Archives for September 2012

Georgie

Ride the Lightning

I wanted to blame the jackass at the ATM for bringing this shit storm down upon my head. If he hadn’t tried to rob us all, the girl he shot would still be alive and I wouldn’t feel so miserable.

Then again she might still be alive if I hadn’t reacted like the frightened little boy I had been and maybe still was. If Georgie hadn’t spent years tormenting me, picking, poking and prodding me, she might still be walking.

Maybe if I would have learned how to deal with the bullying I could have stopped myself from just reacting.

Goddamn Georgie, he was dead too. Gone for years and still I could hear him mocking me, feel his presence.

They say sometimes the absence of someone is palpable. The only thing palpable about Georgie’s presence was that even in death he still walked alongside me.

She was dead because Georgie had proven to me that I was weak and  lacking in value and worth. Really it was my fault.

The first time Georgie beat me I was scared. I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t try to, I just let him kick and punch me. And when he stopped I looked at him through teary eyes, not sure what to expect. He gave me a handkerchief and stuck out a hand to help me up.

I was wiping the blood off of my face when he hit me again. I didn’t see it coming and when I came to I was lying…

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Why I Dumped FeedBurner for FeedBlitz

Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is official now. Feedburner has been defenestrated and FeedBlitz has been given a seat of honor at the dining room table.

Yep ladies and gent Winter is Coming and it became clear to me that FeedBurner wasn’t getting the job done any longer. For a good long while it served me faithfully and I am grateful for that time but I am a writer and I cannot work with unreliable tools and resources.

For those who are unfamiliar with this saga here is the news and information you need to know. FeedBurner is a free service provided by Google that helps to distribute your RSS feed to those who wish to use it to read the content you produce on your blog.

It is not something that you have to have or use but it was useful because it provided some tools you could use to measure your blog’s performance and it provided an option for people to receive and read your content via email.

The fact that it was free was a bonus.

Imagine Google Is Tony Soprano

Imagine that Google is Tony Soprano. Now pretend that FeedBurner has turned state’s evidence on Tony. What do you think Tony would do? Well, I am willing to bet you agree that Tony wouldn’t let a rat like FeedBurner hang around for very long.

Of course Tony would never admit or confirm that he put out a contract on FeedBurner but word on the street moves quickly and pretty soon it would become clear that FeedBurner had no where to hide.

Well, the word from our sources is that good old FeedBurner will soon be sleeping with the fishes which is why I moved services ‘cuz I can’t until FeedBurner  gets whacked.

Tony Soprano

Tony Soprano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you can tell Tony that I am not going to go to war over this little incident. TheJackB family and the Sopranos are on the same side here, but not because of fear. No, it is because I like the service that FeedBlitz offers and I am very curious to see if it lives up to its billing.

It is far more powerful than FeedBurner and offers many more options, not to mention service which is something that FeedBurner has given up on. Great customer service by itself is not enough but when combined with a superior product that solves your particular problems, well then you are talking about something special.

What I Like About It

What I like about FeedBlitz is that it is easy to use and that it makes it simple to distribute my content in a number of ways that FeedBurner did not do. It provides more tools and resources and I see an opportunity to help grow this blog.

I spent time reading posts and some of the transition stories and that helped to push me over the top. I should add that I know a bunch of the bloggers who are linked in that transition post and that helps.

Heck, I’ll give you three links to three other posts about this and you can see what others had to say.

  1. Danny Brown
  2. Jayme Soulati
  3. Jay Baer

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that I signed up for a free 30 day trial and I am going to use this time to evaluate the service and see if it does what it promises to. If it works the way I need it to I will continue to use it and if not, well I’ll search for an suitable replacement.

I kid around about being an insouciant daddy blogger but I am on a mission and my focus is upon doing what it takes to make my goals into the accomplishments and to turn my dreams into reality.

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted on how thing develop. BTW, here is my new feed:

http://feeds.feedblitz.com/thejackb

When Father Doesn’t Know Best

All luck run out

All luck run out (Photo credit: nyoin)

I am beginning to hate Words With Friends. It is because two of my friends have kicked my writer ass up, down and around the block.

It irks me not just because I am competitive but because I have a larger vocabulary than most people do. I never run out of words but apparently I run out of good combinations.

It sucks to be beaten constantly and it is only made worse because there have been multiple times where I lost right at the end of the game.

I HATE that.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Forgive me for using a slogan from a forgettable film, but it is apropos for this discussion. I have a grip that would make a gorilla jealous and a will to win that doesn’t let me just walk away from things. When it gets tough, I get going, but not in the opposite direction.

Yet, I keep losing and it makes me scream WTF because I haven’t figured out what I am doing wrong. It is clear that I am, but I am determined to figure it out.

There are bigger problems and more important issues than this, but sometimes it is the little ticky tack ones that make you crazy.

Self Hosted Blogs versus Free

Bill has a post running today that reminded me of the advantages of a self hosted blog and why I made the change.

Free blogs are great but if the powers that be decide you have violated their Terms of Service they can yank your blog and you will lose everything.

You might not know this, but I have a bunch of free blogs that I still use. They all need to be backed up.

  1. Random Thoughts- Do They Have Meaning?
  2. Fragments of Fiction- Version 178
  3. Words Left Unwritten

Each of those is important to me for different reasons and I would be irked if I lost them. So I have taken steps to back them up. Better to be proactive about it.

Children and Hard Questions

My son asked me about the Boy Scouts today and why they got into trouble. It is not easy telling a kid that some people are sick enough to hurt children. It is not easy to try and talk about these things in a way that impresses how serious it is but doesn’t scare them silly.

It might have been easier but last week was our conversation about 9-11. My little mister wants to know why people will fly planes into buildings and if I ever am nervous about flying.

He wants to know what I would do if someone threatened the family. I do my best to reassure him and remind him these things are quite rare, but he presses me on the issue.

I make a point to look him in the eyes and I tell him not to worry because I will do what is necessary. He doesn’t say much other than he feels better. I am still superman for a bit longer.

When Father Doesn’t Know Best

Last week my daughter had some sort of misunderstanding with several of her friends. They are eight years-old so I thought I would have some time before some of the drama hit but I was wrong.

The dark haired beauty shared a ten minute story with me about why she and her friends were upset. She told me about how some of them cried and how she wasn’t sure if they could be friends again.

I listened to her tale and asked if she thought it was a misunderstanding. She blew up and told me that I can’t understand because I am a boy.

So I hugged her and told her I loved her. She said thank you and then told me that I still didn’t understand.

Did I mention that my girl already has mastered the female look of death. One day some boy is going to wither and shrink under that glare, but not me. I may not understand but I am still dad.

Something tells m that this won’t be the last time I don’t understand, but I am ok with that. My daughter is smart, strong and has a good head on her shoulders.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t share that I have never seen anything like this with my son and his friends. Maybe it is because I understand boys. 😉

And that my friends is my entry for Just Write #53.

This Will Not Inspire You

The Road Not Taken

There is a rhythm to writing and the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Lately life has been getting in the way of my words so I have found few minutes and moments in which to sit down and share these words you read here.

In a perfect world I would be say that the time away has helped me to recharge my batteries but the fact is that this is not so. In some ways I am more distracted and it is harder to focus the way that I want to on these words that I wish to write.

These distractions are part of why I haven’t written my eBook yet and why I haven’t figured out whether I am going to move my newsletter from AWeber to Mailchimp or another email service.

But your buddy Jack isn’t just a daddy blogger who writes about bad blog posts or ways to get back at bad roommates.

I don’t know about you but that is one of my favorite songs. It is one I can relate to and there is a good chance that I might use it for inspiration to write one of my stories.

Music is a never ending source of inspiration for me. If you are among the 17 long time readers you know this. There is always a song playing inside my head and often one playing on the stereo next to me.

If you invite me to your home I will always be interested in seeing what books music you own. There is magic in music and it is the kind of magic that I want my children to experience.

And I suppose it is fair to say that magic is part of why I write and why I am interested in other things that create moments filled with magic.

Three Things I Want To Do To Make More Magic

  1. I want to take some time off to go to culinary school to become a chef.
  2. I want to take photography classes.
  3. I want to be paid to get back into shape.

We’re going to jump on number three because I know that is going to be like an ear worm that some of you can’t get out your head. I almost wrote that I want to have sex for 368.5 days straight but that would send some of you in a different direction than getting paid to get back into shape.

OTOH having sex like that might very well take care of getting back into shape, but let’s not get caught up in that.

Instead let’s focus. I am serious…focus.

A man is allowed to have some dreams and I think it would be very cool for someone to pay for me to get back into shape. That would be my job and it would come with a personal chef and trainer.

Sadly it is not a real likely prospect so I need to make a few adjustments which is part of why going to culinary school would be cool.

English: Culinary Work - School of Hotel Manag...

English: Culinary Work – School of Hotel Management, Vels University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of you don’t know that I like cooking and that it is not unusual to find me at the stove making a meal. I can do more than barbecue and bake, but I am intrigued and interested in the idea of learning how to do much more than I know now.

I am a guy who uses the Braille method of cooking. Most of what I do is by touch and feel. Ok, sight is involved too and we are all grateful for that.

My family likes my cooking as do most people I have cooked for, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn more or become better. So why not do it.

I see a correlation between writing a story and cooking a meal. I like the idea of creating and they both have that in common.

Photography

I like taking photos and most of mine are alright intermixed with some pretty good, but again it could be better. Not only that these posts and stories that I tell would be so much stronger with the right artwork supporting them.

Not to mention that it ties in with my desire to create and tell stories.

Or maybe what I should be saying is that I see more possibilities that I want to turn into opportunities. Life is short and I am pushing harder than before to make mine into something offers many more magical moments.

I don’t need these things I mentioned to make magic and neither do you. Really all you need to do is open your eyes and be ready for them when they come, but I figure that even though I can make them happen without there is no reason not to try and include them.

I am Focused

It may not seem like it, but I am focused and actively working towards these things. What about you?

 

People Who Matter- Stream of Consciousness Sunday

My nephews play tackle football and they love it.

I wasn’t allowed to play on the school teams when I was a kid because my dad said I was “young, dumb and stupid.”

He was right, I was. The boy I used to be still lives inside me. At 43 I still play tackle football with the guys in the fraternity. Granted I generally play once a year I still play balls to the wall and without fear because fear is what gets you hurt.

That is what we always said and how my nephews play, fearlessly.

Except my oldest nephew got his bell rung in his last game and ended up with a concussion. That is serious. It concerns me. He is tough as nails, but he is smaller than some of the other boys and size wins. I know because I have been on both sides of the fence.

This post is a stream of consciousness and I am flowing with it. This is how I began blogging and still how I like to do it. We are supposed to write about people who matter to us and who have made a difference.

There are many that I could write about but one comes to mind except I can’t go there today. Can’t tell what I am thinking or why. Won’t say if it is good, bad or sad. Just won’t because I can’t do that today, maybe a different day.

Maybe I’ll write something about them elsewhere or maybe I won’t.

Hope my nephew stops playing because he suffers from the same silly thoughts as me.

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .