Change of Plans

I’ve apparently grown bored with posting my daily photos to my blog. The thing is I take them with my phone, upload them to Instagram, set Instagram to automatically load them to Facebook and Flickr, and then if I post them on the blog, I go to Flickr to post from there. But by the time I can get to Flickr to post my pictures to my blog, everyone I know has already seen them on Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr. They just seem a little too redundant on the blog.

That said, I am still doing my photo-a-day project for 2012. The shots are all on Flickr. You can see them here if you are interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgerald/sets/72157628672051925/.

I’ve also added a little widget in the sidebar of the blog that will (I hope) display my latest Flickr photos automatically.

Maybe one day soon I will start using the blog for blogging again. Until then, if you only want to see which flower I trespassed through your yard to take a picture of today, you can follow me on Flickr.

Choices

I could wait around to see if my Internet comes back on, or I could use my phone to post this little note that says nothing more than I still haven’t missed a day of posting to my blog in the past year and a half. Sometimes I want to miss. Sometimes I want to just go to bed without caring whether Comcast is letting me down or not. If I did that, though, I wouldn’t be able to say I haven’t missed a day, and that, my friends, is all this little note is about.

Done!

I started 2011 with the goal to blog about 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve just finished my promised 52 books, and it looks like I still have a few weeks left in the year.

I seriously thought about quitting the project at this point. After all, I did complete my goal, but what’s a year’s challenge without finishing the year? I also considered bumping my goal number up slightly, to say 75 or something that would be easy to reach before December. Again, what’s the challenge in easy?

With that in mind, I’ve just bumped up my official goal on Goodreads to 100 books for the year. I kind of doubt I will get that far. I’ll probably read that many books, but I’m not sure how much time I’ll find for blogging once school starts back full time for the fall. And that uncertainty, my friends, is what makes it a challenge.

This morning I was 20-something books ahead on my Goodreads schedule. I added two new books today, but I am now one book behind due to bumping the goal up. I’ve decided not to let that worry me. Maybe I’ll get to 100. Maybe I won’t. It’s okay either way because I already met my original goal. Keeping the goal up to a number than is possible but uncertain will just give me something to wonder about for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking my January 4 post in which I issued this challenge to myself is pretty funny in that I’ve basically completely ignored the list of books I said I was about to read next. It seems I’m easily distracted even when I’m remaining focused on a goal.

I don’t think there’s any point in saying what I will read next. I might read anything. I will say what I think I’m interested in reading soon, though.

Here are a few items on my current list —

Game of Thrones — This is the fantasy novel everyone is talking about this summer since there is now an HBO series based on it.

A Visit from the Good Squad — It won the Pulitzer Prize.

Absalom, Absalom! — Several people told me this was their favorite Faulkner book, and my friend Andrea said she was going to read it this month, so it’s on my list too.

Swamplandia — Somebody suggested this book. I don’t remember who, but I think it was someone I trust.

Eating Animals — I’m not sure how much I want to read this, but I do want to read other books by the same author, and this one happens to be the only one of his that I own. It was given to me at a book fair. In an effort to keep myself from purchasing too many books too quickly, I’ve made a rule that I can’t buy a book if I already have one by the same author that I’ve never read. That’s a sensible rule, don’t you think?

The Girl in the Blue Beret — I loved Bobbie Ann Mason’s novel about the aftermath of Vietnam. Now years later she’s back with a World War II story. I expect it will be spectacular.

Wolf Hall — I started this book in January and never finished it. I still want to read it, though. It won the Booker Prize, and that’s a prize that hardly ever steers me wrong. When I started this, though, I was listening to the audio version. I’ve decided the audio is just not for me. My attention kept drifting off, and I’d lose the thread of the plot. I generally love audio books, but I can also read quicker and more attentively when I just read the book. Also, some audio narrators are harder to stick with than others. This one, I think, is one I’m going to have to just read.

I’d be extraordinarily surprised if these are actually the books I read next. I change my mind on a daily basis about what comes next. Sometimes I change my mind in the middle of a page. Still, this is a sampling of my current wish list, and I hope I do read most of them by the end of the year. If not, oh well. There’s always next year or the year after.

All I know for sure is that if I’m conscious, I’ll be reading something, and if I want to catch up on my new goal, I guess I’d better get to it.

Marooned

I’m still technologically marooned with no Internet other than what I can get through my phone. I’ve been gone all day, so I don’t know if my cable Internet has been out continuously or if it has just gone out again. If it is still off tomorrow, it will be time to find out.

Meanwhile, I have taken my daily pictures, but I’m unable to post them. A more dedicated photo-blogger would probably take the laptop to McDonalds to upload via free Wi-Fi, but eight now the main thing I’m dedicated to is getting some rest.

Is it just me, or is Comcast experiencing more issues than normal lately? Does anyone out there have one if those Internet hub things from Verizon? Would it even work in my area? Would the signal be strong enough to handle large photo files? These are things I’d like to know.

Technical Difficulties

I do have a picture for today, but I’m going to have to wait until tomorrow to post since my Internet is out. I decided to use the phone for a quick note about my difficulties accessing my blog because I want to be able to say I still haven’t broken my daily blogging streak.

I do not have a book review tonight, and that has nothing to do with the Internet being out. I didn’t finish the book I was reading. I was too busy trying not to be mauled by wild preschoolers. I kept children today, and they were perfectly well behaved. Right up to the point where they weren’t. This explains my unwillingness to just stay up until the Internet comes back on. I’m exhausted.

Let the resolutions commence

IMG_0046Welcome to 2011 and the all new installation of WH.  The blog switch over went off without a hitch if you don’t count accidentally deleting my sub-domains in the process a hitch.  I didn’t much use them anyway, but I am kind of bummed about deleting Journally.  One day maybe I’ll scratch up the courage to rebuild it.  Meanwhile, it’s happy blogging here, and a happy new year to all.

I plan to lose weight, get my house in order, become debt free, post the the blog every day, take a picture every day, be more socially aware and responsible, and become an all around better person.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a list like that today.  No sweat.  Kid stuff.  Let’s get together in June when we are all skinnier, happier, more organized people.

Core Story: #reverb10 Day 31

Today’s prompt: What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

No tree too big to climb

You see that tree over there? One of these days I’m going to climb that tree.

Like my niece shown in the picture here, I’m always picking out the biggest trees to climb. Other kids might find a low hanging branch on a sweet little crape myrtle and be done with it, but as for me, if there’s a bigger oak nearby, I’m going to worry around it until I think of a way to at least get a foothold on it. Some might call that unrealistic. I just like to think of it as imaginative.

I am prone to flights of fancy. That’s what makes me think I’m a writer. That’s what makes me think I’m a photographer. That’s what makes me think nothing is worth doing if it isn’t worth overdoing.

This post completes my 2010 365 blog project. I have not missed a day of blogging since January 1, 2010. Some days I posted very little. Some days I went wordless and posted only a photograph. One day I think I posted something like “I have thirty seconds left to post something to my blog today.”

But I did it. I posted something to this blog every single day for the past 365 days. I didn’t think I would. I actually just set out to see how many days in a row I could post something to the blog without missing a day. I thought I might make it six weeks or so. When I surpassed that, I still threatened to quit fairly often up until the point that I realized I was three-quarters through a year. Then the idea of finishing a complete year caught my fancy. I was bound and determined to see it through.

I don’t really know what I’ve proven. Probably nothing. But the blog in itself has been a pleasure to me. I’m happy to say I’ve stuck it out.

This is the last day I’m posting here to this particular blog, but if you come back tomorrow, you will still find me here. I’m going to rebuild the blog tomorrow (or at least start rebuilding). I’ve been planning to do a reinstall on WordPress for some time because I have some corruptions in my current installation. I just wanted to finish my year first. I don’t think I will have to miss a day of blogging in order to reinstall, but catastrophes sometimes happen, and I didn’t want to take a chance on disrupting my year.

The 2010 blog will be archived in its entirety. I may never finish another 365 blog in my life. I want to keep this one on display just in case.

Meanwhile, we move on. Tomorrow I will build a new blog and set out to see how many days in a row I can post something to it. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I pick any given tree to climb. Because it’s there, I suppose. And because it tickles my fancy to think I can.

That’s my story, and I believe I’ll just stick to it.

Test Post Posted to Avoid Grading Tests

This is just a test post to find out if the plug-in I just installed to my blog will do what I think it is supposed to do and automatically share my posts on Facebook. I was using Networked Blogs, but it seems to have quit on me. Now I’m trying something else.

Perhaps it is ironic that I am doing this instead of grading only shortly after a post in which I claimed to work better at home than at work. I’m at home now, by the way.

I’m grading tests, though. That’s boring. And self-distractions are less distracting than external distractions. At least I’m still sitting in front of the computer where, with just one click, I can go right back to grading.

Anyhow, this is just a test…

Home again, home again

Regularly scheduled blogging will return tomorrow. No more phone photos uploaded from somewhere inside the Disney Truman-Show-like dome. I’m back in the burg, being yelled at by a cat who apparently did not give me permission to go to Florida.

Good conference. Good people. Good food at Cat Cora’s. Otherwise, I’d have to give Disney a resounding blah on food.

I didn’t go to attractions, but I did go to session. When I’ve recovered a little from the trip, I may or may not talk about them.

On Theme Blogging and Theme Parks

I’ve been working on a series of articles on gay rights and the religious conflicts and implications thereof. I’m not done yet with that, but I have to take a break while I go to Orlando where I will be so busy attending meetings that I probably won’t have time to post anything more than Disney pictures on the blog.

Meanwhile, here’s an anti-bullying PSA from the NOH8 campaign.

And yes, I did hear about this video from The Daily Show.

Theme blogging seems to get me in all kinds of trouble. Probably, that’s why I plan to do a lot more of it. I think sustained writing on a particular topic is an invaluable experience. It pushes you to think and to clarify your values as well as your opinions.

I’ve been using class themes in English Composition II for a few years now. I’m considering using them in English Composition I as well now that I’ve seen what it does for me to write again and again on the same topic. Basically, I believe if you have something important to say, you can’t get there in one sitting. You probably don’t even know what it is you have to say yet in the first attempt. You need to read, reflect, talk it out with others, write, think about what you’ve written, read, reflect, talk, and write a little more before it starts coming together.

It doesn’t matter how much you already know or how firm your opinions already are; you don’t know as much now as you will after spending some sustained time writing about a given topic.

I’ll finish up (or at least finish for now) my blogging on gay rights in a couple of weeks, and then I’ll pick some new topics. I’d like to adopt a monthly theme where I write at least several times a week on a particular topic for a month or so at a time. This is an idea I’m tossing around for 2011 blogging. We all need our little challenges to keep ourselves going.

I might just go with the easy problems at first like alleviating world poverty and saving the environment. Maybe I’ll do some literary themes. Flannery O-Connor sits on my shelf looking like she needs some attention from me. It’s anybody’s guess.

“Is the blog dead now,” somebody asked me recently. Well, I don’t know about yours, but mine isn’t dead. I’m five-years-old as a blogger. I should be just about ready for blog kindergarten by now.