getting things ready

seeing into the futureSo yeah. How are you, O dearly beloved reader of doberman pizza? As I noted earlier, you shall be seeing much more than scattered Facebook reposts from now on. For various reasons, blog posts have been scarce over the past few years—mainly because of the workload involved in preparing for our wedding, recovering from a loved one’s passing, and filling out the paperwork required for Quynh’s immigration to Canada. As well, since the recent social media boom and the rise of Facebook, Twitter and similar networks, random status updates have just been easier to post elsewhere than here. But fear not! There’s no reason to unsubscribe. Starting this week, doberman pizza gets a much-needed overhaul and relaunch. See you here on Thursday evening, December 6th, around 5 PM Eastern Time and onwards (see World Times) for the big switch, and, who knows, maybe a little real-time chat like the old days. I’ve been working at getting things ready for the past month now, and I really hope you’ll like it.

heheh slight delay

ok, so I said the last post on “Death and Life in Vietnam” would be up before the new year, but I’ve gotten a little sidetracked—not in the least by the arrival of the newest letter from the Universal House of Justice to the Conference of the Counsellors, which, along with the Ridván Message of 2010 (167 B.E.), basically describe the aims of the coming Five Year Plan.

so yeah, look for the final post sometime this week. I’ll be back in Vietnam in about two weeks to celebrate Tet, so I’ll be nice and busy visiting relatives and taking pictures. What a blessing, to be involved in uniting the East and the West so directly.

death and life in vietnam

dawn reflections in da nangmy recent trip to Vietnam to visit family after my father-in-law’s passing afforded me a lot of time to think. Even while I was still there, I knew I wanted to share with the world reflections on the experience of losing a loved one across cultures, from a personal and a Baha’i perspective. as it turns out, I’ve actually got a lot of notes, so much so that it’d probably take way more effort than I can give at the moment to put it all into one big essay-type format. So I figure I’ll split it into a few posts, covering a few different—but very related—topics. These may change, but I figured people might like to know what I’m planning.

As noted, I expect these posts will come out every 3–4 days, as I have time to work on each of them (that said, the dates noted here are approximate).

Edit: All posts are now up (finally)!

a few interesting statistics

I was curious about some of the web stats I’ve had over the past year. In decreasing order of hits, these are the top 20 countries sending visitors to doberman pizza, a baha’i blog: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, India, Germany, Philippines, Malaysia, Israel, the Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Portugal, China, New Zealand, Iran, Italy, Spain, and Vietnam.

How about the top 10 content? Apart from the home page, the most popular page on the site is the photos page. after that comes the about page (understandable). next comes Raelee Pierce’s article on Baha’i marriage culture (aha!). further down, there’s the yearly list of Baha’i fasting times, then the videos page. after that comes the always-hilarious Ottawa Baha’i youth slang glossary, and then the list of interesting search terms that people have used to find the site. afterwards comes the “quotes” blog category—people searching for Baha’i quotes—and, finally, one of my photo albums comes in at #10, a small album capturing a refresher on Anna’s presentation.

malaysia rocks

I want to give big shout-outs and much love to everyone from Malaysia who reads this blog. You know who you are. I was chatting with a friend over IM and she told me she had met someone from Malaysia who recognized her via my blog. Apparently, all of Malaysia reads my blog on a regular basis, so if you’re one of those 27.5 million people, whether you’re from PJ or KL, from Sabah or Sarawak, from Penang or Malacca, a most hearty welcome 😀

On a side note, I also hope the floods abate soon :S

photo albums overhauled

ladiesaha! after a while of messing around and banging my head against a wall of PHP, I’ve given my photos page a much-needed overhaul. now, instead of linking you directly to flickr, photos will appear directly within the comfortable doberman pizza interface you’re used to. to celebrate, I’ve posted photos from the recent reflection meeting, the refresher session on Anna’s presentation last Monday, the devotional meeting at Julie & Fanfan’s place last weekend, and the latest edition of our children’s class—all nicely arranged into photosets (i.e. albums) for your browsing pleasure. And don’t worry, if you want to see higher-res versions they’re still around on flickr. let me know what you think!