Robbed of Rob

Robinson Loder Ah, I probably shouldn’t be clever with the title, but he would have enjoyed it as he was just as clever, and just as likely to say something funny, brilliant, profound or warm. I guess that’s the best way to remember Robinson Loder, a good friend to everyone he met. I worked with Rob on several projects while at ATX, and he is basically the antithesis of my personality. He was quiet, calm, polite, humble, caring, giving and dedicated. He was cool enough to hang with anyone and strong enough in himself to not need to hang with everyone. He was very much one of the cornerstone people for my time at ATX and in Maine. We started right at the same time, although we didn’t meet for a few months because we worked in different buildings. Having chronological employee numbers that are visible to everyone makes it easy to notice that someone you thought just started has been there as long as you. That was a fun lunch, finding out that we’d been toiling away on various projects and just hadn’t crossed paths yet.

Rob was always welcome at my lovely apartment across the street from the main ATX building. My apartment was called Conference Room 6, and although Rob was an almost rare addition to the, *ahem*, meetings, he joined us enough to be a regular regardless. Several of his visits are some of the more memorable CR6 moments for me, and perhaps that’s what sucks the most – knowing that there won’t be another meeting that becomes a night of laughing and hanging out with some of the most amazing people around. Rob was one of those, and we are all better for having known him.

Rob, I wish you safe travels to heaven. And I really wish you were still here, dammit!

Welcoming back a SupahStar!

Oh happy day! It’s been a while, and frankly, it’s about damn time – Johnny A Go Go has been resurrected!! One of the best blogs out there, with it’s insite and flair, wit, wisdom and wonder, J.Go covers his own life in a free and fun way, even when he’s talking about depressing things like trying to find a date in rural Maine.

The blogosphere is better just for having him here! Welcome back, kiddo!!

p.s. I’ve added his blog to the Bright Spots list on the right. Click away!

Power to the People

Sometimes we forget that the smallest states have a rather large power-base that is not compromised by the largest populations that are scattered around the country. Currently, I live in a frickin’ city that is nearly 8 times the population of the State of Maine, where I used to live. My current NEIGHBORHOOD in the SUBURBS has over TWICE THE PEOPLE of Caribou! Sometimes it just amazes me, but other times I still think “WTF? Why do they live in Maine?”

But then, something wonderful happens, and you realize that Maine is pretty damn cool for several reasons. Not the least of which are the wonderful people that have all worked at ATX, throughout it’s nearly 15 years in business.

Today, however, Susan Collins, one of the two Senators from Maine, has begun the process of investigating why, after spending billions of dollars to create the Department of Homeland Security were we unable to actually mobilize in time to positively affect the level of destruction we predicted would be caused by Katrina.

In case you don’t have a clue as to how the Senate determines power, it’s on two levels. The first is that every state in the U.S. has two senators, no more, no less, and that means that a state with a population of less than a million people has the same power as a state with 50 Million people – at least, that’s the first part of the power.

The second, and more intriguing part of the power of Senators is their longevity in office. The longer in office, the higher their power – until they screw up and praise someone for being a racist prick, of course. So that means that by being consistent in choosing even just OK people to represent their state in the Senate, small states can end up with Amazing Power. Maine’s Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have not been in the Senate for very long, having been first elected to the Senate in 1994 and 1996 respectively, however that means they’ve both been re-elected and have the confidence of the state. They are both admirable women who work very hard to get what they want, which you have to admire even if you disagree with their stance. And the longer they are in the Senate, the more powerful and therefore influential they will become – and that is generally a good thing for Maine.