Friday, September 21, 2007

Am alive

There's no tick-tock
on your electric clock
but still your life runs down

- Harry Chapin

A brief look at some useless facts:

On 1-Sep. - the last day a post was made by yours, truly,

  • the average visits per day this Blog received was 39

  • the total hit count was at 36,473 (total, since Feb.-04)
As of this writing,
  • the total hit count stands at 37,234
  • average visits per day: 26
Not bad, I suppose, for a blog that hasn't had a post in a month. As I reviewed the referrals in the log, the vast majority of the hits are headed to posts I've made over the years about things related to pop culture, such as (in no particular order):
and, what has to be the number referer (and most unusual):
Naturally, this does not count those who read my humble blog by a feed reader,unless they click through to the blog, at which point I'll see a refer from Google Reader, Bloglines, etc. It's no surprise I haven't had any hits from a feed reader, since I haven't posted all month.

While these stats are hardly exciting to those who have huge followings, there is something to be said about your blog being read by people when you haven't posted, even if they are one-off readers.

I've been on a sort of an unplanned hiatus. Not only from blog posting, but from reading other blogs and commenting
(Another useless stat: my Bloglines blogroll lists over 31,500 unread posts; aside from a few on my TopShelf, these will all be marked as read)
The handful of people I usually correspond or IM with - outside of those directly connected to my job - haven't heard from me much either. I've been off the grid, in a big way.

Why have I been so silent? I am busy at work, to be sure, and at home things have only gotten busier, but nothing outside the norm. But even when I was swamped, in years past, I had something to post. And I always read, at least some blogs.

But as I write this, I am scanning several blogs that were once my daily routine, and oddly see more than a few that also have large gaps in posts, where 3-4 posts per week (or more) were the norm.

Maybe its the change of seasons.... the phase of the moon? I don't know.

Part of my absense was to deal with some things that required a lot of thought, so much more that I've been actually shutting off my car stereo on my long commutes. Most of the issues are resolved, in some fashion, but a few remain.

Another part of my hiatus was wondering why I post at all. Sure, seeing the hits counted is a thrill, and I engage in chats - either on other's blogs or my own - but lately I am not sure if that is reason enough to do this any more.

A few years ago I blogged madly coming into the 2004 election. And again, 2 years later. While I don't pretend to have had any major influence on any one, I do believe my posts (both here and on other blogs) led to discussions that opened thought processes. That's not to say I invented penicillin, but it's not half-bad either.

Here comes another election, and of course I have some very definite opinions on many of the candidates.

But, I just don't have the drive to express them.

The first draft of this post was started 2 nights ago and ran some 6 pages were it printed. Far too much details about my life and thoughts were included. Suffice it to say, it was severely edited before you had the chance to read what you are reading now.

My much better half told me about one of her oldest, bestest friend. She and her friend always call each other friend, as in when I answered the phone: Hello Charlie, it's much-better-half's-name friend! Tell her it's friend calling!

In spite of them having known each other for probably over 25 years, they haven't seen each other much of the least 10 years. And even if a year or two go by without a phone call between them, they always pick up where they left off.

MBH's friend, we are saddened to learn, is now fighting breast cancer. It is a horrible reason for us to plan travel to Long Island, but plans are being made to travel there soon. Really, MBH can make the drive, and heaven knows I can make those rides with my eyes closed, but logistics and the practicalities of life mean that we she'll be only able to visit maybe once every few weeks.

If you've ever needed a reason to donate to cancer research, let my encouragement inspire you. Whether it is Komen Foundation or other non-specific cancer research, by all means be so moved.

I've started to work my way through feed list, backlog of e-mail and related things. Funny: not only have I been away from this blog, but I haven't visited my Facebook or Twitter in as long. Yet I've accumulated invites from people I do not know who want me to join their network or follow them. But why? What is this drive to build networks of people you don't know?

On LinkedIn, which I maintain for professional reasons, I have gotten no less 6 invites this week along. Who the hell wants to rack up contacts for the sake of contacts? Do these people print up business cards and hand them out on subways? What's the point?

Also while I was away, a pal invited me to join a Facebook group, and then mysteriously vanished from FB entirely. I know I have more than a few posts to read to get to the bottom of that disappearance. Also in the news, another fellow blogger decided to pursue a goal of law school; an admirable goal, indeed.

Yet another useless bit:
Scene: local Dunkin' Donuts, mid-afternoon, today
I enter in search of caffeine and a snack. I could have used the drive-thru, but I needed to see what choices I had, because I couldn't think of what doughnut I really wanted to eat.

Woman besides me orders a latte from the clerk on her side of the counter.

He: Sorry, ma'am. We can't make lattes; we're all out of milk.

As I pondered how a shop that makes their money on doughnuts and coffee could be out of milk, the clerk on my side asks for my order. It is then I realized there aren't any doughnuts (or munchkins, for that matter) on the racks.

Me: Oh, wow... what happened? Are the doughnuts in the back?
He: Oh, no. No. We're all out.
Me: All out?
He: Yeah, we're all out of donuts.
Me: You're all out of doughnuts?
He: I think we have some sticks in the back, but I am not sure...
Me: You're not sure?
He: Want me to check?
Me: No.... so you ran out of doughnuts?
He: Er.... yeah.
Me: It's not much of a cheese shop is it?
He: Um, we don't actually sell cheese....
Me: And evidently, you're no longer selling any doughnuts, either.
He: If you want cheese, I can make you a breakfast sandwich...
I thought about hitting Wendy's for $.99 bacon cheeseburger, but I feared they ran out of beef.

So I am back, at least for now. Time will tell if I get the bug to blog again. Till then, hoping you and yours are well.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Real Men

Take your mind back - I don't know when
Sometime when it always seemed to be just us and them
Girls that wore pink and boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men than me and you

What's a man now - what's a man mean?
Is he rough or is he rugged, is he cultural and clean?
Now it's all changed - it's got to change more
'Cause we think it's getting better but nobody's really sure

And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder
who the real men are

See the nice boys - dancing in pairs
Golden earring, golden tan, blow-wave in their hair
Sure they're all straight - straight as a line
All the gays are macho, can't you see their leather shine?

You don't want to sound dumb - don't want to offend
So don't call me a faggot not unless you are a friend
Then if you're tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along

And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder
who the real men are

Time to get scared - time to change plans
Don't know how to treat a lady, don't know how to be a man
Time to admit - what you call defeat
'Cause there's women running past you now and you just drag your feet

Man makes a gun - man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink, and man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks - kill all the reds
And if there's war between the sexes then there'll be no people left

And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder
who the real men are

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