I got this cup one very cold day in the late fall of 1995. I was out for a walk and I came across a large number of people leaving a big hotel in Reston carrying identical cups. I decided to swim upstream looking for the source, and I found a ballroom with large stacks of them on the table. The attitude was "take as many as you want." I took one.

That evening on the national news there was a segment about how the internet is connected to everything. I vividly remember a sound bite by one of those talking heads that is the perfect stereotype of a Silicon Valley Wizard, complete with long unbrushed hair and peculiar mannerisms saying "I now believe that the internet touches every aspect of life." When they cut to the commercial, I pulled out this cup and gave it to my parents. I explained that it made sense to me that these things happened on the same day.

I got my mom to give me the thing last fall when I visited her for Thanksgiving. I put it here because I wanted to find a way to compare visitors to my home with visitors to my website. So far, two of my friends have drunk from it. One of them, an esthetically oriented Green balked at the idea. I pointed out that the One was clearly inside a green circle, and he pointed out that there were names and logos for large, evil, corporations on it. I pointed out that they were in a gray area, and the Governor of California was Gray Davis. Then he drank from it. If you have a strong reaction to it, page visitor #1617 , I would like to know what it is.

US Africa Airways was the most obscure airline that my mother worked for. My sister found a pile of these mousepads in her stuff, and she parceled them out so we each got one. When I was going through the papers in my moms study, I found a letter her boss had written her when that carrier went out of business. The thing started "This is the hardest letter I have ever had to write," and then explained that the company wasn't going to make it. The only free flight my mom got out of working there was a trip to South Africa where she got together with her cousins in Pochestrom for a Bar-B-Que. I wish I had some pictures from that to share with you.