Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Writer's block, meetings and a head scratch

Sorry for the long absence, but I've been absolutely mired in a number of items - most prominently the Association of Defense Communities Annual Conference here in Norfolk.  Our volunteers set up Mini-HORNET here on Sunday night and yesterday was the first full day of activities and networking - today I'm back for the second day.  And writing this from the business center at the conference, alas, I have no funny picture - surfing the net looking for them gets some really odd looks, so I gave it up.  But I digress...

Last week I was travelling a great deal, engaged in various meetings.  And while on the move, I just didn't have time to update the blog.  Move, meet, eat, sleep, wash, rinse, repeat.  Standard drill just more of it.  While I was gone, I had hoped that some of our other invited bloggers might step up and write an entry or two - we actually have three other folks who have signed up to leave commentary.  But on inquiring about new entries, I learned that many drafts were circulating but nothing was posted.  Wait a second - drafts?  There are no drafts in 'stream of conciousness' mode!  Granted, there are several drafts of historical entries waiting in the back bunkers for further research and documentation etc.  But otherwise most of this blog is entirely what I sit down and write - right off the top of my head.  Sometimes it's funny, other times (like its author) just funny looking.  But the point is that the myriad things rolling around in discussion and un-communicated thought are often interesting, bear telling, and sometimes even repeating.  That's where this little corner of the internet comes in.

And so just to emphasize the finer points of getting over writer's block - to the new NHS bloggers and others who keep their own - here's an entry about  writer's block!  Yeah, the conference is that interesting.  Actually it is, but until we're done I just don't want to post any premature summaries.


One interesting facet of the conference - and just about all of my meetings - is that everyone seems completely awestruck that I actually have a real job - outside of NHS.  All of this is done in my spare time.  To most serious hobbyists this is no surprise, but to the legions of corporate America, it's unheard of.  How can we take this so seriously, so passionately, and not be paid for it?  Good question - make a donation and solve that!  Just kidding.  The best explanation I can offer is that NHS as an organization stopped serving as a hobby months ago - when we first decided, definitively, to tackle the HORNET Project.  From that point onward it was more akin to entrepreneurship than a hobby - trying to create a self-sustaining program afloat is no trivial thing, nor is it anything most people could do in their spare time and unallocated brainpower - this is a serious thing.  If successful the project will undoubtedly create a business model - or several - that will change the way we operate and preserve historical attractions afloat, ie historic and reproduction ships.  And that, for me at least, is worth all of this.  So sure, I'll sacrifice my leave days and keep pushing onward.  Every press of the palm is a new experience and opportunity, and little by little, we move onward.


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