It’s end of the year time to unplug, and transmit one more blog post (at least until Tuesday!). So take this one as a loud CogDogBlog Howling At the Moon wish for everyone to have some peace, reflection, and fun for whatever holidays you celebrate.

Snow On Cactus
I’m unplugging here at 6000 feet elevation in central Arizona, at our cabin hideaway in the sleepy town of Strawberry (zero gas stations, no stores, 2 restaurants, 2 bars…) and what a present today brought with fresh snowfall.

So in many ways, this year has been one of interesting juxtapositions, like the odd combination of cactus and snow. I’m not feeling as eloquent as my friend and colleague in Victora, Scott, did with his holiday wishes (thanks! and the hot tub gets rather frequent use, so try and find a conference to attend in Phoenix sometime soon, and I’ll drag you up here.)

It was a ride of unexpected dimensions with my job leap from 14 years of work in the Maricopa Community Colleges, an office that took a huge risk on a green rookie in 1992, saying goodbye to a long list of colleagues. And I cannot believe the great fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to join the NMC, and take on a whole new way and pace of exciting work with the best circle of workmates. The adjustment to working at home continues (actually need to find ways to stop work!).

There are way too many people to thanks for crossing paths across the net, in Second Life / throwing me blog comments, etc. Getting to hang with my Canadian amigos Brian, D’Arcy, Scott, Jason for the Northern Voice 2006 conference was yet another opportunity to fall in love with Vancouver. And I got to meet one my long time web heros, Nancy White, and being part of a gem like chain of informal collaborations started by her talk.

There are folks I have yet to meet, but connect with frequently across blogosphere, like Tim Lauer who unveils one new cool tool after another (and wow, if only I could re-incarnate myself as an elementary school student in Tim’s school), the tireless Will Richardson, who did his own amazing job leap in 2006, the utterly amazing in breath, depth, and ability to dig up the most cool unusual weird stuff, Bryan Alexander (still wanting to find a project we can do!), all the fun folks at the NMC Summer Conference (Tim S doing Folsum Street Prison Blues at the Rock ‘n Roll Museum, whew!), all the edgy daring people experimenting in Second Life and coming to NMC Campus — we are all just werewolves, tall sexy blonds, dogs, flying monkeys… And comment sparring to the contrary, I cannot think of no one whom I respect and learn more from (and skim links from) than Stephen Downes definitely the top, A-list edublogger. And even with rare encounters, I can never get enough time with Gardner Campbell and wish him the best for next year. There are people who I’ve started to have more connections with like Beth who does an amazing amount and range of work… in areas that really matter.

It was just a blast and a half to do a presentation Jam at Northern Arizona University with colleague Brian Lamb, where a bad year is that we only get to do one presentation together. I appreciate the folks like Darren and Sheryl who were willing to let me take an unconventional approach with a keynote for the k12 Online Conference. There are no words of sufficient appreciation to have had several opportunities this year to work with Joe Lambert and colleagues at the Center for Digital Storytelling -what they accomplish is sheer beautiful magic. Ditto for the opportunity this year to work with a bunch of fabulously creative people at 20 some Texas Art Museums who participate in the NMC Marcus Project.

I am forgetting more people than I am remembering, like the 346 people who contributed 928 comments to this blog in 2006 (those are legit, non spam comments). For those interested, these are SQL commands I used to pull this info:

Okay, so this is rambling on, and I apologize to people I am neglecting.

So peace in the waning days of 2006 and cheers for who knows what the *#^$& will happen in 2007.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Ah, beautiful picture of the cactus in the snow. Living with polarities and ambiguities and tensions. It is a beautiful life. Meeting you cool edubloggers was one of my highlights this year as well. I am a peripheral but deeply interested member of this community and I have learned a lot from and enjoyed the company this year.

    Happy Happy and may all your mooses be chocolate…

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