Believe it or not . . .

December 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

I am actually alive.   It looks like someone other than ABW and people hitting on specific search terms comes by every once in a while, so I thought I should probably give a shout out.  I’ve almost come back to the blog many times, but something always intervened and the “orphan” status was maintained.  I haven’t been comfortable writing about some of the things going on in my personal and professional lives for a while and that has kept me away from the blog.

Work is somewhat better now.  I work for the same company but in a different location and slightly different position.  Not one I imagined myself in, but one that might be a good fit.  My new “team” of co-workers definitely seem like a better fit than the old one.

I actually have big plans for Christmas.  My mom is coming here from Texas and then we are driving to my brother and SIL’s.  I took a big chunk of time off and won’t come back until after the New Year.  It’s going to be nice to spend the holidays with family.  That’s been difficult to do lately between my moves and the ones the Army has sent my brother and SIL on!

No promises on whether or not this blog is going to come back to life.  I’ve actually been debating starting a new one that isn’t tied to me at all so I can write about some of the things I’m just not comfortable writing about here.   Nothing personal, but I won’t be able to let any of you still reading this one know if that happens- it would totally negate my attempt at anonymity.  I guess I could always do both . . . something to think about.

Welcome Back!

March 3, 2009 at 7:57 am | Posted in Blogging, Deployment, Military | Leave a comment

One of the links on my sidebar (Zolnierz) is to a now formerly deployed soldier!  I had originally titled this post “Welcome Home”, but as some of you may recall he is originally from Poland.  I’m not sure if he actually considers Hawaii to be home :)  Either way, he is with family again and that is a good think.  He linked to a youtube video of the deployment ceremony which you can see here.

Go by and leave a comment on the post Film z Powrotu.  He blogs in Polish, but is perfectly happy to receive comments in English.  At least that’s what he has told me after my attempts at commenting in Polish using an online translator!

Surprise!

February 16, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Blogging, Gardening | 4 Comments

Yes  I am still alive and, although I haven’t totally abandoned it, I have been neglecting the blog something horrible.  Thanks to my two regular readers for the comments and emails asking what’s up.

There is no single reason why I haven’t been writing- my computer didn’t die, I didn’t lose my hands to flesh eating bacteria and no sentinel event caused me to stop.  I just got wrapped up in “real life”.  I’ve drawn some pretty firm lines for myself about what I will and will not post about with work being pretty high up on the Do Not Post List.  Settling into the new job, the crayziness/absurdities I have encountered with my new employer and my own frustration about things that aren’t the way they should be but that I have absolutely no power to change have all kept me occupied but just can’t be discussed here.  Things are OK at work, I’m just still learning the system and how to work things so that the changes that need to happen start happening at least on an individual level since I really don’t have the power/standing to bring about change system wide.  I’ve been able to impact a few things on the individual level, but the fact that I even had to intervene has royally ticked me off because they were situations that didn’t need to happen.

Anyway, enough about work (Do Not Post List and all).  I’ve made one quick trip home during my impromptu posting hiatus.  It was for a wedding shower for my sister and I pretty much went to that and spent time with Mom.  I did see one childhood friend- we arranged to meet up at her gym on the Sunday morning and I got a workout in.   She’s coming near where I live next month with her family for vacation and we are going to meet up again.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Other than the quick trip, I’ve mostly been working and going to the gym.   I also started working in the yard/garden.  I’m living in a rental and it looks like the backyard was neglected for a while.    However, at some point in time someone had cleared out the grass for about 2 1/2 feet along the fenceline surrounding the yard.  There were a few sad looking bushlets and the remnants of some pine bark mulch.  I’ve been working on cleaning up these “beds” so that I can plant some flowers and veggies.  The vegetables are going to be a huge experiment as I’ve never tried to grow anything more than tomatos.  I do have some good tomato plants this year too.  There is a guy at work who is very into growing tomatos- he saves seeds each year and starts the seedlings the next season.  He gave me a few seedlings to plant and some instructions for what works around here.  I also bought one from the nursery section of a local store.  The picture on the label was too cool to resist.  It is a red zebra tomato.  The outside of the tomato is striped in red and yellow whenit is ripe.  I found this blog entry via a google image search if any of you want to see one actually growing.  I’m also trying to grow some simple vegetables that are supposedly idiot-proof to grow.  The seedlings have started and will be planted soon.  I have had some misadventures already (minor ones) but I’ll save that story for another day.

Changes

November 7, 2008 at 12:17 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

I know it’s been a while since I posted, but don’t worry- I haven’t orphaned another blog. There have been some changes in my life recently that I’d like to call small, but I guess are actually kind of big. Since my last post here I worked my last day at my old job, moved over a thousand miles and am now days away from starting a new job.

When I wrote about my grandmother’s death, I called myself a “Geographic Orphan”. The move kind of brought some of that back. I had developed some strong relationships in NJ and wasn’t very excited about moving away from a newly developed support system again. I know a lot of my readers are military or milspouses and you’re probably thinking “Boo hoo, poor you” while rolling your eyes right about now, but I really do feel like it is different when you are a civilian moving in and out of different civilian communities. The movers are in the minority. Even though I had already made the decision to move, and I do think it is the right decision both professionally and personally, separating from the life I had in NJ was difficult. The two days of freezing rain and snow during my last week there made it easier, but it still wasn’t what I would call fun.

This blog has been changing over time too. I’m not sure exactly what it is changing from or what it is going to be. I don’t expect it will become a very focused blog like deployed milblogs are and I won’t be writing about work, but there are some issues that matter to me that I will be posting more about. Just don’t expect much in the way of political posts-those tend to attract too much attention from the kind of commenters I don’t want to encourage. I do like reading them however and encourage you to check out the new blog Four Horsemen of the Obacalypse. I’ll be reading there and maybe even commenting from time to time. Anyway, thanks for sticking around.

Big Day!

October 29, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Aggies, Blogging | Leave a comment

I knew today was coming eventually, but didn’t expect it today.  I’m not a big-time blogger and my traffic tends to ebb and flow in tandem with my posting frequency.  However, I have noticed from the sitemeter statistics that I do have some regular readers (despite the depressing number who just read the RSS feed and only drop by to comment once in a blue moon).  Not only that, but some of the regulars are people I don’t even know!

I hit a milestone today that I’m excited to hit in less than a year.  Even better- I didn’t have sitemeter when I first started blogging so I *really* hit the milestone a while back.  Anyway, here it is:

Visitor #3,500 came here via a search engine looking for posts about the Texas A&M Fish Drill Team and found their way to this post from way back in July.  I’m not going to post about every milestone reached (no point), but I will forewarn you all that I am excitedly anticipating comment #500 and have a plan.  It’s a good one too!

“Is that safe?”

October 16, 2008 at 2:19 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

I’m on a work trip right now and missed most of the last presidential debate.  I was a little bummed because I had a lot of fun with the live blogging/discussion at This Ain’t Hell last time and I was pretty sure it was going to happen again.  Before we headed out to dinner I told my friend/co-worker that I wanted to make it back on time so I could do the live blog again.  She asked what a live blog was and I gave a brief description of what was going to happen (there  is this website I read, people go to it during the debates and they use a program that lets you basically “chat” about what is happening while listening).  The first sentence in her response was actually a question- “Is it safe?”.  She said more after that, but her basic concern was the idea that I would be participating in this “discussion” with a bunch of people I don’t know and that you don’t *really* know who anyone is on the internet.

In a way she’s right, I don’t *really* know who any of the other people are, but they don’t *really* know who I am either.  If someone who knows me in “real life” stumbled upon this blog, they would know it was mine because of some of the things I’ve written, but it would be hard for someone reading the blog to find me if they started looking (although I can’t say it would be impossible).  I take some precautions online and I think I’m prudent about it, but I don’t obsess about them.

When it comes to internet “relationships” and interactions, I think some of the differences between internet and “real life” are what bring the challenges and/or risks, and not necessarily risks or challenges in a “safety” sense.  When you only interact with people online, whether it is through blogs/webpages, email, or some type of chat program, you are missing out on a lot of the essential aspects of communication.  Nonverbal communication is a biggie.  When all you have to rely on are words on paper and the occasional emoticon (it took me a while to become comfortable with them too) there is a lot of room for misunderstanding and unintentional hurt feelings.  This isn’t what she was referring to when she asked, “Is it safe?” but it is a part of internet life.

Weird

October 14, 2008 at 9:02 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

In the past two days I have had 11 different visitors end up at this site after searching for variations on “branded with a scarlet letter”. The first few times I saw it pop up I assumed that my post was showing up on searches by high schoolers looking for information on The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne because they didn’t read it when it was assigned. I was amused because my post is anything but a Cliff’s Notes version of the novel. Now I’m confused though. Last night someone searched for “Scarlet Letter t-shirt”. I, of course, had to repeat the search to see if I could figure out what they had been looking for. I found a t-shirt with a large red “A” for Aids Awareness, a t-shirt with an A on it from a famous atheist who thinks anyone who believes in God is suffering from delusions, and a number of different versions available through cafe press. I wonder what is sending people here. Maybe they’ll find this post now and let me know…

Update: I forgot to include that it looks like all of the searches are coming from the greater Las Vegas area (with different ISPs and/or IP addresses).  This is part of what makes me think it might be school-related.

I’m back…

October 2, 2008 at 8:49 am | Posted in Blogging, Family | 2 Comments

I was “gone” from the blog a lot longer than I expected to be, but I’m back again.  Not enough time for a long post this morning, but I’ll put something up tonight after work.  There are actually some funny stories about grandma’s funeral and I may write about a few of them.  To those of you who kept checking in while I was away, sorry for the length of my absence.  It was a bit hectic around here before and after the trip out for the funeral.

“Orphaned” Milblogs

August 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Blogging, Deployment, Military | Leave a comment

I’ve been reading milblogs for long enough now to recognize that many of my “favorites” are going to have a short lifespan. A minimum of 1/3 of the milblogs bookmarked in my web browser are no longer regularly updated. It’s different than the blog orphaning I’ve been guilty of in the past, but I would imagine the reasons for orphaning vary from milblogger to milblogger.

Today I received an email from a milblogger whose blog has gone long enough without being updated that I had actually removed the bookmark from Firefox. It was from Thunder6, the author of 365 and a Wake-up (I’ll be posting something separate about the email he sent later). Two and a half years had passed since his “Welcome Home” post. I recognized his blog as one of my daily “must reads” that has been orphaned and hoped that the email meant he was back to blogging. While there is one newer post on his blog (from this past June), the opening statement makes me think he won’t be blogging on it anymore.

It has been a very, very long time since I have had the opportunity to write in this online journal. Truth be told I have had the opportunity – I just lacked the ability. Although I wanted to bring some kind of closure to this journal it has always been – and will always remain – a war journal. And when you aren’t immersed in the blowtorch reality of combat it can be a little difficult to write about the emotions those situations give birth to.

I hope that he was able to gain the closure he sought.

Not just for rich white men and the police anymore

August 27, 2008 at 1:06 am | Posted in Blogging, Disabilities, Military | Leave a comment

Sometimes no matter how hard I try to stay on track and follow the “main theme” of a discussion, a small point will grab my attention. I am frequently distracted by something shiny when reading blogs- especially the comments sections. I think that the “conversations” taking place in the comments sections are a large part of what makes reading blogs fun for many of us, particularly when a blog has a diverse group of readers who comment. Sometimes I find the path the comments lead me down as interesting (or even more interesting) than the main theme of the original post and have to restrain myself from posting an overly long and more than slightly off-topic comment in response. Luckily, now that I have this blog I can blog my response and link to the original post rather than cluttering up the comments section.

In a comment on a recent post over LT. Nixon’s blog, Caroline of the USO Girls said:

On the segway…I’ve only seen wealthy middle aged white men and police officers use them.

She also included a link to a funny YouTube video of Segway polo. It almost distracted me again!

Most people do associate the Segway with law enforcement, and for good reason. Law enforcement is one of the largest groups of Segway purchasers. I think a lot of people would be very surprised to learn of another very large group. Segways are very popular among individuals with disabilities, particularly people with disabilities resulting in increased fatigue and difficulty ambulating over large distances (e.g. people with multiple sclerosis, some individuals with amputations, etc.). I found this really great article about the use of the Segway as a mobility device in the archives of the Stanford Daily. It references a local Segway dealer who says that one third of his customers are individuals with disabilities, one third law enforcement/security, and the rest from the general public. What’s really interesting is that this is happening despite the fact that the Segway cannot be marketed specifically as a mobility aid for individuals with disabilities and isn’t considered a medical device.

Continue Reading Not just for rich white men and the police anymore…

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