Friday, November 21, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Posting so I can keep it somehwere!

As released by the Obama campaign:

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama—as prepared for delivery
Election Night
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This past week has been painful, boring -and at some point I will post details. The cliff notes version is that I have an injured cornea on the left eye. It left me needing to put in eye drops overy hour - day and night - for 2.5 days. Now I'm up to every 2 hours. Needless to say I'm a bit off my normal sleep cycle. I've heard a lot of great tv - it hurts to watch for too long.

I am loving Tina Fey's Palin.

Today should be an interesting experiment - I have photos to do for a picnic from 11-3. Thank goodness it's my left eye...but still it feels wweird being unbalanced in vision. We'll see how I do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

White Privilege

This piece arrived in my email tonight, and I had to post it here. It made me wish that I was still on the diversity committee at my last position so that there was a group with which to talk about it! It might be a wee bit too political for some where I currently work. I certainly am not sure about all of the statements it makes, but it is a powerful piece of writing!

By Tim Wise
For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me (Soft Skull, 2005, revised 2008), and of Speaking Treason Fluently, publishing this month, also by Soft Skull. For review copies or interview requests, please reply to

This is just too perfect.

I hope she stays on for the whole election season!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Photos from Ted Nugent Concert in Animoto Digital Video...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Nuge

It was 20 years ago...that I first started shooting concerts locally for WIZN. I was 18 and thrilled for free concerts, and cool photos. No pay - but it didn't matter it made me happy. One of the first major bands I got to work with was Bad Company, and their opening act - Damn Yankees. Once Bad Company actually told me the name of some songs they recorded, I at least knew I knew who they were. And that they were okay and fun. The other band? The main players were Tommy Shaw of Styx and Michael Cartalone of Knight Ranger. At least in my mind. (Only from the mind of Minolta).

There was this other guy though who seemed to strike fear into my parents hearts at first. Ted Nugent. "The Nuge." I had fun over the course of 2 years catching up with these two bands and shooting whenever and wherever I could. Even at one show earned my stripes and got an All Access Pass for the two bands - in case I could make it to New Orleans. I was 20 and in college. The show in New Orleans was right after school started - but hell, yeah, I was on the road and going.

The final stop of their worldwide tour, these two bands were in New Orleans to play (literally) and play and have some fun. My view of New Orleans will forever be seen through the eyes of these two bands, and a few Banana Banshees.

These were some amazing memories from that tour - but my two favorites were from Middletown, NY where I managed to get a kid who was at the concert through Make-A-Wish backstage to meet Ted. He'd gotten amazing tickets, but not been granted permission to go backstage. Bully on that! It was a great thing to be able to see happen.

The other was much more personal. The morning after the last show in New Orleans, I called home and talked to Mom and Dad, and found out Nana Visco was not doing well. Not expected to make it through the week. I still had a few more days left on the trip, but knew I wanted to get back to New York to see her. Ted and Tommy got up after 3 hours of sleep, helped me pack, rearrange travel plans and got me a limo to the airport.

You know they put on their pants the same way you and I do - one leg at a time.

So, when 20 years later, Ted's coming to town - I had to take pictures. Had to. No real reason why - just for the sheer fun of it. The memory of what was. Well - he didn't let me down. With a single email request I had my photo access, and Geoff and I ended up with seats in the 6th row center. SWEET. First three, no flash. Same rules as always. Only now, the audience is allowed cameras, just not video or "professional cameras."

There I am, side by side with Alison Redlich from the local daily and the newly hired Communications Director for the Fair. And loving it. 20 years later I know that I am THAT good. That my pictures are that good. That I have every right to be up here with these people. And we talked cameras, favorite shows, and why I do it.

Why - because it makes me feel alive. I have an adrenaline rush a high that is almost unexplainable. To Ted fans - it's the thrill of the hunt - for the perfect picture combining good photography, sense of the music, the persona and a glimpse of the real person. It's my relationship with the person I am shooting.

So all said and done - I had a ball. Got some great photos and made a couple of new acquaintances. Maybe 20 years down the road I be looking back at this night and realizing what came from it, just as I look back to 1990 and New Orleans.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So about 5 weeks ago I started my 8930728934th diet. Oh, that's right. It's NOT a diet. It's a lifestyle program. Whatever you call it, it's still a diet. A losing battle. As someone who has been oversized and undertall her whole life, losing weight sometimes seems like a battle that can't be one. Each time I have managed to lose some weight, I gain it alllllll back and then some. And I'll admit it - I love my breads, pastas, and twizzlers!

No surprise to most who have ever been overweight, I grew up in a house where food was love. You gave someone food if you loved them. You ate everything you were served if you loved them. You fought over who got which leftovers from Thanksgiving, because whomever got Aunt Marie's stuffing (or the largest amount of it) - you were LOVED.

I know the process of journaling every calorie eaten, of tracking how much exercise I do (walking counts), of tracking fats, carbs, proteins, steps...the list goes on. Intellectually, I KNOW this. But the mind block comes in - I'd rather stay in bed than walk. Watch the Olympics table tennis than work out. I make really good healthy vegetarian chili that I love, and so does my husband. BUt it's in the fridge a week later, forsaken for the weekly trip to Hoagies, dinner with mom, lunch at Ponderosa...

I struggle how to get from where I am, to where I want to be. It's a long road, and hard to see the end point. I know that even 10% of body weight lost can make a difference, but when according to everything I've got 56% of my body to lose, it seems insurmountable.

Perhaps if I was nearly as comfortable in my own skin as my friend Kat (in the photo above), this wouldn't be as obnoxiously painful. But, I'm not comfortable this way. Let's face it - I don't want to be seen in a bathing suit, shorts, dresses that require nylons. I hate that I have to order my bras online as there is no place locally to get them my size. I hate that I can't keep up with my husband and go for a walk with him - between his long legs and stride, and better fitness level, I just can't keep up. I want to be doing taekwondo again, hell, I want to make it to the gym for water aerobics. But again that short-circuit is in effect and I am struggling.

It's not over till the fat lady sings, goes the statement. I hear no divas singing in my neck of the woods yet!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Forever Family!

Ah - family. No word can bring up more intense emotions. Like 'em, love'em, hate'em, or never knew 'em - there is no one that hasn't been affected in some manner by their family.

And then there are the chosen families. I'm blessed in that I have two chosen families. For decades (Egads!) I've called Geoff's mom "Mom." Okay - so has pretty much everyone who is important in geoff's world. But we've all adopted her as our own. I'm lucky in that now, by nature of marriage, she actually is mine!

And then there are the Perry's. Bruce and Sue (pink and blue shirts) were the best man and woman at our wedding. They hid the ring for Geoff. It was with their family present that he proposed. Sue is like the big sister I never had, and Shanna (middle, back row) is like the younger sister I never had!

There is nothing that I can't imagine doing for them - even sending my husband forth to take care of 20+ chickens for a few days. He HATES chickens as much as Indiana Jones hates snakes. The little guy in front is their a daughter/step-daughter from a previous marriage and life. As of today, he is their child. They officially adopted him into their family - legally, permanently, forever.

The kids have always know Geoff and I as Aunt and Uncle, and I count that as an honor and a privilege not to be taken lightly! Knowing what it is to be family, to be invited in and welcomed as a part of the clan is a gift.

Isiaha understands that through the eyes of a 7 year-old right now. It feels nice, there's lots of attention, and people love him. But it won't be for years that he understands the choices that were involved. Shanna's basically no longer an only child. Bruce and Sue have years more parenting ahead of them that were not in the plans. Geoff and I will be there as much as we can for all of them - to help with homework, listen to tears, go on joyrides and apple picking.

I'm proud of my Shanna (okay, she's not mine, but I claim her anyways in this!) - she's handling all the changes remarkably well for a young lady in the prime time of chaos - teenage years, transitioning to high school and generally trying to figure out exactly who she is. She's someone with spunk, pride, joy and a spirit that shines through - despite the fact that some days are really trying. Having to share Mom and Dad...her space...her world. It's been hard adjusting to having another little guy around at all times- but she's done it as gracefully as I believe could have been done. Sure, again, some days - it's still hard, and I'm sure she longs to be "the only one" again - but, inside I know this holds truer and stronger - she knows that Isiaha will have a good and stable home, with people (herself included) who love him enough to set rules, say no, and oh yeah - have a good time too!

It'll be tough for all of them - emotionally, financially, physically - but they will be there through it all for each other. The temper tantrums that are bound to happen, and the first love. The first car accident and the first date.

Bruce, Sue, and Shanna have made room in their house and hearts for a little guy who can be by turns stubborn, clingy, adorably cute, clever, and downright fun. It won't be for years that he sees that while they have taken him in (he is family) - that this isn't always a given. Sometimes there isn't a safe, loving space that this can happen. Sometimes the other family members aren't available - be they in another state, unknown, or unable to take care of a child.

Isiaha's birthday is in 3 days, and it may be years before he gets the gift that Bruce, Sue, Shanna and all those who love them have given. Until then, through pain, tears and laughter, they are family, and they are part of our family as well. And when that day comes, it will be wonderful to sit down with an older, wiser Isiaha and remember this day.

When his forever family chose him.

Monique (DCF) and George (Isiaha's Guardian Ad Litem) with Isiaha after the adoption in North Hero.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Animoto is Awesome!

And Sinead O'Connor still is AMAZING!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

TVP and me

It's days like these that I feel like I have actually made some progress around the house that make me wish that I was better about doing it more consistently. Kind of the same for eating well. I've had my yogurts. I'm making TVP chili (and thinking of Tara, the first to introduce me to Textured Vegetable Protein). It is an amazingly tasty and nutrient filled. It's 11 AM, and there is already a lovely aroma of fresh made chili hanging in the air.

WHo's hungry?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


So here it is...two weeks before the end of the summer, and it has finally turned nice. While it's been raining all along, I haven't much missed having a week's worth of days with little calling my name but knitting, reading and napping. Soon Geoff starts his internship where he'll be working more than a full time job, taking classes and prepping for both jobs. It'll be a hectic crazy ten months, but then it's all done - he'll be graduated and have a Masters in Counseling. YIPEE!

I'm thinking about a couple of day run to Phoenix between November an February, as there will be a desert Chihuly exhibit there. I'm still not sure I can justify the amount of money it would be to do it though.

Until next summer, given the crazy scheduling, I have a feeling that it will feel a bit like a marathon at our house. Not so much the sprint speed, but the long, grueling race requiring focus, dedication and commitment. I know we're both in for the long haul, but know that there will be some long months ahead. I know we're not the first to have this experience either, but it's still a lot to prepare for.

That's why the timing was perfect to sign up for the VTrim weight loss program that started the end of July and rns through sometimein January. Time to focus on good, healthy food. On me. On us. Time to work on getting to the gym. Time to get the proverbial and literal house in order.

Next June, Geoff turns 40 - and it's Vegas-time baby. Celebrating graduation, turning 40 and life in general - we'r sending him off for some well-deserved time in Vegas, perhaps his favorite play spot of all.

Watch out world!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Small Towns, Big Hearts

Today was the fifth or sixth time I've headed off to IBM for the annual back-to-school backpack and supply drive.

It was the first time for Lund Family Center, and I am grateful that they could include us this year.

Photo Opp:
John Allen from IBM stands with a "bus" full of Lund Family Center's supplies to deliver. Seth Gallant loads the HowardCenter - Child Youth and Family Services into Deb Sullivan's car.

It's been a rough year economically for just about everybody, and certainly locally for any family involved with IBM. Between the layoffs and the 12-hour shift premium reduction, it's been a hard year for the staff and families there particularly. I was certainly afraid that a backpack and supply drive might not do as well this year.

But my worries were for naught. In the space of 5-6 weeks, IBM Essex gathered over 1500 backpacks, and supplies to go with them all. Perhaps because it has been such a hard year economically these people opened their hearts to others who are not as fortunate as they are.

I'm psyched. Last night it was 70+ pairs of new shoes for the kids for the start of the school year from Maple Tree Place and their shoppers. Today it was school supplies from IBM staff. It's really nice to live in a small town where people still have big hearts and are connected to the whole community and truly care.

And for the kids connected to Lund - I'm most psyched of all. Nothing is more exciting than starting a new school year with new stuff with which to create new memories. Gotta love that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Egads, I'm a GEEK!

This morning I did a presentation to several managers on proposed changes in look, structure and philosophy for the website for my agency.

As I did that, I reflected back on some key dates in my technological life:
1970: Born

early 70s: I had Pong and Skeet for my TV! I was COOL!

1977: First computer programming courses - Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Basic Programming.
(Okay - I learned Basic "BASIC" programming. But I learned how to teach a computer my name, to draw pictures using asterisks, tell jokes, etc...but it was my first real introduction to computing. The computer console was about the size of my current desk at work, and the computers were larger than I was!)

Got my own Atari! Breakout rocks, Asteroids...leading to Pac-Man and all the other fun games.

Got my first modem...1200 Baud dial up. Now I was really cool. I was in one town, working on a computer located at another town and maintaining membership and databases. I was a teenager and I had a DOS based computer and was dialing two towns over to enter data. Wicked cool.

Got to college, PS/2 in hand and discovered the VAX system. Was soon using VAX to talk with people in Rio. Sao Paolo, Ireland, etc. Became an operator on the IRC Relay. Now I was cutting edge. I was crossing continents and time zones. How cool was that.

Was an early homesteader on GeoPages, later becoming GeoCities. Built my first website using HTML. There was no easy HTML editor or WYSIWYG was all coding and programming.

Fast forward 13 years...
I'm drooling at the thought of being able to work on a website that is not "mine." Sold a couple of domains that I had started to other users. Created several online presences that continue beyond me. And still...I am loving the idea of starting over again with another site, another direction.

I am geekette!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Owned" Phenomenon

Recently, I've found myself hanging out online more and more, and doing less and less. Sure, I've been playing Mob Wars. Sure, I was a multi-millionaire on the Facebook game "Owned." But really - what does this all mean?

In Owned I'd spend hours and minutes clicking frantically through bad photos taken on cell phone cameras, a few really nice and obviously personal photos - but a vast majority were nothing more than images pulled from other websites of buxom women, hot young men, and funny moments. I'd spend hours buying and selling people. Making split second reactions on attractiveness (and occasionally on geekitude!) and deciding what could make me more money. What was that? Images of women in tight clothes, bikinis, often in provocative poses.

In Mob Wars, I ran around with my Mob as Mob Boss GangStaGwen. I had a few restuarants, villas and a city block and apartment. Made my money by jewelry heists, bootlegging, taking out people on the "Hit List," muggings and carjacking.

I've spent the past few days slowly passing off my online fortune, gallery of images and really looking forward to seeing the computer more as ally and tool. More writing, more photography, and not that there can't be fun in here -but I'm going to look at games that involve more thought and challenge, like Scrabulous did.

The main lesson here - I was served a not-so-subtle reminder that I do indeed have an addictive personality, and that the internet can take the place of carbs, startches, sweets as it might for an alcoholic, gambler, or other type of addict.

My second lesson/reflection - what exactly was I modelling to some of the kids I love (not that they are all online yet): violence is a way to succeed, being attractive makes you more valuable, being hot makes you extremely valuable, and mindlessly being a consumer of media is okay.

So let's start at the start - back to using talents and time more wisely. Remembering that there is a world that exists that does not include plasma, LCD or tubes. And most of all - that there are things far more worthy of addictive dedication - health, relationships, and creativity being just a few.