austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You'll never guess what happened today at the baseball game

I have a twin.

Not literally; for one, I've got several twins. These are people on the Internet who, by whatever process creates personalities, are strikingly like me. The Internet's ability to concentrate people by interests, regardless of place, brings me to them. One of them's uncannily close. For much of the 90s we kept going into a new Usenet group to find the other was there. Sometimes we found we'd joined almost the same date. I think we discovered once we'd both first posted to alt.fan.conan-obrien within hours of each other. (And like a day after one of the group's stalwarts first posted.) We even have birthdays the same week of September. One of the big reasons bunny_hugger and I are in pinball leagues are that she was fascinated by his live-tweeting his pinball league nights, and was primed to look for ones that might be tolerably near us.

We went like this for decades, Internet-inseparable but never meeting, since we happened to be in different parts of the country and had little reason to travel to another's. And then we were suddenly set to meet, in Pittsburgh, at a major convention in the David Lawrence Convention Center. No, not Anthrocon, somehow. At Pinburgh, the largest pinball tournament in the world. We hadn't coordinated plans. bunny_hugger and I had decided to go to the event for the first time this year. So did he. Of course we would. What else would make sense?

And then the plans suddenly shifted. My twin --- JIM, in competitive pinball --- asked if we'd want to take in a Pirates game the day before Pinburgh started. Might be fun but we didn't think we could set out early enough for that. We didn't want to have our pet rabbit away from home the extra day that would require; we weren't sure enough he could take the trip we had planned. He accepted this with good grace. A day later he asked just how close we were to the Lansing Lugnuts' stadium. We're in walking distance of the minor-league ballpark. Often we hear the fireworks from their Friday night games. He was going to be in Lansing, as part of a tour of baseball parks he was doing ahead of Pinburgh.

So our first meeting after twenty years of Internet twinship would come a couple days ahead of plans after all.

Trivia: Humans have about nine hundred genes with a role in detecting scents, but roughly sixty percent of them are too defective for any proteins to be copied from them. Source: Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World, Nick Lane.

Currently Reading: How The Post Office Created America: A History, Winifred Gallagher.

Tags: pinburgh
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