Saturday, April 2, 2011

Aprils Fools

Hello World!! Does anyone remember writing a BASIC program with this first output command line?  How thrilled I felt when the Teletype machine attached to the college's most holy IBM 360 Mainframe banged that out in 1970.  For the next thirty years I rode the crest of the information age wave.  Somehow, the wave slipped away under me and I'm watching it take everyone on a journey I never imagined. 

I fear I will never again catch the wave.  Frankly, I'm not sure I want to.  As early as the 1980s, I became uncomfortable with how humanity conformed to the machine rather than the other way around.  Apple understands this.  It's their secret weapon .. human factors.  But even they have not perfected the DWIM interface first proposed by MIT before there was an internet.  Do What I Mean, "DWIM", was an interface that learned what the user meant .. not what they actually typed.  At the time, we called it AI.  One hardly hears this anymore.  The gamers seem to sense it as their games adapt to improving skill levels.

Cell Phones.  I still can't fathom why anyone would want one. Even before cell phones, there were Beepers.  I felt forced by my employer, AT&T, to wear one so I could be reached in the field.  My privacy was being violated.  Everyone's privacy was being violated, but it was the next great thing.  What did we lose?  Answer: Being out of touch.  I actually LIKE to be out of touch and on my own.  AS a kid, my mother had little idea where I was.  At dinner, she'd ring a loud brass bell and I would come home.  I do not understand everyone's obsession with cell phones, iPhones, iPads, and Blackberrys.

I have sounded my own retreat.  My ancestors were tailors.  All my life I've worn dress shirts.  The quality of factory made shirts is stunning for the price.  For all of the wonderful store-bought shirts I have, none of them fit.  My body is crooked and imperfect.  It is not the universal standard.  I no longer want to conform to wearing the 'guidance measurement' clothes, however well made, that limit my spirit. 

August of 2010 I decided to learn to sew and make dress shirts.  This blog is my record of my retreat by sewing.  There are few men who sew.  I like to think I am the first of many. 

For your consideration, here's a picture of my latest attempt to make a true dress shirt.  My guide is "Shirtmaking" by David Page Coffin, my wife, my mother, Pfaff and Singer Sewing Machines manuals. Yes, it's a keyboard print.  Soon no one will know what a keyboard is.  This will simply be a shirt with a curious pattern. Ring the bell when you want me to come home.

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