, Eudora fetches and sends email while we socialize across the kitchen table in their beautiful house.
The system works, and works reliably, but it’s not the kind of flat-rate connection that encourages you to spend a lot of time web-surfing. So I haven’t. Instead, I’ve been, yes, on vacation, and this electronic link with Cyberland is trimmed back to the minimum necessary for conducting business (because in the freelance world, one can never turn the switch off completely.)
If I get a moment in between all this recreating, I’ll try to give you a few thoughts about the value of computing in rural communities, especially up here where it gets very isolated in the winter months. Seems like living in the big cities we take modern telecommunications for granted.
Sammy’s father has started a fire in the woodstove. We’ll talk again soon, I hope.