2203 Posts? Yep it kept ticking for five years!

This blog.  It’s been a part of me for five years.

I started it with a hello world post.  Everyone seems to.  You find your way back to it if you are interested.

I actually found that I enjoy writing.  I do get wordy, some of these posts are over 1200 words.  Almost all of them are off the top of my head.

Things got slower after a while.  You know, that New Blog Smell wore off.  I was writing about things that happened here in Wilton Manors, and the City Government scene.  I had to stop going to the commission meetings after a while, they were going well into the night and frankly I fall asleep at 10pm on a late night.  Doing that in the commission chambers when the meeting ended at 11pm would be sending the wrong message.

And I am actually quite in awe of the job that the commissioners do here, on average.  If you pay attention to your own city government, you’ll find a few rotten apples here and there and a couple decisions you can’t stand.

No comment there about specifics.

But since this is an “Anniversary Post” for the 2200th posting that happened over the weekend, I figured I’d do the old school Top Ten List of all times.  Since everyone seems to hit the same postings over and again, why not?

So from the most popular post to the 10th most popular post, here it is.

Most popular post:  The Gold Medal Flour Biscuit Recipe.  Trust me, this is an excellent recipe, I use it all the time when I want to show off.  If I really want to show off, I make home churned butter by putting the cream in the food processor and running it for 5 minutes or until I have butter and buttermilk in there.  Works like a champ!

#2:  Two Cycle Engine Repair – I replaced a primer bulb on a weedeater and apparently I did a good job of it since I still use the machine, 4 years later.

#3:  Simply Hired and the User Experience -The website simplyhired.com is not one of my favorites, and I wrote why and showed why they need to change.  They did incorporate a few changes of mine, and continue to change.

#4:  Puns and One Liner Weekend – A List of puns.  I really debated long and hard about posting Jokes here.  Then I realized that people actually enjoy the silly things and this blog gets hit heavily for them.

#5: GFS Marketplace Review – GFS Is a Wholesale marketer of foods and restaurant supplies.  They also sell directly to the public.  I’m quite happy with the store, but their coupons truly annoy me.  The software that they use to create the coupons, on your PC, require that software be installed.  Since nobody has told me what that does on my machine, I can’t say I trust the software.  BUT the place is really quite good, and the staff is friendly.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10:

#6:  An Impatiens Flower Picture – This variety is no longer sold and went extinct.  Impatiens are now larger.

#7:  Jewfish Creek Bridge Picture – The view you get when you enter the Florida Keys.  This is what I think of as the “border” although I may not be technically correct.

#8: Canning 1, Pineapple 0 – Although I am a good cook, sometimes my recipies don’t work!

#9:  Hotmail Annoyance: Turning off Hotmail’s former interface behavior of hotkeys.  I hated hotmail, and I hatie Outlook so much more.  Microsoft has turned evil since Ballmer left.  I can’t believe I am saying nice things about Ballmer since he was the punchline to a joke but there you have it.

Finally

#10: Sister Mary Ann’s Gasoline – Yes, another joke.  Apparently loads of folks liked her story!

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Happy Blog Day, 2000 Postings Or So

Yeah so I might be a day or two early on this.

There are a couple posts already in the chamber so I’ll do this today.

2000 postings.  The blog has been around for a while.  Who knows how much longer.  Basically as long as I have ideas, I’ll post them.

A view inside my empty head about this though.  I make it a point to not strictly “Reblog” things.  Copy and paste.   If I do something, the recipes are an excellent example, I try my best to add to them and explain how I did it.

Otherwise it’s just navel gazing and narcisistic.

But, people do love those recipes.

I have a small “first read” audience.   I haven’t been posting it in my own facebook feed because frankly that sort of thing gets boring.  I have a group with some people who wanted to be a part of it.  They’ll get my blather and a direct link to today’s article.

The “second read” audience fall into my grasp mainly via Google and other search engines.

That shows in what the top five articles are for the blog since I started.

And I do try very hard not to revisit topics unless I can add something to it.  I got something wrong?  Time for a new post.  Got something right?  Let it rest.  Dunno, maybe that’s just the way I am

The Gold Medal Biscuit recipe.  Apparently people are searching for biscuits and coming here to read the recipe.  Probably the best biscuit I have ever made.  The secret is in the butter.  Now, if you want to make something obscene, toss a biscuit in the skillet and pan fry them like a donut.

Mmmm Donuts!

Two Cycle Engine Repair.  Say what you will about this blog, I’ve got depth.  If I can write about replacing the bulb on a string trimmer one day, a recipe the next, and photography the third… well you get the idea.  I’m That Guy.  Show me an adult man who doesn’t at least glance at the pile of crap your neighbor tosses out and wonders if he can fix that thing, and I’ll show you a man who has lost his soul.

That goes for many women I know too.

Simply Hired User Experience.  Believe it or not, people get paid quite a lot to do this sort of systems analysis and user experience analysis on large websites.  In the case of Simply Hired, they changed their format.  It still stinks.  Maybe I will write another blog article on how clunky it is now that they reskinned it to look all “kewl!”.

Or not.

The Impatiens Picture.  I do a lot of Photography.  Or you could say I do a lot of what passes for Photography if you’re a hack at it.  No matter what you think of how well, or how badly I take pictures, this single picture is the most popular one here in Ramblingmoose and http://www.southernmostmoose.com 

I have been told that all of the small Impatiens have died.  Literally, everywhere.  The same flower exists but they’re a taller variety.  The little ones everyone loved?  Gone.

And finally, rounding out my top five:

The Jewfish Bridge picture in the Florida Keys. This is the first “real” bridge you hit when you’re going to the Keys.  It’s dramatic and a beautiful view.  It’s really difficult to not get a picture that you will like.  Then you roll into Key Largo and start about 100 miles worth of driving in slower highways before you get to Key West.  My suggestion is to time it to hit the Seven Mile Bridge at sunset in a convertible. 

No, you may not borrow my Jeep.

That’s it for today.  Enough navel gazing.  I don’t have any oranges left.

As for how much longer will I keep doing this?  As long as I have time, ideas, and things I think may be interesting to my friends and family.  I don’t guarantee it will go on forever.  I don’t even guarantee it will happen tomorrow, after all I did  miss a day once. 

One Single Day.

If you really do enjoy this, feel free to complement me.  If you’ve got an idea for a topic, let me know.  If it sparks my curiosity, I’ll write about it.

Like the jokes.  The “first read” audience generally does not like my jokes.  Guess what?  They’re popular.  The number 7 article is about Puns and One Liners.

So I’ll keep posting those on the weekends for now.  If I get a better idea, then I can always push the jokes off for a day!

The Little Mysteries Of Writing

Sitting down at a keyboard and writing, rambling on, can be an odd preoccupation.

You end up having a conversation with the inside of your skull.  An imaginary person is sitting there, and you’re talking away.

It is possible to be entertaining, instructional, and engaging.  It is even possible to do all of that all at once.

It is possible to annoy, anger, and enrage.  I’ve done that as well.  In fact I’ve had someone once, thankfully just once, threaten me.

I laughed it off.  Being “On The Net” since the dusty old days of when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and the years started with 19, I have watched things go from being an academic discussion to the current obsession with cats, selfies, selfies with cats, and butts. 

Thanks to some pseudo-celebrities, it’s even Selfies with Cats and with Butts. 

We’re doomed I tell you, Doooomed!

This audience is always imagined, and sometimes it shows its head.  Mostly polite of course.  Most people are, or at least try to be, or at least think they are.

I’ve been at this for quite a while, and probably will continue for a while.  After all, it’s easy to take a picture.  It’s even easier to write about what you were thinking about.  I tend to do that and keep a few pictures in abeyance – that’s in my back pocket.  Bang out a few paragraphs and so forth.

But you really never know what will get people excited. 

I’ve found that the recipes and the dog postings are very popular.  There are, however, some days you just don’t understand.

This business with statistics.  You go into your favorite blogging platform and you can find out what people were looking at.  You also can do that with Google Analytics.  Both of which I do on a daily basis.

But I think I had a statistical anomaly that I am still scratching my head about.

Linux.

No don’t run away.  It’s not going to be banging on about how wonderful it is, or how it’s the perfect thing to do with your old computer that got replaced on Xmas or Chanukah or your birthday. 

It is, but that’s not the point.

While I do talk about Linux from time to time, I don’t do it frequently enough to become an authority about the subject.  I’m kind of “middle of the road” with my knowledge on the subject.  Level 2 support, maybe Level 3, if you’re taking notes.

When you look at your statistics and see that you got so many hits from so many places, you have to scratch your head.  Yeah that again.

I got 75 percent of my readers in yesterday from people sitting on a Linux computer.

3 out of 4 readers yesterday agreed that Linux was the platform of choice.

As opposed to about 1.5 percent of them in the real world.

Fifty times more people hit this blog with a Linux computer than in the real world?  Is my math correct?

Penguins unite!  You have nothing to lose but your Microsoft shackles!

As I write this on Windows 8.1 on a rather nice laptop…

Cross platform here.  Platform agnostic.

Dry, I’ll stop that before I confuse you.

I just … don’t… get… it.

So instead I will just post a picture of the beach at Fort Lauderdale and call it even.  After all, my own family is suffering through some below 0 F wind chills today.  It won’t even hit 70 here today or as we say “It’s not a beach day … unless you’re from Minnesota”.

But the Linux thing…. I just don’t know!

Reminds me that I need to find the chip reader.  There’s an i7 laptop that needs a copy of CentOS dropped on it for a server project I want to complete with WordPress and a proper LAMP stack.

I Finally Missed One

I write an article a day, every day.

Or at least I had up until Saturday, last.

I was sitting at the laptop, looking at the machine, going through my normal grind and something happened.  I guess I got distracted by some shiny object.

At 9AM, I reviewed what I had written to go onto the blog.  That’s pretty typical for me.  I tend to write off the cuff and get things done at the moment.  Off the top of my head.  For the longest time I was “A Week Ahead”.  That slowed to “A Day Ahead”.  Then I started having writer’s block and ended up dipping into my Day Ahead and setting them off while writing something for tomorrow at a more convenient time.  My cushion was gone.

Weekends were easy, I keep a file on the desktop called “jokes.txt” where I grab jokes that amused me, change the language so that they could be broadcast on TV, then save them onto that file.  I’d post one on Saturday, one on Sunday.  Just copy and paste and then release, announce the post, then done.

But I slipped.  Who knows.  I’m a great multi-tasker, usually doing four or five things at once.  Well we all make a mistake from time to time, I guess that’s why pencils have erasers.

That was the first time since September 10, 2009 that I haven’t posted something and that next day was when I went to go to a daily post.  Coming up on 5 years.

I realized that I had done that when I woke up enough to look in the mirror Sunday morning.  Up at 5AM on the dot.  Stupid o’clock … or so.

Those jokes aren’t the favorite things to read by the people who have liked the blog on Facebook.  Yes, I’m there too.  The number of people who read them tend to be markedly lower than the weekday postings, immediately.  But they do get read by people out in the world.  Believe it or not, there are quite a few people who like to read dumb jokes about Moose and they end up reading my blog for a page or three.

It’s all linked and they show up on your favorite search engine, whichever that one is.   On some searches, I am actually the first link you will find.   I guess I really do understand Search Engine Optimization, or I have an idea of what I’m doing.  Generate enough content and people will actually read it.

When I got back from the morning rituals in the house, the dog walk, and my first mug of coffee, I thought I might just blow it all off for Sunday as well.  Hey I took the weekend off!

Nope.  It’s Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting here with a glass of iced tea, ducking laser beams from the sun reflecting off of two different properties, and listening to a generic dance channel, all the while writing to you folks.

I said it once a while back that I didn’t know how long I will keep this daily article writing up, but I will go back to pre-writing the blog for now.   It makes it easier to Skip A Day.  I did that when I went to Key West.  Got a full two weeks ahead and took dozens of pics, then posted them for weeks after.  I think that happened the same time that they pulled down Old City Hall here.

There is a funny thing about writing a blog.  “Different strokes for different folks” is a great way to describe writing and content.   Some people actually look forward to my stupid jokes.  Others love the dog stories.  My recipes get hit very heavily.  This week there was only one article that I wrote within last week that was in the top five – the one about scrapple.   All the rest were heavy tech about Linux, Job Search Online, and the Biscuit article – in no particular order.

I do watch what gets read here, it’s all about what’s on the top of my head when I sit down to write, but I do try to write on a different topic and discipline each day.  I also try not to be too dry.  In fact, I’m reading this and thinking it’s one of the more dry articles that I have written in a while.

Since it’s going to be a crazy-busy week for me, I will take some more time and try to get ahead a bit.  That includes posting next weekend’s jokes today.  Blogger will release them when I tell it to in the future.  It makes it easier for me if I actually remember to put something out there.

So if you actually do enjoy what I write, tell me and thanks, it helps to know and it helps to keep my brain cleared of the chaff.  Introspection is good for the soul.

If you don’t then why have you read this far down?

Happy Thanksgiving from Rack The Laser Dog and Ramblingmoose.com

Happy Thanksgiving from Rack the Laserdog, Oscar the noisy Parrot, and us here at www.Ramblingmoose.com

Can’t tell you what we’re doing.  It isn’t a secret, it’s just that this is going up on Thursday, and I wrote it at 11am on Sunday before.  Rack was whining for attention, Oscar was chattering lightly, and I was trying to get “caught up”.

Here, dog, go fetch!  Nothing worse than a bored teenager that you can’t hand a mop or a vacuum cleaner to and get your housework done.

At this point we’ve got plans for a roast beef for today, but I won’t know until it happens.

So get off the computer and go spend time with your loved ones.  Have some for me!

Actually, the plans are (yes, I had to change this on Thanksgiving morning) that there’s the second-to-last from Publix at Five Points Chicken Roaster that will go into the oven later today.  Along with some stuffing, cranberry jelly, and some of the cans I had left in the house this week, we’re going to have a full table.  The only thing we forgot was some Celery.   Oh well!

Oh and the two pieces of cake I squirreled away will be quite nice.

So from me and mine to you and yours, enjoy your Thanksgiving. 

Browser Basics – Where Do I Type The Web Page?

Some of you will look at this discussion and wonder why someone would do what I’m going to describe.

I was looking at the statistics for this blog and thought I’d lend a helping hand.

Most browsers, when you start them, will put you at a search page.  Typically that is Google for Firefox and Chrome.   I think Safari drops you onto www.apple.com on the Mac.  I try hard to forget anything connected with Internet Explorer these days.

So you get a big helpful page with a box to type in your search query.  You typed in Ramblingmoose.  Hit enter.  It gives you a list of articles I wrote.  It should have the base web page at the top – http://www.ramblingmoose.com .

You used your mouse/trackpad/trackball to move the cursor to the link and clicked on it.  

If you did all that before I put this article up on the web page, you would see the picture, minus my writing and the little yellow box.

We all start somewhere, and if you aren’t told how to do something basic, you will figure it out the best you can, and repeat it until someone whispers in your ear an easier way.

That would be me.

The little yellow box is where you should be typing that address, unless you really did mean to do a search.   It is called the Address Bar, generically, although I’ve heard other “Marketing Friendly” terms used.

In Firefox, at least, if you type in the majority of the name, it will try to “make” the most likely URL for you.   URL is the web address like www.ramblingmoose.com or some other website. 

So if you just type in ramblingmoose in the address bar, you may get here.  At least I just did when I tried it out on Firefox 25.0.1 on Windows 7 on this day in 2013…

Why is that important enough to warrant a blog posting? 

It saves you time.
About 10 percent of you do a search each day to get here.
I wanted to help.
That’s why you came here.

Now I’ll go back to finding Just The Right Font for this blog and annoy everyone with changes every couple minutes until I’m satisfied.  I just don’t like Arial or Helvetica.  Bleah.