I’m really excited to be announcing the release of my first book! Yeah! My first book is called Josh’s Blog. Spirituality, Tech and Life Overseas and as the name suggests this book is a collection of blog posts and thoughts I wrote during my time overseas in Indonesia. It covers five years of blogging and is 158 pages long. Quite a monster!  It also showcases some of my photography and every entry includes a photo from the same month.

I’m happy to have a hard copy of my blog. It will be nice keepsake and record of my experiences while overseas.

For those that are curious and want to follow in my footsteps, I used Blurb to put my book together. It’s a pretty straightforward process. You download their software called BookSmart, import your blog into the software, and then edit and layout the book. The hardest and longest part for me was the last step, editing and layout. Their software took some getting used to. It’s not quite as easy to use as Shutterfly or Apple. It was kind of fussy at times. But once I got used to it it wasn’t that hard. When you’re done editing you upload the book to their website and place your order. The book took about for days to arrive and I’m very impressed with the results.

The last thing Blurb does for you (which was a little unexpected) is create an online book store for you. So I can promote and sell my book online if I want to. This is a nice additional feature that they offer, and if I was serious about selling my book or other books in the future I would make use of this. You can go online and preview or buy the book if you want, but for now I’m happy just having a copy of myself.

So I encourage all those bloggers out there to give Blurb a try. The results are pretty stunning. It’s fun to turn your thoughts into a book that can be easily shared with friends and family. It’s a fun way to invite people into your world.

I’m happy to have my first book in hand, a collection of blog posts and thoughts from my life while overseas.

Today I want to write about my three favorite songs. Well, of course I can’t name just three favorite songs, but for the sake of this exercise I’ll try to mention three and what they have meant to me. I’ve included the links to Spotify so you can listen if you want.

Here we go. Off the top of my head:

  • ‘Dreaming in Metaphors’ by Seal
  • ‘Liquid’ by Jars of Clay
  • ‘No More, No Less’ by Collective Soul

One of my favorite songs, off one of my favorite albums, is ‘Dreaming in Metaphors’ by Seal. I can’t say way I like this song so much. Maybe it’s because Seal’s voice is so hypnotizing. It puts me in such a relaxing mood, almost trance like. The album it’s off of is equally relaxing. I like this album so much because it seems to symbolize a certain time of my life. You hear a song once during a particularly emotional time and then it comes to represent that time and that emotion every time you hear it. That’s what Seal is to me. I purchased this album in high school and in a sense it became the soundtrack, the background, to that time of my life. Whenever I hear the song ‘Dreaming in Metaphors’ I think of old friends, of who I used to be, and of how far I’ve come since then. It’s certainly been a journey and this song has a fantastic way of transporting me back in time.

Another oldie but a goodie is ‘Liquid’ by Jars of Clay. I heard this song for the first time during college and the chorus has always been my favorite part of this song. “This is the one thing. . . the one thing that I know.” There’s such power in this repeating refrain, such strength and conviction. When I was really seeking out God during college I heard this song and it always seemed to creep into my head when I needed it most. Like a little reminder of my core convictions during those turbulent times. My thoughts and ideas and spirituality were swirling around me, but I could always come back to the basics. This song helped me do that. I found a ton of strength in knowing that God was in my life, He had a plan for me, and I wasn’t alone. He was with me, even if I wasn’t always with Him. This was the ‘one thing that I knew’. I still find strength and power in this simple reminder.

The last song I want to mention is ‘No More, No Less’ by Collective Soul. Again this song and album are old but fairly new to me. The album Dosage is just such a great album. Solid song writing, great rock sound, and fun lyrics. The song ‘No More, No Less’ is just such a fun song and pretty characteristic of the whole album. I first listened to this song while I was painting my house in Indonesia. I was jammin’ out with my headphones while balancing a paint pan and roller standing at the top of ladder. Yes, I got paint everywhere but I had fun doing it! Isn’t it uncanny how certain songs get stuck in your head and then seem to epitomize a time of your life, the time you first heard it? Well, that’s what this album and this song are to me. It will forever remind me of sweltering heat, our squat little house, and the love and attention we gave, not just to our house, but to the people we were with. Great song. Great album. Thanks for the memory.

So there ya go. My three favorite songs. Ask me again next week. I’m sure I’ll have more.



I’ve been running and biking again and it’s been enjoyable to be outdoors. We’re living with my parents here in Wisconsin and I just can’t get enough of the beautiful country landscape. This morning I was out jogging and couldn’t help but marvel at the quiet and stillness all around me. How is it that I can see for miles and nothing within my line of sight is moving except for an occasional bird? How is it that the roads are so empty and motionless? I can stand in the middle of a four way intersection, turn in all directions, and yep, I’m still the only one there. Imagine that! Ah, the joys of country living. It’s a luxury I’ll not soon take for granted.

A recent entry from the Daily Post challenged me to write about and describe a place I’d like to be, or someplace I’d like to go if I could just transport myself there. I think about the places I’ve already been this year- Indonesia, Orlando, Indiana and Wisconsin. Each has it’s own advantage and a memory to put a smile on my face. But it’s been wonderful to be back in the Midwest again. I love the cool weather, the breeze coming in from outside, and the sound of birds. I love the corn that stretches for miles, the farm houses, and the empty baseball fields.  There’s just something so enchanting about it all. I’ve been all over the world but there’s something unique about this place. It’s worth grabbing a hold of. Don’t let a good thing slip by! So for now it’s pretty easy to talk about where I want to be. It’s here, right in front of me.

I attended my first ‘Drupal Camp’ last week at the UW campus. It was a lot of fun. And the price was right- free! For those that are unaware (and I don’t blame you if you are) Drupal is an open source (meaning free) piece of software that you can install and set up on a webserver that allows you to customize and make really awesome websites. I’ve been using it for quite and it’s been a great learning curve for me. But this was the first time that I’ve gotten involved in the ‘community’.

At first this idea of community was kind of strange. I mean, how can you call a group of people connected remotely from all over the world, gathered around a piece of software, a community? But it really is, and it’s pretty remarkable. I’m not sure how many millions, but there are  a LOT of developers and users, and the number is growing.

So I thought I’d give this meetup a try and meet some local people who are using Drupal. I’d say there were two extremes at the camp. There were the hard core developer types who have used Drupal for years and are making a living off of it. And then there were the complete newbies, people who were curious and interested in Drupal but didn’t really have much experience with it. I must’ve been somewhere in the middle. From my experience I was able to point several of the newbies in the right direction by recommending books, offering guidance, and talking about what I have learned. But I was also there to learn myself and I didn’t hesitate to grab one of the more experienced developers to give me a few pointers. They’ve been doing this for years. I wanted to know how they got involved, the steps they took, and what they’re doing now. I’m curious how people are using the platform, and what options exist for developers and site builders. So it was really beneficial to talk to people.

So anyway, I’m glad I went to Drupal Camp. Yes, it was nerdy. Yes, we talked about software for two days. But hey, you can’t argue with free pizza and coffee. And I met some pretty cool people who obviously have great taste in content management systems. Just the kind of people I like to be around!