2013 in Review

The WordPress.com statisticians have prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.  Although I didn’t post nearly as much as I would have liked I’ve had well over 40,000 visits.

Here’s to more and better blogging in 2014 and may the new year be all you and yours hope it will be… and then some!

Thanks to one and all!

Rick

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Lists – Public and Private

My friend, fellow blogger and self-described crabby old fart Don Mills recently wrote:

Old people keep lists. It’s what we do.  Lists keep us organized, productive and help us to remember things when our memory starts to fade. They also keep us organized.  In addition to the standard “grocery list”, “to-do list” and “neighbors that may be communist sympathizers list” that you’d find in any decent American household, I maintain over 200 other active lists at any given time.

Don in his in his typically irreverent and crabby way went on to share some of them here.

Notebook List

I had no idea until Don’s post my propensity to keep lists was something “old people … do”.  I’ve kept lists since I was knee-high to a Coke bottle.  Nor am I (as I like to tell myself) anywhere close to qualifying as “old”, at least in the truest sense of that word.

I first wrote about my lists, “The Evidence of a Troubled Past” last September here.  Although mine won’t be nearly as gut wrenchingly funny as Don’s I thought I’d share more about my own lists with you my friends. Continue reading

News of a Different Era #1

In my family history research I have the opportunity on occasion to read from older newspapers.  Just going back a few decades you notice a difference.  Going back 160 years and the differences between today’s journalism can be both painfully sad in their descriptions while hilariously funny in others.  The saying, the times, they are a-changin’ will never grow old and is never more obvious when reading from old newspapers.

Old Newspaper

Among my readings from that by-gone era are from Clearfield County, PA.  It’s an area I’ve written about before and from which a large part of my known family history takes place.  What follows are some of the more memorable tidbits I’ve seen from an era with language and sensibilities all its own.  Originally published in the long defunct Clearfield Republican each preceded by the date of publication and my own introductory title (in bold-face).  I hope you enjoy them. Continue reading

30 Ways in 30 Days

Well here it is Friday!  Not only that it’s the last day of the month and this is my final post that completes my self-imposed 30-Day Challenge or my Month of Blogging Dangerously.  My task was to post something every day during the month of September.  So, time for some review, a reality check of sorts.

Truimphant ManI’ve tried to post on a variety of subjects (30 Ways) running the course from updating my man card to stinkin’ thinkin’, capital punishment and true confessions, all no doubt Evidences of a Troubled Past.  I made it through!  It’s been a challenging but interesting thirty days and has certainly given me an appreciation for those who post every day.

So, how’d you do?  If you managed to follow along through most of these posts during the month congratulate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back.  You deserve it.  Thank you!

Posting daily does have it’s advantages.  My average daily readers for the month more than doubled to 75 and pushed my total visitors from more than 1600 for both July and August to more than 2200 in September alone.*  Readers from 43 states and 38 countries have stopped in since this blog began on June 29th.

The one post that got the most attention this month was Confessions.  I guess people love reading about the bad and the ugly.  Someone once said taking a risk is the only way to write deadly honest prose Well I certainly took a risk and it was “deadly honest.”  Continue reading

Half-Way to Thirty

Well to say the least it’s been an eventful month for me.  Here we are, the 15th day of September — which brings us half-way to thirty.  This post marks the mid-point along my self-imposed month of blogging dangerously.  Don’t think I’ll be doing this any time soon again though.  It’s tough writing every day.  Not so much the writing part, but the part where I’m ready for others to see what I’ve created.  I’m sure it’s not easy on you the reader either, those anyway who strive to keep up.  I see myself as more a weekly “columnist” like Dave Barry or George Will.  I don’t get paid nearly as much, but there’s lot’s more time to edit and refine.  Not under the gun as often to make the deadline. Continue reading

Lists – Evidence of a Troubled Past?

I’ve been a list-maker since I was a boy.  My first memory of list-making goes back to when I was probably seven or eight years old who knows exactly?  It was a list of daily chores I would do around the house on pages for each day of the week and attached to a small clipboard:  Monday: Take the garbage out. Tuesday: Dust. Wednesday: Clean the bathroom… those kinds of things.  Simple in their purpose but deep in meaning as to the reasons why.

Those lists of things to do were probably the first sign of my compulsion to write things down.  But why would one so young be so inclined?  It certainly wasn’t something “normal” for a boy to do, but I did it nevertheless.  And what of my propensity to be organized?  Did it all have something to do with a need to bring structure, some kind of order to an otherwise unstructured, disorderly life?  Was this my way to gain some control? Continue reading

Warm Subjects – Filling the Chairs

I just started this 30 posts in 30 days self-imposed challenge yesterday and I’m already having second thoughts.  Certainly my life, which is to say the least, a bit unstable these days is not the best situation in which one should add additional pressure, but I remain up to the task.  Your 30-day challenge — should you accept of course— is, can you read ’em all?

I’m reminded of my favorite late-night talk show host Johnny Carson who once made a statement to a guest, in a semi-condescending way.  Carson said he didn’t care that much who he had on stage with him every night, he just needed “warm bodies” to fill the guest chair.  In the same way I just need warm subjects to fill my daily posts.  But more than that I need to write something interesting and compelling enough that will bring my readers back for more.  That’s the rub!

It’s been said writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.  This is true. Writing these blogs never come easy for me.  Each one of them takes a lot of time, blood, sweat and yes often even a few tears. Continue reading