May 142014
 

Day 28 of WordPress’ Zero to Hero guide suggests creating a recurring feature for our blogs.  The idea is to create a consistent bit o’ content that will attract viewers.  Ok, fair enough.  BUT, I do reserve the right to feature something of my choice.  And that choice concerns a serious issue facing my corner of the world:  the Harrisburg area’s ongoing addiction to vanity plates.  I am horrifies but also morbidly fascinated.  Take a look:

It's in the cards, yo.

I dunno. If you gotta say it…

Redundancy

If it’s so obvious, then…then…oh, to Hell with it.

Ha ha, innuendo!

To be fair, the faded typing on the frame was about rafting. Still, really?!?

Where, oh where, will it end?

Apr 302014
 

From today’s Daily Prompt, we get:

Ring of Fire Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?

See what I did here?

It’s funny ‘cuz it’s exaggerated.

I actually just had Indian food last night, so I don’t mind some spice – up to a point.  BUT, a few years ago, a local Thai restaurant asked me if I want my food “spicy” or “Thai spicy.”  I choose the latter.  Foolishly.  My tongue burned with every bite and I was practically shaking.  I think it was even worse when I went back and attempted to conquer the leftovers the next day.  I seem to remember my stomach and intestines filing a restraining order against me after that, too.  So, again, I like spicy food, but only up to a certain level.  All things in moderation, yes?

 

 

Apr 242014
 

Day Ten (I originally wrote ‘Nine’; I gotta learn how to count!) of Zero to Hero has us playing dress-up with our sidebars.  Don’t worry, it’s not as dirty as it sounds.  For my experiment, I added a media gallery sidebar.  I will be taking it down shortly, however.  The reason for this is because I am worried about making my site too cluttered.  I know almost nothing about design, but I do know that simplicity is a hallmark of it done right.

This video is nearly a decade old, but I think it makes my point for me very well:

Apr 232014
 

In the spirit of my About page and a gentle nudge from Zero to Hero, let’s answer these good and important questions:

What are the top three things you’d like to learn, or ways you’d like to grow, from blogging? The top three people you’d like to connect with?

OK, let’s start with the first question.  The three things I’d like to learn (for starters) from blogging are:

  1. How to amuse myself.  If I can write something that entertains me and/or makes me laugh, I will have done well for myself.  I need to have fun, and I want this blog to be that.  (If this turns into a chore, then what’s point?  I already have one job, know what I mean?)
  2. I want to become more technically proficient.  I plan on learning enough to be able to migrate this site to WordPress.org.  That would push me to learn how to manage web traffic (well, the traffic that I hope for) and an actual website.  I also know the basics of HTML, Java Script, and CSS.  (Thanks, Codecademy!)  Ideally, this site will help me to build on what I’ve already learned.
  3. I hope to become more connected to the Harrisburg area.  I’ve lived here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for a little over six years and still don’t feel as connected to it as I’d like to be.  My hope is that this blog can help me to network and socialize more than I have in the past, if only a little.

And now, i answer the second question.  Just who are the top three people I hope to connect with through this blog?

  1. Harrisburgers (Harrisburgians?).  Again, I’m hoping to come out of my shell a little bit and am hopeful this blog can be a means to that end.
  2. Smart, experienced bloggers.  With any luck, I will be able to connect with those who have good technical expertise, experience with growing one’s audience and improving one’s ‘brand’ (I think I’m starting to hate that word, btw.), and maybe even those who know something about best practices for website design.   Here’s hoping!
  3. I’m a Virgo with a moon in Pisces.  I like good coffee, good conversation, and long walks on the beach.  If you are celestially compatible and looking for someone who has taken ‘the road less traveled’, then shoot me a message and we can see what happens after that.  (My ex-girlfriend need not apply.)

Yinz satisfied now?

Apr 202014
 

Today’s Zero to Hero assignment is to publish a post for our ‘dream’ reader.  Preferably, this will include the use of a ‘new-to-you’ type of post.  So, with that in mind, let me just say  that my dream reader would appreciate, enjoy, and stand in awe of the sublime snark of P.J. O’Rourke’s classic How To Drive Fast While On Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed And Not Spill Your Drink.”

He/She would marvel at a piece of prose like this:

When it comes to taking chances, some people like to play poker or shoot dice; other people prefer to parachute-jump, go rhino hunting, or climb ice floes, while still others engage in crime or marriage. But I like to get drunk and drive like a fool. Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you’re half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose and a teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over while you’re going a hundred miles an hour down a suburban side street. You’d have to watch the entire Mexican air force crash-land in a liquid petroleum gas storage facility to match this kind of thrill. If you ever have much more fun than that, you’ll die of pure sensory overload, I’m here to tell you.

Go read the rest of it for yourself, and see what makes it so special.  I just pray that I’ll write something half as witty and entertaining some day.  And I pray that others will appreciate it if and when I do.

Apr 182014
 

Today’s Zero to Hero assignment is to “write that post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.”

What I had in mind was a post that would fit the title of my blog.  It was going to be a short introduction similar to the one I just wrote.

That was in 2012.

I hemmed, hawed, and promised myself that I’d get back to it, and soon.  That was two years ago.  But then I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and wrote down what was on my mind.  Or rather, I wrote down as close an approximation to what was on mind that I could muster.

The result eventually became my introductory post.

The lesson that I learned was not to make the perfect the enemy of the good (enough).  You just gotta start writing and not sweat the fact that it won’t be perfect.  This is all a bit cliché’, I know.  But like any cliché’, there’s a strong element of truth to it, knowhatImsayin’?

Apr 172014
 

First, let me thank the kind folks at the Daily Post for getting this song stuck in my head. Nice going, people. 😛

Today’s Zero to Hero assignment is to edit my title and tag line. Ok, fair enough. Except, I like both just fine, so Yinz’ll have to settle for an explanation instead.

I was originally going to go with just “Making It Up As I Go Along” for a title, but then I noticed that there are many, many, many other blogs with the same title. Since making oneself distinct enough to stand out in a crowd, or at least be distinct enough to show up near the top of a search engine’s results, is a must, I had to make a change. To do this, I amended the title to “Making It Up As I Go Along – Trying To Think It Through.” In terms of substance, it reflects my approach to blogging. I’m new to this, and while I’ve read that having a distinct ‘voice’ (‘brand?’) is key to building a large following, I can’t do that just yet. I can’t do that because I don’t know what my ‘voice’ is and will have to figure it out as I keep learning and posting, hence the title. I’m curious about everything and want to learn a little about a lot, and then learn to focus on a few things that hold me interest. (It’s no accident that I always want to play a Bard when I play D&D.)

As for the tagline, well, it speaks for itself. It could be seen as something of a cop-out, but I don’t see the need to over-explain the title. Besides, I’m all out of bon mots.

Apr 152014
 

Good afternoon, all!  I’m participating in WordPress.com’s The Daily Post’s “Zero to Hero” project.  My first assignment is to tell you all (Yinz, as my people would say) who I am and why I’m here.  Luckily for me, I’ve already done that.  See for yourselves by following this link here:  “Let’s Begin, Shall We?

To expand on what I said a little, I have started this blog because I want to improve my writing skills and to keep mentally sharp.  Writing a blog and learning the form’s “nuts and bolts” (pingbacks, widgets, formatting, themes, etc.) should be a step towards accomplishing these goals.  Plus, as Mid-Life Crises go, this is a hell of lot cheaper than a sports car.  

Here’s to us all getting something positive out of this.  Good luck everyone!

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