This is the 53rd post, so begins a new year for this weekly blog. (I missed a couple weeks. Vacation and such.) Here's the first post: November 18, 2017

I was, then, starting to explore alternatives to WordPress as a solution for building websites and this was as much an experiment in software as a weekly letter home. I'm still exploring WordPress alternatives. On one hand, it's been a frustrating year in that regard, and next year will be the same. On the other, it's gotten me out of the WordPress bubble in a way that I expect will be good for me in the long run.

I've said every year for the past couple decades that next year will surely be better than the one just past. How could it get worse? And yet, in some respects, it does.

Climate change continues unabated. Politically, the nation is in shambles. Every day there's more bad news. I don't watch or read much news. It's not necessary to catch much of it to tell that things are bad and getting worse. So, there's that.

On a personal level, truth is, this year has been mixed. To the good, I didn't have the major back surgery I thought I would need. In all, I've been healthy, and that's no small thing.

At the beginning of the year, I was hopeful that this would be the year that the web development business would take off. It hasn't. But I haven't gone bankrupt either. Instead I became the Pastor of a small church in a small town that has been having trouble keeping the doors open. My presence there hasn't helped their situation. Contrary to the belief of every church that has ever called me, I'm not a miracle worker or a Savior.

To the good, I have a great kid and an adoring wife, both of whom I love deeply. Also to the good, I have plenty of time to do with as I please, so I read a lot, think a lot, go on long walks with the dog (weather permitting), make dinner, and play with programming.

We have times after dinner when we sit around the dinnertable and the kid noodles away on the guitar. He has his grandfather's guitar now, a really beautiful instrument. Last year, when he was starting out, we got him a used electric, a Squire. It was fine for a beginner, but he's come a long way in the year, so for his birthday we got him a real Fender. So now, whichever instrument he picks up, he sounds great.

As for plans in 2019, I've been posting daily on my main blog for a bit over a month now. (I've moved that from WordPress to a new platform called Ghost. Seemed appropriate for Caspar to run on.) While that has been a good personal discipline for me, I have yet to figure out where that's going, or what I'm really going to do with it.

Back in 2011, I started a blog, The Scarlet Letter Bible where I posted a daily meditation on Bible passages. It was well received but I quit at about the time it was beginning to take off, and a few people sent word that they missed it when I discontinued it. I've been thinking of re-creating something like that for the past couple months. But I hesitate, because I start so many things and don't finish.

I've decided that to set a bar for this new project, that if I start it, I have to commit to it enough that within a year it will at least pay for itself, and within 2 years, it pay for itself and my time. And if I start it, I have to plan on fitting it in with my 2 jobs and my family. Honestly, I'm not sure I have that commitment in me. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but in the case of my penchant for dropping things, it's a pretty good indicator.

Nevertheless, since I'm back into church work now, it seems like it ought to be a good fit again, so I've been spending some time thinking through what it might look like and how it might eventually support me in the manner to which I'd like to become accustomed. I'll keep you posted.