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Saturday, February 10, 2001

     "The young are moved by greatness. They are inspired by it. Children need heroes. They need them to lift life, to suggest a future you can be hungry for. They need them because heroes, just by being, communicate the romantic and yet realistic idea that you can turn your life into something great. The key, of course, is to have the right heroes — to be lifted by greatness and not just by glamour, to be lit by the desire to do good, as opposed to the desire to do well. Be brave, have guts, do what you think right no matter the cost, and mean it, be sincere, it's not a game. Do these things and you will be remembered, whoever you are, whatever you are, with love and gratitude." — Peggy Noonan

     Jonesing for information about addiction? This comprehensive database will hook you up with news and stats on everything from alcoholism and inhalant abuse to gambling and compulsive Internet fixation. Follow the Internet abuse link to resources such as the Center for Online Addiction, and others. There's information about prevention, treatment, social issues, and statistics. Is the Internet addictive, or are addicts using the Internet?

     It's quite interesting how you can follow a storm across the country through weblogs and forums. Starting in New Mexico earlier this week, then on to Kansas City and Omaha before arriving here last night. The winds were fierce and the rain (at least it had switched to rain by the time it got here) piercing. I suppose you, you, and you will get it next.

     The outpouring of support continued yesterday. I am certainly blessed by the many friends and acquaintances made in this virtual community. Yesterday we had a workshop about Managing Stress During Career Change. One of the suggestions was establishing a network of peers in order to get your name out there. Apparently I'm well on my way already. Thanks everyone.

Friday, February 9, 2001

Charter Communications      Moving into the 21st century. Nitro FINALLY has cable Net access and I've got it. Rip-roarin' thru the web now. The technician who was here to install the Ethernet card and cable modem left after two hours frustrated he couldn't make it work. Said he'd send out a troubleshooter tomorrow. Ten minutes after he left, I had it going. Incorrect network adapter setting. Wonder if they're hiring? I may need a job in a few weeks.

     Our Siberian Husky decided to go for a runabout. We're usually pretty good at keeping her under control, but every now and then she gets loose. A pain to catch when she's running free, she toys with us for a few hours before dropping her guard. Sneaking up behind her when she isn't paying attention is the trick, but when surprised it's like steer wrestling at the rodeo. Lots of fur, mud, scrapes and laughs, but everyone's happy now. She got some freedom outside the fence and we will sleep better knowing she's safe from the bogieman.

     Sincerest thanks to one and all offering well wishes yesterday. You've helped with acceptance during the uncertainty. We truly are a community.

Thursday, February 8, 2001

     As promised yesterday, Starting Over.

Wednesday, February 7, 2001

     Today is the first day of the beginning of my future. Details tomorrow.


     I am Kevin Bacon.

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

     Most people will never have the pleasure of being abducted by aliens. This sad but true fact is the basis for Alien Abductions, Inc., which specializes in reproducing alien abductions to the most exacting detail. Doctors, hypnotists, and memory implant technicians collaborate to help customize your abduction experience. Why wait for those rascally aliens to decide if you're hot or not?

     Guido and Jocasta are talkin' purple this week at the Weblog Clinic. If you're having trouble with your blog, give these two a shout. Before you know it, you'll be right up there on the Grudnuk list.

     What do Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, and Jakob Nielsen have in common? They all conducted interviews at Speech Therapy. And who were the subjects? Believe it or not — Britney Spears, President Dubya, and Zeldman. Sixandone has all six together as one.

     Yes! You need to be doing a backup RIGHT NOW! Crossing my fingers for you.

     Did my taxes last night. Gotta pay this year. I hate it when that happens.

Monday, February 5, 2001

     Researchers now know that addiction has a strong biological basis, and that some people are more susceptible. According to Newsweek, "new research on how cocaine, heroin, alcohol and amphetamines target neuronal circuits is revealing the biological basis of addiction, tolerance, withdrawal and relapse." This isn't totally new, but is more definitive.

     "Addiction affects every aspect of an individualís interaction with the world. People in recovery need to know how to control their behavior, how to function in their families, how to go back to work" says Dr. Alan Leshner. Studies into the "exposure model" are similar to the "disease model" I was taught during alcohol rehab in 1993. By convincing the addict there are reasons for dependency beyond their control, recovery becomes less a matter of guilt relief, and more focused on lifestyle changes. Physical withdrawal is painful, but is a short first step in long-term recovery.

     For successful recovery change must become second nature. People, places and things that enabled continued abuse must be discarded. Old friends, old haunts, and old habits assure relapse. A new spirituality coupled with a new regimen of repetition replace the emotional emptiness. Physical, mental, and spiritual fitness plus regular support and a consistent schedule establish a meaningful reponsibility. Beating addiction requires every tool on the table — medication, counseling, social and family support — and keeping up the fight when youíre losing. "Treatment isnít a war but a long, slow siege." Happiness, joy and freedom are the rewards of due diligence.

Sunday, February 4, 2001

Bluzz of the Week      Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. The carnage in the dotcom industry continued. Companies large and small are dropping off the radar screen seemingly every day. When it affects people you know, or at least know of, it takes on a vivid reality. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.

     Sad news out of San Francisco this week. The team that was Pyra is no more. Meg, Matt, pb, and Jack have been layed off. CEO Evan Williams put on a game face and will try to go it alone to keep the keystone product Blogger alive for the masses. Reaction was mixed, but the news rocked the blogging community. Here is a portion of Ev's announcement:

     "It's probably become obvious to the careful observer that all is not well in the Land of Pyra. Rather than wait for the public speculation and debate, I'm going to say what exactly is going on (from my perspective — not speaking for anyone else on the team or as an official Pyra/Blogger representative). I'm sure the public speculation and debate will happen anyway, but I don't plan to take much part in it. I have other things to do. First of all, the company (Pyra) is not dead, and the service (Blogger) is not going away. However: We are out of money, and I have lost my team..."

     "...It really breaks my heart to see the group of awesome people that I was so damn proud of having assembled break apart, feeling beaten and with dreams unrealized. As the CEO of this company, I, of course, hold myself largely responsible..."

     "...Yes, things would have been very, very different if the Internet Bubble wouldn't have burst and we were still in that...that, Other World in which we started. In that world, things that seem dumb now (such as launching a product and letting it grow for so long without making revenue from it a priority) made sense. And if it would have continued just a little longer, there's little doubt we'd be telling a different story now (then again, it could be a sadder story). Nonetheless, I'm always uncomfortable blaming outside circumstances for the results I create in life. And since we never subscribed to the grow-at-all-costs, IPO-or-bust mania that left so many companies with no alternative, we could have, theoretically, adjusted..."

     "...While it sounds like I'm writing a eulogy, the mourning I'm doing is for my team and the exciting era that is now so clearly passed. I truly wish my fellow Pyrates Godspeed and joy in their future endeavors. Hopefully our friendships will survive the natural stress these situations cause, and perhaps we'll even get the chance to do something cool together again someday..."

     "...I can tell you, at this point, I definitely plan to keep Blogger going. If you're a Blogger user, you know that things have not been working great with the product for quite a while. I'm not going to make excuses about that. But I'm not walking away. The good thing is, I have relatively low costs (though, I still need to bring in more cash than we have been), adequate server power for a while (thank you!), and the ability to focus on what I'm good at: Creating Things...I don't pretend I can do all this by myself. Nor that this path is going to make my life easier anytime soon. But I can't give up. And I have to (re)start somewhere. So here I go..." — Evan Williams








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