I named my last post about my year in review The Desolation of Sandy. It was such a big deal, that I decided to spend some time figuring out how to share my tale on it. This storm was amazing, devastating and heart-wrenching. My story starts before the storm hits and lets me tell why I love social networks.
About a week before the storm there was a post on Facebook.
“ATTENTION NJ, East PA, NYC, LI, CT, RI and MASS family and friends – this is “the one”. The path and intensity of Sandy represents the worst-case scenario for a tropical system to massively impact NJ, NYC and LI. You need to prepare NOW for torrential flooding rains, massive power outages and a large damaging surge along the coast. In some places in NJ and LI, power will be out for weeks. You need to have non-perishable food, water, batteries, prescription medicines refilled, and cash on hand. If you have a generator, you need gas – gallon/day is the minimum to use, more if you have a house generator. This is going to be an historic storm. You need to take action now.”
This post was from a friend of mine who I grew up with. We went to Kindergarten together and stayed good friends through most of high school. Then he went away to college and I had not heard from him for years. During this time he began a career with the National Weather Service. In 2009 he popped up on Facebook and we reconnected. He has never been an alarmist before this post, so I took him seriously.
This is one of the many examples of how social networking is so much more than Words With Friends and funny posts by Patton Oswalt. I have used themon many occasions for greater things. It has helped organize high school reunions, health issues and much more. Our local weatherman alone, makes Facebook a useful tool. One of my favorite examples was back in August 2011, when Twitter informed me of the earthquake in D.C.
We felt our library shaking and were unsure of what it was considering we don’t get earthquakes in our area often. As we exited the building to look around, I pulled my phone out and checked Twitter. Friends and celebrities from Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New York, including the aforementioned comedian, all posted they were experiencing an earthquake. Instant news!
With this one post, I was set in motion. I did all the preparation I could. I set precaution measures, battened down the hatches and prepared for the worst. We are slightly inland from the coast but still in a very vulnerable place in NJ. We were lucky. Here in my town, we have had worse thunderstorms. The barrier islands and everywhere north of our point however, were devastated. The best example I saw of the aftermath was these before and after pictures from the Huffington Post.
Here are a few of my pictures and a few from my friends in the area as well.
As I said, I came out of the incident unscathed. We didn’t even lose power. I have friends from Sea Isle City to New York who lost everything. One friend, from Ocean City, has written a few blogs on it, while many others just called or shared their stories on various social networks. One person, a friend of one of my favorite authors and a complete stranger, was worried about his summer home. Thanks to a chance discussion with our mutual friend, I was able to help him get information on his house and avoid any issue when he arrive to inspect the damage. It is amazing how the world is so much bigger and smaller thanks to the internet. Those social networks that let us gather from the comfort of our homes would, once again surprise me.
November was another crazy month. It started with a very positive event. It was sparked when a friend of mine on Facebook posted something. He siad, if you came out of Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed, and you stocked up on canned goods and other supplies for the possibility of having problems, you might want to think about donating them to the people who need it right now. We started sharing this and it evolved into something great. We collected numerous truckloads of goods for people in need after the storm. It was amazing to see the generosity of people in our area.
I took a break from the charity to get on my soapbox about the election. I supported Obama and I will take all the blame people want to throw at me but I really believe the country would have been much worse with the alternative. I lean Democrat and I am not ashamed of it. Liberal is not a dirty word. However, I should say that I have voted for a Republican before. I choose the best choice we have. Since our REAL choices were Obama and Romney, I chose Obama. I was actually more shocked with the post election reaction. The people against Obama really fumed and complained. They are hell bent on believing he is the enemy. While I can grasp that they don’t agree with his policy, the general demeanor of politics today is lacking compromise and discussion. I tried on Facebook and other environments, but that was tough when a zealot for a party jumped in.
Would I have chosen him if we had other options? Can’t say. But I can say that I want things to change. Those things, we should all want to see change, regardless of our party.
1) Term limits for everyone in Washington DC.
2) Primaries on the same day so the country decides, not New Hampshire.
3) Spending limits and equal coverage for all presidential candidates. This includes Green, Libertarian, etc.
4) Federal rules for early voting that make all states equal.
5) Eliminate lobbyists.
But enough about politics. Let’s talk about the British Secret Service.
Skyfall was a great film. I am quickly thinking Daniel Craig is the best Bond. Sorry Sean. Ever since that preview with Bond leaping on the train and fixing his cufflinks I knew this film would be great. I was not disappointed. This movie, like the new Star Trek, developed the character of Bond, introduced new characters and opened the door to tell the tale anew.
When it hits the DVD/Blue Ray market, if you have not seen it, check it out.
A also loved the song from this film. Amazing opening title sequence and that voice.
Adele almost beat the second love of my life, Shirley Manson. However, as my wife has said, Shirley could sing “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling” and I would love it.
Work really took off in November. Planning for the holidays was a challenge that I relished. The group of us worked on Cyber Monday, technology reviews and holiday gift help. I could not ask for a better job.
Oh yeah, there was also this!
December was even more overwhelming at work. We had our hands full. Our holiday celebration was well received. We did a live broadcast from the Book Mobile in the parade on Face Time. That had technical difficulty due to a cell phone needing a charge, but a quick delivery of an extension cord and charger put us back in action. We shared various holiday sites. My particular favorites are NORAD Santa Tracker and PNP! Over the years, these two sites have added to the wonder of Christmas for my kids.
December also brought us the shooting that is still making the news today. It was a major tragedy that again fueled me to speak up. Not on its own mind you, but with the help of others saying completely crazy things. You can read my thoughts here, because if I get started again, this blog will never end.
Back to the lighter side of 2012, Stan turning 90.
Stan Lee has influenced my life since I was old enough to read a comic book. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought us these heroes and monsters in all shapes and sizes that are surprisingly and wonderfully human. From the Fantastic Four and Spiderman to Iron Man, Doctor Strange and the X-Men, these characters battle super villains and save the world. They do this while battling prejudice, alcoholism, family problems and so much more. This pioneer of great storytelling had had a major role in my growing up.
I want send a special thanks to Doctor Who & Jello for saving the world from certain doom.
Christmas was a great time and my community helped make it wonderful. It helped me end 2012 on a good note.
My year ended on a good night and the New Year started off with a bang. It wasn’t my worst year but it certainly wasn’t my best.
2012 is over and 2013 has started. With it comes new experiences and challenges. I have started a 365 project and my job has me trying new things all the time. This year I want to strive to grow and learn like never before. From technology and photography as well as grade school math!
I am not overly egotistical so statistics like these don’t make me jump for joy or give up. With that being said, I still have a good following for a guy from New Jersey. It is even more impressive that this many people still read the erratic sparse offerings. I started this blog censoring myself as much as possible. This year, I opened the door to the things that aggravate me and it was a bit cathartic. I have also left more non finished tangents going here in the past two years than I wanted but still this blog got nearly two thousand views. So, my New Years Resolution……
Screw that! We always break our resolutions. I will try to be more me and I will try to keep writing. Time management is something I have been good at before my children arrived and I am trying to get it back. My work and my life are constantly busy and 2013 promises to be even busier.
But I will try.
I hope that 2013 brings us all a better time than we had in 2012.
and who knows, maybe my writing will get better.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.
Let me share with you how I compiled my info to write this tale. I could have wrote 10 parts and still have material left to share. How?
Because I use a variety of social networks and other technology resources. All of this has cataloged my life.
From my Facebook Timeline to my WordPress blog there are plenty of references to review my past. Add the following and it fills up quick.
- Google +
That is not all of them either. Our lives are being recorded like never before. Just something to think about.