Sun. 07.16.17 – Unfortunately, much like everyone’s favorite little Canela the Chihuahua, this blog fell asleep and has been napping since early May.
Life has been a bit too busy. Hopefully, this upcoming week will allow me to catch up somewhat, as I have been collecting links for the Sunday Tidbits for the last two months and they are a bit overflowing now.
Photo of Canela taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 yesterday afternoon.
This is a blog post. All the blog posts compiled together are a blog.
It drives me slightly nuts when people call a blog post a blog. You are writing and posting to a blog, thus it is a blog post.
One does not call one deer a herd. Nor does one call a crow a murder, nor a dog a pack. To have a herd of deer, one needs more than 3 or 4 deer – plural. One needs at least 3 or 4 dogs to have a pack. Multiple crows to have a murder. etc.
For the folks who write blog to indicate a singular instance, one wonders what they call a plural or grouping or compilation of said singular instanctiation? Can’t be a blog can it?
Fri 04.29.16 – Happy 13th Birthday to this blog a few days late! While I worked most of the evening of April 24th in 2003 to set this blog up on Movable Type, I was able to publish the first post just a few minutes after midnight.
Photo by Ms. Jen on Tues. 04.26.16 of a flowering saguaro cactus in Parker, Arizona; photo taken with Ms. Jen’s Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G lens.
I like the Dish. I am not and was not too fond of all the intricate details of the Washington D.C. political scene, but I very much liked Mr. Sullivan’s perspective, breadth of blogging interests (Hello, beardoftheweek!), and insights into worlds and cultures that I don’t live in. And that is what the best of blogging does no matter the subject matter, it gives the reader a personal view into a world(s) or culture(s) or interest(s). In particular, Mr. Sullivan and his team gave me insights and views into many worlds. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan.
It is this quote in his going away post, that reflects a similar trend in my own life that I have not written about much here on this/my blog:
“The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully.”
I have been online daily since 1994. I have been creating websites and various bits on the web and internet since 1996. I have been receiving my primary income from web work since 2000. In the late summer of 2010, a large tumult occurred when the internet start up that I co-founded and spent up to 16 days in a row without a day off coding for failed and I had to ‘pivot’. While my pivot to mobile web and app development made a great deal of sense at the time, it took a toll. By 2012 I realized that I was burnt out – burnt out on web design client work, burnt out on bigger project contract work, burnt out on trying to get my own app ideas out of my computer, and just plain emotionally and psychologically burnt out.
In real life, I got sick – weekly or more migraines, bad environmental allergies, insomnia, bad stomach acid issues, etc – my body was sending me several large notice to cures and I felt pressured by work ethic guilt to not listen. In real life many wonderful and well-meaning friends and web colleagues encouraged me to get back up on the saddle and find another music or mobile start-up to work in or write that tech book on mobile user experience or… or…
In 2012, I traveled, I came back home refreshed, some family stuff hit the fan, I traveled again hoping to regain my perspective, then the family stuff really hit the fan. I found myself trapped in 2013. Sick, stuck, angry, stuck, working on a couple of mobile apps that would never see the light of any app store, broke, and did I mention angry and still sick?
A little over 9 months ago, I pulled the plug. I gave notice at my overly expensive apartment, I lined up a few house sitting gigs for family & friends, I stopped checking and posting to social media sites more than once a day, and off I went to figure out how to slow down, to live, create, and thrive in the actual world again.
I did something that I have wanted to do for years but never could allow myself to do in my rush to always be on and always be useful/working, I started reading fiction again – both in paper book and ebook form. And shooting film on two actual real live film cameras, as well as a weekly photo walk with my Nikon D800 DSLR. And went out to look at the stars as much as I could with my binoculars. And I discovered the wonderful world of onlinefan fiction.
It sounds odd but the world of online fan fiction helped me to remember what I loved so much about the internet in the beginning and middle of my life on the web: folks from anywhere and everywhere gathering together in communities over specific interests and sharing their d.i.y. creations to their online friends in those communities. The creations may not be polished, they may not be shiny, and they may never have a business plan or V.C. backing, but they are really the best of the web.
Much like Mr. Sullivan, I wanted to slow down, get off the web hamster wheel and figure out how to live again. Sorry if there has been much silence in the public facing parts of my digital life, especially on Twitter, but I don’t regret the last year of silence. Like Mr. Sullivan, I am also a human being before I am a person on the web, I am a creator before I am a web worker, and I am a creator and a human being and a friend before I am a social media __________*.
One of the things that I am looking forward to in the supposed future of the internet of things – a digital life that is an embedded, ubiquitous, and mundane part of every day life rather than a screen that demands all attention. To quote the old Nokia taglines, it is the act of creating with the technology and connection to people that makes the digital life interesting, not to be subsumed into it.
Good luck to Mr. Sullivan in his reading, writing, and personal life endeavors. Good luck to me in attempting to find a good work / life balance between creating for earth monies and creating for the love of it.
* Given how much I truly hate the words that social media and marketing industry folks use for people with high to medium numbers of followers on the major social media sites, I won’t be using the term(s) to describe myself. My hate for one particularly gross term, that starts with an ‘i’ and ends in an ‘r’, is the subject of a whole blog post to come.
Yes folks, after you have said your “Rabbit Rabbit” and properly put on your All Saints Day / Día de Muertos attire*, it is time to start with the 9th annual November National Blog Posting Month!
If you need a few reasons to blog daily, Eden Kennedy is here to help.
I am going to do my very best to write out a text / typed post every day during November and a photo or photo/essay. I also have a backlog of photos** that need to be posted, including some awesome black and whites from the Nikon FM3a. * What?!?!? You aren’t dressed up as your favorite Saint or Día de Muertos’ figure today? ** Can I say Helsinki and the visit to Nokia House in July? Ummm… Why yes, those photos did fall down into the black hole that is my computer’s ‘Pictures’ folder!
Photo taken on Nov 15th by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.
Mon 11.19.12 – I have had a NaBloPoMo fail. I have just plain had a daily blogging fail for the last year and some.
I talked about my blogging fail with Erika last week and she thought that I was putting my creative endeavors in other places (Twitter, photography, app creation, etc) and that for this season it was ok that I am not blogging as much. I responded to her that while that may be true, I am still not happy with it because I frequently refer to the archives of my blog as a way to track what I have been doing and thinking about.
My blog is not just a gallery for my photos, or a place for me to talk about ideas in and around technology and culture, it is also a way that I am able to mark my thoughts and actions in my world over time. Yes, kind of like a journal or diary, but a bit more oblique.
Much has happened since Feb 11, 2011 when I fell off the blogging wagon with a big giant thump and I would like to record it. The daily bits are gone, like the ephemera that they are/were, but the photos and major ideas are either on my computer in the Photos and To Blog folders. I would like to slowly but surely eject them out of their dusty folders and put them up here.
But first, I must finish up this year of creation sabbatical strong and get the mobile apps I have been working on off my computer and into an app store.
One of the cool things I have seen on other blogs this month is a countdown of thanks to Thanksgiving. Some bloggers are doing “30 Days of Thanks” and others are doing a 10 Day countdown to Thanksgiving.
Rather than try to back track and make a fuss, I will just simply say right here and right now that I am so very grateful for the ability to take this year off from web design & development client work to focus on creating some of the mobile apps* that have lived in my head for awhile.
I want to say thank you to family, friends all over, and the open source mobile community for encouraging me to do this year. In the last month or two or three that it takes to finish, deploy, and wrap up, I thank you in advance for your encouragement and support.
*Yes, I started with 2 apps to work on and then they bred like rabbits on my computer and I am now working on 3 or 4 depending on how one would count a module that could be plugged into another app. ;o)