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Wild, Wonderful and WITI October 4, 2011

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I’m having an amazing experience.

I’m at the WITI (Women in Technology International) “Women Powering Technology Summit” this week in San Jose, CA.  It’s a multi-day conference that provides multiple forums (panels, discussions, lectures) by women in the technology industry and is a way to hear about the amazing stories and successes women in technology have.  This is my first year being here and as I mentioned in my intro line, I’m amazed.

It’s not just that there are approximately 300 women leaders from around the world here. It’s not just that all of us are geeks in our right. It’s not even that the experiences and information shared here includes information about our challenges and experiences as women.

Is it the connections, the comraderie, the sharing of information? Is it about our collective experiences as humans? Just what about this conferences is really hitting home?

I know I can’t cover it all in one post, yet I feel an intrinsic need to blog about this experience.  I hope I’ll do multiple posts while I’m here, but for now, let me tell you a little bit about what I’ve learned so far and what I’ve experienced and maybe we can go from there.

Women Young and Old

The conference started Sunday afternoon with a viewing of LeeAnn Erickson’s latest documentary, “Top Secret Rosies, The Female Computers of WWII“, an amazing story of women who were called to action during WWII for a different purpose and who were the human calculators responsible for solving the differential equations of ballistics and missile trajectories that helped to win the war.

These women would become the first computer programmers EVER and yet they were women who were all but written out of history and not included in the “Rosies” acknowledgments of the time.  Their tale is amazing and sad at the same time and absolutely made me rethink all I knew about women’s role in early technology and America’s acceptance of it.  I heard information that has changed WWII history for me and I can only hope that everyone learns of their important role.

The second speaker from yesterday was Marissa Mayer, VP of product management and engineering at Google.  Rather than talk about her experiences as Google’s 20th employee and how she made it to where she is, she focused on Google as a company and how they work.  Interesting stuff, but I wanted to know..did she accomplish all this while married?  with a kid? with a life? (I’m inferring that the answer to all those is no) I was also interested to find out that while Google’s atmosphere is definitely more open and innovative than many fortune-x companies out there, they really aren’t all that different either. They use similar rating systems for employees, force curves on performance, have metrics for objectives and generally are more “corporate” than they think. Perhaps the grass is not so much greener on the “other side”!  😉

Don’t get me wrong though – her story is certainly inspirational and I enjoyed her speech. She’s accomplished so much in such a short period of time and most certainly goes after what she believes in. She’s dynamic and focused and certainly a role model for what can happen when you set your mind to something and invest in it wholeheartedly.  Having said that, I didn’t get much out of it that was relevant to me.

You’re Never Alone

All in all, I met some amazing women last night during the sessions and the cocktail reception afterward. We were all challenged by Carolyn Leighton, WITI’s founder and CEO to introduce ourselves to anyone and not leave any woman standing alone and I took her words to heart. I introduced myself to many women, listened to their words and shared my own information and experiences. I learned a lot, felt a lot and generally found myself lucky to be able to join these amazing women for a few short days.

Monday – well – Monday I found even more.  But..that may have to wait until later.

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Building a Collaboration Roadmap – Part1 February 4, 2010

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Roadmaps are awesome.  Roadmaps can help you learn how to get to your vacation destination or to your new office.  Roadmaps can show you how to put together furniture.  Roadmaps can even help you run your business.  Roadmaps seem to be multi-talented little things, aren’t they?!

So, roadmaps are helpful – I get that!  What I also get is that roadmaps are a big part of what customers are looking for these days.  We need roadmaps to help us get out of these “yucky” times and show us how we’re going to succeed.  I also get that roadmaps apply to collaboration and a lot of my customers are asking about Collaboration Roadmaps.

It seems that companies are waking up about collaboration and have decided they need to outline how collaboration will work and when it will be available.  It’s a good thing, I think that this is happening – it means collaboration is coming to the forefront again and it means that people are getting “smarter” about how they should be working.

So…enter my day job.  By day, I’m a Lotus ITS.  What that exactly means, I can’t really explain – it’s a difficult role to explain, I think.  Essentially it means that I help customers understand the value of Lotus  software and how to implement it in their organization.  And, since Lotus Software happens to focus on collaboration…that naturally leads to me being called on to help out with collaboration roadmaps!  So…I set out to build a process for building collaboration roadmaps – a roadmap for roadmaps, you might say!

In true “smart work” fashion, the first thing I did when called upon to build these collaboration roadmaps was to search within my company to see who had created them before.  (I mean, why recreate the wheel, after all??!!)  What were they, I wondered?  How did they come about?  What does one look like?  What I got was a conglomeration of answers – a TON of material that provided a TON of information that had been used a TON of times for a number of customers.  Almost every asset was different – each had something different to say – each had it’s own “message” and each led to a different destination.

Upon closer inspection however, I found a pattern.  Like a true roadmap, there was a way to get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way.  A specific path showed up in all the mess, and that’s where I focused my game.  That’s where I believe the payoff is, and that’s where I started with building MY roadmap.

I think what I ended up with is pretty cool.  It seems to fit with the message we are sending out at Lotus and it seems to fit with what my customers are looking for.  I think it’s a good roadmap, if I do say so myself!

So..in true “sharing my jungle gym” fashion, I’m going to share with all of you.  That’s right – I’m going to tell you about my roadmap in hopes it will help you with YOUR collaboration roadmap!  Stay tuned!!!!  It’ll be fun!!  😉

Funny How Time Flies May 29, 2009

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My goodness! Has it really been almost 2 months already? I thought time flew before Amelia..it freakin rockets by now!! 😉 Um, excuse me, Mr. Rocket Scientist..can you tell me how to slow down this ride???

What to say, what to say? Well..so much has happened the last 2 months since Amelia was born..so many firsts. Let’s see if we can go through the fun stuff and things maybe people care about..

Tony went back to work after about 2.5 weeks, leaving me here all alone and totally freaked out! What do I do with her all day? What does “play” mean to a 3 week old? Does she even know if I’m “playing” with her? When do I get to take a shower? How do I do laundry? What happens if she starts choking? Am I going to drop her when I’m in my sleep-deprived state??? And sleep…I thought I was exhausted in college..yeah..right! I didn’t know what exhaustion was!

Then, to top it all off, Tony got sick..real sick..and I quarantined him from Amelia. So while it was good not to get her sick, it meant 6 whole days of me being the only one. No help with diaper changes..no help with feedings..no help with baths..no help. So, single moms..I TOTALLY salute you! I almost died..I can’t imagine how you do it every day

CIMG0560So where were the firsts…oh yeah…At 16 days, she attended her first funeral (my great uncle) near Huntington, WV. We had a 4 hr car ride each way, but she was very good.

She had her first full bath ..which she LOVED!! And, she has continued to love every bath since! WooHoo!!

We got her picture done for the announcements and I finally got those sent off! We took her picture in her tutu – you couldn’t see the tutu very well, but it was the best picture we got of it, and I was feeling guilty at the fact it had been a month already, so I decided to just bite the bullet and get those announcements done and out! So, better tutu pictures will just have to come later!! 😉CIMG0508

She wore her first princess dress! Such a cute dress that the guys from Tony’s work got for her! Too cute! I had my first ever Mother’s Day! That was interesting! And Amelia spent her first weekend away with Grandma Metzger. WHEW! I told you..a LOT of firsts!!

Oh..and I think we found our first allergy. See, when I was a baby, I was allergic to EVERYTHING..literally..everything. My poor parents! So, when I had Amelia, I knew to be on the lookout for allergies right away. She was bound to have something! So, as I’m going back to work soon, I’m starting to wean her onto formula. We switched to the soy formula a while ago (the milk-based was really making her fussy and gassy), but as we increased the formula, she was just not doing too well. (That, and silly me had some ice cream and THAT really didn’t go over well with her!!) So, come to find out, yup..she probably has a milk allergy..and maybe soy. So, I’m cutting ALL milk products out of my diet (you’d be surprised what has milk in it..like bread..so this will be VERY difficult) and then we will see if she still has issues. If so..yup..soy is next! If soy is a culprit..well..we get to move to hypoallergenic formula!! WOOHOO! Lucky us!! 😉

CIMG0617So, now here we are. Two months into this ordeal and I think I’m maybe starting to get the hang of it. I bought her a playmat (thanks to a gift card from co-workers!), which she totally and completely LOVES! She’s starting to smile now and giggle..and when we put her in that playmat, she smiles a LOT!! So, now I know what “play” means..at least for now!!

So I’m learning. It’s a totally different kind of learning than I’ve ever had to do before though. Although, when you think about it, I’m kinda used to “on the job training”..so I guess this should be old hat for me!! I mean, sure, having a kid is not totally like being a consultant, but you gotta admit, there are similarities!! 😉 It’s just a much longer-term consulting gig than I’m used to!!

And, in a few weeks, I head back to work. I’m doing a couple weeks part-time just to get myself back into the groove. I feel like I’m lost so much of my knowledge and that I’m so far behind, that I’m not sure that a few weeks part time will be enough to get me back into things though!! This industry moves so fast, and there is so much to learn, that I feel like I’m lightyears behind everyone else already. I mean..look at me..I haven’t even been able to get a freakin blog post in..how am I gonna be able to keep up on stuff now??!! But, I guess like all things, it will come back. Just like riding a bike, huh? Yeah..sorta!

So, I’m surviving. One day at a time, I’m surviving. I’ve figured out how to take a shower (don’t go back to bed in the morning after I put her back down). I’ve even figured out how to do laundry, cook dinner, vacuum and put away clothes…all ONE HANDED!! I’ve even figured out how to do that one thing that has escaped me my whole life…ask for help. I know..crazy isn’t it? Who’da thunk??

The Arrival April 13, 2009

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MAN! It’s been FOREVER since I wrote here! The last few months of my pregnancy were absolute CHAOS! My sales reps were doing everything they could to book every moment of my time before I left on leave, and yet “the little one” was demanding her own time in terms of Dr’s appointments and health issues and such. WHEW! What a ride!!

But..that was before. This is now. So, welcome to the next part of my life!

I have so much to say about the last 6 days, it’s absolutely amazing! I will try not to sound like the totally obsessed new Mommy, but you know how that goes! So, bear with me, and I’ll try not to get TOO obsessed and crazy! (you know..those hormones are still there!)

Anyway, here’s the latest shakedown..

But…it’s not supposed to happen TODAY!!!

I have to admit, Sunday, April 5th 2009 was my due date – you know..the day she was “supposed” to come into the world. BUT..I had been to the Dr’s on the 2nd and they told me that I pretty much was not making any progress, wouldn’t be ready to give birth anytime soon and that they didn’t want to wait until too long past my due date to bring the little one out (health issues and all). So, after much discussion, we scheduled the little one’s arrival for Tuesday the 7th. Yes..scheduled. As in..we had a meeting, it was on my calendar. I LIVE by my calendar, so to me, it was just a wait and watch kinda game!

Apparently though, the little one was having NONE of that! How DARE we try to schedule her arrival?! She’s in charge of her own schedule dang it!! So, when my water broke on Sunday afternoon, I was a little bit in shock and quite a bit in denial! And, to make matters worse, since we had scheduled it for Tuesday, I never did those last-minute things..you know..go to the grocery so Alex would have food while we were gone; get some laundry done; clean the house before I would no longer be able to, etc. etc. OOPS!cimg0401

So after some running around and getting a neighbor to at least pick up Alex some bread and milk (Thanks Paul and Missy!!!)..we got to the hospital around 4pm on Sunday and met with my Dr. Then, by 6:30 I was being prepped for surgery. Yup – THAT fast!! Long story on the surgery part, but suffice it to say, I went into the operating room at 7:15 and at 7:49, just like that, Amelia Marie Metzger made her arrival into the world!

And let me tell you…she screamed from the minute they took her out! So…there she is..a whopping 8lbs 2 ozs!! Big girl, huh??!!

Taco, Taco, Burrito, Burrito

cimg0450 We were in the hospital for 4 days (the extra day was due to her having jaundice) and they were the fastest (and yet slowest) 4 days of my life! I felt run over (I guess that surgery really IS a major one, huh??!!), elated, tired and wide awake all at the same time. We learned how to feed (it’s NOT as natural and easy as it sounds), how to interpret her cries and how to just be together. And, more importantly, we learned how to do the best invention in the world…the swaddle! Or, as I have now come to call it..the burrito! As you can see from the pic above..the hospital swaddles really made her look like a little burrito..and after that, anytime we do the swaddle, I can’t help but sing that song!!!! 😉 (South Park fans, you know what song I’m talking about!!)

Then, on Thursday, as fast as it came, we were headed home, into the world of the unknown…all alone..without help! 😉

And So It Goes…

We got home on Thursday and the next couple days up to today have also been chaos! The first night was the hardest, as I think she was up every hour wanting fed or changed or played with or something. But, we’re finally getting the hang of one another and last night we had 2 (yes, count them..TWO) 3-4 hour periods of solid sleep!! (YEAH!) I couldn’t be happier!

And, like the song, so it goes. That’s the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life. One that, honestly, I never thought I’d have. It’s amazing. Everything about it is amazing. Just seeing that life be born, then the whole feeding thing..so strange that it all comes together like that. So strange that the whole system just works (like a Mac!!) ;-)! And I STILL can’t really fathom that I’m a Mom!! How odd to even say it!

So, there you have it, and here we are! As many challenges as I’ve faced in my life, somehow I can’t help but think this will be my biggest. But you know what…I think it just might be the most rewarding as well. Amazing.cimg0460

It’s getting closer… December 12, 2008

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So I officially started my 6th month of this pregnancy last week. Yes – 6 months! Can you believe it??!! I thought I was doing ok until last weekend – when it all hit me in one terrifying moment!

What happened you ask? Well…I found a daycare.  AND I bought the baby’s furniture. AND…I registered! Yup!  Can you believe it?  I’m actually being responsible!  I’m acting like a mom!  It’s all very new and odd to me, in case you are wondering.

The baby furniture and registering came all in one day! I convinced a friend to meet me at a very large Babies ‘R Us store, and we did it all in one fell swoop! And on my drive home, it hit me…HOLY CRAP! This is real! I mean, really real..and there’s NO going back!! I don’t think I’m ready. In fact, I know I’m not ready!  But..the good thing is, her room should really look awesome!babyfurniture

So, her room is going to be lavender, white and lime (not the colors shown here – and if you’re interested, here’s the crib bedding set I bought).  I bought the white furniture shown at the left here at Babies ‘R Us and I think it will be really cute.  Especially if I change out the knobs on the dresser and armoire into some cute colored glass knobs or something.  I think I’ll do the walls in lavender and find some really cute wall decals of butterflies and/or trees/flowers.

And, I just got a call that it will be delivered next week!  So…now I have to clean out the room that is currently being used as storage (for my purses) and make it the baby’s room!  Again..can you say Holy Crap!!  😉

So, between that and finding the daycare (another issue altogether), it’s finally becoming a reality.  Oh..and can I also tell you that my stomach like popped out overnight?  Oh yeah, there’s no mistaking it now!  The clothes don’t fit anymore, girly – it’s preggers time!

Ok – why didn’t anyone warn me it would be like this??!!!

Why am I freaking out ALREADY? October 21, 2008

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Ok.  I’m starting to freak out here.

Most of you who know me have heard or are aware that I’m expecting my first child in April next year.  Yes, I know it’s a little late in life for my first, but hey – it took me a while to get warmed up to the idea!  😉

Anyway – back to the freaking out.

So, here I am, about 3 weeks into my 2nd trimester and I’m starting to freak out a little bit.  Not necessarily about the pregnancy itself (although the thought of giving birth REALLY freaks me out, so I’m ignoring that part!) but about all the “stuff” that goes along with the pregnancy!  Now, my first trimester was not bad – I didn’t get sick and other than constantly being exhausted, it wasn’t horrible.  And, I only gained 5 pounds in my 1st trimester, ALL of which, by the way, I lost 2 weeks ago when I had the stomach flu!  So, icky on the flu part, yeah on the getting to start over with the weight gain part!  😉  So, those are ok and that’s not where I’m freaking out.

I’m freaking out on all the “silly” stuff.   Things going through my mind are this:

  • Names – OMG!  What name?  What’s a good name?  What’s something “different” but not too “different”?   What’s a good nickname for the name I pick? (it’s a girl, so to me, this is even harder)
  • The room – I have a spare bedroom identified as the baby’s room, but then come the other things like What kind of crib (convertible vs. standard – cheaper vs. expensive)?  What colors?  What theme?  What furniture?  When to paint?  When to buy the stuff?  WHERE to buy all the stuff?  There is a surprising LACK of baby stores around me!  Target has little to nothing – Babies ‘R Us is overwhelming and the one specialty store I saw would cost me a small fortune to put together a room!  Geez!
  • Mommy stuff – How long do I take off work?  How much will be paid?  Where do I send her for daycare?  Disposable or cloth diapers? (believe it or not – that IS a valid question for me, being the “green” one)

And much, much more!  I know I have to temper this somewhat, and I know that “it will all work itself out” and all that fun crap!  But geez!  Like I need this kind of stress right now!!  And the other part of the problem is that my close friends have had kids (multiples), but several years ago and are “old hats” at this so they can’t necessarily relate – it’s all no big deal to them now!  So, no commiserating!  No one to share my pain (my husband is so laid back on this it’s almost pathetic!!)  It’s driving me crazy!!!!!  AAAAARRRRGGGHHH

Ok – thank you for the venting!  I feel a little better now!  Still no answers to my many, many questions, but at least it’s off my chest now.  Sometimes just being able to talk about it can help!  (yeah…right!!!!)

Here I go, getting political again… October 20, 2008

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So, word of warning – those of you here just for my work side of the blog – STOP!  Do not read this post!!  If you really don’t want to hear about my political viewpoints, stop now!  I promise my non-political posts will be coming again soon!

Ah…those that stayed, thank you!  I had a very interesting experience this past Saturday, and I need to share.

For years, I’ve considered myself on the left side of left.  I’m very tied to the Democrat side in many ways – I’m very liberal and I have been told I have very liberal views.  And, I talk politics to those that I should <read..not usually to clients, acquaintances or co-workers unless asked> and I am not one those people that pushes my view on others.  I give facts -that’s all.  When asked, I tell my opinion, I listen to others’ opinions and if pushed further, I give facts – and listen to facts and that’s that.

Recently, I’ve found myself in unknown territory.  A couple of weeks ago, I made my first contribution to a political campaign EVER.  That’s right…EVER.   While I do my civic duty and I vote, I have never felt compelled enough to share either my time or my money for the purposes of politics.  It just wasn’t me.  But, in this current election, in this current environment, I am so against the other side, I felt compelled to contribute – and so I did.  I got online, and I made a contribution to the Obama-Biden campaign.  Not a big one – just $30, but a contribution nonetheless.

And then something even stranger happened.

I got a phone call on Thursday last week asking me to volunteer for the campaign.  And I did. That’s right – I volunteered.  So, also for the first time, I spent my time on Saturday going door-to-door in this hard-red, right-winged suburb I live in.  It wasn’t easy, but I did it.  And, like I said, it was an interesting experience.  Here’s what I experienced:

First..it was a beautiful day in west-central Ohio.  The sun was shining and it was a typical fall day – slight breeze, a chill in the air and a crispness that can only be experienced to be believed.  So, all in all, despite what I might be about to encounter, it was nice to be outside and experiencing the weather, if nothing else!  I met with the Obama-Biden local organizers at the High School for my district and they explained the drill and gave me my packet of names.  Let me say – I was actually quite surprised and a bit in awe at the packet – it contained a complete list of voters for a specific neighborhood – or at least, those who were registered Independents or who were Democrats who hadn’t voted Democrat in a while and a ton of data and survey information.  But, being a computer-type person myself, I could tell this was some great work in compilation here – very thorough, very up-to-date in it’s use of technology.  Score one to Obama for using technology!  I dig it!!  😉

Now, the area I was given was the typical small-town-turned-suburb in Ohio.  The houses were older and smaller, but well-kept.  The cars in the driveways were older, but well-kept.  It was the sign of a neighborhood who had seen hard times, had lived it and sometimes still lives it.  I had a lot of names but only 2 hours to give, so I enthusiastically got started.

What I came up against in those next 2 hours was mixed.  Most people were nice – even when shutting the door in my face when I mentioned I was a volunteer for the Obama campaign (those were always fun!).  I had one woman say to me she wasn’t going to vote for Obama because he didn’t like women.  That’s right…he doesn’t like women.  Hmm…”Is there something in particular you feel that pointed you to that conclusion?” I asked?  She couldn’t give me a concrete answer – just that she had heard and felt he had a dislike to women.  Interesting.  And, one nice lady actually had quite a discussion with me – asking me about the issues, talking about her concerns and wanting to know where she could find more information.  She didn’t want the pamphlets I could give her – said she didn’t want ANY literature that came from a specific candidate but wanted to find non-partisan answers for herself.  GOOD FOR YOU!, I thought!!  THAT’s exactly what America needs more of!

But, although the day was beautiful, I couldn’t finish my houses – after 2 hours walking around, my body (read, the baby inside my body) was telling me to stop.  So, with more than 25 houses contacted, I met our organizer again and gave her my results.  And then…I volunteered again! That’s right…again!  (apparently I’m a sadist or something)  I’m not sure why I felt compelled to agree to go through that again, but I did.  I feel very strongly that most of Ohio just doesn’t have the right information and if I can point people to the RIGHT information, that’s all Ohio really needs.  The facts speak for themselves, I think – and so, I’ll give my time again and maybe get another good story out of it, if nothing else.

And so, as I mentioned earlier, I find myself in unfamiliar territory.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t know – mixed, I guess.  Happy I did it.  Happy I showed my support through the most valuable thing to me – my time.  And, whether you are right or left, I encourage everyone to experience it at least once.  It’s quite an eye opener – however you wish to take it.

Oh..and now I have another first to talk about – I now have a sign for my yard.  For yup, you guessed it, the first time ever.  Seem to be a lot of firsts in my life lately.

Do age and social networking really matter?? October 15, 2008

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So, there were some interesting tweets in the Twitter-verse yesterday and I think it started with Alan Lepofsky (yes, of the one-time Lotus fame) talking about some “Gen Y” people who had come to his booth today and spent a great deal of time talking about how they wanted to change the world, and that their needs for tools were different than anyone else’s.

And Alan’s initial tweet was

…Just listened to 20 min of 4 20somethings talk about their needs, which were identical to the needs of everyone around me.

And, of course, there were other tweets in response, some from fellow IBMers like Luis Suarez.  And Luis’ comments are valid and certainly pointed out that not everyone has the time to search for information nor does everyone live with these kinds of tools.

Interesting.

But, it got me thinking.  In many presentations, I have seen people tie this whole social networking thing to the Millenials – and we even have slides in many of the Lotus Connections presentations that show age gaps and how different ages learn differently, or react differently to the sharing and collection of knowledge.

As a side note….I can’t tell you how many times I have had customers come up to me after a presentation like that and say they took offense to that particular slide – the one about how different ages learn/connect, etc.  They say, it’s not true, and is a generality we shouldn’t be preaching.  And, I, for one, have taken that slide OUT of ANY pitch I give on Connections or social software.  I think it’s a bit demeaning.

But Anyway…back to my point…

Was it really the age gap that brought about these tools?  Was it really the “needs” of the millenials that were SO different from the needs of everyone else that brought this whole revolution?  Are millenials really the only ones who were crying out, demanding these tools?  Or are we just grasping at straws here?  Why do we feel the need to constantly hold onto that age gap thing?  I’m really having a hard time with this.

Sure, we had a TON of intellectual capital sitting in people’s heads – but I would argue that many non-Millenials were thirsty for the tools to share this information too.  I think the need was out there, no matter WHAT age you were or where you were in your career.  I use the Internet.  I “play” online.  I collaborate in new and inventive ways.  And I’m NOT a millenial.  And, I know many, many just like me – and they aren’t millenials either.

Maybe it’s that the millenials are pushing harder or refusing to use other tools more – maybe we should have stood up long ago and pushed for these tools ourselves – maybe we were just too complacent with things like team rooms and discussion databases and forums and such.  (which have been around the whole time I’ve been out of college)

I don’t know.  But I know one thing…I for one, am going to try to stop pushing the age issue so hard.  I think we ALL need these tools.  We ALL should be using them – because true collaboration is NOT new.  The ability to share information is NOT new and this is NOT just a millenial concept.

It just has a better wardrobe. (ok..and maybe a face-lift or two)

Or am I just age sensitive today???  ;-)

I wasn’t going to get political BUT…. October 8, 2008

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I wasn’t going to go there on this blog.  I wasn’t going to put my political views out there for everyone to read.  I’m not one to push my ideals on ANYONE and I don’t want to preach.

BUT

I’m watching the 2nd presidential debate tonight, and I have one MAJOR comment I HAVE to have heard.

SENATOR MCCAIN – I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND!

OMG!  I SWEAR!  He said “My Friend” just about every other sentence in this debate and I can tell you that within a half an hour, I was tired of hearing it.  By an hour, it was seriously pissing me off.  By 90 minutes, I was ready to drive to Nashville and scream to his face!!!

He looked old, he looked frail, he was NOT respectful of Obama at ALL – even walking around while Obama was speaking!  Get some respect, McCain!

But, overall – whatever your views, everyone I’m sure agrees on one thing..this campaign has gotten TOO brutal, too mean and has started to focus TOO much on character flaws and negativity.  America is hurting.  We have been for a LONG time.  Let’s get back to the ISSUES, back to reality and keep on message.

I’m tired of it.  I’m NOT your friend.

Mollie’s Bubby August 4, 2008

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Mollie LOVES Bubbies. She really does.

So, I’ve told you about my Beabull, Mollie (half Beagle, half Bulldog). She’s adorable, and almost 2 years old. And, there’s ONE thing she loves in life…her Bubby.

Bubby’s not just an ordinary toy – oh no! And although Bubby varies from month to month, (Unfortunately, Mollie likes to eat Bubbies) Bubby squeaks – Bubby talks and Bubby makes Mollie happy. Bubby makes Mollie VERY happy!

Mollie knows Bubby by name – she searches for him every time you mention his name. When she finds him – Oh, the joy! The rapture! The love! The playing, shaking, running, squeaking, jumping, throwing – Yeah, it’s Bubby!!

Does it matter that Bubby changes every month? No. Mollie’s love for Bubby is undying – as long as Bubby squeaks and is fuzzy – it’s the same lovely Bubby to her!

This weekend, a new Bubby came in town – one that has the most colorful fur and wonderful squeak. One that is supposed to last – no matter how long Mollie chews him (yeah, right). Mollie really loves this Bubby.

And, this morning, as I’m still waking up from the weekend’s grog, Mollie’s day with Bubby has already begun. Ah..to have such love and joy so early in the morning