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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Not sure that no news is good news, but for now it’s all the news I’ve got. A long time ago I’d ordered some t-shirts, and they just recently showed up. As I was putting them away, I noticed that I have a lot of t-shirts, and I wear but a small subset of them. Similarly, I noticed there was a crate of shirts I had yet to unpack since moving to the condo.

Exhausted and in a gloomy mood, as I was almost out the door this morning I made the arbitrary decision to blow a bunch of time and sort my t-shirts instead, into three piles: undershirts (which should have been in the undershirt drawer and somehow got misplaced), shirts I’ll wear, and shirts I’ll wear when I don’t mind the shirt getting destroyed (eg: sunscreen).

In any event, in doing this I was broadsided with a bit of nostalgia, and I thought I’d share a few excerpts; figures that’s better than babbling about the stuff that’s bugging me.

This is my Internet Explorer Midnight Madness t-shirt. I got it for being one of the first n people to download the browser (the caption is “I DOWNLOADED. MIDNIGHT AUGUST 13, 1996”). This was back when I was working at an ISP (my first “real” computer job), doing web work (back then it was all images, tables, and vanilla HTML) for small companies and local events wanting a web presence.

It was an interesting job; one of the guys I worked with was a bachelor with a marriage problem, and the other a computer hardware guy (he designed many of the motherboards in the servers we used) who self-made himself into a linux kernel hacker.

Got the opinion back then that I could do pretty much anything. I could make it into MIT or CMU, and so something crazy and interesting with my life. Create the next big thing, make millions, whatever.

I had a friend who went to Purdue, left for college a year before I did. I can’t even remember his name, as sad as that is. I remember visiting him once, and he gave me this shirt, and for some odd reason it meant a lot to me. We talked about life in a fraternity and he showed me some photos from his album, including one of a barely clothed girl in a shower that he didn’t want to explain. Strange the things you remember, when you can’t remember the guy’s name. Overall the impression I got was that a fraternity might be a nice synthetic family, but probably wasn’t for me.

During high school I went to Boy’s State, a program put on by the American Legion. I only got to go because one of the people that was supposed to go pulled out, and Bill was kind enough to recommend me. It was a pretty fascinating experience, my first exposure to a dorm, and my first and last real exposure to direct involvement in politics, however contrived. Odd memories surfacing again; there were no women allowed during the program, though at one point a few of the girls that had attended the companion Girl’s State the week before came during a meeting, and I remember the whole room erupting in a craze. Very surreal, played out sort of like the first Playboy bunny scene in Apocalypse Now.

Politics wasn’t really my thing.

A bit after I started at the bank I went through the training program. The program was probably my favorite part of about the job; aside from some pointless leadership/team building activities it was an intense education in investment banking instruments and ideas, and I found it fascinating. At the end of the program, we had another whole-team event with all the trainees, working on a Habitat for Humanity home, and we wore these shirts. Most of our work involved applying a mixture of cement to the outer walls of the building; I apologize that I don’t really know what this is called. It wasn’t difficult work, but it was tiring. All I remember is how much people complained, and how little effort people put into it.

And yes, that was Wiki making it hard to see the Microsoft t-shirt earlier. Here’s how she looks now, after I’ve cleaned up her eyes a bit. Still as happy and sick as ever.