Monday, January 29, 2007

blogs: what are they good for?

I think I am coming to a realization for me that, like any communication tool, there are things that blogs are good for and things they don't do as well.

Here are some of the things I see that blogs are good for:

sharing information: blogs provide a handy way to share information, especially people separated by time or distance. many blogs are dedicated to this, and this was the reason for this blog, to make it easy on family and friends who are far away to keep up on what is happening in our lives.

encouragment and communication for people in similar situations: whether it is the struggles and joys of parenting, losing weight, going through adoption, it seems to me that blog are a good way for people who are going through similar situations to communicate and learn from each other and encourage each other.

encouragment and communication for people with similar ideas: like the previous point, I think people who share a common goal or ideas can find encouragement and share ideas and resources.

There are, however, some things that I think blogs really are not very good at:

convincing people to adopt new ideas: I don't think blogs work well for trying to convince people to adopt your ideas if they don't already have similar views. in part I think that is because of the shear time it takes to lay out arguments and defend ideas and the level of familiarity just cannot be achieved in the blogging world.

discussing differenting ideas or viewpoints: for some of the same reasons as the previous point I think discussing differenting ideas on blogs really doesn't accomplish much. too many of the subtleties of communication are lost on blogs and there are too many places where miscommunication can take place. the lack of familiarity makes it hard to try to sway people one way or another. while I have had some intelligent and civil discussions on blogs I'm not sure anyone is the better off for it. and then there are the times I have been involved in discussions that quickly turn vile. I think this is particularly concerning among Christians. I hate to think of those outside the faith looking at these conversations and thinking, "I want no part of that."

This list is not exhaustive and you are certainly free to disagree, but I am going to try to change the way I view blogs, which blogs I view and the way I react. I'm not saying I will never stumble and get into discussing differenting viewpoints on blogs, but I am certainly going to try to avoid it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I used to golf

I used to golf. I was never great, but in high school I was pretty good. That, in part, is due to the fact that I was on the HS team and played 9 nearly every day after school. That really is one of the things about golf, to be good you have to be playing consistently.

While I have never been a great golfer I still enjoyed it. Despite the time spent in the woods or the balls I donated to the guys who dive in the water hazards, I hit enough good shots to keep me coming back.

When you hit that killer drive down the middle of the fareway or sink that 20 foot put it is enough to forget about worm burner off the 3 tee that you could have thrown further.

Recently I have seen parenting in a similar light. There are days where I feel like I am playing in the rough or I am smacking ball after ball into the water. But there are those moments that make it all worth while. There are those times of dancing in the kitchen with the music cranked up or wrestling on the floor or seeing something that you have been working on since birth start to click. There is nothing like it in the world and it is enough to make you forget the times you thought you couldn't take another minute.

So the next time you seem to live in the rough, or the water, or the sand, just think of the amazing drive of the 5 tee and how great it is to dance to the Bee Gees with a 3 year old.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I love my office

It is amazing how one thing leads to another. A leak in our main floor bathroom forces us to repair flooring, so we decide to rip out all the pergo on the main floor and have it tiled. That leads to recycling the pergo and taking the nasty carpet out of the office, which leads to redoing the office.

I wish I had taken some good "before" pictures, but oh well.

There are a lot of people to thank, most don't even know it because a gift card or cash help purchase stuff for the office along with my ebay sales and freelance work, but there are a couple of people I need to point out.

First to the Good family. Thanks to Chirs for making IKEA runs with me for things that were too big for our vehicles, and thanks to Nikki for letting him go.

And of corse, thanks to my lovely wife, who let me do whatever I wanted with the design and set up for the office. Even when I was considering a color called dirty diape.

I have a couple of little things to do here and there. A couple of more pictures to put up, but for the most part it is done, and I love it. It was a room that before lacked any character and was a mess. I went there to work on the computer, but it wasn't a room I enjoyed being in.

Now, this may be my favorite room in the house. It makes me want to have "clients" over and act like I have a real job.

Anyway, thanks to all of you, whether you know you were involved in my office make over or not.