Tag Archives: blog

What The Followers?

off my lawnWhile I’m in a meta mood, there’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for months. It’s particularly apropos as a followup to this year’s Blog Anniversary post, especially as it’s a followup about Followers.

Specifically, the 2,642 of you supposedly following this blog. Often the proper term might be lurkers, but in this case I lean more towards absent drive-bys. There would be more, over three-grand, but ever since WordPress gave bloggers the ability to delete Followers, I’ve been removing obvious spammers (meaning anyone selling anything).

I’ll give you the punchline so you can stop reading: I’m about to remove nearly all of you.

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Wood The Fifth

FiveFive years. (And 602 posts.) Literally a handful of years. (And a heartful.) There is a theory that the Roman numeral V represents a human hand, and the numeral X symbolizes two V hands set point-to-point. It seems obvious that “prisoner’s hash marks” — counting the days in groups of five — owes much to our five-fingered hands.

Five is a human number. Small enough to seem fundamental; big enough to be interesting (two and three are so boring; four is kinda square). Five puts the prime in prime! It’s also part of an easy trick for making large right angles (for laying out fields and building pyramids), and it’s the first substantial anniversary gift (paper, cotton, leather, silk, wood).

Five years ago I started this blog…

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Back to the Grindstone

The old grindstone!Today is the last Day of Christmas. If you’ve been following the song, your house is filled with leaping Lords, milking maids, two groups of musicians, and an awful lot of birds. But now you can usher them out, take down the lights and decorations, and put the tree out on the curb for pickup.

I’m guessing some of you did the de-decorating on December 26th and didn’t even buy your true love a partridge. On the other hand, the 2015 Christmas season apparently begins on August 31st (and includes “Black November”) so it’ll be back before you know it!

Until then, it’s time to get back to the grindstone.

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A half-life in three acts

new years eveThe end of the calendar year: a time for a rambling look back at what was and wiping the blackboard clean for the scribbles of a new year. It’s been thirty years (and some change) since I moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. That was roughly half my life ago.

I realize the former is a city while the latter is an entire state, but L.A. is so much a place unto itself (call it a state of mind) that I really do think of the move that way. It took years to shed my West Coast cloak — that Los Angeles state of mind — but now I’m a full-on Minnesotan.

Looking back, those three decades form three distinct acts.

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Annual Report 2014

Sydney Opera HouseWell, it’s that time of year when WordPress generates our Annual Report and we find out how many sold-out Sydney Opera House performances we earned. My first full year (2012) as a blogger I didn’t even rate one! That year visitors were compared to Mt. Everest climbers, and I’m sure there was no intended connection with oxygen deprivation.

This year — identically to last year — I managed to fill the House “about” five times. That’s page views; I’m up just shy of 500 views from last year (not quite a 4% increase). Visitors is another matter. Over 2,000 more visitors stopped by this year (a 140% increase).

But I really wanted to write about the posts

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Seinfeld Is Unfunny

Jerry SeinfeldThe post’s title is the name of a trope[1], and while you may not know it by this handle, you have probably run into it. Perhaps from someone combining the terms “old hat” and “just” — or maybe using the more continental “cliché” (ooh la la) about something once revered as ground-breaking. The trope arises from not recognizing the originator of ideas now in common use. For example, Airplane! and Die Hard seem lost among all the similar films that followed.

But this post really isn’t about the trope or the Seinfeld TV show. The title just makes a neat kick-off point and offers some connective tissue. I really do mean I don’t find Jerry Seinfeld all that funny. Ironically, I think the man is a comic genius, and I have high regard for his comic acumen. Yet his stand-up routines leave me cool.

So this post is actually about stuff I don’t find funny (and why not).

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My 409

409I did something special for #300, but I blew past #400 without really noticing. I had the idea of doing #404 on the “404 Page Not Found” error, but I’d already blown past that milestone, too. I’d pretty much decided to just wait for #500 and really uncork the champagne then.

And it’s all a bit muddled because there are also 29 pages here and quite a few posts on my other three blogs, so it’s not like I’m literally just into the 400s even on just blog publications. For that matter, I’ve been online since the 1980s — I’ve put a ton of stuff out there in three decades (including a personal website since 1998).

But still, this is the 409th post on Logos con carne.

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Spam-Tember

spam-0Those of you who are bloggers, I don’t know how much you look through your Spam Comments list. I delete spam without looking at it too much. But you must go to the list to click the button, so you can’t avoid seeing some of it. Sometimes there’s a new twist on the basic trick: “I’m a real comment! No, really, I am!! Please let me through!!!”

But most of it becomes familiar in a short time. You see the same comments vaguely praising your post without actually saying anything about it. Some of it makes you chuckle a little; some of it makes you despair. It’s a kind of constant background noise.

Then last September it seemed like there was a lot more spam than usual.

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7-4, 2014, 2011, 1998, 1992, 1776

US Declaration of IndependenceToday, of course, is Fireworks Day for USAnians. It’s an important summer day we celebrate with picnics, sunburn, maybe some swimming, maybe some baseball and — always — a lot of fireworks. I always wonder how many reflect on how those fireworks echo a war we fought to become who we are today.

Three years ago, on this day in 2011, I began Logos con carne. It wasn’t my first blog — I’d had a go at a baseball blog begun the month before. But I’d found it harder to write about baseball, especially just about baseball, so “meaty words” was born. This will be my 361st post here. The experiment and experience of blogging continues today.

weddingSixteen years ago, on this day in 1998, I got married. On a riverboat. With balloons and cake. And fireworks that seemed appropriate at the time. But the anticipated life-long path came to a dead-end by 2003, and that,  as they say, was that. My experiment with marriage had an unexpected result, and the echoes of that result linger yet today.

My UncleTwenty-Two years ago, on this day in 1992, my uncle — my dad’s only brother — died. He was a really cool uncle, and we  had a lot of fun in years past discussing quantum physics and theology. He was a theology professor at a local college, and he was very interested in the scientific world. He found out the answer to the great experiment we call life: what (if anything) comes next? He might have enjoyed this blog; I miss him still today.

signersTwo-hundred-and-thirty-eight years ago, on this day in 1776, some famous guys ratified an important contract — the United States Declaration of Independence. Then they went to a picnic and maybe some swimming. That was the beginning of an experiment that, for better or worse, is still with us today.

And so it goes.

And so it goes.

And so it goes.


Meanwhile…

tangledI find myself feeling “at loose ends.” If you search on that phrase, you find a big part of the definition involves the idea of “not knowing what to do,” although sources differ a bit on whether that’s due to having nothing to do or due to not being able to decide what to do. More to the point, most identify the main feeling: being restless and unsettled.

A key reason my ends are loose is obvious given my last post, but this river has other tributaries (I never met a metaphor I couldn’t mix). Certainly in my case, the problem isn’t having nothing to do; I have plenty of projects. The problem is the utter lack of fulfillment in doing most of them.

And, sadly, this blog is turning out to be high on that list.

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