Archive for the 'This Blogging Thing' Category

Still here …

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

It’s the eve of my 9-year blogiversary, and yet I haven’t posted in almost 6 months. Oh well, I guess that’s the nature of our social-network world, with 140-word limitations set by Twitter. and similar limits by Facebook. And that’s where I do most of my blogging these days.

But I’m hanging on to my blog — and my domain name, of course — as kind of a hub for all my other creative activities (photography, music, etc.). Plus, as soon as I feel a little initiative coming on, I’m going to try to get my Facebook and Twitter updates to cross-post automatically to my blog, or vice versa.

In the meantime … see you tomorrow night when I do my obligatory blogiversary post!

My music, via an embedded player!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

It would be cool if I could embed this in my sidebar, but I think that would make it too small to see the song names. Anyway, here’s my original music! And maybe soon I’ll have some online that’s not 3 years old!

Unfinished Business

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Okay, I need to post about my visit to this year’s Irish Festival, but first I need to post a watershed moment that happened back in January:

Remember back in December when I had the pneumatic retinopexy in my eyeball? Long story short, it didn’t take, and surgery was required. Here are pictures of the enviroment surrounding that event here.

Oh, and it was exactly five years ago last Thursday that I had my tumor surgery in which I lost half my right lung (I’m better now). I don’t have time to look up my blog posts from that era, so here are those pictures.

Eight Years of This Blogging Thing …

Thursday, December 30th, 2010


Yes, it was eight years ago that I started my blog on Blogspot: I wrote an initial post that was something like, “I started a blog! I’ll post more tomorrow”, then I went to the local laundromat to dry my wife’s beauty shop towels (our dryer was on the fritz). While at the laundry, I hand-wrote a two-page post (while fighting against carpal tunnel syndrome), which I typed in and posted the next day.

It was a humble beginning, but the start of a major phase in my life. That next year, 2003, was when blogging really began to take off (Bloggers were named People of the Year by ABC News), and I was there on the ground floor. I had readers from all over the world, I made several friends among my fellow bloggers, at least four of whom (Gigglechick, RennyBA, Pamibe, Kim Novak) I’m still in contact with (mostly through Facebook), and I even got some measure of recognition for my blogging. More importantly, I felt part of a huge movement that was bringing the power mass communication to everyday people.

Now, though, the Golden Age of blogging is over, replaced by the shallower but more pervasive medium of social networking. I still keep my blog around, partly to anchor what I like to call the Brykmantra Content Network — my videos, photos and music — and partly as a base through which to channel a feed of my social networking posts.

A lot has happened in the eight years since I started blogging: The tumor and its removal, my establishinment of the domain in 2005, the beginning of my ventures into music, the loss of three dogs and the acquisition of the two we have now, my job loss and subsequent new career (such as it is), and, most recemtly, my struggles with a detached retina. And, through it all, I have a record of my thoughts for each event.

And that alone makes it all worth it.

Note to Self …

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I’m blogging this to remind myself to check back. It’s a link I found in a fellow Lost-twitterer’s bio: We Are Movie Geeks.

And seriously, how did we ever watch TV before Twitter?? I’m not one of those “Here’s what I’m having for breakfast” Twitterers, but it’s a huge rush watching an already great show like Lost and at the same time following hundreds on conversations and reactions on the episode. It’s huge. It makes TV watching a wildly social activity.

Who would have thought that was possible.

First Irish Festival Posting!

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Yeah, yeah, it’s been almost a week since the Irish Festival and all I’ve posted is this video, and it’s just related to the venue and not to the festival itself, and I didn’t even post it here until now — I haven’t even put any of my festival photos on Flickr!

Hey, blogging isn’t what it used to be. Diminishing returns is the name of the game. I blog in short form these days, on Twitter, Facebook, and (as well as Flickr & YouTube & Tumblr and whatever else) and route it through here.

Anyway, here’s this, more to come:

You may recognize the music as Aaron Copland’s Hoedown, better known as the “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner” music, and as the song covered by ELP in about 1971.

Anyway, enjoy, and check back.


Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Just found this person/band on Facebook, and I’m using my Press This bookmark bar app so I won’t forget to go back to it: Thistle Radical Music Home Page, an original-folk-music band out of Madison, Wisconsin.

Plus, this counts as a blog post, right?

My 7th Blogiversary!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Yes, it was seven years ago tonight, back in that medieval year of 2002, that I first started a blog, back when 80% of the country had no idea what a blog was.

Oh, those were heady times for us brave pioneers! Networking with other foolhardy cyberdiarists, catching a glimpse of our blog names in a screen shot of a blogroll on local TV news, trying to explain to clueless coworkers and family just exactly what a blog is, posting every stupid little thought that popped into our heads (but without the competition of half the country like on Twitter these days).

Yes, it was almost exactly a year after I started my blog that ABC News named Bloggers their Person of the Year; coincidence? Oh, sure, keep telling yourself that.

My blog was originally on Blogspot, which apparently got hungry and ate the thing, but you can still download my archives in their entirety from a link in my sidebar on the right.

But of course, blogging is passe now, replaced by “tweeting” and “status updates” and “life”. Even I have my Twitter & Facebook & posts funneled into my sidebar here, but I still keep this blog as a central hub for my domain name and blogroll, and of course my “content network”: Original music, photography, video, t-shirts, etc etc etc, plus my own Twitter posts (“tweets” will someday be looked upon as one of the most idiotic words of the early 21st century) and Facebook updates.

Still, it was extremely worthwhile for me to have a blog. It finally gave me daily practice in writing and web page creation skills (HTML and graphics, for instance), opened up several new friendships and networking opporunities, and provides me with a written history of my life for most of that time.

Bonus points: It also gave me a nagging sense of superiority for the first time in my life, as well as bragging rights and a notch on my resume.

One of the most interesting things about blogging was that most of the people reading my personal little blips and rants were all over the country, and even the world. My own family and coworkers were never that interested in my blog, and most of them only read it after they deliberately did something stupid that they knew would tick me off.

THEN they would read it, to see if I was griping about them, but only temporarily.

But seven years is a long time, and the MantraSphere (i.e., my life) is a vastly different place that it was back then.

Probably the biggest event in those intervening years was the discovery, in early 2006, that the bronchitis and pneumonia that I’ve suffered from all my life was caused by a neuroendocrine tumor in my right lung — a tumor which began before I was even born and had grown to 5 centimeters in diameter.

So, long story short, after teetering on the brink of death from pneumonia and losing half a lung to surgery to remove the tumor, and after a long recovery process (mostly because of the havoc that the surgery wreaked on my back and ribcage), I’m now in better health than ever, and haven’t even had bronchitis or a serious sinus infection (much less pneumonia) ever since.

piratedaysposter1smThe second biggest change from back then is that I have finally made good on my long-time threat to compose and record music, even being one of the winners of a local music contest this past October! (Did I fail to mention that? Hey, I announced it on Facebook and it showed up in my sidebar. Keep up.)

But you can listen to my music on AloneTone (for free! And get free downloads and ringtones! For free!)

So do that, won’t you?

And there are more changes, but for now, I have to cut this short so I can go DJ in Second Life (another change! Huzzah!).

More later.

Quick Post

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Check out this cool technology blog, Underdog of Perfection, by Room34, one of my RPM challenge friends. The latest is No Design is Good Design, a list of sites that make the best of minimalist design — and includes a shout to my Twitter persona regarding an obscure Simpsons onomatopoeia joke.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Yes, I haven’t posted in a while – I’ve been working on lyrics for my music, taking piano lessons, giving computer lessons in return for piano lessions, working part-time, trimming tree branches away from the house, helping my wife cope with her evil step-siblings who are bullying her mom, DJing on Second Life, DJing on, posting things on Twitter and Facebook, and last Friday I cooked a huge pot of my signature beef vegetable soup, as is traditional on the first cold weekend that I have time.

Eh, who am I kidding — I could have posted but I was just dragging butt.

And besides: Look over to the left of the page: my Twitter & posts show up in the sidebar, as well as on Facebook, so it’s just as good as blogging, except you don’t get to listen to me blather on at length about things of no importance.

Like for instance.

Come to think of it, that makes it BETTER than blogging.


I have emerged from semi-exile to wish Happy Birthday to two of my readers (which means, to about half of the reading audience that I have left): Former co-worker Todn8r, and longtime blogging friend in Norway, RennyBA

Hope you two make the best of your respective days!