Category: Uncategorized

P.S. I Love You

IMG_3871 - 2014-11-02 at 21-07-20Growing up moving from place to place, writing and receiving letters meant a lot to me. I never was very good at it, largely owing to my particular brand of lazy perfectionism, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t moved when I found a friend’s handwritten words, heavy with meaning and intimacy, in my mailbox. And because I craved that joy of connection to another human being, I would eagerly scribble my own words in response.

Then email came along. And instant messaging. And Facebook. And then cheap and ultimately free long-distance. And my life started to look decidedly more grown-up and I found I had all the meaning and intimacy I could handle. Plus, writing letters takes time and I can’t seem to find enough of that as it is, and there is shit that needs to get done. So I don’t write letters at all these days.

I miss it. For one, I am tired of finding absolutely nothing worthwhile in my mailbox. Amazon Prime is nice, but online shopping does absolutely nothing to fill my postal void. More than that though, I miss putting a pen to paper and writing words for another person. With a handful of sentences I can surgically expose my mind to single trusted recipient. I miss seeing my thoughts take shape at my own hands. I miss the sharing, the openness, the softly-spoken vulnerability of a hand-written letter.

This isn’t to say that I resent social media or email. I am no luddite, and I love how the internet has dismantled distance and time. But nothing is an everything-tool, and I am interested in exploring what the humble handwritten letter can do that the mighty internet can not.

September 21, 2012 Date Nite Line-up

Sometimes we just stay in and share Internet findings with each other. This week I have a treasure trove for Melina:


Steve Jobs Resigns, Jarrett Kupcinski Reflects

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple Inc. today. That’s noteworthy for me because Mr. Jobs is one of my all-time heroes, although I didn’t always hold him in such high esteem.

My family’s first computer was an Apple IIc, purchased in 1985. It wasn’t my first computer experience (that honor goes to a Texas Instruments TRS-80), but it was transformative. I spent many hours on that machine, writing programs, playing games, writing school papers, and even making art. I learned about word processing, spreadsheets, databases, digital art, and desktop publishing. That was our family’s main computer until around 1991, when we upgraded to a Macintosh LCII. But that IIc still works as of this writing, and is in my brother’s keeping.

In those early days, I learned that Apple computer was founded by the two Steves. In fact, those were probably the first corporate personae that I knew of by name, and Wozniak was my favorite. How could he not be? He was a goofy nerdy guy who loved the Apple II’s, just like I did. He was Polish. He was the Woz. Supercool. Jobs was too… serious.

Fast forward to the year 2000. I was then teaching computer science, and a favorite part of the course covered the history of computers. I learned exactly how innovative and important Apple had been in the early days of the personal computer industry, and about Steve Jobs’ role in that innovation. He was serious, but I then recognized that was what made the Apple, and then the Macintosh, great. He was, apparently, also an asshole, but I was fine with that. My students just thought he was crazy. They probably thought I was crazy, too.

One year around this time, one of my students (no idea who) printed out a picture of Steve Jobs and drew devil horns on it. They cut this out and pasted it to the back of my inbox in the school office. It was, I’m certain, intended to be a malicious prank, but I saw it as high praise. I left that picture there for over a year. No other teachers got pictures of famous people pasted to the back of their mailboxes.

I currently use an Apple computer at work and at home. I own both an iPad and an iPhone, and the latter is rarely out of arm’s reach. I’ll admit that I’m a fan of Apple products, but that’s because they do what they do so well. And I recognize that while their success is the result of many individuals’ efforts, those efforts coalesced because of the vision of Steve Jobs. And my life would certainly be different if that vision was absent. Thank you, Mr. Jobs.

Further Proof That the Medical Industry Lags Behind the World

The fact that the medical industry relies so heavily on fax machines for communication is one pretty damning piece of evidence for the fact that the healthcare industry has advanced no further than 1985. But if you’re more visually oriented, here’ a little tidbit for you.

This is the image that Humana uses to identify its PPO product line in 2010:

Recognize it? Here’s the image that Microsoft used to identify its Office suite, circa 1997:

Of course, why you’d want to associate your product with anything as bloated as Microsoft Office, I’ll never understand.