Blogging Fundamentals 2018 – Assignments One Through Five

Sign at Ceasars Head State Park in South Carolina

First things first – time for an update on my progress toward achieving any of my New Year’s resolutions. I published my resolutions on 6 January 2018 in this post: 2018 – Time For Some New Year’s Resolutions. It was a pretty good list, ambitious yet achievable, so I thought, and while it is still too early in the year to say I failed entirely, I can say I am not doing well to achieve a single one. But, this post marks a little more progress toward achieving some of them.

The entire focus of completing the Blogging University Blogging Fundamentals course at this time is to completely revamp this blog to have it align more with what I foresee as my writing focus for the foreseeable future – using this blog to support my need to earn more money, which is one of my published resolutions. As a retired person, all my income is fixed now, so earning more money can only result from getting another job or developing income from home-based business. I am not looking for a new job and I’m not going to look for one, so this blog is going to be one tool to help me start earning from business. Thus, the focus of my writing is going to be business related, primarily home-based business related.

Other than shifting the focus of my writing, revamping the blog also means I am completely changing how it will look. Again, this works well with completing the Blogging Fundamentals course, since the fifth assignment is to “Love Your Theme,” in other words to try several themes until I find one I like and start using it. This turned out to be pretty easy as I identified a theme several weeks ago I wanted to use, so the next several weeks will not only see a change to my content but a blog that will be changing several times as I move from my existing theme to a new one.

As I stated in the title of this post, it’s being written to accomplish the first five assignments of the Blogging Fundamentals course. I already talked about changing the theme, so in the interest of actually completing the first four assignments, here they are as assigned in the emails I received.

Day One – Publish a “who I am and why I’m here post: This is simple isn’t it? I am here to write and have people read and enjoy what I write. Actually, it never has really been simple. In my very first post on this blog, I wrote, One single thread of advice is repeated over and over in everything I have ever read or heard about writing – “just write!” Get started! Write something today, and tomorrow, and again and again. Today, that is what I am doing. That is why I was here six years ago and it is why I am here today.

Day Two – Take Control of Your Title and Tagline: It’s very easy to complete this assignment, I’m not changing anything. My title and tagline are both fine with me and they are well established so they actually have some SEO value. Again, no change needed.

Day Three – Visit the Neighbors: This is where the whole concept of a blog as a community starts to come together – visiting other blogs and developing a relationship by starting to comment on other’s works. Over the years I have done this and followed several blogs. Since I am going in a new direction now, it’s incumbent on me to find new blogs with similar interests to start engaging as my new peers.

Day Four – Identify Your Audience: This is going to be a work in progress for me over the next few weeks as I refine exactly who I am trying to reach out to with my new business focus.

Next up over the next day or two will be unveiling the new look of the blog and a couple of posts to complete the next course assignments. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll have this going in the general direction I want.


2018 – Time For Some New Year’s Resolutions

Blood Sugar Average Chart for Dec. 2017

Okay, here we go. The new year is upon us and it is time to do what many, many, many people do – make my New Year’s Resolutions. As I was searching for an image to use for this post, instead I found this article from – 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them. Nearly all the items I thought of for my resolutions are on this list. The only one that isn’t is my number one resolution. So here is my list of resolutions for 2018. Like most people, the odds are against me sticking with all of them, but I’m going to try harder this year than I have in the past.

  1. Publish at least once a week on this blog: Yes, this is my number one resolution and it’s the only one not on the lifehack list, although it kind of is. Number 49 on the list is Start writing a book/journal. No, this blog isn’t a book nor does it qualify as my journal, but the idea of either is to write, which is what this blog is about and what I intend to do. This is post number one, so it’s a good start.
  2. Get healthier: For my second resolution, I’m combining several different ones from the list. As you can tell by the graphic above, my blood sugar averages for December are awful. This is important to me because I’m a diabetic. If you’re not, the chart probably doesn’t mean much to you, but for a diabetic it can mean life or death. Reigning in my blood sugar is part of my overall resolution to get healthier by healthier eating, more exercise, more and better sleep, and giving up cigarettes. For many people, it’s not easy to do any of these regularly, but again, I am determined to do better in 2018.
  3. Watch less TV and read more: For this item on my resolution list, I combined a couple of resolutions that were listed separately on the lifehack list. Like many people, I watch a lot of TV – in fact I watch too much. I used to be a very avid reader that more often that not had my face buried in a book. Over the years, that changed, and in my opinion, for the worse. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with watching TV, but it should be in moderation. In my case, 8 to 10 hours a day was entirely too much. So, I’m going back to the life I used to lead – the life of a voracious reader. Because I own a Kindle, and because there are thousands of books that can be downloaded for free, I am currently reading a collection of Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  4. Learn more about art, music, culture etc.: I’m fortunate in that I have a pretty decent education. Over the years I’ve taken classes and read and studied many subjects on my own, so I feel pretty knowledgeable about a lot of things. One of my biggest shortcomings though is what many of us consider “cultural” works. For example, I’ve never been to the opera or the ballet. I don’t understand a lot about art. These are the things that I intend to start experiencing in 2018, and I’m busy searching for the first one to attend this month.
  5. Earn more money: Like most people, I can always use more money. I am retired now, so I can’t get a pay raise or a bonus at work. I’m not looking for a job, either. My extra money is going to come from working from home in a couple of different endeavors, but those are for later posts or posts in another web site or blog I am working on.

So there you have it. These are my five resolutions for 2018. I hope you made yours as well and I wish you much success in achieving them.

Java Fueled Journaling – 4

No Caption Needed. Use your imagination.
No Caption Needed. Use your imagination.

04/16/14, 03:08:00 AM

Columbia, South Carolina, USA, North America, Earth, The Milky Way, The Solar System

Dear Java Fueled Journal,

Guess what? Yep, you oh so smart dude, you! You now have a new home in this crazy world wide weboblogosphere. I decided – on my own mind you – that you no longer need to reside on this silly little blog written by this silly little man. So, very soon, you will be moving in to your brand new, everything included but the dancing girls, home on the range. Well, not exactly. Your new web-home will be Of course you, nor any of this journal’s thousands of readers can’t move in or visit just yet; it’s still a vacant lot. But very, very soon, it will be ready for you; Melissa, the Mermaid; Bubba, your bartender and butler; Conrad, your chauffeur and barbecue chef; and of course, all the thousands of loyal fans of this terrifically entertaining and enlightening journal. I’ll let you know when it’s ready, since I just now decided to be your business manager and guru.

You need to read this. It’s a quote from the blog and it captures quite succinctly the reason I write. And just so you know I plagiarize only about ninety-five percent of this blog; and just so my lawyer, the FCC, FTC, FTP (remember them?), NASCAR, the RCMP and the Cirque du Soleil all know, I did get permission from the author to use this quote.

I write because I’m compelled to do so. As I would wager most of the writers using WordPress – or any of the other blogging platforms – do. To communicate, to connect, to inform, to educate, to entertain, to let the world know I lived. That I didn’t follow the crowd, that I thought for myself and was able to share those thoughts with others.

You remember my so called best friend John. He and I were talking the other day. He was drinking. I wasn’t. You know I stopped drinking because of the drugs. Anyway, he was getting a little loud and making a real ass of himself. You know how thick-headed and backwards he can be sometimes. He believes that “real men” don’t write in a journal. He said, “Journals are nothing but fancy names for diaries, and only little girls and women write in diaries so any man that writes in a journal is a damned sissy.”

Well, I got a little PO’ed about that. I told him he was a lie and a thick-headed, ass-backward, s*&t for brains fool. I could of said more, but I knew it was the Wild Turkey he was drinking that was talking, and not him. After all, he is still my so called best friend.

You know he really isn’t the fool he sometimes acts like. After all, he did graduate top of his class from The Citadel and served four years as a commissioned officer in the Navy. Not only that, he was savvy enough to buy shares in Microsoft when their only product was MS-DOS. Now, he doesn’t have as much money as Bill Gates, but, well, you get the picture. He’s loaded.

If it turns out my so called best friend John is right, I’ll just go to Walmart and buy myself a bright red wig for my bright bald head, some pink spandex leotards, a halter top for the fake boobs I’ll buy from somewhere else and a pair of shiny ruby red slippers. Then see how sissyfied he thinks I am when I appear on his front porch dressed in drag from top to bottom with my journal/little girls diary in my hand with my nails painted black as coal.

But, I digress a bit. I didn't mean to go on a rant about John, my so called best friend.

I’m a little wary about tonight. Here it is a little past 3:00 AM on Wednesday morning already. I’ve been in front of this computer for most of the day – writing different things and working on paperwork for the projects I need to complete. And I’m still here. I’ve drank a whole lot of java-fuel today and tonight and I’m still drinking. Before I decide to go to sleep I really want to finish this – unless I just crash and my head drops on the keyboard and I’m out like a burned out sixty watt light bulb – which isn’t likely to happen. I also have three more articles I need to write and a poem I promised myself I would finish. It might be a long night! There might even be another java-fueled journal entry before the sun rises.

Right now I am listening to Muddy Waters singing Champagne and Reefer and it reminds me of what a friend told me eight or nine years ago. His idea for a perfect retirement was to divorce his wife, move to the Florida Keys and hang out with Jimmy Buffett on his boat and cruise the Caribbean drinking Margaritas and smoking dope all day. I like it, except for the divorcing my wife part. I think I’ll keep her.

This whole article is kind of like the classic TV series Seinfeld. It’s just a series of thoughts about nothing that are popping into my only functioning right brain cell and I am remembering to write them down before they disappear into the black hole of my only functioning left brain cell. And by the way, as much as I love my java-fuel, I don’t think I could “Rest Assured” ordering some dark roasted Arabica from the Yucca Swastika Coffee Shop somewhere in New Mexico.

Gotta go for now. Love ya mean it.

Masculinely Yours,

(Name withheld by request of the person with the bright red wig wearing the pink spandex)

Oh yeah, here’s a another little tune from Muddy Waters. It’s a man song. It might be about me.