Today I was hunting for a box of winter shoes in our basement (yes, it is getting that cold in Minnesota). I didn’t find the shoes yet, but I did run across an old address book of mine from the mid-1980’s. Old numbers for my grandparents, Sally Bowles, even Peter Yarrow! Numbers for the Boston Computer Society, Foremost Computing, Bill Warner, and contacts at Apple and NeXT. Then I noticed what was tucked into a small pocket in the front of the address book.
I love the handwritten “sjobs” below the email address. That made me feel so special.
Today, it turns out, is the anniversary of Steve’s death. This is being marked by a video on the Apple site and dozens of stories in the media. What fun it is to discover, totally by chance, this small memento of my own of a visit from Steve long ago.
Last week I wrote about a visit by Steve Jobs to the Governor’s Residence. A couple people wondered about the source of the story, so I thought to search my email and I dug up the 2006 message that has a few more details. Here it is “for the grandkids.”
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 13:41:56 –0500 From: Eric Celeste To: [various family members] Subject: Remembering Steve’s Visit
I just got a call from an associate of a 15 years back, Deac Manross, who ran into Dick in New York this week. Deac had a story to tell about Steve Jobs’ visit to the Governor’s Residence that I thought you might appreciate.
Some of you may recall that Steve visited us for just one brief evening while Dick was Governor. I was a bit starstruck, so I don’t remember much more that Steve at dinner and Steve shooting hoops in the driveway, maybe some of you remember more. This was in the NeXT days before Steve’s return to Apple.
Anyway, Deac (who was a regional sales rep for NeXT) and Bob Longo (another NeXT muckity muck, though I don’t recall his title at the time) picked Steve up the morning after his stay. Steve apparently started talking about the “most incredible” experience he’d just had. He described how at dinner and then again at breakfast the family he’d just visited actually gathered around and talked with each other. Talked about what was going on in the world and in their lives in a way that was, I guess, novel for Steve. He then got quiet, and as Deac describes, got a bit of an “engineering” look on his face. Then he turned to Bob and said, “Bob, how did you find your wife?” Within six months Steve was married! (Note, he had a child earlier in his life, but not been married before.)
As Deac put it… “It would be a crime if your family wasn’t aware of how your ‘family values’ changed the heart of a Silicon Valley icon !! Who knows, maybe that’s what got Steve to do such great family films with Pixar !!.….….….and almost become chairman of Disney!! All because of the Celeste family .….….gives you something to tell the grandkids, eh?” A bit overstated, but it does make you think, eh?
So, I just wanted to share that story. As warped and twisted as life gets sometimes, and as much as our family has journeyed since then, we may have had a butterfly wing of effect on at least one life back then. Kinda nice!
I’ve got to say, I fell off the pop bandwagon long before Lady Gaga came along. I find it hard not to see her as a derivative of Madonna, and when I first hear the song “Born this way” that’s exactly how I responded. The video is even stranger than that, another stage beyond the shock of Madonna, for sure.
In fact, I never would have seen the video except for the story of Maria Aragon, a 10-year-old who put her cover of the song up on YouTube. I’m used to stories of studios hounding this kind of video off the site for copyright violations, but this story turned out very differently. Instead of getting a take down notice it got a thank you from someone having a very bad day: Lady Gaga herself.
You can imagine the reaction to the video above, and the pressure that puts on an artist like Lady Gaga. For her the antidote was watching this video.
Lady Gaga even found Maria on a Toronto radio talk show and shared this:
I want to tell you something Maria, because not only do you have such a beautiful voice, and you are so joyful to watch, but … every once in a while, whether people believe it or not, I have a very bad day. I was not having such a good day, and when Perez sent me the video of you singing ‘Born This Way,’ I was so overjoyed that I began to cry. This industry is very difficult for women sometimes and they want to tear us down and tear us apart. … Thank you so much for making my day better.
I watch Maria and can’t help but marvel at a world that lets a 10-year-old reach out and console a superstar with her own music. This is the kind of creativity and feedback possible today, not just for pop stars, but for politicians, corporations, educators, anyone ready to open their heart to the voices around them, ready to share their creative flame and warm themselves in the rebounding creative light of others. Oh, how I pray this networked world of ours is a force of opening and sharing, sometimes we seem so intent on making it one of ownership and bombast.
I read about Robert Taub’s ImproVox a couple days ago and decided to give it a try. This iPad app is a blast, adding all kinds of texture and harmony to your voice as you sing. I love it and could entertain myself for a long time with the effects and the sounds made by tapping and scrubbing the iPad case while it is on. I do wish it could export a MIDI version of the results. I’d love to replace voice with instruments to build up a piece.
Years ago when we were renovating our attic I made the naïve choice to do the tile in the bathroom myself. I was inspired by Hundertwasser, but really knew nothing about tile. Many calls around town revealed a new little shop near the fairgrounds, Mosaic on a Stick. Lori Green and Maria founded the Stick as not only a source for the materials that mosaic artists need, but also as an open studio and learning space to invite people to discover the artform and fall in love with building a world from broken pieces. Today I read this wonderful article about Mosaic on a Stick.
I enjoyed it immensely. The broken plate had been sitting on my dresser for months, and every time I looked at it, I had a twinge of sadness, remembering the whole plate it had once been. But once I started breaking it up into half-inch pieces, it turned into something else entirely. Raw bits ready to be reassembled into something new. Possibilities.
I enjoyed arranging the pieces onto the wood picture frame, like pieces in a puzzle. It required a quiet concentration that was soothing, and I soon lost track of time.
If you live in the Twin Cities, you should really stop by some time. It is a healing experience!
A few years ago I saw a TED demo video about BumpTop, a prototype 3D desktop designed for pen interaction. Now this prototype has grown into a Mac desktop environment called BumpTop. (There is a Windows version too.) Now it is time to see how much the product can live up to the presentation.
Maybe just because they are Austrian and oh-so Viennese, maybe because they break all the rules for web design, maybe because the whole damn thing is in Flash, which usually I hate, maybe because the video is just hilarious… I don’t know what it is, but I love the Screenagers web site. Go ahead, take a look!
School started yesterday and that got me thinking about lunch. How do you handle lunchtime? In Austria lunch is the big meal of the day and dinner is small and snackish. I love that. But here in the USofA it is hard to pull off that kind of schedule. Lunch is often away from home, at school, at work. Eating out (or eating school lunch) is one way to handle this meal, but that can be expensive and not-so-nutricious. The New York Times published a story on Bento Boxes that was full of interesting ideas.
Nathaniel has become very creative in the kitchen, devouring the Betty Crocker cookbook, making lunches and dinners all last week, and wondering when he’ll have time to cook during the school year. He also loves things Japanese, like sushi (well, some sushi). Maybe making bento boxes is an idea that would work for him?
As a consultant working out of my home, I am always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to communicate and collaborate with teams. I’ve had a lot of good luck with Adobe ConnectNow for groups of two or three. Today I learned about tinychat, which seems even simpler than ConnectNow, allows more people to participate in a videochat, and still lets me share my screen (or a portion of it). Pretty nifty service for a free cloud app.
I love logo, it is such an easy yet powerful language. I was disappointed today to see that N’s teacher was crossing out all the Logo-related assignments in his math homework. What a waste! I wondered how hard it would be to install Logo at a school these days. As I suspected, not hard at all!