Friday, January 18, 2008

What's in a name?

Some may have thought I fell off the blogesphere, but I prefer to think that I was simply accumulating content. It has been a couple of years since my family and I took a sabbatical and went cruising in the Bahamas. Before leaving, we started writing a blog of our adventures - assuming that it would be a great way to keep a journal (especially a journal that wouldn't get wet when we struck a reef). We assumed that no one else would care. Well, we were wrong. We were shocked when we returned and family, friends, and friends of friends told us they had followed our adventures through the blog Tide Pool Adventures. Wow, I hope I didn't misspel too many words...

My boss, good friend and mentor Fran Toolan, founder of Quality Solutions has been writing an enlightening blog on a topic that we are both passionate about - book publishing. His blog Issues In Publishing has inspired me to get back into my own blog and start posting again. My intention is to focus on publishing, software and best practices, but I guarantee that I will stray.

So what's in a name? Up the Mast, metaphorically speaking, works for me in many ways. First, as a teenager, I spent many hours working at the top of masts at Cook's boat yard in Islip, NY. It didn't hurt that I was the shortest and lightest worker around. Often you would hear "That anemometer is broken - send Dougie up the mast". Secondly, I recently built a loft in my house (actually it is still a work in progress). This new Loft - affectionately known as the Blue Point Technology Center - was built so that my oldest of three girls could move out of the "dorm" and into her own bedroom. Of course, my wife Grace likes to present challenges to me, and said that I could build the loft, but she didn't want any posts to hold it up. No problem. A call to a rigger in Fairhaven, Massachussets and I had custom made sailboat shrouds to hang the loft from the rafters. I am literally perched up in the peak of my house, surrounded by sailboat rigging, with a window overlooking a salt marsh and the Great South Bay. I am most definately feeling like I am up the mast.

Finally, and most importantly, I am hopeful that, every once in while, I will be able to get away from the clutter and busyness of the deck, climb the metaphorical mast, and gain some perspective on the things I am most passionate about - book publishing, working at Quality Solutions, life with my girls - and write a post that makes someone stop and think - even if that someone is myself.

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