It’s all about gratitude, isn’t it? I still enjoy this commercial that’s been running for a while about a young girl finally heading off for college. It’s from a nonprofit called The Foundation For A Better Life, founded and funded by billionaire philanthropist Philip Anschutz.
Last Friday, August 8th was the fiftieth anniversary of one of the first mass shootings that I can recall from Canada or the States. Long before Columbine or any of the other shootings that followed, Edward Thomas Boutilier was a mentally-disturbed 18-year old who rode his bike around the South end of Halifax on that summer afternoon in 1964 and shot three young boys, killing two of them. After giving himself up days later, Boutilier was later diagnosed as mentally ill and institutionalized instead of being tried in a court of law. He subsequently killed himself 10 years later. There’s a link in the first paragraph to the article that spurred me to write this post for New Canadian Media.
This story is still as fresh in my mind today as it was when it happened. Or I should say two days after it happened, as you’ll soon understand after you read my post.
Today I started trying to organize the many photographs I have scattered around my house again. After a few moves – and a major housefire back in 2002 – these pictures often represent the only physical memories of my family’s lives. For some strange reason, most of our pictures were left miraculously unharmed after losing almost everything else we owned back then. I decided a good first step to organizing them was to start getting them all gathered together in one place; so I emptied some shelf space in a bookcase to start pulling them all together at last.
So I was going through one small plastic box and I came across these two Polaroid SX-70 pictures of a very special Pontiac Trans Am Firebird. But first, here’s a picture of what that classic street car looked like, complete with the original Firebird emblem on the hood and the side panels:
Wow! I still remember a weeks-long trip to Europe in 1985 with my friend and tech industry analyst, Tim Bajarin. My company, SpectraFAX, had just successfully developed the first color digital scanners for PCs (and MACs not long after) and Tim was helping to introduce me to many of his connections in London, Paris and Munich as part of our international rollout plans.
After several days in Paris meeting with potential distributors, we were up early one morning to head for the airport to hit the final leg of our journey in Munich. Everywhere we stayed on this trip, journalists somehow managed to follow Tim and leave messages for him at the front desk of every hotel. We were in the middle of the very public Apple/Steve Jobs/John Sculley spat and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the San Jose Mercury News wanted to hear Tim’s opinions on what was happening at Apple. (Jobs ended up getting canned from Apple at the time and Sculley consolidated his power base with the backing of the Board and that was the start of the Jobs-less era at Apple.)
One of the many fun e-mails I get – and share – daily from friends had this touched up image with a title, The Perfect Irish Bar. It gave me a chuckle and brought back a memory from my traveling days back in the early 70’s.
I was enjoying a well-deserved semi-retirement sabbatical after finally selling my property and businesses in Toronto in ’73. My girlfriend and I had driven across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver and down the West Coast to Arizona and then all the way down to Mexico in my camper van with no particular itinerary, savoring new adventures as they came up. My girlfriend loved her beer and there wasn’t a bar we didn’t visit along the way. My Asian genes kept telling me I didn’t really enjoy alcohol at all but that’s a story for another day. Read the rest of this entry »