When I was a child, I remember listening to my father’s music and thinking that my dad must be so old to listen to music that was written so long ago: before I was even born. Now, I am 37 years old. My senior year of high school is just over half my life away. When I listen to the songs my youth, I wonder if my kids must feel the same way. I’m fortunate that my teenage son actually thinks I have good taste in music. Even if he’d mostly rather listen to the stuff that’s new to his generation, I still take pride in knowing that he knows who the Smashing Pumpkins are, has heard Nirvana’s Nevermind, and was excited to attend a Green Day concert.
I’m so grateful that I got to enjoy Dad’s music. It heavily informed what I would grow to love as a teenager, a young adult, and then later, a father.
Ten years ago, at this time, I was experiencing one of the biggest rushes of my life. No, I’m not talking about my marriage (though that’s a big one), nor the birth of my children (also up there). In fact, this rush doesn’t compare to either of those. But it’s important, because I shared it with several hundred of my closest friends. I’m talking about the launch of Apple’s first iPhone.
When the iPhone was first announced, the Apple faithful (which included pretty much everyone with whom I worked, since I worked at an Apple Store) were reasonably excited. Very, very excited. We were like kids waiting for Santa Jobs to bring us a Buddha’s Day present (I know that’s not a thing). Shortly after the announcement, my wife sent Steve an email, asking him to please not have the release of the iPhone on our wedding day, that October. I like to believe he listened to her.
Regardless, the day came on June 29th, and we were all bouncing off the walls. We closed the store so we could unbox the new toy, put it out on display, and (for the Genius team and a few others) play with a couple so that we could answer questions about them. One decade ago, today, was the first time I ever dropped an iPhone.
The well-worn shirt I wore, leading up to launch day.
I was turning it over in my hand, marveling at how the engineers had managed to compress a computer more powerful than the original Mac into such a small form factor (compare it to today’s iPhone, and the original is so fat). It slipped through my fingers, hit the floor, and slid to the center of the room. Everyone in the Genius Room got really quiet and looked first at the iPhone lying face down on the concrete, and then at me. I walked over to the nearly $1000 pocket computer and reached down to pick it up.
I fully expected the glass to be shattered, as I flipped it over. I was more than a little relieved to find there was nary a scratch on it. I gladly passed the device to someone else, thankful I didn’t have to explain that one to a manager.
We opened the door a couple hours later and the crowds rushed in to pick up their own. We sold and sold until we were all physically exhausted, but still mentally wired. It would still be some time before any of us got to take one home for our own, but we didn’t care. We had experienced the launch of a product that would rival the Mac in its importance to pushing technology forward. It’s a day I will never forget, not only because of my new technological friend, but because of all the human ones with whom I got to experience its birth.
Finally got my grill down to the house yesterday. It’s been sitting at my parents for years and years, waiting for a home. My wife decided we should christen it with jalapeño poppers, so that’s what I’m doing. A friend of mine made a delicious English Pale Ale home brew that I opened in commemoration. It’s delicious. I only have one more, but I’m really tempted to open it tonight.
My daughter came outside to see the grill and to take a few selfies, because that’s what you do when you’re the father of a five year-old in 2017. We had some smiles and made some silly faces. She kissed me on the cheek and went back inside. On her way in, I could hear her humming The Imperial March.
It was my junior year of high school. I had just arrived at my locker for the day when my friend, Aaron, approached me. He was wearing all black.
“Grunge is dead,” he said to me.
“What?” I replied.
“Soundgarden broke up,” he explained. “Grunge is dead.”
Twenty years later, he got one step closer to being right.
As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, Chris Cornell died today.
Twenty years ago, one of my best friends in the world reminded me of the importance of a band like Soundgarden and its frontman. That same friend saw him this past Sunday, in concert, in Kansas City. I found out about the concert too late to attend and missed it. I feel like I might regret that for some time. My devotion to music as a medium has wavered, in the last few years. It has become more and more difficult for me to listen, simply due to work and having a shitty car with a shitty stereo (podcasts played off my phone sound great, but music doesn’t have the impact it should). As a result, I missed a lot of great music in the last 5 years or so.
Today, I pulled out my headphones, plugged them in, and let the music flow. I discovered entire albums I’d never heard and enjoyed lyrics from one of the great poets of our time, stretched across that unique vocal range Cornell had. It was wonderful. I listened to old favorites and fantastic covers and new works that proved that neither age, depression, nor drugs had dulled the mind of one of the greatest of greats of my childhood.
Cobain. Staley. Weiland. And now, Cornell.
Stay strong, Eddie. We need you now, more than ever. Someone needs to pass the torch to the next generation, before it’s dropped and lost forever.
A writer friend of mine, yesterday, asked for suggestions on drugs that could be used to render a person unconscious when taken orally, but for a relatively short period of time ( about an hour). Many friends, myself included, responded with a variety of drugs that could plausibly be used for such a purpose, especially with a little creative writing (something at which Lezlie excels).
After, she mentioned that she wasn’t sure if she should feel comforted or disturbed. So, not one to let such conflicting emotions leave so vexatious a feeling upon her mind, I invented a new emotion that combined the two. Using this quote by John Kenneth Galbraith, I fittingly appropriated his name:
galbraith transitive verb | gal·braith | \’gal- brāth\
1. to instill a sense of simultaneous comfort and discomfort • “Her surprise visit to find me at this secluded cabin that I never told her about has me very galbraithed.”
Anyway, I don’t know that it will catch on. But I’m keeping it here, just in case future generations want to know the etymology of the word that best describes the comfortably familiar hellscape they live in after we’ve gone.
Last week, a news story at Motherboard revealed that a group of hackers claimed to have gained access to nearly 600 million iCloud accounts. Apple has responded to the report saying that there is no breach of their servers, rather the attackers appear to have used the rather large password cache obtained from the massive Yahoo breaches of the last two years. It is likely that the hackers used other data sources to line up those passwords with Apple IDs belonging to the same people. While this means that you may not be at risk if your iCloud account was using a unique password, to be safe, you should probably change your password and enable two-factor authentication.
Why is this security measure important? Well, aside from attackers having access to potentially private information stored in your account, iCloud contains a security measure that allows you to remotely erase your iPhones, iPads, and Macs if they are ever lost or stolen. This feature is called Find My iPhone (or iPad or Mac). If your account has been compromised, and Find My iPhone is enabled on any of your stuff, then your devices can be wiped remotely, against your will. This is what the hackers have reportedly claimed to do if Apple does not pay their ransom by April 7th.
News flash: Apple will not pay the ransom.
So, for your protection, I suggest following these steps to allow you to keep your accounts and devices safe. Because no one wants lose all the pictures of their food they’ve taken for the last 10 years. I stole these instructions from Apple’s own support pages, so if you feel like you need more details on these, check out the original links by clicking on the links below.
That’s it. Hopefully, everything will work smoothly and you can move on with your life, stress-free. If not, give Apple a call and they can help you ensure that Two-Factor Authentication is enabled, as well as confirming that the only devices confirmed with your account are those you own and trust.
Like, so many that I don’t even have the strength to write a paragraph about each of them. I’m just going to link to them here. You should find the ones you’re interested in and check them out. Or just buy them all. That works, too. Whatever. They’re all on sale, possibly through Christmas, but you should probably buy today, just to be safe.
from heaven above, beneath, and among,
these dark waters filled this world
if some dæmon in love bewrayeth more woe,
what shall betiden of necessity make?
till thou com’st home, thy sweet voice afar confounds me.
— Written with assistance from the Creative Writer keyboard app for iOS.
I’m quite enjoying this app. A friend of mine sent me one of her poems last week, and it was very beautiful—far more beautiful than my own, in afraid. I’ll have to ask her permission to share it.
Anyway, I performed edits to this one after it was finished, as some of the word choices I was given this time were the wrong tense or worked well if there was another word placed before it that had not been offered. The coolest thing, though, is how well it gets the mind turning. I could very easily see poems born entirely of this app by someone that knows not what they wish to write, but that discovers it upon looking at the words they have writ.
i will never forget july,
and all the little emptiness it creates
for her love was mine
and all the world was bright
The above poem was written using Creative Writer, an iPhone app that replaces the keyboard with a list of words that are suggested based on context (kind of like iOS’s QuickType feature on steroids). Be sure and check it out.