More certain is, as far as I'm concerned, it's the 10th anniversary of the Internet. By that contentious phrase I mean a decade ago, humor writer Dave Barry had a common ordinary mishap, sending what he meant to be an e-mail to Usenet instead ... specifically, to alt.fan.dave_barry, which didn't know he was reading the group. The results were explosive, and the references in his columns and books to ``2038'' and to ``Chuckletrousers'' are among the fallout. Some of it's described in Dave Barry In Cyberspace. That was, to me, the moment when the Internet stopped being a nerdly plaything and became a forum in which anyone, famous or obscure, could step out and make a fool of themselves.
Barry's not in his fan group anymore, but neither am I really (though another group in-joke I helped breed still shows up, in endless squirrel mentions). There are still stunning connections available. My most recent highlight, I think, was when Larry Gelbart, creator of M*A*S*H the TV show, chuckled at a joke I made. I mean, Larry Gelbart, he wrote for Bob Hope, for Sid Caesar, for George Burns, he wrote the episodes ``Five O'Clock Charlie'' and ``The Incubator'' and ``Deal Me Out'' and ``Crisis'' and ``A Smattering Of Intelligence'' and many more, and he found a joke I wrote worth a chuckle. I shouldn't be infatuated by celebrity, but it's neat being able to touch Bill Amend or Mark Evanier. I missed the chance to say something nice to Larry Linville, but anyone could have. This Internet thing is really neat, when you give it half a chance, isn't it?
Trivia: Among the principles of life of Amos Eaton, founder of American geology and of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: ``When I felt the least degree of giddiness, I stopped my studies instantly for an hour or two, however I might be occupied. I would then walk about or converse with idlers.'' Source: Troy: A Collar City History, Don Rittner.
Currently Reading: The Collected Works of Paddy Chayefsky: The Television Plays, Paddy Chayefsky.