rounding up — moving on

It started out on New Years Day, when I just wanted to type the date of the day as a headline … «1/1/11».

There were many posts about the weather, how I didn’t know what to write about and the concept of blogging itself.

I look in the dashboard, at the number of comments different posts have received — some have 36 comments, and they are all photo-challenge posts that I’d chosen to share on the Daily Post-page. Apart from those, there’s a steady number around ten.

In the beginning, I was overly enthusiastic, and followed almost every blog I came across. Then it became like a full time job, and slowly things fell into place with a few, dear and appreciated bloggers in my little circle.

There have been many photos of ducks and squirrels. That’s who I am … I love our feathered and furry friends! :) Had we still lived in the house in Quebec, there would have been oodles of raccoon photos too! I could have entitled the blog «A Tail of two Cities», considering the animals and how much I’ve written about my two home towns … *just kidding*.

Looking at the tags, one can easily see that [apart from postaday2011, which is just part of the challenge] that the words ‘photo’, ‘blogging’, ‘sweden’, ‘saintjohn’ and ‘ducks’ stand out a little bit more than the others.

So far, this blog has had 8,656 views. That’s alright … in fact, I’m amazed. Busiest day was December 5 with 118 views, but that was because I posted a whole slough of blogs with Christmas ornaments, to keep up with the challenge … I was cooking the books!

All in all, it was a good year.  I’ve enjoyed the WordPress challenge immensely. 365 posts are now neatly archived in the category «Post A Day».

ColderWeather will now move on to its own home over at COLDERWEATHER.ME. See you there!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A heart-felt {{{THANK YOU}}}

for being a crucial part of my blogging experience. I’ve learnt a lot from you guys … I’ve got ideas from you, new points of view … we’ve been here for the good times, and also the bad.


2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Opium

Opium might draw a few readers perhaps?!

What I’m going to write has nothing to do with the opium that is derived from the lovely poppy, though. It’s something much more trivial than that.

We went out to pay some bills yesterday, SEARS being one of them. I walked through the whole store, on my way out to the mall, so I passed by the perfume counter … or, I didn’t really pass by; I stopped.

A bottle of Opium by Yves Saint Laurent was sitting on the counter, together with many other bottles. I was reminded of how much I used to like that perfume many years ago, so I squirted a little on my wrist. I’ve done this before, with other perfumes that I used to like, only to find that I can’t stand them any more. This one was the worst, though … I washed my wrist with rubbing alcohol when we got back, but I still can smell it this morning.

Looking up this Opium perfume in Wikipedia, I found that the name caused quite a stir when it came out! It brought accusations that Yves Saint Laurent was condoning drug use, but all the controversy rather helped it being well publicized. It came out in 1977.

Further down in the article, they also bring up tests that have been made, in relationships of scents to memory. Personally, I find that nothing can bring up old memories as a scent!

It’s funny that none [except one, and that I can't get a hold of here] of the old perfumes I used to love fit my taste any more. Or perhaps it’s a good sign, that I’ve evolved, hopefully, as a person since then … that we move on to different phases of life. At least, I like to think that I’m not entirely the same as I was in 1977. I want to be judged as the persona I am today, even though what I was in the past may or may not give a hint of what I might be in the future.

The past has shaped me as a character …it’s made me what I am today, and I’m not unhappy about that. The future isn’t here yet so I’ll just enjoy today as best as I can … and try and wash off the Opium again :)


WordPress vs. Blogger

After a whole year of writing here, I’d almost forgotten that when I started out with this challenge, I had a self-hosted WordPress blog over at wordpress.ORG.  I even wrote a post about it … the pros and cons of wp.COM vs. wp.ORG, back in February. Eventually I moved over to free WordPress, in order better to take advantage of the postaday2011-challenge.

Last night, I was reminded of the times I had a blog here at WordPress … long before this challenge came about … and it was a rather lonely experience. Never made any contacts or had any interaction with other bloggers. Same thing with Blogger — nothing! I do remember I used to check out other blogs in WP, but that was mainly the FreshlyPressed ones, that got hundreds, if not thousands, of comments, which must have been an overwhelming experience for the blogger in question.

In any event, hats off to the WordPress team that started the challenge to encourage bloggers! That’s really something that the Blogger.com-team should take after.

Now, some, very personal thoughts too … I’m writing this post also to sort out my own thoughts on this.

I wanted the domain name [colderweather].

Could have signed up for that here at WordPress for $12/year or possibly $17 [not sure]. Then I’d have my name and this blog … the regular, free WordPress blog as it is now.

Buying a domain name at Blogger [Google] costs $10. With that you get something called Google Apps. It’s a whole slough of features and functions, like for example, you can set up accounts with email addresses like whoever@colderweather.net. That’s not important … I already have email, it was just an example.

What’s important to me — it might sound silly to you — is that I have full freedom to customize the looks of my blog. I know, I know … it’s the content that counts, but I’m a visual person and I want also the looks of the blog to be appealing — both to me and to others. For example, a pitch black navigation bar can ruin, an otherwise nice, theme totally for me.

Here, in WordPress, it would cost me $30/year just for the pleasure of being able to change that colour or whatever font.  And on top of that; Were I able to make my own themes … which I’m NOT … I still wouldn’t be able to do that for those thirty bucks a year.

I guess they figure that if you’re that knowledgeable, you should go for the self-hosted version of WP, which is at least $50/year and then you’re already outside of the WP-community. There, you have total freedom to do whatever you want.

There were two aspects of WP.com that I really appreciated, and still do, of course: the global tagging system, and that I’m able to reply to comments by email. The latter is also a very personal thing; I do most things from my email … my inbox is my hub on the web! Now … I can do that just as smoothly from Blogger, thanks to a comment system called Disqus. Easy as a breeze.  All my pictures are either already stored in Picasa, or get stored there when I upload them in my blog. When I upload them via Google+, I also have unlimited storage in Picasa.

The choice might seem easy, so why am I writing all this, you might ask. Well, there have been some trouble with the email subscription in Blogger, and that irks me to no end. The interaction is such an important part of the whole blogging experience … the part that makes it really fun, so that has to work! I must say, they have a stupid system there, if people choose to subscribe by email, it gets posted via Feedburner, and it doesn’t fly right away as you publish — you have to set a time. It’s totally beyond me why they have it like that … if I write a post, I want it to fly right away, huh?!

There’s always the option to subscribe in an RSS-reader, but I doubt many people use that, if they even know what it is in the first place.

I’m writing all this because I feel a little doubtful … if I made the right choice … [if there even are any 'right' choices?!]. Now that I have my new blog all set up nicely there, I’m going to keep it, but if it doesn’t post properly … then I don’t know what to do. There’s always a way of  ‘cross-posting’ to a wordpress blog, but then it feels like I’ve lost the whole purpose of it.

I think I have, either too much time to think about all this stuff, or too many hang-ups, because I just wrote 790 words about it! LOL


colderweather another test, so please disregard

this may or may not show up in my WordPress blog.

dragonsayshi.gif


Posted By Blogger to colderweather on 12/28/2011 02:34:00 PM


commitments

Lots of ‘summing-up’ now at the end of the year! When I read about the WP-challenge Post-a-Day, one year ago, I thought; «Yay!!! This is something I can do!», and apparently, I could. I thought [and still think] it was a brilliant idea of WordPress, especially with their project page, where other bloggers could hook up with one another. One of the first bloggers I met there was Marge. I read some of her postings and found them refreshing. Glad I did! But I remember, she and I were in contact with each other … I think we were likewise, overly enthusiastic about the project and said that we’d both read and interact with a certain number of bloggers each day, so that we at the end of the year would have at least 365 subscribers!!! LOL … big LOL. Imagine that … what an undertaking; to read 365 blogs every day, and comment on them.

This leads me to another thing I’ve learnt about myself during this year: When I click «follow/subscribe» on a blog, I feel like I’ve made a commitment … that I have to comment each time they post. At times, Ive almost forgotten that I actually can just click the little Like-button. Those have been the times when I’ve felt overwhelmed just by looking at my own inbox.

Then there have been other posts, that I’ve found so engaging so that the comments have almost turned into blog posts of their own. Feels great when you find one of those.

Recently, I’ve come across many ponderings about what to do next year … a new project, not necessarily one-post-a-day, but other types of commitments. Yesterday I read one from WordPress themselves that really threw me off … or perhaps not! It made me make a commitment NOT to commit!

I will most likely blog more or less every day, like I’ve done long before this started, but there’s no way I will commit to do any more project. I know myself better now — to me, it gets intrusive … I remember the photo-a-day with dread and it didn’t do anything good to my photography either. It just made me post photos that I normally wouldn’t have posted, just to keep up with the challenge. At times, the same thing has happened with this blog, but in general I’m pretty much happy with it and it really has been a lot of fun!

ColderWeather’s new home has had some quirks about the email delivery, hopefully I’ll get them sorted out before the new year starts. I hope I won’t lose you guys…you mean a lot to me!


thoughts at the end of the year

Only a few days left of 2011. On New Years Eve it’s easy to become philosophical … summing up the year that just passed … leafing through a new calendar … wondering what it may contain.

For me, it obviously started earlier this year.

I was sitting here, thinking all kinds of thoughts about my life — what I’d done with the fifty six years that have passed … what I had accomplished. I couldn’t come up with anything. I don’t have any children — that was never a goal of mine because I never felt the urge to reproduce myself. At least I don’t have to regret that.

There were so many things I wanted to do, but I wanted to be so damned good at everything so I quit when I realized I wasn’t all that good. I’m good at quitting, though [except smoking].

I always wanted to have a nice hand-writing. Thought everybody else wrote so beautiful, but not I. Finally I tried to imitate somebody else’s handwriting which only caused me to lose my own in the long run. Kept finding other ones that I copied and so on.

Took an evening course in calligraphy a number of years ago. It was hard, but I thought I’d be able to create those snazzy, hand-written cards on thick paper that you see sometimes. I’m left-handed and the teacher told me it looked like I was holding some surgical instrument instead of a pen. I held out for two terms, though.

I wanted to learn Hebrew, but that, I never even started!

At least I think I’m a decent human being. I’ve worked hard, I’m not a criminal [I've stolen a few ash trays and towels, though! This post is brutally honest ... I'm very brave, very courageous!], I’ve never been consciously mean to anybody.

Sometimes I have mixed emotions about this whole blogging business. There are days when I’m very conscientious about what I write … like as though I were afraid of what people might think?! …like if someone I know in real life would read/care about what I type every day on this little blog. Well … the risk of them doing so, increases if I post this to Facebook, so I think I’ll abstain from that with this. Other days — like this evening — I approach it with a «devil-may-care» attitude and that feels good.

All these thoughts were going through my mind when a comment on my previous post popped up in my mail box. I clicked on the commenter’s profile and started to read their blog … posts here and there, a little randomly. One paragraph stood out, like as though it were written in fire:  «You are a victim of your past, or you are future force to be reckoned with. I know which I am. Do you ? » Some caramel to suck on, huh!

Blogging can be quite marvellous sometimes! This morning, I read The Quotidian Hudson, as usual and a quote he had put in there has lingered with me all day [by a fellow country man, Carl Sandburg]: “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Ahhh…the wonders of blogging — sometimes it really can be food for thought.