A year later

A year agon was my last reflective posting and we are on the eve of my sisters first visit and three and half years ago since her husband passed away. Our relationship started when she called to ask me to down to Peach Tree City and help her with her husband’s funeral arrangements. It was really out of the blue given the twenty-year difference in our age and outside of a few visits over the last fifty year, not really any contact or correspondence. I did tell her on her wedding day that if she ever needed any help she just needed to call. I told her it was the same commitment I made to our two brothers. I did relate to her the story that I did receive such a call from Mike to send him some bail money and to make sure Mom and Dad did not find out. By the way, we are not a close family and a visit to my parents every 10 years or so works for us as well as the calls on birthdays and Christmas well as attending weddings. It works.

So over the last three years, I have shepherded two widows through their transition. With my sister, it was frequent emails mostly stories about events in my past or antidotes of my daily life and surroundings with phone calls in between. I would say we have become as close as possible given the gap in years and little contact but drawn together none the less with our consistent dialogue and my desire to help her find herself through her profound grief. Much less today but still there are reminders and there always will be. It is on that note that I am very much looking forward to her visit.

This post is also a bit of reflection on the last year. Two complete knee replacements one in Sept and the other in March. I am back on a routine exercise program and I am able to somewhat get down on to the rowing machine and back up with some grace. Throughout the year I have stayed active with county stormwater issues and after four years of attending the Stormwater Program Advisor Committee meetings as a citizen, I applied and was accepted as a member of the county’s Stormwater Program Advisor Committee. I will attend my first meeting as a member this July.

My first Doin’ Stuff Post

I blame all of this on Stephen Downes and George Siemens and their first c-MOOC – CCK08.

The idea of knowledge as network nodes/endpoints was a brand new idea to me along with the introduction of a new set of collaborative tools that introduced me to a whole new set of folks on the network some of which I still follow today through their blog posts.
Stephen’s recent curation effort highlighted Doc Searles recent metaphor for the internet “The Giant Zero”  as “a place without distance, and lots of challenges and opportunities that arise from its lack of distance.” The lack of distance thing is about how we no longer have communication delays like snail mail or cost barriers because of network apps like email or Skype or Twitter that instantly connect us for “free” without regard to where we are on the globe. The challenges and opportunities he says are in the areas of cooperation, politics/governance, economics, privacy and several others. The privacy one spurred me on to doing something about it when Searles said –

“It helps to remember that nature in the physical world doesn’t come with privacy. We have to make our own. Same goes for the networked world. And, since most of us don’t yet have clothing and shelter in the networked world, we’re naked there.”

I started with Searles’s “clothing and shelter are privacy technologies” that “We use them to create secluded spaces for ourselves. Spaces we control.” I finally jumped in and signed up with Reclaim Hosting and have fully embraced the idea of a “Domain of One’s Own” This is my first piece of privacy technologies thanks to Jim Groom et al and this is my first post from my secluded space “Doin’ Stuff”.

Thanks Frank