Blogging: Does frequency count?

Whenever I start a new blog or section of this blog, I tend to post a lot for the first few days and then slowly trail off. From what I’ve seen on the Internet, this is not uncommon. I feel lucky that I haven’t gone a whole year between blog posts (like a few friends I know), but I certainly understand how that happens.

But with the newness comes the worry of overloading the reader (Even as a published author, I sometimes doubt anyone reads my work – if you wish to prove me wrong, use the contact form and I will amend this post to show a real live person read it. But I digress…). This overload problem is why services like Buffer exist. I am beginning to wonder if it matters though – streakiness versus reliability. I follow streaky blogs and regular blogs daily, and while I revel in the reliability of fresh content, there is something special about a friend’s blog being updated periodically. I guess there are pros and cons to both publishing strategies!

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[phoneitin]

Be Careful of Creating Memories

A little over 10 years ago I bought my first digital camera. It was a pretty crappy camera, even by the standards of the day, and it also doubled as a webcam. For 2 years my Logitech Quickcam was my companion, and all of my digital camera “firsts” came with it (i.e. first picture of my friends, first pictures of my new car, etc…). Recently I started looking at some of those old photos and realized that at the time I thought taking a picture at every moment was a great idea. In retrospect, I should have been more careful with my memory maker.

Warning, By: Anders Sandberg

About 6 months after I got my camera, I had it handy one night when a friend of mine visited. My friend had just come from an argument and was badly in need of support. After we talked for a bit, and the mood lightened up a bit, I snapped a couple of photos. Those were the first digital photos I have of this friend, whom I’m still close with today. I recently came across them and thought “Hmm, I should send this photo” before I recalled the events that led that person to my table that night. Now I don’t know if my friend would remember that night, and I certainly don’t want to be the person to revive a painful memory (This is why this post has some vague wording), so for now I can only look at the photo and remember that time in our lives in the broader spectrum.

The point of this cautionary tale is that today we all have our cameras with us at any moment. We snap photos without much thought, and photos can hold more powerful memories than narratives have ever been able to. Next time you’re thinking of making a memory, perhaps wonder what that day might evoke years from now if you should revisit it. I suspect this is why we often don’t see people taking photographs at a funeral!

How do you blog from a tablet?

I type really fast. It’s so fast that it’s always been my blog entry method of choice. However since I spend more and more time on a tablet these days, I thought it might be nicer if I could write blog posts from my tablet of choice.

See that last paragraph? I dictated it. Then I corrected it. Then I started tapping out this paragraph and stopped to re-read, re-word, and correct the first paragraph again. For someone with a solid 95 wpm, dictation isn’t the most satisfying way to work.

Tapping out via an on-screen keyboard isn’t much better. My thoughts take forever to get on the screen, and while I have read that sometimes it is better to slow yourself down on purpose, I don’t know if I buy it. When it takes time to write, as it does with this post, my mind wanders. It hears my wife putting Pepsi in the fridge and mentally thanks her (something I should probably do verbally more often.) It thinks about lunch tomorrow and debates floating the concept of a pizza buffet lunch past said awesome wife (something no one should do more often). It floats like a breeze and makes me wonder what it was I was doing in the first place, as I tap away at virtual keys.

Oh yea, I was writing about blogging. And was wondering aloud (or ‘aprint’ as it were) how one could blog on a tablet, with limited input speed. And I have no idea. I suppose I won’t be ditching a keyboard any time soon.

Ladies, If Your Man Doesn’t Want Sex, Just Drug and/or Rape Him

A few months ago I posted about finding a forum post (Which I’ll link to if you want to read the entire thread) which majorly creeped me out. Long story short: Woman’s husband doesn’t have a very active sex drive (or maybe just motivation to have sex with her). She asks for advice. Amid some semi-useful stuff comes the suggestion to… well… rape him.

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Tonight I was posting a comment on Facebook and thought of this post, so I went back to the forum, and I found another piece of advice.

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So if you’re not willing to rape him, you could just drug and frustrate him. Probably not going to get you a rape conviction, but it is probably good enough for domestic abuse.

Now I’m not going to pretend that this is the only double standard in the world, but honestly, if you switch this entire conversation around, it’s really really disturbing. (Of course there are some that still aren’t sure what rights people should have to consent, especially if they dress a bit too sexy – just ask many of my Indian friends who are concerned about this issue in their country).

Others have caught on to this creepiness, of course few in the forum actually admit they’re advocating illegal behavior or take such concerns seriously. Heck, one woman admits to the ‘cuddle’ trick:

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 10.26.09 PMIf I were “The bf” I wouldn’t go into the bedroom ever again. I’d also stop accepting prepared food, and find someone a bit less inclined to joke about raping me.

 

 

Jon’s Gadget Bag – Updated!

While posting a status earlier today I did a search of JonWestfall.com and came across this post from December 2005 (The date on the post is incorrect). I figured if anyone cares, I’ll update you on what I carry on a regular basis now (Amazing how it’s changed in 7 years only in brands, not in versatility). Who knows – maybe you’ll find a new Christmas present for yourself or someone else! Continue reading “Jon’s Gadget Bag – Updated!”

Welcome New Students!

It’s the first day of the fall semester, and this post is for any of my new students who decide to wander over to my website or my Twitter feed. My message on here is pretty short and to the point: Welcome to my class! If I haven’t made it abundantly clear during the first class meeting, I’m very excited to be teaching and want you to feel comfortable contacting me whenever you have questions about the class, assignments, life, etc…

Let’s have an awesome Fall semester!

Please Please Please Start Using A Password Manager

It isn’t often that I preach on my blog (Or in general). I like to respect other people’s opinions, views, rants, and freedoms. But I cannot simply sit by without at least trying to get people to use better passwords and preferably a password manager. My preference is Lastpass, which honestly is worth its free pricetag and the $12 a year for premium. 90% of my friends would do just fine with Free, so please – if you haven’t tried out something like Lastpass yet, try it now.

Otherwise you’ll end up like these people (Names have been changed to protect the victims):

1. The school official I knew who was reprimanded after a student saw her password scrawled on a post-it inside her desk drawer. Said student changed his grades, got caught, and was going to get expelled until he worked out a sweet deal: Give me a suspension and I’ll tell you how I ‘hacked’ the school database. Turns out his hack was simply a good memory.

2. The many individuals whom I’ve personally ‘busted’ after they’ve used an insecure password on one of my systems (every so often I run a password audit, where I let an extremely powerful machine use all of it’s idle time cracking my own users’ passwords. I give it 3 weeks, and whatever it cracks, I ask the user to change).

3. The friends I know who have, in a pinch, revealed a password to me – only to have it be extremely embarrassing (“Uh yea… my password is just ‘password’ – but I put a capital P in there and a zero for the o – that’s good right?”)

These 3 stories are of those who got away easy – some people aren’t so lucky. You wouldn’t use the same key for every lock you have, and then give copies of that key to every company you have a relationship with, would you?

So Please, Please, Please – Start using a password manager and strong passwords. If you asked me what most of my passwords are, I’d smile and tell you I don’t know – I know 1 complex password that unlocks the rest. I can look my passwords up anytime I need them on my phone, my tablet, or my computers. It’s that easy. Do it for me, do it for the world, and ultimately, do it for yourself!

 

#90 Teen Paranormal Romance

His steel cold frame encompassed her as they darted through the forest. Above, a full moon shine down, shimmering off the leaves in quick glances of light, blurring past her as they drew deeper into the growth. She’d only known him for 25 minutes, but for some inexplicable reason only possible in love stories written by those not ever having been hurt by another, she trusted him completely. He was strong, silent, masculine, handsome, and a vampire.

They stopped just short of the clearing. In the distance she could see movements of small forest creatures. The same sort you might see in a Disney film, except these didn’t talk. He laid her down on a bed of flowers, which she later realized were honestly just moss and weeds, but they felt like flowers to her.

“Oh Edmund”, she said softly, “This is so beautiful”.

“It is?”, he replied, skeptically eyeing the aforementioned woodland creatures and mossy bed, before quickly regaining his composure. “Yea… Beth… it is”.

“Are you going to tell me what it’s like to be a vampire?”, she said, relishing the last word as it came out of her mouth.

“I guess”, he said.

“Don’t you want to share it with me?”, she replied quizzically.

“It’s kinda dull honestly. I’m hungry most of the time, except I have an insatiable appetite for human blood instead of lattes or hamburgers. I don’t grow old, and for some reason in this version of my existence, I can’t turn into a bat, which kinda sucks”, he confided in her.

“It sounds dreamy”, she said slowly.

“Did you really just use the word ‘dreamy’?”, he asked.

“I suppose I did”, she swooned.

“Yea… sure….”, Edmund said as he came around the other side of his mossy half-effort-but-its-the-thought-that-counts bed. “Beth, I have to tell you something”.

“What is it?”, she asked.

“I’m kinda hungry, that’s why I brought you here”, Edmund said.

“You want to show me how you hunt?”, she said, peering deep into his cold, dead, sorta blackish with specs of brown eyes.

“Uh… Beth… you don’t get it do you”, Edmund said as he pulled out a bib, the same sort you see at value-priced lobster shanty restaurants. He couldn’t afford another dry cleaning charge this week.

“You want me to be with you forever?”, she inferred.

“Beth… I’m a frickin’ vampire. We met on Match after I literally told you in an email that you looked good enough to eat. I just figured you were suicidal or something, but now I can see – you’re just dumb and oblivious”, Edmund said as he opened his mouth, baring his fangs.

“Wait a minute – you don’t seem to be that romantic after all…” Beth said before she was cut off.

<five minutes later>

Jason, the werwolf, arrived in the clearing just in time to see Edmund untying his bib.

“I missed it again?!?”, Jason said incredulously.

“Told ya man, I work fast”, Edmund said with a laugh.

“One day I’m gonna get here ‘just in time'”, Jason said reluctantly.

“Sure”, Edmund said, “I guess some day you’ll get here early enough to rescue yourself a girlfriend, loser!”

Author’s Note: The title of this post was inspired by, honestly, a section at my local Barnes & Noble. They now have a shelf titled “Teen Paranormal Romance”. It’s right next to another shelf named (I kid you not), “New Teen Paranormal Romance”. Meanwhile, their computer book s are missing, and their science & engineering sections are hidden away!

[SSDay]

#82 Bigger Things Coming

Bigger things coming,
Fiction they are not.
Something epic,
Will Grab 82’s Spot.

The Goal I have set
To Have Content Abound
Makes Blogging as yet
Take backstage all round

But today a long post
Is coming your way
So poor 82 is short
Will just fade away.

82 © by Moe_

[SSDay]

To Do Lists For Sanity’s Sake!

So I’m not normally a forgetful person. In fact, sometimes I recall things that surprise others around me (i.e. random birthdays, etc…). And one thing I’ve never had trouble remembering is the tasks that I have to get done, both long and short-term. Major parts of my job(s) don’t fall through the cracks. So why do I use a to-do list service? The little things that go bump in my head… Continue reading “To Do Lists For Sanity’s Sake!”