Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Identity Maintenance

The online world is really converging. I hate to get all buzzwordy but the old rules of the web are fading and new ones are really taking hold. When people who make way more money than I do at work are using Twitter to update their blogs, for example, I know things are changing.

It leads to some interesting situations, though. This blog is my little quiet corner of the 'net, and as such is part of my personal identity. But it's not part of my professional identity. But as these identities spread, it becomes more difficult to keep them separate.

My professional identity includes LinkedIn, Facebook, and a behind-the-firewall blog at our corporate social media site. It's all tied to my full name.

My personal identity includes a blog, a domain name, a Picasa web folder, an RSS feed, my netflix queue, numerous online site memberships, and who knows what else. It's all tied to one of three nicknames: the name of this blog, my usual forum handle, and my real first name.

Some people straddle both spheres. I have good friends that I trust with both identities. Some family. But there aren't many of them. (It's actually more complex than this --there are people who get "some" of the picture but not all, family members who browse my photos but would have no idea how to find this blog, for example.)

Someone with a little spare energy could connect all these dots, I'm sure. At some point, it will be more work to keep these identities separate than it's worth. But do I really want my boss poking around my blog? If I were to go job-hunting (note to my boss, I am not job hunting :P), do I want my hiring manager paging through my vacation photos or reading about my struggles with my fitness goals?

It may well be that my only other option will be to let one identify disappear. And that just seems so boring....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Construction Work

So the nesting efforts are increasing daily here at home. Our basement remodel is nearing completion, with recent work on drywalling the bathroom making it look more like a room and less like a plumbing supply store. Yesterday and today were bigger days, though -- last night my father-in-law helped me carry some heavy boxes into the house, and this morning I sat down with my wife and put together a crib, a changing table, and a dresser.

They are antique white, with a green-and-pink bedding set already in place (well, no mattress). She even has curtains up. What's next? Painting, cleaning out closets, good stuff like that.

It's starting to look like a nursery. Give it a few weeks, and it won't be recognizable as a guest room....

Friday, February 08, 2008

20 weeks in

That's right -- my lovely wife is a few days past 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

We just had an ultrasound which shows it's very likely going to be a baby daughter we bring into the world 4 months from now.

Four months seems like a long time. It won't be.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Superbowl XXX

Superbowl XXX, January 29 1996. Three weeks prior, I had decided to take a job at Data General and let them pay for the rest of my schooling instead of finishing off grad school as a TA. I had been married for just over a year and a half. My good friends, a year behind me in school, were set to graduate in a few short months. Everything was changing. Nobody knew where we'd be in a year's time, but everything seemed possible.

I didn't grow up watching sports -- the Superbowl was a nonevent for me, most of the time. The only Superbowl parties I had been to were quiet during the commercials and talkative during the game.

But everything was changing, as I said. So I crowded into the dorm suite with a bunch of friends and watched the Superbowl. I tried not to ask too many questions (no guy wants to admit he doesn't understand football), and did my best to follow along. It was something new -- people cared about the game. Nobody wanted the Cowboys to win -- even as they mocked the Steelers they rooted against Emmit, Irvin, and Aikman. My wife began cheering on the Cowboys just to be contrary.

Late in the game, Steelers coach Bill Cowher made a ballsy call. Surprise onside kick. It was a momentum changer -- the Steelers had scored ten points in a row and forced the Cowboys to punt with less than seven minutes on the clock.

I didn't know it then, but that was the moment I fell in love with football. Anything was possible, like I said.

The Cowboys won. I learned that ballsy wasn't enough to win a game. And I learned that it's okay to cheer on the underdog even if they don't win.

I watched the next year's games, all the way through Bledsoe's defeat in the next Superbowl against Favre. And I haven't stopped.

This year, things are mixed up. The Pats are the heavily favored dynasty, the Giants the scrappy underdog America wants to see win. But I'm getting together with those same friends, and hoping for the same outcome -- the dominant team to win in a game that reminds us why we love football.

Go Pats.