Where Am I?

I feel like I haven’t written here in ages. Don’t worry, I’m still alive. Lots of things have been going on recently, some of which I hope to write about in the near future.

However, that brings me to something I’ve been pondering for a while (like, months). What is the purpose of this blog? Why do I write here? Over the last ten years or so, this little space I’ve carved out has morphed significantly. It was first a place to share things I loved in a very static form: LEGO’s, Star Trek, James Bond, etc. I made some pages, and I tweaked them as I saw fit. It wasn’t very dynamic.

Around 2002, I started keeping a log of the changes I made to the site. And although it was mostly technical and administrative in nature, it could be considered the start of my web log. During my senior year of high school, I started to do what many people would consider blogging.

I think a lot of why I started blogging at that point was in preparation for going to college. At that point, I knew I would be going to school out of state (I hadn’t applied to any schools in Washington) and I wanted to remain connected to people back home in Seattle, primary family and friends. Still, it was mostly talking about school.

Blogging for me formally started when I switched to WordPress, I think this was in the fall of my Freshman year of college. I blogged about everything. One of my New Year resolutions in 2005 was to blog every day…and I did it.

At some point however, this has become less of a blog and more of a journal — a journal for me1 but which I share with the world. I don’t do this out of vanity, but because I believe in truth and honesty2.

Of course, journals come with all sorts of rawness. Life isn’t a perfect venture all the time, and journals usually reflect that. It helped that most of what I was focusing on in school was relatively low risk, and hence this blog was pretty easy to write; I just had to get through classes, which while hard, was something that was feasible.

Life after school is something entirely new, it’s a beast. And in many ways, something I wasn’t quite prepared for. I’ve written more private journal entries this year than I have in any other year, even though I’ve been posting less overall.

At points I’ve thought about taking this journal and making it entirely private, or completely passphrase protected. I even thought about shuttering site completely, for real.

But dating someone and then breaking up have made me realize some very important: This is not a me question. This is not a problem I’m facing because of something I did (or didn’t do). The feelings I have, the issues I’m dealing with, the questions I’m asking are things that I believe many people my age are asking — maybe not out loud, but they’re asking.

I believe that many people are wondering who they are, what they’re doing, and where they should go. I believe that many people are wondering why they haven’t found that one person, or that one vocation, or whatever they need in order to feel complete in life. This is not a problem unique to me because I am an engineer or because I am a Christian, although that certainly plays into it.

I also believe that one of the best ways to work on these issues is to talk about them. And for me, that conversation starts here, with my journal. It’s a conversation I have with myself, that I share — or not (not everything is fit for sharing with everyone…which is another thing I’m learning).

Consider this your fair warning: Blogs can be about many things, this one is going to be my journal of sorts3.

And that’s where I am.


  1. It’s an important tool for me to reflect on later 

  2. Even if it doesn’t look good 

  3. This is not to say that there won’t be other things discussed here, just that most of what I write will be journal-ish 

Blogging: WordPress vs. Blogger

A good friend from college asks:

I’m thinking of starting a blog. (Not sure how good of an idea this is but whatever, it’s an idea.) I was shopping around the different platforms and was wondering what your take is on them. You obviously use WordPress, why? What about Blogger? Any insight would be great as they both look to be about the same to me, having not used either.

Blogging, for me, is a great place to offload stuff from my mind and I find that’s it’s particularly helpful for the ADHD in me.

As for different platforms, a quick overview:

  • There is WordPress, which, as you pointed out, is what I use. You can host WordPress yourself of have them host it for you for free (WordPress.com)
  • The main competitor to WordPress is actually MovableType, which is free to download and host yourself, but you have to pay $5/mo to have them host it for you (Typepad.com)
  • Blogger is the lite weight version of blogging. It’s backed by Google and does pretty well. You can’t host it yourself, but it is free to use.

From this point on, the differences are more or less semantic. I like WordPress because it’s completely open source, they have a great community of developers that are constantly evolving the platform and making it better. The hosted (free) version of WordPress is very full featured, but not overwhelming. I particularly like that the URLs are date/title formatted. For example: http://example.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/the-world-is-just-awesome/, would have been posted on April 22,d 2008 with the title “The World is Just Awesome.” I also like the commenting system much better in WordPress compared to Blogger.

I don’t know much about Blogger because I haven’t investigated for a while now, however I do know that hosted (free) WordPress has lots and lots of themes that you can choose from.

Going down the features list now:

  • WordPress has a pretty spiffy tagging system (in addition to the traditional catagories) that I think are a superior form of content labeling.
  • This shouldn’t be a huge deal for you, but WordPress has (in my opinion) the best comment spam protection system.
  • You can have pages in addition to posts. Pages are basically the same as posts, execpt that they live outside of the normal hierarchy.
  • No advertisments.
  • Statistics. It’s nice knowing who your readers are and how many of them. WordPress stats are pretty full featured and very helpful.

I think you also get something like 5GB (yes, that’s gigabytes) of space to upload content. And of course, I use it. Which not only means that WordPress is the best ;), but that I can also help you out more if you ever need it.

Hope that helps.

Told You So: Blogging is Good for You

This is kind of interesting news:

From www.techcrunch.com:

A new study has found Bloggers are better adjusted and live healthier, happier social lives.

The research, from Swinburne University of Technology found that “people felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those who did not blog” after a two month blogging period when compared to people who do not blog.

If any one is interested in blogging, I recommend using WordPress.com. It’s an open-source, “state-of-the-art1 semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.”2. It’s a great system and I would use and recommend nothing else.


  1. What does that mean any way: state-of-the art? 

  2. http://www.wordpress.org 

More on Lent

I have this really cool book I got for graduation called The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church. Lent is traditionally a time of 40 days before Easter spent fasting. When I started giving something up for Lent a few years ago, it was in the spirit of fasting from something particular, soda, caffeine, swearing. Soda was originally suggested by Darren (I think) for our entire Bible Study to give up because we drank quite a bit of Dr Pepper and it was going to be a hard thing to give up. Every year I try to thing of something that I can fast from that would be meaningful.

I felt that giving up soda this year would be too easy and I wanted to find something that would be more of a challenge. I thought about blogging, instant messaging, and reading my news feeds. They would be hard to give up, but they are also critical to what I do and giving them up would be more akin to not journaling, not talking with my friends (i.e. giving them the silent treatment), and not reading the newspaper. I don’t play that many video games, so giving that up wouldn’t be a challenge at all and I’m really not that into Facebook (I might check it every three days or so).

I started to think about other things I could do. Perhaps instead of giving something up, I could do something instead. And so for Lent, I am going to go to church every single Sunday. It’s something that I’ve been trying to do ever since I moved to Golden and I just really slacked on it. It will be hard, but I can do it.