False Memories

Apparently, I never posted about my complaint that one cannot replace a compromised Social Security Number the same as you can a bank card. I was sure I had written about it.

One possibility is that I did write something, but I deleted the draft without posting. About two-thirds of what I write suffers that fate. Either I discover the idea was without merit (aka evidence contrary to what I initially thought) or the logic behind the idea too tenuous to support publishing it.

Another possibility is that I thought about writing something, but I never actually wrote it.

Who knows? Certainly not me.

Maybe I can fix the first one by leaving things in the draft state for longer? Or privately publish them with a note why I no longer claim it?

arzE

Ezra is a weird name. Reversing the letters does not really make it more or less weird.

Ezra vs Arze

There is a famous musician named Ezra Koenig (from Vampire Weekend). His Twitter account is @arzE.

His use of this name suggests to me he did the same thing as me, possibly also in his teens, of using arzE. I played around with it starting around eleven through high school. Also, playing D&D, I played around with names, including even a code to convert normal names into fantasy ones.

Wonder if people with other names reverse it?

Koenig also joined Twitter well after I did. I went with my usuals (first sneezypb and later ezrasf). Pretty sure if I’d not moved on, I might have registered that username before him.

P.S. I briefly made the title @arze which when the WordPress Jetpack posts it to Twitter probably would trigger the mention feature to alert him to this post. So, yeah, I am a chicken for not bringing it to his attention to get a response.

Becoming Ununique

Growing up my names were strongly identifying. If someone learned of my first or last name, there was a fair chance they knew of me. Almost no one else around was named Ezra. In college, there was a guy whose last name was “Esra” that caused a bit of confusion. But, all I had to say is “I am not Billy. My first name is Ezra.” And a woman in HR at my first job had a nephew named Ezra. Anyone with a last name of Freelove was related to me.

Of late not so much…

  • A place where I do business confused the two Ezra clients. The conversation made no sense to me. Eventually, it came out the guy I was talking to meant the other one.
  • There is a young boy named Ezra who is at the age where his parents call his name as he goes running away from them. A couple times over the past few month I have heard my name called only to realize it is the same woman who is his mother.
  • A friend’s new nephew is named Ezra.
  • A friend of my girlfriend’s son is named Ezra.

There are a few of us in town according to Facebook. I am getting less and less unique. My identity is getting more hidden in the crowd.

That is a good thing.

ITS Spotlight Article

A Georgia native, Ezra graduated from Valdosta State University (VSU) with a BS in Psychology. While an undergraduate student, he worked at VSU’s Odum library until his last term when the Information Technology department hired him as a Cooperative Education student for the Campus Webmaster. Writing code and solving problems banished his thoughts of a career sitting at a reference desk and finding sources for other students’ papers. To retain Ezra as an employee, VSU’s IT department created a new position and eventually made him the Campus Webmaster. The role expanded from just managing servers and pages for the WWW web site and a few custom web applications to including the online class system, portal, 75 department web sites, and oversight of three students.

In March 2006, Ezra joined ITS to become the newest of three database and middleware administrators for GeorgiaVIEW. This program provides a platform for online classes to most USG institutions. In just under five years, GeorgiaVIEW has grown from 5,523 (spring 2006) to 34,581 (fall 2010) active sections, from two production clusters/databases to 10, and from about 40 web servers to 140. The technical support Ezra, Amy Edwards, and George Hernandez provide prevents cascading meltdowns. Sometimes students and their faculty never experience the problems. Ezra believes that this makes all the 4:00 a.m. false alarms worth it. Amy adds that “Ezra is committed to working for the common ITS goal of providing a quality online learning environment for our USG campuses” and quotes Dwight D. Eisenhower to sum up how she feels about working with Ezra: “It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.”

When not working, Ezra pursues several interests. In February 2010, he traveled to Haifa, Israel for pilgrimage to the holy places of the Bahá’í Faith. Just after joining ITS, Ezra bought a dSLR camera and is currently involved with social photography clubs. His favorite subject so far is the Eastern Box Turtle at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Also, Ezra has been writing a blog for more than a decade, “Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric.”

Reverse Passing

Passing is a term for a person with both black and white ancestors who encourages others to think he or she is white. I recall a blonde woman talking about her father having told people he was Greek in order to pass.

Has anyone really seen members of the black community excluding people who admit a white parent or call themselves biracial?
Reverse Passing? Kidding… Right?

Reverse passing is a term for a person with both black and white ancestors who encourages others to think he or she is black. The assumption people make is the “one drop rule” means a biracial persons’ people are blacks. Therefore the person is automatically accepted as a member of the community. Not so. Having a white parent is a major strike against someone. So much so to be considered black by those who are, one has to work hard to earn being called black.

I learned this lesson from my peers when I started middle school. I was not white enough to be friends with most of the white kids. I was not black enough to be friends with most of the black kids. Prior to attending this school, the other kids might see my parents waiting in the car or at open house. They saw an adult. At this school, my mother, a very pale skinned blonde teacher, was very well known as a harsh disciplinarian. They knew her and were greatly upset by me somehow disturbing the universe’s rules. My first week I was confronted by a group of black boys who wanted to know if I was adopted. “No,” was apparently the wrong answer. I got into a lot of fights over having a white mother. I became really good at volleyball and dodgeball because the game was almost every black kid desired to hit me in the face with the ball. The next year I gave up trying to be either. It just was not worth the effort.

Had my father been the teacher, I suspect no one would have cared. Growing up, no one stared at me with Dad. People never questioned him whether we could possibly be related. The differences between my skin color and his, I think, is greater than that with my mother’s. Yet our relatedness goes unquestioned.

Yeah, I need to carry a picture of Dad and I together around in my wallet. I thought the middle school kids were confused by Mom. Airport security overseas gets way more confused with the consequences of me (not her) getting pat downs and detained. Maybe I can use my picture with dad as my second identification card so I can reverse pass?

Legacy of A Name

There is a legacy of my name most people may not be aware.

Ezra the Scribe made all the men of Israel send their foreign wives back to Persia. See, the people had been living in Babylon in Persia (now Iraq). Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, allowed them to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (the same one whose current ruins form the basis of the animosity of Islam vs Israel) following a dream. His grandson, Darius, allowed the Israelites to return. One of the better known repercussions of reconnecting the people with the Word was to make the men give up any foreign wives to send back to Persia.

10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.

This is definitely about separating different races, seeking to accomplish the same thing as what Loving vs. Virginia overturned. So there is a certain amount of irony being indirectly named for an anti-miscegenationist when just a couple years prior my parents found difficulty getting married over them being of two different races. Of course, my mother was proud of making John C. Calhoun roll over in his grave by having me… So….

Trash the Memories

Been paying attention to the Backupify blog. Let’s disregard the distressing idea someone would bother to tweet during his (probably not her) wedding.

Show me someone who can’t use Twitter. Probably from their mobile phone. Possibly while getting married…. After all, you wouldn’t want to permanently lose your wedding photos. Why wouldn’t the same logic apply to your wedding tweets?

I’ve been reading old LiveJournal blog posts as I go through them categorizing, tagging, and changing visibility settings. Several I have just trashed. I’m sure I meant something profound way back when. The old me maybe had potential, but it surely failed to express any of it well. Whenever I look at my old photos, I also think if I knew then what I know now, then I could have done a better job.

Here is to hoping the 2015 doesn’t find me as pathetic as the 2010 me finds the 2005 me.

Open Letter to Anyone Who Asks Me a Question

When I preface statements with something like “Used Google to look up <search term>”, it means:

The following is my interpretation of what you are asking. You should do your own research on the search term to better understand the issue. I’m telling you the search term I used to nudge you in what I think is the right direction.

Probably I spent < 10 minutes doing my research. So the quality isn’t of the highest standard. I’m not speaking with authority… Just trying to be helpful.

Update: I don’t generally mean it to be condescending… As in, you should have checked Google before asking anyone about it.