Just a Quickie

The remaining faithful few who subscribed when this blog was active a few years ago may be wondering what’s with the re-appearing older posts. I’m in recovery mode from corrupted backups. I decided against starting fresh, without the older posts. Because of a few of them still get Search traffic, I’ll be gradually restoring everything. Some older posts may be outdated, but the search terms and their reason for being will be evergreen. For now, expect to see some older posts re-appear every day, with original dates and URL intact. After that, I’ll be rewriting fresh content, at which time searchers who would have hit the older version will be land on shiny new articles.

So many projects, so little time!

I’ve missed writing to you.

P.S. Blast from the Past

Wow, this was fun.


26 posts to go. Many links were converted to relative links and ended up being broken. That can be for another day. I haven’t decided what to do about the comments. LOL

I don’t know what all this has done to the inboxes of RSS subscribers who get this blog via email. I promise it won’t be crazy forever!

Bah Humbug

I’m still finding glitchy little things that don’t work as they should. Getting the data in here is not enough. At least I was corrupted, not hacked. Ha.

It may be time to start fresh, with an entirely new install of absolutely everything.

Just sign me “raring to go and plowing through the groundwork.”

Putting a Fork in 2010

Hey world! I had plans for New Years Day that did not involve rebuilding AbleReach a few files at a time. At the moment I’ve got this site 70% back, and where it’s still broken I have the important data backed up in several forms. The rest can wait. In the meantime, let’s just say that a little bit of corruption goes a long way – and I’m back to writing.

More tomorrow!

Hard Drive Crash

On Monday I had an emphatic series of visitations from the Blue Screen of Death. The hard drive is toast and I’m not so sure about the future of the computer.  Talk about expensive and irritating!

Needless to say, this is a great time to toss me a $10 tip via my scratchback widget, or share any creative moola-getting ideas. I’m always up for a little marketing fun. :-)

On the bright side, Mom Necessity has given me some nifty ideas for this weekend’s brunch post.

I need a few more days to sort things out, and then I will be back to blogging like a (happy) madwoman.

Sympathy for the Technology Avoider

I have a friend who is not a fan of things computer. For a long, long time, I’ve been encouraging him to put his business online. He is very good at what he does, and he’s no dummy. After hearing two or three unfamiliar terms from an explanation of how a web site can help his business, he will turn a little green, as if his brain is about to melt. His web site is stuck at one really bad page, and I want to fix it. This week, all on his own, he arrived at a solid “maybe,” though the resistance and disorientation remains.

Take a few steps away from the web-comfortable niche of most of the people who are likely to read this blog, and I firmly believe you’ll find that his reaction is not unusual. You and I are different. We have different comfort zones. We can speak a different dialect, more than we know.

For most of the world, “search” means “to look for,” not the first part of “search engine” or “search term” or “search industry.” Most people don’t automatically check to see it they’ve closed their tags – they struggle with it, they avoid dealing with it. We’re a little different from the average bear. Trust me on this.

Here’s another example from someone else. Last week I got a very shy phone call from a very intelligent someone who asked if I could explain, again, how to make a link. He’s been blogging, though rather hesitantly, for over a year now. I know for a fact that the problem is not that he hasn’t had it explained before, simply, with both text examples and screenshots. So, what is it? What’s the disconnect? I think it’s a wobble of paradigm.

Have you ever made a faux pas in an unfamiliar language? I’m talking paradigm wobble like that, more than just not knowing words.

When I was a teenager my dad was stationed in Germany. I’m an army brat. I grew up with the reality of the Berlin Wall. My first TV memories are of Viet Nam war dead on the evening news. Different time. Different wobbles. In Germany, to my grandparent’s generation we were the valiant guardians who kept the Russians out of Western Europe. To many Germans of my generation we were the “amme,” Nato’s chosen “wet nurse.” We were walking, talking paradigm shifts.

At that time there were three ways to approach being American military in Europe. You could be unabashedly American and live and shop “on base” most of the time, or you could soak up the culture in “Germantown” out “on the economy” and be a part of where we were living, or you could do some combination of the two. In the two places where we lived when stationed over there, we did a little of everything.

One evening my brother, mother and I went out to eat at a little restaurant “on the economy.” My brother asked, in German, for “the bathroom.” The waiter shrugged and barely made it to the kitchen before breaking into a giggle. Now, in the restaurant, the boy wanted to take a bath? Hilarious.

In a few seconds we figured out that the problem was that my brother wanted to ask for the “WC,” but had fumbled while trying to remember how to say the German letter “w.” Instead, he did a direct translation to “bathroom.” Bathroom and restroom are more usual in the US, as we prefer not to say “toilet” as publicly. We have a slightly different communication paradigm.

I think that some people who are used to communicating online have a different communication paradigm, too. We may see web technology as a bridge, a set of tools, or a natural language, whereas the two people I mentioned at the start of this post see it as a barrier to get through. Re-explaining something may not work, at least at first, because the paradigm is different.

When the same people want to know, again and again, how to make a link, offer them a little good-natured pantomime in the form of a tutorial or a Dummies book. Though there’s nothing like a little understanding and patience from a human being, a web-hesitant reader will know that a book won’t giggle on the way to the kitchen.

Motivation From Nature

I have a love-hate relationship with living in Western Washington. Six months of the year we’re wet and gray and I am a poster child for S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder,) unless I’m glued to my computer, and then I forget about everything. I emerge from my cave about this time each year, squinting at the sunlight. Someone with my disposition should live closer to the equator. At the same time, there’s nothing like home. The other six months of the year I am ecstatic about our green greens and our culture. I love Puget Sound.

Eastern Washington is second cousin to the midwest – hot, dry Summers and frozen cold Winters. On the western side, especially near Puget Sound, we have (chilly) rain forests and more mold than you can shake an asthma inhaler at, mitigated somewhat by not freezing as deeply or as long as areas without our sheltered pocket of inland salt water. Also, we have some of the most beautiful Springtimes that can be found anywhere.

Yesterday we had our second day in a row of truly Spring-like weather. Today, after three, all is forgiven, even though the rains are due to return on Friday. Tuesday I saw my first hummingbird of the year – amazing. Last week it was freezing at night. Tomorrow we may be back to gray and dismal for another few weeks. This changeability reminds me of three things:

  1. tempus fugit (time flies)
  2. carpe diem (seize the day)
  3. making hay while the sun shines

Sorting the “Somedays”

Do you have 110 projects, lurking in the shadows of your imagination, camping out on 101 back burners? How many “someday” domains lurk in your account? How many “remember to” things are years out outdated, no longer even applicable to today’s real life?

When thinking of writing this post a thought wafted to the surface that one day I’d have to get the chocolate fudge cookie recipe. Chocolate fudge cookie recipe? That to-do was 25 years old, from when I was the baker for a cafe that has been out of business at least 20 years. Crazy. On the other hand, I do have a couple of wanna-do domains registered and waiting for food-related web sites. A cooking site would be a wonderful project to get going during the next wet, gray Fall. For Spring and Summer, there’s a local goings-on site I’d love to get off the back burner: tempus fugit and carpe diem, because that mellow weather won’t last forever.

When is the last time you took a hard look at what’s silly not to be doing? It’s nonsensical what gets back-burnered. Health. Family time. The “somedays” that are good for you, for which there really is time after all. Projects that are back lit by honest-to-goodness, heartfelt this-is-me.

Sometimes, I think we put off the good stuff because there doesn’t seem to be enough time to follow through in a thorough and complete way. We may be happy to chip away at a problem, while leaving the good stuff for some time when there are more days in a week. Why? Why not chip away at the happy task?

Life is short and time flies. Decide if a “problem” project really needs to be solved, then fix it or forget it. Pick a few wanna-do projects and get them started. Seize the day. Let the rest fade away, or get drastic and chuck ’em: there will be more where those came from.

Server Problems

frustration smiley My server has been having ” intermittent problems” since the 18th of this month.

confused At first, because it would come and go, I thought I was having a problem with my Internet access.

oh horse poop After calling tech support and emailing ye old complaint department, I learned of their issues.

happy day They tell me that problem hardware was replaced yesterday and all should be well now.

Because this is the first time I have had problems with uptime in all the years I’ve used 1and1, I’m going to stick with them for a little while longer. Moving house after the problem is fixed doesn’t make sense. If it looks like all will not be well, I’ll be FTPing my bags to a new virtual location.

For those of you who have unsubscribed, please come back!

Quick! Break My Tie

Yowzers! Is this doldrums or the reverse?

I have four half-finished drafts that I like just about equally. Help me pick which one to finish first.

First comment gets it.

  • A WordPress tutorial
  • Thoughts about building an audience when traffic isn’t the primary goal
  • Some semi irreverent ramblings
  • An “I have a crush on” post – stuff I’ve seen and liked recently

Blog Tag: When I’m not doing SEO

Kim Krause Berg tagged me for the meme “When I’m not doing SEO…” which was started by Shimon Sandler a few days ago.

What I like most is looking at the way connections are made, online and off. For the last few years my offline life has been shrinking, but if I get really quiet and squint just right I can still see signs of life separate from the online connectivity of “SEO.”

I Cook

Slow cooking is a good way to anchor a long day. I like to start a batch of something in the morning and baby it off and on throughout the day, as I work my way through a project connected with my online life. Winter favorites are home made soup, yeast bread or a turkey. I like multi-day projects that can be frozen in meal-sized portions. One recent experiment was a four cheese manicotti with spinach and toasted walnuts – yummy, though a bit of a pain to stuff without splitting, so next time it will be cannelloni or lasagna roll-ups.

I am a Sci Fi Couch Potato

I’ve probably seen every episode of every Star Trek related thang at least five times, and though I have a rotten memory for real people’s names I am a sponge for sci fi trivia. Did you know Carol Burnett was in an early 1960’s episode of The Twilight Zone, long before she was famous? Or that the father of Next Generation’s Q was a serious oboist? For some reason I do!

Other Stuff

I do a little bird watching, and a little knitting and sewing. I garden, which involves a fair amount of negotiating with deer. I walk. I read, browse art and photography, and draw. I love learning, researching and inventing.

For “When I’m Not Doing SEO”, I tag:

Miriam Ellis-Loraditch
Yuri Filimonov
Lee Messenger

The Rules

1) Say who tagged you, and link to them.
2) Tag 3 other bloggers.