You’ve come a long way, baby

In 1981, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner tried an experiment – they put their newspapers online.  This peak at a year where Reagan had just started his first term as President and AIDs was just on the horizon is definitely worth a look.  I particularly enjoyed the KRON-4 anchor’s dismissal of online news at the end of the segment.  My high school (I was a freshman at the time) had one of the dial-up modems shown in the piece – where you actually put your handset into a piece of equipment that read the electronic beeps coming out of the earpiece.

Enjoy…and Happy Friday!

1/29/09 4:20 p.m PT: Perplexed?

Palo Alto, CA.  1/29/09 4:20 p.m.: upon finding out that I have to replace my catalytic converter for my 8 year-old 4Runner.  The dealership quoted me $3,500.  Does anyone have ideas around replacing it?  I did some online research and it seems I can buy the replacement part myself for about $200, but how do I install it?

Fag: is it a word anyone can use?

James Hipps from Gay Agenda took on a morning radio show host today over the DJ’s use of the word “fag” in his broadcast (James was listening in his car while driving and phoned in).  His email to me sums it all up:

“I got into it with Bubba the Love Sponge (a nationally syndicated radio show host) over the use of the word “fag”.

Check out the recording of it.  It gets really heated…to put it mildly!”

Listen here.

I personally have not heard the word “fag” used in any positive context and as James says in the call, it’s use is usually accompanied by some gay person having the living shit beat out of them.  Bubba should have just apologized and let this go but for some unknown reason (probably ratings), he tries to talk his way out of it by affirming that he is “pro-gay.”  I’m sorry – just because you are straight and support gay rights does not give you the right to use the word.

Sorry to sound preachy but there are certain words that I associate with hate and “fag” is one of them.  And it deserves no place in anyone’s vocabularly.

We need a new definition of family

Buttars’ committee kills first gay-rights bill – Salt Lake Tribune.

It sours me that we continue to view the definition of family in this country as Dad (man), Mom (woman) and the 2.5 children they typically produce.  I don’t know about you, but I define my family quite differently.  A same-sex partner and a scattering of friends with whom I talk every day comprises “my family.”

While a majority of families that you know live within the traditional definition, how about the families comprised of an elderly grandparent and loving grandson or granddaughter who takes care of him or her?  How about the struggling single mom raising three kids on her own due to an absent (or deadbeat) dad? Or what about the two moms down the street that have lived in a relationship for 17 years and are raising two healthy and well-adjusted children?

I know I am beating an old horse here.  It’s just that having a new President who is progressively making change only amplifies for me how far behind we remain in civil rights for the LGBT community. I know we have made strides; I also know that I shouldn’t worry too much about setbacks in Utah.  I’m just impatient (one of my Capricorn qualities).

Just my daily rant.

Never stop fighting.  Like I’ve always said with quitting smoking – “never quit quitting.” At some point, you actually do quit.

25 Years Ago This Week

I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was the summer of 1984 and I had just graduated from high school.  On my way to Dartmouth, I was perusing the large packet of information sent to me to prepare for college life.

When I pulled out the brochure for the Macintosh, I knew that I just had to have one.

While Dartmouth didn’t require all freshmen to have one, it highly suggested it.  I told my parents that I needed a computer and they looked at me like I had just flown in from Mars.

“We can’t even afford to send you to college – what makes you think you should buy a computer?” my father asked me.

I looked at the computer and just imagined having it on my desk.  MacPaint looked amazing, and the thoughts of ditching my Brother electric typewriter thrilled me.  I checked off the box to include the Mac in my financial aid package and the rest is history…

I remember when the trailer truck pulled up during orientation week and we all were in line to receive the new 128K Mac.  The campus was stream of students carrying large white boxes with the contemporary “painting” of the Mac on its exterior.  We rushed to our rooms and unpacked them.  I played with MacPaint and drew a bird. I couldn’t wait to write my first paper.

Those first machines did not have a hard drive.  The system files and programs all lived on a 3.5 inch floppy (also a new technology at the time), so if you wanted to use MacWrite, you had to insert a disk with MacWrite and the system files.  If you wanted to use MacPaint, you would insert another disk with the system files and MacPaint.  I took it home over Christmas break and amazed my friends with the new technology.

I think it was sophomore year that Dartmouth wired our rooms to the college network.  We were able to send email – except didn’t know why we would need to.  We could even instant message over the XYZ network.  Students could stop off at any computer terminal on campus and message friends if they were online and signed in.  We used it to track our crushes through Baker Library.  The network also allowed us to print papers at Kiewit – I remember stumbling across campus in 14 below degree winter weather to pick up my paper that sat amongst hundreds of others waiting for us to claim them.

I upgraded to a MacPlus in 1988 with an external hard drive.  When I entered the working world, I moved over to PCs exclusively and did not own another computer until 1999.  It wasn’t until 2006 when I bought my first MacBook, and since them have upgraded to a MacBook Pro (on which I write this post now – on the train between Millbrae and San Francisco).  Yes, I grew to love my MacBook.  I also have Apple TV and two iPods.  Times have indeed changed.

Thanks, Apple, for the Mac.  Happy Anniversay and Steve, be sure to get well soon!