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Monday, October 15, 2018

Exceeding All Expectations

Exceeding all expectations. Pretty much a cliche' any more. But in this case, it's the only string of words I can come up with to describe the last 13 years.

When I began doing the work that is now Reglue, I had no idea where it was going or just how far it would go. I think maybe we were all a bit surprised. Over the years, I have received countless thanks for what I do, but to be fair, that thanks is a bit displaced. It's I who owe a debt of gratitude to those who've assisted me and my team in doing what we do. Hundreds of underprivileged kids have received Linux-based, Free Open Source Software computers due to our efforts. "Our" efforts, meaning you and me. Without you. "Me" would be sitting on a bank drinking beer and fishing instead of the work we've done since 2005.

There's still plenty of time for that. Universe willing. So why am I the lucky guy?

I've spent time with some fairly special people. I've learned that Asperger's Syndrome is a blessing and not a disability. I've gathered with some of the greatest minds within the Linuxsphere while being treated as a peer. I'm not you know. Many of you have forgotten more about Free Open Source Software than I will ever know. Most of you do your work using bash scripts. Not me, I use smash scripts. About the third general parsing error, I smash my monitor. But still I covet your embrace. From sitting Governors to (ahem) school teachers, social workers to police chiefs and all those in between, I've gained a lifetime of insight from those interactions.

But the most memorable, and to me the most precious of those interactions have begun with the people for which I install computers. We've discussed many of them over the years, but I think the one that stays lodged in my memory is one I did a few days ago.

Her name is Lois and she's lived a life that many of us could not comprehend. The most vivid moments of her childhood were spent in London bomb shelters during the German firebombings and V2 rocket attacks. She was not alone. Her mother worked as a nurse in the shelters, trying to save the lives of the burned and injured people around her. Lois assisted her mother in ripping open gauze, fetching morphine injectors and salves for the wounds. By the time she was 8 years old, Lois could perform simple interrupted sutures.

And if that wasn't enough, her father strapped himself into a British Spitfire to intercept the incoming bombers. He has the distinction of flying every iteration of the Spitfire, to include the last one which was built to intercept the V2 rockets. If you are interested, there is a documentary about that plane entitled The Spitfire, The Plane That Saved The World. Contact me privately and I can guide you as to where to watch it. Her father is interviewed briefly in that film.

Lois has two extremely gifted grandchildren and they spend their summers with their grandmother, in
order to attend an advanced placement school here in Taylor during that season. And yes, they attend school 12 years out of the year. They are twin girls who accel in mathematics and music. Lois contacted me through our website, asking of we could be of assistance in placing a computer for her grandchildren during the months spent in Taylor. I was more than happy to oblige. For those curious, I installed a dell quad core with 12GB of RAM so horsepower isn't a problem. I would also like to present each of them with a Dell Latitude E5550, but I'm short hard drives and RAM for those machines at this time.

So yeah, when the counting is done, I'm the one who is grateful for the job I do. Not a job really, since I am not paid to do it but more of a community service. A service I am more than honored to provide. I couldn't count myself more lucky. Well, there's the lottery but let's be real. Maybe a couple of hard drives and some RAM. Maybe. I'll leave a tooth under the pillow and see what happens.

All Righty Then...




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