Hurricane Florence Pounding The Carolinas

As I write this, Hurricane Florence is wreaking its havoc on the coastal areas of North and South Carolina as it slowly makes its way inland. Particularly hardest hit are southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. Florence is tracking westward and if the forecasted track holds true, Tropical Storm Florence will be sitting on top of me here in the Midlands of South Carolina tomorrow evening.

Of course, as it weakens to a tropical storm, the destructive force of the wind is reduced, but a tropical storm can still pack a pretty good wallop. This area is carpeted with tall pine trees that take very little wind to uproot and topple. Within the city, there are scores, if not hundreds of huge, old oaks with broad branches to catch the wind like the canvas sails of the nineteenth century Clipper ships.

And let’s not forget about the rain. As we’ve learned to fear here in Columbia, this storm could bring torrential rains and the resulting flooding that comes with them. The historic “1000 Year Flood” occurred just three years ago, so plenty of people around here remember and don’t want to relive that devastation.

What I really hope is that Florence will just quickly fade away and no one else suffers, but maybe I am asking a bit too much from Mother Nature.

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to all of my fellow Americans.

For those of you from other parts of the world, every year Americans celebrate the first Monday in September as Labor Day. I realize that many other countries set aside a day to honor labor and I applaud those of you that do. As a dedicated member of labor in the United States for over forty years, I’m taking this opportunity to celebrate all those workers in my country.

According to Wikipedia, the Labor Day holiday “… honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. It is recognized as a federal holiday.

I’m not quite sure if we have an “official” start and end of summer in the United States, but when I was growing up, I know I learned in school that summer started on June 21st and ended on or about September 22 or 23. In the Northern Hemisphere, these are the dates of the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. These, combined with the winter solstice and the vernal equinox define the “astronomical seasons” and occur because of the “natural rotation of Earth around the sun.”

Here in America though, and I’m sure in other parts of the world, we define some unofficial seasons. For us, the summer season starts on May 31, which is the American Memorial Day holiday, and as stated earlier, it ends today. For many of us, it’s the last long weekend of summer weather so it’s the last opportunity to spend the day at the pool, the lake, the beach, or the mountains. Somewhere in the country, I’m sure there will be some parades, rallies, or other events to honor labor, but I’m equally sure that most of us are going to be at the pool, the lake, the beach, the mountains, or somewhere else barbecuing, drinking beer, and having a fine old time.

Oh yeah! One last thing about Labor Day. What would a US holiday be without sales. If you are an American, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you that don’t, this is what we do. Every store and business you can imagine has a big sale on every major American holiday. So, a whole bunch of us Americans are going to be shopping and spending bank loads of money on this Labor Day. Good for them! I’m not.

Blogging Fundamentals 2018 – Assignments One Through Five

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.