Posts Tagged ‘community’

It was the 1980’s and it never occurred to us that we were on the vanguard of a new movement. The idea that we could suddenly do a very rudimentary form of communication and commerce over the latest invention, the ‘internet’ was an idea we picked up on instinctively. Trisha became active in a ‘cyber world’ called ‘Bulletin Boards’, originally reserved for scientists and military…a messaging system that predated email and the World Wide Web, communicating with like minded persons over painfully slow dial up modems that squawked and screeched for several minutes while chewing through the ancient bandwidth of crude telecommunications technology of the time before connecting. The term ‘digital nomad’ wouldn’t be invented for another twenty five years. People thought we were mad for even attempting what we’d embarked on.

‘Graphics’ at the time meant ‘graph’….not pictures. But, we instantly knew how the new medium would free us from our standing constraints….I could still conduct my business in the financial world and we could home school our child through British Columbia Canada’s excellent and still nascent ‘Distance Education System’. The minute we realized how quickly we could cut ties to work, mortgages and schooling….we were gone. Trish would continue to build her own ‘Franken-machines’ from remote locations.

Initially the hardware and wiring we had to carry was enough to fill several large bags and when we went through an airport it looked as if we were moving enough electronics to set up a satellite relay. Thank God for miniaturization. The industrial step down transformer we carried weighed at least forty pounds. For a time my son actually thought we were spies and we still joke about that.

That was the 80’s and the ‘internet’ as a interpersonal communications medium was only a few months old, personal computing was something only a small collection of ‘nerds’ had access to…and like my super nerdy wife, built their own machines from parts gleaned at Radio Shack and a secret coven of back alley electronics stores and mail order. The latest conversations over BBB system were about writing the latest DOS code, floppy disk space, Kilobytes and a mysterious new invention called ‘a motherboard’. The personal desk top computer was years away from being commercially available.

the original digital nomad

the original digital nomad

End of Part One

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It’s summertime in the southern US and typical pastimes are blossoming in parking lots and empty spaces. Along with the traveling Mexican circuses and farmers markets there are flea markets, garage sales , lemonade stands and community BBQ contests. All theses thing signal summer time is in full swing. Memorial day was an expression of how deeply ingrained the military history of this country has effected the small streets and cul de sacs of small towns and city’s alike. The streets and front yards have been lined with flags for weeks. Nothing says America like Old Glory.

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Another standard feature is the fix er up car culture. It seems that in Texas everyone has been building an old car in their garage over the winter and the summer season is the time to get it out and let it shine for socializing and bragging rights . In Texas there are maybe a dozen or more car shows on TV…like Velocity, Car Chasers, Fast and Loud, Live Auctions, Wheeler Dealer, Girls Garage etc. The automobile culture is alive and well here in the Lone Star State.

 

When you come to a destination as diverse as the USA, try to get off of the tired shopping treadmill and the gaudy tributes that are so popular with the tourist industry. It’s the people that make the country so special. Take some time to get off the beaten track and see what makes America tick.

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As far as holidays go this is a big one…..Mexico and Mexicans everywhere get all gushy over flags and tribal relations on their one big day a year.  I don’t always agree with displays of nationalism….it brings out the martial fanatics and xenophobe’s …..but as long as it’s politically benign it can be a positive event for the community. The Cinco de Mayo festivals spill over with unpretentious unplanned family and food and that’s a good thing.  Today I will attend a chili cook off and a pickled quail egg eating contest…..sounds yummy right? Viva Mexico….!!

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