Funny first line to write as I’m already writing something, and it’s always here where I am.
I guess what I’m debating ultimately is do I keep writing on this website. Now, “keep” is perhaps too strong a word, as I haven’t really done anything on it for over a year.
So the question, if I can gradually clarify through writing, is: is there something worth writing here?
To be clear, “clarity through writing” is the whole point of writing here, originally, for me. It was essentially therapeutic, a way of clearing an oft-muddled or indecisive mind by testing its mettle in the forge of… words and stuff.
That it was shared online, and people liked it, and commented, and linked to me, and I to them – that was a bonus.
Now, thousands of years later, I’ve made weekly writing part of my self care routine – I just don’t post it publicly. All the eyeballs are long gone, slurped into Facebook’s glass house. Writing here is a monologue to a house of skulls and dust. Ok and, TBH, a handful of my close friends. Hey fellas!
And, I write much more of the time for work, which is much busier than it was back at The Dawn of the Blog Age. And, in my great and unmatched wisdom that I have Earned The Hard Way (through age and hard living), I do sense that I perhaps have a clearer mind to begin with?
(You’d be right to point out, if that were the case, I’d already know the answer to the question I am floundering around presently. And. It’s not a good sign that I’ve avoided writing here for some reason for the longest time since the Fourth Bloggerozoic Era, Since the Rule of Bloggosaurus the Pretty Ok, since Bloggicus Brought Hot Takes to the Bloggicists, since…)
I’m pretty sure I have a point in mind, though, at least somewhere in here. It is this: the bonus of blogosphere community is long gone. That’s fine, I have other communities, more often now in real life, so that’s nice. And even the main point, of clarity through writing, is much less valued now for me, as I have other techniques for finding, or maybe maintaining, clarity.
And, a much more prosaic reason: time. There is no time for this. I have many times written posts that, for clarity, need to be rewritten, and rewritten, and re-re-written, and then abandoned. They know what they did! The only thing I could successfully publish were link posts with like no original thought at all.
But fucking hell, god damn if I don’t miss it.
So here’s my Promise of Excellence* to you. (*Note: promise will not be honoured.)
I hereby promise to post at least one soul-searching, “haven’t posted in a while”, “wondering whether to stop this nonsense”, flirting-with-final-post post per decade, or year, whichever is sooner.
(Ed. Note: I’ve just reread this trainwreck of a post and it goes exactly nowhere, and fails to answer the question it eventually figures out to pose, which is: is there something worth writing here?
The answer is: yes, but is it anything more than tortured, perpetual last posts? Like Sisyphus pushing the Publish Boulder up the WordPress Hell Hill?
… blog post about how the blogger hasn’t been posting a lot lately.
I have Many Thoughts about blogging, about this blog, about whether I should keep doing it. These range from disinterest to a species of Zuckerberg-inflected despair to “I miss it”. In many ways I started blogging because writing helped me clarify my thoughts, which were often muddled. I have other ways of doing this now. And let’s face a facsimile of facts, I had a lot more free time when I started. Now I have two kids and two jobs so the idea that I might put a few hours into polishing a blog post that will do nothing other than clarify my thoughts, make me feel a fleeting sense of accomplishment, and mean something to a handful of people is basically laughable? But in a sad way, so sort of a broken-up chortle, where maybe I cough out a mouthful of hamburger, reflect for a minute, and then begin sobbing into the sloppy food waste that lies in front of me.
Also these are dark times for the internet. I’m sure the reader can infer from my references to old school blogging, the time stamp of this article along with recent events in history like the growth of Facebook and Twitter, and their destabilization of whole governments, never mind their sabotage of the open internet… hey hey! I was supposed to let you infer all that.
So yeah, no time, dark times. Another thing that afflicts me from time to time is that I pretend to know what this site is about. Mostly I try to guide it toward subjects of tech, nerd stuff, video games, or film/TV stuff, because I tell myself that’s what I’m into. But then for long stretches I’m not into that stuff, so I feel like the things I am into aren’t suitable material to post about. Which is just another example of how the most effective jails are our own minds.
Well then! I’m returning to this thing, because I’m not giving up on this yet, because even if it’s just a catalogue of my thoughts and valuable only to me, that’s still of value. I’m also returning because I can’t figure out why I do it, and maybe I don’t have to know that. Maybe I should just do it. Maybe if there are rules or explanations or expectations I should ignore them. Maybe this site needs to become whatever it becomes.
That was a lot of fancy talk for: I’m a try posting here again.
I am starting to have the time to write something here and this has led to a crisis of purpose of sorts. What sort of things do I like to write? It’s not that I can’t think of anything, I can think of too many things and can’t decide on a single one on which to spend my still-precious few minutes of surplus time.
That’s because of the boy. You have a baby and it throws your life into complete disarray. At first they never sleep for more than three hours. They sleep, wake, eat, shit, go back to sleep. There’s plenty of chance for you the parent to sleep also, but only on their very weird terms. As the weeks drag on you are exhausted, disoriented, isolated. You wake up in the morning but it feels like the evening. To leave the house your mental checklist extends to like 20 things you need. Plus you fear the kid crying and disrupting the restaurant, grocery store, whatever it was. If you are going to the grocery store are you going to bring that stroller? Because then you can’t push a cart can you? Things get complicated and the easiest course is often to not make that trip. When you do find a few minutes you are going to slump semi-defeated into your couch with a glass of wine and some bullshit Netflix superhero show. You are not gonna write that fucking blog post about Trump or cool smart lights.
The kid actually slept for 12 unbroken hours last night. So that’s a sort of milestone. He’s three months now, and more baby-like. Newborns are like little alien pods. They barely open their eyes, they are preternaturally wrinkly, and they are probably resentful of being out in the world which must seem cold and hostile to them. They have a bundle of reflexes but very little in the way of human reactions and expressions. These come gradually. You might see a smile that represents something other than the passing of gas. You might start to hear coos and goos that sound like the child trying to say something. Plus their sleep clumps into longer stretches at night and more predictable naps during the day. That’s where we are now, and that’s why I find myself with the time to string sentences together, and the energy to do it.
The question remains: what to write about? Or hell, this is my blog, I’ll just write and see what it’s about afterward.
Ok then, the WordPress install on the site got hacked. That’s not great. It was a giant pain in the ass on my end, but also a real drag for you and the rest of my readers who were sent off to some shithead spammy ad-malware page upon visiting the site. My apologies.
Steps have been taken, and things should be much more secure now. I am not going to tempt fate by saying it won’t happen again, but if it does I’ll be looking at a new CMS. Or maybe I’ll move to Medium (shudder).
Anyway, everything is back to normal I think? And I only lost a couple link-posts which was to Mueller stuff you’ve probably read already.
Ok, things have gotten pretty busy around Angryrobotsville, with everything except writing for the site.
I have my full time job, I have a freelance job, we are renovating our kitchen, and we have a brand new human being added to the family in December, so there are lots of nesting-related tasks related to that. You know, find shiny baubles, line nest with them, etc. So posting around here is by necessity going to shrivel down to the barest link-blogging. You know, just the most important stuff: Trump invades Canada, Trump resigns in disgrace, woman on Tinder date traps self in window trying to dislodge own turd, and suchlike.
ONE GLARING EXCEPTION! Before the reno was planned… before the baby… before the freelance job… I booked off a week for TIFF. It feels decadent and irresponsible, but I have shit tons of films to see starting saturday. My intention is to post reviews here; I may not get everything but you’ll probably see some stuff.
Hello – I’m cottaging! Just in case anyone was wondering where the Thrones write-up was. Hopefully I’ll have it up sometime tomorrow.
Just to warn you that I’m gonna be experimenting with this micro.blog thing. The logic is articulated here. Basically, on the major social media platforms you don’t own your content, increasingly the platforms themselves act as gatekeepers, and they are selling your information to advertisers. It’s more in keeping with the traditions of the web to treat small social media posts like tweets as micro blog posts (hence the name of this effort), and ideally such content should live on one’s own blog.
That’s where it gets complicated.
So I’d rather keep these micro blog posts on this blog rather than starting a new one. I can have a different “post format” called “aside” that will look more like my current quick links than my normal posts. So far, so good. But it would make sense to cross-post these posts to twitter, right? And not duplicate efforts across two networks? Sure. But I have two twitter accounts, my personal one and the one for this blog, which parrots anything posted here. If I auto post from micro.blog to my personal twitter, which makes most sense to me, the net result will be people who follow both accounts will see things twice. I will try to figure some way around this, but bear with me.
Most of the legwork moving the site to WordPress is now over, along with some spit-n-polish and nice-to-haves I’ve been meaning to implement for some time now. Such as… give me an unordered list-themed drum roll…
An archive page! See if you can find it hiding in plain sight! It has everything going back an awful long time, plus some tags that only really apply to the most recent posts.
RSS feed is working properly now, mostly! Link posts are working right but it seems like image posts just look like link posts?
Breadcrumb navigation! Of limited value, but still!
The search is working and the design is acceptable for now.
Lately I’ve been working on a big elaborate Workflow for posting here, something I’ve been really dying to do, and it’s pretty cool, but that’s probably a separate post.
Pretty soon I’m going to launch a new project for the site, and it’s not about Trump! Or Apple! Or video games! Is it blowing your mind yet? I just have to figure out some design stuff and then we should be good to go.
Ok! In terms of this redesign: now we are cooking with fire! White-hot blogfire, I would say. The feed should be working right; so too the search and the contact form.
Also, I’ve reanimated the long-dormant Angry Robot Twitter Parrot Bot and it should be squawking out whatever gets posted to the site. In addition, there is now an Angry Robot Facebook Page that should also link to everything here. So if you prefer reading web sites without actually going to the web, you have options now!
That should be the last of the meta posts for now – now back to our regularly scheduled Angry Roboting.
Well, that took a while. This site is now on wordpress. Most things should be good. (all the old posts are moved over! even all the old comments, but they’re not being displayed! but they exist!) Some things are still broken. That I know of:
RSS feed should be working, and the URL is the same, but the link posts will be linking to their own permalink rather than the external site, which is shitty but I will be trying to fix it this week.
some permalinks are busted: URLs that ended in a non-alphanumeric character. It’s not that many, so oh well. All the posts are still all there, so they will be searchable… once I get the search up and running.
You will also be seeing the new design. Not that different. But here are the highlights:
New logo! I liked the old one, except how it looked when shrunk down, when it became a smudge. I didn’t intend on changing it, but I noticed how an A and an R could be adapted to become eyes…
New font: Neutral. I LOVE it. I loved the old font, Futura, but came to dislike it for body text. I find Neutral much more readable, hopefully you do too.
Various tweaks to what you might call post type styles. Link posts now indicate their outward-pointing nature with an arrow, and the bullet doubles as the permalink.
Any issues or comments, try me on twitter @dsankey, or you could try the new contact form on the contact page? Maybe it even works!
Alright so I have been not posting a lot because I’ve been labouring away behind the curtain here hupdating this ol’ blog to work with this thing they call the wordpress. Also, I’ve been redoing the design. Actually you’ll probably LOL at how much it looks like the current design! Hey man when you achieve perfection there is no reason to set it alight in the name of novelty amirite? You know I am.
So anyway. This is just to say that should the site be unreachable, or visibly upset, or basically in ruins the next time you visit, it’s (hopefully) because I am in the process of making the move-over final and things will be back to normal right quick. Theoretically. Cross your emoji fingers for me.