Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do Re Mi

Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi

(The Sound of Music)

I looked at a few blogs and they start with "First Post" or "My First Blog". I wondered "Where do I start and what do I call it?" I was reminded of the words above from The Sound of Music, Do Re Mi, so that gave me a title, but what is the beginning for me in terms of a place to start?

About 5 or 6 years ago, I was going to attempt a blog but the preferred name was taken. Interestingly the person using it was surprised that it was available at the time. I didn't carry on any further at that time because there were some other blog tools to use and I still really wasn't convinced I needed to. I still probably don't need to but... inspired somewhat by a friend, I'm having a go.

So what's in the name? Lord Viminalis! Reads like a title of nobility huh? Actuallay it was my inspirational friend who thought of it. Lord is my surname. I've probably hear all the jokes and namecalling that can be attached to it. Nowadays I get in first.
"Name?"
"Lord."
"Is that Law, How do you spell it?"
(I'm frequently tempted to say "I.T.")
"It's Lord; like God; but my initials are CJ, not JC."
It usually gets a smile and the name is written down correctly.

I spent a year in a theological institution when I was 20. I had an interesting experience there. I guess it was a bit like Mr Bun, the Baker; Chris Lord, the Christian. The experience that comes to mind involved a painting. My roommate was a man several years my senior called Ken Virtue. So we have Lord and Virtue sharing a dorm together. Ken was an artist and decided to donate a painting for the class to give to one of our lecturers. We took the painting to the picture framer and selected an appropriate frame. A week later I went back to collect it. The assistant at the counter hunted high and low to find it. there was nothing for Lord; nothing for Virtue; nothing for Bible School. Finally I suggested that it would be the size of a wrapped picture that he hadn't looked at. He opened a corner to reveal that it was our picture. When I paid my money and the picture was handed over the name on the label said "Mr Divine".

What about Viminalis? Where did that come from? Fifteen years ago it was my password on a bulletin board. Then I discovered IRC. Viminalis became my nickname. It was unique enough and I haven't found it used anywhere else (except here of course).
Viminalis is a latin word used in botanic names of trees with a particular characteristic. The three most common usages I have found are in the botanic name of an Australian gum tree (Eucalyptus Viminalis) and a species of willow (Salix Viminalis) and my favourite, a weeping bottlebrush (Callistemon Viminalis). The characteristic these trees have, and where the word derives from, is that they are spreading or reaching out.


Whether it is a strength or a weakenss, blessing or a curse; I find myself in situations where I am reaching out. My wife and I own a motel so we reach out and extend hospitality. I am a mobile tutor by day covering a 10,000 square km territory so reach out with education, using satellite technology that stretches the internet into communities that sometimes have nothing but dial up. I also design and host websites with clients in 3 different countries, so the reach is international. IRC and involvement in support channels is yet another outreach from a small country at the bottom of the pacific triangle.

So we are Viminalis-nz and this will be the blog of Lord Viminalis.