10 Random…

Facts About Paul

While most of the people who visit this site know me pretty well and are basically here for updates in terms of events, it occurs to me that not everyone here is as familiar with who I am. Therefore I am beginning a new series of entries to this page which may or may not help new friends or strangers understand what makes me me. These are ten completely random facts about yours truly.

Last updated July 2004

  1. I think the sound and feel of dry leaves crunching under feet is the most satisfying thing, ever.
  2. Sometimes people mistake me for quiet and shy. Actually I’m rather talkative, but I’m socially awkward so I prefer to observe new situations carefully until I’m completely comfortable.
  3. I was a complete geek through most of school, but I didn’t really get picked on all that much—mostly because I seemed so quiet and shy that people ignored me.
  4. I never took the SAT.
  5. I’m not a morning person, but my favorite time of day is early, just before and just after the sun rises.
  6. There is very little about creative works that I don’t find endlessly fascinating: Art, music, photography, writing; I enjoy consuming and creating, whether or not I’m any good.
  7. I have one major phobia, but to this day I can’t properly describe or define what causes it to kick in. It has something to do with underwater landscapes and wildlife (aquariums are not my bag of tea, certainly) but I don’t know where it comes from or what specifically freaks me out. It’s a purely visual fear, I know that. Closing my eyes makes it go away.
  8. I struggle occasionally to fall asleep or get tired at the right times. Stress may play a big role in these periods. Whatever the cause, it’s only a problem until I get to sleep. I almost always sleep very soundly and deeply.
  9. My biggest pet peeve is not being able to dry my hands after I wash them. My second biggest peeve is people who don’t put shopping carts in their designated spaces when they’re done with them, choosing to leave them at random places around the parking lot instead.
  10. I don’t have a single favorite food. I like all kinds of dishes and love trying new things. I’m not a huge fan of sweet things as a general rule and desserts don’t really excite me too much; I prefer main and side dishes with interesting flavors. The closest I could probably come to a favorite food is really more like a meal: I like almost everything about breakfast.

Facts About ironSoap

Last updated July 2004

  1. The name ironSoap doesn’t mean anything, and was originally spelled simply ‘ironsoap’. It comes from a Photoshop test I did several years ago which turned out looking like a bar of metal soap. I added an embossed phrase ‘ironsoap’ on it and it ended up being the logo for a very early version of the site.
  2. The official spelling/capitalization of ironSoap is lower-case ‘i’ and upper-case ‘S’. There is no real reason for this aside from aesthetic and practically no one besides me spells it right, which doesn’t bother me. The style originally came from the practice in programming of spelling variable names that are multi-word without spaces and new words capitalized like, “theOriginalValue.” I thought it looked cool and offered some suggestion that the term was actually two words so people didn’t think it was irons-oap or something. The practice in programming is commonly called Camel Case.
  3. ironSoap averages about 18,000 words per month and has been updated more or less constantly since December 2001. The estimated total words written here through July 2004 is 500,000.
  4. In an early incarnation, ironSoap was a tech support site for new computer users interested in learning programming and Unix systems administration.
  5. In an average month ironSoap welcomes around 1,100 unique visitors and serves up about 140,000 KB of data.
  6. Originally, Nikki and I were to be the only members of the cast to use our real names. Later a few people with web presences of their own began to be referred to by their actual names.
  7. The site has been massively overhauled four times, once from the tech support version to the current journal-based format, one redesign focused on streamlining some of the original pages which didn’t get much attention once to clean up the code and add room for new features.
  8. The most recent update incorporated WordPress blog-style software into the main page/archives and allowed for automatic RSS generation, comments and online post editing.
  9. Each significant minor change earns a point revision and ironSoap is currently on version 5.1.
  10. The motto of ironSoap is “A critically engaging exercise in pointless tedium,” which appears in the meta tags at the top of the page. For the most part, only search engines see the motto although it has occasionally appeared in logos and certain design elements.

Things I’m Proud Of

Last Updated August 2010

  1. My marriage.
  2. My wife.
  3. My daughter.
  4. I’ve never broken a bone or had stitches.
  5. The way my Last.fm profile (and weekly top 5) suggest accurately that I listen to a wide variety of music and musical styles.
  6. I’ve been maintaining ironSoap.org for nearly ten years.
  7. I change my mind a lot, and have it changed for me.
  8. I’m a very safe driver.
  9. I don’t have a whole lot of attachment to material possessions.
  10. I still read books.

25 Things

This is reprinted from Facebook. I put it together in response to the 25 Things meme that was floating around early in 2009 and figured it had a contextual permanent home here.

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