I recently had to go back and come up with a few dates for a project I’m working on, and part of that was determining a few of the “firsts” in my life. I figured I’d share. (I also added a few things that are trivial just for fun.) They are in roughly chronological order. They trend towards the geeky.
My first home: The first house I lived in was at 13217 Mercier St. in Southgate, Michigan. It’s changed quite a bit since we moved out of it many years ago, but you can take a look at it on Google Maps here.
My first computer: The first “computer” in our house was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. I learned to program simple things in BASIC on it; we even had the speech synthesizer module (incidentally, the TI-99 was also my first video game console). The first “modern” PC in our house was a Laser 128, which was an Apple II clone.
My first movie seen in a theater: Follow That Bird.
My first job: My first place of employment was Six Stars Family Restaurant, also in Southgate, Michigan. I eagerly took a job at 14 (the youngest age at which you could work in Michigan) as a busboy and dishwasher. If I was lucky, I even got to step up and do some cooking once in a while.
My first car: My first car was a 1996 Chevrolet S-10 pickup. It had power nothing and was as simple as could be, but it got me from point A to point B and the ability to haul things was very useful. It died after surviving a tree falling on it and not surviving softball-sized hailstones.
My first Web site: When I was in high school (1996? 1997?), I first became fascinated by the Web, and my family first had an Internet connection. Wanting to learn more, I picked up a book on HTML 3 (I think) and learned from examples using TeachText on my Mac LCII. The first page I publicly released to the world was either in our AOL-hosted Web page space or on Geocities; I can’t remember which is correct. I vaguely remember the page having something to do with either Macross Plus or Star Trek, and I’m about 99% certain it committed a number of gross copyright violations and was ugly as sin.
My first blog: The first Web site I had resembling anything like a blog was created while I was in college; in 1999 or 2000 I first had a hand-coded site that I managed without the help of a database or any of those niceties, and later I actually worked out a front-end to a Snitz Forums 2000 installation that took posts to specific categories on the forum and translated them into blog posts. The oldest post that has survived to date is from April 13, 2001 and was the first post I made to LiveJournal.
My first degree: B.A. in Theological Languages from Concordia University—River Forest.
My first child: Joshua was born March 18, 2003.
My first WordPress post: I moved to WordPress as part of the mass exodus from Movable Type in early 2004. The first WordPress post I have from that move is dated February 18, 2004. This means I would have been using version 1.0, though I distinctly remember playing around with 0.72 before that.
My first house: I won’t give the address here, but Amanda and I bought our first house in October of 2006. I haven’t managed to bring it down yet.
That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’ll throw a few more in here if I come across any other interesting ones.
In a remarkable effort to synchronize my Twitter username and my personal blog address, you can now follow my musings any time you like by visiting my new home here at http://ryanmarkel.com. (It should also be easier to memorize that way.)
I’m still in the process of getting everything set up and configured, and moving the posts from the old blog has taken some time, but I like it better here and I hope you’ll join me in having some decent conversation about—well—whatever.
I would be remiss if I did not mention to you all that my wife now has a blog with a rather obvious address and that you should be reading it.
I hope only that she reveals to you all the kinds of idiot I can be (and there are many) so that when I say something intelligent here, you find it all the more amazing.
She is also a voracious reader and has already posted her impressions on her recent selections. You will also hear about the insanity that is her normal day with four children under six years of age. She is truly an amazing woman who is able to endure more than I.