Blogging

Milestone – 100

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The above congratulatory image came across my blog notifications with my last post and I have to say I was a little surprised to see it. I hadn’t been following my stats that closely since I hit the last milestone so I am happy to see I have lasted this long, though admittedly I probably would have gotten here faster had I not taken nearly a year-long break.

I started this blog on a whim and have found that I really enjoy it. I enjoy writing. I get to say what I want or highlight something I think is worthy of people knowing; if people are paying attention and are interested in my words, well that is just a bonus! My wife thinks me spending time on this thing is silly but, oh well, you can’t win them all over…

These days I do most of my writing while I am at work (not while working!), during my lunch hour. It doesn’t give me a lot of time to write and it takes longer than I would like to get some things finished and published, but it is usually quiet and I have a little time to focus on something I like to do. I guess in some ways, it relaxes me.

Anyway, to mark the occasion I thought I would review some of the stats I have accumulated over the last 100 posts and see where I have come from, which might just give me some direction in where I am going…or not. I read lots of blogs and there are so many out there with a singular focus, but that is not something I have ever wanted to do. Maybe that is why my “readership” is low, but who knows for sure. Maybe I just don’t choose topics that people are interested in. Either way, I write about things I care about and if others care too, great. If not, that’s ok too.

TOP 10 (Views)

These are based on views, but I am sure not all of these are based on “reads” so much as some may have something to do with hits because of “image searches.” But I guess I’ll never really know for sure.

  1. Redbox Chat – Customer Service Lost in Translation
  2. Milestone – 50
  3. Parental Detention (or, I’m Making a Point for My Child)
  4. Let’s Review…
  5. Dollar Shave Club: Review
  6. About    (apparently people wonder who I am?)
  7. Don’t Be So Bossy!
  8. Easter is Better Than Christmas – Why?
  9. Goodbye, Gramps
  10. “Can you please call the police”

TOP 10 (My Preference)

These are the posts I enjoyed writing the most and believe they are worth reading if you give them a gander or two, but that’s just me…have a click and let me know what you think!

  1. Goodbye, Gramps
  2. Gaffigan and Giggles
  3. I Kissed a Girl, and I Liked It!
  4. Eject “God Bless America” from Baseball.
  5. Bullying – Do Children Need to be Taught to Cope Better?
  6. Pet Perturbed
  7. The American Oligarchy
  8. Duck, Duck, Genocide
  9. Thankful for a Gift
  10. The Debate: What is “Life”?

Scope (or reach)

One thing that continues to amaze me is the scope (or reach) of this little blog. It amazes me that something I post could be read or viewed by so many people around the globe. I am always interested to look at the little map of views and see where people are “checking in” from. I know the internet makes things more accessible and I shouldn’t be that amazed but it just fascinates me. Looking at the stats for this particular category I can see that I my blog has been viewed from 96 different countries!

That is a pretty amazing stat to me. Of course, a majority of the views have been from North America and Europe, but there are some little countries in remote places too. Pretty cool and I hope the views from different countries continues to grow so I can add even more countries to the list. Is it possible to get at least one view from every country?

Readers/Subscribers

Here is one place I hope to grow, and quickly! More than half of the people who are listed as “followers” are from my Facebook friends. That’s great and probably most of my views come from things I post that are also posted on Facebook. But, I would like to get the number of “followers,” real followers, up. If I am reading the stats correctly, I have about 155. Not bad for someone who doesn’t post on a regular schedule, nor has a specific topic to focus on, but I would love to grow that number. If anyone has a suggestion or three about how to do that, I would love to hear from you!

Closing thoughts…

Thanks for indulging and reading my review of the first 100 posts. I appreciate everyone who has stopped by, and especially those who keep stopping by. You all give me a little jolt of confidence each time you do.

If you have been around for a while or have read more than a few words on here, I would like some feedback. What do you like? What do you not like? What do you think I should focus on, if anything? Where should I go with this from here? I am sure you all have ideas about what you might like to see more of, or less of…so shoot me some feedback. I’ll listen, I promise!

Thanks.

Ryan

In the days of outrage…

…why not jump on this bandwagon?

Since everyone is mad or offended about or by anything and something, all day, every day, I found and issue we all should be totally outraged about. Let’s add this to the outrageous pile of outrages so everyone can be outraged out of their minds! I mean, since we are all picking things to be outraged about I am going to pick this – motorcycle helmets.

 

 

Well, not just any motorcycle helmets. I am talking about the ever popular NAZI “replica” helmets. I am sure you have seen them and maybe didn’t even know they were a replica of something so abhorrent. I would even venture a guess that some of the people using them as a lid on their motorcycle noggin probably don’t even know what they are wearing. But then, I might just be naive…

It’s weird how you start seeing something everywhere when you start paying attention. I live in the northwest corner of the country so this isn’t exactly the time for motorcycle weather and yet I seem to have noticed at least one helmet per day over the last couple of weeks. I have seen them on heads. I have seen them illustrated on the back windows of pickup trucks. I have seen them in ads for motorcycles.

They aren’t real expensive, I guess, at least in comparison to some of the other helmets available. Maybe that’s why they are so popular. I have no idea really, so I am just speculating. I found them at one website with a rather curious sales description:

“German Motorcycle Helmets have been specifically designed to look like the war helmets worn by German soldiers during World War I and World War II. These rebellious-looking lids are a cool and lightweight option for protecting your noggin in style..German-style helmets are a lightweight and stylish way to fulfill the requirements of the helmet law…And most of our German helmets are classically clean in style because like a plain, black leather jacket, these helmets don’t need bright colors and flashy graphics to make them cool…”

*Emphasis above is mine.*

Should we all be upset about this? Aren’t we supposed to hate everything related to Germany (really?), Nazis, fascism, racism, murder, etc.? Shouldn’t we be offended by this because, you know, it is easy to be offended about?

Anyway, if you gotta be outraged about something, this is a great next target. What do you think? We can eradicate this menace by running every motorcycle rider we see wearing this style of helmet right off the road! That’ll show ’em! Besides, obviously someone who wears this helmet is a nationalistic racist and we are only doing the world a favor, right?

*Trigger warning* This topic may be sensitive and possible outrage you. Find a safe space and rock back and forth while humming lightly should this actually occur. May I suggest a dark, quiet room in a corner away from all of humanity?

Post Script: OOPS! I screwed up the trigger warning…I guess that should have been at the top of this post.

P.P.S. (Post post script?) I don’t really care about this topic. It was just something to write about and maybe would generate some conversation somewhere, maybe. Again, maybe I am naive. Oh well…

Positive Post-it

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What if you were given a fresh, new pad of Post-it notes that came with a requirement?

Let’s pretend I just gave you a pad and the requirement is that you could only use the notes to pass out encouragement to others, whenever and wherever you can.

  1. How would you use them? Sign them or make them anonymous?
  2. Where would you use them? Leave them in the open or hide them to be found as a surprise another day?
  3. Who would you leave notes for? Obviously you have friends and family that could use some encouragement, but have you ever considered leaving encouragement for strangers – maybe on the bus, at the restaurant, while you are shopping, or at work? Why?? Well, maybe the stranger did or said something that you noticed and deserves a compliment. There could be any number of reasons, but the cool thing is you get to decide.

With all the negativity floating around in the world these days, it would be nice to spread some love and encourage people instead of tearing them down. What do you think?

Are you up to the challenge?

**NOTE** Comment what you would do, or who you would encourage in the comments below. OR, if you want, I would really like if you could take a photo of your notes and post them in the comments. Let’s build a “blog post of positive!”

Branching out, er, expanding?

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Just a quick note to have you take a look at the new page on the blog. You’ll find it up there in the top next two “Home,” “About,” and “Contact.” If you can’t figure it out from all the hints, try looking for “Stupid Board: Classroom Quotes.” There is an explanation about what it is and where to look as well.

Happy viewing, and I hope you will be intrigued enough to join me on Instagram as well!

1st Blogiversary in the Blogosphere

Happy anniversary to me!! Not really one that is a big deal, but still kind of cool nonetheless.

Yesterday was my ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!

I started this blog last year because I felt like I had things to say and maybe someone would listen. Admittedly, some of what I have to say is more interesting than other, but thanks for reading anyway.

I don’t have a lot of visitors every day, but I do manage to show up on people’s search results so every day I get a few people looking at what I have to say. Some days are better than others. But it amazes me that people stop by and read what I write.

Over the next year I hope to write more because I have more things to say, interesting or not. I am generating ideas all the time and making notes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to write since I am totally overwhelmed by the new class I am teaching this year. However, keep your eyes out for more and then let me know what you think.

So for now, I think I’ll enjoy a beer tonight and celebrate one year of writing about stuff I care about. CHEERS!

Milestone – 50

This post is a bit of a milestone for me. This is my 50th blog post! I know in the grand scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter that much and I am not the prolific blogger like some. I tend to write about stuff I probably care too much about and I probably care too much about how I write. I want it to be worth reading.

That being said, it has been less than a year of blogging and for some reason people are reading me. Not a lot, mind you, but that is OK. I am writing because I enjoy it and because I think (I may be wrong most of the time) I have something to say about stuff that matters to me (and hopefully you too).

So, I looked back over my last 49 posts and checked to see what people were reading and not reading. Admittedly, there are some posts that have not been great but there are also some that I think people should have been reading and didn’t. The following lists are the posts that lots of people looked at and those that people haven’t yet.

Least Read, but Most Readable
  1. Bullying – Do Children Need to be Taught to Cope Better?
  2. Postal Possibilities – How to Save the USPS
  3. Rumors – Investigate and Authenticate
  4. Courage in the Face of Criticism
  5. Attack of the Naps
Most Read, but OK to Read Again
  1. Don’t Be So Bossy!
  2. I Kissed a Girl, and I Liked It!
  3. Eject “God Bless America” from Baseball.
  4. This is a tie: Parental Detention (or, I’m Making a Point for My Child)  OR Valentine’s Day W(h)ine
  5. Pet Perturbed

Thanks for stopping in, taking a look around, and then for deciding to click on the “Follow” button. I appreciate it! Click around some more, leave a comment, like it, share it, or don’t. Either way, THANK YOU. There will be more to check out in the future as I continue to explore this mode of communication (and as time allows).

Let’s Review…

It is the end of the school year and things around here are pretty busy.

Graduation is only three days away and I am busy wrapping up the year (and high school careers) with seniors that I have seen nearly every day (save summer, of course) for two years. This time of year is hard, but I’ll endure. Then there are all the end of year things to be done and paperwork to fill out and classroom to clean and plans to be made for lesson planning over the summer. The list never ends.

So, in review, I don’t have much time to put something new out. BUT, there are some posts in the archive that might be worth your reading since you may not have been around when they were written. Take a look at these earlier post in my blogging life:

Eject “God Bless America” from Baseball

Pet Perturbed

 

Enjoy!

Writer’s Block

By Alejandro Escamilla

Every day that goes by, I watch more and more posts being published by the blogs that I follow or that come across the feed on “Freshly Pressed.” Every day I wish I was putting something new out there too. It isn’t that I don’t have any ideas, that’s not the kind of writer’s block I am talking about. I am talking about the writer’s block that keeps me from actually being able to sit down and WRITE. You know, things like a job (in my case two), kids and family, house and yard, sleep, commute time, time to unwind from all those other things…the list seems endless.

One of the difficulties I have found about blogging is that the things I like to write about and the way I like to write take time. I like to talk about “real things” and not just put stuff out there because it will generate a few clicks here and there. I want stuff of substance! But, what I am finding is that in order to do that I like to have blocks of time to be able to focus on it. I like to include research or references to support what I am saying (is that the teacher in me or just good practice?). I like to write with the flow at the moment, not just in bits and pieces since the cohesiveness in thought tends to be lost somewhere along the way. I keep ideas in my “queue”, if you will, but then when I go back to them I am not sure what my thoughts were at the time or feel like I have lost the intention of the idea.

Am I taking this blogging thing too seriously? Do I care too much about what I write and how I write it?

How do other’s handle this sort of writer’s block and still feel like they are producing something worth reading? How have YOU addressed this issue?

Not Global Domination, Yet!

A diagonal swath across the globe!

A diagonal cross-section of the globe!

This week I didn’t post a new blog. I have been really busy and sitting down to put my thoughts or opinions down for others to read just didn’t seem like an effective use of time. I enjoy writing and to some degree it is freeing to put yourself out there for others to know what is going on in your head. However, it can also become a distraction and one I can’t afford to spend much time in over that last few weeks.

However, one thing that has fascinated me is that there are still people looking at my blog despite the fact that I haven’t put anything new out there for those who “follow” me. So far this week I didn’t get many “visits,” only ten, and there were only fourteen “views.” Yet I am still being found. How can this be? Who is it and where are they?

That is where the STATS button has caught my attention. When I click on it I am given a running view of the stats my blog is collecting. A picture of traffic, if you will. Ultimately (at least at this point) I am not overly concerned whether or not I am generating traffic at my blog because I am not being paid to write. Maybe some day that will be an option! For now, I just find looking at this stuff to be interesting.

There are some boxes on that screen that keep me clicking to see where and what people are looking at on my blog. The cool thing is that you can tell how people are finding your blog, whether it be through WordPress, linked social media accounts like Facebook, or through web searches. The web searches seem to be where the looks have come from lately. WordPress says that Goggle has blocked the specific terms used by the searcher so all you get is info stating a search was done via their service. However, I have seen search terms from Bing and from Yahoo and I have to say that people are finding my blog through the search terms they use. I wish there was a way to see how long they actually spent on my blog rather than just what they clicked on. Who knows if they actually took time to read or just clicked to find out that it wasn’t something they were looking for. Either way, image searches and search terms to generate looks.

What was recently looked at via search engines?

My home page

Don’t Be So Bossy

An Unfortunate Metaphor

The really cool thing is the photo that I showed you at the top. I can see where in the world the people who are looking at my blog come from! This really makes me curious. Why would someone in Iraq or Malaysia be looking at my blog? What did they find and what did they think when they read it? India? WOW! United Arab Emirates? How cool is that? This particular window into the blog stats will always fascinate me. A very literal diagonal cross-section of the globe has stopped to take a look a what I write. Little ol’ me!

Isn’t that exciting? OK, maybe not for you and, really, not for me. But, it is interesting to say the least. Did I already say that multiple times? See, I DO find it interesting!

So, thanks for stopping in and taking a look. I hope you found something that was worth reading and, at the very least, thinking about. Now, let’s see if I can get the rest of the world to fill in their country’s identifier on the map above. Only 179 more to go!!