My timeline. And my first credit card.

As these things happen, musing about Trooper got me thinking “what was I doing in 1979,” which got me thinking “how long have I lived on PEI,” which got me thinking “when did I start school.” All of which ended up on a time-consuming procrastination event culminating in a new Timeline page in the Rukapedia.

It was an eye-opening exercise to go through: I was surprised just how much I’ve forgotten about the macro-events of my almost-41 years of life. My mother helped out with some of the early details, and I stacked things on top of each other and looked at the relative positions of home, work and school to figure out later things.

I always thought that my first two relationships of note — coded on the timeline as “TH” and “MCP” — went on for 3 or 4 years each. Turns out that they both lasted about a year. Catherine and I have been dating (very, very serious dating) for 16 years. Which turns out to be the longest thing I’ve ever done.

When I got confused about the order of things around 1990 when I was flitting around from Ontario to Texas to Quebec I received invaluable documentary assistance from my first credit card statement — I just knew there was going to be some value in keeping all that stuff:

My First MasterCard Statement

I was living in El Paso, Texas when I applied for my first credit card, a MasterCard. I needed it, in part, so I could afford to get back to Canada. When it arrived the first thing I did was to go to K-Mart and buy a small black and white television so I could watch this episode of thirtysomething (another surprise; I always thought it was the season finale I watched). I returned the TV the next day (see the third transaction).

Two days later I was on the road — first to Amarillo, over to Oklahoma (where I stopped to visit Bill Coleman in Bartlesville), then up through Missouri, Illinois and Ohio. I crossed over into Ontario at Detroit and I was home by the 19th. I did the trip in my trusty 1980 Toyota Tercel (which I later sold to my neighbour).

The EasyTimeline extension for MediaWiki made creating the timeline itself super-easy; I recommend it if you want to launch a similar effort.


Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on March 9, 2007 - 01:49 Permalink

You know what’s interesting, is that each of these timelines starts with tentative steps, lots of switching back and forth, but gradually stabilizes into bigger and longer solid chunks of colour.

I once did a timeline exercise where I walked a spiral redering of the Fibonnici series drawn on a parkinglot with one foot=one year. There is much going around and around at the begining, but by the time you reach 34 you make the last turn into a long sweeping arc that leads you away from your childhood. I see the pattern here too.

And also, I noticed something that reminded me why we made that map at the Corfu. :-) Ah Peterborough…original home of open source everything!