Welcome to the *all new* smerickson.com. It has been over 2 years since I last updated the blog. Not a whole lot has happened since then. I've still been online tumbleblogging and twittering, but I've long wanted to bring back the main hub, smerickson.com. That day has finally come. Let me show you around my new home.
The homepage is the main hub of what's going on in my life. The homepage consists of four main sections. First, the blog is the main place where I will post longer essays on my life, theology, and technology. The blog probably won't be updated as frequently, but I'm slowly trying to work my way back into a regular routine. Second, the tmblg is the place for short little snippets of interestingness that I find around the internet. These include things like quotes, links, videos and pictures. Third, on the far right is my most recent tweet. Fourth, you can see what books I am currently reading or I have recently purchased and the music that I have been listening to recently.
The about section of the site is there you can find out all about me. There is a short biography about me as well as some of the other work around the internet that I have built.
I have spent a while cataloging all of the books in my library. For now you can just view them. In the future, I hope to write a few reviews of books that have been particularly influential on me.
In addition to the book library, I have also published my entire audio library.
Finally, there is a link to my stuff. This is a catalog of the significant items that I use on a regular basis. Perhaps you'll find them interesting. Everything I use is highly recommended.
The best part about this site isn't me, but you. I'd love it if you were to interact with the different bits on the site. Feel free to leave and comment or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you. Even better would be if you were to start your own site and share some information about yourself.
So, that's about it. Welcome to the new site.
Head on over to the smerickson.com chatroom. There you can see if I’m around or chat with others visiting the site. It should be a fun place. Enjoy.
Tommorrow marks the start of a new year and so I’m celebrating by releasing the new site. I’m still working on finishing up some things, but the bulk of it is done.
For those geeks who care, the new site powered by Typo and Ruby on Rails
It will serve as my little playground for learning new things about Ruby and Rails.
Be sure to check back often because I plan to have a much more consistent posting schedule for 2006.
Happy New Year!
Here are some of my resolutions for 2006. Nothing profound, just some simple, attainable goals for the next year.
1. Finish the new smerickson.com
2. Post something on the blog at least 3 times a week.
3. Learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails
4. Release one simple but useful webapp using Rails
5. Read The Institutes by John Calvin
No, I’m not dead; and no this blog is not dead. Get ready, something new is coming . . .
You haven’t posted a single blog in over a month.
You have over 1000 unread feeds in your RSS feed reader.
You move into a new apartment while going through a big deployment at work.
You then choose to invite your dad to come help you move into your new apartment at the same time, but still have to go into work on a Sunday in order to get caught up.
You haven’t told the school you’re enrolled at that you aren’t coming in two weeks for orientation because you’ve decided to defer.
You don’t remember where you put your PDA and digital camera and then call and blame the rental car company that you thought you left them in, only to realize 4 days later that they were in your car all along.
These are just some of the things that have happend in my life over the past month. It has been a significant time of transition and I have learned much. We now return to our regular blogging schedule.
I have finally fully entered the digital age by purchasing a digital camera. In the past I have not been one to take a lot of pictures, but that is hopefully going to change. Now that I have a digital camera I thought that I should probably sign up for a Flickr account to store my photos online. You can view always view my photos by going to http://flickr.com/photos/smerickson/ or by clicking on the Gallery link at the top of the page. Enjoy being able to see a little of my world.
Welcome to the brand new smerickson.com!! Please reset your bookmarks to point to http://www.smerickson.com I will be at that domain for a long time. I’m really proud of this site and have lots of plans for development in the future. In this post I hope to highlight some of the “features” of the site so that you can better understand how to use it.
The about page tells all about me. If you want to know about the site or the author head over there.
The blog is the main part of the site. As I see it the blog serves many purposes. Blogs are great tools for quickly communicating information to lots of people. They allow for discussion and interaction and provide the context for small communities to form. I like all of these things. This is my personal blog and so it is a good representation of who I am. It includes lots of different things – from theology, to computers/technology, to personal updates, it has a little of everything. This blog has an RSS feed which you can subscribe to. RSS feeds are great and I highly recommend them. If you have no clue what they are go here. Each entry also has a comments section, feel free to join the conversation there.
Another significant feature of the site is the sidebar. The sidebar contains lots of little pieces of information. They are:
- This is a quick list of the most recent posts on the site.
- This is a short list of the books which I am currently reading. They are linked to Amazon.
- This is a short list of the music I am currently listening to. Each of the songs are linked to iTunes if you want to hear more.
- This is a short list of objects which have most recently been added to the Library (more below).
- Clippings are links that I come across around the web. I’m constantly finding little things here and there that I would love to share with people. There are two sections: noteworthy and random. The noteworthy section contains those links which I think are important. The random section is for those links that are funny, silly or just plain weird. Both groups have RSS feeds which you can subscribe to.
- The categories section is a list of all the categories of posts as well as the number of posts in that category. You can use this to quickly navigate the site.
- This is all of the meta information about the site.
is the place to find everything from the past. It is broken up into 6 sections.
- Date – find posts by when they were posted
- Starred – find posts that I have marked as important
- Weighted Archive – find posts by date where the size of the text indicates how many posts were made during that month.
- Weighted Categories – this is similar to the above but with a list of categories.
- Keywords – This is a list of the keywords which can be found in one or many posts.
- The last way to find things from the past is by searching. There are two ways of searching.
a. Live Search – Live searching allows you to perform a search in realtime without having to go to another page. If you start typing your query in the orange search field and wait for a second, a list of the posts which correspond to your search term will appear. You can then arrow down and press enter on the post you would like to select; or you can use your mouse.
b. Search – You can also perform a “normal” search by simply entering your text and hitting enter or pressing the search button.
The other main feature of this site is the Library. The Library is the place where I plan on storing most of my digital resources. There is a wealth of information available on the internet today, but it can often be difficult to find valuable resources. This site is an effort to curb that problem. I am constantly coming across articles, books, and lectures around the web which are significant and I would like to hold on to for future reference. The Library is the place where I will store these and they are all freely available to you. I will keep it updated often you make sure you keep it bookmarked. Some of the features of the Library include livesearching, an RSS feed and a Firefox search plugin.
Well, that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about a website. I will be making a number of updates to this site in the coming weeks, it is still a work in progress. In the end I hope that this site is a helpful resource for a number of different types of people. Please come back often and feel free to contribute to the site. Take Care.
About this time each year things start to get pretty busy. It is not that they are really any busier than usual just that there are lots of deadlines. I’m much more fond of the middle of semesters. But the wierd thing this year is that after its all done, I’ll be done (with college at least). Kind of bittersweet.
Because I won’t have much time to blog check out a new website I recently came across. It is called Diet of Bookworms. I love the title, but I love the idea behind the site even more. It is a central repository for book reviews of Christian books. It looks to be a great resource.
Also, just to put it out there. Things are going to be changing here at smerickson.com in the future. Big things are happening behind the scenes. I won’t say much more than that now, but be ready for a new smerickson.com soon.
LINK: Diet of Bookworms
Recently, I’ve been added to the League of Reformed Bloggers. This is a group of individuals who are committed to the doctrines of the Reformation and who seek to interact with a wide variety of topics from this perspective. The group publishes an XML feed for the posting of all members in the League, which is very helpful. Here’s all the info:
- More information about the League
- Aggregated posts and Member list
- XML Feed
This past week I have been on spring break. I decided to stay at school in order to finish working on my Senior Project for my Computer Science degree. The project is a library-type website which will allow one of our professors here on campus to post and maintain a number of the books and articles that he has spent years “digitizing”. It has been a great project to work on and I look forward to developing it further in the future. I’ll post a link to the project when it is complete.
As some of you know, I have been considering going to seminary next year. Well, that has been decided now. I have been accepted to Gordon Conwell to study for a Masters of Arts in Theology. Right now I am also considering the possibility of adding an MA in Church History as well, but we’ll wait and se about that. It should prove to be a great time of study. Although it took some time to feel comfortable with the decision, I am now beginning to look forward to my time there.
Other than that life remains pretty consistent. I continue my involvement in the chapel program and I still attend the First Congregational Church of Hamilton. Then there is the list of assignments which need to be completed before the big graduation day in May. It all seems to be moving much too fast for my taste, but I guess that is just how it goes; and from what I hear from those older than I, it doesn’t slow down. Well, that’s a little update on life here in Boston.
Last week an historic event took place. There was a discussion/debate between two of the Supreme Court Justices: Justice Scalia and Justice Breyer. The debate was over the citation/relevance of foreign policy when interpreting the US Constitution. This was really a very interesting discussion. It touches on the issues like hermenuetics and the overall moral progression of humanity. I think that Justice Scalia did a wonderful job of laying out the issues in the debate and highlighting the purpose of a judge. I wish I had more time to comment on the rather lengthy discussion, but a link to the video and transcript will have to suffice for now.
LINK: Supreme Court Justice Debate
I’m usually not one to make predictions, but when it comes to new music I usually do pretty well. With that said, here are two new musical suggestions to check out.
This is a bluegrass/rock band. The best way I can think to describe their music is the perfect blend of Coldplay and Nickel Creek. Their CD will be released on Feb 15.
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
I first heard Stephen Kellogg 2 years ago. He is from around the Boston area. He’s all about having fun; similar to a Jason Mraz. A great folk/rock sound. His new CD will be released on Feb 15.
I’ve added a new section to the image gallery. It contains screenshots of what my current desktop looks like. I’ll update the gallery when I update my desktop. Feel free to ask any questions about things you see in the screenshots.
Here’s a preview
LINK: Screenshot gallery
I love books. As a result, I read a lot of them. I’ve added a section on the sidebar called “currently reading”. This list includes a couple different categories:
1. Books I’ve recently obtained but haven’t started reading yet
2. Books I am currently reading (either for school or personal choice)
3. Books I’ve recently finished
I hope to keep this as current as possible. I also hope to develop my writing skills by providing book reviews to some of the books which I read. I trust that you find this list useful.
In order to take advantage of all the new features on Modblog, I thought I’d share my current desktop wallpaper. It’s perfect for this time of year. Enjoy.
Yesterday I finished my finals for this semester. That means that I only have 1 more semester left of college. What an odd thought? All of that means I that I really need to start working on what I’ll be doing next year. Right now, I’m leaning towards going to grad school/seminary. But at this point, I’m just ready for a nice relaxing break. Tomorrow I’ll be making the long drive back to Wheaton from Boston (18 hours). I always enjoy the alone time.
On a completely unrelated note, I just found out today that the site I use to host this blog (Modblog) just announced that they are making a whole bunch of features of the site free to all. As a result, I’ll try and take advantage of the ability to host pictures and files and post some links here. It is very generous of them to provide services like that free of charge. Well, that’s all for now, I’ll have more from Wheaton in a couple of days.
I’ve been really busy the past week or so. My parents came out to visit me here at college. That was a great time. I have also been trying to get ready for a conference that I am going to next week. The Evangelical Theological Society is having their annual conference in San Antonio, Texas next week, so I and some others from here at Gordon will be going down to that. It should prove to be a wonderful time.
In the past few weeks I have come across a number of items which I would like to recommend.
- Shane Barnard: Clean
- I always appriciate a new cd from Shane Barnard. I’ve been listening to him for a while now and with each new cd he always continues with the same message of how much better Christ is than anything else we try to use to satisfy our souls.
- Griffin House: Lost & Found
- One of the people who plays on Shane’s new cd is Ian Fitchuk. Ian is a friend of mine from High School. He is a very talented musician. He plays in a new band with this guy Griffin House. They are really great.
- Caedmon’s Call: Share the Well
- Caedom’s Call has really done a great thing with this new cd. They spent the better part of a year over in India and then in South America visiting fellow believers in Christ and this album is the fruit of those trips. It is a great encouragement to see and hear about believers around the world. At the same time this record serves as a call to be involved with much of the suffering and persecution which is taking place around the world.
- Derek Webb: I See Things Upside Down
- Derek’s new cd is a different kind of record. He has called it a musical exeriment, and I would agree with that. While the lyrics are pretty good, the music and recording quality takes a little getting used to. I’ll look forward to seeing where Derek goes from here.
- Mozilla Firefox
- Last week a great new web browser was released. It is called Firefox. I think I’ve probably plugged this before, but now the product is at version 1 and it is really nice. The two features which I really like are the tabbed browsing and the search-as-you-type. These really help to make using the internet much easier.
- I mentioned this the other day, but now Konfabulator is available for Windows. This is a great little program which allows you to run “widgets” on your desktop. Widgets are little “mini” applications to do all sorts of neat and helpful tasks. For example, I have the latest stock prices on my desktop as well as the current and future weather conditions. It is a very handy little app.
Here are 20 reasons why you should never post your picture on the internet. Very funny.
Link: 20 Reasons
If you’ve ever seen the VeggiTales cartoons then, you’ve probably seen the one with Larry singing a silly song about losing his hairbrush. I feel a little like that about this blog. Life has gotten increasingly busy and I am not able to write as much as I would like. This has mainly been due to the significant amount of time that I have been spending drafting a response to a presentation which was made in one of my classes a week ago. I will hopefully be posting that very soon. But until then I just wanted to say that I am still alive.
Another fall, another year of school. After my long 18 hour car drive, I am now back at Gordon College. I hope that everyone else’s summers were fun. There is lots to do to get ready for classes on Wednesday. I can already feel like this is going to be a busy year.
In the coming weeks I’ll be doing a couple of posts regarding Philip Jenkins’ book, The Next Christendom. It is kind of a hot topic here at school and as you can probably tell, I’m always up for a good theological conversation. I’ve read the book and am working on drafting some thoughts. I’ll post them when they are ready. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear what you think about it.
Sorry I’ve been out of the loop the past few weeks. I just got back from Santa Barbara, California. It was a great time of relaxing on the beach with some friends. What a gorgeous area. If you have not been out there, you really should look into it.
On another note, over the past few weeks I have come across some great new music. The first is Josh Rouse. He is a singer/songwriter from Nashville. Very relaxing music. The other new band that I’ve come across is Keane. They are from England. Their sound is like a cross between Travis and Coldplay. Very good stuff. I thought I would give them a plug here on the blog.
Today I turned 22 years old. It feels kind of weird to say that. Sometimes 22 years feels like forever and other times it feels like no time at all. There are many big decisions to be made this year as well as some significant milestones. I’m not really sure if I’m ready for them all, but come they will. One of the big events will be graduating from college. So often people, mostly adults, but then it affects their children, say that after college you get into the “real world.” Or during the summers when I have been working people say, “welcome to the ‘real world’.” What is meant by this phrase “the real world”? I’m not really a big fan of it, mostly because it denigrates the place in life that I am in. It carries overtones of not really being in touch with reality and living in some kind of fantasy world. That’s really sad to me, because I would like to think that my life has significance at all stages; that each stage is no “more real” than another. I mean, I am living and breathing; I experience highs and lows in life; there are great relationships and there are difficult ones; that are big decisions to be made and there are the everyday tasks involved with maintaining life. I’m not so sure how all of those things are “less real” than what I will supposedly experience a year from now, but we’ll have to see. Maybe I’m completing missing the point of this whole idea. I guess I’m just trying to figure out how to do this thing called “growing up” and it isn’t always the most encouraging when people keep talking about “the real world” as if what I’m living right now is not “real”. Well, those are just some random thoughts here on my 22nd birthday.
As you can see, I’ve updated my site design. I think I’ve finally found something I’m happy with. Thanks to Apple for the inspiration. I’ll be tweaking some things in the coming days, but nothing major. Enjoy the site and come back often.
In celebration of my return to Wheaton, I decided to put up a new site design. I hope you like it.
Well, I finished my last exam today, so that means that it is officially summer. For all you in Wheaton, I will be home on Sunday and look forward to seeing all of you. It has been a fun year and I look forward to having some time to reflect upon it in the coming weeks. But now, time for a little relaxing.
I have been sick since last Monday. This is really terrible. I just cannot seem to fight this cold. It is really annoying, especially in light of the fact that classes end on Wednesday and then finals begin. If you have any tips on how to get rid of a stubborn cold, please let me know; otherwise stay healthy.
Well, I finally got some time to make a new design. The only problem is that I used png graphic files which do not display properly in internet explorer. To solve this problem, go get a real browser.
So, it’s getting near the end of the school year and I still don’t have a job for this summer. If you have any suggestions as to what I could do to earn some cash I would greatly appricate it. Until that gets sorted out I’m kind of starting to freak out. oh well.
I’m going to see Derek Webb tonight in concert. It should be a good time. If you have not heard his CD, She Must and Shall Go Free, you really need to listen to it. It is an excellent prayer for the Church; both passionate in its concern for the Church as well as heartfelt in its encouragement. I’ll let you know how it is.
Today was a gorgeous day. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better. Aside from the weather being really nice, I was fortunate to be able to sit in on a very well done presentation on Open Theism today. I also got to congradulate my friend, Oliver, who recieved the Collegian of the Year award. Then I rounded out the day with a great friend at Starbucks. All in all, a great day.
I arrived back at school safely yesterday, after a great weekend at home. It again impressed upon me the value of strong friendships. I had a great time with those whom I got to see. Apparently Modblog thinks the same thing, so now I have a new addition to the site: a friends list. It will point you to current posts of other blogs which I read. So for example, you can see that [u-claytonius] recently posted an excellent little thing about the church. I see the formation of small communities of thought as a result of this nice feature. You can find the new friends section on the left side of your screen just below the poll.
I’m going home to Wheaton tomorrow morning. If you live in Wheaton, give me a call, I would love to see you. Otherwise, I’ll be back in Boston on Monday. I hope that all of you in college have a wonderful break. Enjoy the time of rest and relaxation. See you in a few days.
So, I’d really like to be able to play with the desing of my site more. Right now I’ve only been modding the default templates. Does anyone know where I can get some basic info about CSS and/or XML that I could then quickly apply to redesigning this site? Any links would be appricated. Thanks.
Well, two more of my friends have signed up for ModBlog.
You should sign up too. It’s a lot of fun.
The John Mayer concert was great. Aside from a couple of troubles getting to RI, everything was a blast. He really puts on a good show. I love to new additions to the band; they really add a lot. He did a little showing off on the guitar as well. During “Come back to bed”, he started playing guitar behind his back and then he set the guitar on the ground and played it while it was lying on the ground. (if you don’t know anything about guitar, that’s pretty hard to do). All in all, a great time with great friends and great music.
I’m going to see John Mayer tonight!! Wahoo. He is playing at the Dunkin’ Donuts Cetner in Rhode Island. It should be fun. “Maybe I will tell you all about it, when i’m in the mood to lose my way with words.”
Well I’m back from Spring Break. It was great to be up in NH visiting the family of one of my roommates. When I got back I got a special suprise from Best Buy. They told me that they were going to replace my monitor (which has been broken) with a new one. Wahoo!! I ended up getting the one pictured on the right. Which brings me to the second thing, I figured out how to get pictures working with this whole blog thing. So look for some pictures in the gallery in the coming days.
PS: Don’t forget to tell your friends about smerickson.com
Well, I can’t believe it but spring break is here. I’m off to New Hampshire for a couple days with one of my roommates. It should be a fun time. What are you doing for Spring Break? Post a comment here on the site or send me an email. I would love to hear about it.
I was told about this guy Taylor Sorensen the other day. Very cool music. He has a new cd coming out in a few weeks.
Listen @ Taylor Sorensen
You can now pre-order Shane Barnard’s new cd on his website. You can also download some of the tracks to listen to before the disc is released. It sounds pretty good.
My friend Clayton, started up a new modblog too. Check out his site http://claytonius.modblog.com/
Why don’t you start of modblog of your own?
Welcome to the smerickson.com blog. I’m going to use this as a means of communication with large numbers of people and as my own personal publishing service. I will post events in my life as well as commontary on things I’m learning. It will usually be pretty infomal, although from time to time I may post something a little more formal. check back often. I’ll try and keep it updated pretty regularly.
Feel free to post comments as well. I would love to have some responses.