Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Blog-a-versary, SOPA, and the Oregon Trail!

Hello, Coffee Talkers!

Today marks the one year anniversary of my little Coffee Talk blog! It's also, coincidentally, the day of the widespread internet blackouts to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills. These bills were intended to stop internet piracy (arrr, matey!), but posed a real threat to the free internet as we know it, including such things as search engines, social networks, and [gasp!] blogs like little ol' Coffee Talk with Leslie! While this blog does not have an extremely widespread popularity (I suppose that reading about a Catholic perspective on news and reading answers to questions relating to Catholicism is an acquired taste), this past year of blogging has certainly made me appreciate the freedoms we do have and the widespread access to information (and even to personal opinion) that we have through web-based technologies. Honestly, for as small a scope as Coffee Talk has, a number of things still kinda blow my mind about the whole experience:
  1. the fact that anyone reads this. at all.
  2. the fact that the blog is nearing 18,000 page views!
  3. the fact that regular readers of the blog come from dozens of countries around the world.
  4. the fact that a few people have shared with me that they have been led to deeper understanding or practice of Catholicism through the blog.
  5. the fact that my Protestant friends have asked questions, and have better understood the ties that bind us as Christians (happy week of prayer for Christian unity, y'all!).
  6. the fact that a number of friends from non-Christian religions have dialogued with me on various topics thanks to the blog, and I am a better person for it.
  7. the fact that even some atheist and agnostic friends have read (and enjoyed) the blog!
  8. the fact that i can publish a blog, with virtually (ha -- punny!) no skill in web publishing.
  9. the fact that i can say whatever i want on here, without fear or censorship, and that people can comment and ask questions freely, as well.
  10. the fact that, when i was a kid, the idea of publishing a 'weblog' from my own home that people all over the world could read and interact with would have been completely and wildly unimaginable. because all i had then was the Oregon Trail game.
Man, I'm getting old. Please tell me that someone else out there remembers the original Oregon Trail game? I tried to look it up online to give you a sample, but it's not there -- the oldest examples I could find were in color. But the original Oregon Trail game was usually played on a boxy monitor which only displayed one color -- yellow or bright green -- on a black background with one ugly font and bad graphics on a slow and very large computer (from which, if you were lucky, you could also print things in black on your extremely noisy dot matrix printer with that long weird paper).
(Oh, and another thing -- I just accidentally navigated away from this blog page without saving to look for the paper pic without any problem, but let me tell you how many lengthy documents I lost back in those early days of computers, even when I did hit save! It wasn't pretty.)

Anyway, the point of all this nostalgic rambling is that we've come a very long way with computers, and the access we have to web-based media is truly amazing. And as today's bills stand to remind us, these are freedoms that we should not take for granted.

Thanks, everyone, for making this blog possible, and in honor of the blog-a-versary (and of the death of the SOPA bill in its current form thanks to all the protests), feel free to comment about why you enjoy computers or the internet or Catholicism or freedom of speech...or WHATEVER ELSE YOU WANT! (But keep it respectful, or I might have to censor you, not Big Brother.) ;)

As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers.

Peace and all good,


  1. Hey Leslie it's Micaela. I think your opinions are amazing and match mine completely. I also love that you posted a picture of old printing paper. I remember when I used to go to saint mary's they would give us that to draw on and I would always wonder were the heck did they get paper like that and now I know. >.<
    But as for the SOPA stuff, it's another way the government is trying to mess with our rights, and it totally goes against our right to free speech. Next thing you know we are going to be censored against talking about religion everywhere and not just schools.
    Well I am going to get off my government/conspiracy/ewy box now. Loved your blog though. :D
    P.S I personally don't know what I'd do without my good ole internet and video games.

  2. Ahahaha -- that is so funny to me that the printer paper that was wonderfully new when I was in elementary school was obsolete and only usable as scrap paper by the time you got to St. Mary's! We live in amazing times, don't we? Thanks for reading and commenting, Micaela, and I look forward to seeing your future contributions to the world of computers, internet, and video games! Keep the faith, girl! :)