Posts Tagged Laitila

My History of Blogging

My History of Blogging

1976 Snail Mail

My friend Kevin moved away and we wrote funny letters to each other constantly. This was my first attempt at “blogging.” Readership: 1.

1978-1978 Letters from Finland

In August of 1978 I left home to spend a year in Finland. There was no email or Internet back then, so again, I relied on my snail mail connection to my friends back home, and my new found exchange student friends all over Finland. I received over 500 letters during my stay, and I probably wrote 600. Readership: 25 family and friends

1986 to 1994 The Desktop Publishing Years

In 1986 I went to work for a company called Frame Technology. Their main product was a desktop publishing tool called FrameMaker. It was the first WYSIWYG desktop publishing tool I had ever used. It could do column layout, rotated headings (if you knew PostScript), and could import graphics! I was in heaven. I immediately started using the product to create my own newsletter and send it out to family and friends. Readership: 45 family and friends.

1994 I See the Light

In 1994 my friend Chuck sent me a link to a website called “Alex the Girl.” I clicked on the link and found a very simple website where a woman named Alex would post her photographs and her musings about life.

“Chuck,” I said. “This is what I’ve been looking for! This is what I want. How do I make a website like this?”

At the time there were no websites like Blogger, MySpace, or anything of the sort. If you wanted to blog you had to create your own website from scratch. I didn’t have the expertise to create my own “Kelly the Girl” website, so I continued to send my family and friends quarterly newsletters through the snail mail.

2003 Blogging Goes Mainstream

In 2003 a friend of mine sent me a Beta invitation to one of the first blogging websites called Yahoo! 360°. It was kind of crude, and didn’t have many users, but I started posting anyway. My first blogs were posted from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Readership: Probably 15 people

2005 Kelly Discovers MySpace

In 2005 my friend Brandon told me about this cool new website called MySpace. He was using it to promote his films and music, and said I should create a page so I could network too. I created my first blog on MySpace on August 1, 2005. It was entitled “Sunday filming.” Readership: 0. My second blog was called “Asses and Crotches,” and was posted on August 2, 2005. Readership: 1 (a guy named JL).

My readership did not really take off until six months later when Margie Boulé, a columnist for the Oregonian, published a story about my blog.

MySpace was the perfect platform for me. There were about 20 million users when I started, and has now flattened out at about 125 million users. That’s a lot of bloggers and blog readers! But with growth come growing pains, and MySpace has certainly had them.

Stay tuned for my “Dear MySpace” letter…

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Eight Flights, Eight Seatmates. Adventures in the Air

Originally published on MySpace on June 24, 2009

As most of you know I went to Finland a few weeks back, and then I went to the Bay Area for a week of SQL Server bootcamp. In those two and a half weeks I flew eight flights and had eight seatmates. Some were interesting, some just slept. Here’s the rundown…

Portland to Washington DC

I usually use the first leg of any long trip to catch up on the sleep I haven’t been getting for the past five years. My seatmate had the same plan. I can’t tell you his name, because he slept the whole time. Me? I slept a bit and then watched “He’s Just Not That Into You” in Spanish, because I wanted to bone up on my Spanish since I was on my way to Finland. Oh wait, wrong country. I was bored okay!?

Washington DC to Copenhagen (that’s in Denmark people)
This was an SAS flight, and it was going to be awesome. Yeah, that’s what he said. I had an aisle seat in the middle of the plane, which is a strategic place for food and beverage consumption. We left the gate on time, got in line for takeoff, and then the dreaded announcement over the PA.

“We’re going to be on the tarmac for a while here. There’s weather over the Northeast portion of the United States and Canada, and all flights heading North have been grounded. We’ll be shutting the engines down for a while.”

This stuff always happens right after a big air diaster, and the Air France flight that broke apart in rough weather was most certainly the reason for this extreme caution. Because you know most airlines will fly you through a snowstorm with thumder and golfball size hail.

So we sat, and sat, and sat. An hour into it they finally rolled out the drink cart and the chocolate! And we started having happy hour in my area of the plane.

Next to me, Stuart, a cardiologist from Virginia, on his way to Stockholm. He went to med school in Belgium and had lots of stories.

Across the aisle from me, Hanna, from Finland, who was flying to the same little city (Turku) in Finland that I was. She was drinking whiskey because she had a sore throat. And when she found out I was on my way to Laitila she told me about a famous Laitila dialect poet named Heli Laaksonen.

In the row in front of me, Carrie Ann, the head chef of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. She was on her way to Turku as well, which happens to be a huge cruise ship building city, to check out the kitchens on the newest (world’s largest) cruise ship. She was going for ONE day! She also used to be the chef at one of my favorite restaurants in Saratoga, CA, called the Plumed Horse.

Next to Carrie Ann was Eduardo, who looked like a rock and roll guy, and was in fact traveling with his band to tour in Sweden. He taught us all how to swear in Portuguese.

We sat on the tarmac for three hours, and had multiple drinks in our makeshift happy hour in the aisle of that Airbus. The three of us who were going to Turku discussed how we would get there from Copenhagen if we missed our connection (we did miss our connection).

Copenhagen to Stockholm
SAS’s solution to our missed connection from Copenhagen to Turku was to fly us to Stokholm. An extra leg, and extra five hours. Bonus! My seatmate on that flight slept, so I can’t tell you who he was.

We arrived in Stockholm and had some time to kill so Hanna and I had a snack and did some duty free shopping. She was bringing home a bottle of whiskey for her husband.

Stockholm to Turku (Finland)

It was one of those puddle jumper prop jobs where you wonder if they’re powered by a hamster wheel.

I arrived in Turku, and my bag went to Barcelona. Lucky bag!

Turku to Copenhagen
Boring. No fancy seatmate.

Copenhagen to Chicago

My seatmate, Adam, was an unemployed 25-year old marriage and family counselor in L.A. who had been in Copenhagen visiting his brother who decided to live abroad for a year. My first question to Adam was, “So Adam, why do people get divorced?” This 25-year old with little life experience gave me a surprising answer, “Because everyone wants instant gratification. No one has the patience for marriage anymore.”

We spent the first hour debating marriage and relationships, and then we both slept the rest of the way.

Chicago to Portland
I honestly don’t remember this flight. I do believe I passed out with my mouth open, and a bit of drool hanging on. I was tired.

Portland to San Jose (CA)
My seatmate was a healer who lived and worked in Monterey and Santa Cruz, two very healer-friendly cities. He was on his way back from a healing conference in Vancouver, BC. He told me my frozen shoulder was caused by emotional trauma, which is probably true considering what I went through in the past year.

San Jose to Portland
My seatmate asked one question, “What kind of dog is in there?” and that was it. I had Lili the Wonder Pug stuffed into a carrier under the seat.

Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and sometimes you get stuck. Ever had an interesting seatmate? A really smelly one? One who wouldn’t shut up for the 32-hour trip to Hyderabad? do tell!

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Cheers and Jeers for June 11, 2009

Originally published on MySpace on June 11, 2009

Jeers: to the weather system over the Northeast United States that kept all Northbound air traffic grounded for hours on June 3.

Cheers: to SAS for handing out chocolate and free drinks while we were grounded on the tarmac for three hours.
Cheers: to my luggage for taking a detour to Barcelona (lucky luggage).

Jeers: to SAS for not knowing where the heck my luggage was when it didn’t show up in Turku, Finland with me.

Jeers: to SAS for telling me I had to be at the Turku airport an hour and a half before my flight time, when the ticket counter didn’t even open until an hour before the flight.

Cheers: to my friend Nina in Finland who owns a bakery/cafe called Bakels, and
let me bake cakes, decorate cakes and cookies, and taste everything
when I was there.
Cheers: to my son Ashton for graduating from high school this week. Off to college in September.

Jeers: to this Portland “summer.” Gray skies and drizzle. Good times.

Jeers: to Pine Street Mexican Restaurant for the bait and switch. They do
indeed have $1 tacos as the sign in the window says, however, they are
on tortillas half the size of a yamika. And if you want rice and beans
it will cost you an extra $8. The tacos were tiny but good.

Cheers: to my employer that provides me with a cool career and a
paycheck. I love my job, and I’m grateful to have a job right now.

Jeers: to Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen for having no real food in the
international terminal I was stuck in on my layover. Their idea of a
restaurant was a 7 Eleven food mart.

Cheers: to Chicago O’Hare, which has every kind of food imaginable.

Jeers: to this jet lag!

Stories and photos coming…

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One Place, One Memory

Originally published on MySpace on April 21, 2009

This is a list of some of the places I’ve been that evoke strong memories. Some places are more exotic that others!

The rule: one memory, one place.
There are some places that I have hundreds of vivid memories of, but I’ve limited myself to one memory.
More pictures coming.

Ephesus, Turkey: My guide Rosa who was so passionate about the ruins that she made me feel as if I was walking down the marble streets with Cleopatra herself.

Arco, Idaho: The little country store that
made you feel like you were in an episode of Twin Peaks and the
Twilight Zone all at one time.

Mumbai, India: Mrs. Shah’s afternoon chai.

Srinagar, India: The Sheikh Palace houseboat on Lake Dal, and the family who ran it. I went back three times.

Palitana, India: 5000 steps (3.5 km) up to the Jain temple. No Stairmaster necessary.

Giza, Egypt: Riding a camel with Ibrahim around the pyramids at sunrise. We were the only ones there.

Barnet, England: Geezer Paul.

Balboa Park, San Diego: Meeting Prince Andrew.

Madrid, Spain: Running into some art students at the Museo del Prado and getting an amazing tour of the museum from them.

Arctic Circle, Finland: Cross country skiing at 2am and seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Waikiki, Hawaii: Scattering my mom’s ashes off the back of a sailboat.
Rome, Italy: Having a lunch of spaghetti, bread and wine in the back room with the baggage handlers at the train station.
Civitavecchia, Italy: The pizza place that cut pizza with large scissors and sold the pizza by weight.
Munich, Germany: Oktoberfest with my work colleagues, 2002.


Seward, Alaska: Waking up to see a bald eagle perched on a post outside my window.

Sunnyvale, CA: The weird neighbor who was rumored to shoot rock salt at kids with an air rifle to keep them off his property.

Saratoga, CA: The Harleigh House that I shared with three friends.

Aschaffenburg , Germany: Andreas the Lear Jet Pilot.

Burbank, CA: PSA (airline) always stopped there on the way to San Diego from San Jose every time I went to visit my dad when I was a kid.

Del Mar, CA: Meeting Desi Arnaz at the race track.

Carslbad, CA: Being in a really horrible place emotionally but running a great marathon.

NY, NY: Election night in Times Square, 2009.

Durham, NH: UNH dorm, getting written up on my very first day!

San Francisco, CA: My dear dear friend Michael Deeb, and all of the meals we had together at his restaurants. May he rest in peace.

There will be more entries, and I will add pictures.

If you could pick one memory per place, what would some of them be? It’s difficult to pick just one!

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