A Bushel and A Peck

Really just a Peck. A former Ashley Peck. Welcome to my collection of randomness.
Thank you @dmarie0512 for an incredible weekend #vivalasviera … Now get me out of Vegas. Now.

Thank you @dmarie0512 for an incredible weekend #vivalasviera … Now get me out of Vegas. Now.

Internet History

This is a terribly random blog post, but I was sitting around thinking about how much the Internet has changed and how I interacted with the Internet since I first became acquainted with it and felt compelled to blog.

My first experience was my parents’ purchasing a 1995/6 Acer computer for our family home:

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Yes, it was really that green color. (Aside: I will say this about my parents- while we wanted for nothing growing up, they were really never compelled to go after brand names. In fact, one could say they were almost anti-popular or “expensive” brand. My dad has driven a Ford for the past 10 years almost, the family has never owned an Apple computer, and my mom legitimately learns every fashion brand through her daughters…and I guess I now know why we suck at that stuff hahahaha). 

Anywho, I spent most of my grade school days from 3rd-4th grade on, surfing the Internet on this faithful computer with a dial-up modem connection. At first, I mostly stuck to random computer games and opening an email account. But then AIM came into my life.

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I remember getting really into it starting in 7th or 8th grade and it continuing all through college even. There were so many hilarious conversations and pent up emotions in these pubescent chats. I remember SCREAMING if my parents picked up the phone and kicked me off!!!! (prior to call waiting being invented). Especially if I was in the middle of a chat with a crush! 

Waiting for the modem to dial back through were some of the most excruciating, painful minutes of my adolescent life: 

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You’ve Got Mail! Never sounded so good. The sounds of opening doors and shutting doors- my buddy list! I still remember people’s screen names. Bl0ndie773 being mine. FOR SHAME.

There was also Napster, itunes, webshots, and of course Google search (Ask Jeeves and Yahoo prior to that). This is where I spent the majority of my time online in grade school and high school, or if I was researching for a paper. We didn’t have email in high school until our senior year I don’t think….it’s sort of strange to think about.

In college, we were set up with a UVA email, through some bIZARRE webmail program known as Mulberry. From there I used email pretty frequently and still instant messaged with people. And stalked their webshots that my “buddies” would link to in their away message.

Then came Facebook. What did I used to do online before Facebook, I often wondered in college? Also keep in mind none of us could access the internet from a phone until near the end of college. Now, I can’t imagine not having access to the Internet right from my hand — and it definitely makes me sad. And even Facebook itself has completely morphed from how it started— I don’t think I could have even fathomed what it would become back in the day when it literally was just photos with bios of people. We didn’t even have a wall! You couldn’t even post more photos other than your profile picture!

Also near the end of college came Gchat. All my older friends who had graduated and started work were already hopping on gmail and gchat- Google’s latest thing. Slowly people began abandoning their AIM screen names and going over to gmail and gchat. Better email, and chat at the same time? Why bother?

Then came Twitter. And wordpress. And tumblr. And Google +. And Instagram. And 50 billion other social internet sites that people now spend hours and hours on all over the world. And the iPhone has seen about fifty billion versions and Blackberry doesn’t’ even exist anymore. (Okay exaggerating slightly, but you get my drift). Many newspapers and magazines don’t even publish print copies anymore. Everything can be accessed on your mobile device. And now you can wear said mobile devices as watches, or glasses, or contacts!?! And they can monitor your blood pressure, and tell you how many calories you’ve burned.

AND ALL OF THIS IS EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahaha. And has resulted in me being burnt out. And maybe even using the Internet for less than what it’s original purpose was for: Connecting with other people.

I hardly talk to  my friends on gchat anymore. Probably 1/10 of what I used to in the old days. ANd yes, a lot of it is life just gets busy and work takes over, but I do think some of it is people are a bit burnt out from being tied to computers and phones for such large portions of their day. Facebook seems overwhelming to me, so despite being on it for most of the day to monitor our work pages, I hardly “connect” w/ any of my friends other than the “like” on photos. I text a lot or “imessage” but even that doesn’t take the place of a phone call or in-person meeting. I wish I FaceTimed more or video-chatted, but a lot of people don’t like to do it unless you’re a significant other: “no I look terrible!” And ironically, I’m typing all of this out on the Internet.

Just some random thoughts about how much has changed in our lifetime and it makes me think of how much more will change in the next couple of decades. I’m wondering if there will be some sort of backlash against all of this technology. While much has been for good, I do find myself longing for the simpler days at times. And thinking about a trip where I can turn my phone off and leave my email unread :-).

Pics from wine tasting in Dry Creek valley this past weekend 🍷😊

Robin.

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When I heard the news yesterday, I sat in my work parking garage and cried and continued to cry for most of my 45-minute commute home. No, I did not know the man personally. And no, his death does not deserve to be lauded over the many other equally significant and tragic deaths from suicide and depression— one of which I just learned about less than a week ago.

However, Robin Williams had such a presence, had such a rare and truly genius talent, that many are feeling affected by the loss of him. How cruel and ironic that the funniest man on earth could not beat this disease of depression. This disease that continues to hurt millions in our country and claim countless lives.

Robin and his films took up a huge part of my childhood. I remember listing my favorite actor as Robin Williams (I was a weird chick) hahaha. He made me laugh harder than any other actor and whether it was his family-friendly flicks (Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin) or his more serious ones (Patch Adams, Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come) he offered entertainment, an escape, and a damn good time. 

I think Robin’s passing reminds us that no one is invincible or happy all the time. Not even the funniest or seemingly happiest person we know.

Some thoughts:

  • Be kind. Never assume you know what the other person is thinking or feeling or going through.
  • Reach out. I’ve found myself making excuses and getting extremely negative about this one lately. Everyone seems busy and of course no one is busier than me ;-) (sarcasm here). Life is too short- make time for your relationships and friendships, even those far away.
  • Seek help. Sometimes life gets too hard for us to manage all on our own and we need additional support. Whether its a family member, a therapist, or a true and good friend— don’t be scared to seek help. You may be surprised at who shows up for you.
  • Never give up. Don’t. It always gets better. 

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!O the bleeding drops of red,Where on the deck my Captain lies,Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here captain! dear father!This arm beneath your head;It is some dream that on the deck,You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!But I, with mournful tread,Walk the deck my captain lies,Fallen cold and dead.

fastcompany:

The smartwatch of your dreams rests on one valuable commodity and the people who produce it.
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fastcompany:

The smartwatch of your dreams rests on one valuable commodity and the people who produce it.

Read More>