The One Where Woof Preps for LA Congress

29 October 1969

True story, a blast from the past! It was yet another mundane Wednesday for most folks. But at the University of California, Los Angeles, things were a bit different.

The air was brimming with excitement.
The satisfying nervousness of trying out something new.
Something that would change the scene forever.

The first successful host-to-host connection on the ARPANET (for the nerds: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was made. A host computer at UCLA would send the first ever internet message to a host computer at Stanford Research Institute.

In addition to the data network connection, the programmers at Los Angeles and Stanford were also connected by telephone. They intended to transmit the word LOGIN. The UCLA programmer began typing on his computer.

Simultaneously, over the telephone:

UCLA: “Did you get the L?”
Stanford: “Yes.”
UCLA: “Did you get the O?”
Stanford: “Yes.”

And now the UCLA team attempted to send the letter G... Bam! The system crashed.

History now has it that the first ever internet message was prophetic indeed: LO.

February 2023

A dog (a poodle? a golden retriever?) now travels to the same city that sent the first ever internet message: LOS ANGELES.

Hola! This is Woof, a unique breed! Wanna be pals with me? Come say hi at booth 364, LA Religious Education Congress, Anaheim Convention Center, LA.

Woof sitting

For the next few days, I’m gonna be wagging my tail a lot. It’s all exciting. Excitement shared is excitement quadrupled. So, here I share some no-fluff notes from my diary:

Log #1
All my bags are packed. It was a tad bit tiring. But chewing bones every hour helped.

Log #2
I’m excited about getting to LA. But I also wonder if the jet lag is gonna be a temporary dampener... Anyway, I packed my special woofie jet lag pills. LAX, here I come!

Log #3
I still remember the first time I had eggs for my evening snack. The eggs were sliced in half and looked like shining suns with thick, white borders. Firsts are unforgettable. LA Congress is gonna be a new space for me. A whole new world of catechesis. I can’t wait to meet all the wonderful peeps and woofs out there!

Log #4
I’m told we’ll first have an opening liturgy. What a beautiful way to start the event! Speaking of the liturgy, I’m reminded of the Emmaus story: my favorite passage in the Bible. I guess even my to-and-fro journey between home and LA is going to be life-changing... Just like the Jerusalem-Emmaus-Jerusalem journey! Can’t wait!

Log #5
I checked the tagline for LA Congress. It’s Renew. Experience. Celebrate. It reminds me of my world. In Woof’s world, the Catholic heritage—the wonders of our faith— is passed on to today’s young digital natives through gamified catechesis. Isn’t my game plan a renewal in the world of catechesis? Don’t I offer a first-of-its-kind experience? Isn’t all this a reason to celebrate? Ah. The excitement snowballs. Whewf! I can’t stop daydreaming about meeting all my kindred spirits there in LA. All woofing under the same woof, I mean, roof!

Log #6
The daydreams are getting brighter. From apricot yellows to marigold oranges. I’m seeing myself making new connections and exchanging QR codes. I see many lives getting intersected in LA. I’m thinking... would we be living in the digital world today if not for those UCLA and Stanford programmers who laid the foundation of the internet with that first internet message in 1969? LO and behold! What a miraculous coincidence that I’m going to that same city! All for the greater glory of God.

Log #7
My eyes are always on my Master. And my eyes are as wide as the brilliant blue Pacific ocean. But now, they’re getting wider. I’m wide open to this new experience I’m gonna have in LA. And I’m super pumped up that, finally, the world is gonna get to know me! I also know that this beautiful event must come to an end. But the memories and connections will last forever.

I hope these logs gave you a window into my present state of mind.

This might be yet another mundane week for most folks. But in my world, things are a bit different.

The air is brimming with excitement.
The satisfying nervousness of trying out something new.
Something that would change the scene forever.

posted Feb 21, 3:47 am (428 days ago) , 0 comments