Blogging 365: Can I Do It?

It’s the second day of 2013 and so far I’m on a roll in blog posts: with this, my second post, I’ve been blogging the entire year!

But you wanna hear something really nuts? How about I keep it up and post a minimum of 365 entries this year? That means at least one post per day (going live before 11:59 pm PST) no matter the subject. I’m even including pictures — even outside of Wordless Wednesdays — if it means sticking to the plan. It’ll be kind of like NaNoWriMo except for the entire year and, without a doubt, much less coherent.

I’m doing it for a simple reason: Facebook and Instagram are killing my blogging life and I don’t like it. Whatever random thought or interesting picture usually end up on either of these sites and if you think about it, they’d be better suited here.

Anyway, there’s Post 2 of 365 explaining that…I will be posting every day this year. Believe me, neither of us knows what’s in store, but I’m quite sure it will be interesting and a lot of fun.

Stay tuned!

You Like Me Long Time!

So I saw this in my WordPress feed today:

Over 100 Likes since WordPress integrated this nifty option in 2010!

As such, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have gone through the trouble of not only reading the gobbledygook I post here, but then processing it and thinking it was worthy of clicking the Like button at the very bottom. It makes the writing process all the more enjoyable knowing my readers do that, so thanks again.

The next milestone will be reached sometime this year: 1,000 posts. But don’t worry, there won’t be any prizes.

Or will there be? I’m sure I can give something away…

Another Flashback to 1986

While in the depths of yet another session of questioning my writing abilities, a friend of mine handed down simple advice: “Writers write,” and being a photographer he added “and photographers…photog. But you know what I mean.”

I definitely did.

Yesterday, I was scanning some of Anthony’s art that he did in art class when I asked if he had ever seen any of my work. He didn’t (or more than likely, had forgotten). Knowing where a few of my older pieces were, I went into the garage and grabbed them.

I’m glad I did—years of improper storage was causing the paper to deteriorate. But while searching through this old Pee-Chee of art I also came across a lot of stuff that I had written either by hand or on a number of typewriters I had owned over the years.

Much of what I found were lyrics to songs that were on my mind at the time but others were a bit more intriguing.

So I decided that I might as well share one of them with you and when you read it, you’ll see that even though I had no intention of how this message would be broadcast or to whom it was for, the format seems very “bloggish” in that I’m speaking to an audience, much in the way I am now.

Here’s the letter: a review of the year 1986, when I was a junior in high school.

Some of the highlights of the letter include:

1986 letter

(click to embiggen)

I still own the Brother typewriter that I used to compose this letter. It’s got a thermal ribbon that cost a fortune back in the day for a 3-pack, and it also has a 15-character LCD display so you could sort of see what you were typing as you went along. It would also “beep” when you reached the end of the line.

But I used that thing until 1993 when it I met Ann, who had computers all her life. I then switched to Notepad and it was all downhill since then.

Regardless of its capabilities, I think it says a lot that I would go through all of this trouble to bang away at the keys of that typewriter to remember the news of the year, without benefit of Googling any of it—just for the sake of doing it.

Writers write.

And even though the media has changed, 25 years later they still do.

Windows Writer: Blogging Made Easier

Now that I’m back to blogging after my single day of “retirement,” I thought I’d blab about a nifty blogging tool I came across accidentally while going through my e-mail.

Windows Writer is part of the Windows Live suite of tools by Microsoft, a suite which the Redmond-based software giant wants you to believe will make your life easier. And while I haven’t given all of these tools a full test-run, I have been tinkering with Writer a little bit today and let me tell you, it’s pretty cool. In fact, I’m using it to write this post and will probably continue to use it because I like it so much.

Why? Well, say you want to create and post a spiffy album of pictures from your computer. It’s as simple—and visually appealing—as this:

(Note: When creating an album, they will be uploaded to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s online storage solution. Also, I’ve yet to figure out how to disable downloading the images, so in order to prevent people from downloading your the full-size images, consider making them lo-res.)

Or if you want to spice up your pictures with cool Polaroid-esque borders, you can do that with an available plug-in:

(Note: Images are directly uploaded to your blog host and the plug-in’s name of “Polaroid” is a bit of a misnomer as the images just appear to have white borders and look nothing like Polaroids.)

And if you have a Flickr account, a plug-in is available that allows you to grab your public pictures them and post them to your blog, like this:

[Fuji] Dexter Shoot 007

Want to post a quick map image of where you had lunch today? It’s as simple as this:

YouTube video? Easy:

(Note: You can only link to YouTube videos from your library.)

How cool is all this?

When you sign up for this, you also get SkyDrive which serves up 25GB of free online storage, which can come in handy in case you’re near your (free) limit with WordPress.com’s 3GB.

Speaking of which, Writer is also compatible with a myriad of blog hosts including WordPress (web-based only as far as I know). Once it retrieves your WordPress account information, the Writer interface allows you to do just about everything you can from the standard WordPress Dashboard, save for some of their proprietary features such as templates and Soundcloud clips.

In short, Writer looks like a stripped-down version of Word and is fantastic for posting blog entries, which is exactly what it is designed to do. Editing of existing entries, template changes, etc. must still be done through your blog host. But for the functionality it offers, I’m willing to forego the shortcomings.

So instead of me singing its praises, download it and see for yourself how it works.

Oh, and despite me saying I’ll spend less time on Facebook, I went through the trouble to create my own Fan Page for this here blog. If you want to become one, here’s the link:

So show your allegiance and do it—NOW!


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A Kind of Retirement

For over 5 years, I’ve feverishly pounded away at the keyboard with (ir)regular frequency in the hopes that readers and passersby alike would be entertained, enlightened, humored, or pissed off by what I’ve said. And for the most part, I’d say I’ve succeeded by the feedback I’ve received.

But as you have probably noticed, recently my posts have been getting few and far between, quite simply because I’ve been running thin on topics to cover or things to talk about–or my willingness to share at all. You see, as I get progressively older, I’m beginning to wonder if these little facets of my life should be publicly documented and / or broadcast to a worldwide audience, one that may not even be remotely interested in what I have to say.

I have used my blog as an outlet, my podium for pontification about everything from my life to the meaningless news coverage of California wildfires. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it but with a child starting kindergarten in September, the whole layoff thing in March and currently working a job that is not worth waking up for (and the need to figure out what in the Hell I’m going to do next), offers for lousy jobs that make me question my own self-worth, financial problems to contend with, and everything else that comes with realizing that the Grim Reaper is rapidly approaching me, the blog thing is beginning to take a back seat as I decide how to navigate my way through the mess that lies before me.

It’s amazing how getting screwed in the eye can change your perspective on things.

Then there’s Facebook, a place where, to paraphrase the late, great Freddy Fender, I’ve wasted plenty of days and nights by living a slightly voyeuristic lifestyle, frequently checking to see what my Friends have been up to–and not approving a plethora of silly game and so-called Cause requests. In addition to all that, I closed my MySpace account a few weeks ago because I simply was not using it and didn’t want to anymore. IMing? Please. I haven’t logged in to Trillian in months and I rarely use Twitter, save for posting tweets promoting my latest posts.

When it comes to having an online presence, it seems I’m getting to be kind of like Marlon Brando was in his later years: reclusive and private, but in my case, not watching my waistline exponentially increase to [g]astronomical proportions.

And I’m getting accustomed to that.

Reluctantly, I am choosing to put a halt on blogging for good. While I know I’ve taken breaks in the past and have rebounded within a week or sooner, I think the time is right to step away and put it aside indefinitely while I focus on life in private, to be simply Citizen Dave and Daddy.

That’s not to say I’m disappearing for good, no. I may still post now and then so don’t delete me from your RSS feed if you want to read my most recent posts. And if you’re really interested in staying in touch, you can always e-mail me with the address listed on the Contacts page.

Thanks, all. It’s been fun and I’ve had a blast communicating with all of you.
Dave

Note: While at work today, I kept listening to Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk in the Room” over and over again. My mind drifted while it played and I thought, “What a brilliant song this would be for a final scene of a romantic comedy.”

And so it begins…

—————
Now playing: Woody Guthrie – Dusty Old Dust (So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You)
via FoxyTunes