Sunday, March 16, 2014

So that didn't work out the way I wanted

Now I'm wondering how long it's been like that. A little while ago I changed up my blog a bit. The other day I started adding in some new blogs to the top of my blog roll, and removing some from the bottom. I figure if you haven't updated in a really long time, you're done blogging.

Which leads to the question of what I put on my blog roll. The primary criteria is that I have to want to read them when they post an update. That strongly implies that they post on topics that I'm interested in reading. Good thing I'm versatile, and have lots of different interests. It also helps that they post fairly regularly. I don't get all judgey about posting daily, or every other day, or stuff like that. Life happens to people, especially people with children, with full time jobs that are in serious training for a serious event that they are taking very seriously. It's much more important to live your life to your satisfaction, and blog when you can, than to be breaking yourself to put up a blog you resent.

What got me onto this topic is my buddy AH. I've known her for many years. There was an experience once with her in our spare bedroom that I'll never forget. Now that you've all got the wrong idea, you lovable perverts you, let me set you straight. I fed her with information and she made a phone call. A series of phone calls. The results were easily the funniest event I've ever been involved in. Ever. My core hurt from laughing so hard, for so long.

In any case, she leads what I'll call an adventurous life in some ways, and has periodically blogged about it. I'll come right out and say her blog is not to everybody's taste. But she's a good writer, and I can appreciate a good rant, which many of her blogs are, in her own inimitable style. So there it is, with her permission. I wasn't sure how much publicity she wanted, however much it is that my poor blog generates.

In ANY case, getting to the point, I realized the little title for the blogroll area is not showing up like it does for the other stuff in my sidebar. I played with that quite a while, and couldn't fix it. I think this template doesn't like that gadget. I'll go looking, in my copious free time, to see if there is an alternate solution that works. I'm just wondering how long that title has been invisible.

While I was doing that, I was looking at my blog evaluation bookmark folder, and moved several of them into my blog roll. Some of these come from a running group in Facebook I'm part of. Some I've discovered through following comments to other blogs. If I find myself going to this bookmark folder on a regular basis, I move them to the blogroll.

Generally there are groups of topics on my blogroll. Fitness stuff, writing stuff, a bit of political stuff, and whatever happens to amuse me. Lots of my bloggers are mothers, but they typically aren't mommy bloggers. No condescension implied, but I'm just not interested. The fact that your kid shows up on your blog every now and then is fine, that's part of a family life. I'm interested in food, and have posted lots of food shots, but that's because I'm married to a really good cook. I'm just not a recipe kind of person, and neither is Linda, so I don't follow food blogs. Some of my fitness buddies are interested in food (go figure!) and post recipes and stuff, and that's all fine. We just like good food.

I'm still working out the writers stuff. There's a really active commenting community on one of the blogs about writing, and that's fun. I'm getting to know some of the other commenters, and have periodically followed links back to their blogs. But even though I hope to have a book to sell soonish, I don't want to read a blog that is all "Buy my book, I'm BEGGING YOU!!!" I'd like to think that once I have a book to sell, I'll be a little more sophisticated about it, and avoid beating up my friends. I figure they'll either buy the book or they won't, and nothing much to be done. Some have already read earlier versions of it, and they may be so sick of it they won't even consider buying the published version.

I found out today that some people use Mrs Google to search for blogs. Such had never occurred to me, which might be why I don't know about all that many blogs. Many of the blogs I read are not what you'd call commercial. I strongly prefer an actual writer's voice, talking about whatever interests them. I'll read a blog with spelling mistakes, or poor grammar, if there is a compelling story by a real voice, ahead of a commercially bland blog, even if the writer is a "professional". I'm bored with bland professional writing that follows "the rules" for success.

And yes, most of the people on there are women. Less than 10% are guys, but that isn't part of the criteria. I've had more guys, and some have dropped off blogging. I think more women than men blog overall, but I'm not sure why that is. Feel free to comment on your theories for this.

So, to make a long story still longer, if you're a regular reader, who has a blog that's not on my blogroll, and you'd like it to be, let me know. I'll take a look. And in a reciprocal way, if I've been leaving comments on your blog, and I'm not on your blog roll I'd appreciate you considering to add me to yours, please and thank you.

So where was I? Oh, yes, running. Today was the day for a nice easy run. Michelle joined me, and Terry T came along as well for a short part. She is super speedy, but wanted a short easy run, and we were it. Very social, very nice. I managed 12 K in a hair under 1.5 hours. This is almost exactly 8 Kph, or a 7:30 per K pace, or a 5:15 marathon. In fact we were a little quicker heading out, and a little slower coming back. The pathway ice was starting to melt and we had to be very careful in some places, which slowed us down a bit. That one spike we both almost went for a ride.

She carried on for the rest of her run, and then dropped in for coffee. Here's a series of shots she got of the cats. In addition to being very photogenic, they are interested in people taking their picture. Michelle got these using a burst mode on her camera.

In other news, for the first time in several months we can see our flower boxes. They will need lots of work, once winter is done with us. This rose was new last year, but we've had another rose that survives and even flourishes, so I suspect this one is looking forward to another season of growing roots and settling in.

I don't think anything survived the winter in this box, since the only legitimate plants are annuals. There are still some rogue anise hyssop and a few other things in there, no doubt at all.

The mint plant is a toughie that has survived everything so far, though I admit it doesn't look so happy here.


  1. Thanks for a great run & coffee Keith. I don't use Google to find blogs to follow, but often I will google something like "how many calories do I need to run a 50K?" and end up on a blog post someone did. I read the blog POST and carry on. I don't always follow the blogger. When I write some of my more in-depth technical posts, I keep that audience in mind. It's a different audience than the day-to-day friends in real life who just want to know what I have been up do that week. There are lighter, shorter posts for that audience. I try to avoid writing "fluff" or "filler" posts like "I have nothing new to share with you today... what's new with you?" Blech. Skip a day rather than write that drivel. ;)

    1. Ah, a subtle difference in what I thought you had said, I see now. I do that too. I sometimes end up on blogs after using a news aggregator. I've never known if I have different audiences for different kinds of posts. There are so few readers, (all highly valued) that I never thought if they were segmented. Given that I try for enigmatic but cryptic blog titles, that seems kind of tough.

  2. I love your Blog Roll, Keith - and I follow some of your blogs via your 'roll', so it's a great resource for me. I'll have to check out some of the new blogs you've added (thanks). I usually find new blogs to follow by checking out the author of a comment on a blog I already follow - if his/her comment intrigues me.

    Great job on the run! And nice to see the snow is going. I was out the other day checking out my Forsythia to see if there were buds - can't wait for spring!

    1. Glad you like it! I've sometimes wondered how many people use it to get to other blogs, and how much traffic they get as a result. I know I get a ton of readership from SUAR (Hi guys, feel free to comment!) which is nice. If I could, I'd tag the ones I just added with (new) or something, but that would take, like, work or something.

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Keith!

    And I'll never forget the phone calls from the spare bedroom either!



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