Thursday Jul 24, 2008

Testing Flock Blog Editor

I am testing the Flock Blog Editor client.  Will this work?

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Wednesday Jun 11, 2008

Is Your Dad Still a Flight Attendant?

"Kids say the darndest things" - Art Linkletter

"Is your dad still a flight attendant?" Michelle asked my son Ryan recently.

An innocent question, but I had to chuckle. I have never been and never want to be a flight attendant. So where in the world did that question come from?

It turns out that when Ryan and Michelle were in first or second grade together, Ryan thought I was a flight attendant and told his classmates as much. Ryan knew I flew extensively, and somehow, in his little boy brain, he conjured up the picture of his dad taking care of people on airplanes.

Apparently I reinforced the myth when later I taught Michelle and Ryan and several of their friends in a Sunday School class. I would sometimes send members of that little class postcards from the more exotic locations I visited. She actually kept those cards, bless her heart!

So now, many years later, Michelle is a beatuful young woman who for years had held onto the mistaken notion of Ryan's dad serving folks drinks in the air.

I hadn't known of Ryan's misception about my career until he told me this story a few days ago. Do you want to know what some of my other kids thought I did for a living?

David thought I just stayed on an airplane all week. He had seen me get on an airplane early in the week and get off the airplane at the end of the week - in those pre 9/11 days when families could accompany fliers to the gate. He just assumed that is where I stayed all week. The concept of getting off the airplane at my destination was a foreign concept.

For Holly, it was simpler. She just thought I went on a lot of vacations. She had only flown somewhere when the family went on a vacation. She just figured Dad got to go on a lot of them.

But perhaps it was Eric who pegged it best. "I want to be a computer guy like my dad," he told his first grade class. "All he does is fly all over the place and to go meetings!"

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Thursday May 08, 2008

I'm Giving Up My California Identity

I got a text message this evening from our niece who has lived with us for six months until last week, when she moved into the new home she bought in neighboring Gilbert, Arizona. She was transferred from Southern California to Arizona last year and elected to stay with us while she determined where she really wanted to live. It is great to see Amy, a graduate of Brigham Young University, spread her wings and fly!

In her text message was a new phone number with a familiar 480 prefix. When I called to congratulate her on getting an Arizona phone number, I kidded her, "You took one more step to becoming an Arizona native!

She replied, rather wistfully, "Yes, I guess I'm giving up my California Identity."

A strong part of our sense of personal Identity is often tied to our roots. I am a native of Idaho and tell my kids, who all grew up in Arizona, that "Idaho is the only true state." I haven't lived there since 1976, but I'm still attached through my heart to my boyhood home. Idaho is an integral part of my Identity.

I suppose it will be that way for Amy. Born and raised as a Southern California girl, she is now putting down roots in Arizona. But I'm sure even though physical addresses and phone numbers may change, Southern California will always be a part of Amy's Identity.

By the way ... she bought a house before really experiencing a summer of Arizona "dry heat." Brave girl!

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Sunday May 04, 2008

Ryan is bound for Croatia

Our son Ryan has been called to serve in the Slovenia/Croatia Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, on July 30th to learn the Croatian language and prepare for his work for the next two years. Ryan has just completed his freshman year at Arizona State University and plans to continue his studies there when he returns from his mission.

Ryan's Missionary Photo

What a thrill it was for family and friends to gather at our house Thursday evening when he opened the large envelope from Salt Lake City.

Ryan's Mission call

The Slovenia/Croatia mission encompasses six countries that comprised the former Yugoslavia: These links will take you to articles about each country on Wikipedia. Other valuable information is available on the CIA World Fact Book.

The mission headquarters in Slovenia are located Ljubljana, which appears to be a beautiful city.

God bless you, our son! Go forth and serve with honor!

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Saturday Dec 22, 2007

A Tapestry of Miracles - Happy Holidays from the Dixon Family

In these days of crass materialism, questionable ethics and dire threats to political and economic stability, I take heart in the magnificence of the human spirit and the grandeur of relationships that link us together. As a holiday wish to all of you, let me share a few lines I penned several years ago, as a wish of hope and joy from the Dixon family.

A Tapestry Of Miracles

Like brilliant golden strands
Woven delicately yet boldly
Among more dreary threads
To create a magnificent tapestry,
Our lives converge
In brief but sparkling brightness,
And then intertwine into
Radiant relationships
Borne of common hopes and dreams.

Countless encounters
Of human souls,
Guided by an unseen hand,
Link our lives together,
Creating cascading
Miracles of light,
Illuminating our hearts and minds
Amidst the harshness and the gloom
Of mortal life,
Ever weaving and preparing
The glorious, eternal tapestry
Of humankind.

Mark G. Dixon
November 15, 1996

Happy Holidays from all of the Dixons in Mesa, Arizona.

Christmas hearth

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Saturday Dec 08, 2007

Blog Evolution

From time to time, I try to update my blog to make it more useful or accomodating to changes in the landscape of the participation age. Today's changes were more evolutionary than revolutionary. I increased the overall page width to provide two columns of standard information. The left column is dedicated to working with the blog - primarily subscribing or finding information. The right column provides links to my most significant connections into global social networking fabric. I hope this will help people connect to me more effectively.

I have also made the decision to discontinue the automatic posting of my bookmarks. First, it made me kind of lazy - using the bookmark/blog feature rather than write real posts. Second, the posts kind of cluttered the flow of my blog. So, I have provided links directly to my bookmarks, plus an RSS feed for those who wish to subscribe.

The cloudy photo in the upper left corner is a placeholder for now. What I'd really like is to find or develop a script that would randomly select a photo from one of my Flickr photo sets do display there. I came close today by modifying a Flickr badge script, but the photo sizing was wrong. Does anyone have a solution for this?

What is next? I plan two significant elements:

  • Interactive participation in the "Discovering Indentity" wiki hosted at
  • A relaunch of the "Whodentity" list I used to maintain.

So, thanks for stopping by. Suggestions are always welcome. Happy blogging!

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Sunday Dec 02, 2007

links for 2007-12-03

The Dixon Digest

Tonight I launched a family blog, The Dixon Digest, to replace a periodic newsletter of the same name I have published somewhat sporadically over the past few years. The web-page creation process I was using was just a bit too cumbersome, so I graduated to an easier method, using, where several family members also have blogs.

We'd welcome the visit if you'd care to stop by now and then.

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Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

links for 2007-11-28

Monday Nov 26, 2007

links for 2007-11-27

Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

links for 2007-11-22

Tuesday Nov 20, 2007

links for 2007-11-21

Monday Nov 19, 2007

links for 2007-11-20

Sunday Nov 18, 2007

links for 2007-11-19

Thursday Nov 15, 2007

links for 2007-11-16


Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please connect with me in cyberspace at LinkedIn or Twitter.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


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