Tuesday, April 21

The Magic of Social Media.

A few years back my husband and I went camping at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's County, Maryland. If you have never been to Point Lookout I strongly recommend going. It is like stepping back in time. Right there between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River is a treasure of a place.

(Photograph taken by Joseph C. Nowak)

A place where the grocery store closes by 6PM and everybody knows your name. A place where neighbors look out for one another. It is in Point Lookout that I encountered the true magic of Social Media. Trust.

Our first morning in Point Lookout we woke early to run into town and pick up some produce for our stay. While driving through the sleepy town we came across a roadside stand. You know the kind. The kind of roadside stand where you will find the sweetest corn you have ever had and the juiciest tomatoes. Along with the nicest old man with sun scorched skin from working the fields for hours on end. He is no doubt standing there with his plump grandson by his side. There was something off; however at this stand. At least, it felt off to me initially.

(Note: This is not a picture of the roadside stand from Point Lookout.)

The produce was carefully put out on display. Each row of tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, plums, and apples were clearly labeled with the prices. But there was no one there. No old man. No grandson. Nobody to watch over the stand or take money from the customers. No one even to deter a morally inept individual from taking their fill of tomatoes without leaving a dime. Instead, at the end of the stand was a hand painted sign. The sign was made out of plywood painted white with black lettering. In front of that sign was a small metal water pale with a few dollars inside. The scrawl on the sign read "We work on the honor system".

As a urban dweller this was unheard of. My initial reaction was to laugh at the naive belief that there will still honorable people. Then I remember where I was. I was in the southernmost point of St. Mary's County, in a community where each member was there for the next. In a place, where honor and trust are worn like a membership badge.

Social Media may be a newer concept to some. However, the only thing truly new about it is the tactics for delivery, the Media portion. The social part has been around as long as time. When participating in Social Media, it is imperative that you recognize you are interacting in a community. A community just like the southernmost part of St. Mary's County, Point Lookout. A community that demands trust. A community that will call you out if you don't honor it.

Once I had gotten over my initial "urban dweller" reaction. I was able to realize, it was a magical thing to be able to feel the trust in the community. I was just a visitor to Point Lookout, but I felt a sense of responsibility for the town and its people, just as if I had lived there all my life. Looking back on it I wish I had taken a picture of that stand. I hope it is still there, with the same sign.

Saturday, April 18


I was at Dead Freddies last night with my girlfriend, Chrysler and her boyfriend Josh. I'm not even sure how it happened, it may have had something to do with the alcohol, but we started a debate on what the things you put on the top of ice cream are called. Josh and I agree that they are more commonly referred to as sprinkles. While Chrissy is confident that they are Jimmys; with a "ys" not "ies". Needless to say we were not reaching a consensus among the three of us. So we are polling.

Please help us solve this debate, by participating in the poll below.

Thursday, April 16

Pennsylvania, a Southern State? No.

As Maryland native with southern roots, I have often been part of the ongoing debate on whether or not Maryland is considered a Southern state. The argument typically falls between, a Marylander and someone from a tried and true Dixie state with a slow drawl in their speech. Typically, the argument ends with the Mason Dixon line which essentially divides the country in two. The Mason Dixon line also just so happens to run directly along the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Which is why I could not help but chuckle to myself as I was traveling North on I-95 today and was passed by this truck.

It is hard to tell in this photo, but "The Southern Company" is apparently located in Willow Grove, PA. Apparently, no one was around to slap the owner of "The Southern Company" upside his/her head when he/she was naming the company.

How is it handled when the name of the company is partaking in false advertising?


Friday, April 10

Reasons to <3 Maryland

Well maybe it is only one reason, but it takes the cake! The "crab" cake that is. Growing up in Maryland a weekend full of warm sunshine, water, chicken necks, crab pots, docks, beer, sweet tea (for the kids), newspaper, little wooden mauls, butter knives, and Maryland Blue Crabs is tradition. Just like whiskey and women were tradition for the Williams family. An open season on the tradition came rolling in this April 1st, no foolin'.

As the Baltimore Sun tells it, Maryland Waterman are holding their breath as we enter the 2009 season. Hoping and praying that the female crab population has rebounded. Most recently the Maryland Blue Crab population has continued to see hardship with each year being worse than the last. But no doom and gloom here! As a one who knows how to appreciate a good pot of steamed crabs, I have my sleeves rolled up butter knife in my right hand and a cold beer in the left. I hope you fellow Marylanders will join me for good company and good crabs!

As Richard's Seafood in Bel Air, Maryland puts it...it is a rite of passage!


Wednesday, April 1

Lessons in being unemployed: Lesson #1

The last time I was out of work I was eighteen. I have never had to looked for a job, so I can meet my responsibilities (i.e. pay the bills, feed my dogs). On March 10th I joined the ranks of the nations unemployed. Someone once told me that “everyone needs to go through the experience of being let go to truly understand the situation.” The “situation” being what it is like to be unemployed; as well as, what it is like to be employed. At that time, I thought they were just excusing a blemish in their past. I laugh at my naive reaction, now.

It has been learning experience to say the least. I've learned a few things about myself. My perspective on things has changed slightly. Most importantly though, my appreciation for those I surround myself with has sky rocketed.

A main career objective has always been to apply my knowledge and skill set to a job; in trade for the opportunity to learn new things. An opportunity I am always grateful for. Through my career I have kept my sights closely aimed to make sure I was constantly gaining this knowledge. Until now, I never realized the true gift I was receiving was not the knowledge, but the people.

After I was let go from Renegade I was headed home, not really sure what to do with myself for the rest of the afternoon. Until my cell phone rang; Kate was calling to see what I was doing. Kate was the Post Production Supervisor at Renegade, and was also let go the same day. I immediately changed my course and to meet Kate for lunch. Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t alone.

Lesson #1: In this economy those people who can count themselves among the unemployed are not alone. We should recognize that and work together to reach our goals.