17 February 2012

There are times in life where even the littlest things threaten to push you over the edge, so you just ignore them. Dealing with blog posts was that way for me for a long time but I think I am over it…

First, this blog, as well as two others I maintain were all running on BlogEngine.net 1.6. BlogEngine.net is an excellent platform, but there was an issue with comment spam, and my admin console had an error that I just couldn’t bring myself to troubleshoot after coding all day at work. Finally, I decided this week that I had put these problems off long enough, so I upgraded all three sites to BlogEngine.Net 2.5. I am really happy with the new features, and I think that as long as I leave comment moderation on the spam problem will go away.

Second, over the past 18 months my development team was reorganized three times, and in the midst of that completed a huge project. We are transitioning to more of a maintenance mode for a while, so the stress level has fallen a little.

Finally, I met and married my sweetheart.

The story of how we met is intricately tied to bits and bytes. In October 2010 I joined OKCupid.com and started answering profile questions. After a couple weeks, and several very strange interactions, I was sent an automatic match email by the system that included a picture of an attractive woman with an intriguing username: Affettuoso.

Like any good computer nerd, I tried online translators to see what the name meant, but I didn’t get any definitions that made sense. I clicked through to the OKCupid site and checked out the areas where we matched and differed on the profile questions. I thought she might be someone interesting to get to know, and maybe go out with once in a while. So… I took the plunge and sent this mystery woman a short message telling her that I was familiar with a couple Latin languages, but I wanted to know what her username meant.

A day or two later I got a reply that her name was a musical term, (it means to play ‘warmly and with feeling!), as well as a few other personal details. While I was on the site, I was all of a sudden shocked to see a chat window pop-up under Affettuoso’s username. And thus began our first electronic get-to-know you session. By the end of that chat session I knew that Jenna was someone I wanted to get to know.

We chatted on and off over the next few days, but my favorite early message was an email she sent me the next Monday, “Personally - I think you should just bail on the rest of the day AND the appointment and meet up with me and go to the zoo or something - its BEAUTIFUL outside!!”

I was nervous that, even if just joking, she was ready to meet me outside the virtual world. I couldn’t skip out of work and appointments, but we set a date to have dinner that Thursday (Thursday Happy!). Turns out we didn’t make it that far - we had a quick introductory date over milkshakes at Arctic Circle on Wednesday night. It was late and after not just work for both of us, but after musical practice for Jenna. She said not to think bad of her because practice had her frazzled, but I was more impressed that she was willing to take the risk of meeting when she wasn’t completely put-together.

We hit it off in person, and went to dinner the next night as planned. It is true that she ‘cleaned-up well’, but the beauty I was seeing was coming from somewhere far beneath the clothes and make-up. I brought Josh to her musical; it was a convenient excuse to see her since Josh got school credit for going to plays or musicals. We began to make some more time for each other, and were chatting, texting, IM’ing and talking all the time. I think we consumed terabytes of bandwidth - thank heaven for unlimited texting plans and fast internet connections.

I wasn’t worried about things moving too fast because basketball season, and my responsibilities as a coach were going to start in a few weeks…

To Be Continued…



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