Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

First post in over a year

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I’m currently sitting with my Year 9 class, doing a mini-unit in blogging. As a result, I am typing this on my laptop, which the boys can then see on the screen behind me.

So far they’ve experimented with tags, widgets (today some of them are trying to install a flag counter), fixing up their About page and have made a first post.

Now I’ll publish this so that they can see it in the Reader…

Well, not much in terms of blogging for the last month, but lots of change within the realm. I’ve (finally) launched my own blog url… re-education.net (or cliveparkin.com if you come from a different direction), giving me the chance to have a decent domain name, my own (purchased) theme that I can fiddle around with and all that comes with all of the switch to wordpress.org

Road sign merging

Road sign merging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This includes having little to no idea about how everything works. I love my new theme, but saying that there is a difference between the schmick looking preview on themeforest and what currently exists on my own url is stating the obvious. First lesson… wondering what was needed with png images that would ‘fit’ the screen the best way. I still have some way to go. Haven’t worked out how to do my title banner yet. There is a great series of (silent… I think it comes from Vietnam) YouTube clips that show a moving cursor doing a whole range of changes. A great resource, but it will take some time to ‘decode’ for a relative newbie like me. Looks like the next few weeks will see some tinkering.

Next up, it looks like I’m going to get a lot of spam. Amusing in a way, since I’ve not even posted on that site yet, but offers of how to x-ruple my internet traffic have been coming in… they always seem to pop in about 12:15am my time… not sure what that signifies. It looks like WordPress.com managed to block a lot of this crud. Mind you, I was getting a lot of stuff from Project AWOL beforehand.

Anyway, for the next few posts, I am going to straddle the two sites. I’ll keep this site going for a while – to flag with my small band of loyal retainers where my destination is, while also setting up the new site. Bear with me while I get the layout organised… it is going to take some time.

Thanks for your patience.

A post about rejuvenation…

I’m one term shy of my long-service leave and have been taking the moment to reflect forwards… should that be proflect? Without ever intending the flow of events, thanks to a range of circumstances, I managed to move from school to university to a teaching job before I’d graduated from university. At the end of nine years, I changed schools and in doing, missed the first chance for long service leave that I might have earned. At the time, the challenge of starting a new job meant that I probably didn’t need the break.

Now, nearly eleven years later from that switch, I’ve decided that a break is probably a good thing. I’m one term shy of 80 terms and aside from the regular school holidays, have moved from term to term in succession. So, I have been taking the time to enjoy the looking forward and the need for time down, which I’ve decided to take over two school terms. And while I don’t want to plan too much, I thought a bit of proflection, in thinking about how I should spend the time, mightn’t be a bad thing.  I’ve got my Masters of Ed on the go, so a couple of units there are factored in and I’ll mostly be around as the kids will still be at school. We might look to go on a holiday, perhaps to Fiji. But I’m enjoying the daydream of what else I might (loosely) occupy my time with. Here is the current list:

  • Might try to build in a bit of exercise – bike riding, swimming, maybe even a bit of running. Something 2-3 times a week would be great.
  • An art class – pen and ink is something that I’d like to have a go at.
  • Or maybe work on trying to crack cryptic crosswords… at last.
  • Some regular piano time
  • Maybe a bit of writing
  • Not re-reading school text books that I’m teaching…

    setting up for a different sort of routine

    setting up for a different sort of routine

The last one leads on to my aim of reading (more or less), one book per week. Being ‘off’ from mid December till mid July means a goodly number of books. Books that I have often overlooked in lieu of school texts or waiting for a time to enjoy them fully. Which is now…

The list, only in its infancy, might include:

  • Catch 22
  • Margaret Atwood (generally)
  • Michael Ondaatje (likewise)
  • Cormac McCarthy – No Country For Old Men
  • A Russian novel… not sure which… not even sure I’d want to do this! Perhaps Crime and Punishment?
  • More of Peter Carey, more of Tim Winton, more of George Orwell
  • Maybe some novels I ought to read again… Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying which I read in 1990, comes to mind
  • Maybe a run of a literary award… like my gaps in Booker Prize winners
  • A poem a day
  • More non-fiction. Probably some history.
  • Possibly a little literary sugar, in the form of the odd “page turner” or two, to balance out the literary “vegetables”

As mentioned, this is just a general musing as I write this post. I haven’t even visited the books that sit patiently in our spare bedroom! Feel free to let me know of anything that you think would be worthy of factoring in for the proflection, whether it be reading or recreational!

Well, someone in the next day will be – it could be you and this post might well tip the scale over – currently my blog sits on a modest 1994 views (I know, distinctly small fry for many). I would love to be able to let you know if you were my 2000th viewer. Maybe if I’m vigilant, I’ll be able to tell the country that you’re from. If the first six viewers all ‘liked’ this post, I could tell that number six would be the one. Maybe I could even do a feature on the person receiving that milestone…

English: The Grand Prize for the winner of a g...

A good year thus far… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ironically, the one year anniversary of my writing – NOT my joining WordPress, which took place seven months before as part of a work ICT activity – is also coming up on June 25th. This was a post on students doing ‘TED Junior’ talks. It took me that time to work out what I was going to write about (and feel confident to press that ‘Publish’ button), one reflecting my work and ideas in Education, which, as you might expect, has also undergone some changes in that year.

Back to my title – how many times have you been the “999,999” visitor (or one millionth)? In thinking about this post, I reckon I’ve won about 50 of these things (and have of course, clicked on none of the cheery, cheesy banners when they’ve popped up). I even typed the phrase into Google and got all sorts of discussion about the possible scams and identity compromising consequences of clicking on these spots.

So anyway, to give you something in the same vein, here are some stats reflecting your relative chances of a number of events occurring – just to give you pause for thought. I’ve made them ‘Australia’ based, to reflect some of the idiosyncrasies of my country:

Chance of winning the big division prize in Lotto – 1 in 45 million

Chance of being killed by a shark –  1 in 292, 525 (chance of drowning at the Australian beach, by comparison, 1 in 3,362)

Chance of being struck by lightning – 1 in 1.6 million

Chance of dying in a car accident – 1 in 12, 500

Chance of winning anything by being the “Xth” person to visit a site – nil?

But, getting away from the darker side, it has been a great year thus far. I’ve learned so much and thank you all for popping by, whether this be a first time, or a return trip. Looking forward to even more in the coming twelve months. I’ll keep you posted on the 200th viewer… if I can 😉

The Great Unravelling!

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Summer Writing
Tags: , , ,

It took the death of our computer for this collection (see pic) to occur. As a result of our new computer arriving, I decided it was high time to go through the great morass of computer paraphernalia that had accumulated over the last 5+ years. Most of it is cabling… 3.5mm jack cords, USB Device-specific cords, power cords. But then there are remotes (some never even used) for a variety of devices such as USB TV recorders and Digital radios (I’m still happy to press a button to change the function when working with the radio operating in the kitchen!) and in-car chargers for long gone mobile phones. I took this photo when the pile was about 60% of the household total – I’ve yet to go through the range of NI-CAD battery chargers that exist in the shed!

Now, with our new computer being much quieter (gone are the days of the friendly fan that would hum and rattle away just to make you feel part of the whole computing experience) and less “cordy”, I’m looking further afield and thinking that 2013 will be the year of the de-leveraging. Unravelling. Uncluttering.

Decimate: Despite the students that I teach thinking that it means to “wipe out”, the word suggests reducing by one in ten. I’m thinking this mightn’t be a bad place to start – clothes, books (perhaps more than 1 in 10 here), general household detritus, those unpacked boxes from the last move, you name it. If I can have more going out of the house than coming in, I’ll feel like the Great Unravelling of Clutter has been a success for 2013. And, if I have thrown out some critical cable… well, we’ll come to that bridge if we ever come to that bridge…

What are the items that you still hang on to… just-in-case you need them in 2022?

best before

I’m coming to the end of my summer holidays now. Having spent more time looking at the Reader on WordPress (most recently using the Tag “Blogging”), I’ve began to think about what the life expectancy of a post is. Does it have a Best Before date? This morning, while looking at the Reader, I’ve noticed how the Post ‘feed’ comes in and, despite the cheerful Wait, there’s more! from WordPress when I scroll down on my iPad, I’m conscious of how long it is before the posts below three or four or even eight flips of my hand are buried… effectively forever.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this. There are the Blogs that you, or I, Follow. There are the connections we’ve made by Liking a Post, or by making a Comment. And then there are those that come to your Blog via search engine terms. However, in my case, this highlights those posts that get searched for (and those that do not). I’m sure it’s the same for you and for other bloggers? So in my case, my 2nd ever post on Bladerunner and Frankenstein gets a fair number of hits seven months after writing it. But a lot of other posts get swallowed up by the system – whether that be via being bypassed for new content by the Reader, or within your own site once they go off that first page (or worse, being pushed back into the Archives).

And are some Posts doomed from the start? If the blogger posts at certain times of the day, or even days of the week, might it miss the intended audience entirely? Is it because of the Tags that we see on the Reader that help define the Post – the one that you might think “nah, not that one then” (surely, I’m not the only person who does that!) or is it the word count… you aren’t quite sure and then you see X words (enter your default parameter here) and similarly think… maybe… not.

I’m not sure how long this post’s life expectancy will be (or perhaps, like radiation… does it have a “half-life” after the first few days?), but my record for Likes and Comments (thus far – I’m still only a relative newbie) is four apiece… so here’s hoping. And for me, I’m sub 400 words, so hopefully you’re still here at this point!

Bloggers blockIt’s been a good summer for me thus far. I’ve managed to blog a little more often and the ideas over these holidays have kept coming through. I’ve had the chance to have a look over the work of other bloggers and am enjoying the wider offerings these blogs present.
One topic that I’ve noted is blogger’s block. This 21st Century take on “writer’s block” appears to be the oft touted reason for why people have been away from posting (or, more practicably, that they have been busy and/or lazy during this time!), thus falling short of their usual frequency. In my desire to up the number of posts that I am publishing over our summer period, I’ve noted the dreaded “Blogger’s Block” while reading other posts. Here’s a quick post on what I’ve done to head this off, in my own way.
My main ‘technique’ is to make use of the Draft Post setting in WordPress. In many ways, this might appear counter-intuitive to what WordPress offers – on my iPad, it aims to Publish a new post when you start one, unless you change the settings to ‘Draft’, so that it no longer aims to publish straight off. There is also the QuickPress (or Quick Photo) facility – obviously designed around the “share your thoughts now” approach.
Anyway, the process is simple enough – as soon as an idea for a post occurs to me, I start a New Post and pop in any thoughts that sit with the initial concept. Thus, like a painter, I might have several works “on the go”. The advantage to this is that many ideas, in their infancy, are very rough and need to sit on the “mental back burner” in order to mature. The only issue that I have noted with this is that I need to be conscious of the “Publish Date”, as the post uses the time you open the document as the start point. There is probably no issue with this, although I found one time that a post, started many months ago and finally completed, published “behind” other posts on the site, which might be a consideration for a viewer who comes to the site address itself, rather than via the post itself, if that makes sense.

Here is a blogroll of some recent surfing on the topic, whether it be an expression of exasperation or of possible salvation for those suffering, in the form of topic starters…

from Singing Stream – on Blogger’s Block
from Heart, Mind, Soul – on Fear
from SmallTownMedia – 25 Blog Ideas (aimed at small business, but certainly pertinent)
from SameBoatDifferentCaptain – Blogging Mojo and Bloggers Block
from Lilach Bullock’s Sociable site – 14 Ideas To Find Great And Inspiring Blog Topics

So, how many do I have in the tank? Well, as I type, the answer is five, with the oldest (or earliest) dating back to mid July 2012. I’ll start with the next one shortly…