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Who the Heck is Bill Austin?

2001

A rose by any other name would smell the same. Well that was before e-mail addy's and Cyberspace!

I had known Bill Austin, Kathee's fiance, for a couple of years. He was helpful to me in advertising my website so that the spiders and night crawlers would display my name at the top of the list when anyone searched on the words Life Story Writing. I was impressed with his knowledge. Occasionally I would shoot off a bit of interesting e-mail to him. We didn't banter much.just exchanged information.

Associated Personal Historians had a virus scare. It was the rotten Snow White virus, and I had experience so I posted:

Thanks Anne

I received Snow White three times! I did not open them, as I remembered an earlier warning. Twice bitten (Happy 99 and Kriz32) many times shy! Those were very costly losses for me. One Snow White is pornographic the other is a virus. Either way, I don't want it :)

I rarely open attachments unless the sender also notifies me that it's from them and that they've been scanned by Norton or McAfee. This is called practicing *safe hex* by hoax and virus gurus. Virus Hoax, Alert, Fraud, Chain Letters and Urban Legends

Back up your precious stuff often! It's important. That's where I fell down on the job. I'd made CD's of my Tidbits of Time book, but not my collections of other peoples stories, quotations, family e-mails. When the virus happened to me I just sat at my computer in stunned disbelief. Why me, I'm just a little ole white haired lady in Cardiff by the Sea, for cryin' out loud!

Stuff happens...it's a bad old world out there!

Thelly, the Storylady, in Cardiff by the Sea

Then I get this e-mail from Bill Austin:

Ma'am, I'm a little confused why a "little ole white haired lady in Cardiff by the Sea" is writing to me...although its not even addressed to me. Can you add some illumination to my little lifestory and how we intertwined yours and mine?

Bill Austin

I'd heard that Bill had been travelling for Motorola and had come back to Phoenix with a really rotten cold. I figured he must be on big time medications not to know who I was. I thought I'd better let him know I understood, but explain in a bit more detail.

Subject: Re: [APH] Another worm alert

Bill...I CC'd you because I gave your link. It was to Anne at Associated Personal Historians, and went out to over 300 people with your *link* in it! It should help your fame! I thought you'd be really impressed.

You've had too much Nyquill, Bill, or you'd have figured this out! Or, I haven't had enough Nyquill to see that your message was *tongue in cheek*?

Thelly, the Storylady, in Cardiff by the Sea

I sat back smugly and waited for Bill to be apologetic.

Dear Thelly

Oh my Gosh, I've done it again. Whatever I'm doing wrong, I sure am consistent cuz this is the other Bill Austin again!

I'm always interested in learning something but at this point I'm assuming my tongue isn't out of control. I find a lot of what you send interesting but I don't know what a historian is or who Anne might be. My link would be www.billaustin.com is that the one you have used? It's possible you have gotten my address mixed with another gentleman...I have had some confused email intended to go to bill.austin@att.net vs.billaustin@att.net (who could not be as illustrious as I even if he has an grand name.). As you can see I use an alias for that account anyway.

Is it possible that we have THREE ships passing in the night? Don't be alarmed, I do find this interesting an intriguing. (by the way, regarding Cardiff...have you heard of the American version ... Oneif-by-land or Twoif-by-sea?)

The other Bill Austin

I checked out the new Bill Austin's website and he was an engineer in Indiana. It was a good website, looked professional, so I sent the url and the series of e-mails on to Bill Austin...the real Bill Austin that I knew.

Guess what, I found out it was my mistake! I had entered Bill's e-mail addrress incorrectly in my Juno book. I had typed in BillAustin instead of WBAustin. On my Outlook Express address book it was correct, but since I am registered at APH list from the Juno address, I just forwarded their message to the wrong Bill Austin So, all I had to do was explain to the other Bill Austin. Yeah, right!

I couldn't believe this was happening, but this other Bill Austin was a funny guy and he wasn't getting mad about it, so I wrote to explain and apologized. I figured if he knew I was a little old lady it would help.

Hi Other Bill Austin,

Well, guess what? It's dumb old me. I had it correct in my Outlook Express addy's but wrong in Juno directory. My APH mail comes to Juno and I posted that mail to Bill A. from there, and there-in was the rub. I have corrected it. I'm 72 years old, grateful to be alive and doing computer at all!

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but perhaps you needed to learn about Life Story Writing...I don't think there are ever an *accidents*. Everyone has a life story...have you written yours?

I liked the Oneif-by-land or Twoif-by-sea? Sadly, some kids wouldn't know that today, though, would they? That's why *life stories* and *true history* is important. We need to leave a roadmap for the next generation.

I still prefer our Cardiff by the Sea, California except right now we're have high tides and storm surf and it's quite cold with rain...it's been the low 60's today.

Again, I apologize for the confusion in the e-mails.

Thelly, the Storylady, in Cardiff by the Sea, CA

I heaved a sigh of relief. It was all straightened out. But then I got another letter from the wrong Bill Austin.

Hi Thelly

Oh I agree with the idea that there are no accidents and I guess I would say I'm writing my life story via my footprints mostly. I love to write and read but like your Bill, I'm in the computer business and like most businesses I'm paid by the numbers I generate, not the words.

Regarding your appreciation for my small lame joke, that unfortunately is also an example of the narrowing of our knowledge. Just like the above its a reflection of the focus we most all have in the US on making money ... the lack of a broad education since it doesn't "pay".

I've been to Carmel but not Cardiff...you guys have more than one place close to the water huh? :) By the way .why is it that in California and England people have to point out that the sea is near by? Is it because they think people won't notice or that you like the city names so well that, like Atlanta and peaches, everybody wants to save money on signs?

As far as being 72, congratulations on getting there and being here.

the infamous Bill Austin

That seemed to be a nice ending, until several days later, and the stuff about by the Sea got to me. I had to write back:

Hi Infamous Bill Austin,

"An Old Irish Proverb says: "Living by the Sea stops old wounds from hurting. It revives the Spirit, it quickens the passions of mind and body, and it lends tranquility to the Soul." Thank you "Beach" that my beginnings were along the California shoreline."

This is from the *opening* of my website

I guess I'm what you would call *a true beach person*. I'm fascinated by the shore, shells, sand...anything to do with the beach. In fog or sunshine...it doesn't matter. Have been all my life. However, I never pondered the *by the Sea* thing. Now that I have, for me it's the sound of it. It's melodious to my ears...something like holding a seashell up to your ear and hearing the ocean!

Something else for you to ponder when you get old and have time to write your memoirs:) The three towns on California's coastline that end with *by the Sea* all begin with *Car* Carmel, Carlsbad and Cardiff. Just thought I'd mention that. Don't lose any sleep over it :)

Thanks for being such a nice *wrong address* kind of person. It's been fun chatting with you.

Thelly, the Storylady, in Cardiff by the Sea

My perilous adventure has come to an end. A rose by any other name would smell the same? I think not! And how many Bill Austin's are there, anyway? And will the real Bill Austin please stand up? The famous one.the one that I know!

Postscript: My daughter's Bill Austin recently attended an INCOSE (International Conference on Systems Engineering) conference in Phoenix, AZ and as he was boarding the elevator he turned around to face the very same other Bill Austin!

Who the heck is Bill Austin anyway? I guess it depends upon which one you really are, huh, Bill?

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