Monday, October 6, 2008

15 Hours Ahead, and Ten Years Behind

After I graduated from college in southern Utah, I got married and we moved to Foshan, China. It is a "small town" (only 300,000 people, or so) three hours north of Hong Kong and about an hour south of Guangzhou. I often felt there that I was 15 hours ahead of my hometown of Cedar City, and ten years behind. I wasn't calling home that often, but when I was waiting for an e-mail response from the US, I typically had a long wait, in the order of hours. On the other hand, when I needed anything locally technologically higher than e-mail, I also had a long wait, in the order of years. Things there have changed a lot in the ten years since then, but I still see this theme recurring in my life.

I consider myself to be at the front of digital living in most regards, but until just now, I'd never blogged. Certainly, I am behind the times.

So, this is my entry into the blogosphere, a portmanteau that love only because I love portmanteaus, and I'm strangely a little nervous. It isn't as if I've never written anything, indeed, I consider myself a very competent writer, though I did have to check whether longer prepositions should be left in lowercase in titles (only shorter ones).

I get to write quite a bit at work, and as often as I care to outside of work. I've just never blogged and haven't worked out some details that I need to decide on before I'll be more comfortable. I've decided to blog because I think writing more about less technical stuff will be good for me. I enjoy technical writing; I even like writing technical documents in Standardized Technical English, a controlled language with very restrictive constraints. We use it quite a lot at Boeing and my group in Phantom Works develops tools for using it more effectively and efficiently. This is one of the things I'm still deciding: how much of who I am and what I do to share with literally anyone in the world.

I also believe in giving back, and I get quite a lot from the blogs I read, so this is my effort to contribute to the system. Really though, I don't expect to have much to contribute that can't be found anywhere else. I hope though that for a few people, my content or writing style will strike their fancy. As soon as I can figure out how Blogger handles blog rolls I 'll create mine.

So, I've decided not to conceal my identity, but will still be cautious about what I post about the details of my life. I'll probably even post a photo of myself. So far as I know, there is only one photo of me on the web that is linked in any way to my name. I'll find it for you some time.

Anyhow, I'm Duane Blanchard. I'm a research programmer at Boeing and love the outdoors. These and family occupy the most of my time and I'm undecided on blogging about family, so these are what you'll likely get a lot of.

Next time though, lists. Because I'm not doing anything outdoors this weekend to write about and I want to post at least weekly to start with. So, taking a cue from Penelope Trunk, I'll make a list for next week.

@~ whispers: Do I sign off, or just stop?

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