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Here We Go Again…

Years ago, I thought it’d be kind of cool to start a blog.  I had all kinds of ideas, found a free site where I could post my thoughts, cranked out the first one, then, I cranked out the first one, then… I… cranked out the first one.  My sister commented years later that that was typical “Pipering.”

So, here we are again.  I’m older now; not necessarily wiser, and I still have lots of ideas.

Since we’re just now meeting it’s necessary for me to introduce myself, as well as introduce some of these ideas.  I’m a retired soldier, living and working for the servicemen and women in Germany ever since.  I’m a computer hobbyist – been working with PC hardware since the early 80’s – my first PC was an Atari 800XL that I bought from the Sears catalog somewhere around 1983.  Over the years the hobby has morphed into a profession, and although I still tinker I no longer drool over each issue of Computer Shopper (which is no longer in print, anyway).  I grew up in northern California – Richmond – to be exact (,_California).  Yeah – Richmond:  Coach Carter (, Laci Peterson (, 2009 Gang Rape (, and let’s throw the Iron Triangle in there as well (,_Richmond,_California).  9th Most Dangerous City in the United States.  That’s a lot of attention for a relatively small city (56th largest in California).  Richmond’s shining moment was probably when one of its own – a classmate of mine named Chris Darden – was one of the prosecuting attorneys who tried – and failed – to convict local and national sports legend, O.J. Simpson, for the murder of Simpson’s ex-wife (  Ah, we also have Rosie the Riveter (!

I like to think of myself as reasonably intelligent, and not very good at keeping my mouth shut.  I think, and I have opinions, and sometimes I get myself into trouble when my thought and opinions find their way past my lips.  I’m vocal, prefer to get to the point, and often fail to speak in a manner that some people would call “tactful.”

Some of the opinions I have have to do with my local community – things that may not – at first glance – interest you because they may not involve where you live, but I’m hoping that I can frame them in such a way that they can gain interest elsewhere.  Plus, my community is a military community, and I’ll be addressing things that affect most, if not all, of the military communities.  I’ll also discuss issues of national importance: at least, of importance to me, hopefully to some of you as well.  Between the world-wide military communities and the U.S. interests I guess I’ve covered most of the world.  What’s left?  Space – The Final Frontier?  Maybe.

Just to finish up – while I was typing this the demise of Computer Shopper came to me.  When I first started buying it it was a monthly magazine, 800 or so pages – the size of a phonebook, with about one article buried between 30 pages of ads.  Of course, the magazine itself was primarily a source of advertisement for anything that you could possibly think of that might have anything at all to do with technology, and they catered to all manufacturers – Atari, Commodore, Radio Shack, IBM, Apple, and numerous other companies all got equal time.  Years went by and many of those companies dried up, with the rest consolidating until there was basically 2 PC types:  MACs and PCs, which still holds up today.  Computer Shopper got up to about 1200 pages as I recall, and then started dwindling.  Ziff-Davis bought the mag, reduced the number of ads to where the articles could actually be found and read, reduced the size of the magazine from tabloid to something more in line with the other computer magazines on the stands.  CNET bought it, reduced the amount of ads to where there no more than you would expect to see in any other periodical, changed the paper stock to a glossy, slick style of 100 pages or less.  By the time SX2 Media bought it the magazine was a shell of what it used to be.  Over the years, with the commercialization of the web, many of the articles were also being published online, and ultimately, in 2006 the magazine that we knew as Computer Shopper ceased its print version.  Computer Shopper became a victim of the very technology that it touted.

Let’s wrap this up for today.  Later I’ll introduce you to one of the largest retailers in the United States – that you probably aren’t even aware of.  Also, I have (to quote from the classic movie, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind), “a couple of thousand g**damned questions” about 9/11 that I want to ask.

Thanks for reading.  Comments are welcome.  Enjoy your day.




Retired Army, living in Washington. Grew up in California.

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