A tale of three voicemails

Update – Audio problem solved (I hope). Just click on the play button at the bottom of the text.  Sorry.

I have three sons, Channing, Cole, and Fallon, who as of this week are 13, 11, and 9, respectively. They are all bright boys, full of energy, and completely different from each other. You can see this even in their approach to voicemail.

Each kid goes to a different school and since this mountain we live on has never seen a school bus that means one of us (usually Mama) drives to three schools, dropping a kid at each. To coordinate all this, we thought it was important for every kid to have a phone — all Samsung Galaxy S5’s. Yes, I have Android children.

Cole (11) […]

A Tree Falls in Reston

yayaThere’s an adage I’ve heard repeated many times that on their deathbed nobody ever wished they had spent more time at work. Well last week right after telling me from memory her Social Security number and less than 24 hours before her final breath, my Mom did just that.

“I so enjoyed my career at the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” she said. “I wish I had worked there longer.”

My Mom, an economist and librarian who died on New Year’s Day, was a nerd.

She might not have identified herself as such, but she was definitely a nerd.

This lady took no prisoners. Ideas and words were important to her. Mastering concepts, too. At her dinner table you had […]

Cringely comes back from the dead… again!

Twain“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” wrote Mark Twain when his obituary prematurely ran in the New York Journal. I can certainly relate to that because it turns out I’m not going anywhere.

Regular readers will remember my pledge last year to retire from this rag and get the hell out of Dodge before all my hair falls out or I starve to death, whichever came first. Well something happened while we were all enjoying those 8000-word blog posts that constituted my serialization of Accidental Empires: I signed a contract with a major publisher to write a pretty significant book that I’m not yet allowed to tell you anything about.

While you might think […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 17 — Do the Wave

surf_board-legAnd so our two month retrospective comes to an end with this 17th and final chapter, circa 1996. I hope you have enjoyed it. Tomorrow I’ll be back to talk about the eBook version of this work as well as what I’ve been up to for the last eight weeks. It’s more than I ever expected… and less.

ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

DO THE WAVE

We’re floating now on surfboards 300 yards north of the big public pier in Santa Cruz, California. As our feet slowly become numb in the cold Pacific water, it’s good to ponder the fact that this section of coastline, only fifteen miles […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 16 — But Wait, There’s More!

MoreFive years after Accidental Empires was published in hardcover and four years after the paperback, we got a chance to do a somewhat revised paperback edition to go with Triumph of the Nerds, my Channel 4/PBS miniseries based on the book. Revision may be too strong a word, because all I was allowed to do was add two extra chapters at the end. This gave me a chance to catch up with some of the major characters, correct a few mistakes, explain what had happened in the intervening half-decade and — oh by the way — finally say something about the Internet.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

January […]