Friday, December 15, 2006


Photo: Ajab's hard work by Ajab

I'm the sort of person who breaks chain letter chains with glee. Blog-tag seems something akin to chain letters. Having said that I was happily reading a post at Beth's Blog participating in this meme:
Publish five little known facts about yourself, and then tag five of your blogger pals to participate.
One of the delightful parts of reading blogs is finding out about people's lives. Young and old alike we're all trying to grapple with the permanent record our Web tracks leave. This piece about data mining and the WOT got me thinking about how tricky it is to make meaning out of lots of data. When bloggers write about things like being kept awake all night by a baby with an ear ache I suppose that doesn't really tell me much about them. But I find it so very meaningful simply to know they're real people like me. Oh, and I like gossip. So I was "happy as a clam at high tide" reading five little-known things about Beth Kanter until at the end of the post I saw my name, John Powers. My face turned beet red and I went directly to bed.

This doesn't count as one of my five things, but I discovered today that cabbage patches make me happy. Nathan sent a group of pictures from a program the BSLA is working on to help improve the incomes of widows caring for dependent children orphaned as a result of AIDS. The BSLA is providing training and inputs like improved seed varieties and fertilizer so the women can get more money from their gardens. One of the BSLA members, Ajab took the pictures and also included a few pictures of his cabbage patch. Seeing such a well-tended garden just made me feel good. I hope today's picture makes you feel good too.

I talk too much. If there are little-know facts about me they're probably little-known because I wore out people from talking too much. Good grief! Days after I started this post, that bit about talking too much has become absurdly obvious. I picked five "facts" about me and tried create a relevant narrative around them. The result was a mini-biography. I just deleted all of that.

Back to the drawing board. Already I've posted two little known facts: 1. Cabbage patches make me happy. 2. My name is John Powers.

On the latter many people have questioned what in the world I was thinking when I chose "Kaunda" as a screen-name. It was an accident. I had thought to post as Muzungu but someone is already blogging under that name at Blogger. I don't remember my second and third choices, but do remember scrambling to think of a name. At the time I was very hopeful that Yoweri Museveni would step down at the end of his constitutional limited term as president of Uganda. I saw a piece where Kenneth Kaunda urged Museveni to step down. Julius Nyerere had once given Kaunda similar advice. However much Nyerere's advice played into it, Kaunda did resign. So yes, in a way I was thinking of Kenneth Kaunda, but mostly was just looking for a name that hadn't been chosen yet.

Here are the five "facts" I chose and ended up bloviating about so much that it bored even me:

1. I'm a Southerner.
2. I used to be a charismatic Christian.
3. I flunked out of university.
4. I love Trudy.
5. I'm a mama's boy.

Someway I'm going to have to find a way to provide some context for those facts, but right now I don't have a clue how to do it.

As far as someone actually playing tag with me, I'm dubious; I don't really have any blogger pals. I'll just list five blogs I read and would be interested to know more about the bloggers behind them.

I'll tag:

1. Drima
2. Afromusing.
3. Steve Buchele.
4. Fola.
5. Who is Vasslesssmudge?

1 comment:

Beth said...

I'm honored you didn't break the chain!!