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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Sixty-Seven Cents

December 24, 2015 Leave a comment

In all my years of blasphemous blogging, I’ve never made any money off of my writing “talent” – until recently.

As the figure below illustrates, I received my first bitcoin tip on November 28, 2015 (a day that will live in infamy!). The top snippet shows that someone sent 1.5 millibits of BTC to the bitcoin address in my Electrum wallet that I’ve labeled “Posted On Blog II“. The bottom snippet shows the exact bitcoin address that maps onto the text label – which you can also see in the right hand column of this page below the QR code graphic.

Myfirstbitcointip

Since the Bitcoin blockchain is publicly visible to ALL people, 24 X 7, forever, I looked up the transaction details on Blockchain.info:

tiptransaction

On the tip date, I published a tribute to Andreas Antonopoulos titled “The Bitcoin Ambassador“. Thus, I suspect it was Andreas himself who tipped me from his bitcoin address at 1A41uqAH2FnAE4B2bftVZPCkppztesiaZM. If the address is one of yours, then thank you Andreas. If not, then thanks to whoever did so.

tipper

As you might have concluded, I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon to vigorously pursue a latent career in writing.

Don’t Forget The Disclaimer

September 17, 2015 1 comment

Because of the nature of the subject matter, I’d estimate that it takes me three times as long to write a C++ post as compared to any other topic. Part of that writing/thinking time is burned up trying to anticipate and address questions/critiques from future readers. Thus, from now on, I’m gonna try to follow this advice more closely:

optimized

It’s tough to publicly expose your work. In fact, I think that the fear of receiving harsh criticism may be the number one reason why some creative but shy people don’t post any substantive personal content on the web at all. The web can be a mighty unfriendly world for introverts.

If you’re one of these people, but you’re itching to share with the world what you think you know or have learned, give it a try anyway. You might end up receding back into the shadows, but maybe you’ll be able to handle and overcome the adverse feelings that come with the territory. You won’t know unless you give it a go. So go ahead and scratch that itch – at least once.

Categories: miscellaneous Tags: ,

Falling Off The Tightrope

July 12, 2015 2 comments

Tightrope Since I really enjoyed reading Scott Rosenberg’s “Dreaming In Code“, I grokked his other books. Lo and behold, I discovered that Scott also penned “Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters“. Ten seconds and $9.99 later, I was immersed in the kindle version. Not very far into the book, Scott wrote something that touched a nerve:

Writers who tell stories about themselves, their families, and friends always walk a tightrope: you fall off one side if you stop telling the truth; you fall off the other if you hurt people you care about, or use them as fodder for your career. Dishonesty to the left, selfishness to the right.

Except for occasional references to my dog Morrie, I don’t write about my family at all. I have, however, written extensively about my former and current co-workers and managers in an abstract sense.

When you write about your personal experiences working in a corporation, unless you’re a top executive whose livelihood requires that you project of an image of infallibility, you’re likely to write about the dysfunctional, Dilbertonian, situations you you constantly find yourself in.

I don’t know how many of my working mates peruse this blog, but I’m sure some of them do from time to time. If you’re one of those perusers and you suddenly find a veiled reference to yourself in one of my rants, then I’m sorry – and remember that my writing is simply an interpretation of events and behaviors, not necessarily a statement of objective fact.

When it comes to falling off Mr. Rosenberg’s metaphorical tightrope, I tend to fall off on the side of selfishness. tightrope2

A Semi-Organized Mess

May 25, 2015 3 comments

I don’t know when this post will be published, but I started writing it at 6:13 AM on Saturday, May 16, 2015. I had woken up at 4:00 AM (which is usual for me) and started drafting a blog post that’s currently titled “The Stuff That’s Hard To Change“. Then, whilst in the midst of crafting that post, a partially formed idea popped into my head for another post. So I:

  • pushed the first idea aside,
  • executed a mental context switch, and
  • started writing the second post (which is currently titled “Programs, Projects, Products“).

Whilst writing the second post, yet another idea for a third post (the one you’re currently reading) came to mind. So, yet again, I spontaneously performed a mental context switch and started writing this post. Sensing that something was amiss, I stepped back and found myself… thrashing all over the freakin’ place!

In case you’re wondering what my browser and visio tabs looked like during my maniacal, mutli-tasking, fiasco, here’s a peek into the semi-organized mess that was churning in my mind at the time:

All Over

Thankfully, I don’t enter a frenzied, ADHD, writing state that often. Because of my training as a software engineer and the meticulous thinking style required to write code, I’m usually a very focused, single-tasking, person – sometimes too focused, and oblivious to what’s happening outside of my head.

Oh, I almost forgot, but the act of writing the previous paragraph reminded me. I squeezed in a fourth task during my 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM stint at my computer. I prototyped a C++ function that I knew I needed to use at work soon:

isInitialized

I actually wrote that code first, prior to entering my thrashful writing state. And, in extreme contrast to my blogging episode, I wrote the code in a series of focused, iterative, write/test/fix, feedback loops. There was no high speed context-switching involved. It’s strange how the mind works.

The mind is  like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you’re gonna get.

Embrace

 

Categories: miscellaneous Tags: , ,

Which Comes First?

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

I get my blogging ideas from day-to-day observations, personal experiences, reading books and articles, and watching videos. There are two ways in which I proceed from idea to published post:

 

Words Pics

As the diagram illustrates, when I begin elaborating an idea with a picture first, I usually finish faster than when I start with words. I’ve also found that the picture-first process is usually more enjoyable. It just feels more fluid, less forced.

When I start drawing a picture, the act of sketching simultaneously draws forth some words that match the drawing as it evolves into being. Those words then beget changes to the drawing; and then the emerging drawing begets more yet more words associated with the changing picture. It’s an Escher-eque recursive process that drives me forward until at some point I simply decide to stop and queue up the post to be published. Unsurprisingly, when I write/test product code, I use the same picture-first process (sorry, but TDD is not for me).

Escher

I can’t count the number of times I started writing paragraphs of text and then stalled to a complete standstill when trying to concoct an accompanying picture. When that happens, I usually save the picture-less post to my drafts folder with the hope that when I revisit it again in the future a matching image will auto-magically appear in my mind. I have tons of picture-less posts in my drafts vault, but I refuse to publish a post without an associated picture. Some of those unadorned posts have hanging been around for years.

In the 1000+ post history of this blog, you’d be hard pressed to find a post that doesn’t have at least one picture in it. It’s simply just the way I operate. Maybe you should try it.

Heroes And Admiration

October 25, 2014 4 comments

Every person has at least one hero whose work they admire. If you’ve glanced at my “about” page, you may have correctly assumed that one of my heroes is writer/speaker Scott Berkun. I’ve followed Scott and read all of his books since he made the scary leap long ago from a safe job at Microsoft into the unforgiving jungle of self-sufficiency.

I like Scott’s work so much because I think he’s genuine, transparent, sincere, and down-to-earth. In short, his ideas and insights are helpful to his readers. That’s why I got a kick out of this twitter exchange:

berkun twitter exchange

Scott’s brand new, kickstarter-funded, book is titled “The Ghost Of My Father“. It’s a radical departure from his other books in that it’s a deeply personal treatise on growing up with an absentee father. Go out and buy it, pronto!

ghost

If I ever get my lazy ass out of “blog only” mode and hunker down to write some kind of unsellable book for my own personal satisfaction, Scott will have been a huge influence on the transition.

Two Thousand Six Hundred And Sixty-Three

May 17, 2014 1 comment

Checkout the impressive number of media files that I’ve uploaded to the WordPress web site during my unimpressive five year blogging career:

MediaLibStats

I briefly considered the possibility of creating an unsellable 134 page coffee table book of repulsive BD00 images, but I don’t think there is a single legal image in the bunch. 😦

Categories: miscellaneous Tags: ,

Energized, But Goal-less

December 16, 2013 2 comments

If you’ve read more than a couple of posts on this gawd-forsaken blawg, then you might have correctly arrived at the conclusion that Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is one of my all time favorite people. In his latest, laughingly good read, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life“, Scott shares his sole reason for blogging:

The main reason I blog is because it energizes me. I could rationalize my blogging by telling you it increases traffic on Dilbert.com by 10 percent or that it keeps my mind sharp or that I think the world is a better place when there are more ideas in it. But the main truth is that blogging charges me up. It gets me going. I don’t need another reason.

Ding! That’s Ed Zachary why I blog too. I blog for the energy boost. I’m not actively hoping to achieve anything specific when I blog. I just do it… to do it. Every time I click the “Add New Post” button on my WordPress dashboard and I’m presented with an inviting, blank, white canvas, I have no freakin’ idea what goo will get splotched onto it and subsequently launched into the ether.

energy boost

But wait! Scotty also pens this:

Throughout my career I’ve had my antennae up, looking for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. In most cases, as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways. To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That’s literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose ten pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.

W00t! I’m not a “goal-oriented” person either. I never have been and, up until now, I’ve often felt weird as “A Man Without A Country, uh, I mean, Goal“. After all, it’s difficult not to feel weird when you’re surrounded 8 hours a day by lots of goal-oriented people, most of whom auto-expect everybody else to be goal-driven too.

dumbass

Scott Adams is a rare bird. To me, he’s a dirty rich dude who deserves to be dirty rich. Unlike many dirty rich people, he’s a a creator with a sense of humility. A real gem.

Uncle Fester

September 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I just finished browsing through some of the 130 draft posts I have stashed down in the catacombs of my WordPress site.

Too Many DraftsMost of these zombies, seeded with partially formed ideas rooted in a mix of direct personal experiences and wild speculations (exactly like my published posts), won’t ever see the light of day. Unlike my published posts, I couldn’t close the deal on these pesky little drafts – even after circling back to them sometimes 3-4 times.

Three Drafts

Since I have drafts that date way back to 2009, I should prolly sh*tcan at least the dinosaurs hatched before 2010.

oldest drafts

Maybe I will indeed go on a draft killing spree, but maybe not. I just may let my little draftlings continue to fester down in the dungeons a bit longer. Who knows, the next time I go mining for ideas for my next world-changing post, one of these fugly ducklings may convince me to finish what I started and bring it to life.

uncle fester

Categories: miscellaneous Tags: ,

Two Peas In A Pod

It’s funny how I never know which, if any, of my bogus posts will have the potential to generate an above average number of hits on this blog. The posts that I thought may have triggered a rise above the average daily hit count (approximately 50) never have. The posts that have indeed appreciably crossed the threshold, I never thought would. In four years of blogging, not a single one of my a-priori guesses has come true.

When I stitched together “The Point Of No Return” post, I thought “meh“; it’s just another average, unenlightening BD00 post. However, somehow, somewhere, some kind soul on the blog staff at the official ISO C++ org web site decided otherwise. He/she thought it useful enough to post a link to it right smack on the site’s home page:

BD00 And ISOCPP

W00T! Me and my man Bjarne Stroustrup on the same page – like two peas in a pod. Do ya think Bjarne would appreciate the BD00 connection?

peas in a pod

The dashboard below shows the spike in traffic experienced by BD00’s blog as a result of the generous plug from the blog staff at isocpp.org. I surely hope that the wordpress.com server farm didn’t crash from the sudden surge in traffic!

Nine Hundred Hits

Categories: C++ Tags: , , ,
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