it wasn’t always this way

The other day in the Sprouts grocery store parking lot I saw a car with a sign promoting a business called Passion 4 Pets in the back window. I thought it might involve dog boarding, so as Terry and I were heading over to our favorite sub shop later in the day, with Terry driving, I looked it up in the Google app on my iPhone. Not that we are planning any overnight trips anytime soon, but I was curious. Turns out the place does provide dog daycare and boarding.

No big deal, right? We do this all the time. But we forget how recent such capabilities are.

Terry and I got (back) together in 1991. I was in Silicon Valley and she was in Orange County. We spent a lot of time commuting on the weekends. One time when Terry was up visiting me, I played her the marvelous Dave Frishberg song “Dodger Blue” when ended with the words

quoteAnd Juan Marichal was a Dodger too,
Even he wore Dodger Blue,
Los Angeles Dodger Blue.

That had us both stumped because neither of us remembered the famous Giant pitcher and Dodger rival being a member of the Dodgers. So using my DOS-based personal computer I went to Prodigy, the consumer-oriented dial-up service owned by IBM which tried to emulate graphics in a pre-Windows environment. I did a search. It turns out that Marichal was a Dodger the last season of his career in 1975. (Looking him up on Baseball-Reference.com today I see that he started two games with the Dodgers and had a record of 0-1.)

I couldn’t email Terry to tell her this. The Internet was strictly for the government and educational institutions; there was no consumer internet email. Terry’s company email was strictly internal. My small company had no email, except for an internal kludge using a CRM (customer relationship management) system. I had dial-up CompuServe, but that was no help, as Terry was not on CompuServe. Same for my dial-up MCI Mail account. Ah, but I could send her a fax at work via my MCI Mail account.

So I did. Much to the befuddlement of Terry’s office manager.

The things we take for granted today.



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