How do you revive a dead blog?

OK, were at over 4 years since my last post, and a good 9 years since I managed even monthly updates. So, how do I come back from that? How do I get to posting regularly? I have some inner energy of wanting to post, to blog, to be geeky. If I can harness that…

What do I post about though? Every 3 days of mundane daily updates is pointless with FaceBook (I believe the near-death of this site can largely be traced to FaceBook, in fact – and at this point I rarely even post to FB anyway). No, what I need is what the blog has always lacked – legit content.

So, what am I into? What do I want to write about? The hell if I know. What do people want to read about? A nerd that lives on a hobby-farm? The (mis)adventures of some guy that manages to be an inch deep and a mile wide, despite knowing the opposite is the goal? Someone who wants to blog but has nothing to blog about so writes hundreds of thousands of words of rambling? Hopefully some of that, because it seems to be what I’ve got to work with.

That inner energy I mentioned, seems to currently be more of revamping the site, editing HTML and PHP, and coding more than writing content – the same issue I’ve always run into. I want to make a new site, get off (I don’t like that they place ads in, and the customization is limited – unless you upgrade to a higher package).

Moving all that takes time though, and I have much less of that than when I started this blog some 16 years ago. Even writing this post was broken up in the last paragraph as I made dinner, got kids off to bed, etc… Even if I don’t go with a host change, do I have the time to write posts and updates and just keep up with a blog? I suppose I just need to try and see.

I’m not sure I have a point to any of this, or that anyone will see it anyway. My regular readers were a few friends and family that I’m sure have long ago moved on from checking in here. If I want to make any serious go at this, are they my target audience anymore? Is the direction more of a nerd take on a homesteading YouTube channel with the blog just for behind-the-scenes extras? Again, no idea.

I suppose this is just a post to break the silence, get some ideas thrown out there, and talk to myself a little bit (when you need an expert opinion…).

Thanks for listening,


Ninja Parade!

Me:  Sweet, a Ninja Parade!

Lame Guy:  What?

Me:  I reached in my pocket and there was a mini Snickers bar, there must have been a Ninja Parade.

LG:  What the hell is a Ninja Parade?

Me:  You are just standing there, then with no signs at all, there is candy in your pocket.

LG:  I didn’t get any.

Me:  They must have sensed your non-belief.

LG:  How can you not believe in Ninjas?  They are a fact of history, elite Japanese soldiers.

Me:  Exactly, yet they sensed it.

LG:  I mean, their not some magical superpower like they are depicted in some movies and comics and whatnot…

Me:  …there’s the doubt, and that’s why there is no candy for you.

LG:  Whatever, you’re weird.

Me:  mmm, ninjalicious nougat…

Good News = No

So, I finally got my first response to an application, that was the possible “good news”.  This was back on June 12 as we were on our way up to go camping.  It was a call from Westinghouse Nuclear about a new grad engineer position.  I missed the call, and tried for most of the day to return their call to no avail.  Finally, on Monday, I got through and was immediately put through an initial phone screening, and told that there would be at least one more before I made it to an interview, but they would let me know either way.  This, needless to say, got Jenn and I very excited as it was something, which is more than I had gotten so far.

Two weeks pass with no response, so I call back.  I am told that they haven’t made any decisions yet, and they were being bogged down due to people taking vacations and the upcoming July 4 holiday.  OK, understandable.

Another two weeks, still no response, so I call again.  “Sorry, but we decided to go with a more experienced professional for this position.”  Damn.  I had to bite my lip, as I was extremely disappointed at the time and really wanted to go off on “what happened to we will let you know either way?”  But, they do have dozens of positions open, and are hiring hundreds of people per year as they are undergoing major expansion, and I am still in the running for several of those positions.

I would think, that making it to the first phone screening for the position I did would put me in the upper tier for the several similar positions I applied for, but who knows.  It was kind of implied no, so maybe I am just not meant to work for them.  I do have to wonder how a position posted as for new grads becomes a 10+ years required position though.

I also wonder how Magna Cum Laude, #1 in program can’t find a job.  What exactly are companies looking for if I am not good enough?  It’s not like I am applying for 5+ req. positions that I have no shot at.  I have applied for, honestly, hundreds of positions, all of which are listed as entry level, for new grads.  Of those, the only responses that weren’t “We’re sorry” form letters were Westinghouse and a position in Idaho that called because they upped the ante to requiring an MBA and wanting to check if I had one (if I did, wouldn’t it be on my resume?).

I would say f’ it all and go back for a masters degree, but I can’t afford to do that.  I could go try for a part time job to try and at least cover the bills, but there are two problems with that.  One, as soon as they see I have a BS in Engineering they will pass me over as “overqualified”, knowing I will split at the first sign of something better (which I would).  Two, it’s no good for my morale if I did get it.  I would hate and loathe the job, and feel more like a failure because all I can get with 8 years of college is 20 hours a week at a convenience store.

I started off college very unguided.  I figured put in a year of something, and GM will call, then I will be all set.  Sure, the Astrophysics thing was there, but not a real goal.  One year at delta became two, I got a transfer degree (AS Pre-Engineering) that is pretty much good for nothing, and started just taking classes that sounded fun.  My grades were not great, as I had no reason to keep them up, and I ended up just quitting after the third year.

Finally, I got a goal, realized I kind of liked it at GM, and decided to go for Manufacturing Engineering.  My grades soared, I boosted my GPA by over half a point, and transfered to Ferris. At Ferris, I pulled off a 3.75, several honors, and have been on the Dean’s list all four semesters at Ferris plus my last 5 at Delta.  I put in all that effort, pushing toward a goal, all to get a better job with better pay.  I graduate, and flop.

Now, I question what the work was for.  Sure, I will find something, but it wont be the awesome job I worked for.  It won’t be the job that only #1 in a program could be considered for, it will be a job that I take because it’s a job.  I will work it for a few years until something better comes along, and take that.  By that time, only my performance at work will matter, and the only thing anybody will care about my school career is that I graduated.

I know, nothing can be done about it.  We play the cards we are dealt and that’s that.  Still, I had an awesome hand going.  It’s a bit like being dealt a royal flush, then somebody saying “nah, lets play blackjack, somebody reshuffle”.

It Snowed

Jenn and I went to Applebee’s tonight for dinner. They have a new menu, and to be honest, I was rather disappointed. Gone is my beef stew over mashed potatoes thing, as well as Jenn’s grilled shrimp. As I flipped through the menu, I honestly felt that there was a whole section missing from it. I considered paying for our drinks and going somewhere else, but being the blustery cold evening it was, I didn’t feel like walking back to the vehicle only to drive a block or 2 and need to get out again. It wouldn’t be that bad, but the quality of some of the food we had gotten one of the last times we went there was rather poor, and we already lost Ruby Tuesday’s to a poor menu change (including price hikes beyond what the items are worth). At least we still have Bennigan’s (please don’t let them go to the dark side too).

I had a test yesterday in Industrial Engineering, and after turning it in I realized just how much I had gotten wrong. Will find out just what I did tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow is the trip to Ludington with the SME group.

In case anyone missed it, it snowed today, and some yesterday. That is the first of the year I believe, around here anyway.

I posted a few new pics on Picassa, you can check them out by clicking Gallery at the top.

OK, suppose that it all.


Five Hundred!!!!!

It would have been cool to name it ! (500 times), but that would be really long and time consuming to count.

So, for the 500th I figures something good was in order. After much thinking, I came up with it, then put it off, then put it off more. But, now, I am here to do it. For the 500th, I will do something that was a fundamental part of the founding of this blog, and it’s first several posts. Sadly, I have not done it in a while, and that needs to be remedied. Yes, I am going to bitch.

For anyone who has ever lived in Big Rapids, a fundamental flaw in the area is the radio stations. Somehow, they all suck. Not like “ehh, there are 20 stations and I only like 1 a lot, but there are 5 I will listen too” like, no, no this is “there are 10, and I will listen to 2 sometimes, but end up flipping more than listening to any of them”. I hadn’t really noticed for 5 months because I had no radio in the neon, but it is now a major pain in the ass. Yes, I have a 6 disc cd changer, but I don’t want to listen to one artist for 12 straight songs, and I don’t want to burn 20 discs. I should be able to listen to decent radio. And, worse, Ferris has a radio station that I really like, but it isn’t actually a radio station, it is on a TV channel and online only, not over actual radio. WTF?

Of the stations that there are, the vast majority are country. There are also 2 top 40 and 2 oldies (I think). The top 40 stations literally only play 40 songs, if that. Maybe they are each top 20 stations and thought it would work out, I don’t know. The oldies stations had a chance, as I will listen to some oldies, but they just rather suck. Maybe I grew out of it, maybe Oldies 96 was just a better oldies station.

Either way, I wanted to bitch about that.

Also to bitch about, is the people who go 35 down Perry, which is a 55. Why did they even make it a 55? The right lane everyone goes 35, the left there are people going anywhere from 45 to 60. Yes, I am more pissed at the people that go 35 than the road engineers, but maybe it would be better if it was a 45? I doubt it will change though, and until it does, I am going to be cussing at people going 35 up the hill because their K-car can’t make it.

What else can I bitch about? If I can bitch for 9000 words or so, I can get the 150,000 word in the 500th post. That would take forever and be boring as hell though, for you to read and me to write.

OK, enough bitching I guess.

Jenn and I went to Mt. Pleasant yesterday and got ChiChii (notice 2 i’s at end, indicating 2, hahahahahahahah). She is really tiny compared to other fish, but getting along fine. I think is just right size of too small for others to worry about, but too big to be food. We also ate at the Italian Oven, which Jenn had never had and I haven’t had since they were on Euclid about 10 years ago. Thank got they don’t use the noodle straws anymore. They were kind of cool, but tasted funny.

I think that is all.

501, later this week.


Columbus Day

Today we celebrate Christopher Columbus “discovering” a continent that he thought was Asia, and that Norwegians had been visiting for 500 years or so. We celebrate the man that caused the deaths of millions of native americans, and “proved” the world was round, as the greeks had known 2500 years earlier.

OK, yes, he did one thing that others had not: He pushed others to follow his route and go see the “New World” as well. Still, he thought it was “the Indies” that he found, not until Amerigo Vespucci did they realize this was a new continent. Luckily, they named it after Amerigo’s first name. Otherwise we could be in Columbia, or Vespuccia, or Chrisophia?


It Broke

So, I upgraded WordPress from 2.2 to 2.2.1 last night, and all hell broke loose. I had my 7 themes set up so one had all the template files (the actual code that said where things go, what shows up, what is in the sidebar, etc…) and the rest just had stylesheets (that specify colors, fonts, sizes, etc…) and specified to use that one template also. It was a very nice setup, and I liked it, but for whatever reason it wouldn’t work, it claimed all 7 were dead.

So, I post to the WordPress support forum, and they tell me that feature was killed off back when 1.5 came out. This of course perplexed me, as I had used this system for almost a year, through 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and a few of the higher 1.x releases. In fact, I hadn’t even implemented it until after 1.5 was out. So how the hell was it working?

Well, nobody really knows. I ended up having to duplicate the template files into all 7 themes to get everything back up.

Yeah, nobody knows what the hell I’m talking about, and that’s fine, it just annoys me. How does a feature that was killed over a year ago continue working right up to a minor revision?

Anyway, Jenn and I went tubing again Wednesday. We actually bought out own tubes too. If we go one more time they will be pretty much paid for, so it works out well.

I think that’s about it. See you when I have more to say.


Evil Charter

Charter decided to intercept all DNS errors as a “service” to users. This means they take you to a Yahoo!/Charter sponsored results page that provides 0% relevancy to what you were trying for. If you accidentally type, it gives you results for buying beef online. Any decent search engine, including Yahoo! is capable of properly searching for and finding the correct result.

This, however, is not the point. I don’t care that they are using a shitty search, I care that they are doing anything period. Even if you opt out of the “service”, you don’t return to normal DNS errors, you still are redirected to their page. This means you can’t just go up to the address bar and correct your typo, because you are suddenly at a address. I don’t want their damn search, I don’t want to opt out, I don’t want anything.

Anyway, this is what I sent them. If you have charter, please do the same from their support page on If you have another ISP and they are trying to pull this shit, send them a similar letter.

My internet connection is not working correctly. Whenever I miss type a website address I am redirected to a charter search page. At first, it was quite annoying because the search results were far from what I was looking for, and consisted primarily of unrelated sponsored results. Having found the opt-out option, I attempted to use that but still am not satisfied. Even having opted out of this useless service that I never requested, I am still not receiving the correct result. I do not receive my browsers error page, instead receive your copy of an IE error page. Please, I implore you, return the DNS error results to what they were, end this annoying and useless “service” that nobody ever requested.

1071 Words, and No Point

For those of you that are students, you may with to skip the next paragraph, because it may very well just piss you off.

I got back my grade for our business test Monday. It was a 94%, pretty darn good, I would, in any other case, be very happy with it. However, I put the grade into my little grade tracking spreadsheet, and the wonderful 94% dropped my overall grade in the class by a full percent, from 96% to 95%. That is still well over the 93% for an A so it isn’t a big deal, but how sad is it that I got an A on a test and it brought DOWN my grade? I am sure some of you wish you had such a horrible situation for yourself.

My car has been showing it’s piece-ness. When I sit down in it, anyone standing around can visibly see it sink on the driver’s side. That I know of right now I need a near complete suspension, wheel bearings, and valve cover gasket. I called Jason 2x now, but not much heard back. Maybe my brother’s friend Shelby, or just take it to a garage. Or maybe, I will find a super awesome job and get metric shitloads of cash, and be able to buy a new car. I wish I had the same problem with money that I have with grades.

Speaking of jobs, I am going Monday to look for a new workstudy position. I talked to Beth Friday and she said she would appreciate if everyone stay until Dec 31, which is understandable. In my case, it’s not a big deal because a new workstudy wouldn’t start until Jan 1 or so. For say Dan, who applied at Staples and I am sure they will want him working for day after Thanksgiving, it may become a problem.

I want to let it be known that I do very much enjoy my new headphones. I am listening to them now (Megadeth – Trust) and my favorite part, beyond the fact that they are probably the best sounding headphones I have ever used, is that you can wear them for hours and never irritate your ears, and when you take them off, you don’t feel naked either. I love them.

Being early November, it is time to begin Christmas shopping. I have no idea what to get pretty much anybody. Jenn said “there is something I really want, but I won’t tell you, I want to wait and see what you get on your own”. Well, that’s a really good way to not get what you want, I can pretty well promise that. I guess I should say I don’t know what to get anyone. I have ideas for Chris, my Mom, my Dad, I guess that’s all I buy for. Jenn too, of course, but her I really don’t have any idea.

Nope, nothing. Oh well.

Just before I came to write this, I had a very long, about 3 minute, conversation with Dave’s away message. Granted, 3 minutes isn’t that long, but with an away message it it.

Speaking of long, as I said Megadeth – Trust was playing, then came Alice in Chains – Grind. Now, as I talk about long periods of time, what comes on, but In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I have about 15:30 of it left. I think it’s the longest song I have. I will check, 1 sec…

Yes, 17:02, followed closely by November Rain at 12:29, then Metallica – Outlaw Torn in a distant 3rd at 9:58. I used to have some classical, symphonies and the like, and some of those were up in the 20 and 30 minute area in length, but I got rid of those because anything over about 10 minutes is a chore to listen through unless it’s really good. Then again, some songs are a chore at 3 minutes. Semi related, the shortest song I have is the Sealab 2021 theme, at 28 seconds. I really wish that was a bit longer.

Returning to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, I loved the Simpson’s episode where Bart switched it for the church organist’s music sheet. They cut away, come back 15 minutes later to her playing the last few seconds (among my favorite sections of the song, no, not because it’s the end) then fainting. I laughed for like 4 minutes.

Fitting in with Simpson’s , there is supposed to me a new movie preview tonight, in about 20 hours, during the Simpson’s. Just a little heads up.

Down to 8:15 of song left.

This is becoming a really long post. I wonder how long my longest post is? Would probably be one where I posted a story, but the stories have been removed, and probably wouldn’t have counted anyway, since they were more of an attachment, and had been written earlier. Except the Woods Runner, that was written on-the-fly, so it would count. One of the rants on ethiopians, or the 3 day long post, or when I lost iBlog because I forgot to pay for it. One of those most likely, or it could be this. I really don’t feel like checking, but maybe I can find a plug-in for wordpress to do it for me. I will have to check the word-count before and after posting this, to see how long it is. I could probably copy-paste into Word and check like that too. I guess.

Down to 4:30.

I was just writing, and going on and on, and had the feeling that this would be long, but then when the song with a name that is rather hard to spell and quite long as well came on (yes, I know the description, and now this explanation of it are incredibly longer that the name of the song is, but I really don’t care, shut up) I told myself I would write mostly non-stop until the song ended, and I am actually pretty close to doing that right now.

I think this is enough now, the song is down to 2:00. I am going to go get a wordcount, brb…

1030 so far, holy shit.

OK, we end now, I will talk to you all later, and no complaining I don’t make long pointless posts, because this was a complete 1071 words, with absolutely no point behind any of it.