What is a blog and why bother?

Why MyLifeandTimes.Org is here

I may have covered this before, but I thought that this graphic *almost* covered the reasoning behind why I put stuff here.  That reason is:  I wanted to have a 'platform' to stand on and "say" stuff whether or not anybody read it.  It's a very similar disorder, I think, as I saw displayed by people on my first visit to Times Square way back in the day.  Those people were just standing around on their boxes (their platforms) and ranting about whatever - the end of the world and stuff.  I'm not sure if the boxes on which they stood were 'soap boxes,' but I think you get my point.

When I found out about 'blogs,' I thought "Great!  Now I don't have to worry about losing my freakin' notebook (didn't call it a journal or commonplace book back then) *and* I can type faster than I can write - I can back up, delete and change stuff faster.  Little did I know that, for some odd reason, I'd flip my preference back to analog over digital (which is why I hadn't been blogging for so long).

And now I sort of combine the two.  Sometimes something that I post here or see online (on Facebook for example) gives me an idea that I want to write about and put into a journal - and sometimes it's the other way around.  But what gave me the idea for *this* post was something that the 'Star Wars Blog' graphic did *not* mention.

And that is this:  It's all become about money.

After performing my due diligence prior to choosing "Innovative Journaling" as my source for my journaling kit (now called my "Davinci kit"), I'd also researched different types of journals what people do with them (Bullet Journals or 'Bujos,' for example are beyond me -- a system of setting up one's notes and schedules and stuff for those who don't know how to do that, I guess?), I also wondered what the difference was between journals and diaries.  Then I discovered 'commonplace journals' which have been around for literally centuries and are quite different from both journals and diaries.  (Check the links in the previous sentences if you'd like to poke around at those differences)

After educating myself about journals and diaries (and blogs) I happened upon one of those 'suggested searches' that Google gives you when you're looking for other stuff.  That suggested search was "What's the difference between a journal and a blog?"

I clicked the link and found what you might expect:  the analog journal is more private, the blog is online and public, blah blah blah.  But what I've noticed is this:  blogs, unlike their original purposes, have become blatant efforts to make money.  I even tried it.  "Google Adsense" (or whatever it's called) sent me an e-mail to tell me how easy it was to put ads up on my blog tailored to both what my topics were about and also based on the 'clicks' of the visitors.  I figured:  "Why not?"

Humorously, after about a year, they sent me an e-mail notifying me that I was no longer qualified to have ads on my blog!  Why?  Not enough clicks.  Not enough traffic!  In other words:  the portion of any money that Google was to have received based upon traffic on my site wasn't enough so they didn't want to play with me any more.

Back to my research on analog journals vs. blogs, I continued to poke around at other blogs and, with few exceptions, they're all an attempt to sell something.  I'm not sure why, but I was disappointed.

So this here blog is my way of opting out of what other blogs do ... except of course for that link with the monkey which is a blatant request for donations!  LOL!!!

As this is the last entry for 2018, I guess it is only appropriate to close by expressing my wish that you have a happy new year or that you are already having a good one -- no matter which year you're in!

The 'Davinci Kit'

Image result for leonardo da vinci
Possibly a self-portait of  'The Man'

The Davinci kit is coming together.

My issue:  I have more than 1 journal I try to keep current:
- a daily journal/planner (Benjamin Franklin Virtues Journal)
- a work journal I inherited from a predecessor at work (she 'willed it to me' when she retired) for meetings at work, notes from work, etc.
- a newly purchased 'Commonplace Journal' (hard to explain, Google it) used for this blog
- a book used specifically for 'cursive entries' (for improving my handwriting)
- a little passport-sized journal that I use for 'jotting down stuff to remember' (also for this blog)
- a little black journal into which I rant stuff (that you don't want to know about (!))
- and a need to carry/store some regularly used fountain pens and miscellaneous commonly used tools

SO!  I had been trying to figure out how to keep all this stuff  'in the right place' or, keep the various items where they were most often used ... which became difficult as the various journals and items often became needed at home (when they were at work) or at work (when they were at home).

I've fixed this issue by creating a 'Davinci kit,' named for 'The Man.'

The Davinci bag and journal from Innovative Journaling were expected to arrive the day before Christmas -- they arrived on 26 December due to the USPS bouncing the package back and forth between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg for a day or more ... but they got here.

I've 'packed out' my kit in its first iteration ... it's contents may be reduced or increased based on need as I begin to tote it to and from work as of 2 January ... so here's what's come together (mainly thanks to Arthur Scharf) so far:

Front view of Davinci bag as currently loaded.

Rear view of Davinci bag as currently loaded.

Davinci bag, unloaded. (from left, work journal for meetings, bookmark for Davinci journal, Davinci journal for website notes, Benjamin Franklin Virtues journal, journal used for keeping up with 'cursive practice,' $15 pouch from Innovative Journaling used to keep personal correspondence cards, envelopes, pens and stamps, "the black journal" (you don't wanna know), the $10 (or 'primer') journal,Innovative Journaling's 'vintage accessories/pen pouch (center) and vintage tool roll-up (bottom ... and empty; now holds multi-head screwdriver, knife, other tools).

Not pictured (but there's room, trust me!):  Flask, 4 or 5 FPs (3 or 4 for use and 1 or 2 for giveaways/recruiting), ink pot, flashlight, knife, extra comb (!) ... and there's still room left over for an appropriate-sized thermos for which I am currently searching! 

Updates re: useful incorporation into my everyday carry (EDC) to follow.


It's Facebook's Fault

Yeah, yeah.  I know ... it's been since like *August* that I've put anything down here.  The only reason (read: "excuse") I can give you is:  "I haven't been in the mood."

But, I will admit, I have - like everyone else - been spoiled by The Book of Face ... because it's too easy to put stuff there (like this bit I posted about a goofy guy on my ride to work a few weeks back):

(November 30th, 2018 - 0539)

This morning as I boarded the shuttle between Metro-stations (the train isn't running for part of the journey to work as they repair a bridge for the past week and over the next, so I get to ride a bus in the mornings, just like when I was 6):

Guy on Shuttle: "Hey. They put those signs up for a reason."

John on Shuttle: (I wasn't sure if he was talking to me) "I'm sorry?"

Guy on Shuttle: "They put those signs up there for a reason!"

John on Shuttle: "Which one? The 'No Talking to the Driver' sign?" There are actually 4 or 5 signs posted at the front of most of the shuttles ... it was a legitimate question.

Guy on Shuttle: (pointing) "No. 'No coffee.'"

John on Shuttle: (while looking) "I don't see a 'No Coffee' sign."

Looking again and feigning severe confusion, I noted that the sign actually read 'No smoking/eating/drinking' and, in pictures: something like 'No cigarettes, putting unidentifiable things in your mouth, or big tea-cups on saucers with hot stuff in them.'

Guy on Shuttle: "It's right there, see?" He likes to point apparently. He was still pointing at the sign very smartly.

John on Shuttle: "Oh!" I said, "No 'drinking!' Thanks! But I'm not 'drinking,' I'm 'holding!'"

I proudly showed him my holiday-design Starbucks cup with the little spill-stopper in place that every stylish commuter sports.

"But thank you for pointing that out," I said.

I may have feigned a smile a little too obviously. Maybe. Later in the morning, a friend suggested that I should have explained to the guy that you can't drink hot coffee, you have to sip it ... but hey, in my defense: it was too early to think of good stuff like that.

Guy on Shuttle: "You were *drinking!*" He was pointing again, but now both at the sign and me in turns. He really was a good pointer.

Shuttle Driver: "Please be quiet sir."

Guy on Shuttle: "He's drinking coffee!" This time he's pointing at me like he was 8 and we were on the bus to school.

Shuttle Driver: (The driver is now pointing to his own sign!) "No Talking to the Driver, please sir. We put those signs up for a reason."

Guy on Shuttle: (Muttering to himself after glancing at me, dropping his line of sight and turning to stare out his window) "You *were* drinking ... ". He whispered it in a grumbly sort of hiss as a sort of last stand in defiance of authority but support for "The sign" and what he so deeply believed to be truth, justice, and whatnot but, a stance only appreciated by him as he pulled his little wheeled suitcase intended for airports but too big for storage in an overhead compartment on the average plane that he uses for his daily carry-everything-he-considers-important-to-work-buggy closer to his chest, putting wheel marks on his shirt as he hugged it and getting something like grease from the wheels and axles on the front of his pants.

Yep ... that was my 0540'ish this morning - and w/out coffee yet!