Hello, and welcome to my blog!
That’s a phrase I never expected to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I spend as much time on the Internet as anyone (possibly more). It’s just that my relationship with technology is…fraught. My favorite video games are still Pitfall! and Pac-Man, even though they haven’t been popular (or common!) in decades. When friends move away, I joke that I’ll need a long piece of string to connect the two tin cans I’ll be using to phone. I’ve stayed away from Twitter and Facebook as a matter of course. (I’m grateful to the people who live-tweet their breakfasts with accompanying photos, because it takes some of the pressure off me.)
It’s not that I resent the shiny new gadgets in our lives; I just find that the older ones have a certain charm. This turned out to be an unintended recurring theme in my newly released book, Going Coastal. There, you’ll find an ode to the mix tape, a directory of Santa Cruz record stores, and stories about exhibitions dedicated to retro technologies. As the feature on the Hidden Heroes museum display and website points out, many old-school gewgaws (such as paper clips and earplugs) aren’t even outdated. They’re an integral part of our lives to this day; they’re just not discussed the way flashier objects are. In college, I was a devoted reader of the zine Beer Frame, edited and published by Paul Lukas. Dubbed “the journal of inconspicuous consumption,” it paid homage to such marvels as the Brannock device. (It’s what’s used to measure feet at shoe stores.)
So, please bear with me as I navigate my corner of cyberspace. I’m happy to have you aboard! Besides my blog’s birthday, today marks the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Tomorrow, I’ll share a few memories of that eventful day in 1989.