Tag Archives: blogging

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.

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Another Why I Write

You (both of you) have been eagerly awaiting an update on my new workout so I’d like to take a moment to share.

Actually, my mind is a jumbled mess right now so I’d like to take a lot of moments to share (and sort) a lot of things.  Indulge me?  Look, I’ve been through a lot lately.  Consider it your work of mercy.

Gator 9

If I didn’t blog, how would you ever see fun pics like this?

At work today where I joyfully bounced around between the spiritual battle raging all round us as relayed in Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and the concept of authentic freedom as being something wholly different than license; the subject of this blog came up.  I don’t hide my blog from my students but I sure don’t advertise it either.  “If you can find it, you can read it,” I tell them.  I just like to keep things by and large separate on this one front as I feel I can be more authentically free that way.  A student asked “So why do you blog?”  I thought about it and said “I blog because I need to.”

The truth is that I do love to write.  As I said to my trainer-friend recently “Some men can move heavy weights around.  I play with words.”  Looking back I truly hope he didn’t take that as an insult as I always wanted to be able to one of the former and I greatly admire men like him who actually can move heavy weights around.  Weightlifting gives you an enviable body.  Writing can, well, let’s talk about that…

I write because I am a twin.  Sound odd?  OK, I was born, in all likelihood, speaking a secret language that only one other person understood.  So I spent the next few decades trying out different forms of communication to get my message across to a larger audience.  That period of monosyllabic grunts was kind of awkward for sure.

No?

OK.  Here it is.  I write because I love to write.  I don’t know who reads it and I don’t always care.  After my dad died I got a comment on a post about his funeral.  A woman said she had been reading for years and felt that she knew me and wanted to convey her sympathy.  I was touched.  I have never met her but we have a connection.  Words, you could say, are sacramental.  They make real in the physical world that which is invisible — namely our thoughts.  And when we write we are committing our souls to posterity.  It might not ever be very good writing but a piece of my mind and heart will live on as long as there are eyes to see it.  I have seen this so clearly over the past two months while reading The Chronicles of Narnia to my son at bedtime.  I have become enthralled with these books, with Lewis. I said to my son: “How amazing to think that this man wrote these books so long ago.  He’s dead but the thoughts in his mind are still speaking to us.  His brilliance lives.  The soul lives.”

To me, it’s fun.  I know what I’m capable of.  It is probably the only area of my life where I feel any measure of confidence.

I certainly don’t always feel that confidence in the gym (or the home gym as the case may be).  And that’s where we end for this post.  Did you really think I’d ramble on for 2500 words about a mess of different subjects with no underlying theme?  Ha.  Guess again.

The Jig Is Up!(Sort Of)

In lieu of the prompt, tonight I thought I’d blog about something even better…

First, you must remember that a few nights ago I wrote a post wherein I mentioned the poet Robert Frost.  Got it?  OK.  Let’s go…

Perhaps by now you may have figured that “Harvey Millican” is a pseudonym.  In fact, I haven’t even gone to the greatest of lengths to hide my real identity insofar as the following.  If you venture all the way back to a few years ago you’ll note that there was a slow awakening in my of the desire to conceal my real name and the names of my family.

Early posts?  Yeah, I didn’t even try.

Why the gradual shift?  I began to realize that as a high school teacher it is best simply to not advertise myself and my blogging endeavors.  I’ve always said that there’s nothing unseemly about what I write.  Everything here is true, good, and beautiful.

Sure I occasionally use a salty word but that’s life.  I’ve just always liked being able to keep my personal life personal from my work life.  Really, it’s just easier.  Anyway, I write these pages for my kids, not my coworkers or students.

Here’s the fun part.

Earlier this year a student asked my what my hobbies were.  I responded that I enjoy blogging.  “You have a blog?” she asked excitedly.  “Can I read it?”

“Here’s the deal,” I said.  “No.”

Then I relented after thinking better of myself.

“Tell you what…  If you can find it, you can read it.”

Seemed fair.  I mean, she could find it on her own and I can’t actually stop her from reading something.

“Deal,” she said.

But I could sense something was different about the way she said that.  She was non longer a teenage girl interested in the hobbies of her teacher.  Now sitting before me was a teenage girl on a mission.  And there ain’t no one more determined than that.  She was GOING to find Harvey.  But, a deal’s a deal, right?

Yesterday morning I arrived at my classroom to find the following.

 

And miles to go… before I find blogging anonymity.

 Remember that post I wrote?  The one about Frost?

Yeah.  Although I knew immediately the significance, I played it off casually.  I asked a few other teachers who use my room if they had been teaching anything about 20th century American poets.  They teach theology also so, no, they had not.  I did not see this girl’s class until today.

End of the day, she walked into the room for class.  I held up the page.  I held it right in her face.

“My dear, do you have something you want to tell me?” I asked.

Sheepishly she smiled.

“No,” she replied.

“Let me rephrase this.  You found my blog, didn’t you.”   I said this with no hint of accusation.  She had told me she was going to find it.

“My God,” she said, “it took me 30 minutes of straight searching!”

We laughed.

And then I found ten dollars.

The moral of this story is that teenage girls WILL find your blog.  And when they do, they will leave proof, like a serial killer’s calling card, that they did.  And they you will laugh.  And then you will find cash.

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!

Miss Me?

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Sue me.

OK, don’t sue me.  You’d be sorely disappointed.

Although there are a million reasons why I stopped posting for a while; I’ll name just a few.

  1. Vacation

OK, that’s about it.

Oh, and there was this little guy right here.

Old school Macbook users might recognize this.  It’s the power cord as it connects to the laptop.  While I was on the initial leg of my summer vacation, the magnetic tip-end of the cord snapped off.  I found a replacement online.  It arrived and it, too, promptly broke.  Several weeks (and some more travel, both personal and work-related) passed and here I am.  I’m hopeful that if I just don’t move the laptop off of the desk where it currently sits, the cord will not break again.  Fortunately, when September rolls around I might have the funds necessary to purchase my first new-ish Macbook in six years.  Speaking of finances, you’ll love my next post.

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.

Still No Solution to Being Out of Space

This is getting sad…  I still remember the first time a friend suggested I add pictures to my site.  I had been blogging for a few months.  The friend, coincidentally, is fellow blogger Wade who’s site This Ordinary Citizen truly deserves your attention.  We met through the very first PostADay challenge.  His suggestion was a good one and from that day to this I have nary posted without a picture.

Nary.  Yep.

Anyway, knowing that I cannot add new media until I make the choice to either delete old pics (and thus ruin some of my old posts; because so many people are reading the archives) or shell out a hundred bucks…  Well, it’s just a tough choice for me to make.  It almost makes blogging unenjoyable.

And as I’ve said before, the moment you no longer enjoy sharing the details of your life for sport or hobby, then you need to step back.

I’ll get it figured out.  I hope.