Had a wonderful lunch with a new/old blogger friend today. Can't believe how I'm finding 'old' friends/acquaintances in the blogosphere. How does one come across people you know in the infinite variety of the internet? What is it about their blog that catches your attention, and keeps it, so that later you find out you know (or have known in the past) that person? And how do you find that particular blog to begin with? I can't even remember the first 'blog' I read. I do know that Rachel Lucas (I sure do miss her blog and her rants) and IMAO were among the first I read regularly. Then I found the Rottweiler. And then somehow I wandered over to the Bad Example family's property. Bou and I are from the same hometown (in high school she double-dated with my 'first' boyfriend). I dated Sticks' husband. (Umm, I'm seeing a pattern here, and not one I really wanted to see.) And the blogger with whom I had lunch today was someone I went to school with (she's welcome to identify herself in the comments if she wishes, but as always, I want to respect people's privacy. But I can say I never dated any one in her life! As far as I know, anyway!) But I didn't know who those people were when I started reading their blogs. Just little snippets of info here and there clued us in. Which can be scary. It shows that there really is no true privacy on the internet. Little bits of seemingly unrelated info can be put together to give away your identity. It makes me think of a time way back before the Internet, back when I was in the National Guard. I was a Medical Administrative Specialist, which meant I worked in the clinic. (Remember President Bush's 'fake but accurate' memos? When that story broke, I knew by looking at the letter that it was a fake. I had typed too many of those types of letters, so I knew that Rather's letters were forgeries.) Anyway, sometimes one of my duties was to notate medical records with immunization and HIV test results. Usually those results came in on one sheet of paper, with all the unit member's names and 'NEG' typed next to it on the 'HIV' section. Well I came in one weekend, and couldn't find that report. No biggie. I told the head enlisted person, and she said she'd take care of it. Then a Guard member came in for an appointment. It wasn't time for his physical, but he had received a notice saying he had to come in for an appointment at such-and-such a time. I went to pull his record, but it was no where to be found. Then another med admin person mentioned that the Lt. Col. (head of the clinic) had asked for that record earlier, and still had it in his office. *flash* The light bulb went off over my head...the missing HIV report, the missing medical record, the guy having no idea about why he had an appointment. I happened to be standing next to the head tech (I had been going to tell her about the guy waiting for the appointment) and I just turned to her and asked, "Does that guy have AIDS?" She grabbed my arm and pulled me into an empty office, and began asking me how I could possibly know. She couldn't believe I figured it out from the info I had. I just happened to have stumbled across all the pieces to put together. One of the other med admin people could have been sent to look for the record, or sign him in, or been asked to enter the HIV info. But it really freaked out the higher-ups that I figured out the guy had HIV/AIDS. I do know they changed how they handled test results after that. I don't know what happened to that guy. But as far as I know, nobody else knew. And it could have been a 'false-positive'. For his sake, I hope so. But I'll never know, since I moved shortly after that. Not that it would have been any of my business, anyway. So, how did I get from a wonderful lunch to AIDS? Blech. But it was just a reminder to me that while the internet is a wonderful place, it can be a scary place, too. But I still had a good lunch and visit, thanks to the internet!