I Feel Happy!

For those still out there, yeah, I’m doing fine. Just haven’t felt the itch to blog lately. Didn’t have much to say, really.

While I’ve been gone, the daughter turned five and graduated pre-school. She’s already reading at a 3rd grade level and is ready for Kindergarten in the Fall. The son turned two (I think that was the last post), and has since decided he doesn’t need diapers anymore and is nearly potty trained. Well, at least we got something easy with these kids (other than the daughter reading thing).

I haven’t written much, although I’ve been fighting to get back into it. We shall see.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting here, but I think I’ll give it a try again. The reason for this post is because of a really nice message I received through the contact me form from somebody who has gotten something out of these posts. Thanks for that Thomas.

Hope you are well out there as well.

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Housekeeping Note

Just a quick housekeeping note. You can now “like” one of my posts now. So, go ahead and “like” your favorite post here.  So a search. Find it in the archives. You wouldn’t want to hurt your favorite post’s feelings, now, would you?*

Update It looks like you have to be logged into wordpress and viewing a single post to like something. Crap. That sucks.

*Your won’t actually hurt a post’s feelings. Posts aren’t people and can’t feel anything. Silly.

Time Keeps On Slipping

You are probably wondering why there has been no new blog post since Friday. I wish I had some grand reason for that. I do not. Time just got away from me, I guess.

Monday, I had a vacation day from work (for the 4th of July since the real 4th happened on Sunday). We went to Barnes and Noble and I didn’t get a chance to blog. I did get to pick up Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of Scott Pilgrim. That was sweet.

Monday night the kid had us up most of the night, so I was an absolute zombie on Tuesday. Thankfully, he slept better Tuesday night.

It has been abysmally hot the past week or so. 95+ degrees Fahrenheit every day and mid-70s at night. No respite from the heat. I long for the cold of winter. Remind me of this when I’m in the cold of winter.

On a positive note, I did a little writing yesterday for the contest I mentioned Friday. I’m not finished, but I like my idea and my writing so far. Plus, it feels really good to write again. Yay me!

Anyhow, this is me posting a post about not posting. I hope to post at least one more time this week.

Party Success

Well, the birthday party went pretty well, in my opinion, even though it was nearly 90 degrees outside. I’m pretty sure the ten or so kids attending had a good time, and I know the birthday girl did. That is what matters most, in my opinion.

A couple moments stand out for me. One, was the boys at the party. The boys were mostly brothers of my daughter’s girl friends (save for one boy classmate of hers). The boys had fun mostly playing in the sandbox, including my one year old son who seemed to get along quite well with the other, older boys (mostly 3 and 4 year olds). It was funny really. Five or six boys, all playing together elbow to elbow, without a word between them, but no fights, either. Boys.

Another was my daughter starting the singing of “Happy Birthday” for herself. We tried to hold her off, so my wife didn’t miss it, but it was just too cute.

I’ll get some picture out once we get a moment to transfer them to the computer. Right now we’re just trying to recover from the wild party. I’m yet again reminded that I’m getting old.

A Little Blogging Funk

Sorry for the lack of real blog updates yesterday. I’ve been phoning it in lately and I know it. Just not feeling it right now.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. It’s just that I’m not sure if I want to write it.

Things are great on the home front. The baby only woke one time two nights ago and only twice last night. That is truly amazing news. He is only a little less than three months old after all. It took our daughter a year to sleep this well. Before that, she was doing the every two hour thing. Anyhow, I hope this unexpected rest lasts.

What has really been dragging me down is the politics stuff. These are the things that gnaw at my stomach and I’m not sure I even want to talk about them. These topics include the fact that the US tortured people (and some choose to defend it to this day), rising gas prices, and the real chance we could get legitimate change in our health care system (if only the will of the people can win out over the will of the health insurance companies and their representatives in our government).

I could really write a post about all these things, but I just can’t summon the energy to do so. First of all, there are plenty of others who can talk much better than I about these topics. Secondly, I’d rather try to summon my energy toward my fiction. Any of you have any thoughts on these things, I’d be happy to hear them.

So, that’s where I am. Things are well, but nothing amazingly exciting is happening. Thanks again for reading.

Help Needed

I like to shake things up a bit here from time to time in the design department.  Also, I like to play around in Photoshop. It helps me learn the software.  I’m thinking about changing the header of this blog, but I figured I’d get your opinion first. Click on the images to see them in full size.

Option 1:

Status Quo – the header stays the same

Option 2:

swlogoOption 3:

swlogo3

I’d appreciate it if you would take a few moments and let me know which header you like the best.

100,000 Hits – On Stats,Readers, and Looking Back

This here little blog hit the 100,000 hit mark sometime last night. I know some blogs get that many views in a month, but I’m still proud of my milestone.

The blog has been around since January of 2006. Here is that awesome first post from January 15, 2006. I really had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to say. I had a total of 8,217 hits that entire first year.

Things have been trending upward since. 35,554 people viewed this blog in 2007 and 51,222 viewed it in 2008. I hope even more people will read and comment here this year. It’s looking good thus far.

My most viewed post of all time is still the Death of Garfield post. 10,000 views that one has received. Another one that receives a ton of views, and one I’m quite proud of, is my Halloween short story Frank.

There have been the bad days, the days when I posted “I don’t know why I’m blogging here and I may take a break for a while” for whatever reason. Each time I found something interesting to post the very next day. The bug always comes back.

I don’t know why I started a blog in the first place. I’m not a particularly introspective person, nor do I have a huge desire to “be heard”. Whatever reason, I’m glad I did. Because of all of you.

Thanks to everybody who reads my posts everyday or every once in a while. Extra thanks to those of you who take the time to leave comments. The comments are truly what keep me going.

Maybe someday I’ll publish that novel, and this site will start getting those 100,000 hits a month. Maybe not. Either way, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the ride.

New Blog Header

So, I created a new header for this blog yesterday.  I liked the old one, but this one feels more writerly.

For those of you who are interested in such things, I created the header in Photoshop.  The drawings on the header are from a web site called Grandma’s Graphics which features many drawings and illustrations from the public domain.  It really is a wonderful site.  Please check it out.  I heard about the site, of course, from Boing Boing.

I made no progress last night on the novel.  My daughter developed a headcold yesterday, which caused her to take a nap during the day, which caused her to stay awake until 10:00.  I’m not about to start writing that late.  I’m hoping for a better writing night tonight.

Now for a poll.

Wikimedia Commons

Things are going well with me. I’m nearly finished with revisions for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of my novel, at which time I will send them to my writing group and start revisions on Chapter 3, which I’m excited about. Physically, my lungs are in as good of shape as they have been in a while, with all the hockey I’m playing. My legs are extremely sore, though. As far as professional sports go, the Pirates stink as usual and the Penguins start the playoffs tomorrow against Ottawa. Exciting!

As you may have noticed, I’ve been displaying more pictures around here lately. You may be wondering where I get them. For the most part, I’ve been getting them from Wikimedia Commons, which is a great place for photographs in the public domain. Check out their Featured Pictures or simply search for something you want to see. I loved the picture below, which I found in the Featured Pictures section.

Here is a high-res version of the image

Check it out. There is some really cool stuff there. I even found an image I would absolutely LOVE for the cover of my novel.