November in Review: Why We Do What We Do

What am I talking about when I type, “Why we do what we do”. This short post is about why we continue to maintain a website and write what we write….oh and about November 2010.

Our website has been public since spring 2004. At the time, we set it up to share photos and stories with friends and family while we lived in Armenia. The site was basic, but met our needs. After returning home from Armenia, I updated it to reflect our life after Peace Corps. It captured our transition to Oregon and addition of Ethan to our family. Admittedly, I didn’t update the website as much as I’d like during Ethan’s first couple years. With the birth of Autumn this past March, and an update in WordPress capabilities, I decided to get my act together and truly focus on updating our website.

Today, our focus with every post is to provide a written record of our life so our children can look back and learn about themselves, parents, and family. It’s really that simple. I’m trying to capture those big events as well as small, somewhat insignificant, ones too. I want them to understand the “present” of every post. I hope they can read these posts and piece together how they were raised. Perhaps, they will learn a bit more why they are the way they are. Most of all, I hope they are entertained and find that life was good and fulfilling.

20101125_0400So what are the highlights for November 2010 that Ethan and Autumn will read about at some point later in life? My brother Mark made it up to visit the family and meet Autumn. He and Ethan had a great time going on adventures throughout house. Later in the month, our first snow of the season arrived to the Seattle area. It caused chaos in the Seattle area, but we stayed home those couple days while the roads cleared. We then spent Thanksgiving in McMinnville, Oregon where we enjoyed time with Laura’s family, and made a much too quick visit to Eugene to see friends. Most important, Laura and I celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary in style: dinner at a local pizza parlor in Lafayette, Oregon.

Our Top 5 WordPress Front End PlugIns

You may know that our website is 100% powered by WordPress. When we first developed our website in 2004, I’d create a page with Microsoft Word, email it to my brother and he’d write out the HTML code and upload it. Nothing more. It was basic and it worked for our needs to communicate our Peace Corps experience with family and friends. But as web development progressed over the years with Web 2.0, HMTL 4 (and soon HTML 5), our website needed to move to a more progressive platform. WordPress is the answer.

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[Updated] Cut the Cable, hook up the computer w/ TV and enjoy your MEDIA CENTER!

Over the last couple years I’ve dabbled in creating a centralized media center for our family. By this I mean a place where I can view my videos/photos and listen to music in one place. Though it may seem easy for some, it doesn’t work that way for us. I keep our photos/movies on our mac tower and keep our music on our laptop (we like to ensure we have our music with us when we travel). There also many options to choose from when it comes to a media center. Some of the popular ones include Windows Media Center and Apple TV. Of course, there are a bit more obscure ones such as Boxee, XBMC, Plex, and Hulu.

So what did we decide? It just depends on what we want to do and, no, we don’t use just one program.
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Five of the Week

I’m an avid Google Search, RSS Feed, Wikipedia, web surfer kind of person. I enjoy finding useful tips, as well as continually visiting the same ‘ol ones that contribute to my knowledge base or just plain entertain me. I thought I’d share five of my favorite websites that I subscribe to in Google Reader. These are ones that I read an article or two each day of the week and smile when I’m done.

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Facebook and You

After taking some time away from Facebook a couple months ago (and coming back), I realized some interesting trends from Facebook users. Basically, email is nonexistent for personal use, birthdays don’t exist outside of Facebook, and no one comments on other websites outside of Facebook. Do these trends demonstrate the new norm in today’s society, or perhaps the new norm among Facebook users that are on my Friends list? Honestly, I’m not sure. This is why I’m posting my observations to hear what you have to say.

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