I discovered a new free public wiki site today. It is called It has a lot of neat features. My test wiki is called occasional. Three guesses what the inspiration for that was. I liked a lot of the features of but there was one thing missing. I could find no way to download my content to back it up. I emailed the support folks to see if I missed something. I’ll let you know what they say.

I’ve got this idea that a wiki would be a good way to develop the back story for a television series. I’m playing with instiki on my local system. I’ll figure out how to get it hooked up to apache and try and move it up to wildroseandbriar soon. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be any one wiki that is the clear winner in terms of simplicity and features yet.

Prioritization, Multitasking and Dog The Bounty Hunter

Prioritization is an activity that takes a lot of attention. I feel that I have only recently started practicing it. I’ve been making lists and checking them twice. Actually, I’ve only been checking them once at most but twice has such a nice ring to it :-). I’ve also been reevaluating and reprioritizing which is something that I always neglected before for the most part.

I’m also multitasking a good bit more. For example, right now I’m writing this blog post and catching up on one of my favorite series of YouTube videos. I am watching “Telling it all Part 6” by geriatric1927 right now. This delightful old British gentleman has been sharing the story of his life, 8 minutes at a time. It is wonderful.

I have to get up very early tomorrow morning to take my daughter in for outpatient surgery so I have to wrap this up. I couldn’t let another day go by without writing something here. Right now, I’m going to go watch the rerun of Dog the bounty hunter getting married on TV.

Podcasts grow on you

I couldn’t understand why none of my podcasts were downloading today. Then I tried to download one of them manually and discovered that the external drive that I’ve been saving them to was full. I’ve been burning CDs all morning. I should have my free space back up to a reasonable level by the time I go home. Some of these podcasts I really want to listen to but I don’t have time during the day. I’ve got to figure out how to listen to them some other way, like at night when I go to bed.

At this point, I suspect I’ll never catch up but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Thus, I burn discs to sit in a spindle until a rainy day when I try to figure out what they are and why in the world I wanted to save them.


My heart jumped a little when I saw that there were 3 comments awaiting moderation. Then I went to moderate them. All 3 were spam, probably from the same spammer with three separate addresses. The comments all read “Nice…”. I am so disgusted. Way too disgusted for the severity of the slight. If it weren’t for the fact that I feel like I’m getting some very good practice writing from posting to this blog, I’d give up. So much for a conversation. I probably just haven’t said anything very engaging yet. Yeah, that’s it.


No, not the board game. I’m talking about taking risks in life. In order to accomplish anything out of the ordinary, you have to take risks. The key thing to remember is to do everything you can to bound your risks. I’ve been thinking about how to do this a lot lately.

I want to pursue other career options but I am over 50 and I have to think about the risk of age discrimination. Not in the careers that I have in mind, which are all variations on the theme of self-employment, but rather as relates to my fall-back position. What if I don’t make a go of being self employed and have to go back to work as a (gasp) employee? How do I mitigate the risk that I might not find anyone that wants to hire me because I’m over 50?

So I’ve been thinking about how to ease into this change. How to dip my toes in and test the water before I quit the day job. The problem is, I don’t know if I have the stamina to hold both a day job and work on a start-up at night anymore. And the other consideration that looms large in my mind is the cost of insurance. I have good insurance where I work. How do I ensure that I have uninterrupted insurance when I take the leap to self-employment.

It certainly is a lot to think about. Right now I’m not real worried about these issues because I’m a long way from taking the plunge. But if I plan on ever doing anything of this sort, I need to start making progress in that direction.

Dog days are here again

It’s August and its hot in Northern Alabama and South Central Tennessee. And, as fate would have it, there are several dogs in my life right now. Of course, there is Petite Pat, our Apricot Poodle and there are my grand-dogs, Elsie and Ceilleigh. Elsie and her momma, my daughter Erin, have been staying with us for the past week. Elsie is such a sweet, funny little dog. She is very smart. She is also very bossy. She has taken it upon herself to take charge of the cats in the house. The two young cats, Cory and Finn, have taken to playing with her. The older cats just try to ignore her. But Elsie is determined to bark at them any time that she thinks they are getting out of line.

Petite Pat is Pam’s shadow. When ever Pam is around, Petite Pat is always right there with her. When Pam is gone, Petite Pat mourns and is listless and sad. I am dreading how she will react when Pam goes into the hospital to get her other knee replaced next week. We have been preparing Petite Pat for a while now. She did pretty well when Pam got her left knee replaced. We’ll see how she does this time.

Talking to myself

I’m beginning to feel like I’m talking to myself. I’m not sure why. I’ve claimed this blog on Technorati and I ping them when I post. I haven’t checked the site stats to see how many hits I’m getting but there have been no comments since I started allowing them. If it turns out that the only comments that I get are spam, I’m going to be slightly disappointed. I’m writing this blog for practice writing but I wouldn’t mind if someone read it every now and then.

I remember when blogs were first gaining steam someone likened blogging to standing on the corner talking to the air. I just want to capture a small crowd of folks listening and commenting on what I’m saying. It’s lonely on the street by myself :-).

By the way, did anyone catch the reference to Dancing with Myself in the title of this post? I thought it was clever. I guess if I have to point it out, maybe it’s not so clever.

Why do people write blogs?

I suppose this question is as important as why do people read them. Hopefully, there is some commonality of purpose :-). A quick list of reasons:

  • To practice writing
  • To express themselves creatively
  • To voice an opinion
  • To respond to other bloggers
  • To get attention (good or bad)
  • To make a record of what they were doing and saying at a particular time
  • To explore a topic in search of deeper understanding of it
  • To entertain
  • To inform
  • To teach
  • To be remembered
  • To make an impression
  • To get a job
  • To inspire discussion
  • To advocate action
  • To persuade
  • To woo

Why Do People Read Blogs?

This question occurred to me while meditating one morning, originally in the very specific context of this blog but then in the broader case of all blogs. I started out by making a list.

  • To waste time
  • To laugh
  • To read a good story
  • To learn something new
  • To hear someone else’s opinion
  • To find people that believe the same things that they do
  • To find other interesting sites on the web

Somewhere around here I started looking for a pattern. I noticed that most of these reasons could essentially be catagorized as one of three things:

  • entertainment
  • information
  • opinion

Or else some combination of the three. In fact, as I thought about it some more, the more that you could address all three of these criteria, the more interesting your blog would be to more people. That was my theory anyway.

I propose to test this theory by attempting to increase these three components in my blog posts and see if my rating goes up any. I’m not sure which rating to watch though. I know that it would probably also help if I turned on comments and allowed a dialog. I suppose I’ll try that for a while and see if I start getting a lot of comment spam.

What DO I want to be when I grow up?

I’ve spent the day writing prose summaries of Powerpoint slides. How totally boring! Where does it say that employment must be interesting? I guess I’m proving that the answer is “Nowhere”. That’s just another reason that I am becoming convinced that I should find another way to support myself than being a wage slave. This blog proves that I can put one word after another and even occasionally read what I write and rewrite it if it doesn’t make sense. I can also program and take pictures and movies. That seems like a sufficient skill set to make a reasonably comfortable living without resorting to the typical 8 hours a day/5 days a week grind.

I must admit, my current job is one of the best that I’ve ever had. The pay and benefits are great. The work is never drudgery and is often interesting and engaging. The environment is relatively congenial. I have lots of leeway regarding my hours and whether I work at the office or from home. What’s there to complain about?

I think it boils down to the fact that I want to have something to show for my efforts besides a filing cabinet full of notes on old projects and a stack of floppy disks and CDs with copies of the software that I wrote that will probably never be run again by the customer or anyone else besides me. Even if I were to indulge my wildest fantasy and successfully produce a fantasy television series, there would be the shows that would run in reruns indefinitely. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I am beginning to yearn for a little piece of indirect immortality.