my mother's nickname for the man, coined when we were kids, was "the toy mogul." she came up with this after one night at my house. his mom drove him over to eat spaghetti and hang out, things that were a lot less fun to do once everyone got cars and driver's licenses. he had some kind of tech toy with him, i can't remember what at this point. 'course, this was the mid-1990s, long before it was commonplace to have a bag in which you carry a computer, an e-book reader, a smartphone and a music player. (or maybe that's just me.) my mother was amused, just tickled to no end, by the man's deep love for all things technological.
the next day, she said to me, you know, i'm glad you got to be friends with that toy mogul.
[eye-roll] mother, whatever do you mean by that?
that kid is brilliant, and he loves those gadgets of his, doesn't he?
why yes, i suppose he does.
i thought so. keep him around. you won't be sorry.
my mother was prescient, it turns out. and nothing has changed. a decade and a half later, the man is still a toy mogul. he was just before his time; nowadays, we all are. i damn near bought an ipad last night, just because of its usefulness. of all people, the man talked me out of it... but only because there's going to be a new one coming out soon. buy it then; it'll be much better. but he was the one who was in touch with this long before. he owned a newton, for god's sake.
i find it the height of amusing that my mom saw all of this coming. she saw his innovation, his love of the new and high-tech. (this has been driven home HARD during the computer-loving glee that has been the misanthropy bowl on jeopardy. more on this tomorrow.) something about that struck her, and she thought enough of it to make a comment to her surly, sarcastic, snappish teenage daughter. and y'know, his technological affinity, which translates into his highly logical frame of mind, is one of my favorite things about him. my toy mogul, then, now and forever.