Category Archives: Wordpress Stuff

Harvey’s Mailbag

First, a big thank you to the many of you who sent me messages after my last post.  It is nice to be appreciated for your writing.  For me, it’s nice to be praised for something that was about my dad.

One of my sisters pointed out (rightly so) why Dad would have been laughing at me running.  He was an actuary.  Numbers never lied to him and the more data he could get his hands on the more complete a picture of your impending mortality he could paint for you.  Runners, it seems, tend to die.  Well, if I remember this one correctly, it had something to do with the fact that all human beings die.  In a nutshell, though, runners tended to enjoy a negligibly similar mortality with non-runners (there was always that control group).  In other words, overall, running doesn’t make you live longer or shorter.  But it did correlate with death from (do not quote me on this) an enlarged heart.  Again, there wasn’t a direct cause and effect, just a correlation.  Whatever, I’m going to keep running so I have a way to burn up the nervous energy of an ex-smoker – as in, “What do I do with my hands!?”

Now then, on to the rest of the mail.

Six and half years ago, right after moving to Texas, my wife, in-law’s, and I traveled to Oklahoma one night to see one of my favorite singers – the immortal Frankie Valli.  I then wrote a story about it.  I’m not even going to link it.  If you want, you can find it for yourself.  In that story, as in so many stories I’ve written over the years, I employed a sort of absurdist humor.  For the uneducated or uninitiated, this type of humor is represented by several key hallmarks including series of events that do not follow (often in an extreme fashion, also called “non sequitir humor”), descriptives that are patently false yet played for reality, and a sense that the narrator may in fact be suffering from dementia.  In my story about Mr. Valli, the reader ought to be able to tell a few things.  First, I truly do love this man, his voice, and his contribution to the world.  There is no denying that.  Second, I am using absurdist humor to prop him up.  In other words, at an age when every human on the planet has outlived his actuarily lifespan; Frankie Valli is still making a buck, doing what he loves.

So I received the following comment…

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.52.09 AM

Takeaway: People read Harvey!

At first I wondered if the person posting the comment was a personal friend of Mr. Valli.  Then I began to realize something…  There is at least one person who read a post of mine almost seven years ago and remembered it well enough to dredge it back up.  In an absurd way, this person just validated my writing.  But let me address the issue at hand because I do not like to stifle criticism.  I’m a big boy and I can take it.  The comment was civil in tone.  Let’s assume that we live in a world in which a guy from Newark, NJ can’t poke some fun at an idol of his who also happens to come from Newark, NJ (which is a pretty awesome place, by the way) and is a gazillionaire celebrity who’s probably seen worse on the pages of Billboard Magazine.  Let’s assume.  Well, then, Mr. Valli and your dear family, I apologize for hurting your feelings.  If you’d ever like to suggest that my writing is crap please feel free.  It’s on me this time.  I promise I won’t even cry.

In the meantime, if you’d like to keep reading I will keep writing.  And Frankie, if you’re reading this and you ever feel like sending me an autographed headshot for my kids (who also adore you), let me know.  I’ll send you my address.

Advertisements

Spring Cleaning

The astute reader (that’s about half of you, so one) will note that some of the blocks where pictures should appear in my posts are suddenly showing broken links and captions instead.  It’s parent-teacher conference night at work and I have almost none scheduled.  That means I finally had the time to go through my media files on WordPress and start deleting old pictures in order to make way for newer pictures.  Realizing that I have the originals to just about all of the pics that have shown in my posts either on my hard drive or on Google, I started way back at the beginning (that’s July of 2010) and bulk deleted all the way up through July of 2012.  That saved moved the needle from 3GB of media storage space (which had been all taken up) down to 2.2 GB.  Eventually I will purchase a WordPress premium account and be able to upload tons of pics and video too!  But I’m not there yet.  I blog so erratically  these days that I can’t justify the cost.  Until then, sorry for the broken picture links.  I had been simply reusing old blog pics, some of which date to that time frame.  Remove the picture from the site and it disappears from every post you’ve placed it in.  Just use your imagination.

500!

Amidst all the other things going on I almost skipped mentioning a milestone.

 

Finally, some good news!

Look at that! I got 500 (501) followers!

Thank you Worspress’ers.

I appreciate each and every one of you.  But especially tonight I appreciate blogger WhatAreYouWritingABook.  He was the 500th.

Thank you and let’s aim for 1,000.

Missing Old Stats

I’ve always been curious about this issue. That is, what in the world happened with my stats a couple of years ago?!

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one as Debbi, a phenomenal blogger, commented in this post from February 2013 that she wondered the same thing.

For reference, there was a time when my stats were topping out routinely in the upper hundreds range, nearing a thousand. Like, every day.

I think WordPress recalculated how they measure these things; but I still long for those old days of high numbers. They were fun.

Anyway, happy Friday folks!  I’m just doing my usual pre-dawn thing.  Checking out my blog and drinking my coffee while I delay getting ready for work.  Enjoy the day.  I’ll be back later with a response to the prompt.

IMG_0610

Typical day once upon a time.  Check out the old WP iOS interface.

Resolved (Again)

The New Year is a wonderful time to set resolutions.

It’s also a good time to look back and see how we did with our old resolutions.

Toward that end I looked back at a post of about a year ago.  I called it “Blogging Resolutions for 2015“.  You can check it out for yourself.

I vowed to write more “for my children”, travel more, and get in shape.

On the first count, I believe I hit the mark.  The writing wasn’t as voluminous as I would have liked but it was all for the kids.

As far as travel, I did travel more but to familiar places.  Unfortunately, that travel was largely to visit sick family members.  Nonetheless, it was a mini success.

midnight clock

It’s never too late to make some changes.

And as for fitness…  Well, around July 1 I finally got on track in a way that I never had.  I took the advice of a friend who’s a trainer and went for it.  I went for it hard.  And I saw results.  My trainer was even impressed with the slight transformation I had made by August when he saw me again.  Then he inspired me to kick it up a notch and add running to routine.  For the first time in my entire life, I became a runner.  My goal was to be able to run 2 miles.  Wouldn’t you know it, by early December I ran my first 5K (a little more than 3 miles)!

And then I hit a few walls.  Mainly, it’s psychological.  After that race I got the strange idea in my head that I was never going to be as good as my trainer.  And that hurt for a few minutes (days).  It’s hard when you realize you can’t be all that you wanted to be.  Man, I wanted to be shredded like you wouldn’t believe.  Just once, I wanted to sport 4% bodyfat instead of 24.  BUT…  I’m proud of what I accomplished even if I’m the only one and I decided that, once Christmas was over, I’d get back on track with a more attainable goal.  Hopefully by next Christmas I’ll be down around 20%.

On New Year’s Eve my sister-in-law brought over a few envelopes.  In each one was a resolution (or two or three) that each of us had written last New Year’s Eve.  We opened them up.  The surprising thing is that I had completely forgotten about these cards.

On my card:

“I resolve in 2015 to: father another child.”

Ouch.  OK.  Didn’t happen despite many, many attempts.

On my wife’s card:

“I resolve in 2015 to: be blessed with another gift from God.”

Yikes.  So at least we were both on the same page albeit she worded it more like a woman.  So we’re infertile.  Big deal.  Our new resolution is to treasure ever more the two we have.

Also on her card was a resolution to run a 5K.  How funny is that?  If I’d only known, we could have made it a couple’s thing.  So what if running a 5K wasn’t a goal of mine until later in the year?

Got any resolutions this year?  Feel free to share them.  If sharing’s not your thing, than draw some hope from this infertile, writers-blocked, fatty and keep in mind that there’s always a new year to be the new you.

New Year, New You (or Me)

Having recently wrapped our family trip to New Jersey for a beautiful Christmas, and having just put the finishing touches on all of my entries for each day of that trip (so the kids can read about it one day); I am prepared to embark on a new voyage.

pod-2016-mdYou see, while I was publishing that last post, I began to realize that it was exactly five years ago that I put the finishing touches on a particular post.  When I started typing in the “tags” box, I proudly typed, for the first time, “postaday2011”.  My friend Debbi had turned my on to this idea of blogging every single day.  The challenge was raised and accepted.

I had such fun.  In fact, until late July of that year I was even successful!  I posted every single day.  Even then, it was our move to Texas that screwed me up, but only temporarily.  We were without wifi for about a week and then the signal was week.  Blogging was a chore.  But I got back into the swing of things.  As 2012 drew near I had to determine if it was something I wanted to continue.

It was.

In 2012 I actually did it (even if they did change the tag by simply dropping the year).  I posted 366 days straight!

So for 2013, I thought I’d try it again.  And again I sort of fell off sometime around August.

2014 saw a major spinal surgery set me back a bit by keeping me away from my laptop a while.  I settled into the idea of just posting for the joy of posting.  And I was fine with that.

2015?  Well, It was a bit like 2014.  However, at the start of the year I made an effort to reach out to new bloggers and offer whatever assistance I could, remembering that I had once been one of them.  The result was a doubling in the amount of followers.  I also discovered many wonderful blogs to follow myself.

So here we are.

It’s 2016.  I’ve learned quite a bit as a blogger.  For instance, short (one sentence) paragraphs are easier to read.  Pictures help too.

But I’m down for this.  I’ve got a new laptop courtesy of my wife and kids and I am ready to try repeating 2012 (or any of those other five years).

I love blogging.  I love writing.  I love following and being followed.

If you’re a new blogger, please consider following and by all means comment!  I LOVE comments.  You will too.  Almost as much as you’ll love checking your stats.  Unless that’s just a guy thing.

Here’s to 2016 and successful blogging!

So I Fell Off the Wagon

Well my friends, with the best of intentions in mind I slipped.

And I was doing so well too…

But about two and a half weeks ago, tired from a long day of work and home life, I opted to go to bed instead of posting to my blog.

What I learned (or already knew all too well, is that it’s almost impossible to recover from that.  I wanted to jump back in a few days later and “catch up” but that didn’t happen.  It also doesn’t help that I’m not satisfied with my inability to post media with my blogs.  Small problems, I know…

Nevertheless, I’m going to try to pick up right here.  Consider that it was a Lenten sacrifice (though it totally wasn’t meant that way).

Blogging, like so many other addictions, needs to be tackled one day at a time.