Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Friendly Game of Tag

Randy Seavers (Genea-Musings blog) has been promoting a very interesting, almost viral, method for identifying and highlighting genealogy blogs and the people who operate them. Kudos Randy! As I've blogged in the past, one of my pet peeves are anonymous genealogy sites. It's great to see webmasters and blogmasters step up to the challenge and share some facts about themselves.

According to the rules, when you're tagged, you're supposed to blog "Five Things You Didn't Know About Me," and then tag other bloggers.

So, I've been tagged by my good friend, Lorine McGinnis Schulze (Olive Tree Genealogy blog), and am certainly up for the "challenge". It's a challenge to reflect upon oneself and reveal FIVE interesting facts about one's life.

1. I've always loved music, so when I went to college, joining the radio station, WJRH 90.5 FM, was a natural step. After two years of on air experience, and being selected to be the Production Manager, I was offered a job at WQQQ Q100 FM, and became Lloyd London for two years. I considered a career in broadcasting, as a junior I was the college station Programming Director, and as a senior, Station Director.

2. Having grown up without pets (Mom only liked cats, Dad only liked dogs), but loving animals, when I left the nest I couldn't wait to get a pet. The confines of a college dorm room limited my options, but a girlfriend at the time presented me with a hamster we names Daisy. The years of animal denial led me to seek the opposite extreme, so within a few months, my dorm room was overcrowded with a dozen little critters. I have photos somewhere. If I can dig them up, I'll post a photo of Daisy.

3. When I was a junior in high school, the first computer lab was created with TRS-80's. I was interested, but the class was offered only to the freshmen. My physics teacher had two Commodore PET's in his office, so my friend Gordon Accocella and I begged to get access to them -- during physics class, of course. The teacher made us a deal, that if we could maintain an A average in his class, we could sneak back to the PET's, and we would have to participate in every experiment lesson.

4. My wife, Elaine (pictured right), and I attended the same college and were in the same graduating class. We knew of each other by name, but never really crossed paths. During Senior Week, one of my AXP fraternity brothers told me he wanted to go on a date with this girl (Elaine), but she wouldn't go alone. So, he wanted me to come along as a date for her friend. Suffice it to say, the relationship between him and Elaine didn't flourish. Instead I spent every possible minute of that last week on campus with her, and 20 years later we're still together!

5. My genealogy websites started out as an experiment. I was working for a conservative financial company as an IT professional. In 1985, when the Internet started becoming popular, I was given the responsibility of handling my employer's web site. I loved to read trade magazines, and was learning of all these cool things you could add to your site, but felt they weren't appropriate for the company web site. So, I figured I aught to create my own web site and decided to put my family tree online at D' Being of Italian descent, I wanted to include some information about Italian genealogy, but found the Internet to be too disorganized, which led me to expand the site focusing on the topic. As I tried different techniques and Internet tools/services, the site grew and eventually I launched a separate site that would be handled as a professional company called Genealogy Today. That was in 1999, and five years later I would quit my day job and focus on the site as my full time occupation.

What I love about these five things is that they really contributed to the person I am today. I've learned so much from the diverse experiences of my life, and am truly enjoying my current role as an archivist, preserving our past for genealogists.

I would like to tag Kenneth G. Aitken, whose blog I read regularly. Ken does a really nice job of focusing on the educational aspect of genealogy. I'd also like to tag Paul Allen (the lesser), who we all know as the founder of And since Paul is such a prolific blogger and tells so much about himself, it would be interesting to see if he is up to the challenge of sharing FIVE things that we don't already know!

Randy has been keeping a list of the genealogy bloggers who've been tagged and responded.

P. S. Many people have asked about the photo of myself with the dog. It was taken in a professional studio, an experience we've exposed all of our pets to. His name was Maximillian, and he past away in 2003 from a heart tumor at the young age of eight. We have another dog, and I've had a portrait done with him (his name is Moon), but he's just not as interested in what I do in the office all day. Max used to stay at my feet under the desk, and prodded me to take breaks (i.e. so he could go outside and have a break as well). I credit Max with helping prevent me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome during the years when I was doing a lot of typing while creating my sites.

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