A Blog, Eh? – September 23, 2020

A piece of flash –

Lenny was due on post. Packing his gear instead, he said Cap cut orders putting him on the transport waiting on the apron.  I reminded Lenny leaving this hell hole was a good thing.  He said it wasn’t and bummed a smoke.  His hands shook like Colorado Aspen in Autumn.  I figured he couldn’t say but asked where they were sending him.  He said, “Home.” We didn’t celebrate.  Going home this way wasn’t good.  I watched Lenny climb the airstair.  “Sorry about your Pop,” I said.  Lenny frowned, shrugged, and disappeared inside.  That’s the last time I saw Lenny.

So you think you want to blog, huh?

Several gents I follow and I have discussed the difficulty of second-guessing what our audiences – blog readers – want.  More accurately, what they will spend time reading.  It is a curious question with several perplexing complications.

We don’t have large followings.  At present, I rather like this.  It’s much easier to maintain two-way banter with others who like you (me) don’t have fifty or sixty reads on a given post.  I give and get personal attention.  It’s easier to learn from my peers when they know who I am, what I’m about, and I come to some understanding of who they are and what they are about.  Aw, that might be a bit like, I dunno, life, maybe?

There are some amazing bloggers with thousands of followers who somehow respond individually to “likes” and comments.  Especially to comments.  I stand in awe of these folks and hope if ever I have that many followers to be able to treat readers with as much individual care as they do.  Admittedly, “discussion” with these professionals is not nearly as personalized as it is with folks with far fewer followers. Still pretty slick.

The men I’m focused on now, those who author blogs, rants, and creative bursts I watch, are mostly like me.  We differ some in politics, location, and outside interests.  But we’re all older, obviously male, at or near retirement, remember stuff other folks think is science fiction, and we’re outspoken.  I scratched my noggin and couldn’t think of a single woman in the group. I suspect that might change, but aside from reigning-in my male tendencies to blue language requiring less intellectual discipline, it’s not necessary.  It’d be nice, but not necessary. Women of similar mind and disposition are out there but we’ve not bumped heads. Yet.

Limited variety in my list of followers means I’m not gonna hit funny bones or tear ducts as often as I’d like.  Would mean I could focus on curmudgeonry or old-guy-grump or “remember when,” but I am creatively all over the place not entirely determined by my age, past experiences, or the price of gasoline. I don’t care to be limited.

I’m not gonna attempt to write a blog piece about giving birth.  I’m not qualified.  Odds are that’s not gonna change.  I could launch into a tale of how, in the new wave of the time forty years ago, I was in the delivery room.  The doctors and nurses attending looked over at me and suggested I leave the room to draw a few deep breaths.  So much for coaching essential personnel through breathing exercises.

We, these gents I follow closely and I, agree there’s no predicting what is going to “sell.”  I come to realize, that’s not important.  I see a picture or two pasted into a post attracts readers like an expressway accident attracts gawkers1, but I came to write, not to post pictures.  I admire Walt Kelly and “Pogo,” but I can’t draw and am nowhere near as clinically observant. Some folks consider pictures and art part of their “message.”  I don’t, can’t, and would rather not anyway.

I came to this dance to write.  The good stuff is not in this blog.  Sorry, the blog is showroom fluff.  For me.  Not for others.  Others are good at the way they do it.  I’m not. 

The nearly unanimous conclusion is that I should write what I want to write and let the chips fall where they will.  Yeah.  Kinda.  It’s the non-blog stuff that I’m all about.  But it ain’t selling.  Well, no, I’m giving it away and no one wants it.  Readers don’t care to look around much.  Even when they’re given links.  The decision to drop creative pieces has been recorded.

Advertise!  Nope.  If I have to “sell” my efforts, my efforts are not worth selling.  That’s the way I feel about it.  I guess I could compromise.  Maybe post suggestive pictures just to get people “in the door.”  But I’m not much of a Democrat and I consider lying a last resort tactic.2   Then again, the ‘suggestive’ pictures that would draw the most attention would appeal almost exclusively to males, and that’s not the direction I’m headed.

Folks who cruise the blogs just to read, don’t as a rule record they “like” something.  Well, that takes time and effort.  Can’t fault them.  Or, and this is scary, maybe they just don’t like anything. I’d really feel bad, but it’s rare to see a happy number of likes even on posts by senior bloggers in the little group I consider my bloghood. 

Worser, it takes even more effort and brainpower to comment.  Fortunately, there’s no fast and easy way to dislike a post.  No, I take that back.  Short of public abuse, I can take criticism and that could be informative. If you’re really peeved about something I did or didn’t (do, say, mean) get unlazy and send me a private email.  Chances of that happening are about as good as a legitimate candidate entering the 2020 POTUS race.  Still, it’s not easy.

Finally, even on days when enough people are bored, rained-in, or feel like punishing themselves that  my “visit” stats go up, seeing what is actually capturing interests, absent likes and comments, is im-poss-ee-bull.  Anonymity is swell but it stinks in this case.

Still want to blog?

1 Was going to suggest ‘like manure draws flies,’ but while I have greater affinity for that analogy, many would feel it offensive.  In a rare show of deference, I went the with what you see.

2 Which suggest I think Democrats have reached the point of last resort desperation. Well, Bubba, so have the Repullicans.

In parting

Here is a link you should investigate. 

If (and I seriously doubt it) you have read my “About” and after you visit this link, you will understand why this is of special interest to me.  We give so much good and bad lip-service to segments of our (US) society bent on promulgating unrest and outright lawlessness. Do we spend as much time listening to the “other side” of any conflict where police draw heat?  Except the “negatives’”?  No, I suspect not, instead letting some right- or left-wing interests tell what they feel we “need to know” and therefore assuming that’s the end of it.

Consider healthcare “heroes” championed by press and politics.  Stop.  Do you not remember any occasional dark story, where one who normally wears the “hero” costume loses his/her/their nut and commits, human or not, innocent or not, mistakes?  Poor judgment regarding care and treatment of retirement/convalescent/palliative care residents? Missed diagnoses?  Ill-advised treatment plans?  Prejudiced denial of service? 

Do not lie to me, worse, do not lie to yourself with your answer.  Odd, in spite of the fact healthcare “heroes” are known to be human and therefore fallible, we trip all over ourselves to respect them for their sacrifice, their willingness to sacrifice.  Why are police different?  I suggest, I believe, they are not.  They too, are heroes.  Human.  Heroes.

Read.  Think.  Come to your own determination.  Look elsewhere for corroborative (or contrary) information and opinions.  If you are sane and honest, the next time some idiot suggests defunding, call them on it.  There are places they can vacation basking in an environment where there are no police; they can try it on for size. See if works as wonderfully as they have been told it will by the puppeteers who pull their strings.

Tell the clowns, if they sincerely believe we should have no police, they should elect officials who support that, initiate, publicize, and pass referendums (California is notorious for such) to abolish a police force that whether you admit it or not does ultimately answer to civilian control.  Oh?  They can’t muster a majority to pass this much-needed change?  Hmmm.  You mean, most people are against this new plan?  Imagine that.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

16 thoughts on “A Blog, Eh? – September 23, 2020

  1. It’s funny, I don’t consider myself any great authority, but just as a gut feel, maybe 80% of my interactions are with women. This is a sweeping overgeneralisation but I get the feeling that blogging is quite popular among women rather than men. Dor example. I can think of one or two guys I know who I’d call “young”, but probably a dozen women.

  2. Thanks for the read and the comment. I’ll grant the demographics. Maybe the men tend to be older – more ‘retired’ gents? Dunno. Some of the women’s posts showcase rough language and grand senses of humor, but I find myself being overcautious for reasons easy to guess when interacting with them. Over cautious to the point of avoiding.

  3. Dang, started this a couple of times. Just not sounding right. A lot of folks post to a blog (or whatever) hoping to attract like-minded others to enjoy their posts/outlook. That’s good (in it’s way). Normal even. And then there’s me. I think.
    While I am grateful and appreciate every follower I’ve ever had, to be honest, I’m not posting for them. I post for me. And there my reasoning stops. Look how boring my blog is! Old Guy ramblings. Old Guy Health Issues. Old Guy playing with computers. And while I’m a staunch conservative (with Libertarian leanings) I mostly try not to cover political stuff because it could take up pages and pages (and more pages) and still not accomplish anything. I quit Facebook because I’d argue and argue with folks about being stupid and sign off feeling pissed EVERY DAY. I don’t want to feel that way about my blog.
    Did that make any sense? I never paid much attention to gender of followers or commentors. I always just wondered how un-eventual and boring their lives are that they read my stuff. Welcome aboard. Don’t expect much!

    1. Perfect sense and I’m with you all the way. FB and I don’t get on, but I maintain a presence because I’ve F&F who can’t move forward technologically; FB is as far as they want to go. I blog for me, too but get carried away and haven’t learned to keep my yap shut politically. My blogs are fluff, throw-away for the most part. Main reason I WP is to expose my creative junk, which, it turns out is what most folk think of my efforts. Old, conservative, ex-mil/police, dudes and dudettes need to hear from each other – reasons of sanity and understanding they aren’t nuts. And to warm-up those intermittent liberal, tolerant, or whatever engines now and again. Your site is hardly boring and I look forward to seeing you pop-up in my reading list. I incidentally also look in on some of the stuff the “other side” posts – to keep myself agile and honest. Keep cracking, dude; I’m watching. Thanks for taking time to “chat.”

  4. I’m happy you took on the concept of “health care heroes”. As a retired health care professional, I find it nauseating. It is our job, and yes we signed on to do it. Anyone who remembers the AIDS cases of the pre-antiviral days know this. We cared for AIDS patients with bleeding wounds, and ones who needed IVs, suturing and dressing changes. I don’t recall hearing about how heroic I was back then, or even before my retirement last year. HIV is HIV and I’d rather have the precious little covid any day. And yes, we make mistakes, even with all the elaborate programs designed to prevent them, yet no hospitals are being burned down over it.

    1. Thank you for your comment. You feel the way I feel about the new military “heroes.” I take nothing from the military. What incenses me is the way civilians treat military today compared to the way men of the 60’s were treated. I have only the greatest respect for nurses, doctors and “non-professional” medical staff. It’s politicos and anarchists who distort and confuse the truth solely to further their agendas. Thank you for your sacrifices, for putting it all on the line. Oh, from personal experience. I know EVERYONE makes mistakes, has lapses of judgement (I’ve made my share) and yes, there are some genuinely evil people in every walk of life. Let’s you and I educate and guide those around us who do not understand these simple ideas. Maybe that’s a start.

    2. As a retired Navy Independent duty Hospital Corpsman, I have real problems with Navy Medicine (and the whole medical establishment) right now. One cannot get an appointment to see one’s Doc because “There are well people here.” Well, that’s stupid. I spent 20 years sticking my face into sick people. THAT’s what we do! Yes, take necessary precautions (which don’t include this false sense of security with these “masks” we’re being forced to wear) but you still see the patient! Especially the sick, lame, or even lazy patients. That’s Your Job! How long do you think I would have lasted on the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) if I had put up a sign that said “Closed because you might be sick” ?

      About the Hero thing. People have taken it overboard. But they “need” hero’s. Used to be good Politicians (few and far between nowadays). Sports folks (now Social Justice Warriors that happen to play a sports1). Even the occasional Professional Pilot or whatever. But folks aren’t finding the hero’s they need and have focused on the Military and Health Care folks instead. Yes, they mostly do good work, but, hero? Not really. Mostly just doing their job. But we live in a “feel good” society that has to make everyone “worthy” and lift their spirits. It’s another version of “No Child Left Behind” where participation certificates qualifies you to be a good human being.

      And don’t even get me started on these masks. Look up the video on Youtube with the guy exhaling vape in his mask.

      Sorry about the rant.

      1. Not a rant, Doc. People need to hear this. Heroes, yes. But we don’t for the sake of contrast have to paint some other group as evil anti-heroes. You and *Indirectvision* make the case perfectly. Now we just gotta get folk to listen. Thanks, Doc, for the comment.

      2. By the way, thanks for your service. My son never misses a “remembrance” day. He and his buds embarrass me with their thanks for my service and they mention my pop, retired Navy 1960, too. But it makes me feel it was even more worth it. So. Thanks.

      3. Pretty ridiculous for medical people to say they did not “sign up” to deal with the sick. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh in the faces of these people. NJ was pretty silly about wanting retirees to come out of retirement to take care of coronavirus patients, I did not volunteer,

      4. -> indirect vision – be careful the paintbrush you use to color “medical people.” First, you’re retired, makes you one of us older folk. We think differently. Second, you’re seeing likely news tainted by left/right -oriented media agendas. Third, there are boatloads of med people out there of all ages who do not fit the “stupid, selfish, whiny” picture we are sometimes given for a specifically small instance. Any demographic has it’s share of ignorant clods. Well, except, that is, we “old gaffs.” me, you, and Old Doc and … Thanks for your comments. Now, we have work to do…

      5. You’re welcome and thank you for your service also. Quite different than back in the late 60’s early 70’s! And, I try not to paint everyone with the same brush. My rant comes from the Naval Hospital here not seeing patients because they might be sick. Honestly, I cannot make an appointment to see my Doc because there are well people in the building. (But you can sit for hours at the pharmacy.) Don’t get me started! 🙂 Have a great day!

      6. I wanted to comment on your “abandoning the “creative” pieces. Don’t. I used to write lots of stuff way back when but dropped out of it when I got married (the first time) and having one English teacher say “You go into WAY too much detail, King.” (Stephen King take note. TOO Much Detail! 🙂 ). Wish I could write now. Oh, I get started, but that’s about it. So, don’t. You’ll miss that outlet. So what if it doesn’t sell! So what! Did you enjoy writing it?

      7. Thanks for the input. Sage advice. I’ll not quit but won’t actively make it available. Here’s a laugh: if ever you find yourself all caught-up out in the shop, around the castle, and it’s raining or snowing – write. One day, someone will stumble into it and say, “Why the hell wasn’t this guy published?” That is, of course, if reading hasn’t become a lost skill.

  5. I hesitated to start a blog. I’ve never been into social media, which is odd for someone my age (mid-30s), but I’ve grown to enjoy it. I was more or less at that point where I was going to put my writing out for others whether editors liked it or not. I made a commitment to myself to post once a week, and so far have stuck to it religiously.

    WordPress is waning in popularity. It seems like the hip new thing for writers, of a literary ilk, is a Medium blog. But I like the community of other bloggers I’ve met on WordPress. The encouragement and positive feedback has been much needed, especially after so much rejection from editors. At least in the homesteading and hobby farming sector, it definitely seems like the WordPress blog-o-sphere is weighted heavily toward female writers and readers.

    Some of the best writers with the most worthwhile reads seem to have few followers. In some ways blogging is a lot like the publishing industry: you could be a great writer, with a great story and not get published; meanwhile, a celebrity with thousands of followers who can’t write a complete sentence will get published and become a best-seller. Frustrating.

  6. Thank you for popping-in, certainly for taking the time to comment. Hardly encouraging, but, I fear, true. No matter. You are in league with a few older dudes now. Next time I “suggest” good stuff to them, I’ll raise your banner. I’m (as you can gather) moving away from the blog, except M W F, and abandoning the “creative” pieces completely – no market here. For a youth culture tech-oriented, they are not willing to ambitiously explore sites. I like your schtuff. You make me chuckle as you describe life of a doofus (me, and you, I guess, though I doubt it) accurately and quickly. Do well, young sir, and keep pounding on the qwerty.

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