Archive for January, 2009

I’ll Show You Mine

The news has been so grim lately, I think it’s time for an amusing diversion. What could be more entertaining than embarrassing teen & childhood pictures? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. :)

Jeri Cowboy
My 4th birthday with a new cowgirl outfit. Many cowgirls wear red keds.

Jeri w/ Socks
Camping over spring break, ca 1975. We grew up in the desert, this is where we camped – at least the fishing was excellent. Loved the socks.

Jeri Swim
I spent the better part of a decade in the pool, although I was not particularly good at it. This was about 1979, Pasco pool.

Jeri James Homecoming
1980 homecoming; my date was a close friend. Youth is wasted on the young.

Your mission is to unearth two or three pictures of yourself from your child or teen years, scan or digitally image them and post them. Extra points are awarded for humorous or embarrassing images!

I dare you!

Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: blog meme, photography | 9 Comments »

Very Sad News

This morning’s local news contained more of the same awful stuff: 10,000 layoffs at Boeing, 6,700 at Starbucks. This is in addition to last week’s 5,000 Microsoft employees and 5,000 Microsoft contractors, and this Tuesday’s grim national news of 40,000 jobs lost across the country.

In desperately sad news, remniscent of the original Black Monday of 1929, a once-eager Microsoft employee has plunged to his death in Bellevue; his death was ruled a suicide.

A new Microsoft Corp. employee, whose lifelong goal had been to work at the company, died after falling from the 28th floor of the Lincoln Square office complex in Bellevue, where the company’s sales force leases space.

A Bellevue Police Department spokesman, said the man landed on the roof near the complex’s movie theater Sunday night.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide.

My heart goes out to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues.

Our workforce, our economy, our country desperately needs hope. Even the most miraculous leader could not fix this disastrous mess quickly; we all need to hang on through the rocky times that will most certainly lie ahead.

I have faith; together, with hard work and persistence, we will turn it around.

Still, sleep won’t come easily tonight.

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: Puget Sound, work | 10 Comments »

Jewelry Projects

These are actually from the class I took a couple weeks ago – I completed some finish work on them this weekend. I didn’t think I’d like working in enamel – I don’t care much for opaque enamel. I did really think the transparent stuff was cool, it gave a very multi-dimensional, raku-like effect to the finished pieces.

Green Enamel Earrings
Etched 1.25″ long copper triangles, bottle green transparent enamel over flux, sterling silver ear wires with antique patina.

Orange Enamel Earrings
Hammered, domed 1″ copper discs, sunset orange transparent enamel over flux, gold-filled ear wires with antique patina.

Sandblasted Silver Ring
Wide sterling silver ring, comfort cut, sandblasted finish – made for Bryan.

The projects I’m working on now are not yet ready for prime time; I’m having soldering challenges trying to work in mixed metal. Steps in the learning process…

Posted on Sunday, January 25th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: jewelry | 13 Comments »

Age of Reconnecting

A recently rediscovered childhood friend and neighbor asked me, “Have we finally reached the age where we’re reconnecting with old friends?”

Good question. At forty-something, it’s been a long time since high school and college; they are a blur. With apologies to the few high school friends I am in touch with, it was not a pleasant era for me. I was geeky, socially awkward and very unhappy. I haven’t attended a single reunion because those are memories and times I don’t particularly want to revisit.

In the years since, I’ve held a few jobs and lived in multiple states and countries. I’ve met a lot of interesting people and become close friends with a few. At the same time, I am truly awful at being a pen pal, I didn’t really even try, so we’ve lost contact.

The Internet and its capability for globally connecting people is changing all that.

Erudite blogger Eric mentioned:

“Part of what’s remarkable to me about the internet is how communities now consist of people who share a common interest and not just a common ZIP code. It seems to me that if a lot of this international tech had existed when I was a teenager, I might have been better adjusted: after all, whenever my few friends and I felt maladjusted and lonely, we could have turned to the message boards for RPG gamers or music nerds or general misfits, or maybe even have had Facebook or MySpace pages in which we would have perhaps had thousands or millions of ‘friends.’”

It certainly is true for teens today. My sons have moved – my eldest a couple of times – and have not lost touch with old friends at all. They are still IMing, connected on Facebook, MySpace and game platforms, and calling each other endlessly on free evening and weekend minutes.

According to sociologists, one of the interesting demographic differences between teens and young adults, who grew up immersed in social networking, and older adults is that the the younger group does not differentiate among face-to-face and online friends. The relationships they have with online friends via IM, email, social media networks and other channels are as real, rich and important as relationships with those they go to the movies with on Friday nights.

Just as importantly, it’s becoming true for my generation – and my parents’ generation. Email & IM bring instant gratification. Facebook provides opportunities to track down and reconnect with old friends. Blogs become soapboxes for fascinating people of all ages with opinions, wisdom and the ability to write coherently.

Facebook, in particular, is a fascinating phenomenon. It’s grown from 90 million users in June of 2008 to 150 million in January of 20091 – and the largest growth has been in the atypical demographic sectors – non-US teens (13-17), young (26-34) to middle-age (35-44) professionals and smaller but rapidly growing groups of adult (45-54) and (55-59) professionals2.

Suddenly, our options for connecting to people are no longer limited to, as Eric mentioned, our zip code – or even the current era. We can search for and reconnect with friends from high school, college, past jobs and locations as well as our our current moment. We can also connect with people online from around the world who share common interests and goals – I count among my friends people from across the US, Canada, the UK and Pakistan.

So, to circle back around to the original question: have we reached the (physical) age where we reconnect? I would submit that it’s much larger than an individual choice. We’ve reached an age, an era of reconnecting, facilitated by social media and globalization.

1Facebook’s Traffic Growth Leaving Rivals in the Dust
2Facebook Growth by Age: College Age Group is Declining

Posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: communication, friends | 9 Comments »

Janiece Rocks

Further proof – as if such were needed – that Janiece is made of awesome:

Flowers

Thanks, Janiece, a lift was much needed this afternoon and these were a wonderful surprise.

Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 by Jeri
Under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »