2003 In Review

I’m going to follow my friend Jamie Gaines‘s lead and take a look back at the year I’ve blogged here for you, the five loyal readers of mt.net. It would up being quite long, which is why its taken me so long to put it together. Enjoy!

The year began with lots of rants about the Iraq War. As if the web needed any more of that. I pretty much harped on what a bad idea it was, and I still believe that. It was good to have an outlet for my griping, at any rate.

Things got interesting on February 19, when I saw what I can only describe as an unidentified flying object, dropping out of the sky as I drove home. Some time later, I actually filed a report with MUFON, once I convinced myself I was still sane. Ok, at least partially sane.

April brought about some major changes in my life. I was canned by $FORMER_EMPLOYER on April 14th. I was working really hard at the time and was quite frankly wondering why my work was unappreciated. It was a place with surprisingly big egos for such a young company. I was dumb for jumping into that mess. Leaving felt more like an escape. Still does.

It didn’t take long before I was interviewing again. I talked with some fine folks in Wilmington, who later threw money at me to come work with them. Everything seemed right except for the location. It was with regret that I passed it up. Their offer made me feel very special.

Fortunately, I got a lead on my present job with Oculan on April 23rd, culminating in my accepting their offer on May 19th. By June 8th, I was doing my own demo.

Things got, uh, weird again in my March 26th post. That’s where I saw a ghost for the first time. Or at least, ghostly phenomena. It was an attention-getting experience, believe me.

June 17th was a bummer day. That’s when my longtime friends the Greenoughs moved out of my neighborhood. I had a lot of emotion in that post. As if I needed a reminder that they don’t live there anymore, today I saw a Carolina flag flying from their old house.

Sailing Lake Gaston put me on top of the world, as my July 6th post relates. Sailing is the best damn therapy I’ve ever had. When I climb in a sailboat, I leave my worries on shore. One day I hope to own my own boat.

My blogging experience improved dramatically at the end of July when I switched from bplog to Drupal as my weblog software. Now comments could be posted. I’m still very happy with Drupal. I’d recommend it to anyone.

August 3rd made my younger brother Jeff a father. That day Hadley Elise was born. Hadley is another Turner SuperBaby, breaking all growth records, just like her cousin Hallie did before her (and her cousin Audrey, born February 16th, continues to do).

On August 10th, I posted about torrential rains that flooded the Oculan parking lot. We stood at the windows, thinking the culvert next to our building would overflow at any minute. I also remember cleaning out the storm grate and grabbing a black snake in the process. Thanks to my heroic efforts, the office was saved. Heh.

September 8th brought the sobering epiphany that the WTC attacks were staged. When you see something resembling an extra engine on the belly of Plane #2, you have to forget all about the box cutters.

September 19th brought Hurricane Isabel to our great state. Isabel skimmed the Triangle area, and largely left the state unscathed. Fortunately, we had Talk Like A Pirate Day to keep us amused.

I got all melancholy at the beginning of October with my posts about the closing of Garner Bike Line and Polk Youth Center. Fortunately, those events were totally unrelated in any other respect.

I was off to Minnesota with my family for a fun business-and-pleasure trip in early October. We were treated like royalty by Kelly’s aunt and uncle, and to this day still talk about it.

I dissed my once-favorite band R.E.M. on the 10th, and wound up kicking myself three days later when I learned the original band members had played together. It was a rare, rare, rare, chance to see the old band, and I felt like a dolt for missing it.

I had a string of long, emotional posts upon my business trip to Pensacola. I swung by my childhood home in Spanish Fort, AL and surprised myself at the emotions the place held for me. I stayed up way too late, writing and writing and the words poured out of me. Sadly, the pictures I took at dusk were too dark to see. Dammit.

November brought another blast from my past, when I returned to San Diego after a five-year absence. ‎I didn’t have much time for visiting or siteseeing, but I enjoyed reliving in my mind the time I spent here. At the end of the trip, I could have sworn I was two steps away from having Lance Armstrong crash into me on his morning ride. I spent June enthralled in the Tour De France coverage.

That brings me to my November 24th stunt regarding Your Mama jokes. I was feeling jealous that my friend Jamie Gaines was getting far more comments on his posts than I was. I hatched the Your Mama jokes contest as a way to generate comments on my site. It worked beautifully, and to this day remains the post with the most comments on my site. Jamie himself even linked to it, not truly understanding my purpose in doing it. It proved to be a fun diversion from the usual posts here, which are often too geeky, controversial, or just plain weird.

I had the chance to revisit San Diego at the start of December. I was there to see my old ship USS Elliot get decommissoned and to meet up with my former shipmates. The writing I did after the decommissioning ceremony is some of my finest blog writing.

We had weirdness in the air when thunder rocked the nighttime December skies, followed by real rocking in a Richmond earthquake. I railed against throwing the book at spammers, thought they’re scum. Oh, and I decided on a new career direction in mid-December.

That pretty much covers the highlights of my blogging world for 2003. There are lots of rants in-between, lots of useless ideas proffered, and lots of tinfoil-hat material thrown in there as well. The beauty of blogging is that I can instantly share my thoughts on any topic at any time. The danger is that those quick scribblings live on forever on the Internet.

So be it. I am a proponent of saying what you think when you think it. I admire those who are honest in their dealings with people. This world would be much better off if everyone knew where each was coming from on any particular topic.

Sharing will bring the world closer. What a concept, huh.

Thanks for sharing in my thoughts!

Y’all Don’t Come Back Now, You Hear?

It promises to be an interesting week with Hurricane Isabel becoming an uninvited guest later this week. Kelly and I are still in Virginia through Tuesday and are seriously considering cleaning out The Home Depot here before heading back to North Carolina. It shows that I’m woefully unprepared for hurricanes, not having the least bit of emergency supplies available.

I can really do without hurricanes now after Fran and Floyd and Dennis had their fun here. Since the ground is so saturated from a year full of nonstop rain, I’m really dreading the effect of 150 MPH winds on our trees. Seems like they were just beginning to recover from Fran’s effects seven years ago.

Isabel isn’t forecasted to make landfall until Thursday, but it’s already freaking me out. Southern hospitality does not apply to hurricanes.
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