Frequently Asked Questions

I’m asked a certain few questions from time to time. Thought this would help aleviate any confusion.

Where did you get the nickname “Sterling”?

I have a mild nickel allergy, so in order for me to play clarinet (and not be itchy), the keys have to be plated with another metal. The most common of these non-nickel key platings is sterling silver, and I always made sure to get the school’s silver-plated clarinet in my hands before anyone else (at least until I got my own). That’s when my classmates started jokingly calling me Sterling, and around then is when I thought I could adopt it as a pseudonym of sorts.



Why does the site look like it came off late-2000s AOL?

I don’t like loads of hacky CSS and JavaScript, especially when I write the HTML for this site by hand (see below, or view the source).

What do you use as the backend? WordPress?

Ever since the very beginning, I’ve coded this site from scratch. At first, it was static HTML edited with Notepad++. I wanted to generate dynamic content (at the time, just consistent headers and footers), and after experimenting around, I settled on PHP for a few years. Recently, I’ve moved to a model-view-controller philosophy, so I simply pass largely unadulterated markup through a custom CGI program to attach headers, metadata and whatnot.

How well can you speak [language]?

Linguistics being a hobby of mine, I commonly get mistaken for a polyglot. Well, I might be one. Depends on your definiton of fluency.

I’m a native English speaker, if that wasn’t a given. I can converse in elementary Japanese (though slowly and with some weird grammar); I can comprehend Spanish and French to a degree but struggle holding a spoken conversation; and I understand the slightest bit of Portugese and Italian primarily as a carry-over from Spanish.

I can somewhat read Arabic, Hebrew, Hellenic and Cyrillic scripts (because why not) but have virtually no comprehension of the languages associated with them. I’m also learning Hangeul since my girlfriend’s a complete Koreaboo.

Why do you even have this website?

It started out as a hobby, really. Now, it’s still that, but moreso just a repository of things I share with friends and other people. That’s literally all that’s to it.