As part of our Geeks We Love series, I caught up with a few couples that, through the beauty of the internet and technology have influenced both our lives and each other.
If loving the internet, pop culture and Macs is wrong, Pete Mortensen and Kimra McPherson don’t want to be right. He’s an innovation strategy consultant, and renowned Cult of Mac blogger and she is an editor on the world famous BuzzSugar team. When the couple isn’t playing Wii sports or hiking Half Dome they can be found in their San Francisco apartment making messes while learning to cook, building up their netflix queue and keeping their two cats off their keyboards. And of course blogging, lots and lots of blogging. What geeky things do these two love about each other and life?
Peter has spent the last two years covering Apple freelance for Wired and on the Cult of Mac blog. He also works for Jump Associates, a firm that helps clients unlock growth and create cultures of innovation. "I broke into blogging by sending Wired a blind cover letter with pitches," says Peter. "I’d been a Mac obsessive for about a decade before-hand, though, so I had a few things on my mind in advance." Kimra made her first Web site when she was 15 and has been on the Internet in various ways ever since, most recently as an editor for Buzzsugar.
Geeksugar: Let's start simple. What’s the geekiest thing about yourself:
He says: I was complaining just the other night that my experiment to learn twice as much on my morning train commute by listening to podcasts while reading books seemed to be failing, because I wasn’t retaining information from either source. Read that sentence again. Then get me some help.
She says: I’m currently chronicling the year between my 25th birthday and my 26th birthday by taking a photo every day and posting them all on flickr. If you ever wanted to know what the inside of my purse looked like on January 26, well, now you can.
Geeksugar: What’s the geekiest thing about your significant other:
He says: I think Kimra has actually got every personal blog on the internet as part of her RSS roll. I like to believe I get a pretty rich survey of everything the web has to offer, but then I see what she’s reading and recognize how small my world can be.
She says: The amount of information he knows about Apple is, frankly, a little scary. He might not remember shopping lists or flight departure times, but I’m sure he could tell you the names and personal histories of every key person who worked on the original Macintosh. He also “accidentally” impulse-bought a Nintendo Wii on eBay, so that’s a close second.
Geeksugar: How and when did you meet your significant other?
She says: We met in college, when he was my editor at our weekly campus magazine. We were also both college radio DJs, which is geeky enough in itself.
He says: This is 100 percent true. Though we didn’t start dating until well after we were both out of school.
Geeksugar: What are your top 5 favorite gadgets:
He says: My iPod shuffle (clip style, of course! I really want an orange one, now). My HDTV. Its picture is great, and it’s a Westinghouse, which makes me feel like it’s 1956 in the living room. My Nintendo DS Lite. My Powerbook G4 12”. His name is Malimikigio, which is Esperanto for “You are the enemy.” I got the name from liner notes of Radiohead’s “OK Computer.” Hmm… that might actually be the geekiest thing about me. Except that my iPod shuffle is named “L’il Malky.” That could be. Kimra’s dustbuster Scorpion with the extender nozzle. It almost makes cleaning up kitty litter fun. Almost.
She says: My 80 gig iPod, my iDog, my Blackberry Pearl, Pete’s Nintendo DS Lite (Brain Age has the best Sudoku game ever) and my iMic, for transferring my old high school mix tapes to mp3.
Geeksugar: What are the top 5 luxury gadgets you really want:
He says: The iPhone. Someone else can handle the service charges. A MacBook Pro, though I probably want the next generation of processors to roll through before that. If you’re paying, though, the current version’s fine. Noise-canceling headphones. Sennheiser makes some good ones. A Toyota Prius. Though what I really want is a hybrid Mini Cooper, if they’d ever get around to making it. A USB Missile Launcher. For attacks. Stealthy ones.
She says: Some really nice earphones, the iPhone, the Nike+iPod kit. I know the kit’s cheap, but I count it as a luxury because I don’t already have a Nano. I also don’t run, but that’s beside the point, right? Clocky! I can’t really justify spending $50 on an alarm clock that doesn’t also play music, except that it would run away from me when I hit snooze. A Nabaztag rabbit. Maybe my iDog’s lonely, OK?
Geeksugar: Your first computer was a…
He says: A Kaypro II. I swear I didn’t make that name up. It had a built-in green screen and couldn’t render graphics other than letters and numbers. We had an awesome fake Donkey Kong game called Ladder for it where you were a capital P that ran away from lower-case o’s and hopped over vertical carrot characters. My brother was way better at it than me. Thanks to the internet, I can play it again now. Check it out!
She says: An Apple IIe that my family kept many, many years past its prime.
Geeksugar: What are some of your favorite websites?
He says: yourmomsbasement.com, thevhive.com, daringfireball.net, core77.com, track50.com, crooksandliars.com, www.tenbyten.org/10x10.html
She says: televisionwithoutpity.com, shelterrific.com, flickr.com, 43things.com, tomatonation.com, track50.com, catsinsinks.com, postsecret.blogspot.com
Geeksugar: What is your Valentine’s Day plan?
He says: We’ve got a reservation at one of our favorite restaurants, Sauce. They’re doing a pretty amazing price-fixed four-course menu for the occasion. It’s awesome. It’s a Wednesday. Then, on a weekend not too much later, we’ll head down on Saturday to Big Sur – site of one of our earliest really significant dates, and an area we haven’t visited in almost two years.
She says: All of that is completely true.
Geeksugar: Who makes the final decision when it comes to gadgets for the home?
She says: We pretty much decide together while braving the piles of merchandise in Best Buy.
Geeksugar: Who solves tech problems at home?
She says: Oh, he does. Definitely. He networked everything and thus must deal with my phone calls asking inane questions about how to work the VCR.
He says: It’s cute that she calls the AV set-up a network. It’s not, but the fact that I could explain why it isn’t is way too geeky to even cover here.
Geeksugar: Are you going to buy an iPhone?
He says: If I start making a lot more money, I’d love one. HINT. I also would need to leave T-Mobile, which I’m not actually eager to do.
She says: If I can ever get out of my Sprint contract, I would; they own my soul for several more years.
Geeksugar: How do you feel about people calling you a “geek”?
He says: It’s fine. I think I bristle a little bit at nerd, though. I could be wrong. I have a close friend who thinks geek is more insulting than nerd. But then, he’s not really a geek. I think the only reason he uses a computer instead of a typewriter is that I tricked him into it.
She says: I definitely embrace it. Life just wouldn’t be the same without my Dashboard widgets and my Wired magazine subscription.
Geeksugar: What has been your better half's greatest contribution to the tech/blog industry – don’t be modest
He says: “She helped bring the BuzzReel into the world.”
She says: He, his Cult of Mac readers and Claire Danes raised $15,000 through Donors Choose so teachers could fund Mac-related classroom projects. He also put his body on the line to taste-test the Jones Soda Holiday Collection so we don’t have to.
Geeksugar: How many hours do you spend online a day?
He says: I’m not even sure how to measure this anymore. Even when I’m not online, I have GMail open, and I read each message as it comes in. Let’s call it a good 10 hours and not probe too much more.
She says: All of my working hours, and a large number of my leisure hours. Probably 12? Wow, I feel kind of dirty now.
Geeksugar: How many hours does your partner spend online a day?
He says: As much as I do. Possibly more. My day job sometimes requires me to put the computer down, which is both a blessing and a curse.
She says: He uses the computer as much as I do at home but slightly less at work. So 10 hours sounds about right, I suppose.
Geeksugar: What is one geeky habit you’re trying to quit?
He says: Hitting refresh on sites I like that are just not actually going to update in the next five seconds. I probably waste a good hour a day just revisiting sites and message boards I’ve already skimmed in hopes they’ll offer me something new. It’s sad.
She says: I’m way too easily distracted on the Internet. For example, I started answering this question 15 minutes ago, but then I decided I needed to go see if some of my old favorite Web sites that I hadn’t visited in a while had RSS feeds, and then I started following the links on their blogrolls, and suddenly I was reading the entire archives of a blog I’d never heard of before. So yeah, that.
Geeksugar: Are you the “Beauty” or the “Geek” in the relationship?
He says: I’m totally the geek. Kimra’s really beautiful, and, crucially, is nowhere near as dorky as I am when it comes to understanding how technology works, not just what it can do for her. Plus, I know the name of the woman who created all the icons for the original Mac. (Susan Kare! She’s great!) Um…yeah.
She says: Not that Pete’s not attractive, but I’m going to have to claim the title of Beauty here – I can only dream of someday reaching his level of Geekiness.