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I'm a former military wife and homeschooling mom who has spent an excessive amount of time on Hacker News over the years. In addition to pissing my life away on Hacker News, I can be found wasting my time on Reddit and Twitter.

As an early 36th birthday present from the universe, in May of 2001 I was diagnosed with a mild variation of a very serious and deadly genetic disorder. Getting a better name for my condition than hypochondriac was very empowering and I've been getting healthier ever since.

I have been trying to eke out a living as a writer for a lot of years, including doing a lot of pointless blogging on various sites where most posts get well under 100 page views. I began this exercise in frustration while homeless perma-camping for my health for some years.

  • I was Director of Community Life, lead moderator and in charge of diversity for The TAG Project during a time when they were trying to become an officially incorporated non-profit, an effort they later abandoned.
  • I am ethnically German/Irish/Cherokee plus culturally from the Deep South and a former Military dependent, so I never quite fit in anywhere.
  • I spent a few years as a divorced single mom processing accident claims at the insurance giant Aflac.
  • I've been interviewed via phone or email a few times over the years and quoted in a few books and articles.
  • In spite of being American, I have been car free for over a decade.

November 2022.

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Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

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I recentely read an online article with local news. Nowhere in the article does it actually name the state and the name of the publication is generic enough it doesn't give clues as to the location. I poked around the site and found a county name somewhere, maybe in the same article, maybe in a different article. I googled the city name and the spelling is unusual such that it might be a unique city name though there are definitely other cities with names that sound the same. If this article were printed in a physical newspaper bought locally, using just the city name would be fine. You would know from context exactly which city was intended. But when an article is posted online, people can potentially trip across it from anywhere in the world. You are no longer talking to just locals and even if the city name is unique, not everyone will automatically know that. Don't assume your audience will go digging for more info like I did to try to figure out exactly where

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Many years ago, I read an anecdote about an American man working in Asia. He was frustrated with his communication difficulties with the locals which ran deeper than simply a language barrier. One day, he felt like he was finally making progress and a colleague of his commented that they were "Thinking along parallel lines." He enthusiastically agreed and hoped this meant their communication difficulties would soon be a thing of the past. He hoped to soon see a genuine meeting of the minds, but much to his frustration, this did not come to pass. It was soon apparent that nothing had really changed. When he asked his colleague "What about what you said about us thinking along parallel lines?" the reply he got was "Parallel lines never meet." The same words can mean very different things to different people. Context helps inform us what is intended but to some degree how your words get interpreted depends on what is in the mind of the person reading th