TDavid over at Make You Go Hmm has been playing around with mySQL to get stats on his users comments. I also enjoy looking at pretty numbers (always being careful to remember they mean absolutely nothing), so I did some digging in my own comments database.
So here we go:
First up, total posts by year:
The blue line is all comments. The red line is all comments minus the ones from the WordPress plugin related pages, which are typically help related. While this year isn’t over yet, I highly doubt I’ll get to 2007 or even 2006 levels of comments.
Top ten commenters of all time are
- Andrew Ferguson (595)
- quinn (108)
- staples.jeff (107)
- Audrey (69)
- Matt Matteson (43)
- Peter (42)
- CrazyBarbour (40)
- laura (34)
- Amelie (23)
- Ryan “Artoo” Goodwin (19)
I was going to post the leader board for each individual year, however people changed their emails and the way they entered their names in the comment fields and I really don’t want to fix all of them to get accurate results.
I’m kind of stumped as to why 2006 was such a good year for commenting. Interestingly enough, this year has seen more comments per a post, which I think is good. Thoughts?0
I’m not sure where to start with this story. It is one that has been in the making for at least the last ten years1, some might argue even the last twenty-three. I’ll skip the boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl part and go straight to the boy-gets-married-to-girl part.
Saturday night was the first time one of Us got married. To think that ten years ago, we were sitting around playing video games; and then to think that a decade later, we would be here: celebrating the union of two wonderful people and loss of our friend Kelly2.
Kelly’s marriage raises the bar for all of Us and is yet another reminder that I’m growing up. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days pondering.
But enough of my doom-and-gloom thoughts. Kelly and Kristin’s wedding really was spectacular. It took place in the wonderful backyard of Kristin’s parents’ house in New Castle. The weather was pretty much unbeatable.
At one point during the reception, I caught a glace of orange out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head to see what it was: the plastic-like tablecloth the cake was on had caught fire.
I jumped up out of my seat and ran over to put it out. I got a round of applause and everyone at my table was relieved to find out that I was solving problems and not causing chaos. Staples thinks I should have snapped on my latex gloves3.
Around 11:30pm, Kelly and Kristin finally departed in Kelly’s rebuilt baby blue ’65 Nova Wagon.
Photo: Copyright 2008 Jen Emert0
By John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again
to the lonely sea and sky
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song
and the white sail’s shaking
And a gray mist on the sea’s face,
and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
That may not be denied
And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying
And the flung spray and the blown spume
and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again
to the vagrant gypsy life
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way
where the wind’s like a whetted knife
And all I ask is a merry yarn
from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick’s over.
One of my favorite things about being back in Seattle are the opportunities to get out on the water. While we do have a speedboat of our own, I don’t think it get’s much better then sailing. At some point in time, I’d really enjoying sailing around the world – or at least part of the world. Although such an adventure will have to wait until I can get a boat of my own and a crew.
In the meantime, I’m fortunate to have a friend, Peter, who has a sailboat. And thus we went sailing on Monday and again on Tuesday (for the bonus round):
Remember all those pictures of your parents that you look at? This picture reminds me of one of those. In fact, I’d call this picture of Staples iconic.
One of my favorite professors here says that discernment is about the intersection of three things. Discover what brings you joy. Discover what you’re good at. Discover what the world needs. The intersection of those three things at any given moment is your calling. If (as I think you might be) you’re choosing between two good options, listen to where your desires are strongest and deepest. I think God wants us to be most fully ourselves, so I think that for some people emotion may play a significant role in the decision-making process, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
At the end of the day, knowing what you’re called to do means knowing who you are. It’s not a one-time deal, based on an isolated decision that impacts the rest of your life. It’s about living in a way that is in touch with your real identity, and the more you understand about that the more all of your actions and decisions are just an extension of yourself.
Kind of a ramble, let me know what you think or if it was helpful (or not).
The paraphrase originated from Father Michael Himes, a professor of theology at Boston College (where Jeff goes to school if you didn’t make that connection). Jeff was able to give me some more information about Father Himes thoughts: Three Keys to Intersection and a book Doing the Truth in Love: Conversations About God, Relationships, and Service.
I read the web page and I requested the book be sent over from Regis (they were the only library which had the book which makes it rather fitting I think).
I really like the concept of Three Keys to Intersection. I’ve know what I wanted to do for a long time now. It what brings me joy, which Himes differentiates from happiness because “[joy]comes from within and has to do with a deep and abiding sense of the rightness, the goodness, the fruitfulness of what you do with your life” whereas happiness “often depends on external things, your physical well being, the weather, whether you had a good night’s sleep or a good meal.” I think the joy/happiness differentiation also helps explain my love/hate paradox of Mines. In any event, the current thing that brings me joy is working on space exploration and that’s what I am doing and that’s what I’m going to continue to do for now.
I suppose it helps that I’m good at what I do, at least in theory. Himes also notes that knowing what I’m good at may not be a cut-and-dried answer and that there are people in my life who might be able to use to act as a mirror.
The final key to the puzzle is need. Not what I need, but what others need. To me, this seems like a “no duh” point, but I see people making this same mistake all the time and I pretty sure I’m not immune to it either. You could probably fill entire encyclopedias with stories of young and hot programmers who couldn’t just wait to code something, only to find out that it was something that nobody wanted.
That brings me to the Venn diagram I made up and included above. It has all three aspects: Joy, Ability, and Need. The intersection of those three circles is my target — my calling.
There’s a fourth point worth noting as well. What brings me joy, the abilities I have, and what the world need are all constantly changing. “We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day.” 1
There’s a reflection part of the Three Keys to Intersection. One of the questions asks:
Perhaps you now find yourself entertaining several life choices. That would not be surprising at all. Vocational discernment is an evolving process, a journey. Your goals may change several times as you try out some choices and learn more about the match between your passions and the world’s needs. But do you feel that you are growing in possession of the kind of knowledge that will enable you eventually to narrow down these choices in the future or to figure out how to combine them?
The Rockies and Red Sox are playing the World Series (in case you didn’t know). Seeing as I’m going to school in Colorado and my good friend Jeff is going to school in Boston, I figured we’d make a little bet.
Every Christmas Break, we all go to Cheese Cake Factory to get together.
Thus the bet comes into place.
Let it be known that Andrew Ferguson and Jeffrey Staples have a bet for dinner at The Cheese Cake Factory not to exceed USD$ 20, loser pays.0
The following takes place between 6ampm and 2am, Boston Local Time:
Three hours of sleep is not near enough. Fortunately, it was race day and the adrenaline began rushing soon after the alarm went off. We were all out by 6:40am and had Colin dropped off around 7am.
We drove to the prime spectating spot and then found a Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast.
It wasn’t long before Colin made his first appearance. I think he took us all by surprise since when had no idea where he was in the pack. Jeff, Tim, James, and Elizabeth were ready with Gatorade, goo, and change of clothes. I stood back a bit with the camera.
Once more around the loop for Colin. Tim and James when a couple miles down the way to prepare for jelly bean dispensing (pure sugar for a quick energy boost). Meanwhile, Jeff, Elizabeth, and I moved across the bridge for the third meeting.
Traffic was hectic near the end. With streets blocked off, runnings in the road, and bridges closed, it was near impossible to get around. Jeff dropped Elizabeth and me off near the stadium where the finish line was. We started into the arena when I saw Colin passing me on my left.
Not wanting to miss him finishing, I took off in a dead sprint to beat him into the stadium. Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was going and was almost bear hugged by a volunteer to prevent me from racing onto the field.
I had a nap on the way back since I was dead tired.
We had dinner when we got back; which reminds me that BC has pretty fantastic dining service. It’s frustrating that Mines is locked into Aramark, because they do a pretty shitty job. This, however, is a topic for another day.
To cap of the day, Jeff and I went to Mass. I think I’ve only been to Mass once before, and that was for Stephanie’s High School Graduation. My Mom’s cousin was married this summer and they had a Catholic wedding, but no Mass (although we all bet heavy money that there would be one).0
The following takes place between 1pm and 3am, Boston Local Time:
The plan for the day was simple, go back to Jeff’s place and sleep some more. Then, get up and go to Chelmsford and check into a hotel to watch the Boston College at Notre Dame game. The next morning Colin would run the BayState Marathon in his attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
We woke up around one in the afternoon, had a bit of breakfast (i.e. the bagel and cream cheese we picked up that morning), and then took off.
We made a stop at a local market to get some food and Jeff and I picked up some Arrogant Bastard. We hopped on the highway, only to figure out about 25 minutes later that we were on the wrong highway. As it turned it, we going in generally the right direction and we were able to get to Chelmsford without any major rerouting/back tracking.
We checked into the hotel and then Colin, James, and I drove into Lowell so that Colin could check in.
Check in was as at Lowell High School (Random Wikipedia trivia: Lowell High School opened in 1831 as the first co-educational high school in the United States and is currently the state’s second-largest public high school). We all decided that:
- All high schools look the same, no matter the state, and
- Being in high schools when there aren’t high school kids around is still kind of weird.
On the way back, we stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts which seems to be the thing to do when your in Boston. James introduced and treated me to the iced regular coffee, which is actually coffee with cream and sugar. So thanks James, you’ve got me hooked on something else ;).
We made another stop at a grocery store to find the rest of the items Colin would need for the next days marathon, and then to the beer store because it seems that most grocery stores don’t sell alcohol of any sort (not even 3.2%).
One of things I try to do is sample the variety of beers, always trying to find something great. If I go to a restaurant and see a new beer on the list, I’ll try it. If I’m far away from home (such as in Boston) and I’ll try to look for beers that aren’t in Colorado/Seattle. We picked up Samuel Adams October Fest (I can probably get this in Colorado/Seattle, but it’s Samuel Adams and I’m in Boston….so, I kinda had to), UFO Hefeweizen, and a Magic Hat of a type I can’t recall (help anyone?).
It was approaching 9pm local time, so we headed back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tube for a half hour or so before heading back up. It was 10:30ish by time I was dried off. People started to head to bed and the lights were out by 11:15pm.
I however, was still pretty awake (remember that it was only 9:15pm in my mind and I had woken up at 1pm local time…a double whammy). I basically spent the next 4 hours watching Boston loose it to the Indians in the ALCS and then time on the interwebs getting caught up on my feeds and email.
I finally made it to bed around 3am, just in time to get around three hours of sleep.0
Fall break has come (and now gone) and I elected a rather long time ago to spend my four wonderful days of in Boston (or as I like to call it, Bah-ston).
The previous week had been a shit week, which I think is the typical feeling on Friday for many Miners. I hadn’t been feeling well as of late Thursday night and I now had a paint in my lower left ribcage that was coming and going throughout the day. To compound things, several exams had reared their ugly heads that I would need to spend a portion of my vacation studying for.
Feeling rather anxious (in a bad way), I packed my carry on with all the reference material I might need to study and Mom dropped me off at the airport just a little past 10:30pm.
Day 0: 11:35pm to 6:30am
jetBlue has a wonderful red eye flight at that takes off from Denver at 11:35pm local and lands in Boston at 5:15am local. Just enough time to get about three hours of sleep.
I was only able to get about an hour of sleep before arriving. I gathered my things, let Jeff know that I had landed, and starting walking toward the arrival area.
Perhaps the fun part about being up so early is that you can see all shops opening. I don’t why I like the feeling, but it feels good and exciting to see places opening for business…especially early in the morning. I feel part of the city at that point I guess.
There was also a man sleeping in a wheelchair. I couldn’t figure out if he was homeless or not…I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t.
Jeff and Tim picked me up (using James’ van). We made a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for some bagels, cream cheese, and a bag of coffee to be made later, then proceeded to the dorm unit to catch some more shuteye.
Photo copyright © by legge_e_mare, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic0