Tag Archives: WordPress

I Forgot That Today Was the Day

2 Nov

I opened up my account to see what was going on and found the Congratulations message from the folks at WordPress. I had forgotten that today was the day. A lot of posts have been written over the lifespan of this blog. According to my stats, 837 have been published. Actually, more than 837 have been published, but I deleted a few of them upon further review.

One of those posts was Freshly Pressed. It was about movies that end with someone riding off into the sunset. One out of 837. Man, that is not a very good percentage. However, I can always say that I was Freshly Pressed. Of course, those people who do not blog have no idea what that means. Heck, I did not know what it meant when it happened.

I do not write as much as I once did. Busy days, man. Busy days. Despite that drop off, blogging has been a fun experience. A lot of words have left my brain, and I have met a lot of great people. Everyone should blog at some point in their life.

I think I will celebrate this anniversary by composing a post. Wait, I just did that.

A Blogging Recalibration

4 Nov

My blogging anniversary came and went with little fanfare. I did not say anything about it, but I got one of those silver trophies from the WordPress folks. It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for all this time.

Through the years, I have learned a lot. I have learned that some people are interested in the mysteries of gas pumps, and other people want to know the deeper meanings of Smokey and the Bandit.

I have also learned that friends can be made through the Internet. There are people out the who I have come to know, respect and care about. Some of them have left the blogging community, but others are still typing away.

Many of you know that this blog started in a therapy session. My therapist felt that I needed to release some mental frustrations and suggested a diary of some sort. I felt that a diary would not properly release the tension because I would be the only one reading it. The internal noise needed to be released in a different way. Hence, this blog was born.

Those early days were full of caustic writing that was sarcastic and, at times, mean-spirited. In fact, my first comment was negative and came from someone who I knew. The blog was anonymous, and I have still not figured out how they found it.

Getting that comment was also surprising because hardly anyone read the blog. The first month saw an average of two readers a day. However, I kept writing because that was two readers more than there would be if I did not write.

At some point, I began to focus on the statistics. More readers found their way to this place. As the content grew, the readership grew. However, I wanted more and decided to publicize the blog on Twitter.

Honestly, that may have been a mistake. I had to delete some early posts because I did not want people in my real life to read them. Of course, it was impossible to get rid of everything that came pouring out of my mine, and some people close to me were hurt by the words they found.

Publicizing the blog also transformed my writing. A lot of the thoughts inside my mind had to stay there because not everyone needs to know what goes on in there. I decided to stay away from controversial subjects and go with more entertaining stuff. At least, topics that I think are entertaining.

Along the way, the blog kept growing. I was lucky enough to be Freshly Pressed. Although, I still do not understand how a post that included Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man caught the attention of those who decide what is worthy of being Freshly Pressed.

Getting Freshly Pressed created another goal. I wanted to reach the same numbers in another month that I got in the Freshly Pressed month, and that finally happened earlier this year.

I write all of that to write the following. Statistics have become more important than the writing. I have put bad posts out there just for the sake of publishing posts. This means that I have veered completely away from what this blog is supposed to be.

I started the blog to get words out of my head. In a lot of instances, those words were not nice. When I began to publicize the blog, the words changed, but the goal of the blog did not. I was still getting words out of my head. When statistics became the focus, I was typing words that were not really in my head. At least, they were not in there for long.Recalibration

As of today, I am going to recalibrate the blog. I am not going to publish posts just for the sake of numbers. I am going to write when something needs to be written. In other words, when something needs to come out of my mind. That means that I will not be writing as often, and the numbers will probably decrease. However, I hope the quality of the blog will improve.

My iPod Has Issues – WordPress Has Joined the Crazy Club

9 Dec

This morning, I logged into WordPress and found that the format has been changed. Obviously, this is not the first time that changes have taken place, and each time I have to learn how to navigate the system to get where I want.

It an old-fashioned question, but why fix something that is not broken? Ever heard of New Coke?New Coke

Hold on. Scratch that. The classic system I signed up on was not broken. The changes since that time have gradually made the platform worse. With each change, I have figured out how to get back to the classic. One of these days, the classic dashboard is going to be deleted, and the blogging world will stop spinning.

Anyway, the folks at WordPress either need busy work to justify their continued employment, or they have joined the crazy club. My iPod is the only thing crazier than these constant changes. With that in mind, we will go completely off the wall and use this crazy blogging platform to explore my crazy iPod.

Hold on to your minds!

“The Reflex” by Duran Duran

“La Grange” by ZZ Top

“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan

“Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin

“Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” by Dionne Warwick

“Baby Love” by The Supremes

“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan

“The Devil Made Me Do It” by Golden Earring

“In The Garden” by John Prine and Mac Wiseman

“Say You Really Care” by Roscoe Shelton

“Cool” by Lou Busch and His Orchestra

“Big Long Slidin’ Thing” by Dinah Washington

“Bad Businessman” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

“Funk #49” by James Gang

“Coelocanth” by Shriekback

“Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings

“Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke

“Banditos” by The Refreshments

“Hallelujah” by Sweathog

“Escape of Jennie Wiley” by Hylo Brown

“Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple

“Roane County Prison” by Bill Monroe

“Beau Geste” by Hadley J. Castille

“Everlasting Love” by Robert Knight

“Stagger Lee” by Lloyd Price

Our brief musical interlude is over. Now, WordPress. Fix yourself.

The Mysteries of WordPress

10 Oct

I have read a lot of posts about the inner workings of WordPress and the issues that bloggers have with them. You guys know what I am talking about. However, I have never had any problems with the platform. It is annoying to get accustomed to something and have it change, but, overall, WordPress has worked well for me.

With all of that being said, I have noticed something strange about WordPress and am wondering if other people have noticed the same thing.

Like many of you, I follow a lot of bloggers. Some of them post occasionally, and others post all of the time. When someone who writes all of the time suddenly stops, several ideas run through my mind. They could be traveling. They could be sick. They could be focused on their non-blogging lives. Heck, it could be anything. However, I never think that some mysterious WordPress force has made me stop following them.Mystery

That is exactly what I have been noticing in the past several weeks. I wonder what is happening with a blog that has not popped up in a while, and I go over to see what is happening. That is when I discover that I am no longer following them. I did not unfollow them and do not understand how they suddenly got clicked. I can only think that something inside of WordPress did it.

Also, it has happened with some of my favorites. Serendipity. Have Bag Will Travel. There are plenty of examples.

My questions are the following:

Has this happened to you?

What mysterious WordPress force is causing it?

The Day Austin Peay Blew Up My Stats Page

26 May

Last night, I opened up my WordPress account to read the latest blogs. At the corner of the screen was the familiar orange beacon telling me that there was a message of some sort. Usually, it is a star to point out that someone liked a post, or it is a dialogue balloon signaling that someone had made a comment.

This beacon was saying that my stats were booming. The blog was receiving a lot more traffic than usual. I have seen this one pop up several times, and it always makes me wonder what is happening.

Did a new reader discover the blog and make their way through a bunch of posts? It is always cool when that happens, and it is easy to determine. The stats will show a bunch of posts have been read by a few people. Yep, someone spent a long time reading my mundane writings, and I appreciate them for it.

Was one of the posts on a topic that has suddenly become a popular search term? I think that has happened a couple of times when older posts jumped to the top of the stat line.

Did I write about something obscure enough that when someone searches for it this blog will show up? I am pretty sure that has happened a couple of times. I am not trying to brag, but I believe this site has become the go-to place for a couple of topics.

Is there some bot out there that found some phrase on my blog and ran with it? I have often wondered how many bots are out there lurking around.

All of those questions went through my mind when I saw the booming beacon but clicking the stats made me wonder what was going on.

A post that I wrote last Fall, “Let’s Go Peay!“, was off the charts. It has gotten more hits in the past several hours than it has in the last several months. How did that happen? Was there suddenly a bunch of people interested in a chant from a small university in Tennessee?

I wrote the post because I always thought the chant was cool, but I never thought it would be something that would bring a lot of readers. Apparently, it is more interesting than I thought, or someone’s browser messed up.

Last week, the university’s football field collapsed into a sinkhole.Sinkhole

You can go ahead and insert a Bane joke. I am sure everyone else has.

That could have made Austin Peay a popular search term, but I would think that interest has past.

Anyway, I am not complaining. Everyone wants a lot of people to read their stuff. I just find it interesting that an old post has suddenly found fame. Heck, it is now the most viewed post of the past quarter. For all the people who read it, I appreciate you stopping by and hope you will stay for a while. I also hope you are real people.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

18 Aug

Yes, I lifted the title from a classic song written by Kris Kristofferson. It’s a great song made popular by Johnny Cash, but no one sings it like Kristofferson himself. Anyway, this post is not about the song. It’s about a regular Sunday morning at our house.

Necole always wakes up first, and her internal clock makes it happen. I have never had an internal clock that works like that. Mine always tells me to keep on sleeping. Mornings are the usual time for her to get things done around the house while everyone else is out of her way. However, I get the feeling that this morning was different and involved coffee, a chair, a blanket and the television.

Daisy Dog was the next one to wake up. I could feel her start to shift around on the bed. Then, the scratching began. That’s always the sign that she is awake. At some point, she will jump from the bed, and I get up to open the door for her. The rest of her morning has been filled with more lying around and looking out the window for rabbits.

I am the next person to arise, and this morning I arose earlier than usual. It was a combination of Daisy Dog and my knowing that tomorrow I will have to wake up early for real. Inservice begins. That means a day full of listening to people talk and a spirited game of Inservice Bingo.Bingo

Like I said, this morning came earlier than usual. With Necole all the way across the house, I texted her about the plans for the day. We had discussed trying a new church this morning, but that plan changed. Due to her mom’s birthday luncheon, the early service was the only one we could attend. We just didn’t see that one happening. Why?

Isabella is still asleep. She spent yesterday at the county fair and is probably to pooped to pop. Our county fair is the largest fair in the state. It’s really something to see.Wilson County Fair

Anyway, this has been a slow-moving morning. After getting out of bed, I got into the shower. I’m not someone who can be comfortable while feeling dirty. Once I am up, I need to get clean and get dressed. I usually don’t listen to the radio while in the shower, but, this morning, I was up early enough to catch “Big Orange Sunday” on 104.5 The Zone. It’s a show all about the University of Tennessee. It’s getting close to football season, so I need to get all of the information that’s out there.

After getting ready for the day, I wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, I head out, but there’s nowhere to go. Necole was watching country music videos. Daisy was looking out the window. Isabella was sleeping. I got on the computer. I hit all of the usual sites, but there’s not much to read.

That’s when I delved into the world of WordPress to see what was happening. That’s also when I decided to write this post. Now, I am in my office with crap piled on the desk. It is hard to understand how so much stuff can be accumulated in a short period of time.

Necole brought her bowl of cereal to the office and hung out for a few minutes. She’s big on breakfast. I’m not hungry when I first get up. Most times, I get a chocolate milk when I first get to work. At least, I used to. I think they have moved the snack bar from my building and put it somewhere else. That means that the only liquid available in my building is coffee. Wait, there is Coke. If there is one thing about caffeine, then it’s the fact that it’s better cold and carbonated than it is hot and in a cup.

That’s the morning so far. Now, let’s go out and see what the rest of the day will bring.

Logically, It’s for the Poet

8 Oct

When this blog began, the front page of WordPress was a listing of those blogs which had been chosen as “Freshly Pressed”. I found several blogs to follow by squeezing the melons in that section. Now, the front page of WordPress has changed to some sort of sliding pictorial format.

Example, “For the Foodie” slides into “For the Photographer”. I suppose that the slides show potential bloggers the variety of things they can write about in the WordPress world. It’s an alright front page, but there is one thing that I have a question about.

Why does “For the Poet” have a picture of Spock in a wig?

Blankety Blank

21 Jul

My mind is blank, and I can’t think of anything to write about. I have tried every prompt that comes to mind – checked my documents; clicked through Inspiro; surfed the television guide; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All of that, and my mind is blank.

Let’s see, I woke up this morning and looked at Twitter. As you probably know, it was filled with news of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. I don’t know what to say about that, and whatever I write has probably already been written. Somehow, I feel that the more it and other tragedies are tweeted and televised – the more unreal they become. We read and watch with fascination more than horror. Perhaps, we have become too accustomed to such events, or we have become a “reality show” culture and watch true events the same way.

I didn’t turn on the news. Instead, I watched the Tour de France. Does that make me cold and uncaring? I’m not sure, but I really didn’t want to watch carnage.

After watching some cycling, I took a shower and logged into WordPress. I saw some interesting posts by the people who I follow and read a few. Soon, it was time to head for lunch.

I eat lunch every Friday with my dad, brother and some of our friends. Lunch is always in the backroom of Gondola Restaurant. As a result, we have come to be known as the Gondola Mafia. We talk about local issues, politics, economy, sports. It seems that we cover the same topics every week. In fact, I have been counting how many times I hear the same stories and complaints.

When lunch was over, I returned home and read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a great book that I started yesterday. I should be finished soon and will post about it. It is an amazing story that has impacted everyone reading these words.

I read while I waited for the delivery of a piece of furniture. I needed a new bedside table and got one earlier in the week. The store said it would be between 3:00 and 5:00. I was prepared to wait until 6:00, but they hit the middle at 4:00.

Eventually, I turned on the news and caught up on the events in Colorado. It is a tragedy, and I wish the information providers would show respect and let the police do their jobs instead of trying to be the first to know everything. On top of that, I am probably too cynical, but I am not comfortable watching the two guys running from president falling all over themselves in an attempt to show the country who could be the most sympathetic.

So, that was the extent of my day. Maybe, my mind is blank because I killed too many brain cells with a day full of blankness.

Alterations

10 Apr

As Douglas MacArthur once said, “I have returned!” Although he was returning to the Philippines during World War II, I have returned to Tennessee from an excursion into parts unknown – the same place that a lot of masked wrestlers came from.

As happens a lot when someone is gone for a length of time. I came back to some alterations – not in my real life but in my blog life (which are quickly merging).

As I flew home, I couldn’t wait to open up the Surrounded by Imbeciles portal and see what I have been missing. Imagine my surprise to see a big red/yellow/orange map on a new look Site Stats page. It is a really cool addition, and it was interesting to see not only how many people have been looking in but also where they are located when they look. All this time, I have been thinking that people in a few states have been checking out the blog. In actuality, these blogs go all over the world. Imagine that! It makes me realize how big and impactful the Internet really is. Thank you, fellow Tennessean Al Gore! I know, an old joke that I have used before.

I know you blogging folks have probably been playing around with your maps. I just got into mine and found some interesting stuff. Obviously, the United States sits at the top by a wide margin. I write about the things I know, and most of that is in the United States. It makes me wonder what someone in Gabon thinks about some of my references.

Completing the top five are Australia, Canada, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. Other ones that I find interesting are Jordan, Barbados (because it’s a great island), Turkey, the Russian Federation (I wonder if Putin feels as if he is surrounded by imbeciles.), Malta, Bangladesh and Costa Rica (because, well, I just wanted to mention Costa Rica).

Anyway, I just wanted to get back into blogging mode after some time off and thank WordPress for their cool map. I always say that people should be able to read a map. That bitchy woman who gives you directions from the dashboard just isn’t the same as Rand McNally. I only wish that they could break down the states as well. Although, they may have done that, and I just haven’t figured it out yet. At any rate, it is good to be back in the blog world.