Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i
Uncle Al, my mother's big brother, was probably the first person on that side of the family (save me, of course) to use e-mail. That is to say, I remember seeing his e-mail address on a little card during a visit to his house, oh, maybe six years ago.
He was also convinced OS/2 was going to be the end of Windows, but that's another story.
Anyway, yesterday was the first time I ever received a note from him. Carbon copied to my mom and a dozen other people, sure, but it was great news, so who's complaining?
Cousin Jennifer, his eldest daughter, had just given birth to her second child. A girl, Alicia, checking in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces, shortly after 9 a.m. on Dec. 1, 1999. A month short of being a "Millennium Baby," but a cool birthdate nonetheless.
Until grandchildren arrived on the scene, Uncle Al was among the most serious men I knew. Sharp, stern, with a wry sense of humor. But when Trevor was born almost three years ago? He's not stopped grinning since.
His e-mail was shamelessly enthusiastic, its three lines containing exactly thirty exclamation points.
"Fantastic!! Super!!! Terrific!!! Great!!! Wow!!!"
He's made no secret that he's always wanted a granddaughter. (I gotta admit, girls are tough to top.) Quite a Christmas present for the entire family.
And for once, a relative who will not be a nightmare to shop for.
A brief tale of a brief brush with a net.celebrity. If it was even a brush.
I was poking through the global domain registrythe official list of the world's dotcoms, nets, and orgslooking for a domain for Jen. I already own nine, some of which I don't even use, so I figured the least I can do is find one just for my wife (and daughter).
Sadly, but not surprisingly, just about every variation of Jennifer (and Katherine) was snapped up... usually for a porn site. But I did find, in the list of registrations recently canceled for non-payment, the domain jenniferringley.com.
For the blissfully non-überwired, Jennifer Ringley is the media queen of the webcam phenomenon. She's appeared on Letterman, she's been mentioned in Playboy, and she's basically been interviewed by any media outlet doing a "weird things on the web" special.
So, of course, she's as much a victim of "cybersquatting" as any Hollywood celebrity. Any variation on her domain name has been snapped up (including jenni-cam.com, jennicum.comand it gets worse), the scoundrels counting on the average American's inability to spell. The two-year battle over jennicam.com (she was originally just at jennicam.org) is as infamous as the ongoing whitehouse.com flap.)
Someone had also registered jenniferringley.com, but apparently never paid for it. So last month, without notice, it was deleted, waiting for the next opportunistic web prospector.
Being the good net citizen that I am, I decided to send a note.
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 09:24:32 -1000 (HST)
I didn't hear back from them ("them" being the unseen staff of JKR, Inc., as Ms. Ringley no longer personally deals with the scads of e-mail her site generates daily), but the next day a check of the global registry showed the message was received.
My more capitalist-minded colleagues, of course, are bemoaning my giving up yet another opportunity to make a quick buck. Friendly as Ms. Ringley may appear, after all, there's no question in anyone's mind that deep down she's simply a shrewd businesswoman.
Ah well. Remind me, sometime, to tell the story of the brief excitement regarding my ownership of kalaeloa.com.