Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why it is so hard for me to write blog posts

I have a blogging problem. Obviously, it's not that I blog too much. Despite having many ideas for posts on this, and my tech blog site, I rarely post anything.  When I do write a post they tend to be poorly realized. They come off as a confused collection of disjointed thoughts.  I tried to deal with this by coming up with my blogging process. The process alone has't been enough to improve my blogging. One of my main problems is the tendency to write a blog over weeks, sometimes even months; heck my windows phone blog was written over three months.  And even though I have an outline, I don't write them linearly.  I can look at a post I've had fermenting for months and see a collection of sentences and ideas that often don't proceed along any clear path or communicate clearly.

I've realized that I need to end the practice of the incremental blog writing. I am going to try out a new way of blogging. I am attempting to do steps 2 through 4 of my blogging process all in one sitting.  The hope is that this will produce more coherent writing.  I won't be wandering away into to other ideas or writing three sentences that all sound the same.

I checked to make sure the cat was napping.  I sat down, put my head phones on and opened blogger. I wrote the short outline at the top and wrote these three paragraphs.  Then I found a stock photo. I've  decided to give myself thirty minutes to do these initial drafts.  If the first draft isn't complete or flowing well by thirty minutes it might be time to reconsider that post.  This post  only took me 15 to do and I even got distracted a bit.  We'll see how it goes.

There might be some problems with this methodology.  When I went to edit this post I found the following sentence, "So from I am attempting a knew why of blogging, starting with this post."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jobu and the water dish: that boy aint right

I had noticed recently that the water in Jobu's water dish had been dirty so much that I was dumping it out and putting fresh water in everyday.  I am used to finding the occasional toy mousy in the dish defiling the water but this was new. Bits of cat litter and just other junk kept showing up in the water. I didn't worry. I just kept putting fresh water in everyday.

Then the mystery was solved. I saw him over by his water dish and peaked my head around.  He was dipping his paw into the water dish and then licking the water off his paw. I stared at him for a few seconds with a "what are you doing?" expression on my face. He noticed me watching and then got a guilty look on his fuzzy face.  He put his wet paw back on the floor and started drinking like a normal cat.  That boy aint right.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Goodnight sweet fur princess

Last Thursday morning I awoke with a soar throat and the promise of worsening health. After a day of work, I had a slight fever and some chills. Despite this, I set out on a almost three hour drive in the dark.  I had something important to do: say goodbye to an old friend.

 I first met Kitt almost fourteen years ago. She was a tiny little shaking puppy.  She was so small. I found it hard to imagine something that small being alive. Kitt was adopted by my friend.  Kitt quickly grew into a small but rambunctious doggy. She would tire me out chasing me around the house.  We would play tug of war and destroyed many a toy. Whenever I showed up, Kitt would be delighted to see me.  I often joked that I went to my friends just to see Kitt.

Kitt lived a long and good life.  But we started to notice that Kitt couldn't see very well.  She eventually went  blind in both eyes and deaf in one ear.   The diagnosis was a brain tumor.  Even with her new disabilities Kitt still managed to be happy.  She put up a brave puppy face even while running into things.

I drove up at night so I could be there in the morning. I sat there as the vet injected her and she fell asleep.  She even had a happy Kitt face at the end. I would have liked to have said something profound but I just mumbled "Bye bye Kitt".

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Are we all Charlie?

When I restarted this blog after my hiatus, I decided to let myself blog about some bigger issues. There had been events in the past that I wanted to talk about but decided against doing so because I didn't want to alienate anybody.  Now I realize that if I write about whatever I want.

I awoke last Wednesday to a reminder that there are those capable of horrible acts in this world. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who keeps up on the news.  This recent act has captured the minds of the world. Of course, I refer to the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris last week. I am not going to go over all the details but here is some good coverage.

These chaotic events have put my mind in a chaotic state. It took awhile for me to be able to write anything intelligible(ha me be intelligible that's unpossible) about it.

Are we all Charlie?

One of the biggest outcomes of the terrorist attacks has been the rise of a solidarity movement around the phrase "Je Suis Charlie" or I am Charlie.  These three words have shown up all over the place: from social media to professional athletes. Many of the people stating their solidarity would not have published the things Charlie Hebdo did, in fact many of them probably found much of its content offensive. So what were they really standing for?

One recurring theme has been, the pen is mightier than the kalashnikov.  For many people involved, the marches and cartoons are a rejection of terror. We will not let fear be used as a political tool. We will argue, we will use satire, we might even get angry, but we will not use violence. We also will not be swayed by those who do. The solidarity is not in support of everything Charlie Hebdo published but in their right to do so without violent retribution.   Defending someones right to express their view is in no way an endorsement of that view.

The second theme expressed is a defense of one of the most basic underpinnings of western civilization: the right to self expression, or free speech.  I'm old and I remember one of my first real life lessons about free speech.  I don't remember the details, but the gist involved a shock jock or some one similar who spent his days offending everybody. I learned that if someone could not offend another's opinions on the minor things how could we discuss the important things.   Speech cannot be constrained by others personal beliefs no matter how strongly held.

Fear and violence should not be used as tool of political advancement and people should be free to express their beliefs without fear of reprisal. I think that is what it means to say Je Suis Charlie.