Tag Archives: blog

Achievement: Schrödinger’s New Year’s Resolution

schrodingersI like to be different so I came up with a new way of making my New Year’s resolutions. It’s what I do.

My idea? Giving the resolutions a Schrödinger’s twist. (Also one of my favorite cocktails but that’s another story.)

What is a Schrödinger’s Resolution, you ask? Easy.

A Schrödinger’s Resolution is a resolution you can’t know you’ve achieved until you’ve either done or not done it.

I came up with the idea during my imaginary free time.

The resolution was this: Blog less and/or blog more.

Some of you (and I’m speaking exclusively to my other personalities here) noticed that shortly after January 1st something went amiss. You had a little more spring in your step. The world was a little brighter and, dare I say it, seemed a little friendlier. Your ring-around-the-collar was gone.

What happened? It turns out I had achieved my resolution. Victory! The sweet smell of success.

I went with the less is more approach. Trust me on this, it was my gift to you. No thanks are necessary. In fact, you’re so gone you’re probably not even reading this.

Back in The Beginning, everything I read about blogging was pretty straightforward. Blog about what you love. Pick a niche and stick with it. Maintain a regular schedule. Treat your readers with respect.


I gleefully ignored all of those rules except one. Somehow I found the temerity of will to post on a daily basis for several long, tedious years. Yes, it’s true, I backdated a post or two to keep up the illusion. But I stuck with it. And what did it get me? Did my stats slowly grow over time? Did I earn a single penny? Did I get a press pass to the Mitt Romney for President bus? Did I even get a simple bucket of dead hair?

No. My stats plateaued then cratered. And I thought I was doing something different by volunteering for the one-way mission to Mars. I’m already a Pathfinder. It was about as successful as a fart in a hurricane. Then I went screaming naked down a beach but that’s another story.

So now I blog less than I did before. It’s amazing how quickly I adjusted to that new reality. The Streak is done. Gone. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. And you know what? I’m okay with it.

Don’t worry. Stay tuned. I’m sure I’ll be back here pounding the keys again the next time a bit of undigested beef brings me visions. When that happens, be ready. I may have a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, or even a fragment of underdone potato with your name on it.

From here on out it’s nothing but gravy.

The Year In Re-Doo-Doo

I ain’t got the time or the inclination to make another year in review video. Maybe next year. Until then I’m recycling this garbage from two years ago. Use your God-given powers of imagination and relive 2014 Shouts From The Abyss classic moments like these:

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Blog notes: I have a voice!

It’s time to write a blog post. What to do? What to do?

Unless there’s a burning issue sitting happily on my frontal lobe, step one is usually checking my “blog notes” and finding some scrap of an idea. But wait! It’s not as easy as it sounds.

For one thing, my notes are scattered to the wind across a wide variety of locations. In the physical world this includes sticky notes littered around my desk like dying leaves on an autumn lawn. There’s also two pocket notebooks filled with pages and pages of tiny scrawl. Most of it is not decipherable, even to me, the hand that did the scrawling. And they’ve both been through the laundry so the ink is fuzzy and faint.

In the electronic world I’ve cleverly tried to consolidate my little notes to self. There’s the “Notes” app in my iPad. There’s another app called “Werdsmith” I also use from time to time. And, in an app called “Evernote” there’s probably my biggest library of random thoughts. This one has the advantage of being shared with my computer, too. Lastly there’s a plain text file in the home directory of my computer that I maintain with a command line text editor.

Here’s a sample of what can be found in my notes. I’ve culled these from the herd for your edification of the writer’s process.

Artichoke or Boss?
Tags: smell, rat

As is often the case, my notes are generally useless when I revisit them later. They may seem obvious at the time but usually I don’t breadcrumb enough to lead my brain back to the scene of the crime and grok the point, if there even was one.
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Dear Guru: Mood is a thing for cattle


And now a continuation of the non-award winning Q&A series we like to call Dear Guru. -Ed.

Dear Guru,

Like you, I run a “blog.” Like you, I try to post every single day. No matter what. But today I strangely find myself not in the mood.

What should I do?


Blog Blocked

Dear Blockhead,

Mood is a thing for cattle, you idiot! You blog when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! (Mad props to Gurney Halleck.)

When I find myself in that situation I usually pump out something super lame, like an advice column, and hope that no one notices. The important thing is to use some words.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stroke my baliset.


Your Guru

The Blog That Wasn’t There Part Two

This is the exciting conclusion to a two-part series entitled The Blog That Wasn’t There. When we left I had just accidentally hit the Publish button and created part one. -Ed

We were led to believe that hyperlinks were good. They could lead to other websites. They were part and parcel of the grand “content” scheme, the belief that sharing would occur across the internet.

For example, bloggers could embed video, music, images and more with just a bit of text. Books on blogging advised us that this was the thing to do.

Even WordPress got in on it. They rolled out something called PicApp. It was a way to legally include a vast library of commercial images in your posts. Like a good little foot soldier I used the feature every chance I could get.

What could possibly go wrong?


Bloggy, bloggy wasn’t there
Bloggy, bloggy didn’t care it wasn’t there
Just like my underwear
Bloggy wasn’t there

If you got a bloggy issue, here’s a bloggy tissue
BL to the O to the G G Y
BL to the O to the G G Y
Say it gots no soul but blog has gots a wide gaping hole

Do bloggers ever go back and re-read their own stuff? I do. Perhaps I’m doing a bit of research on a new post or I want to link something in. When I go through this process I’ll often re-read the entire thing. That’s usually when I discover all sorts of horrible typos that my editor failed to catch. Hint: I don’t have an editor.

And I’m just OCD enough to fix them, years later, once discovered.

But as I went through this exercise I began to notice something else. All my contents were gone.

There, on the blog post, where a content used to be… What’s that?

It’s the wide gaping hole of nothingness.

Every spot where I used PicApp in good faith is now an empty rectangle. All of those YouTube videos? They have been replaced by even funner messages like:

  • The video uploader made the video private
  • The uploader account no longer exists
  • The video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Sony. (You know, the company that wrote fake reviews of its own movies. They are sticklers for the rule of law.)
  • The video is not allowed in your country.
  • The uploader has restricted playback on your platform.
  • YouTube performed an exorcism of the video. (Only applies to Kirk Cameron while trying to promote his latest narcissistic crappy movie.)
  • Video was deemed “hate speech” after whiny protests by the Church Lady and her cohorts. (Only applies to atheists who are amazing.)

In fact, my research indicates all videos will be removed by YouTube except for the following:

  • Funny video of cat

Now I go back and look at old posts and I, the inimitable author of same, don’t even have a clue what was supposed to be there. And all this time you actually thought you were building something. Ha ha ha ha!

The moral of this story: It’s obvious. Never, never, never include embed any content in your blog posts. That’s the worst mistake you can ever make.

So, effective immediately, I’m renaming this place The Library Of Gaping Holes Formerly Known As Contents. The Library of Alexandria had nothing on this vast repository of suppositories.

Just consider it my gift to you. Feel free to come on back any time you want your head filled with nothing.

The Blog That Wasn’t There

copyright-youtubeToday we take a peek behind the blogger’s curtain. If we want to wax poetic, we could call it A Day In The Strife. Either way, this portends dust bunnies and little else of value.

House dust mites are ubiquitous everywhere humans live indoors. Positive tests for dust mite allergies are extremely common among people with asthma. Dust mites are microscopic arachnids whose primary food is dead human skin cells. They do not actually live on people, though. They and their feces and other allergens they produce are major constituents of house dust, but because they are so heavy they are not long suspended in the air.

Source: Wikipedia – Dust

Right out of the gate and a fascinating factoid already got slipped in. See? That’s the power of blogging. Take a deep breath and let’s begin!

An effective blog post requires several key components: A premise, a point of view, words, pictures and other things. That leaves me out. To that end I often find myself researching my own historical archive of posts. Perhaps I want to link a phrase back to something I wrote before. Perhaps I want to revisit a particularly riveting and interesting idea.

Remember, this is all theoretical.

If you’re like me, you got bedazzled and bamboozled by the sheer spectacle of the promised internet. It was going to be this shiny, vast repository of knowledge. It was somehow implied that this would be a Good Thing ™.

A big piece of this bamboozlement was the heralded “hyperlink.” This was going to be a little information workhorse that magically tied it all up, just like the Force binds you, me and the rock together. Unfortunately, it turned out that hyperlink was one of the most gamed inventions in human history and, even worse, had the lifespan of a fruit fly doing the backstroke in a bowl of malathion soup.

We interrupt this blog post to report that the dumb ass author prematurely pounded the Publish key quite by accident. This is another crucial part of blogging. It’s called The Instant Two Part post.

To be continued…

Type A Encounters: Five Stages of Beef

There’s a person I know. Who? Someone I know. Let’s just leave it at that.

Tom’s Law #42

As a devout [insert religion here], whenever possible, I only do business with other [insert religion here]. That way, when things inevitably go to shit, I can viciously write about them on my public [insert religion here] blog and foment animosity and dissent within the entire congregation. Verily, I say unto you, halleluja!

When [insert religion here] Attack, by Tom B. Taker

Let’s leave the specific religion out of it, too. I pledge not to go sectarian on their asses even when they deserve it.

So, this guy I know is quite the character. As someone who has suffered in his vicinity (we all have our crosses to bear) I do get the odd thrill of delight when someone meets him for the first time. I get to feel validated and vindicated in my feelings as my various hypotheses about him are confirmed by the newcomer going through the same process I did.

That’s when I realized there are actual laws at work that govern this reactionary process. I have dubbed this theory The Five Stages of Beef. It’s what happens when a person meets someone of humanoid condition Type A. Of course, we all know that the “A” stands for Asshole.


You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you meet this particular guy you are on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of the Senses. As you meet him for the first time you’re in for a wallop.

Visually eclectic, he has the disheveled pointing-straight-up hair of three-year-old who just rolled out of bed. Your nose, however, will simultaneously pick up on the fact that he didn’t shower before putting on disheveled, dirty and wrinkled clothes. He’s also a man who also clings to fiercely held personal beliefs like anti-bacterial handsoap is stupid and deodorant is a marketing scheme. He’s not afraid to put those beliefs into action, either. You’ll get your smell-based verification of this as his body odor envelopes you.

This is when denial kicks in. Is this guy for real? Naw. It can’t be. This can’t be happening. Not to me.
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