About

Life is what we make of it. My aim is to make mine fantastic.

Raoul Pop

My name is Raoul Pop. It’s my real name. I couldn’t have picked a better one if I’d tried, though I might have said differently while in school…

I am Romanian by birth and American by upbringing. I emigrated to the United States with my family in 1991 and grew up in America. Having spent half my life in Romania and half in the US, this makes me somewhat of a mongrel. These days, my wife and I share our time between the US and Romania, spending most of the year in Romania.

I am the author of this website. I’ve been writing and self-publishing online since 2000. I’ve had a website since 1995, and the first time I went online was in 1994.

Why this website exists

I love to write. I do it for two reasons:

  • To celebrate what’s good and beautiful
  • To call for change when something isn’t right

I discovered my love for writing in college, where I majored in English and Creative Writing. The best outlet I’ve found for my passion has been this website, and here is where I intend to keep writing for a long time to come.

I love to take photographs. I adore the beauty, majesty and peace of nature. I am most at peace when in nature. I preserve glimpses, beautiful moments from my experiences, in my photographs. You are welcome to browse my photography galleries. I license my photos for commercial and personal uses, and also sell prints in various sizes and finishes to suit your needs and tastes.

I’ve also discovered the beauty of filmmaking. You can see my efforts at my YouTube Channel, where I am a Partner. You can also use this site’s menu to browse my videos by shows and playlists (see “Shows and Videos” above).

If you’d like to see what equipment I use for my photography and filmmaking, it’s listed here.

What you’ll find here

I publish original content here about 3-4 times per week. Sometimes I publish links or collections of links to interesting articles. If there’s a lull in my posts, that means I’m either busy with projects or I’m traveling.

My interests are varied, and my writing reflects that. I like photography, filmmaking, exercise, old movies, old cartoons, old and new music, new information, new computers and new technology, especially new DSLR cameras.

Here’s a list of the main topics of my articles:

  • Filmmaking: I direct and produce my wife’s two current web shows, Ligia’s Kitchen and Quilling: the Art of Paper Filigree, and I created my own show, called Romania Through Their Eyes, which I also direct and produce.
  • Photography: I post my own photography, gathered from my numerous outings and trips. All of the photographs that I post here or on my portfolio site are available for license or for sale as prints if they are marked with my name. I also do reviews of cameras and lenses or write about advances in the field.
  • Travel: I visit all sorts of interesting places, and when I do, I take photos, and post them alongside my reflections, here on my blog.
  • Technology: I am naturally interested in everything that has to do with computers and various other technologies that make our life better.
  • Exercise and Nutrition: I trained with weights quite seriously from 1994 to 2003 and I’ve started bodybuilding once more in the fall of 2012. You can see the results of my work in this post.
  • Movies and Cartoons: I love old movies and cartoons (silent, classic, black and white, color, you name it), and I write about them. I also write about current movies and cartoons that interest me.
  • Products: New and innovative products get me really excited. I love good design, and I admire products where design, function, durability and reliability are tightly integrated. I review cameras, computers and other technology-related products on my site.
  • Books: I do book reviews from time to time.
  • News and discoveries: I love to find out what’s new in the world, and to share that information right here on my blog.
  • Ideas: I post my own ideas here, because I want to do what I can to contribute to our overall well-being.
  • Life: I write about various things in my life or life in general, with all its quirks, pleasures, adventures and opportunities for personal growth.

Experience

I’ve got knowledge and experience in the following fields:

  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Filmmaking
  • Bodybuilding
  • Blogs, podcasts, vlogs
  • Product reviews and product improvement
  • Web design and development
  • Information/knowledge systems management (i.e. EMR/LMS/CMS implementation & management)
  • Healthcare administration (I have a Master’s degree in this)
  • Server and desktop administration, management and virtualization
  • Database design and administration

You’ll notice that I write a lot about technology, and you may wonder what gives me the authority to do so. I have been an IT professional for 15 years, and have served in various capacities, including tech support, programmer, webmaster, manager and director. I now work as a consultant. I have implemented and developed electronic medical records systems and online learning systems and content management systems. I have written IT policies and have hired and fired employees. I assembled server rooms and servers and desktop computers and made IT purchases big and small. In short, I’ve worked a LOT in IT. It’s a field that I know and like.

My wife

Ligia, my wife, is an accomplished raw chef, artist, piano teacher, and writer. She is also the host of our cooking show, Ligia’s Kitchen, which is internationally renowned and is one of the winners of the YouTube Next Chef Program. Ligia likes old movies, old cartoons and old music, like me.

She published her first book, entitled “Pasi in Lumea Muzicii” (Steps in the World of Music), in 2008. The book is an innovative and approachable method for teaching children piano, and was published in the Romanian language. The first edition sold out in less than a year, and we’re now planning a second edition. She published her second book, entitled “Retete Vegane Fara Foc” (Raw Vegan Recipes), the first book of its kind in Romania, in 2010. The first edition sold out in a few months, so we had to print a 2nd edition and then a 3rd edition. The 4th edition is now in print and it’s one of the most popular recipe books in Romania. She published her third book, entitled “Germeni si Vlastari: Surse de Sanatate si Energie” in 2011. That first edition has now sold out and a 2nd edition is now being prepared for print. Her fourth book, a collection of incredible desserts for the whole family, entitled “Deserturi pentru Parinti si Copii Sanatosi” came out in 2011 and that first edition is on its way to selling out as well.

My daughter

Our entirely adorable daughter Sophie was born to us in March of 2013 and we’re thrilled and blessed that she’s in our lives.

Sophie Vanessa Pop

Website background

After several years of writing articles for my other sites (I started writing online in 2000) and several months of blogging in late 2005 and early 2006, I decided to consolidate my content into a single website.

When you see posts from 2001 as you look through the archive, those are articles originally published at Amalgamy and Lupus Pernix, old websites of mine. For the first few years, I wrote them in HTML and published them as individual web pages, then I coded a precursor of what today would be called a blogging engine, which I called an online publishing system, and used that for a while.

I had actually written that system in 2000, and used it extensively at Dignoscentia, another of my sites. It was (for its time) a full featured publishing system written in ASP, running off an Access DB, and it included a control panel where you could add, edit and publish articles, with images, using an online HTML editor. Now I wish I had open-sourced it instead of mothballing it.

In April 2006, I took my published articles from Amalgamy (a site where I wrote about various subjects) and a smaller selection from Lupus Pernix (a site where I wrote about web development) plus my posts from Blogger (where I started blogging on a commercial platform), and combined them into a single site, which I called ComeAcross (comeacross.info).

In December 2007, I moved all my content here (raoulpop.com). And in January 2010, I moved to WP.com from a self-hosted install of WP.org, because I wanted to stop worrying about server issues and focus on publishing.

Other websites

Feedback is welcome

Your ideas and suggestions about anything that pertains to the site and its content are welcome. If you know of an interesting piece of news or some tidbit of knowledge, let me know.

Thank you for visiting my site, and I hope you stick around!

45 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hmmm. Don’t know what happened to my first comment. Hopefully it isn’t waiting for moderation. Just in case, here it is again. I wanted to say congratulations on your beautiful daughter and wife. I spent some time in Dumbraveni and the surrounding area. Have you visited Prod and seen the big church and rectory house? I took part in the renovations. Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I guess I am a “mongrel” like you too: I was born in America to German and Swiss immigrants. I lived for six years in Germany, but really didn’t fit in there either. I now live in Japan where I teach English. Life is good, dar mi-e dor de Romania! Sper ca ne intalnim in viitor.

    1. Thank you for the nice comment! Yes, all comments go into my moderation queue, there’s a lot of spam these days so I prefer to approve everything myself. Haven’t yet seen Prod, sounds like a good village to visit. If you’re ever in Romania again, drop me a note and let’s meet up. Cheers!

  2. Congratulations on your beautiful baby (and wife). I spent some time from 1998 to 2003 in the Dumbraveni/Hoghilag/Prod area. Have you checked out the church and rectory house in Prod? I’m proud to say I helped with the restoration. I am a “mongrel” too. Born in America to German and Swiss immigrants, I can speak German pretty well but never really fit in in America or Germany. I fell in love with Romania when I visited Dumbraveni the first time, I’m pretty sure it was 1998. Since 2003 I have been living in Japan, teaching English. Life is good, dar mi-e dor de Romania! Ar fi bine sa ne intalnim in viitor. Numai bine!

  3. Bravo Raoul! Imi place mult site-ul tau. Si eu sunt tot cu cam acelasi “background” adica din 1993 am locuit in US… Imi place foarte mult interviurile si site-ul. Bravo tie!

  4. Hope you get the track-back for your Vidraru video post – it’s on today’s post at Magura, Transylvania (where I live). Next time you’re looking for somewhere new, come to Piatra Craiului national park and explore Magura. Come and have tea with me.
    Ligia’s book would be a great education for caterers here in the village – the concept of vegetarianism is still pretty basic: fresh and raw is on the edge of rural Romania’s gastronomic world. Some new vegan ideas would be fabulous, as there are lots of uncarnivores among our visitors who don’t come for the food…

  5. Just came across your site… saw the film you did of you cat giving birth. Lovely! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Just came across you web site by chance which is weird as I am going to Bucharest the day after tomorrow. Love your photos and am intrigued by Ligia’s cooking and books. And I am trying to build my website/blog so you are inspirational

  7. Hi Raoul,

    I am also a Romanian living in USA for like 6 years, and to be honest with you, I can’t hardly wait to come back to Romania. Life here is so boring, that I cannot standing. Anyway, I love your website, and I would like to congradulate you and Ligia for your accomplishments. Ligia have inspired me in choosing a totaly new life style through the raw vegan cuisine. Once again, congratulations guys for what you are doing and for sharing it with other people.

  8. Foarte frumos Raoul, am ajuns din intamplare la blogul tau printr-un link despre This Way – o bicicleta faina.
    Nu sunt un obisnuit al blogurilor insa de vre-o 25 de minute stau pe aici si ma incant. Am si uitat ce cautam…felicitari!

  9. I love your writing! Thank you for your optimisms and for being an inspiration. It was also a surprise to find that your wife was Ligia, whose culinary ideas I have often enjoyed.

  10. hiii…Raoul….nice to meet you,is it accident to have ur mail..On my list..??
    but…it’s my honored..to have a mail like this,…i di and i love ur web site..very
    interesting…Ohh!! by the wa i’m Sara from japan…and..i’m so happy to meet a friend and with ur wife here…really mt pleasure….i Only point….to be honest…
    why i write you is…about my Country…i’m sure u r very well known..about happened here in japan….(so sad..) but i wish u can be here and see…the real..happen..and help us…specially to the victim Of the Tsunami..and now..about th typhoon…we Lost are treasure….but still we have LOVE to welcome..all friends…like you…i’m sorry..my lettr’s take so long…
    Raoul…?….i hope..i can have One more mails from you…..thank you and God Bless you and ur family….

    Sincerely ur’s..
    Sara

    just if u have time..here is my add:
    cgmax02@yahoo.com

    THANK YOU..

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Sara. I’ve been following the news from Japan, and have been astonished by the scale of the natural disasters that have befallen it. But I’ve been even more astonished by the response of the Japanese people — their spirit of self-sacrifice and the desire to help each other out of their common troubles. I wish you all the best and I know that Japan will be well as long as its people continue to work together. Cheers!

      1. Ohhh…my God!!!!….hii…i’m so very surprised,to see ur mail…i think that u don’t have time to make even a little response for my letter,..it’s because i know that you are very have hectic schedules…but…Ohh!! God thanks…..to have ur mails….i’m,…i’m so..very Happy….i hopr you don’t mind me to call you by ur name Raoul…so…late to say…how are you with ur family….i wis you and ur family..are doing fine and in good health….Ohhh!! so feel excited,..when i’m typing this…i do…hope..sometime..someday..to hear ur voice…too…(i’m sorry)..i am just happy to be as ur friend too..want to learn..something…i am very interesting to ur site…unm..sorry..if i take too uch Of ur..time…just last and always..wish for you,….take Care and..God Bless you all…..
        Merry X’ Mas…..
        mee…always…Sara^^

  11. Awesome site.When did you pick up photography? By the way, where did you go to college? I am in my senior year and i live in the states, so I am on a college search. Was wondering if you had any college advice? That would be a cool post. =D

    1. Thanks! I’ve been taking photos since ’94, but I only got serious about photography in ’06. Went to Middlebury College (Vermont). Pick a school based on the things you care about. I cared about architecture, about nice winters and about good professors. Midd offered all those things. Maybe I’ll do a post on picking a college, we’ll see… :-)

  12. Found this site through your youtube video about safety razor shaving. Loved the video and love the photos on the site! Keep up the good work.

  13. Great website structure and excellent work Raoul! I myself am a mongrel and with the help of people like you, I learn to embrace what’s beautiful and worth fighting for.

  14. Buna, te-am gasit pe youtube cind prezentai shed-ul. Tocmai ma pregateam si eu de asamblare. Acolo scapi un ,,gata,, la un momendat si am realizat ca esti roman. Ma bucur ptr voi si ceia ce ati realizat. Noi am venit in 2003 si acum locuim in houston. Multa bafta in continuare pe plan profesional precum si in viata de familie.

  15. I really like your site Raoul. I am looking to establish a professional web presence and stumbled onto your site via a link at wordpress. I particularly like the atmosphere of the pages. I am trying to think about how to articulate that further, but I will settle for ‘atmosphere’ while I try and distill the essence of this and try to add it to my own pages. Good job.

  16. very well said and well done! simply inspiring.
    it’s good that you don’t only celebrate the beauty of life but also raise things that need change. i’ve been an advocate of both… :-D

    oh by the way, it’s very charming of you to include your wife in here. she must be very proud of you. cheers!

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