Real Life

With all of blogging about Second Life, identity, and my online world I thought I’d share something a little more personal than I typically do. I very rarely, if ever, go this far off blog with things, but I have to say the last two days away from home with my wife and my two children has me realizing more than ever what it is all about. I can say with total honesty that I really do love what I do in my professional life, but days like yesterday and today make me reconnect with what brings me balance and peace. Today in particular was amazing — the sun, the ocean, a quiet walk with my (not so) baby boy asleep in the stroller — all of it was humbling and perfect. After spending some amazing time on the beach with the family, a time my daughter marked by actually getting into the Atlantic Ocean in mid March, I can say that I am completely in awe of what is around me.

The two wonderful and mysterious little people who share DNA with me continue to bring me to my knees in appreciation. I never share public pictures of them, but the setting and their smiles have left me with little choice. So, with that I say I am sorry for inflicting a moment of personal reflection on anyone who decided to show up for this post and want to tell anyone who will listen that life is truly a gift. There will be no talk of SecondLife, RSS, Twitter, or anything else … the images that follow are my meta identity. That’s it.






max looking

early spring

iPhone Fever

So I’ve been out of the blog limelight (if that’s what you can call it) for over a week now … I have been writing, just not much and not here at all. Work has been crazy, travel has been crazy, and the iPhone hype has been crazy. On the work front we are running as fast as we can to launch the first five Digital Commons Studios, hire new staff for projects, and finalize plans for what will be an outrageously busy and exciting year. The Digital Commons project itself has moved faster than anything I have been a part of since the start-up days — really spinning the whole project up over the last few weeks … who says we move slow in higher education?

On the travel side, we’ve been back and forth to Bloomsburg, PA the last couple of weekends for lead up events to my sister’s wedding. While there last weekend I got to play a little golf — actually 36 holes — with my Dad and some friends. I can’t tell you how much I needed that. Last Friday I had a very bad day professionally … one that really took the winds out of my sails … crazy thing is it started with a call I got as I was getting on my bike to ride to work from one of my best friends in the world. He and his wife had their first child, a little girl. Wonderful news! The wonder of that news was instantly crushed by the reality that his Mother is close to the end of her fight with cancer. I stopped in to see her while out on a walk with my 9 month old son … every time we go to Bloomsburg I try to find the time to stop in and see her … it is heart wrenching knowing that my friend of 25 or so years is trying to resolve feelings that I can’t even imagine — the birth of a little girl who shares his dying Mother’s name.

I feel like an idiot even mentioning the fact that the iPhone comes out today and I will be lining up somewhere to see if I can get one. I mentioned I have been writing elsewhere, well I started an iPhone blog to share my thoughts on the device for a research project I am a part of here at PSU. Several of us are investigating the way the iPhone plays in our enterprise and how we can see its value in education. Hard part is just getting one — I’m a little too busy (and perhaps, normal) to feel good about standing in line for days or even hours. I’ll see what I can do, but I am obviously thinking about it as I have had dreams about the damn thing the past two nights. If I get one, I will share thoughts here and over at my iPhone PSU Blog.

Sorry for the mad recap, but that’s what has been up.

Getting Ready for Max

We’re getting the nursery together for the arrival of our second child, Max Wilson Camplese. Kristin is due in early September … should be quite an interesting twist here in our house. We’ve gotten his room almost completely ready for him … just a couple more touches and we’ll be good to go! We hired an amazingly talented artist to come in and do a little custom work on his room — an interesting twist to the story is that Kristin selected her because she had a very complete ePortfolio from PSU. We let Madeline pick his name and the theme from the room came from a trip to see the Curious George movie that she and I took a few months back. Everyone in our house is excited and terrified!

While I am on the subject, I thought I’d share something we discovered/realized today. When we first moved into our house five years ago we noticed a bird’s nest with little eggs in it in the tree in the front of our house. When we moved in we didn’t know that Kristin was pregnant with Madeline, but had been trying for quite some time to have a child … we took that little nest as a sign that this house would be the place for our family to start and grow. When we did find out Kristin was pregnant, we put the nursery in the room right above the tree where we had discovered the nest. This morning, we were sitting in the dining room having breakfast when we noticed a bird’s nest right outside the window with three tiny birds being fed by their mother … guess where it is? Yep, right under Max’s new room. Strange but wonderful.

Here’s a little glimpse into Max’s room … clicking the picture should jump you over to a set of pictures at flickr:

Max's Name

Sickness in the House

And I really mean it … our house has been in the throws of a very nasty stomach virus since Monday.  Both my wife and I (and she is 7 months pregnant, BTW) have spent the last four days somewhere in between hell, our bedroom, and the master bathroom.  It has not been pretty.  Today we were both able to eat real food and keep it in us … I know it is gross, or as my four year old would say “G-R-O-S-S, gaross!”  Speaking of the little lady, she hung in there with us … we somehow were able to muster just enough energy to drive her the two miles to her AM only pre-school and figure out how to drag our sick asses back over there to get her.  She rested on the bed with us, played quietly on her eMac, and probably roamed the house aimlessly as my wife and I layed half dead in bed.  It feels like it is behind us now as I prepare to catch up at work from not only this week’s sickness, but my three day Boston trip last week … you know what that means don’t you?  Pure wall to wall meetings for the rest of my life.  Hey, as long as I don’t get that damn stomach virus back I am good with it.  So that explains my inability to blog, participate in any sort of email discourse, answer the phone, or show up for anything this week.  It is strange, you’d think doing nothing would be fun … it isn’t … as a matter of fact it hurts.  Tomorrow I will attempt to get back at it and show back up at work — if they’ll still let me.  So much to do over the next few weeks … should be fun — as long as we stay healthy.

Ten Days to the Day

Jeez … sometimes I get into a funk where I can’t seem to express myself. I’ve been here before. I don’t like it. It sort of happens when my work and personal life intensifies … usually that happens together.

Work has been moving at a blinding pace — amazingly interesting things happening … large projects like our podcasting and Breeze initiatives are moving in the right direction. New projects like blogging for the University are beginning to move (BTW, I want to release our thoughts here so I will be doing that). We are hiring people to help create some interesting opportunities and extend our capabilities. All in all things are crazy but good. I feel like the blur is beginning to slow and I can start to see the picture again.

On the personal side, my wife is getting more pregnant every day — we are around 23 weeks … BTW, its a boy! She and my 4 year old daughter have been trading illnesses for the last 4 months, so it has been tough on them. With it all I’ve wanted to spend more time at home just being at home.

All of it leads to a less than typical amount of energy and attention to sharing thoughts here … I am also beginning to feel like the spring allergies are a big part of this funk. I am coming out of it though and feel like I am organizing my thoughts a bit … looking forward to sharing some of what is happening in the next couple of days. Does this stuff happen to other people? I need to look at my archives to see if this is a reoccurring theme at this time of the year.

Long Strange Trip …

Showing the Dead roots with that title … it is so tired and so used, but what a week.  I spent the first half of last week cleaning up after the TLT Symposium and finally finishing up my group’s staff review and development plans.  I even got mine done … phew!

The second half of the week kicked off with being picked up by two of my brother-in-laws and whisked off to my time share at Lakeview just outside of Morgantown, WV.  Now, for the handful of people who spend any time here, you know I did my undergrad at WVU in Morgantown and loved every second of it.  Honestly it is why my one brother-in-law Eric and I bought a week there.  Both of us have experience with timeshares, but they are usually in places like Palm Springs, Orlando, and other “nice” destinations.  The roots of the MoTown purchase go back a few years.  Eric and I were working together at the Solutions Institute and were having one of our typical late night “few glasses of wine” conversations … I think Eric said something like, “let’s buy something on eBay …”  Well, about an hour later and $300 poorer, we were the co-owners of a mid-April week at Lakeview.  One of the best $300 I’ve ever spent.

We try to get down every year to play a little golf and get away.  This year we headed out Wed and stayed through to Saturday.  Our group was joined by two other firends from PSU … golf, downtown MoTown, campus, and just plain old fun was what it was all about.  I’ll post some pictures over at my flickr space tomorrow.
Leaving on Saturday we raced to Bloomsburg to join the families in a backyard Easter Egg hunt — a local tradition.  It was great seeing more friends and family!  I will say it was a bit sureal leaving WV to arrive in a button down Easter Egg hunt though.  The weekend was rounded out with a wonderful Easter dinner at my wife’s parents’ house.  Then back to State College.  Great weekend all the way around.  My wife was not only wonderful enough to let me escape for a few days to recharge, but when she realized I really needed to recharge from my recarging, she let me take a nap today!  I think I have the world’s greatest wife.

So that’s where I’ve been.  Later.