So, tell us a bit about yourself

By: Bonnie
June 28, 2012

A recent conversation in which strong parallels were drawn between speed dating and job interviewing has me thinking about the side of ourselves we present to one another. We’ve talked a bit about who we are as a blog. Now we’d like to know a bit about who you are. And perhaps you’d like to know a bit about the people with whom you interact here.

I’ve nested some polls in this post (no online registration necessary) – just for fun click away and let’s see what our participating audience is like. We don’t have a “blogroll” like many small solo bloggers do to give you ideas of other good sites to visit regularly, but at the end of the polls I’ve listed some questions. We’d love to have you share with one another blogs that stimulate your thinking and provide good online communities.

Where are you from?

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How long have you worked in this field (been LDS)?

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

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Why do you want to work here (visit Wheat & Tares)? (Choose all that apply)

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  • What blogs would you recommend to your friends?
  • What blogs make you feel comfortable commenting?
  • What blogs publish thought-provoking content?
  • What are your must-read sites?

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48 Responses to So, tell us a bit about yourself

  1. Andrew S on June 28, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I’m stuck on the very first question…this is so very difficult…does Texas count as the US south or the US west? I’ll go with South, but it’s not like Alabama or whatever.

    (ok, i’m not trying to derail into a discussion of cultural geography…I promise!)

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  2. living in zion on June 28, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I too am stuck on the first question. I am in the mid-west. Not North, Not South, Not West, Not East. Hmmmm….I’m going with my birthplace. West. Whew! That took effort.
    I read You, Mormon Mentality.org, By Common Consent and Times and Seasons. I comment only on W&T, MM and BCC. Times and Seasons is interesting to read but usually way out of my scriptural league so I have nothing to add.
    I also love to follow Mormon Women Project. That is interesting profiles of Mormon women around the world. It reminds me the gospel is so much bigger than white, middle-class Americans.

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  3. Karen on June 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Feminist Mormon Housewives and Mormon Mentality are must reads. I feel fairly comfortable commenting there but do not comment very often.

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  4. Mike D on June 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I also enjoy the occasional perusal of this website!

    I am in Texas like Andrew. I think it is pretty interesting how Texans consider themselves.

    I used to work on a cruise ship and the cruise director would ask where the audience was from by asking “western US?” “northeast US?” etc. with the audience applauding when she’d name their area. Almost without fail, week after week, whenever she’d ask if there was anywhere else that she hadn’t listed, a Texan would interject his/her state!

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  5. Nick Literski on June 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    How interesting that only current LDS members are welcome to participate in Bonnie’s dream of W&T. Not only that, but Bonnie can’t even contemplate a participant here being outside the LDS church in five years from now. They can “question their faith,” but if they think they might be finding their way out of LDS-ism, they simply don’t exist at all!

    Myopia really isn’t an attractive trait when writing an OP.

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  6. Bonnie on June 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Not at all, Nick. I chose not to focus on membership at all, but on faith and where it’s going. You are the one who pigeon-holed me by misinterpreting what was pretty straightforward. You are welcome, just as someone who leaves the company, to simply state how long you were previously with the company. If you go searching for offense, you’re bound to find it. But you’re still welcome here.

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  7. Bonnie on June 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Andrew, I actually thought of putting Texas in there as its own option, knowing the unique character of you lone star staters! The one I actually thought people were going to skewer me on was the Islands option and I sweat great bullets of stress. Ah, the many ways to offend!

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  8. Last Lemming on June 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    i’m not trying to derail into a discussion of cultural geography

    But you did, nevertheless.

    Extend the western border of Irving north to the Red River and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Everything east of that line is the South; everything west of that line is West.

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  9. Brian on June 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    “If you go searching for offense, you’re bound to find it. But you’re still welcome here.”

    And that is why I like W & T. I think Nick is just having a bad day. It usually takes something of substance to annoy him, although he usually is only driven to post when annoyed. I love what he writes.

    I was hoping for a poll on the stage of belief or non-belief that readers are in at this point in time, unfortunately not what you were after.

    My must-read blogs are Recovery from Mormonism (sorry but that’s the stage I am at) and this one.

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  10. Bonnie on June 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Brian, we all have bad days, it’s true. I’m curious about your comment about stages of belief and non-belief. I thought that the poll included that, because we all have faith in something, and I would have thought setting up a sliding scale between LDS belief and not would be more offensive to those whose beliefs have shifted or never were LDS. Perhaps as a believer in the things you now believe in, it is a bit offensive to be grouped with LDS believers? I was really searching for whether people’s beliefs in their chosen faith (even if it’s secular) were strengthening or waning or staying the same. I’m willing to be told by someone how my thoughts were offensive, but I do admit to a knee-jerk response to sarcasm. It was certainly my intent to be as inclusive and inoffensive as possible – just intellectual curiosity.

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  11. Howard on June 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I typically read some of T&S, BCC when they publish, FMH, ZD, M, Exponent, W&T, Rains and Things of My Soul. I comment on most of these except I seem to be permanently banned at ZD and permanently in moderation on M and FMH where my complementary comments typically show up in a few hours and and my challenging comments are never seen again! I miss SliverRain’s comments and her sometimes grippingly authentic and well described observations on life and religion but I’d be surprised if she misses me much, we’re more like bickering siblings at times.

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  12. Howard on June 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Oh I forgot to mention MH in that list!

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  13. Nick Literski on June 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    #10:
    I was really searching for whether people’s beliefs in their chosen faith (even if it’s secular) were strengthening or waning or staying the same.

    Ahhh…thank you for clarifying this, Bonnie. I have to admit, I brought my own expectation to what you wrote, and saw it as pertaining only to the LDS faith.

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  14. Bonnie on June 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    No problem, Nick. I’m a new writer and an unknown to you. Being on the “other side” in LDS discussions unnecessarily polarizes discussions, feeding expectations. Glad we’re past that, at least on this level. I have my sacred cows, but for the most part I try to listen first and foremost. Thanks for coming back and commenting again.

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  15. Brian on June 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    I have always wondered about those who read W&T as far as their belief in the church. It seems as though there are a number of non-believers who post here, which is certainly a credit to those who administer and post because ideas are welcome here that would probably not be welcome on other sites.

    At this point, I am stuck in a place where believing anything is difficult because I feel betrayed. Trust isn’t coming easy.

    I had no problem with your poll whatsoever-it’s your poll. Having wanted to know the belief-in-the-church factor here, the poll came tantalizingly close to answering my question. That’s all I was saying.

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  16. Stephen M (Ethesis) on June 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Still from Texas …

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  17. Rigel Hawthorne on June 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    By Common Consent for their list of LDS news stories and open general conference threads. I glance at their posts, but usually don’t find most of them enticing enough to read. When I made a comment on a thread once questioning their decision to place someone in moderation, one of their permas commented that when I had MY OWN blog, I could run it the way I chose to.

    I was hoping to see (on this poll) Pacific NW in it’s own grouping.

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  18. LovelyLauren on June 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I read here and The Exponent most frequently and that’s where I comment most often as well. I appreciate commenting here and The Exponent because people regularly respond to my comments. I occasionally read BCC and T&S, but I feel like your comments are only paid attention to if you’re in the “in crowd” and I haven’t really figured out what gets you in.

    I used to read/comment on FMH more, but I feel like too many discussions delineate into bashing and there are several posters there that seem to dominate conversations.

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  19. Anselma on June 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    I read this, FMH, BCC, and Doves & Serpents. I mostly comment here, and at FMH/D&S. Oh, and Mormon Women Project and Segullah are great too (though I don’t read those as regularly as I used to). It’s part of how I keep myself engaged with Mormonism even when I’m having a difficult time with my brick-and-mortar church. I really love the Bloggernacle and am so glad I finally found it.

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  20. Bob on June 28, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I think it’s nice we have special zones for certain kinds of people like Texans, so that they are not in the general population.

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  21. NewlyHousewife on June 28, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I like seeing how many thumbs up I can get. Followed by interesting comments/posts.

    I mainly read Mormon Mentality, BCC, W&T, and T&S. Read Segullah for awhile but lost interest. FMH I loved reading but I promised my husband I wouldn’t read it anymore–he found some discussions disturbing with women and the priesthood, bishops abusing power, etc.

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  22. Cowboy on June 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    As far as Mormon/religion/etc themed blogs go, I only read and comment on this site. I used to comment on the Deseret News, but unfortunately the moderation on that site has convinced me even more that I’m not a big fan of the Church. At this point I rarely even read their paper.

    I would not consider myself “hip” anymore on the overall culture of the Mormon blog community, because I only participate here. Still, the reason for that is because in past years it seeme that WheatandTares was the only site that had the balls to actually try and foster a discourse based on a variety of viewpoints. Yes, we’ve had all the discussion lately about what kinds of rules have what effect on shaping a community. Still, while community is important, I think the issues are why I am here. I believe generally there is a sincerity in the administrators of this blog, at all ends of the faith spectrum, to pursue the issues honestly. Conversely, I sense a lot of posturing on the “other” blogs. By “other” blogs I mean everything from RFM to BCC.

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  23. hawkgrrrl on June 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Cowboy – if we have balls, how are we not hip? Is it hip to be without balls? Actually, I think you are saying maybe it is. Dang it! :)

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  24. sherry Johns on June 28, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Thanks for asking a bit about me. I read BCC, FMH, EXPONENT, T & S and W & T almost every day. I REALLY like Mormon Stories and Mormon Matters podcasts, listening to many people who have similar experiences/feelings to mine. I’m lifetime LDS to less active parents with lots of sibs. Went to BYU, met now X-husband. Temple sealed, had 9 kids, divorced after 29 years (abuse)VERY active LDS. Now married to a nomo for 9 years, who has more kindness and integrity in his soul than X had in his little finger. And X always had high priesthood callings. I rarely go to church (X and new wife in same ward, am treated as a non-person since I married nomo, and I believe differently thn when I was a TBM). I find church meetings stifling, too idealistic – not practical or realistic, too judgemental and b & w. Not much in the ENSIGN appeals to me and I’ve chosen to put my efforts at making the world a better place into my community by volunteering, etc. I feel a misfit at church and that has caused me great grief and soul-searching. However, I am now happier most days and believe I am able to see life more clearly without the judgemental lens of Mormonism. I realize my post may sound judgmental too, but I have been deeply hurt by being treated this way by the ward I’ve lived in for 30 years. As to my children, three have left the church, all for good reason, three are less active and three are active. I love them all the same and being LDS or not simply does not factor into anything for me. They are decent, hard-working and marvelous parents. Of course X is highly critical of the non LDS and less active ones. SO…I’ve told you more than you probably wanted to know! My point is, we are all different and that’s ok. I believe our Heavenly Mother and Father love us all immensely. A favorite quote from the Dali Llhama – HARMONY IN DIVERSITY.

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  25. Geoff-A on June 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Where is the other Australian from? I like this blog because it helps me to realise there are other people who see the world(church) much as I do.

    My wife and I have had some problems with local church leaders although we are both Temple Recommend holders and have been for 40 years. We moved to a part of the country where the church members seem more conservative, some years ago, which was a good move in every way except the church.

    Without blogs like this we would be having more difficulty seeing how we can fit in to the church. So thanks.

    Especially like Mike-s views.

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  26. Douglas on June 28, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Bonnie – agreed. Texas is all but its own nation and a state of mind. I only visit when I have Agency business in San Antonio and a good friend is from a small town near Austin. The place has its own “energy, as it were.
    What I like most about this blog is the diversity of thought among even those professing to be active (I take them at their word until proved otherwise). Goes against the oft accusation that the Saints don’t think for themselves.

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  27. KLC on June 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I keep coming back to W&T because of hawkgrrrl.

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  28. Roger on June 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Western border of Irving doesn’t cut it. After 20+ years in DFW, I’ve spent the past 13 in Amarillo. West TX is not the South but neither is it West as in Utah/Idaho. I’ve been less-active, inactive, apostate, confused, estranged, prodigal, searching for many years. Some of the discussions are thought-provoking; others infuriating. I’m one of those who try to leave but can’t seem to leave it alone.

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  29. Roger on June 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    KLC totally scooped me. I am completely undone.

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  30. Brian on June 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Cowboy-You may not want to return to the DesNews but they have dramatically changed their moderation policy. Many, many posts get through now that would not have previously. It may be a budget-reduction move more than a philosophical one. Either way, it is much better.

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  31. NewlyHousewife on June 29, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Sherry– I hear you. During my formative years as a youth I was in a ward that focused more on the rules than the spirit of the rule (IE: clothing lines more than one’s relationship with Christ). This has caused a lot of turmoil in my faith, and caused my brother to completely lose his. I’m in a better ward now. If I gave it a chance I would feel great about it, but having the experiences of being victim to power trips holds me back from really participating. Of course DH doesn’t understand it; but I’m hoping that after I work through this and we move into a difficult ward, which we will, I’ll be able to help him when the tables are turned.

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  32. Cowboy on June 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Hawkgrrrl:

    Jokes aside, I had your post “Wheat and Tares: who are we” in mind when I made my comment. In particular I was turned-off by the referenced post at Sixteen Small Stones, by J. Max. It is his prerogative as to whether he supports the agenda of Sunstone, and I have no complaints about that. However, I found his overall philosophy on boundaries and propoganda quite gutless (or ballsless????). He seemed quite fearful that if conversation about the Church is taking place, it is only “safe” if he and the Mormon guardians can controll that conversation. In other words, he does not seem to view the blog world as a place to share and exchange ideas, but rathe as a vehicle simply to advance the Mormon cause. He has determined that there is too much uncontrolled diversity of opinion in this domain, and therefore since he can’t controll it, he will simply withdraw. Even more however, withdrawing is calculated strategy that must be advertised and announced. He hopes that by withdrawing he can inspire other like-minded Mormons to withdraw from the discussion in hopes of “starving” the bitter unbelievers into withdrawing as well. Perhaps it’s good strategy in theory, though I doubt he has the clout to actually drive the movement he is calling for, but only if his motivation is based strictly on a competitive win-or-lose reason for participating. In short, I see this passive-aggresive attitude lacking in “balls”.

    As a note, so as not to be onesided, I am equally turned off by RFM’s policy on “no believers please”. Most of the comments I have read are nothing more than miserable rants that offer nothing interesting to think about, which in turn foster’s a rather depressing culture to belong to.

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  33. sherry Johns on June 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    newlyhousewife – sounds like you’re younger than I am. Is your DH LDS? I would LOVE to move but this is where I’ve lived for over 30 years, where my friends are, where I volunterr and what i write about (I write books on local history). I’m slowly coming to peace with staying away from my ward but deep down feel so betrayed. This is where I put my heart, serving in my ward, raising my kids, for so decades. The LDS, one way or another – blogs keep me sane and especially let me know I’m not alone. The few times I do go to church and make a sensible comment, hoping to perhaps find a like-minded soul, are usually met with silence and/or rebuttals. So if I go I study in the car after Sac Mtg. I wish we could have a ward made up of all us “normal” people who read the blogs!!!!! I would love to find an LDS soulmate who has gone thru some of my experiences. Keep up the good work W & T!

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  34. NewlyHousewife on June 29, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    I’m 21 and my husband is 24, so you’re right in assuming I’m younger. He is a convert, I believe he’s going on 4 years (?) now but I’m horrible at keeping track of that. He’s in the military and thrives in black vs white/right vs wrong thinking environments. I imagine though sooner or later he’ll be at the cross roads too as our daughter gets older and he sees the impact untrained instructors have.

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  35. Salt H2O on June 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    “Texas is neither southern nor western. Texas is Texas” – Senator William Blakley

    “Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation
    in every sense of the word” -John Steinbeck

    Once we leave the union and make Ron Paul our King- our property values are going to skyrocket.

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  36. Stephen Marsh on June 29, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Roger — I actually get out to Amarillo once in a while ;)

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  37. Rigel Hawthorne on June 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    I wish we could have a ward made up of all us “normal” people who read the blogs!!!!!

    I guess I’m more resigned to the fact that I only relate to people in my wards to a certain extent whatever ward I’m in. I’ve always had good friends/coworkers/fellow students that have been non-members. So, I my day to day socializing with those circles has been distinct/separate from my Sunday block circles. Socializing with members of my own ward has just not been that common. We’ve been content when we’ve gone a year without home teachers, but also had years where we appreciated and enjoyed home teachers. Until my youngest child gets out of nursery and is comfortable going to Sunbeams, I won’t likely have real participation in Gospel Doctrine. My wife has mostly avoided going to RS during all of our marriage due to callings elsewhere. Our focus is getting our family to church, helping them to feel the spirit and learn correct principles to govern themselves, and supporting the kids in their chances to do activities. We don’t get to go to the temple as a husb/wife that often, so it is a much looked forward to treat to be able to do that.

    Sometimes when I am on a business trip to another city, it crosses my mind as to whether there is a W&T blogger in the city I am in that would like to join me for dinner or a temple session to connect on that level that Sherry talks about. Until we become empty nesters, our plate will probably be full enough not to miss that on a day to day basis locally.

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  38. prometheus on June 30, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    lol – I am still the lone canuck.

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  39. Julia on June 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Rigel
    If you come to Oregon, let me know! You can come for dinner and I won’t even make you do the dishes. ;-)

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  40. Toni on July 1, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    More solid believer – not in the church, but in the reality of Jesus Christ.

    What blogs would you recommend to your friends?
    denversnuffer.blogspot.com
    puremormonism.blogspot.com
    barerecord.blogspot.com
    zomarah.wordpress.com

    What blogs make you feel comfortable commenting?
    puremormonism
    barerecord
    ldsanarchy.wordpress.com
    zomarah
    unblogmysoul.wordpress.com

    What blogs publish thought-provoking content?
    puremormonism
    zomarah
    ldsanarchy
    bycommonconsent

    What are your must-read sites?
    denversnuffer
    puremormonism
    barerecord
    zomarah

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  41. Toni on July 1, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I am supposing my comment went straight into the spam folder since it had links (I only answered the questions).

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  42. Bonnie on July 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    It did, Toni. I rescued it. The spam filter automatically sends anything there with more than two links.

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  43. Toni on July 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Thank you, Bonnie.

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  44. Toni on July 1, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Blogs I go to on a fairly regular basis – this one
    unblog my soul
    by common consent
    lds anarchy
    others I don’t remember right now, but they’re bookmarked.

    Blogs I go to on occasion –
    Feminist Mormon Housewives
    a few others I don’t remember the name of, that may be bookmarked.

    btw, the “solid” answer was in reference to where I see myself right now.

    I don’t feel lonely because I have my kids to talk to, plus a friend I keep in touch with via internet. I don’t talk much in the ward I’m presently in.

    sherry Johns, you and I may have some things in common, except my x never had leadership positions. The wife he had before me told people what he was like, so they were not deceived about what I was going through.

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  45. Toni on July 1, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Okay, I must be needing sleep or something. This comment: “btw, the “solid” answer was in reference to where I see myself right now.” was *supposed* to say “where I see myself in 5 years.” Sheesh.

    I’ll leave now.

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  46. ajax on July 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Blogs I regularly visit:
    Wheat and Tares
    Pure Mormonism
    Latter Day Commentary
    Denver Snuffer

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  47. Paul on July 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    All that discussion of Texas didn’t resolve where the mid-west goes in your geography… (Of course my roommate at BYU assume anything east of Denver was “The East.”)

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  48. Hedgehog on July 3, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    All this discussion about Texas. Europe is large and varied culturally. Try comparing Sweden with Portugal. I’m pretty ignorant about the cultural differences between the various US states however. My (almost) only experience of Americans being those from Utah gives me a warped perspective no doubt.
    Lifelong member.
    I’d like to think I’d be making progress, but if the last 20 years is anything to go by I shall probably be stuck where I am a whole lot longer.
    I’ve been lurking here on and off for a while. I’ve enjoyed many of the comments and discussions.
    To the other questions.
    1.None, at present.
    2.Just dipping my toe here now, after having been encouraged by the posts and discussions about the purposes of the blog.
    3.I dip into some things on Patheos (strictly speaking a gateway rather than a blog proper I suppose). In the past BCC and FMH, but rarely now. I found BCC to be somewhat capricious in their boundary maintainance (viewed from the outside), and the posturing was tiresome. FMH very one-sided.
    4.None really.

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