Twelve Year Blogiversary!

December 31st, 2014

Okay, so at this point I can hardly say that I’ve been blogging for 12 years — although I post regularly to Facebook, which automatically cross-posts to Twitter — but it was 12 years ago tonight that I started my brykMantra blog, back when about 1% of the population had even heard the word “blog”, so that’s something. And I like having my own domain name, so that’s something else. And when (hopefully) I can get a bunch of my songs recorded, this can theoretically be my promotional base.

So let’s talk about that music, in hopes of making this an ACTUAL blog post, and not just a “this is a post” post. Every day for about four years now (except for that one week in the hospital after my stroke) I’ve been practicing my guitar, and writing songs. My first two albums (I’ve mentioned those, right?) were instrumentals, and were recorded without playing a note. My new songs have actual lyrics — which means I’ll have to actually SING — plus there will be substantial guitar playing involved, so it’s a much trickier endeavor.

Okay, enough about that.

Are you on Steam, the online gaming portal? You should be on Steam. They constantly have sales, so I’ve been getting some fairly recent games for dirt cheap: I scored Fallout New Vegas and Borderlands 2 for $2.49 each! I only played FNV up to level 15, then got tired of the post-apocalyptic bleakness (and the deadingly-retro soundtrack). Borderlands 2, on the other hand, is colorful and full of possibilities, plus it’s funny as all heck. I’m playing the Techromancer class, which means that my Special Skill is summoning a killer robot to spend a couple of minutes helping me take out enemies.

I’m up to level 17 with no sign of being bored.

Okay, next subject: Oh binge-watching, where have you been all my life! I’ve been doing quite a bit of that this past year, starting with Breaking Bad. Yes, I saw the finale about a year after most of the rest of the world, but it was worth it: Instead of waiting a highly suspenseful week between episodes — and a year between seasons! — I was able to watch episode after episode after episode until it was done. I didn’t have to watch each installment trying to remember all the little minutiae that makes up the complex plotting. And the series ended for me with maximum impact.

By contrast, I decided to follow that by bingeing Arrow, the CW’s interpretation of DC Comics’ Green Arrow character. I got a watch two whole seasons in quick succession, then watch the first two episodes of Season 3 online … then had to start watching the rest of the series at the maximum rate of one episode per week! LIKE A CHUMP! How did we ever watch TV like this???!!! It’s excruciating!

ANYWAY: Twelve years ago tonight! I did a quick “more later” first post, then I wrote out my second post — by hand! Like a CHUMP! — at the laundromat and typed it in the next day.

Again, like that proverbial CHUMP.

Staking my homestead in the nascent social media landscape.

Thank you for reading this, which you didn’t, because nobody does any more. But it’s here. And so am I.

2 days to St Patrick’s Day!

March 15th, 2014


This is a test …

March 10th, 2014

… To see if I can blog from my phone. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this a long time ago.

11th Blogiversary!

December 30th, 2013

Yes, it was 11 years ago tonight that I took the plunge and made myself start a blog. It was so long ago, not everybody knew what a blog was back then, but there were still quite a few of us in 2002 and 2003 that were eagerly jumping into this new medium — so many that at the end of 2003, ABC News named The Blogger as their Person of the Year. And I was part of it! Now, of course, all that excitement has subsided, and blogs have gone mainstream and establishment, and, in some cases, started to supplant the role of Big Media in several areas.

Translation: Blogging isn’t as much fun now. Still, I maintain my blog, mostly as a placeholder for my domain name, and for documenting significant life events, such as the stroke I had back in May …

What, I didn’t mention my stroke? I blogged all about it on Facebook, keep up.

Seriously, though, yes, I’ll post more about that tomorrow, in kind of a year-in-review thing. including pictures.

But still, back to the focus of this post: My 11-year blogiversary! Yay!

Spook music …

April 10th, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 10: Okay, I missed day 9.

But onward and upward. Tomorrow is the birthday of The Spook, my old college buddy as you might recall, and designer/maker of this blog’s metal logo whose photograph appears at the top of this page, so today’s post is a series of music videos for his listening enjoyment:

So that’s it! Happy birthday!

April 7th, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 7:

Winter is coming to an end, and before too long it’ll be too hot to use the stove — in fact, there will be a time in August when even the thought of hot food won’t be appetizing. We won’t want to do anything but sit on the couch and suck on frozen dinners.

But I digress: My wife took advantage of our semi-cool weather today to roast two big trays of fresh vegetables:

And that picture brings up an interesting point: I do most of my blogging on Facebook now, and I notice that I can link to something really interesting, or carefully craft a very clever paragraph, and my FB followers will totally ignore it — but I publish a picture of a particularly eye-pleasing lunch or dinner, and my likes and comments will explode.

I’m beginning to think I missed the boat: I should look into being a food blogger …

April 7th, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 6:

So as I mentioned earlier this week, we recently got AT&T Uverse, which also means DVR, which also means we can now watch things that are only broadcast in the middle of the night, including a fascinating video art series called “Off The Air”, which is broadcast sporadically by Cartoon Network. I tried to embed a video here, but it’s not working, so here’s a link to all the videos.

Warning: It gets a little weird, so don’t bother if you have a low tolerance for such things. On the other hand, if you’re a pothead, you’ll be happy as a stone little clam with a fresh bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

April 7th, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 5: I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this tonight, so, on this month’s topic of “Fresh”, here’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air memes!

April 4th, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 4: Missed day 3 — OOPS!

Anyway, in keeping with the April topic of “Fresh”, we recently got AT&T Uverse — We’ve wanted it for a long time, but they only recently expanded into our area. Not only is it great, but the whole home package is about $60 less than our previous total for Time Warner Cable and AT&T phone and internet!

Not only are our download speeds 8 times better on this new plan than before, but now we’re getting tons more channels, and most of them are HD — in every room! With TWC, we only had the cable box in one room, and that was the only one that we could get the three-digit channels on, not to mention any four-digit channels at all.

And now, I don’t work for AT&T, and I’m not getting paid for saying this. In fact, Uverse gave us a lot of problems at first, four significant ones, in fact, stemming from the installation (1. No wifi outside of the computer room; 2. After that problem was fixed, one of our TVs stopped getting a signal from its box; 3. The Uverse power supply in the garage was beeping at all hours of the day or night; and 4. Well, that’s an entirely separate post!). But in spite of all that, we still LOVE Uverse.

So, yes, this is a huge new [Fresh!] development in our lives — not just the new channels, but also the easy-to-use DVR system and the extended show info screens.

I highly recommend it.

April 2nd, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Since the topic is “Fresh”, it’s appropriate that on Sunday, the Wife decreed that the annual Purification of the Covered Patio commence, culminating in the ritual Pine-Soling of the Porch. Verily, many leaves were swept that day, and several plastic patio chairs were hosed. To paraphrase Invader Zim, Piney-fresh victory is ours!

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