Nov 2016
15

Coming Home To A New World

The last two weeks have been a flurry of flights and European cities. I attended the Web Summit in Lisbon for the first time, a conference where the world’s tech community comes together to exchange ideas. I was there by myself, which was a bit isolating and overwhelming, but also afforded me the chance to speak to people from all over the globe.

In the middle of all this was, of course, the election. To say I am shocked and saddened by the outcome is an understatement. More to the point, I am still in the denial stage of grief and only since returning home have I started to even process what happened.

I was at dinner with a friend and several of his friends the day after the vote. It’s important to know that all the men present were pro-business and while not necessarily pro-Trump, were definitely anti-establishment. They saw the election as a way to shake things up – and I came to see that side of the argument.

What I still can’t wrap my head around is how Trump (or “He Who Shall Not Be Named” as many of us are now calling him) is the person to do the shaking. Unless you want the vibrations to be racist, misogynistic, bigoted and from a place of poorly-run businesses.

One of the men asked me, “How then, do you think, did Trump win the election?”

“White supremacists.”

His jaw dropped at my answer, and let me explain. If you look at the numbers of who voted for Trump, it was vastly white people. While I don’t think all those voters are racists in the traditional sense of the word, in that they would deny someone a job or call a person names because of the color of the skin – that is exactly what they did with their vote. By overlooking Trump’s many, many, many, many, many comments and actions in that direction. By not being concerned about how others would be treated in a Trump presidency. Continue reading…

Black Lives Matter - Baton Rouge Protest
Jul 2016
11

Black Lives Matter

I’ve seen a few messages on social media that show somehow the world doesn’t seem to get that “black lives matter” does *NOT* equal all other people do not matter.

The reason people of color say “black lives matter” is because they are being treated as if their lives do not, in fact, matter. It is *NOT* a value judgment on anyone else – unless you think it is OK for police to continually kill black people at a rate 9 times higher than white people.

If you can’t hear the phrase “black lives matter” without automatically thinking, “no, ALL lives matter,” it’s time to sit back, do some self-evaluation of the privilege you have in life, and realize that there are many, many, many people in our country who are targeted simply because of the color of their skin, and when the justice system fails to prosecute their killers, we are telling the black community THEY DO NOT MATTER.

Yes, it was horrible that 5 officers were killed in Dallas this past weekend. I respect what the police do for our society and I thank them with all my heart. But to also not recognize that there are problems in the system is to ignore it, rationalize it, accept it, and tell black people THEIR LIVES DO NOT MATTER.

When my 13yo son heard about the stand-off in Dallas, he said, “why did he shoot back? He was just a suspect, right?” I had to gently remind him that a black man was pulled over for a broken tail light this week and shot to death in front of his own daughter. That MY son was looking at the situation from a position of white privilege.

I am in no way saying the shootings in Dallas were right, but we have to understand that black people now go into any conversation with police from a position of fear and distrust, and understandably so. Whereas, me, as a white woman… I have been waved off laughingly when pulled over for a broken tail light – while DRIVING DRUNK. It is shameful to admit that, but it is absolutely true.

So, please reflect on your privilege. Violence is not the answer in any circumstance. But, let’s try to understand where it comes from.

Marriage Advice After 20 Years
Jun 2016
02

Marriage Advice After 20 Years of It

Last week, we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Many people say this, but it feels like just yesterday *and* forever ago – all at the same time.

We married here in Denver, a little while after we moved and it’s fun to think about how young and optimistic we were then. We may be more cynical and jaded now, but in many ways, we still work on our marriage just as hard as day one. Some things get easier over the years, some harder. For example – we literally have talked about everything. What is there left to say after all this time?

Well, for one, we recently chatted about how we make our marriage work so I could write one of these condescending posts about it.

Look… We know every marriage is different. We’ve seen some couples split for reasons I could not explain, and people stay together for no good one.

No judgements here, just some suggestions from two goofballs who still lean on each other as heavily now as they did two decades ago. Continue reading…

Jul 2015
24

Light For Light: #ElectrifyAfrica

I don’t remember much of 2011. I randomly caught a very serious ear infection during my annual trek to SXSW in March… and poof! There is really nothing left from that year. I spent most of that time in the hospital, in doctor’s offices and frankly – just laying in my bed sleeping. I have a big window in our room and every morning I would open my eyes and stare out at the pinks of Denver morning, fall back asleep… and most days – watch the deep oranges of sunset from almost that exact spot.

Pink Fuzz

Some days I made it outside to tinker with my poorly neglected garden. I distinctly remember just watching the sun, and light, and feeling very lucky.

It sounds dramatic when I talk about it, so I try to give the quick glossy version these days. But the truth is, I almost died, several times. The ear infection was so severe that I had regular checks to see if my skull had cracked. Two surgeries and one major hearing loss later, I am fine.

OrangeDust

But what if I hadn’t had access to medical care? Both here in Denver and in Austin, I had the best of everything. “No. I don’t want the 32 slice CT scan. I want the 128 slice. Yes. Do it.” My doctors had everything they needed at their fingertips.

But what if they had no… electricity?

At all.

Red Veins

One talk that struck a cord with me when I attended the ONE Aya Summit last year was how many parts of Africa have no electricity. None. Zero.

Hospitals are running on generators, at best. A shocking seven in 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa (nearly 600 million people) do not have basic access to electricity. Even worse, 30% of health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, which serve an estimated 255 million people, are without electricity.

Berry Flavor

The Electrify Africa Act of 2015 would prioritize and coordinate U.S. government resources in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 to:

  • Promote first-time access to electricity for at least 50 million people, particularly the poor.
  • Encourage the installation of at least an additional 20,000 megawatts of electrical power in both rural and urban areas using a broad mix of energy options.
  • Encourage in-country reforms to facilitate public-private partnerships and increase transparency in power production, distribution, and pricing.
  • Promote efficient institutional platforms that provide electrical service to rural and underserved areas.

Not only is this the right thing to do, this is the smart thing for us to do – for our planet *and* our budget. Africa has yet to harness the majority of its natural energy capacity, putting them in a position to do it right from the start. Also? The US Congressional Budget Office estimated that enactment of the legislation’s previous version would save $86 million from 2014-2017.


 How can you help?

Read up on the issue. Spread the word.

Sign this petition to let our leaders know you support #ElectrityAfrica.

 

Online Safety For Children
Jun 2015
10

Online Safety Tips for Kids (And Their Parents!)

.ME Top Level Domain Name

This post is part of a sponsored series from Domain.ME

This blog is a decade old. Seeing as my son is almost 13, he is has grown up online – at least in these archives. It has been an interesting learning experience for him, and us, as he’s grown.

I used his real name when I started because many other mom bloggers were making up cutesy names and I figured “Greeble” was goofy enough. That came back to bite us when his friends first learned how to Google each other and started reading stories about his diaper rash. Super quickly many posts got moved to “private” to protect his privacy. It even changed the whole tenor of the site: as he has grown up, there are less stories about him here because the stories are not mine to tell.

I have always been a bit of a stickler for following the COPPA age 13 standard for social networks. I recognize that every family finds their own way, but in addition to being a rule follower – having a public blog has taught me things about dealing with the online world. As Dex approaches this milestone, we have been prepping him, taking things slowly and learning about the every evolving landscape together. Continue reading…