Previous me.

Elysha made this South Park figure of me about eight years ago. It’s a good example of how much can change in just eight short years.


At the time, the iPhone and wireless Bluetooth headsets did not exist, so I am holding an iPod and wearing wired headphones.

Just think: In 2004, most of us weren’t texting, using Facebook or Twitter, navigating with GPS or accessing the Internet on a mobile device.

It’s hard to even imagine that now.

In 2004 I owned an AT&T 8525, which was the geek phone for its day. It had a slide-out keyboard and could make phone calls, check email and access a bastardized version of some websites.

It was a dinosaur by today’s standards, but at the time, it was the best phone on the market.

The cards in my hand are a reflection of the amount of poker I was playing at the time. I had a weekly home game, and I was playing online as well.

I actually paid for our honeymoon through poker winnings. 

I’ve since realized that writing is more profitable for me than poker, so I play a lot less. My home game went away as my friends began having children and becoming less and less available. Though I’d still be willing to host a weekly game, I was struggling to get even four players to the table each week.

The US government also made online poker illegal in 2010. The largest online sites were immediately shut down and the online game became considerably harder to play.

No more fish. Just sharks. While poker remain profitable for me, I am no longer winning at the rates I was even three years ago.

I can’t help but wonder what my South Park figure would look like if Elysha decided to make one today. What would she put in my hands now? What does she she as my primary distractions?

Though your first instinct might be an iPhone, everyone has a iPhone or its equivalent in their pocket today. Though many people owned an iPod in 2004, few were using it with the frequency that I was, and even fewer were playing poker as often as me. 

So maybe it would be an iPhone, but I don’t think so. If that were the case, everyone’s South Park figure would be holding a phone.

I think my wife is more creative than that. Maybe she’ll make one and we can see.