First, I would like it to be known that I am only doing this under protest. I don’t usually participate in blog memes, because most of them are damned silly. However, I got tagged on this one by Paul in what looks like a fairly typical spree of spreading the love, so I’ll go ahead and do it.
So here’s the meme, in Paul’s words:
The latest craze sweeping the series of tubes is “5 Things”, a sort of chain letter in which
victimsparticipants are supposed to list 5 things that others may not know about them, then pass the baton on to some other people.
And here are my responses:
- Those folks who read my professional blog (e)Mail Insecurity have already figured it out, but those of you here have probably not heard about it yet. This week, I got the official notice that I had been awarded the the 2007 Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award in the technical community of Microsoft Exchange. Basically, this means that Microsoft has noticed and appreciated the work I’ve done out in the real world (blogging, speaking, writing, spending time on mailing lists) helping people learn about and use Microsoft Exchange Server. It’s has some neat perqs that come with it, including a great network of other MVPs (many of whom I’ve already been blessed to work with over the years) and more direct access to the Exchange product group at Microsoft. Of all the things I’d envisioned for my five-year goals, this wasn’t one of them, and I’m truly blown away that I’ve been selected.
- Most of you know that my ambition is to be a full-time sf author and have many novels and story ideas in progress. Many of you know that I also enjoy singing and writing music, going so far as to dabble with guitar and keyboard. What almost none of you know (hush, Steph) is that I have the ambition to write and produce my own professional fully-sung Eucharist liturgy (a Christian Communion service, for those of you not up on high church terminology). I’d write it so that the congregation would definitely have parts that they’d join in, but there’d be four main celebrants (SATB, of course) with much harder parts to perform. In my perfect world, I’d be able to entice Jason Michael Carroll, Sting, Alison Krauss, and Sarah McLachlan into performing at the inaugural celebration of the liturgy.
- Taking a cue from Paul, I had my first paid computer job when I was 12. The secretary at the resort Dad was working at needed someone to do some data entry for her, as they’d just switched her IBM PC from one accounting package to another and she needed to get the accounts receivable data into the new software. IIRC, I was offered the princely (for the time) sum of $8 an hour. We estimated that it would take around 24 hours or so, so I was standing to make quite a decent chunk of change. The first morning, I went into the office, acquainted myself with PC-DOS for the first time, and spent the first four hours doing data entry. When lunch came around, I grabbed the manuals and read them while I ate. I noticed that the new package talked about being able to import data from a variety of programs (none of which was the old package) and formats, so I checked the manual for the old program. Sure enough, it could export to one of those same formats. I backed up the work I’d done so far and tried the export/import. Perfect! You’d think she would be happy, but no — she was quite upset that a 12-year-old had figured this out and somehow made her look bad. She paid me for one single hour of my time — since the actual export/import work had taken one hour and was in a separate data file from the one I’d spent the morning on, she claimed that it was the only work that counted — and that was that.
- While I grew up in Oregon and have spent the majority of my post-college years in Washington, I am not in fact a native Pacific Northwesterner. My family actually comes from back ’round Wisconsin and Michigan, and we moved out to Corvallis, OR when I was just 11 months old. The Pacific Northwest Native Advisory Board did, in fact, take this into consideration, decided that it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t get my parents to move out here before I was born (and in fact one member of the panel commended me for “extraordinary action in relocating his family while still shy of his first birthday”), and granted me PNW native status anyway. This is good, because if I didn’t have that status, I wouldn’t be able to gripe about the Californians as is the right of all native PNWers.
- During high school, I participated in an academic competition at our local community college. To fill out an empty time slot so I could take the entire day off, I picked the radio broadcasting competition, since when I was a young lad I used to spend hours in my room with cassette recorders pretending to be a DJ. The next year after the competition, I spoke to the college radio faculty director about doing a 15-minute radio show focused on events at the high school. Suddenly, I found myself gathering information for, recording, and producing a weekly radio show. The poor college DJ who had to run my piece before his own show quickly grew to hate me, as I pushed the envelope of what I could do by including clips of favorite pop songs and completely harshed the mellow of his own show (which was heavy metal, IIRC). I had the complete backing of the faculty director, though, so there wasn’t much he could do. My first year of college, I took radio as a pass/fail credit and continued harshing the mellows of the broadcasting program students; my format, right in the middle of a highly-desired timeslot, was an eclectic combination of news commentary, music selection and experimentation from all genres (there was literally nothing I wouldn’t play), and pure naked listener gratification. I must have been making someone happy, though it wasn’t the “serious” broadcasting students; I enjoyed a constant high level of feedback from the surrounding community. Again, that kept The Powers That Be from stepping in and messing with my groove.
I’ll just note here, for the record, that I’m only doing this because I already have a couple of things I wanted to blog about and I can twist this meme to my service. The fact that I’ve been needing to update here is just extra gravy. The fact that one of my other co-victims needs to actually fix his blog server before he can respond just makes me feel better about the whole thing.
And now on to my victims, which is the hard part. I’ve been seeing this meme running around the tubes for a while, so anyone who hasn’t already done it is either less connected than I am or just as likely as I am to say “Poppycock!” at the whole concept and just not participate. With that caveat in mind….