Tag Archives: thanks


I know 100 followers is weaksauce in the world of blogging, for people trying to market themselves or get their voice heard. I’m not out to do that (yet). I’m just having fun with a place to rant and/or interact with other people. I like seeing what other people think, and why they think the way they do.

I still count it a special privilege that 100 people out there across the Internets have clicked buttons to become followers of my blog. Those clicks are whispers of affirmation and encouragement from someone not called Mom, in the moments when my hands hover over the keyboard while I ask myself why I’m wasting my time on this “writing thing.”

It means a lot.

So here’s a huge THANK YOU — err, wait —


There we go. Huge thanks to Erica for taking the time to click ‘Follow.’

Erica is clearly a fan of BioWare’s Dragon Age games, and her blog reflects that. But she also runs a Gamer’s Store through Amazon that markets video games on multiple systems, comic art, comic books, and graphic novels.

If you’re a fan of DA at all, you’ll find her posts on builds and talents interesting. It’s been a while for me since I last played DA 2, but I quickly found myself remembering the conflicts and twists of that game with a smile.

Thanks, Erica!

One Fiddy

It’s been about a year and two months since I started this blog. When I published a recent post, I noticed I was close to 150 total posts. I thought it’d be a good time to pause and reflect.

149 posts on this blog, plus another 106 on the three topic-focused blogs I split off from this one about four months ago. 255 holds significance to me because I grew up using old computers like the Commodore 64, and 255 was the upper limit number in a lot of programs.

So with this post, I hit 256 total. Take that, C64. You can’t even count that high!

Along the way, there are about 170 of you who said “I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this person’s writing.” Though I know there are probably many duplicate readers, my other three blogs each have about 100 people willing to have my posts spam their inbox, twitter, or Facebook.

This is my moment to say Thank you.

I have a number of family and friends who express surprise at my willingness to get along with people who are very different from me – especially those who are antagonistic and provocative about it. “How are you still putting up with that person?” “Why do you bother reading what they post? It’s always crap.”

My experience has been that there’s always a unique quality in every person we meet. There’s something about that person worth discovering. While I may not be a huge social butterfly, I love watching the way people interact and learning some of what motivates them. Like different spices or flavors of ice cream, I enjoy the variety, especially when they can open up my eyes to perspectives I’ve never had before.

That’s what this blogging experience has brought me. I check out the writing of almost everyone who follows me or comments on my page. I browse the Reader, looking at different topics and Freshly Pressed. I get to see what you all share, and invite you into the parts of my life that I’m willing to share. Windows open into lives I’ve never known, and I want to enjoy the view.

My blog experience is no success story. But for those of who you who have joined me in this little corner of the internet, I am truly grateful.

Liebing it Up to You

Today I discovered that a mad scientist slash crazy mom was kind enough to nominate my blog for the Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award, for being "not rubbish"
The Liebster Award, for being “not rubbish”

I recently started following her blog because of the A to Z challenge, and also because she made the flu virus sound interesting. Then I saw she has kids roughly the same ages as mine (though her family has one more child than us). Science fun plus parenting fun… fantastic. She checked out some of my entries as well.

I had heard of the Liebster thing, but I didn’t really know how it worked. We use the term “nomination” as though there are authorities out there on the Interwebz who are going to come look and make a solemn gesture of approval, thereby formally blessing us with the award.

Nah, it’s just one blogger to another, saying, “hey, I like what you’re doing over there, and I wanted to call attention to your blog. How about you do the same, but for other people? Pay it forward, and all that.”

Ah, yes, there is the matter of some Q&A first. The way this particular Liebster goes is that I must post random facts about me, answer the Mad Scientist’s questions, and then post blogs that I deem worthy:

First, the facts about me.

  1. I play piano really well, but I can barely read music. I can pick out the notes, but not the tempo. I have to hear a song to know how it is meant to be played, and I’m secretly jealous of those virtuosos who can take a piece of sheet music and start playing it with ease.
  2. My wife is one of those virtuosos, and she plays the violin.
  3. Before joining the military and going to Air Force basic training a “few” years ago, I had mostly gone no further than about 3 hours drive time from my home in Chicago, Illinois.
  4. I once was almost two hours late to a date with my then-girlfriend-now-wife because of a video game.
  5. My wife once held my video games for ransom.
  6. When we knew we were having a son, I immediately thought about the name Jonathan, because my parents had named me after David in the Bible. I thought the name might symbolize a desire for a close-knit relationship with my son like David and Jonathan had in Scripture.
  7. I am ridiculously picky. I hate trying new things. I’m probably the kid who said, “I’ve never tasted that, but I know I hate it, because I looked at it and it’s gross.”
  8. Though I am still a coffee fiend, I was once so addicted that I would fall asleep if I did not make a pot of coffee after work.
  9. My gravatar picture was taken at a hotel balcony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when I was arranging surgery while stationed on Okinawa.
  10. Other than Illinois and Indiana, I’ve never been in any states east of the Mississippi River. On the other hand, I’m 99% sure I’ve driven through or lived in every state west of the Mississippi.
  11. I used to memorize Garfield jokes and tell them every day to my 5th grade teacher.

Now, to answer Mad Scientist’s questions:

  1. What is your favorite book/genre?  Right now, I’m set on Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I picked up his Mistborn trilogy and found it accessible and intriguing – especially the very logical, almost scientific magic system. Then I checked out his work completing the Wheel of Time, and was again very pleased. The Way of Kings is all his own, and kept me turning pages until the mind-blowing finish.
  2. What is your happiest childhood memory? The happiest is hard to pin down. I am blessed in that I had a wonderful childhood. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t broke. Hours spent playing the piano with my Mom listening and relaxing, long walks with my Dad along the nearby train tracks and throughout the neighborhood, time spent with my older brother at the various arcades… Yeah, you get three for the price of one because I can’t choose.
  3. Cat or dog?  Fish, several of them, of various sorts.
  4. If you could have a super power, what would it be? I would love to bend time (and perhaps space) because I am so often running late. I think traveling back and forth in time would be prohibitively problematic, so I would just like to be able to slow or suspend time.
  5. What has surprised you the most about how your life has turned out? My family. I never pictured the joys and struggles of raising children, so they have each been special surprises in their own way.
  6. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? For lack of a better answer late at night, I would have fixed my sleep habits long ago.
  7. Why do you blog? I joined a Writers’ Group when we first arrived in Nebraska. They started talking about blogging, and I realized I could work on my writing by practicing on blog articles.
  8. What do you like best about where you live? I have a spectacular view of the base flight-line.
  9. If you could bring only 1 thing with you on a trip, what would it be? Without a doubt, my iPad with Bluetooth keyboard case… and the charging cord. I need my tech toys and ability to type.
  10. What is your ultimate vacation? I’m not big on vacations. If I have money to travel, I use it to go home to visit family, since I and my wife and kids have been geographically separated from our parents on both sides.
  11. If I were to meet you in person, what is the first thing I would notice? Lately, it would be the walking boot. It draws attention.

And now, my Liebster Award Nominees:

Here’s how it works. You can accept and pay it forward, but of course there’s no obligation. Or you can ignore the award (and make me cry).

If you do accept:

  • post the award on your blog
  • credit me and/or others for nominating you
  • write 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer my 11 questions
  • Post links to 11 nominees you choose, blogs with 200 followers or less*
  • Ask them 11 questions (and probably provide some of this information)

*if you have more than 200, my apologies. I may have misunderstood what was visible on your site. But you’re still worthy of awards!

My nominees, with a brief description of why:

  1. Stuff BQ Knows  – politics, history, and a generally unique point of view from a co-worker of mine.
  2. Things to Adore – A mom’s experience maturing and raising her lovely young children
  3. Jemtree – a military mom and home educator, sharing her experiences and life lessons
  4. The Encouraging Scribe – because who doesn’t need some encouragement and fiction now and then?
  5. A Writer Inspired – I’ve found this blog to be joyful and passionate about the craft of writing.
  6. Livin’ Out Loud 4 Jesus – A friend of mine from WordSowers, currently blogging about the joys of moving.
  7. Angela D. Meyer – Another published WordSowers friend who is about to publish a novel
  8. Irreverenture – probably BQ’s polar opposite, a blog with some politics, culture, and the start of a new post-apocalyptic tale
  9. Growing in a Shrinking Culture – Great insights on motherhood and spirituality
  10. Joe Seeber –  Warm and moving material that makes me want to live as the best “me” I can be
  11. Faith Laces – awesome fitness blog that challenges me to do better with my own exercise routine

Secretly I nominated all of them because I enjoy what they have to share and I want to encourage them to keep on sharing. I also like the idea of finding out more about the people behind the posts.

If you nominees are willing to play along, then here are the questions I have for you:
(Full disclosure, they’re exactly the same on both of my Liebster posts, so you only need to answer once.)

  1. What’s your favorite meal?
  2. Have you ever broken a bone, and if so, how?
  3. What is the most interesting place (preferably a foreign country) you’ve visited?
  4. Who do you look up to as a writer?
  5. What other hobbies are you passionate about?
  6. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  7. Traveling by yourself – no rush –  do you take a road trip or air flight, and why?
  8. What’s the last good book you read?
  9. Do you play a musical instrument or sing?
  10. What “clique” did you fit into in high school? (i.e. jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, gearheads, rockers, school band)
  11. What’s your favorite motivational quote or thought?

There you have it. I “lieb” it all up to you, fellow bloggers. Go forth, and pass on the pat-on-the-back to those blogs that inspire you!