blogging101

Concatenate

Since embarking on a new endeavor, a change of title is in order. Why concatenate (the title is spelled phonetically and a play on yours truly’s name)? Well, this blog seeks to link things together. In my personal case, linking art and a life spent in technology. We use concatenation in computing all the time; it’s what connects strings of text, code, or files, together. The official definition is to join or link together as in a chain and was originally found in Late Middle English and Late Latin between 1425 and 1475.

What links do you find interesting? How are you linked together socially? How are you linked to the world around you? How do you fuse your work and your life passions?

Hello, Again!

Wow, is it already November? Where in the world has the time gone? It seems like yesterday since I last posted but it’s been months. Hopefully, Blogging 101 will inspire all of us to be more intentional in our posting.  Awhile ago I posted this on my About page and so for this first day of Blogging 101, let’s take a look and see if it still holds true.

“All art is but imitation of nature.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca  [Still love this quote!]

Why are you here? What drew you to explore this blog? What inspires you? [Really, I want to know!]

As you probably know, this is primarily a creative blog but I thought I’d let you in on why I started it in the first place. For those that know me, they know I work in IT. What you might not know is that I never intended to end up in technology, it just happened, probably because I love playing with tech toys. [There’s always something new and exciting to play with and explore]

My background is actually in art and after spending 20 plus years doing tech work from database programming to telecommunication installs to system administration and now web and social media, [and Q & A testing as well as inventory management] I was beginning to realize I had lost a little of my creativity. That said, all the new tech toys are key to my own creative outlets and I wouldn’t trade my career path for the world (nor would I trade the cool tech tools I have access to either [especially in one of my current jobs, it’s awesome!]).

We all are creators at some level. In fact, I believe we walk hand in hand with our own creator (in my case, God) and that we have a responsibility to make this world of ours a better place; a more beautiful place. Creative activities aren’t always pretty, they aren’t always safe, and they sometimes turn out rather badly and pretty ugly too. That is part of the process. Although charged with making our world more beautiful, we have to learn along the way what that means and that it means we are forgiven for our failures. We learn what we can and can’t do; we learn to reshape the ugly, the first drafts, the unsatisfactory efforts [and sometimes, we have to start over or go in an altogether different direction].

In the long run, the process is as important as the finished work and we won’t reach that final work until the end when we meet our own creator who has shaped us all along.

Thanks for joining me on the journey and if you found something here that inspired you or just made you think, leave me a comment and let me know. I’m learning daily and hope to learn from you along the way too.

Peace,
Kat

Well, it’s still sound and still holds true. However, you will likely notice a shift in the content or an enhancement, whichever strikes your fancy. Yes, there will be photography and probably some more artwork as well, but also more editorial commentary on interesting articles and ideas (well, interesting to me, and hopefully to you, too). Thanks for being on this journey and hope to hear from you soon.

Time Out

“You need a time out!” shouts the mother to the toddler with the temper tantrum.

“TIME OUT!” calls the coach as he gathers his players into a huddle to discuss the next play.

“I need time out of this rat race,” laments the single parent with three kids and two jobs.

What does “time out” mean to you? I suspect, if you are like me, it means different things at different points in your life. When we are that toddler, “time outs” were meant as cooling down periods or, maybe, punishment (although I often think parents put kids in time out just so they don’t throw their own temper tantrum). When a coach calls a “TIME OUT!” it’s usually to focus the team and redirect it toward some goal. And who hasn’t been frazzled beyond reason by the business of 21st century responsibilities?

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and forces you into “time out” whether you want it or not. It could be the loss of a loved one which paralyzes you where you are. It could be the loss of a job or a livelihood due to economic issues. Sometimes it is illness or injury which sidelines you into “time out”. Whatever the reason, take it as a blessing.

Yes, I said blessing.

“Time outs” give us a chance to see things from a different perspective. They give us time to evaluate where we are, where we are going, and what’s important. Like the player on the team, having a “time out” gives us a chance to catch our breath and “hear” what is in store for us from a higher power if we take the time to listen. I think, sometimes, we are even like that child with the temper tantrum. Often when we are that angry, that upset, life forces a “time out” on us. How we use it to refocus ourselves for the next chapter in our lives is what matters. Take the time. Do the work to know what matters to you. In the end, you will find you needed that “time out” whether you wanted it or not.

Rentzheimer Summer Kitchen

Recycling History

Today was beautiful. The weather was a balmy 37 degrees farenheit up from the cold of single digits just a few days ago. The light was superb; a clear day, sunny with not a cloud in the sky. A day like today makes you glad to be out in the sunshine dreaming of summer days but relishing the bite of the wind, crisp and cool on your cheek.

As I walked around town today, the light struck the side of the summer kitchen of the old Rentzheimer house on Durham Street. The house constructed in 1832 by Tobias Rentzheimer now houses the Hellertown Borough Authority (aka the water company for the town). The site of the building always brings a smile to my face. Why? It’s not a unique colonial house by any stretch of the imagination. No, it’s because it is being reused. It always pains me to see houses built years ago (whether 50, 75, 100, 150 years old) in complete ruin and not being used. It brings me joy to see these structures transformed into something useful for today’s world. They connect us with the past and those who have gone before.

If nothing else, my walk made me curious enough to look up what I could on Tobias Rentzheimer, the original owner. I didn’t find much, to be honest. Tad Miller had a Morning Call article on Hellertown street names in 1992 about the Rentzheimer name and notes that the land the Hellertown Borough Authority, Dewey Fire Company and several housing developments occupy was once part of the original holdings of the Rentzheimer family. Rentzheimer Drive was actually named for Dr. William Rentzheimer who was Tobias E. Rentzheimer’s son and Tobias’ grandson. I did discover that Tobias was the son of Johann Karl Rentzheimer and Anna Maria Catharina Haas and was born November 23, 1790 in Lower Saucon Township. He was one of seven children. He married Hannah Ehrhart and in turn had six children of his own. If you are interested in the Rentzheimer family history, Family Treemaker has the lineage listed.

William J. Heller actually has an excellent (although now very outdated) history of Northampton County and the early founding of the Lehigh Valley. You can download or read it from The New York Public Library’s archives online. Volume 2 covers Hellertown and Lower Saucon and was written in 1920. Heller’s section on the Rentzheimer family notes they settled in Hellertown around 1774 and were farmers. He writes elsewhere in the volume that the family gave part of the land to start a school in the center of town in 1845. Longtime Lutherans, the Rentzheimers also gave the land for Christ Lutheran Church on Main Street in Hellertown.

Siesta

It’s mid-afternoon and everyone has disappeared. Well, that’s not entirely true, I know where everyone is but it is relatively quiet. My husband and daughter are playing a Wii game (he helps her out when she gets stuck) but the cats are nowhere to be found. A little investigation and I discover that all the beds are taken. Siesta time! Now, if I can just convince them that 3:00 AM is not play time, we will all be happy.

iPod Classic

New life in an old friend

I confess, I’m an Apple fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an over-the-top fanatic, but I love their products and always have (I even owned a Newton). Why? Well, because they work. They fit my lifestyle, they are fun, they last a LONG time and, they have personality. Yes, I said they have personality. I don’t know of a single PC owner who has named their computers (if there are some out there, let me know, I’m curious). I do know of several Mac owners who have named theirs (my husband included who named his Mac SE “Mr. Chips”). And when I say they last a long time, I’m not kidding. My daughter is doing her homework on an old iBook G3 that has to be at least 12 years old if it’s a day. The stuff lasts. That said, on occasion you get something that starts to act flakey after a few years.

This happened with my iPod Classic. One day it just decided it didn’t have any music and trying every conceivable thing I could think of to restore it failed. I even took it to the Apple store to see if they could fix it. It holds my ENTIRE music library along with a ton of podcasts I like to listen to when working or working out. Since they don’t make them anymore, I was at a loss about what to do. I have an iPhone, but I don’t have the space on it for all the music and podcasts with all the apps I have so putting the music on it really wasn’t an option.

What would you do? Probably what I did. I researched solutions online. Everything I tried wouldn’t revive it so I just set it aside and resigned myself to having to buy a lower capacity iPod as a replacement.

A few months go by while I’m trying to decide which one I want, and lo, and behold I find the old iPod Classic on the shelf where I set it last. In a last-ditch effort, I plugged it into a charger and it at least turned on. I tried synching it, but no luck. My husband, bless him, said “Let me try synching it on my old iMac, maybe I can get it to work.” And guess what? He found a way to bring it back to life with some trial and error (probably because he’s more patient with some of this than I am).

I hadn’t realized how much I missed my “friend” until I was able to listen to it with it snugly in my pocket. As I sit here now, I’m listening to an old Celtic music podcast on it. Here’s to new (old) life in a new year!