Take a moment to watch the video below.
Now consider this.

Think about the amount of technology that went into bringing this video to your screen.  The sheer accumulation of human innovation is mind-boggling.

Humans can shoot themselves into space in metal cans.  Humans in other metal cans can watch the other, while sitting comfortably and being offered free drinks. They can take out a mobile device, which works half-way up into the stratosphere, and record through the window.  They can take that video and upload it to a worldwide network.  I can access that network, watch the video (along with almost two million others, as of this writing), grab a couple of letters and place the video into my own space on this worldwide network, and comment on it.  Then you can comment on my comments, and so on.  

It's pretty freaking cool, I think.
I grew up in a small, blue-collar town in Southeastern Wisconsin called Racine.  As I am wont to point out to any total stranger, Racine is "famous" for a few things:

  1. Remember that movie "A League of Their Own" about the women's baseball team where Tom Hanks spends most of his role swearing and peeing?  The team called the Racine Belles (this really happened...at least according to the film) won the big game at the end.  Woot woot.
  2. Johnson's (a family company) has its corporate headquarters in Racine.  They make such critical products as Windex, Pledge, and Off.  Ironically, the windows and wooden counter-tops in Racine are typically neither shiny nor bug-free.
  3. The lovely Danish people who settled in Racine hundreds of years ago brought with them a tasty pastry made from the scraps of other pastries called "kringle."  It's good, and even certified kosher from the local bakery.

I went home today because for the past week my mom has been protesting the Wisconsin's governor's massive, really egregious, cuts to the public sector.  Without going too much into the politics of it all, these cuts threaten not only my mom's job and both my parents' benefits, but any future prospect of collective bargaining - in other words, any hope of worker ever determining the quality of their environment or standing up for their rights.  It's pretty despicable, and pretty scary for my entire family.

In just about a month Alan and I will be moving to New York for me to start a new job.  We're leaving a stressful, but overall happy, situation to set out on a new adventure and start a new life.  My mom, meanwhile, is struggling day in and day out to secure the grueling, thankless job she already has teaching art in an impoverished school.  The juxtaposition is painful.  It's hard to go home.