The Arrow
The official newsletter of Ask-It-Here
Vol. 1  No. 1
May 2002

Dilbert's Corner:
To those getting the first copy of the new Arrow I would like to welcome you back to AIH. This has been a very long winter and now that the trees are in bloom again and the flowers are coming up it's appropriate that signs of life are coming back to AIH. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the one person who made this possible. John Frazer has dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort into getting AIH back up and running. Without his hard work and dedication I would still be staring at a blank computer screen.
I would also like to thank the loyal members of AIH who have stuck around and waited for us to get things back up and working. This is an instance of finding who your friends are in a crisis. I appreciate each and every one of you that has stuck by me and the site. It's people like you that I would want in the foxhole with me in case of a war.
The Regional Gathering in Pittsburgh was a huge success. We had a lot of fun and it was great seeing faces that are connected to usernames. Solana and Deb are the sweetest people you could ever meet. Marvin is a very funny guy and a great host in Pittsburgh. AussieMike is a really great guy. It was indeed a pleasure to meet him and he is a very bright and good looking guy. Rachel is very nice and a lot of fun. IMBizze is such a pig. I never saw a 100 pound woman eat like that. She is also an incredible sweetie and a very nice person.
The site is back and we are stable. Soon we will be adding new members when we get the registration process up and running. We lost a lot of members when the database was pillaged, but hopefully we can add new members that will be good additions to the site. Again, thanks for standing behind me and AIH.
Up close and personal with: 1da
Arrow:  Say something about yourself, your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations.  What revs your motor?
1da:  Art, color, line, shape, texture, space.  Exploring and searching in these, I see the essential process of life.  If you get me talking about art, I tend to get very wordy.  Art is a world of unknown boundaries to me, always there to explore, very much like life.  When I talk about art, I find myself talking about the same things as life.  Art is a way of exploring what is inside of me.  I like to play.  I like to play with words and color, and thoughts, and ideas.
Watching things grow amazes me - plants or poeople, paintings or drawings -- they all grow.  Stones fascinate me.  When I was little, I learned how to pick something up and put it in a pocket.  Since that time, I have returned from almost any outing with stones in my pockets. A few years ago, I revisited the area where I grew up, along the rivers in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.  When I got on the plane to return to Hawaii, I was hand carrying almost 120 lbs. of rocks.  I think on one of the trips to the moon they brought back 140 lbs of moon rocks.  Maybe I should be an astronaut.
Arrow:  We know you live in Hawaii.  What can you tell us about it that we may not know?  What keeps you there?
1da:  Hmmmm, staying here is something I have been trying to do since I got here almost 15 years ago.  I am still trying to stay.  Did you know that it is expensive to live here?  Let's see, did you know you can ski in Hawaii?  On snow?
Not that I do, although I have been there.  I do sometimes us a boogie board or body surf, however.
Did you know that as well as "black" sand baches here, there are "green" sand beaches here, too?  We also have whitish and warm tan sand beaches, too. 
Did you know that there is a new island forming here?  It is a few feet below the surface of the ocean, a little east of the big island (the island that is actually named "Hawaii.")  It is rising up.  Of course, it may be another thousand years before it actually surfaces.
Did you know there are wild kangaroos that live here that can not be found in Australia?  Back in the 1930s, I believe, some kangaroos were brought over from Australia.  They escaped captivity and found an ecological niche where they could live high in the Koolau mountain range.  Since that time, they have done quite well.  They have evolved and adapted to this environment to such a degree that scientists now classify them as a separate species that does not exist in Australia.
Arrow:  Do you have a personal motto or saying that you live by?
1da:  No, not really.  I do believe in kindness, among other things, although sometimes it is a challenge to live up to my beliefs.  I recognized and understood my belief in kindness when I read what the Dalai Lama said when asked "what was his religion?"  The Dalai Lama replied something like this "I have no religion other than kindness.  Kindness is my religion."
Arrow:  What was the best thing that's happened to you so far?  What was the worst?
1da:  The best thing so far is probably that I do not always get what I would really like or think I want.  What I have found is that often when something seems to go wrong in my life, it can lead me to some of the best things in my life, including art.  Sometimes it takes a while to find how things are better.  I have found that I can speed the process up by making an effort to look for the "good" that can come out of what I think of at the time as "bad."  Among the good things in my life:  The discovery that I like a wide range of music from rock to classical, folk, indigenous, blues and more.  The discovery of words and books and reading and writing and language.  The amazing world and direction of dreams, meditation and yoga. 
Arrow:  Tell us about your hobbies and avocation.
1da:  I have a difficult time thinking of the things I enjoy doing as a "hobby."  I dabble in a lot of things.  Mostly (and sometimes unfortunately)  I am a collector -- or maybe I should say that I collect.  Sometimes it is coins or stamps that wil interest me.  Rocks and fossils are always an interest.  I am not particularly organized however.  That is curious, given that organization is often one of the primary elements in art.  I do collect art, but not in an organized way either.  Before I moved to Hawaii, I knew very littlae about bonsai.  All of my bonsai experience, which is not that extensive, has come in the last 15-years.  I did take a class from a master, but I also have many books on the subject.  Now I am beginning to do bonsai the way I like to do it, with lots of rocks.  I am not always even aware that I collect something.  I am a collector though.  Sometimes someone will ask about something and I will think "oh, I have quite a few of those..."  The I wonder, "Is this a hobby of mine?"  I noticed the other day that I have quite a few flutes.  Old flutes, wooden, bamboo, metal, brass, etc.  In fact, sitting here I can see 14 flutes in a large ceramic cylinder I made.  There are more flutes scattered around, too.  Most of these come from travels and are indigenous in the making.  Flutes from Peru, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Europe.  I seem to be attracted to flutes when I travel.  I have even made ceremic flutes.  I can make sounds on these flutes, but I can not play you a song.  I enjoy playing on them.  But I play my own way, nothing you would recognize, I'm sure.
Arrow:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
1da:  Yes.  If anyone has any questions or comments, A-mail me here at Ask-It-Here. 
A new day
When I was first asked to write this column for the first edition of the Arrow since AIH came back on line, I wasn't sure what to write.  I was told that I could write just about anything.  We all know that anyone can write "just about anything."  It's having some meaning behind it that makes the difference.  I've been wondering for a while what exactly to write about.  Do I write about AIH coming back up?  Do I write about some little social issue?  Or do I just go on some rant about things that tick me off?  Like earthquakes, for example.  In particular, 7.2 earthquakes that tick me off at 2 a.m.  I'll save that story for another day.  Then it dawned on me.  I can write about any dang thing that comes to mind when I write this column.  I'd be happy to take suggestions and incorporate that into these editorials.  Now, that would be interesting.
We need to address the re-opening of AIH.  Sure, we could all sit here an talk about why it went down to begin with, who to place blame on, and all that other stuff.  Why focus on old stuff?  That fact is that AIH is back on line.  For most of us that's all that matters.  We're in a rebuilding process with something old and something new.  New in the sens that this is pretty much of a new look and style and old in the sense that it still carries the same name, Ask-It-Here.
Is it the  same site as it was before?  No, not at all.  Not by a long shot.  Call it an upgrade, downgrade, whatever you want to call it, AIH is very different these days.  Sure, the colors may not appeal to all, and some of the features are not functioning.  But again, AIH is back up and Yahoo groups is no longer a needed evil.  I'd like to hear your thoughts.  That means it is up to each user to help make AIH better.  Note how I say "hellp make AIH better."  I did not say "make it what it used to be" or "bring it back to its glory days" or something like that.  The AIH we all knew is dead and gone.  This is a new AIH that is going to require a lot of work, in addition to the work that's already been done by Dilbert, god and Grisson.  That's the work of rebuilding an on line community.
One of the mistakes I've seen in on line communities that go down are how the members want to reclaim "the old magic."  They want to get back what they once had.  The truth is that can never be.  We have to build new magic.  Times change, people change and ultimately this site has changed.
It's interesting that one of the residences has been renamed from Denver to Phoenix.  I think just about everyone is aware that Phoenix is the bird of fire that dies and burns to ashes and rises from its own ashes to be reborn anew (not cloning.)  I can't be a Ms. Cleo and predict the future, but the future will be very interesting as months go on. 
Before I go, I will add this little bit:  If you want to comment on this column, agree with it, disagree, insult, whatever with what I've said and/or written, please feel free to contact me at  Input is always a good thing.  Until next time.
Silverback (Ed)
Contest Winner:  a day in the life of a toenail "Butted Up to #2"
G'day, my name is Joe.  Joe Nail, and I hate my life.  Just this morning, I woke up again to find my tail being slashed through another sheet.  Then my other end, his name is Servo, smashed me down on the cold floor and then he kicked me up against the bed again.  Now, I've got a splitting nail ache and he's gone and grabbed the clippeers again.  This happens every couple of days and each time I lose a little more of me.  I don't know how much more I can take of this.
That was about an hour ago and now Servo's just finished trying to drown me in the shower again.  He didn't dry me properly and that bloody toe's tinea is creeping up on me again.  He's bound to try and suffocate me again later.  He always does.  I don't understand why, but almost every dayhe puts a bag over my head and then shoves me into some kind of suana.  He leaves me there for hours and I can hardly breathe.  He takes me out eventually, but only to put me under those covers again.  At least I can get some rest under there.  But then it will start all over again tomorrow.  I hate my life.
Note from the Editor:
I hope you've enjoyed this first all new edition of The Arrow.  It's the reader that ultimately allows a publication to live.  You are its lifeblood, the heart and soul of AIH and The Arrow.  It's your contributions that matter.  I could not include certain features this issue due to time constraints.  Look for Tech Talk next month.  Look for Poetry.  Look for this newsletter to eventually become an organized web page with a link from the main AIH page.
Now, if you received this edition in error, please write to and put "unsubscribe" in the subject line.  I will delete your name.  This list is based upon membership rolls supplied by Dilbert of members of AIH.  We hope to see new members, and welcome old members back.  If you didn't get a copy of the Arrow, write to the same address with "subscribe" in the subject line.  I'll add your name.
IslandWoman (Janis Dravenieks)