Category Archives: Writing

Happy 9th Birthday, WLTSTF!

9 years.

3,288 days.

3,380 posts.

7,917 images. (90%+ are taken by me. The rest are images from the news, from cell phone screen captures, and so on.)

67 videos.

9 audio clips.

2,670 total comments.

67,800 total views.

43,044 total visitors to the site.

10,727 total likes.

1,609 followers (694 from WordPress, 613 from Twitter, 280 from FaceBook, 10 from Tumblr, and 12 via email)

7,049 shares (1,982 from Twitter, 1,643 from FaceBook, 1,454 from LinkedIn, and 1,970 from Tumblr)

God alone knows how many words.

The last time I either was too busy or, more likely, simply forgot to post anything was April 10, 2020. Since they I’ve posted 749 days in a row.

In total there have only been fourteen days of those 3,288 days when I didn’t post anything at all.

I hope that at least a few of the 1,609 folks who get notified every day that I’ve posted something take a minute to look and/or read and get a moment of zen or pleasure from it. I enjoy creating it.

I hope that in the next year there are many more occasions to share a pretty picture, a goofy story, or something clever.

I hope that in the next year there will be many fewer occasions to descend into a venting rant about something stupid, annoying, or depressing.

As do we all, I’m sure.

And finally – I have a Tumblr account??!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Paul, Writing

Venice And Sapsucker Woods

This finish line crossed

The race won for the moment

Time to relax, to read, to breathe – tonight

00:43:29 at the pond’s edge, no birds to be found at the feeder

But small critters occasionally scurry by for theft

Snow falling heavily

In Venice it’s foggy at 06:43:29, traffic slow and sparse

Across the canal someone’s television has flickered all night

Odd shapes flashing, occasionally recognizable, always foreign

As sea birds and gulls flash by in the mist like specters.

Los Angeles at 21:43:29 is cool and calm, another day entirely

Longing for travel and adventures, settling for far less again, taking what’s available

Tomorrow we begin again.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Paul, Photography, Travel, Writing

No Context For You – October 26th

Wow, it’s been 25 days since I’ve had to default to one of these at about 23:30 in order to come up with a post for the day. That new iPhone has made a huge difference in this month’s posts!

I note that NaNoWriMo starts next Monday, and it is a measure of the poor state of my sanity and lack of common sense that I’ve been pondering whether to try another one. (Search this site for NaNoWriMo – I think I tried it three times and posted the daily output here every day.) It’s been a few years and I actually miss doing it.

But… LET’S GET REAL!!

Still lots and Lots and LOTS of deadlines at work, “challenges” popping up like whack-a-moles, trying to wrap things up as Finance Office at the hangar so that I can hand that gig over to someone else, dealing with all of the little joys of still being in a pandemic and at least partially locked down and working from home…

On what planet… In what timeline… In which version of “life” would tackling NaNoWriMo on top of all of that make ANY sense at all?


So, should I do a comedy or something serious? Science fiction of something more mundane? Third person or first person POV?

1 Comment

Filed under Photography, Writing

The Power Of Meaningless Stickers

In kindergarten and early grades, there’s a lot of motivation to be found in a cheap, meaningless sticker. Do well and get a green one – need some improvement and get a red one. Get a whole sheet of green ones for Parent’s Day and you’ll never be more upset in your life than when you get your first blue, yellow, or, god forbid, red one.

As much as we might think we outgrow that, there’s a reason that almost every charity out there gives out SWAG. Give blood and you get a T-shirt. (I’ve got dozens.) Donate $10 and get a wristband or baseball cap. The WWF will send you a calendar for free with pictures of cute endangered animals, and if that inspires you to send them $25 or $50, well…

For WordPress, which I use to host this site, a few years back they started sending motivational posts to my comments if I posted something every day. I was already a little bit motivated (aka, “anal,” aka “OCD”) to post EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY! When I started getting e-stickers in my comment, I was five years old all over again.

I was doing pretty well. This was from June 4th.

But there are rules, apparently. And an atomic clock with no soul, no slack, no understanding of the need some of have to have something in our lives we can count on & control, no matter how miniscule that “atta boy!” might be.

So on June 5th, like many, many other days, I was running late, on a deadline, trying to get something quick posted, and trying to make the pictures look nice. And I probably took one more pass through Photoshop to eliminate some dust on the sensor in one of the pictures – and I posted this at about 00:00:06 AM. And I did not get an e-sticker that night. Or on the next. Or the next.

The string was broken.

But finally on June 10th, I was congratulated for posting 5 days in a row. And back at it, last night I got:

There but for a few tardy seconds, tonight would be day #524 in a row. But it’s not.

Fight on!

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

Happy 8th Birthday, WLTSTF!

8 years.

2,921 days.

3,014 posts.

7,111 images. (About 90% are taken by me. The rest are images from the news, from cell phone screen captures, and so on.)

62 videos.

7 audio clips.

2.6K comments.

And despite the pandemic and lockdown and quarantine (or possibly because of it) I’m now getting these “You’re on a 384-day streak on We Love The Stars Too Fondly!” notices every day on the app.

No pressure…

4 Comments

Filed under Paul, Writing

A Curiosity Question

WordPress tells me that there are over 500 folks who have “subscribed” to this site, who get a notice whenever I publish anything. Which is pretty much every day. And depending on what drivel I’m spouting, I’ll get one or two, or very rarely eight or ten, “likes” via WordPress or Twitter or FaceBook. So I’m thinking that 500-plus number might not mean what I think it means.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve always done with my pages is to put in internal links, like this, which point off to some relevant previous post.

Maybe something about critters, birds, or lizards. (Actually, I consider the birds and lizards to be “critters,” but let’s not split hairs. Or feathers. Or scales.)

Or a friend who’s no longer with us, who I think of pretty much every day.

Or a trip – where I really should finish posting pictures, were’ barely halfway through! (Didn’t I say that at the beginning of this year? What happened?! Oh, yeah…2020. SHAZZBATT!)

So the questions are:

  1. Do these links work for everyone? I assume they do because they work for ME when I look at my posts, but I’m also looking at it with my file permissions and publishing rights, so maybe it’s not working for everyone else? And…
  2. Do you use them, or is it a complete waste of my time?

Thanks, have a safe Halloween tomorrow!

4 Comments

Filed under Random Blatherationings, Writing

With A Little Help From My Friends – October 03

Thanks to suggestions from fellow writers & bloggers Wendy and Jemima, I think I’ve regained control of my WordPress editor. I’m grateful for their help – if the WordPress customer support had been 1% as useful I probably wouldn’t be still sticking pins in their mental voodoo dolls.

Of course, with everything (by which I mean EVERYTHING) going on along with all of the usual everythings, I’m too drained to do much tonight.

But I did get this:

As has been famously said recently, “I’m not throwin’ away my shot!” One vote might be the equivalent of a single drop of water – hundreds of millions of them will be a tsunami.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Writing

Infinite Corporate Stupidity

I took some really nice pictures of the full moon rising tonight.

I can’t show them to you on my website, because WordPress in their INFINITE CORPORATE STUPIDITY has “upgraded” their editor. They’ve done this once or twice before during the seven and a half years that I’ve been using them to host this site, but always in the past I’ve been able to go back to the original, “classic” editor. Not this time.

Nope, now I find out, after an hour and change of having my blood pressure raised by some tech support chat person who’s only help was to send me links to the “Learning The New Super-Duper Ultra Fancy Wow-You’re-Gonna-Love-It WordPress Editor” documents and to “check my spam folder” for all of the notices they say they’ve sent (I’ve never seen a single word) about the imminent, fundamentally destructive change in their product.

So I have no idea what this is going to look like, or how long it’s going to take to figure out how to do fundamental things like insert a photo or a link or change formatting.

I did find a way to turn on the HTML editor. As long as there’s a learning curve to be battled, maybe it’s just time to do it old, old, old, old school.

Now, where did they bury, hide, stash, or otherwise conceal the Categories pulldown menu? Where would I put it if my goal was to make it hard and really piss me off even more? Hmmmm…

Yep, there it is!

(Oh, yeah, and for shits and giggles they apparently just announced that Trump, Melania, and about half the White House all are COVID positive. Fun times!)

1 Comment

Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Writing

Happy 7th Birthday, WLTSTF!

April 29, 2013, first post. I think this year more than any other since then I can relate to how and why I started this site as my world was turning upside down and the foundations of my zeitgeist was crumbling. Only now it’s not just me.

Since then…

A couple of cancer surgeries in the family, both successful. My mother passing away.

Many, many, many trips. New York. Vermont. Virginia. Kansas City. Shanghai. Seoul. Kyoto.

Five NASA Socials. One total solar eclipse. Several lunar eclipses. Many pretty pictures of conjunctions and ISS passes.

Two new jobs and many new friends and challenges.

Many concerts and sporting events.

2,649 posts in 2,557 days. Some profound. Most not.

Thousands and thousands of pictures. A few videos, audio files, and supposedly clever Tweets.

And all of the folks who read and comment and have come along for the ride.

I try not to be boring. I’ll try harder next year.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Writing

Meditation Might Be Worthless

Hear me out on this one…

I’ve never been much of a meditation sort of guy. Too much of a class clown. Not a big believer in the “woo-woo” side of life.

But I’ve mellowed with age. I’m long, LONG past the stage where I thought I knew everything and I’m now deep, DEEP into the stage where I’m not convinced I know anything. You know – mid-life crisis and all of that. (Anyone makes a crack about how I’m too old to be having a “mid”-life crisis gets shown the far side of the airlock door.)

(And yes, that is the class clown trying to come out and go all Hawkeye Pierce on the situation to distract from the actual crisis. I’m recognizing it – I just can’t stop it, so that’s progress. See?! There we go again…)

Anyway, where I work now we have Wednesday afternoon meditation sessions. Just ten minutes, but I’ll take the break. It’s actually quite relaxing and pleasant. I look forward to it. At last, I did until we went and had to shut down the office due to the COVID-19 crisis.

But here’s the thing.

On a day like today, because of this, and THAT, and then the day I had, and then… And god forbid you should actually read the news. And then we got word (which shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I still had hope) that the Ahmanson’s production of “1776” this summer is being cancelled. You have no idea how much I was looking forward to that.

And that in turn brought up the overwhelming likelihood that “Hamilton” will also be cancelled. It will be. It should be. The world is shit and millions are going to be dying.

And then one of the little escapes that I was truly enjoying (we’ve been binging “The Good Place”) hit the end of the 3rd season (which was an absolute gut punch) and I was desperate to move on to the 4th season to see how it’s resolved. But it’s not out there yet and probably won’t be until fucking AUGUST!!!

And I shouldn’t be starting every sentence with “and,” but I am.

I fully realize (especially writing this out) how privileged and highly ridiculous my particular whine is, given the magnitude of the crisis facing us all. I’ll own that. For better or for worse, this is where the camel’s back got broken for me today.

And as I’m teetering on the abyss, my brain spinning in circles like a rabid squirrel hopped up on meth, grasping at straws, it occurred to me. “Meditation.” Isn’t that what this is for? Isn’t that a much better solution than tearing off your clothes, covering yourself in raspberry preserves, and running screaming through the streets of Los Angeles at night?

Except…

Meditation is slow. It’s methodical. It’s pastoral.

It’s glacial.

I needed something RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!

So it occurs to me that when the chips are down, when you’re facing your particular existential crisis, unless it’s a slow, methodical, pastoral, glacial sort of crisis, meditation might be worthless. Sort of like having a really good, really accurate single-shot long rifle when you’re suddenly attacked by a thousand rabid squirrels armed with machine guns.

And I now realize that my outlet, my solution, my therapy, my way to release Hawkeye Pierce, is to write.

I think there are about five, maybe six people who actually read this site. I don’t know if this outlet for my Day ‘O Shit would be better or worse if that was five or six hundred thousand.

Maybe that will be tomorrow’s existential crisis.

4 Comments

Filed under CoronaVirus, Deep Thoughts, Entertainment, Writing