...now on my laptop...

Wednesday, 2003-1-8

Small Worlds

Mark Pilgrim relayed a "small world" story with a surprisingly large number of unexpected connections -- quite a cast of characters.

One thing I haven't liked so much about Mark's "Further reading on today's posts" sections is that it is hard to tell them apart from the actual content. In fact, when I saw the above "small world" entry, it was followed immediately by an "In brief" entry, which I took to be the "Further Reading" for his small world story. I did think it weird that none of them were particularly related to the small world request, though enough were about the lazy web to sustain my mistake for some time.

Paul Ford's "Gorge" story had a picture that I recognized right off, the Rio Grande gorge from the highway (US 64?) bridge west of Taos, not that I've ever lived anywhere near there. Small world.

The Challenge waterfall

But so anyway, here's my "small world" story: I've known Dave and Jim for about 30 years. I worked with both of them in LA, around 1980. Dave's business partner Andy has been organizing an annual camping trip to a National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada; the 2002 trip was the 17th annual. Most of the participants in this trip work in high-tech or web-related jobs; most live in southern California. I had never heard a word about the annual camping trip; I moved to the Central Coast (Santa Cruz area) in 1981.

Some time in the late 1980's, Dave and Andy and a few others were at a Club Med in Mexico to view a solar eclipse. They met Tim there (they'd never met him before), and he started actively participating in the annual camping trip. Tim lives in the San Jose area. In 1995, Tim overheard Dave and Jim talking about me, and Tim said that he knew me, not from a particularly high-tech connection, but rather from our mountain bike rides together -- we were both members of the "warp9" mountain bike email alias.

So, anyway, I've been to the last six of those camping trips, and even got some photos.

As Steven Wright says: "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it!"

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