Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Monday, December 18


Early New Years Changes

I am posting this here so that those who are really interested may know why I have taken the steps I've taken; however, I have no desire to provide further fodder for the gossip-mongers. About 9 months ago or so, I was asked to participate in a newly formed council charged with governing the ducati league in BzFlag. It was an exciting time and I was looking forward to contributing in any way I could. The ducati league is the oldest BzFlag league and has a lot of history, but was on the decline. It had been kept running by three guys who worked on the website, but all had become extraordinarily busy and really needed a step back.

We had a rocky start - an announcement of the council's formation was made before the council really had time to get organized. We were flooded with suggestions (some were really great - actually a lot of them were) before we even had methods of discussion and voting in place. Somehow, I found myself elected facilitator. Originally, the role was going to be "leader" but I lobbied for, and the others agreed, that we would be better if no one member had more authority than another.

For five months, I spent more time working on council stuff than I did anything else - even my real life job. The council saw this, but no one outside really had a clue, which is exactly how it should be. The league should see the fruit of our labor, but didn't really need to know how much work it took to do any of what we did. Then, one of my dear friends on the council - someone who had done the bulk of the technical work of coding the changes we needed - got overwhelmed and left. I nearly did at that time, but didn't want to damage the council. Instead, I resigned as facilitator and stuck around to try to help out in a role with less work attached.

One of the biggest challenges in being part of such an organization is to learn how to balance the needs of the many with the needs of the few. Also, you have to learn how to work with a large number of varied personalities, which in our case, included many cultural and linguistic differences, as well. The hardest situations were often caused when players, convinced that their need or concern was critical, pressed for action, even going so far as to launch what can only be termed as promotional campaigns amongst all the players to encourage people to put additional pressure on the council. This is, sadly, the way of things in an online gaming community - particularly one like BzFlag, which is open source.

In the context of my role, I found myself accused of all sorts of things. I will be the first to admit I've made mistakes. I take full responsibility for those mistakes. It's interesting to me, however, how I receive complaints from players that I am unwilling to forgive or forget their mistakes when the complaining player is the one unwilling to forgive or forget. It's tragic really.

So why have I left the joyful arena of the council? Simple. I'm tired of it. I am a person of action, generally quick decisiveness. But the council is made up of over 10 people. At least 1/2 of those deciding an issue must agree. It is basically governance by committee. Can it work? Yes. Has it worked? Yes. Are there issues with it? Of course. Is it perfect? Of course not. I have nothing but respect for those I served with on the council. However, for their sake and mine, I have decided to let the complainers find another target. Perhaps my absence from their ranks will lessen the criticism. Perhaps not.

At any rate, I have taken a step away from BzFlag as a whole as well. There have been issues going on in real life that have given me better perspective. I went through a year of...great difficulty. I was mostly not myself during that year. Despite recent challenges and trials, I have no desire to slip back into the same funk I was in for the last year. I will still play BzFlag - I will still play in the leagues even. But I will play much less, with better perspective and for one reason only - fun. If it's fun, I will play; if not, I won't.

To the council, I salute you. You are wonderful, selfless people and I've enjoyed each and every one of you. To the league, I challenge you - instead of fighting amongst yourselves and against a group dedicated to making things better, find a way to work with the council. They truly desire to work with you.

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Good decision IMHO. If online games go to a point where they overwhelm you and affect your real life, then you need to sort out your priorities. A break from bzflag is a good idea and gives you a perspective of so many other things that can be done :).... miss you essy.... but that is how things are... you gotta keep looking forward in life :)... i may be gone from bzflag soon too :(.......

cya ... solar...
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Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003