Andrea, Cartoon, Twitter

Banana Chips and Brake Lights

Trouble comes in twos. After finishing up my day at work, a handy bag of banana chips by my side, I pop one last one in my mouth and turn to start packing up to head home. Suddenly, my stomach siezes up in a knot of pain. I slump back in my chair, wondering I'm going to hurl or if the feeling will pass. I wait. It doesn't pass quickly. I eventually decide I'm not going to vomit, so I attempt to get back up and make my way home, where there is a comfortable couch waiting for me to stretch out on.

I reach my car, open the door and unload everything inside. I slump behind the wheel and sit for a moment, wondering what the heck I could have eaten or drank that could be causing the problem. Shrugging, I turn the car key in the ignition and.. nothing.  Nothing happens. No starter motor, no whine of a dying battery -- not even a simple click, dashboard lights. Nothing.

I decide that I have legitimately earned my sad puppy dog status at this point and call my wife, Andrea. She is in a generous mood and willing to drive down and give me a jump. Excellent! While I am waiting, I call my friend Zoe who is a specialist in bacterial research and knows all the warning signs of green meanies like E.Coli or food-bourne Staph. I describe my symptoms. She doesn't think it's the banana chips. I glare at my fountain drink I got at the local deli. My wife arrives.

Quickly, I get my car jump-started and we proceed to drive home. At the traffic light near my house, I get a phone call. It's Andrea. She says, "is your parking brake on?" "Uh, no.." "Well, your brake light has been on since you left the building parking lot." I ponder this as I pull into the driveway of my house. I turn the car off, and sure enough, my brake lights are still on. All three of them.

Sighing, I start troubleshooting. Parking break? No. Regular brake? Nope. Headlight setting? No. Ok, so there's a problem. I decide to pull the taillight fuse and send it to the shop next week. I pull the fuse. Still lit. I pull more fuses. No change. I scream.

After a few minutes of pondering, I decide to disconnect the battery. Finally, this seems to have killed what I now realize are evil, posessed glowing demon's faces attached to the back of my car.

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Andrea, Cartoon, Twitter

When I started using the Internet

When I attended college, the computation center had internet-connected Sun workstations. There I first began to use telnet, FTP, gopher, IRC, and Usenet.

Soon after I subscribed to an ISP at home and got a dedicated phone line. This was around 1990.