Things that Move Me
What a parade!
Paperclippings Blog: July 2005
I pray because I believe, and I believe because I pray.
Utah, United States
Kelly is the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl. The girl came in a package with a boy (twins).
Kelly is married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers. They are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew.
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"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer,
who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea,
his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to
drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation,
a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Courtesy of Scott Kurtz
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Things that Move Me
I have gotten up early to travel into the heart of downtown Salt Lake City for the biggest parade in the State of Utah and one of the biggest in the nation. The parade is in commemoration of the Mormon Pioneers entering the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Hence the name of the parade...The Days of '47 Parade. This parade is very typcial of parades, so the reason for it is secondary.
On this particular day I am more concerned with trying to keep track of several kids and deal with the sun and heat and get pictures of every float, band or dignitary that passes my camera. I stand for the flag every time I notice when it passes. But most of the time I just sit in my foldable chair spraying the kids with water to keep them cool.
At the start of the parade we all stand for the flag as it passes our view and then we all sit down again. A few entries later I notice people suddenly come to their feet all around me. I look up and find myself on my own feet as well. There in front of us, riding in the parade, is the LDS Prophet...Gordon B. Hinkley. He has not been seen in this parade for several years. As I think about how close he is to where I stand, I am overcome with emotion as I think upon the life of this man. This man has just had his 95th birthday. He has spent most of those years in the service of his God and mine and he shows no sign of slowing down. This parade has now become no ordinary typical parade.
The rest of the parade brings floats and bands, old cars and clowns. I continue with the battle against the heat with the kids until the parade nears the end. I look to see what is next and see rows and rows of men in camiflauge uniforms marching in unison. They are members of our Military Reserves. Regardless of how we may feel about our troups in far off lands or the politics associated with that, these men are in the service of their country...of our country. Once again, I am on my feet as emotions stir and my heart is full.
What a parade!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
My passport to Geekdom
I have always lived just on the outskirts of what is considered "mainstream". I like doing things my own way. I wear paperclips for earrings, after all. But to be considered and accepted by the geek "community" never entered my mind. But as I look back on my upbringing I have had many role models who have influenced me in one way or another toward that end.
When I was about 12 or 13 my dad bought a kit to make a computer. People didn't have personal computers in their home much in those days. But there we were with this computer in our home. My dad found a game to run on this computer. It was a ascii DnD game.
A few years later I met a nice young man you dreamed of owning his own electronics company. We used to hang out in this hut he and a friend had built in his backyard. This tiny hut was equipped with a door bell, Christmas lights, a work bench and a great stereo system. I never viewed him as a geek, but many of my friends thought he was just a little too weird for them. I just did things my own way and worshipped the ground he walked on for a good five years.
In high school I took a computer science class. The instructor taught us BASIC. Now, this ought to have been a simple class, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. My mom could even wander around in DOS better than I could. I managed to get an A out of the class purely because I got paired up for our final project with a girl whose dad was a computer programmer.
Then about 10 years after my dad bought that first computer I met and married my very own computer programmer. He had just graduated Cum Laude at the University of Utah in Computer Science.
This guy, I soon learned, was the ultimate geek. In high school he had written code for a few educational games that still brought in a small royalty a year after we got married. In college he had brought a phone line down to his bedroom so that he could connect to the internet without tying up his parents' phone lines. This was WAY before there was such a thing as a World Wide Web.
I might add here that this geek is one fine geek. After 15+ years of marriage he still opens the car door for me. And we won't tell anyone, but he also writes poetry.
Anyway, several years later I am a member of a group of mothers with twins who want their own website. I was given the task to see if my husband would help us with setting that up. His answer to this request is a flat out NO. So, I try for one of those prefab sites where they have the templates and you just pick out your colors, add your content and away you go. Ick! Then I learn there is such a thing as HTML.
On the shelf in the computer room in our home is a book called "Write your own website". In a matter of days I am dreaming in HTML. I can totally wrap my head around this. Before long I am doing websites for other people as well.
It is about this time that my husband decides that I need my own computer. We are constantly competing for computer time and dial up time...DSL was not yet available in our area. So, I get my own computer with Photoshop, Frontpage and other fun toys and when DSL comes to our area I am right with my husband in his demand for it.
I now have friends where my main connection with them is through the internet. In fact, one of my best friends I have because of the internet. She and I actually met face to face about three years ago. The internet is also my main means of contact with my best friend of 30+ years (who lives just a few miles from me). I am often helping with technical issues related to the computer and the internet. Not long ago I even did some graphics for a friend who needed a decent looking GUI (Graphical user interface) for a computer game he was writing.
I always tell people "If you want to get in contact with me send me an email. If you leave me a message on the phone I might not get it for a few days." My mom and I do a lot of our "talking" via msn messenger...even though she lives just a half an hour away.
But not everything related to my acceptance into Geekdom has to do with the computer.
A few years ago my husband made friends with a group of guys (and girls) who liked to get together and play online RPGs (Role Playing Games). They all had a background in DnD and this was a natural step for them. He was soon going to regular Saturday night DnD games held at the home of one of the guys.
Tired of being left home I asked if I could just hang out with them and watch while they played. I began to ask when the next game was being held. I was having fun hanging out with this bunch of geeks. After some time they put a little pressure on me and I found myself playing the role of a Rogue. They needed one as their previous rogue had moved out of town. This rogue proved to be the hero a few weeks back as a single shot from an arrow of undead slaying (from her arsonal) wiped out a CR 21 vampire.
Now back to the computer geek in me. My husband was out of town one week on business when our linux server that runs a Never Winter Nights module was having a problem. It is essential that this be up and running as this group of friends get together online and play on Monday and Tuesday nights.
One of his friends got online with me and talked me through the process of fixing the problem. But with all the talking through it we couldn't get it to work. Then I decided to try something different. Instead of typing a set of numbers in I would just copy and paste and voila.
I was then given the ultimate compliment from this group. "You incredible GEEK-ETTE you!!!" I joked with him that I was John's "trophy geek-wife".
I recently asked my husband if I could get added to an email group that included many of these friends. He often shared funny and interesting emails from this group. The owner of the group is the Dungeon Master for our DnD games and the one who wanted my help with the server issue. So I have been given permission from the host to be part of the email group.
This is the introduction I was given to the rest of the group by the owner.
I SHOULD note here that Kelly has been a member of the geek fold for some time, but only peripherally. However, earlier this year she went from accompanying John to our Saturday D&D nights to actually playing a rogue (and single-shotting a CR 21 vampire, as **reported by John two weeks ago) in said game. So she's got full geek cred.My passport to Geekdom has turned into full fledged citizenship.
Labels: About me
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I recently started a new cross stitch project based on a red robed picture of Jesus Christ. I made the pattern using some software on my computer. After printing out the pattern and getting all the floss and the cloth together I set out to stitch it.
I was about 500 stitches into it when I realized that I had made a mistake about 200 stitches back. If anyone has ever done cross stitch they will understand how tedious this can be. I tried to over look the mistake and looked to find a way around it. At this pont I saw that there was only one way to truly correct the problem and be happy with it.
I needed to unpick the stitches to the point of the original mistake. A couple times I got so frustrated with the difficulty of the process that I put the project down ready to just give up.
I finally just picked it up, as the desire to complete this project prodded me on, and finished unpicking all those stitches.
In all this I also realized that it had been much easier to correct the mistake as soon as I saw the problem. I had been tempted to continue and try to work around it. I would have found the correction a much bigger deal than it had been.
As I thought about this I saw the correlation in our own lives. When we make mistakes we look at how hard it is to change. We look for ways to get around making those changes. But we cannot be happy with ourselves if we do not go back and make those changes.
I also saw that the sooner we make those changes the easier it is for us to do so.
And for the irony...we cannot do this without His help.
I have now unpicked all the necessary stitches and have started to redo those stitches in the right place. I know that I will be much happier with the final results. I will also be more diligent in watching for mistakes.
Friday, July 01, 2005
More on Music and Memory
The other day I am driving down the road with the music playing on the radio. A song comes on that I have not heard in ages. I cannot remember the name of the song as I really never knew the name of it. But the song takes me to another place in time.
It is 1978 once again. I am 12 years old (which of course tells you how old I am now). In my room is a stack of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. The song I am hearing on my radio is the same one I am hearing in the car in the present. The plot of the Nancy Drew book I am reading fades into focus. She is getting herself into yet another pickle as she tries to follow her sleuthing instincts to solve yet another case.
These books were the answer to my reading problems in earlier years. I believe I read every single Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book in print. To tell the truth I was more interested in her interactions with her boyfriend, Ned, than how she solved each mystery. The Hardy boys kept my interest as I imagined being one of their girlfriends. But they kept me reading and that was what was important.
As the song on the radio comes to an end I find myself back in 2005 driving down the road. I let out a sigh and laugh that a song I can't even remember takes me to such a place.
Labels: Lifestops Music