Moved to Seattle! (And other important updates)

Hi guys,

I know it’s (acceptable contraction for ‘it has’?) been a while since I last posted, and I’ve undergone some major changes. My friends have been left in the dark about what’s up with me, causing them to wonder why the hell I didn’t tell them what I’ve been up to. So in case I’ve missed anyone, here’s what’s been going on in the Life of Bryan:

1. I moved to Seattle

Having been a former resident of Seoul, I can say I’ve lived in some of the world’s largest cities. But I’ve never lived in an American metropolis… until now. I even work on the 13th floor of one of the high-rise buildings that dot the Seattle sky. Speaking of work…

2. I’m an intern at a global PR agency.

I’m finally putting my major to work for me as an intern at Weber Shandwick’s Seattle office.  I can say I’m finally using what I learned in college in the real world. I love what I do and actually look forward to coming into work every day. And yes, this is the first time I’ve ever said that about a real job and meant it.

3. I gave up freelancing. 

It’s something I always said I’d do if I ever started working in PR, and I did that to ensure that I would give 100 percent of my focus to my job. I think it’s a good decision that I do not regret. Freelancing taught me a lot about running my own business and working hard enough for myself, and I’m using the life skills that freelancing taught me in my internship. But it’s time to move on, and freelance writing is in my past.

That’s more or less it. I want to promise that I’ll upload more frequently in the future, but I’ve made that promise before and it never works out.

Thoughts on coffee drinking and the coffee culture

Picture of coffee beans

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a coffee expert. I’ve been drinking coffee for nine years, and I only took it with cream and sugar for three months when I was starting out. I drink mochas, lattes and frappachinos, but those are all in a different category than coffee to me.

I am not an expert in what makes a good coffee great. I understand how different regions have different flavors (and have gotten better at telling where a bean came from just by its taste), and I can have basic conversations about how you’re drinking a roast (when the coffee’s flavor comes from how the bean is roasted) or you’re drinking the bean (when the coffee’s flavor comes mostly from the bean).  But my understanding of coffee is limited.

But I do know what I like about coffee and what I hate about coffee culture. Being an avid drinker of coffee has given me insight into the mysterious black liquid of a non-technical sort. As someone who has worked as a journalist, a college student and a freelance writer, I like to think I’ve downed more than my fair share of coffee. As such, I’ve welcomed some trends in coffee and shaken my fist at others. Continue reading

Google +: A better tool for PR than Facebook?

I’ve been using Google Plus for two or three weeks now, and I love it so far. It still has a “shiny” feel to it and I love seeing how people are adapting to its features.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed about it, however, is that it is not, and never will be, a Facebook killer. Far be it from me to attempt to predict the future, but I don’t see Google + intruding on Facebook’s territory. Here’s why.

Internet Sharing Culture

Most of what I see on Google + so far is stuff people share from the Internet. It’s kind of like twitter, but with a higher character count. I’ve been directed to a lot of stuff that is interesting to me by the people I follow. I think this is because I’m in special Google circles with my friends, and the things they post to people in the circles I am in are directly related to my interests. (I’ll explain the emphasis later.) Continue reading

Make no mistake: The US Women’s team lost to a better team

Let’s get something strait: the US should not have won the Women’s world cup final. Let me repeat:  the US should not have won the women’s world cup final. The Japanese team proved that they were the better team, despite the fact that the US team controlled the pace of the game for a good 70 minutes.

Before there’s any misconception, I was pulling for the women’s team. I don’t think there’s any disrespect in saying that they lost to a team that was simply better.

But I do think it’s disrespectful to the Japanese team to say the US team simply choked. It detracts from the Japanese team’s talent and (Warning: cliche ahead) their will to win. And it overlooks the obvious: Japan was the better team on March 17th, 2011.

Here’s why: Continue reading

Smith Rock | Beautiful Oregon Desert

So I took a bit of a hike on Smith Rock this past weekend.

If you don’t know, Smith Rock is a state park in Central Oregon that is renowned throughout the country for its rock climbing walls.  It’s a bit of a steep hike up the rock face, and even though their were switchback trails and steps installed in the steeper areas, I was reminded about how out of shape I am when making the ascent. Continue reading

I wonder

Every day, I wonder what would have happened if I had moved to Tokyo, looked for a job and tried to make it in the big city instead of coming home and working as a freelance writer. Would I have regretted it ten years from now? Or will not ever doing it haunt me for the rest of my life? It really would have been the biggest adventure of my life had I tried to do it.

An open letter to software engineers

Dear software developer/software engineer:

I love most of your products. Unlike a certain CEO, I think Flash is a great tool for browsing the Internet, and Norton Antivirus has saved my poor computer from my misguided Internet searches.  iTunes has done a great job with organizing my music, and Adobe Air has given me a number of cool Twitter applications to mess around with. So thanks for all the free stuff (well, except for Norton)!

But for the love of users everywhere, stop asking for updates as soon as my computer boots up! Continue reading

From the depths of Omegle…

Stranger: pokefan evan challenged you to a battle!
Stranger: pokefan evan sent out chimchar
Stranger: GO CHIMCHAR!!
You: Trainer Cliff sent out Squirtle
You: go Squirtle!
Stranger: chimchar used shadow claw!
You: Squirtle used self-destruct!
You: It’s not very effective…
Stranger: lol
Stranger: chimchar used flamethrower
Stranger: its not very effective

Windows Live Update 2

Windows Live is much more than Mail and Writer. Windows Live Movie Maker and Windows Photo Gallery are two programs I use in addition to Mail and Writer, and as far as free products go, they aren’t too bad. However, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.

Windows Live Movie Maker

You can download Windows Live Movie Maker for free from Microsoft’s website. And it’s a great tool for editing short clips of movies together. You know that small point-and-shoot digital camera you got years back? Use Windows Live Movie Maker to stitch together clips you create using that camera. Add effects, background music and pictures; it’s easy!

Unless you’re trying to edit video frame-by-frame. I dislike how you cut clips using Windows Live, as most of the time, cutting clips involves more guesstimation than I would like from a video editing program.

Also, once you start editing video with higher resolution than 420p, clips get a bit choppy when you cut them up.

It’s a great video editing program if you don’t have anything else on your computer, but Apple’s free iMovie software is much better.

Windows Live Mail update

Mail went really slow for me today. I almost shut the program down for good on my computer. But it was a high traffic email day for me, so I’m willing to give Mail another chance.

Almost 4 years strong! Wow!

Who would have thought I could keep a project running for 4 years? But I’m on the cusp of doing it. My blog, Bryan’s Sophia, is nearly 4 years old. I am proud of myself for keeping a blog and keeping my thoughts on electronic paper.

In the beginning

This used to be a blog to express my philosophical thoughts. I’ve since moved on to day-to-day stuff and things such as reviews of Microsoft Live software, but I’ve also tried (and failed) to make it my PR oriented blog. That was an epic fail. (If you want to check out my thoughts on PR, visit my PR blog here). Continue reading