No, I Won’t Post Once A Week


WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

There is a large bunch of bloggers who have put a graphic on their blog proclaiming that they will post once a day or once a week for the entire year.

I’m not one of them.

Sorry, but I like to publish posts that have value and meaning. I can’t do that every day or every week. When I post I like to think it is worth reading and there are times that this depressed, worn out writer can barely manage to drag himself out of bed and put in a day’s work.

Lately I’ve been suffering. Four weeks ago I stopped taking my anti-depressants and stopped seeing my therapist and the one real change was that my energy levels dropped. Getting to work was hard enough, writing and editing a blog post impossible.

One of the things I decided a while ago was that I’m not going to make any promises about posting to this blog and I’m not going to feel guilty when I don’t. I think quality is more important than posting too often.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Markdown Comes To WordPress


markdown-example-w-preview

markdown-example-w-preview (Photo credit: ChrisL_AK)

I have a confession to make. I’m a total nerd when it comes to text and text to HTML conversion systems. You see plain text is just so easy to type and plain text files never cause problems years later when save formats change. Then you just need a way of encoding format in the plain text files.

If you work in a good command line environment there are also a large number of tools that work on plain text files. Unix was actually developed as a document management system – that was how Thompson and Ritchie got the funding to do it from their bosses at Bell.

It was a Unix system, man and mm files, that was my first introduction to specifying formatting in a text file. The drawback of systems such as those that we used under Unix was that they were hard to read – here’s an example of a man file:

\&\fIperldoc\fR looks up a piece of documentation in .pod format that is embedded
in the perl installation tree or in a perl script, and displays it via
\&\f(CW*(Cpod2man | nroff \-man | $PAGER\*(C'\fR. (In addition, if running under HP-UX,
\&\f(CW\*(C
col -x*(C’\fR will be used.) This is primarily used for the documentation for
the perl library modules.
.PP

This is a particularly convoluted example but you get the idea – not easy to read.

When web pages came along several projects struggled with a way of making it easier to write web pages with systems that allowed the user to write in simpler syntaxes that were easily translated into HTML. BBCode, from the Universal BBS, was one of the first.

Continue reading

Déjà vu


English: WordPress Logo

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess it has to happen. Coming up with a Daily Prompt seven days (or is it six?) a week must be a hard thing to do and a constant strain. I don’t envy “michelle w” the task.

Today’s Daily Prompt is “If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?”

Back on the 7th, just two weeks ago, the Daily Prompt was “If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?”

Not identical but quite similar.

While we are looking at prompts lets go to the site ‘Plinky’ which also offers a prompt every day. Scroll down and have a look at the prompt for July 14. Look familiar? Yes, there it is, our Daily Prompt for today with exactly the same words.

I’ve also seen this happen in the opposite direction where Plinky “borrows” a prompt, sometimes changing a word or two, from our Daily Prompt.

I’ve seen the similarity on a few other occasions, though this is one of the few times I’ve had a look at the date stamps to attempt to sort out exactly what happened.

I wonder if what has happened here is that after the first Daily Prompt about the nomadic life Plinky borrowed the idea, changing the words a little, and then Michelle saw it and thought “That’s a great idea” and in her hurried state didn’t recognise her own handiwork?

What do you think? Is it OK for this borrowing to be done, particularly without credit? Did you notice the similarity? Do you think my theory might be right?

Oh, and by the way, I answered the first nomadic Daily Prompt here.

Delays, delays, delays


Lady Gregory pictured on the frontispiece to &...

Lady Gregory pictured on the frontispiece to “Our Irish Theatre: A Chapter of Autobiography” (1913) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been quite a while since I posted. One of the reasons is that I’ve had a bad case of the “can’t finish” so there are a dozen or so mostly finished posts waiting in the queue.

One of the other reasons is that I started writing some poetry and I write poetry slowly. I tend to write with lots of imagery and symbology and one of my current poems had me delving deep into mythology, both Greek and Celtic.

That meant dragging out my copy of “The Golden Bough” and some solid research. One thing that makes that a lot easier is that you can get some brilliant books on the subject for free if you have a Kindle. I now have a copy of Bullfinch for the Greeks and some books by Yeats and Lady Gregory for the Celtic myths. I also dragged out my copy of Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” just to refresh myself on the tropes and archetypes I’m playing with. That caused a ten day stop on the writing but on the upside it has convinced me to give fiction another try.

So forgive the lack of posts, I promise to do better. In just a day or so I will have up a review of the Kindle Paperwhite for you (spoiler – I love it).

Two Things Annoying Me About WordPress.com


Today I discovered two things about WordPress.com that are annoying. One they can easily fix, the other is just a result of the wierd society of the net . Well, I sort of knew about them before but today they annoyed me. Perhaps I’m in an annoyable state?

The easy one to fix is that the “New Post” link under the logo on the left of the top bar takes you to a really nice page to choose the type of post you want to make but then takes you to a post editing page that doesn’t let you categorise the post or change the publicize link.

On the other hand if you go to your blog name in the menu under your name and icon on the right of the bar you can go straight to the “Add New Post” page of the Dashboard. Unfortunately you don’t get those nice pre-formatted link types you get the other way.

I know, I know. First world problem. What am I complaining about, it’s really great blogging software?

Then the second problem. “Like” whores. If you have a blog here on WordPress.com you know them, the people who come along and they hit the “Like” button on more than half a dozen posts on your blog and when you check their notifications it links back to ‘yourultimatediet.net’ or something similar. I wonder why they bother when on the post itself the link is to their Gravatar profile? I like to think my writing is good but to hit the “Like” button on the last eight posts. I’m not that good. I guess it could be that hitting the like button costs them nothing and they do actually think the post is worth reading. They may just set the bar a lot lower than me, frankly I read a lot of posts and I don’t hit that button unless I really do think your post is a good one. Indeed I’m almost certain to now go and read a few more of your posts and if I find another couple worth liking likely to follow you in my WordPress.com Reader.

Yeah, yeah, another first world problem. Hey, it might surprise you to learn it but I live in the first world, by definition all my problems are going to be first world problems.

So as a blogger what rattles your cage?

Hitting Freshly Pressed


There's my post up on the Freshly Pressed page.

There’s my post up on the Freshly Pressed page

Tony was up to his usual morning routine: radio on 702 Sydney and MacBook Air on his lap as he sat on the couch, web browser open with multiple tabs showing his mailbox, calendar, RSS reader, Google Plus and Facebook – the usual list of suspects.

This morning he also had open a tab new to his routine, WordPress.com showing the blog reader, a feed of blogs on WordPress.com that he had started to follow.

I had started up a WordPress.com blog after giving up trying to keep my own blog free of spam comments and malware break ins. It had been an entire weekend’s work to extract all my posts from two other blogs and shift them to WordPress.com. I was happy with the shift, I’d found a theme I liked and even spent some time tweaking and customising it. I’d already had a couple of good comments on posts and a few other WordPress.com bloggers were following my blog.

A post on “Daily Post”, a blog written by staff at WordPress.com, caught his eye. Weekly Writing Challenge — Mind the Gap asked bloggers a question “Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior highschool hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millenium?”.

Brain cells lit up, synapses connected and a few vague memories surfaced in Tony’s mind. He remembered seeing some animated GIFs which were high quality photographs with a small amount of subtle movement animated on top. New York Fashion Week also seemed to be associated with the memory.

Continue reading

Graeme Williams now a book reviewer for Tony’s Book Spot


I have, for quite a while, been encouraging various friends and family to write book reviews for Slashdot and late last year my brother, Graeme, took the plunge. He has now, graciously, given me permission to post his reviews on my site as well.

His first review, Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition: Build a Program Now!, is now up for all to see with many more to come.

A big welcome and thanks to him.