Saturday, February 06, 2016

Saturday Video



Everybody's doing a brand-new dance, now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
My little baby sister can do it with me
It's easier than learning your A-B-C's

So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me
You gotta swing your hips, now

Come on, baby
Jump up
Jump back
Well, now, I think you've got the knack
Wow, wow

Now that you can do it, let's make a chain, now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
A chug-a chug-a motion like a railroad train, now
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
Do it nice and easy, now, don't lose control
A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul

Come on, come on
Do the Loco-motion with me

Ye-ye-ye-yeah
Move around the floor in a Loco-motion
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)
Do it holding hands if you get the notion
(Come on baby, do the Loco-motion)

There's never been a dance that's so easy to do
It even makes you happy when you're feeling blue
So come on, come on, do the Loco-motion with me

You gotta swing your hips, now
(Come on)
That's right (do the Loco-motion)
You're doing fine!
(Come on, do the Loco-motion)
Come on, babe
(Come on, do the Loco-motion)
Hm-hm-hm, jump up
(Come one)
Jump back (do the Loco-motion)
You're looking good
(Come on, do the Loco-motion)
Hm-hm-hm, jump up
(Come on)
Jump back (do the Loco-motion), yeah yeah yeah

Friday, February 05, 2016

Blogging: Past and Future



Ten years ago I began blogging. It was a new platform for personal expression and I'm grateful for the experience. In the beginning, I was part of a group of fifty or so motivated and creative bloggers. We were a tight-knit bunch who coalesced around a nakedly self-promoting writer who used her Ivy League credentials quite productively. Even with the exposure and ample hits, she rarely made much in the way of revenue. Nor did any of us. We were writing for the love of it, and maybe to even win an modest audience for our troubles.

I've recently learned that blogging still isn't profitable in the conventional sense. Many of us have hoped otherwise, only to eventually abandon our hard work in frustration. A few companies, mostly small potatoes start ups, peddle content in the hopes to win advertising dollars. I was recently employed briefly by one of them, who simply stopped e-mailing me assignments without bothering to tell me why. A more professional entity would at least have had the courtesy to say thanks, but no thanks. Fly-by-night organizations like this one are about the best a person can hope for in today's climate.

Any number of public relations firms have contacted me with the promise of free work. For a time, I pursued these as a means of boosting my profile. The problem, among many, was that they were getting paid for my troubles and I wasn't. I can't count the number of bad self-published books I reviewed over a two year period. Interviewing the writers was sometimes very painful, and there were instances where awkward phone conversations could simply not be used.

Plum assignments were hard to come by, but I appreciate the ones I received. I was given the opportunity to interview former Illinois senator Adlai Stevenson III. In addition, I had the opportunity to examine the writings of a young Kurt Vonnegut. Naturally, none of these assignments even paid me a dime. Breaking through is not a one-step process. One quickly finds that many ceilings have to be broken through on a consistent basis, and the process never really stops.

The signs are not promising. Professionals who have been to journalism school and have specialized training are fighting for paid gigs. If a person can manage to find a single publication that will routinely feature his or her content, he or she considers it a coup. Any number of others are given highly sporadic work, but not a regular column. Be it known that I recognize the challenges and steady headwind that faces me. In an over-saturated environment, who you know is more important than talent.

We may think that the internet is the great leveler, the triumph of democracy. It is, and it isn't. It has eliminated jobs as frequently as it has created them. I've sought to keep alive the first generation of blogging, which takes time to craft an argument and requires full attention. With time, our arguments have been broken into smaller and smaller bits. As we know, Twitter limits a person to 150 characters or less. The trend is towards shorter and shorter attention spans. I try to keep my contributions to the discourse to the point, never laborious to read, and still informative.

I think there is a market still for a carefully constructed stand-alone piece. I wouldn't continue writing if I didn't think this was the case. But be it known that I don't expect much in the way of financial compensation. Most of us will be known by our name, never our face. We will pass unrecognized on the street. We will only be as good as our last column. Along the way, if we're lucky, we'll win a few followers and regular readers.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quote of the Week



"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

"But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

"I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

"He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

"Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown."

-Thomas Hardy, "The Man He Killed"

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Video



If you, if you could return, don't let it burn, don't let it fade.

I'm sure I'm not being rude, but it's just your attitude,
It's tearing me apart, It's ruining everything.

I swore, I swore I would be true, and honey, so did you.
So why were you holding her hand? Is that the way we stand?
Were you lying all the time? Was it just a game to you?

But I'm in so deep. You know I'm such a fool for you.
You got me wrapped around your finger, ah, ha, ha.
Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to,
Do you have to let it linger?

Oh, I thought the world of you.
I thought nothing could go wrong,
But I was wrong. I was wrong.

If you, if you could get by, trying not to lie,
Things wouldn't be so confused and I wouldn't feel so used,
But you always really knew, I just wanna be with you.

But I'm in so deep. You know I'm such a fool for you.
You got me wrapped around your finger, ah, ha, ha.
Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to,
Do you have to let it linger?

And I'm in so deep. You know I'm such a fool for you.
You got me wrapped around your finger, ah, ha, ha.
Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to,
Do you have to let it linger?

You know I'm such a fool for you.
You got me wrapped around your finger, ah, ha, ha.
Do you have to let it linger? Do you have to, do you have to,
Do you have to let it linger?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Pictures


Sidewalk


                                                     Me



The joys of being young.






Quote of the Week



A little snow, tumbled about, anon becomes a mountain.-
William Shakespeare, King John (1598), Act III, scene 4, line 176.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

More than Conversational Snow


I could have pushed the ruler in two or three more inches, but that would have ruined the effect. Snowfall thus far is around 14 inches.