Have You Used a Dot Matrix Printer Before?

Last weekend was the Air and Water Show in Chicago. This year I took a pass, although I have been to a few in the past, and I will always say that the best day, as long as the weather is nice, is on the Friday before, for the practice show, which is really just a dry-run of the full show. Alas, though, this year, thanks to the government sequester, government funding for cool stuff, like the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels, has been cut, and therefore those acts were cut from the show. Most people still say the show was fun, but I’m guessing it just wasn’t the same as there is something about the jets that is just awesome.

But what does this have to do with a dot matrix printer?

Well, let me tell you.

In the week leading up to the Air and Water Show the local newscasts all have some kind of special interest story about the show. In the past there is always some reporter allowed to tag along with the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels, and they try not to barf in the cockpit, but without the big boys this year the news folks were relegated to talking about, well, the boring acts, or at least the “Not as exciting as barfing in the cockpit” acts. As I was watching the report, they were interviewing a guy from the Geico Skytypers, and the gentleman was explaining how skytyping is different from skywriting, in that for skywriting you have one plane doing loops and fun things drawing words and figures in the sky, but for skytyping they can do a lot more like spell out the word “Geico” and draw a flag. Okay, he didn’t really say the part about the flag, I picked that up from their website, but the thing he did mention is that skytyping is like printing things on a dot matrix printer, to which I instantly thought, “How many kids, who, well, might actually be watching the news, just said ‘Dad, what’s a dot matrix printer?'”

Me, I remember the dot matrix printer, trying to feed ribbon in the printer, and how noisy they were no matter how many things you tried to use to muffle the sound, but in this era of the inkjet (based on the same concept of the dot matrix), and the laser printer, I’m wondering, and so I’m plighting: Have you used a dot matrix printer before?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! Bring back the Thunderbirds and Blue Angles!!! L8R!!!