Living Publicly on the Internet

Rich and I went to this classic Vermont country summer fair last week. Below is a photo of the tractor pull. There were so many garden tractors lined up, this event went on for hours and hours and hours. One event that I wish I had known about (before it happened, rather than hearing about it after the fact!) was a hand-mowing competition (using scythes). I have an old scythe and use it ocassionaly (not for the lawn but for clearing tall weeds) and would have loved to see how it’s really done.

While wandering through the booths, I came around a corner and saw a well-known Vermont actor/comedian/writer named Rusty Dewees. This is a guy you can’t avoid if you live in Vermont. He’s got a column in the local paper (which is very personal like a blog), does radio spots for lots of businesses, gets written about and highlighted on the news all of the time and does shows (which I have never attended) all over the state. Without thinking, I greeted him like an old friend, only to remember in the next moment that I didn’t really know him, and of course, I was a complete stranger t him. Just another fan, I guess. I was pretty embarrassed (how unlike me!).

It made me think a lot about how much I expose my own life on my otherwise “technical” blog. When I meet developers at conferences around the country and the world, and they know personal things about me, it takes me a moment to realize it’s because I write about it all the time. But I love this aspect of meeting people who don’t feel like strangers for long. Somehow, I wasn’t able to project that Dewees might feel the same way even though he was being perfectly nice. Additionally, it’s only a more narrow community of programmers that know me, so I already have lot in common with these people, as opposed to anyone that might accost this poor guy. It would probably have been a little better if I had bought one of his dvds or calendars or something (the guy is pretty talented and also a marketing machine), but though I enjoy reading his column and have been impressed to watch what he has done with his career, I’m not sure if I really want a calendar of him on my wall (though he’s awfully good looking! ;-))

The tractor pull. Click on photo to see full size

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