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5. Last week I was on the phone to an old friend of mine, a guy in his late forties, who was born and bred in Michigan, and is living there now. He was telling me about his uncle, who, about four decades ago, got his highschool sweetheart pregnant. So instead of going off to college, he found himself with a new wife, a child on the way, and an assembly-line job at General Motors. But even though this situation clipped his wings considerably, he still ended up having a nice life in the end, with a home, a big yard, two cars, a steady paycheck, weekends fishing or hunting deer, and vacations in Hawaii every year or so. “The days where a blue collar guy like my uncle could have a nice life without doing much,” my friend said, “those days are gone. Gone forever.”
And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking the same is starting to happen to white collar guys more and more, as well. But it’s not quite out in the open yet. Society’s not quite ready to have that conversation.
And, I totally agree…those days are definitely gone.
…or, “News From Both The Homefront And The Frontline”.
The one significant, and completely unforeseen, drawback to working from home is that by giving up the daily commute to and from the central workplace I now no longer have anything to complain about.
(Yes, the irony is overwhelming.)
Those 90 to 120 minutes every day spent behind the wheel of a car (mostly) quietly watching the idiots in the other autos around me was time always well spent. The social/psychological observations I made were priceless. Even some highly acclaimed and world-renowned anthropologist, famous for discoveries in far away lost cities of antiquity, would be hard pressed to admit that the level of drastically important human activities and interactions which the operators of automobiles undertake everyday is anything less than magnificent. I shall truly miss that contact. I shall miss the exposure to greatness.
Oh, who am I kidding? Stupid is as stupid does…
And, besides, even without the commute I will surely always have something to complain about. It is my nature. But, up until recently, a large portion of my mental energies were wasted…er, used while stuck in traffic. This site became an outlet for that frustration. So, now that I don’t have to shoulder the frustration, do I need an outlet?
Well, the answer is yes. I do still get to travel for work. And, there will surely still be time spent riding in cars on a daily basis. But, the incidence of jamokerish behavior has never been as high, in my opinion…and thus not as interesting, as when the commute deal wasn’t also included in the calculations.
In all seriousness, I truly don’t have anything to complain about. All’s quiet and well on the frontline homefront.
Speaking of being on the frontline while serving from the homefront, I gotta say it fits me well so far. I work in comfortable clothing. I don’t eat large and expensive lunches. I don’t waste time at the watercooler. I don’t have psycho types criticizing my music. I am productive. I’m busy. I’m here when the school bus arrives, both times per day. I can stop when the work is done. I don’t have constant interruptions by bored people needing entertainment.
Do I miss the large office environment? Sure. I’m not a complete hermit. I do have friends and crave human interaction. But, I don’t miss it completely.
ta ta for now…
Just posting some miscellaneous thoughts here in an attempt to clear out the clutter.
– Don’t forget to put down 2007 when you date things.
– Thanks to Ron for the Tunes. It’ll hit the rotation today.
– You know the Holidays are truly over when the last of your visitors has left. For us, that happened yesterday and now we’re a little sad.
– New job starts today.
– It has been decided that a new motherboard, faster CPU and more RAM will cure this ailing computer. Until then, time spent working on it will be VERY tedious.
– The trip to the Pacific Northwest was interesting. A family member on BetterHalf’s side gave us some Family Heirloom furniture. And, driving it down here in a rental truck was cheaper than using a national moving company/shipper. Look for a post with observations from the trip to come soon…and stay tuned for the fotos taken.
Happy New Year to everyone!!!
Getting this one out early as I’m going to be away for the next week.
Details when I return…
Happy New Year. Be Safe.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!
P.S. – Goin’ thru crackberry withdrawal…OUCH!!!
Being the definitive expert on Jamokes and Jamoke-ish activities, people often want to contact me and request my presence for speaking engagements…or to write the Forward or Preface in NonFiction Books…or, which is surely no surprise to anyone, to testify in court proceedings (for the prosecution). But, leading a public life is often very hard to handle for those most dear to me. As such, my advisors, assistants, and legal counsel have all instructed me to keep a line between myself and my adoring public.
But, don’t despair, that line is thin…and fairly easy to cross. Anyone needing to contact me can always just send me an email. I’ll always respond. Of course, it’ll be hard for me to respond without a valid return email address…so be to sure to proofread what you type. My email address is – jamoker AT gmail DOT com
So, there you have it. I look forward to hearing from you…
(p.S. – don’t bother sending nudie pics, I have plenty…)
I’m not 6 feet tall. My hair is starting to fall out.
No one would ever mistake me for a movie star.
I’m just an average white guy.
And, I’m OK with.
Some would assume this is a ‘woe is me’ post. It isn’t. It’s more of a ‘what makes him tick’ kind of introspective I have wanted to post for awhile. It’s a sort of self-awareness stream of consciousness admission I have felt obligated to make.
A year of forcing myself to post my thoughts here has made me realize I’m not a writer. I will never be a good writer. Instead, I’m just an average writer. Regular visitors to this site will notice the word count per post has drastically fallen off. That I have been too busy to post thousand word posts has really just been an excuse for realizing I’m just an average writer. I’ve realized I’m not good enough to make it zing. And, it takes too long to formulate the thoughts into the written form. Too, stuff I think and want to post has already been said by others…and said better, more succinctly…and with more zing.
So, I’m just average.
Sure, forcing myself to post has been a good exercise. Yes, it is beneficial. Yes, the discipline is worthwhile. But, it isn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. It isn’t going to go anywhere…or get steadily better.
It is what it is…nothing more, nothing less…and that is that.
Like I said, I’m OK with it.
I was an average musician when younger. I was an average cyclist.
I’m an average employee at work.
I’m an average family member, husband, father and friend.
(I’m a below average typist, by the way.)
In everything I do, I’m neither the best nor the worst. I’m just halfway in between.
People who know me well would either choose to disagree and challenge my conclusion out of kindness and say I’m not average or they would choose to agree and say I’m not harsh enough in my self criticism. They’d say I’m great and talented and kind and above average at lots of activities. They’d say I’m a self absorbed jerk. Either way, people are entitled to their opinions. But, I wouldn’t disagree with either viewpoint.
I AM average. I know it. And, I’m OK with it.
When considering the word count for the blog, it comes down to procrastinating…or laziness…or allowing myself to become disinterested. I get to a point with things and then move on. Average then is the result of a lack of true discipline. Forcing myself to do this blog thing only goes so far. If I had true discipline I wouldn’t accept average. I would try to work harder. I would push harder. I wouldn’t be OK with average. But, unfortunately, being average is what allows average.
Considering my music or athletic endeavors, it is the same story. Innate talent took me to a certain point, and then I stopped trying. I let laziness win. I let other pursuits take over. I couldn’t make myself do more. I looked around and saw other people do better. I saw other people with more talent. I saw other people with more discipline. I know better musicians. I know better cyclists.
The same can be said for my photography. I allowed it to take over for blogging. I let taking fotos become more important than writing. I told myself that a single picture was as good as writing a thousand word post. And, I enjoyed it.
But, taking fotos is easy. The camera does all the work.
I didn’t learn how to do it correctly. I didn’t study the art. I haven’t allowed it to become a passion. And, the shots I take are generally just average imitations of much better stuff out there I have seen. Comparing my fotos to the shots on Flickr that get all the faves is no comparison. A copy is never as good as the original.
It’s like the character Tom Cruise played in “Days Of Thunder”. “I don’t know how the car works, Harry. I just drive.” I’m that guy. I just drive. At music, cycling, writing, photography, and my job, I’m just interested enough to make the car drive. I might finish the race. I might even win the race occasionally. But, I never can make myself learn HOW the car drives. I can’t force myself to learn the ins and outs. I don’t have the discipline to figure out how things happen. I’m always just content to go part way with stuff.
So, I’m average.
The nice people will say I’m too smart. My intelligence allows me to gain an immediate grasp, without having to learn the skills properly. I don’t need to read the manual. The not so nice people will say I’m not smart enough. My lack of intelligence confines me to a half-assed existence. If I were smarter I could break the habits.
Again, both assessments are probably correct. And, being stuck in the middle is what makes me average.
No ‘woe is me’…no cries for sympathy…no gnashing of teeth in anguish…
Just an admission of awareness…and a statement of confidence…
With a world full of people who get attention for being excellent at things…and a world full of people who are shortchanged because they are not only excellent at nothing but who also have nothing, I think it is healthy to have (and share) an understanding of my place in life. I think it is fitting.
I’m just an average white guy who’s OK with being an average white guy.
Besides, if not for the average folks, there wouldn’t be any excellent people…
I loved the Papyrus look…and stuck with it for a long while. It’s time for something new though. (Might keep Papyrus in the back pocket for rainy days…)
Tell me what you think…
Saw this here and liked it a lot…
Some rules for writing in English
1. Always avoid alliteration.
2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
3. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
4. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
5. Remember to never split an infinitive.
6. Contractions aren’t necessary.
7. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos, French is passé.
8. One should never generalize.
9. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous. 10. Be more or less specific.
11. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
12. The passive voice is to be avoided.
13. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
14. Who needs rhetorical questions?
15. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
16. Don’t never use no double negation.
17. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
18. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
19. A preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.
20. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!!!!!
21. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
22. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; they’re old hat; seek viable alternatives.