The Alphabet Julen: A

May 2024

It's Spring again in Virginia. Our irises, poppies, and peonies are emerging on the heels of daffodils and early violets. Color abounds. The weather is warming up and leaving that sharp chilly edge of the wind behind. We are making plans for our next roadtrips, and I saw 9 successful executions of the 4 way stop, in a row, in town just last week. Meanwhile, the world is hurtling towards hate and incivility, violence and horror, and running pall-mall into the arms of all of humanity's worst characteristics.

I retired again.

The last time I retired (and retired explicitly from the world of Product/UX/UI Design), it lasted for a good 10 years. I suspect this one will actually stick. It's been a few weeks, and I'm getting used to not having 6-8 meetings to structure my day around. The surreality is beginning to wear off, and an unruly row of projects, plans, and ideas are jostling into place. Books are beckoning, paint and paper and pens pushing to the surface, and expos need to be planned.

This website - this collection of stuff - is more than 30 years old, now, and at this address for at least 27 of them. It emerged from wild west of the Internet into the very first wave of websites. The 90s were giddy and innovative and experimental even as the corporate world rose up to try to harness it. The challenges and changes came in waves: social media ebbed and flowed and ebbed again. Journalism struggled. Collective and collaborative sites rose. Content - a term too generic for my preferences - has become an after-thought, moved from the center to the side because its value isn't strictly profitable. Hey, Kid! Are you on my lawn? Get off my lawn.

In addition to ranting and raving about the old days, I'm looking into what certifications I need to be an official town busybody. Maybe I could also act like I'm the unelected Mayor of this unincorporated town. I can see it now! I'll g et to know the zoning laws, practice popping in with unsolicited advice, and practice the 5 minute lecture to ensure I hit the one minute eye roll, the 3 minute shift, and the 4 minute fake phone check. I'd be SO good at that.