I Used To Think This Was Dumb When Other Bloggers Did This, Or Who Are You, Internet Person?

My wife doesn’t understand why I blog. I think she’s under the impression that it takes much more of my time than it actually does. I, however, am well aware of why I blog – and as cheesy as it sounds it’s you. I love writing, but I also love reading what you write too. I sure don’t have the numbers that others do, but I’ve become far less concerned with that. I’m not trying to secure a book contract, so I’m not particularly worried. In fact I’m vaguely aware of how many visitors I get per day, I check maybe once a week, as I do it because I love it.

I really enjoy the group of people who, for some reason I surely can’t answer, keep coming back here. I’m talkin’ Bill, the David’s (we’ve got two), Carolyn (she’s new, pick on her please!), Su, Brett, Darius, Bernard, Chris, the Larry’s (once again we’ve got two), Amy, Steve, the Mark/Carla combo, Jeremy, Ben, and even Donald (who probably won’t be around much anymore due to very unfortunate circumstances). I’d so link to you all but that’d take way too long, so do it down below. And of course in no way was that list exhaustive, so don’t be offended if you didn’t get listed (that means come comment more so your in the forefront of my brain!) but listing you all was a pleasant reminder that a few folk actually take time out of their day to come here. I so appreciate that, heavens knows there is plenty else to look at online and in non-digital life.

Anyway I know a wee bit about some of you – but maybe we could learn just a wee bit more. No phone numbers or addresses necessary – just where you grew up, what your like, what you do for leisure, how you afford the cost of internet access, and whatever else you deem necessary. Do you have a significant other? Kids? Some crazy fact that separates you from the rest of the heathens?

So go ahead, tell us what you want. We’re community and stuff.

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49 Responses to I Used To Think This Was Dumb When Other Bloggers Did This, Or Who Are You, Internet Person?

  1. oh pick me first! pick me first!

    You know my name. I’m so egocentric (reference previous post to this one) that I put it in the name of my blog, and in front of church of Christ.

    I grew up in Pennsylvania – went to college in the same town I grew up, studied sociology, and then moved to Oregon. I used to work a ton of hours to save up cash to go travel, but then I met a girl. And I put a ring on her finger. And a baby in her belly.

    I used to do a fair amount of outdoor stuff like hiking/backpacking, skiing, biking and surfing when on the coast. The baby changes that, so all of that to a much lesser scale.

    I’m an only child, equal parts introvert and extrovert (I don’t fit comfortably in either category), I’m a bit of a rebel in the most non-offensive way. I had no click in high school, I was in between many of them like the artists and the alternative kids and the geeks.

    I once backpacked 300+ miles on the Appalachian Trail.

    Feel free to ask questions but I may not divulge too much on here (reference Donald’s situation).

  2. Jane Rivera says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I don’t comment a whole lot, but I read every post. Im Jane in South Eastern PA, not too very far from where you grew up. I husband, 3 sons, teaching elementary music for one more year and then onto something new and different. Don’t know what that is, just yet. :0) I always enjoy reading your blog.

  3. Rats I reckon I will go second. That does make me religious though. You first. Me second. 🙂 I was born and raised in PA, went to Bible college in KY, was on the verge of setting what may have been some unbreakable records in basketball when I decided it was wiser to get married and study. 🙂 Have been a pastor of churches in Ohio and Indiana. Have 2 adult daughters and one grandson. Have been married 38 years. I love to cycle on my Trek 2.3. Last year I rode just over 3000 miles and this year am close to 2000. I have Italian blood in me but that only means I like pizza, not that I am rich or a member of any Family. My favorite food is ice cream- no matter the weather. I blog because I like to and will quit when i feel I have nothing to say.

  4. David says:

    Well I feel led to share. 😉

    I was born on the Yale campus and my mother was a student or faculty for 30 years. I was one of six. I loved motocross, hockey, skiing and bowling. I sobered up in 1980 and finished 3 degrees in music (CT and NH), and taught at a number of different schools (CT MA).

    Jesus rocked my world in 1982 with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and I went to seminary for a year while finishing part-time in music school. Then 2 years to Bible school, during which time I worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker. In 1988 I had a injury on the work-site and both the music and the carpentry were done, so I went to art school for 2 years in Maine. I traveled to 42 states and 13 countries working as a photographer. In 1994 I received a prophecy about computers and graphics and I went to computer school for 2 years (MA)… let’s see that is 9 years of college in 4 states…. can’t even begin to tell you what that cost!

    I am married to a great woman and have 4 kids 33, 23, 20 and 7.

    I enjoy walks on the beach with my wife, the sound of the waves, the coolness of a mountain top, and playing catch with my little one. I love when the older kids come to visit for a meal. I walk or run every day, about 30 miles a week. I teach at Christian conferences and was a short-term missionary in Brazil and Norway. I live a simple life. My main gig is software programming for a huge law firm in Boston.

    I have written over a 1000 blogs and who knows how many comments! I started writing (though I am not too good at it) in 1998 after a prophetic word about it. (Before blogs I did a daily email!). I write because I want to express what is going on in my life, in my spirit and what I think about things… I don’t really have anything to say that is important, but isn’t that what the Internet and political speeches are for? I just like to write and I feel close to God when I do; I don’t care if anyone reads it. I don’t check my visitor numbers on Fire & Grace hardly at all.

    I haven’t been to Alaska or Hawaii, but Oregon is for sure the most beautiful and diverse state I have visited. I do like the drive on I-80 through PA mountains; I have made that trek dozens of times. What are your favorite spots, Charlie?

    • wow David I learned so much new about you, and I think I know you best of any of the commenters! Wanna give us a ball park on how much all that school cost ;p And well done being the inventor of blogging, I can now brag to my friends I know who started it all! I also had no idea you studied music – I knew you loved music but had no idea you went to school for it – was it for guitar or other instruments?

      Favorite spots – Zion National Park in Utah, Glacier National Park in Montana, the island of Kauai is amazing (wasn’t too keen on the rest of Hawaii), Seattle is excellent and surrounding areas. Oregon is a duh, and Yosemite is unbelievable (my wife grew up right near there).

      • David says:

        I went to school for classical guitar, but also too jazz improv guitar when I transferred to Hart School in CT. I had enough credits to get 2 BAs, but I had a feeling I would never “make it,” so I stuck around the 5th year to get one in arranging/production. I also play bass and keyboards and recently i was looking at drum sets. 😉

        I love all those NPs too! I like Arches NP and especially Bryce Canyon. We had some wonderful experiences in Olympic NP as well. Oregon Dunes was awesome and of course the entire coastline that is the cities along the Pacific.

        Thanks for the tip on Hawaii!

      • whoa David put some you tube videos up of you shredding on guitar! classical, jazz, rock, whatever!

      • David says:

        Here is a few bars of blues/rock: http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=25k32f6&s=3

        Just messing around…

  5. My name is David Nilsen, and I live in a small town in Ohio with my wife and almost 4 year old daughter. I’m 29 and I’ve lived in Ohio since I was 8. I work a crappy job at a bank but also run a used book business and hope to do that full time in the coming years. I am a classic introvert and an obsessive reader.

    • not sure where in Ohio you live but Hocking Hills State Park is super beautiful – I visited there in January one year and the ice waterfalls were amazing. Will your used book business be online? I’ve been collecting old Philip Yancey books lately, because he’s my favorite author…

      • I’ve been selling online for a little over 3 years now. I hope to open a physical store in the coming year as well.

        We are about 3 hours from HH, but I have backpacked there. It’s beautiful!

  6. Darius says:

    Hey, I made the list. Sweet.

    Well, I’m nearly 32, married 8+ years to a wonderful woman, with three kids (7, 3, and 1 years old). I try to make their sanctification my number one goal in life, but usually I fail miserably. We have a wonderful Evangelical Free church that we are part of and particularly involved in. My day job is as a mechanical engineer working for a company that designs (among other things) retractable roofs for sports stadiums.

    I grew up in central rural Minnesota and now reside about 10 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. I was raised by Christian parents with three siblings.

    For hobbies, besides spending time with my family, I like to read, watch movies (particularly thought-provoking ones), play and watch sports. My heart is in building a deep Church, a Church full of men who love God, pastor their homes well, and pursue personal holiness. Oh, and I’m about as opinionated as you’ll find someone (particularly online). 🙂

    I’ve blogged for a few years now… not sure why, partly as a way to put my thoughts down, I suppose.

    Crazy fact: I’m a white Caucasian, but I’m also half African-American. Figure out that riddle.

    • whoa you’re a mechanical engineer! Well done sir! I’m surprised there’s enough business for retractable roofs, but I suppose when an “order” comes in it’s kind of a big deal.

      I had no idea where you are from, I’ve never been to Minnesota save like 8 connecting flights but those don’t count.

      And as for passion of a deep church, well I appreciate that. And I imagine such a passion would naturally lend itself to being opinionated. I appreciate you still come ’round here even though we’re not exactly brothers from different mothers.

      and cool crazy fact.

    • David says:

      Darius – if you are giving lessons on being opinionated, I’d like to sign up. I’ve only had a couple of comments deleted on CCC, and I was thinking that it should be more. 😉

  7. Su says:

    Ooh, sharing time! Yay!

    I’m Su, short for Susan (nickname stolen from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). I grew up in Central Indiana, went to Glasgow, Scotland for short-term missions and picked up the slang and spelling while I was there, relocated to Lubbock, Texas (middle of the desert), where I snagged my husband, and a year ago I dragged us to Austin so I could go to UT. And “UT” pretty much covers the what I like and what I do for leisure bit, but I’m a total nerd so I’ve discovered I quite like reading academic journals and writing long papers. I’m a Rhetoric and Writing major; you might say I chose my field well. 😉

    How we afford internet access: Not well. Readjusting to this student budget thing after five years of having real jobs has not been a lot of fun. Significant other: Yes. Kids: Not yet. I think God may not trust me with children since I can barely look after myself. Crazy fact: Not really. I’m pretty boring. Although we are car-free by choice in the heart of Texas, which I suppose is plenty weird. We are currently in between churches, which is not nearly as fun in practise as the mental picture that I conjure every time I say it. And I blog mostly to empty out my brain, but also because I enjoy the conversation/community, much like our friend Charlie.

    • it’s apparent you are a great writer Su! The car-less fact is definitely a tasty morsel – it’s practically weird if a couple only has one car and they have to share it!

      and I always wondered where your spelling came from!

      • Su says:

        Yep, I stole it. I’ve never liked the look of “Sue”, at least not for me; I guess it looks fine on other people. God bless C.S. Lewis and his fertile imagination!

  8. Larry Hughes says:

    I am older than dirt. I have always had a deep interest in faith and God and went through the ritualsitic cycles of religon. Even at one time walked away from faith and worshiped material things more than God but He was patient and won me back over permanently a few years ago with His miraculous miracles.

    Even at one time in my younger years wanted to be a pastor but I think it was more me than God’s design. Today I am getting a clearer picture of what God has in mind for me and I am content in a lesser role in the Body of Christ.

    OH yes. The so called professional stuff. Started out in Jr. college earning a degree in Electronics then went on to schooling for mechanical engineering to get on at the cape in Florida. That never worked out so I stayed with Kmart in its heyday running several Kmarts before retiring early to go racing professionally. Not a good idea. Spent the latter years as a consultant then actually retiring for good at 62. That was not a good idea either. Went back to work as a property manager for two parks which turned into an opportunity to reach out to others seeking God’s salvation. Still doing it 4 years later but it is time to change course again. Waiting for God to lead me into another path.

    • David says:

      How old were you when you were a pro racer?

      • Larry Hughes says:

        David 43, but had been racing in the sportsmen classes for many years and as a kid in go karts, then switched to modifieds as a teenager. The new wife put a halt to round track racing when we got married but relented later to go along with Drag Racing thinking it was safer.

      • fascinating! Lot’s of big life shifts there – as someone who recently lost their job and keenly aware of the feeling of insecurity that gives it sounds like you are no stranger to that feeling.

  9. Larry Hehn says:

    Every blog should have at least one Larry! I’ve been married for 21 years to an amazing lady, and am dad to a daughter and three teenage boys. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m a production and inventory control guy by day to pay the bills, and sometimes ride a unicycle!

    • we have a unicycle gang here in my town – and I even know someone who takes it on a mountain biking trail. Now that’s crazy – but may not as crazy as a house with three (well with you four!) boys. Your wife must be amazing to simply still be alive!

  10. Carolyn says:

    I’m traveling right now, so haven’t had time to answer this til tonight. Don’t want to miss out on a perfectly good chance to get picked on! 😉 Oh, and “Howdy” to Su! I live in Leander and work in Austin, so we are neighbors!

    I was born in Lubbock, TX and raised in the Corpus Christi, TX area. I spent a semester of college at Worcester State College in Massachusetts, then back to the junior college in Corpus Christi. Dropped out and messed around for awhile. Got sober (celebrated 18 years last month) and went back to the JC. Transferred to Southwest Texas State (now just Texas State). Spent a year learning social work from atheists. Transferred as a senior to Lubbock Christian University (didn’t lose any credits) and spent a year learning social work from Christians. Going to both schools gave me a very interesting perspective on my profession. Wouldn’t trade that.

    As a social worker, I have worked in HIV/AIDS, Early Childhood Intervention, public housing, and information and referral. I now push paper (or bytes) for contracts with the State of Texas. Would like to go back to the front line but can’t afford the pay cut.

    I was raised in the Church of Christ (not Charlie’s). I still attend there sometimes or go to a non-denom that is affiliated with Willow Creek (Chicago) and follows their model. I struggle with my relationship with Christ, but I’m not inclined in any way to leave it (tried that once and things got messy).

    What do I enjoy? Um…. reading. I went through an Amish romance phase last year, but I have moved on to mysteries. My newest favorite author is a Scottish writer named Val McDermid. My two favorite books outside of the Bible are “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning and “This Present Darkness” by Frank Perretti. Oh, and I have some memory problems so I like to play puzzle games on the computer to keep me a little sharper.

    I was adopted at birth. Including both my biological parents’ families and my adoptive family, it breaks out like this: I am the youngest of four, the oldest of three, and an only child. I have made contact with my biological family, but that is a long story for another day.

    We afford internet access by working too many hours.

    I am a third wife to a first husband. I have never had children of my own. I married into three sons, three daughters-in-law, and fifteen grandchildren. I have five little yappy dogs. My parents have lived with us our whole married life (all four years). We lost Mom in March of this year, so it just Daddy now. The siblings don’t live near us.

    My favorite job of all time was working for Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation. I was once a bodyguard at a pro wrestling event. I like to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. My best friend is a Buddhist (she told me, but I forgot which flavor). I have had a run-in with a large rattlesnake before and an escaped boa constrictor (not mine) once got in my garage. When I was little we had a pet turtle named Poncho.

    I am very new to the blogging world (reading and writing). My blog only has about 50-some-odd posts so far. I tell more truth about myself than most people would dare. I don’t understand why people find that shocking sometimes. Telling you my truth is not hard. Admitting it to myself is the killer.

    I had Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” on my wedding invitations. When I was asked to say “I do”, I turned around to my bridesmaids and asked for approval. 🙂 We also jumped a broom and did “The Wave” at my wedding. At the rehearsal, I convinced one of my friends that I was going to walk down the aisle to “Whip It” by Devo. I didn’t. I just walked to it at the rehearsal so Hubby wouldn’t see me walking down to my real song until the real deal.

    I wish Jesus would hurry up and tell us it is time to go to Heaven, but I realize that He is waiting for some more people to get their bus tickets before the caravan moves out.

    • Su says:

      Whoa, holy smokes. I just went to your blog to see if I know you in person. I don’t believe we’ve met, but… okay, I’ll just comment more at your blog about how much we have in common. 😉

      My hubby graduated from LCU as well. I refused to go there because we already owe them our souls and our firstborn. :/

      • it took me way too long to figure out the “third wife to a first husband” thing but I finally mapped it out. It’s rad you are a social worker – I think it’s a funny dilema of when your on the front lines you wish you could step back and when your pushing paper you long to be on the front lines interacting with people.

        Your story was a lot of fun to read and try to track with, thanks for sharing all of that! And when I read the “Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation” I imagined it was being pronounced by Elmer Fudd – it sounds very Texan – mostly because I’ve never heard of Boll Weevil. Save me googling it – what the heck is it?

    • David says:

      I just want to know what the hell possessed you to go to Worcester, MA? It’s about 10 miles from my home and we avoid it like the plague!

      • Carolyn says:

        David, I needed to be thousands of miles away from Dad at that point. I barely made it out of high school, so the fancy Boston colleges were not for me. Problem was that at 18 I didn’t really need to be thousands of miles away from my Mom. She and Dad were a package deal, so it was either/or. One semester away gave me a little perspective. Worcester was a trip for a south Texas girl. So… ever been to Annie’s Hot Dogs in Spencer?

      • David says:

        Carolyn – I hope I didn’t sound totally insensitive. I have lived in MA since 1985. There are some places I like and Worcester just wouldn’t have been on the long list… but I sure get the need to get away from toxic parents (well mine were).

        Yes, I have been there. I took 2 of my girls after we visited the Eco-Tarium.

      • Carolyn says:

        David, I did not find you insensitive in the least. Worcester ain’t for everybody. It was a very convoluted process how I chose that school – a process that would only make sense to a 17-year-old trying to escape.

        In 1987, Annie’s Hot Dogs was out in the middle of the woods. I haven’t been back so I have no idea if “progress” has encroached. We would buy 3 hot dogs for around $5 and scarf them. It was awesome. Loved that place.

  11. Juan Cruz Jr says:

    Hi Charlie, I grew up for the most part in Buffalo, NY. Although I was born in Brooklyn, NY. I like to spend time with my wife and kids. I love taking vacations with my family. I went to Williamsburg, VA in July – it was awesome! I go to the gym 5 days a week, I like to read books, and good blogs like yours. I also blog myself. I love my home church, pastor, and church small group. My job pays for internet since I work from home – great job benefit! God Bless.

    • welcome! I’ve been to Buffalo – went to the place that claims it invented hot wings – though I’ve had better wings elsewhere. I also went to a Frank Lloyd Wright house there.

      Do you attend a home church and a small group that branches off of that?

  12. Carolyn says:

    Charlie, a boll weevil is a small insect that attacks cotton plants before they have had a chance to bud out and produce. That means there are a lot of cotton farmers who are interested in “eradication”. Texas has it somewhat harder than other cotton-producing states because cotton grows wild in Central and South America (it can make a tree if you let it) and so we have boll weevils hopping the border. They are so small that it is hard to check them for green cards – we just assume most of the border-hopping weevils are illegals. While I was working there, I did everything from putting together traps to working in the field to working with the GIS mapping systems in the office. Had a blast. I’ll tell you this little bit because I think you’ll enjoy it: when I was putting together traps for the first time, I started to wonder. You put a bait strip and a kill strip in each trap. But what makes a weevil want to leave the cotton field for a trap that is 10 feet away on a stick? I asked my boss what was so special about the “bait”. He told me that it smells like candy and boll weevil sex. Me: “so there is a guy in a lab somewhere getting paid to find out what boll weevil sex smells like so we can use it for bait?” Him: “yep”. Mind boggling. I’m sure that lab guy gets paid more than I do.

    • aye carumba. Did it work? There’s a song from the 90’s that was popular and it’s chorus is “I smell sex and candy” – which is an odd combo so I wonder if the guy was writing about the boll weevil?

      Anyway – that’s a great story!

  13. Amy says:

    Woot! I got a mention! I guess I better respond with some factoids about myself.

    Name: Amy with a Ukranian last name, even though I’m a bunch of other Eastern European stuff

    Marital Status: SINGLE (But if you know any Jesus-loving guys in the early-to-mid 30’s…)

    Kids: NONE!!! But I do have two dogs and I pretend they’re my kids.

    What I’m Like: I suppose I’m fairly intelligent and enjoy good conversations and connecting with any human being that is around me, unless that person weirds me out by acting unruly in a ghetto-ish fashion, stands too close to me and violates my personal space, or is yelling or screaming. Oh, and I find it VERY awkward to talk to shirtless men, like at the pool. So, no matter who you are, if you’re not wearing a shirt, I’m uncomfortable. I’m slightly neurotic, a good storyteller, a writer, and I like to pet every dog I see, except for the one that bit me. He’s banned.

    What I Do For Leisure: Enter giveaways on the Interwebs because I’m po’. Read books. Play with my dogs. Lead a wacky Bible study full of interesting women. Write. Write s’more. Social Network. Hang out with lovely people including my best friend, my mom, and other random folks. Play Wii. Watch documentaries. Take photographs.

    How I Afford Internet: My best friend and roommate Sarah pays for it as part of a packaged deal bundled with cable & phone.

    Whatever else I deem necessary: I forgot to say that I LOVE MUSIC. I could’ve added that up in “What I Do For Leisure,” but music and books deserve their own category.

    What Separates Me From the Rest of the Heathens: The fact I’m not a heathen. And that I’m still a virgin at 31. I used to be ashamed of that, but now I’m proud of it.

    Responses to other people’s comments:

    Charlie, Phillip Yancey is my fave author. I even met him!!!

    David, I love mint chocolate chip myself! Are any of your 30-ish kids male and single? I’ve written over 1000 blog posts, too. We should start some sort of club. I never check my stats.

    David Nielson, I love books. I need to know more about this book business.

    Darius, I’m an Evangelical Free girl! 🙂

    Carolyn, you fascinate me. I’ve been meaning to Google “boll weevils” since I read about them in THE HELP, but now I don’t have to. Your two books are both very important to me as well. And I’m really tired right now. Oh, and my very best friend Sarah is a social worker specializing in adoptions (kids whose parental rights have been terminated and are legal “orphans.”) I want to adopt.

    • David says:

      We should start a club! Umm… Over 30 and over 1000. We can celbrate with Mint Chocolate Chip and conference call. LOL

      And yes, Andrew is 33… 😉

    • Carolyn says:

      Amy, I’ve always wanted to be fascinating and now I am. Wow. Guess those boll weevils are good for something. My only specialization in adoption is BEING adopted. It evidently is still a big deal, because I wrote about it to David and Lyndie Nilsen and overwhelmed myself to the point of not being able to offer further comment. YET. I am thrilled beyond reason that you are keeping yourself for marriage. As one of the women at the well, I support you 1000%! Su (see above) and I have a blonde-haired friend named Amy who is a real hoot. Maybe we should start an “Amy Collection”?

    • Amy: I have a 36 year old daughter who is still a virgin. If God ever brings some man into her life, he will be totally blessed (and surprised!).

      • Amy- you had me at s’more. As in I want to go make one. I used to microwave them a lot as a late night snack – now that’s weird.

        Want to know the funniest thing – the photo I use as my avatar (is that the name? I forget) is actually of me shirtless! So you’ve been talking to a shirtless guy on this blog for months. I’m actually not kidding – I cropped of a photo of my wife and I before we went on our first outing after our daughter was born without dragging her along. And it was August and smoking hot – so no shirt. Hope you’ll still comment, we can talk Philip Yancey!

  14. Chris says:

    I only talk about personal stuff on occasion as I prefer to leave a very light internet footprint. This is probably a very naive notion but it might have something to do with my age. I’m sure my whole life is out there somewhere, which is an appalling thought. Not that I have anything to hide, but prudence, in my estimation, is a virtue. Also, one of my favorite sayings is — “Not every thought deserves a sentence.” Which I think probably runs very counter to blogdom.

    Count me as the Grinch of the group.

    • no fair enough Chris. Not sure if you know of Donald, he commented here a bunch (usually strongly disagreeing with me, but we’re cool), but he recently acquired an internet stalker that even found his cell phone number and called it. So while I threw out some morsels about me, I’ve also kept some things hidden. I’m not even sure if I’ve indicated which town I live in, and I’ve definitely never confided where I work or where I’ve attended church. I totally understand where you’re coming from.

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