stay hungry, stay foolish

Since his death just over a month ago, the name of Steve Jobs has been much in the news – over the past weeks we have heard a good deal about his life. Of course Jobs was the founder, and until fairly recently, also the CEO of the very successful computer firm Apple. This morning, as we begin, I’d actually like to rehearse just a part of his story. Steve Jobs was born in 1955, and when he was still a young child, moved with his adoptive parents Paul and Clara Jobs to the community of Los Altos, California. In terms of the life story of Steve Jobs, that move to Los Altos was a significant one because the community of Los Altos is located in Silicon Valley – a region of California that for decades has been home to a significant number of very successful electronics companies.

Indeed, on account of that concentration of electronics companies and employees in the area, it’s probably not surprising that Jobs took a very early interest in electronics – and it’s not surprising that as a boy in fact he found himself hanging out with a neighbour who was an electronics hobbyist. That early interest in electronics continued into his teen years when Steve Jobs took an introductory High School class in electronics by day and sat in on after-school lectures at the Hewlett Packard Company by night.

His first job as a young adult was, not surprisingly, also in the area of electronics – he began as a technician with the video game manufacturer, Atari. At the same time Steve Jobs also joined a computer club for hobbyists who would take apart and build computers. This was just the time when personal computing was starting to spread – and much of that early work on personal computers was being done in Silicon Valley. Continue reading

are you ready?

We begin this morning with something a little bit different. We’re actually going to begin this morning with a short video. That’s unusual in itself. But it’s going to be particularly unusual, because the short video clip I want to show is actually from a workout video, a kind of exercise video, produced by the New York City Ballet. The clip I’ll show is one selection from a series of short videos intended for dancers or non-dancers who want to use the techniques and movements of ballet for exercise and muscle strengthening. What’s interesting about this video, for our purposes, is the insight the video gives into the discipline, the training and the preparations of professional dancers.

Now I should say this morning that I’ve only been to the ballet a few times in my life. I have some vague childhood memory of seeing the nutcracker. And then in our twelve years here in Montreal, Becky and I have been to see a couple of performances of Les Grand Ballet Canadiens. I should also say that this somewhat limited experience with ballet, isn’t because I’m not interested in ballet, or because I find it boring. I guess you have to chalk it up to a lack of time to do all the things I might enjoy. In any case, this morning we are all going to have something of an encounter with ballet, perhaps a peculiar encounter, as we begin with this short video.

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