When this blog started, DG (David) was writing in the voice of Travel (TR) and was accompanied by Wicked Hamster (AKA J AKA DG’s significant other), Secret Squirrel (AKA Brian) and Woodchuck (AKA Bob.) The original focus was to document the travels of TR. TR had been traveling for a few years before the blog began. DG’s first blogging experience was as a guest blogger for Uncle Bert (AKA Stephen) while he and Someone were on holiday one summer. TR blogged for a month, before he told anyone he was blogging. TR is still with us, he spends most of his time in the bottom of DG’s messenger bag. He still loves to travel, but seldom comes out for pictures anymore.
Sadly, Wicked Hamster, Squirrel, Woodchuck and Uncle Bert have all abandoned blogging. Three of them are relatively active on Facebook (as is DG.) Uncle Bert tried a blog this last year and dropped off after a few months. He is active on Twitter - I really don’t understand the appeal of twitter. Woodchuck, Squirrel and Uncle Bert all remain wonderful friends. We knew Uncle Bert before blogging. We met Bob and Brian and their families through blogging and very much value their friendships. Woodchuck had a conference in Louisville a few months after we met online, we met him at the Marker’s Mark restaurant downtown, with TR sitting on the table as a means of identifying one another (we had not seen pictures of the people behind the icons.) We met Woodchuck and Mrs Chuck in Seattle in 2008, and met Squirrel, Mrs Squirrel and little Squirrel for lunch.
DG has never really appeared on the blog. There is one image out of over 500 that he sort of appears in, but you probably could not pick me out of a lineup from having seen that picture. The work I was doing when I started blogging required a great deal of confidentiality and I stayed out of the blog to avoid raising questions. My current work claims ownership of anything I write that is in anyway connected to my work. The best way to keep my employer from claiming ownership of the Adventures of Travel Penguin, is to avoid talking about my work and not appearing or clearly identifying myself in the blog. Facebook is treated differently by my office, but even there I don’t identify who I work for or talk about the nature of my work. (Nothing mysterious, I do program development and policy work in legal and human services - I think that is vague enough to keep the office of general counsel happy. When you are a lawyer for an organization that pays a few hundred lawyers by the year - not by the hour - you have to be careful.)
So there is a degree of identification, the voice of Travel Penguin, is David. I will be at the dinner at the blogger gathering that Ron at Retired in Deleware http://retiredindelaware.blogspot.com/ is organizing in a couple of weeks. J is arriving in DC on Friday evening, we will drive up on Saturday and be there midday to meet some of the bloggers I so enjoy reading. I bet there will be pictures, but not on the Adventures of Travel Penguin.