Maybe I should run a contest…

I don’t look at or subscribe to many other blogs.  Because when I do (which is weekly) it just deflates me.

There are some really good, really attractive blogs out there.  Mine isn’t one of them.  Blogs with good photography, great layouts and more readers than I can ever hope to capture.  It is a sign that while I enjoy the creative part, that creative part falls well short.  So does the promotion part.  I just don’t draw much traffic.  The blog folks warn that the entire process “is a slow build.”  At least I’ve got the slow part down pat.

Some of it is no doubt topical.   Maybe there’s A) just not a lot of gizz in letters, B) considerable fault that could be laid at the feet of the creative source, or C) all of the above.  If I had a vote, I’d go with C with a tilt toward B.

The nuances of a high-end blog are all Greek to me.  It’s like it is written in code – hey, it is written in code.  But that’s hardly an excuse.   It’s kind of like an all-around baseball player.  It’s not enough to be good at one thing.  To be recognized, you have to do it all – hit for average and power, drive in tons of RBIs, and play Gold Glove defense.  My blog continues to sit on the bench.

This is my 225th post.  You’d think I would know

I was at the mall last night, and saw the latest effort by Santa to milk every dollar out of the holidays.

better.  Maybe I should run a contest: best ideas to improve this blog.  I already won the other contest in a landslide: lamest blog of 2011.  Perhaps 2012 will be my year.


December 12, 2011

Ellen/Reid: You guys have absorbed my best shot when it comes to Christmas presents.  It is more proof that gift giving is not necessarily my bag.  Nothing just jumps out in terms of what to send you, so I pick something and send it.  You’ll have to forgive the lack of imagination.   The bottom line is something is better than nothing.  To reiterate, beyond a CD that you can create with a mix of music, there is nothing I need nor want.  By the time you get this, UPS has assured me that your boxes will have been delivered.  If they don’t arrive, holler.

Good for you all to convene in Des Moines.  That should be a lot of fun.  Say hi to the crew, and give Nonnie a peck on the cheek for me.  The hip is going to be problematic for some time to come.  Hopefully she’ll spring back in good form.  I guess if you’re going to be laid up, the colder winter months aren’t a bad time to do it.  Things will be pretty quiet down here.  I can’t even remember going anywhere for Christmas (once at your grandparents?, maybe) since I’ve been down here.  It does no good to dwell on where one wants to be, you just roll with the punches.  Since the weather has a reasonable chance of being good, I might even hit the golf course if the temps are above 50F.  That’s close enough for me.  Scuttlebutt has it that Felicia and I may put a turkey in the oven on Christmas but that’s about the extent of our plans.  She was also on the receiving end of some utterly lame, totally predictable gifts.  Gift-challenged, I guess.  Since your uncle has put a moratorium on a gift exchange between me and him, I’m not getting much gift-purchasing practice.

This year I’ll kind of double dip on the Thanksgiving approach.  Once for the lives of your grandparents, your good tidings Ellen, your liking of Chicago and career, Reid, and of course, the health issues (which have stayed below the surface for the moment).  I’m able to look out my 3rd floor home office window every day and see the birds and occasional deer, plus the sun and Carolina blue sky.  Ellen, your postcard was just adorable.  You two have a creative side when it comes to that sort of thing.  It proudly sits on the mantel along with all the other cards you’ve sent.  All of those are worth another word of thanks.  The only thing I don’t want to look at is the bathroom scale because there’s nothing to thank it for other than persistent “misreadings.”

I wrote the other day to Norm, my old editor at the A.P. to check in on how he’s doing.  I’d like to grease the skids for a get together up in New York since he was such a good guy to work with.  He’s been away from the A.P. Style Book side of the business for a few years now and I hope he’s holding up well.  He was also the main man on our ill-fated A.P. House of the Week feature in newspapers.  I wish that business had taken off.  Haven’t seen home plans in newspapers for a long time now.  I mention Norm because he gave me a shot and was ultra-good to write for.  For better or worse, and I think it was for the better, he was a big influence on my writing style.  I miss newspaper beat writing.

The Harley got a 45,000 mile checkup the other day plus new front and rear tires.  It’s ready for the road again.  The debate is whether or not to suck it up and trade the old girl on a new black Road King Classic.  Before I picked up the bike at the Statesville Harley dealer, I wondered if riding still had the same appeal.  I found on the 55 mile ride home that it does.  I just like to ride.  It’s still fun and exhilarating as it always has been.  Riding in groups doesn’t do anything for me.  Solo or with Felicia is about all I need.  Maybe if and when I retire I can do a Midwestern tour to see you guys.

Well, I gotta go back to work.  Hopefully the boxes will be at your doorsteps (Reid, I’m glad you liked the coat) in short order.  I’ll try to do a better job on gifts next year.  This year is a wrap.

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