blogging

A Vagabond of the Lifeways

I’ve given a lot of thought to steps in life. Steps take us either forward, sideways, or backwards. People I know are going in different directions. Some are keyed to steps at work. They feel that success at work means stepping to something new, something challenging. Perhaps a new consulting gig to tide them over or a new full-time job that will mean more steps.

Others seem lost and their steps do not avail. They take a tentative forward step, sideways step, but end up staying the same or going backwards. If you stay the same and time passes, you might as well be going backwards.

There’s a smaller group that I used to have relationships with that seem trapped or at least like that ball in the games that bounces between different poles. Searching forever searching. But asked; they have no idea what they are looking for. One believes some kind of religion perhaps will lead them. Another disavows religion and believes science is the answer. I remember hearing questions when I did anthropology that weren’t all anthropologists atheists? How could we be the cowboys of science and believe in some “fabrication”. Let’s be clear here. What we believe or not is not open to another’s acceptance or denial. My mom would say that there are things you do not argue about and one is religion. The other is politics.

The truth is that people believe or not and its their business. If you post something discrediting someone for having a conviction or belief you are no better than the one, that dictator, that steals that belief and substitutes it with a body politic or military. People deserve to have things which comfort them. I read my acquaintance R on facebook post the downfalls of religion and others post the upsides of critical thinking, questioning the current political mindset, casting doubt on things because they are masters of the wall post. Let me say this; its really none of your business what another believes if that other person is not foisting an opinion or requirement on you. So anthropologists are not atheists. They have seen the multiple forces that propel culture through advances and one is religion.

Then there’s me. I’ve wondered about the tags to apply to myself come next year. I don’t like the terms digital nomad or ex-pat. They have these preconceived realities that a digital nomad travels the world with the laptop writing or researching or doing marketing and digital media. The ex-pat seems to be a term sometimes which marks a person living somewhere else. I am not either. I am a vagabond. That definition is a person that wanders from place to place with no home or work.

Consider the term vagabond and how it fits a person slowly meandering the remaining years with no work or real home. It’s a person that makes a mark but of his or her choosing and depending on the wandering. A second term is wanderlust. I love that term actually. It’s someone that wanders and finds lust in it. Lust. A passion of heart, mind, soul. Lust that engages us and makes us want. We all lust after things. Some we find and can have and we perhaps have satisfaction. Perhaps other lust we never get and it hangs around shadowing us. Sometimes mocking us. But then when you add the word wander in front; its the road. Almost like a Robert Frost road less traveled. Those with wanderlust want the movement and not the destination. The destination may not exist ever for those with wanderlust. For once we reach the destination, the lust may be over and either we are satisfied or we have found a temporary thing which casts us down and makes us want the wandering part again.

I believe its our indomitable spirit that drives all this. Our very atoms and molecules are made of vagabond star stuff that has traveled miles and hours and generations. So when we ourselves reach past those other terms and desire that vagabond and wanderlust life; we are committing to the things which made us.

I watch people hanging at McDonalds these days and wonder. Is this what they want out of life? This is it? The every day senior coffee and gossip? What about that world out there? I think people reach an age or so and they are scared. They feel that the life out there is not for them but built for millennial spirits. How wrong they are. Life is not reserved for only the young. Us oldsters just move slower but we really do not lose the wanderlust and vagabond feelings. We just hide them and soon they go away.

I say the hell with that. Free up and lose all the stuff you have duplicates of. Simplify and get your stuff into one bag I say. Hit that road to a place that challenges and forget the staid and sameness. Unless your star stuff spirit only requires that. If that is the case, simply stay and order another coffee. That’s your life and assuredly your have ordered up what you want and perhaps you find out its much less than anticipated. Or its exactly as you want. Good! Ignore me.

I am a deviant and itinerant wanderer with the word lust after. I’m a hobo of the lifeways and a vagabond of the times. But that’s me.

You? Your mileage may vary.

Thanksgiving 2017 – moments in time sublime

It’s Thanksgiving. Long weekend with no work and a few things to be thankful for. I guess I think of the same things each year when the big holidays come around. This year though is different. There are things that are going to happen which change things up quite a bit. I always consider the things that I have and don’t have and I think each group have elements to be thankful for. Let’s see if I can get them and you can see how your things perhaps are better or more inclusive. Maybe I’m wrong for the things.

  1. I have my kids and I’m thankful for them. They both are interesting, fun, sometimes irritating. They both are supposedly adults now so its interesting to plot how my thanks have changed. I need them and they need me less. When they do need me its something different than when they were 5 or 10. The needs are fewer and farther between. And yes… I’m thankful for that. Because that leads to the second point somehow.
  2. I have less responsibilities and ownership. Life is more minimal and I sit here after drinking a bit too much beer last night and after breakfast out at Carls Junior thinking about that less of things. Many have families and mortgages and loans and debt and homes and cars and miles to go before they sleep. I have less of those things. My debt is mine to own now. It’s so little at this point that its another thing to be thankful for. With less comes the ability to have more. More independence and ability to pick up and go with fewer things to manage. I could never indulge my third thing unless there was less of these things.
  3. I’m thankful that I can soon not just travel but experience the world out there on my terms. I feel I’ve paid the different gods and have reached that point where things are not owed and time has been returned to me. A wonderful feeling that could be scary but its a thing I’m thankful for nonetheless.
  4. I’m thankful I figured out a few concepts around marriage and friendship and have so-called acquaintances or colleagues and I came out the other side of them all. I’ve realized the greatest thing is not finding someone else to share life with but finding things in life that are good and if there is another person to share its okay but not required. Figuring this out meant I could bid adieu to work colleagues and even work itself. That leads to a final thanks.
  5. I found a work thing which has been beneficial to me and for me and for them. I’ve been able to deliver truly large integration projects that have mixed up cloud and premised data centers with large vendors and I’m trusted to simply deliver and manage. But a work thing has an end state. No one should just continue to work until all is done and there are no more mysteries to cross off the list. I’m thankful for the promotions and awards and bonuses which have allowed a few of the other things. The real thing though is the opposite of work. That is play folks. Play is waiting. Like a child puzzling over that half unwrapped Christmas gift I can only see the few end states of leaving next March and not returning. The rest requires additional play and time and meeting the other “thanks” categories.

Let me ask you all what are you thankful for? Do you see a path forward or is the path still a plan in process. I’ve puzzled it over since my divorce and felt at first the sting of loss and almost bereavement. Now I see that things have happened a certain way and perhaps as my friend and mentor RWR would say of doing archeology “find the idea”. I have found it Rog. It was there all along but sometimes the closest things to your eyes and mind are most cunningly hidden.

Such as the things this wonderful day I am thankful for. I know they don’t encompass Thanksgiving dinners and pies and family moments. For those I leave to you all. They are worthy things if you find worth in them.

Saturday Starts Here — Get in Line

The Saturday blogpost comes to you courtesy of a week spent considering a few things that have come my way.

The Raiders won! I am thankful for that 31 to 30 game because I think they needed it to maintain some kind of season and to show they are a team past rebuilding and have the champ stuff in them. I am not as big a fan as once when I would go to the games, drink a few beers, watch the fights in the stadium, and marvel at how some folks dressed up. At the zenith of the fighting season, I witnessed two women go at it down rows and rows of seats from me. The game was a losing affair and so was the fight since both got arrested and taken away. They also lost me to going since the violence and their back to back losing seasons were like twin whammies. That with rising prices for beer seemed to be a destiny thing when they lose. I bet if they studied it, beer and food prices go up when the winning season goes down.

End of October around the corner. Hard to believe yet true. I am down to the dual digits of time left to work. I can see a time when I simply float away and LinkedIn has a final position called “Gone”. That position will be the position from then on and I will be able to hit the road and start finding new things with my camera and life and all the other parts that are patiently waiting.

Minimalism in Technology. I spent a bit of time studying what device is the long-term keeper for on the road, in hotels and airports, and on trains or buses. It has to be the iPad Pro device I have now with the keyboard and pencil. The MacBook Pro went to someone that will use it. I’m left with two phones and the iPad Pro. This means things like cables are simpler and what I pack dwindles down to a lightning cable and a card reader plus a battery charger for my camera. It’s important to reach a finale in tech too and find the useful tools that can be packed away.

Relationships foo bar. I’ve come to realize since the post on friendship that I am no good at building and maintaining relationships or perhaps I suffer from egotism and narcissism like I expect. I am also terribly selfish and I admit openly to all these things. So when a person from the past shows up that is someone I thought was lost, its strange yet wonderful but I know not to read much into it. I don’t have relationship or friendship stuff to offer. I’m damaged goods and I know it.

Finally, there’s the work thing. The work thing which is affected by all the other things. I love the work thing but my days numbered there. I cannot see a path to staying longer not because of some suckage factor with work but a thing with me.

There’s a Saturday laid out in buttons and bows and temperatures in the 60s here. Beautiful fall weather and I’ll go soon to see my daughter and its all good. A Saturday spent reading and marveling a bit on things that go on and do not go on.

Shall we prepare to start the next thing? Why of course. No waiting and the line starts here.

Content Rules

Since I’ve focused my writing for the blog and my journal on Ulysses, I get to see a similar interface with the MacBook Pro and my iPad. I can write pretty easily on my cheaper iPad 2017 model if I wish since I have a bluetooth keyboard for it that works pretty well.

One of the things I have wanted to start including in the blog is longer static content. We’ll call them stories or articles but they would have a separate page or pages which would allow longer explorations or treatments of things. Centralizing on Ulysses and learning its document management approach like splitting off data to a new sheet, arranging things in more of a hierarchical order, updating content across all the lines of things I write is easier when I can see things in a regular relationship.

I think pretty soon I’ll launch a new static page which will focus on story content and also allow more of an update type of thing. I rarely go back and update blog posts to allow new information. I do fix mistakes and errors but the creation of additional information which may be relevant really does not happen with blog posts at all for me.

I’m going to experiment on the blog with different techniques at developing static content on pages. First off is more of a treatise I have been working on regarding walking. I’ve answered a few Quora questions on it and I’ve felt for a long time that there are numbers of reasons people do it. Its not just getting your 30 minutes in 3 days per week. I do way more than that. I’ll publish a first chapter on that first I think.

A second thing is travel. Its not just hopping on a plane or train to me. There is a mystical and wonder element to it. The highest order I believe of travel is going with no clear destination in sight. When we travel this way, we are removed from the considerations of route, time, place. I believe hunter-gatherers traveled this way thousands of years ago and as they crossed the different places, each revealed itself in a deeper and more fundamental way. For me, travel must become that. I’m done taking the vacation where I must return after X days. This does not work for me any longer. It really ties us to this time thing where each thing covers an amount of time and when its done, its done. I think there are deeper and more mystical things in the act of travel we want out of it.

I wanted to mention this thing called Work. Work slowly becomes less for me even with victories on large projects that perhaps lock me in for more months of work. I managed to get our VP and leadership behind a project which took months to develop and finally get supported by leadership. A victory! I felt pretty good after that call yesterday. Its dawned on me that this work thing is ephemeral. It does not allow a free-wheeling exploration of the first two things above. I cannot just take off walking with no real regard nor can I travel the same way. So something must change early next year.

That’s why this blog was created from the ashes and dust of the old one. The old one lasted over a decade and across platforms. I’ve lost a month here and there of posts which either matter or do not. I created this hosted blog to address what I wanted to do and the places I would see. I wanted it to be easy maintenance but still have a reasonable name and a destination place for my travels. Its really meant to be the container of the walking and the travel insights and to signal the time when work becomes less. But blogs morph and become new things all the time. Basically with each entry we write, the blog twists and turns to a new thing. For the longest time I’ve written blogs for my self expression. I’ve felt it was akin to the 5 pound chicken 10 pound egg thing. Giving the blog a rebirth with a new article is a creation thing for me. So it will go with the stories and articles. I’ve kinda nurtured those for months developing them first on Google Docs and now on Ulysses.

Soon all three things will intertwine and become more or less or different given your perspective. Hope you enjoy the content I will launch. If not. Sorry. I’m really doing it for me and not you. I apologize up front if you find inadequacies or faults in it. All of those are also mine :-).

Yeah, but why do you blog?

There is no place like blog. In blog, the weather is always right around 70 degrees during the day and about 50 at night. Sunny days, cloud evenings, and rain arrives in discrete categories and we document, define, refine and our characters and abilities and discussions all live within the WordPress world. Here we find the time and space to carefully (sometimes) spell our thoughts out and also follow others and find their wisdom.

Here, for better or worse, is what I’ve learned after over 10 years of writing these in one place or another.

  1. We blog because we have to. Its like a 5 pound chicken trying to lay a 10 pound egg. We can do it but sometimes it takes some extra effort to create the content, share, socialize. Find the things we wish to create, maintain, re-define. Perhaps looking for value in our past or sharing present, or defining future tense. The blog is the place we do this because we have to do it. There is no voluntary submission.
  2. We create content, read other’s content, follow, comment, update. Why? Why follow other blogs? I believe it goes way back to the days when Technorati existed as a instrument of authority in blogging. If a person linked to your content or perhaps commented, you had “authority”. You could be rated as the top 100 blogs based on measurements. I blogged then too and blogging had these key terms like “blogosphere” and we had key players in that sphere. Some are still with us.
  3. We don’t create a blog to simply add one post and give up. We’re in it for the long haul. We find some kind of enjoyment in creating. Let me ask this. How many of you go back and read your previous content and how often do you do it? Do you like to see the progression (or regression), change, anger, stupidity, vanity, ego, altruism? Big sayings with small words?
  4. We do journals too I bet. A journal is different than blogging. Some would say never write in a journal a thing you don’t want another person to read. I say BS on that. A diary is just that. Its yours. If you wanna write some exceedingly personal stuff where else you gonna do it?

So, in the end, we have these tools that we use. We have blogs we share and diaries we do not. We blog because we have to and I have had to for a long time. First it was on Advogato and I wrote there in 2000 and 2001 or so. Back when I worked at a fabled open source startup and we all created content there and we valued others at different levels. Then it was Drupal, typepad, WordPress (both self hosted and .com). So many platforms. I still have an export file from my own domain but I hesitate to post it here. It crossed over to the exceedingly personal and I covered terrain that was focused on life events. Perhaps the terrain was more suited to a diary. I did one of them too and it was even more focused.

Let me just say that we create, destroy, recover, find, lose at an amazing rate.

Ask yourself why you blog. I bet the answers will surprise even you.

The roommate has a blog

I won’t publish its link or publicize it but its interesting what you can find out about a person. I’ve thought for the last almost 15 years blogging we choose to reveal an amount on a blog that perhaps we never would in email or on fora, or other online communities. For some reason, we feel able to give out information in a blog that we otherwise would never choose to divulge. I’ve not studied it but I think people do this for a few reasons. See what you think.

  1. A blog is personally impersonal. You can write on a blog and have the thoughts arranged in its peculiar order and the latest content sooner or later scrolls off the screen and the readers have to search or find it in other ways. This creates the personally impersonal level where the latest thing you write may not be the most inflammatory or personal or revealing thing and it takes the reader to go through the blog and find those things. Rest assured you can find them because lots of people have a search bar or you can search on google or on a community like wordpress.com you can choose to “follow” or “favorite” or “comment” and then you get the socialization factor in the personally impersonal level. The other person can pick and choose what they wish to see about your life. How many of you write exceedingly personal content and then feel uncomfortable or wish to pull it but you reason that its okay because it is impersonal and you are protected by scrolling or categories or other factors. Have you removed those personal entries because they are a gateway to that side of you that you don’t wish to show in other media?
  2. A blog is not a life but may be the contents of the life arranged in some kind of order much like how your days pass. It mirrors your life in some ways but in others perhaps you keep a personal diary or journal. Let me ask, do the contents ever match up and you write a thing in a blog that you think, in retrospect, should be a diary post? In other words, it violates rule 1 or it reveals too much of the content of your life or your character. In my case there is divorce and growing old (er) and realizing after my friend Free’s untimely passing we only have a set number of years. I knew this before and it was painfully obvious when I took those jobs which were survival and my ex-wife reminded me daily that it was my duty to work whether I enjoyed it or not. This is emphatically not true but in the blog I choose to not reveal a lot of that content.
  3. Many, many blogs have only one entry. Perhaps people become less than enamored with the outcome and they wish for immediate following and favorites and incoming links. Maybe the blog crosses over in rule 1 and 2 and creating more entries would cause pain or work or there is a basic lack of interest. Let me ask; what keeps you blogging? Do you do it for others in some kind of altruistic glue of life or is it something you would do no matter what and its for you alone that you dutifully write those blog posts? I think if you do it for others sooner or later those others stop being important or become too important and the blog becomes the entry. Then you stop.
  4. Finally, the blog is a gateway to your soul. The words form the bridge and the style and beliefs link you to a bigger world. In a community of bloggers more people may find that your gateway either matches theirs or its so unique and different that reading it widens their gateways. Just consider how much you reveal and would you reveal as much as a social media site like Facebook? When I get to Facebook, the main reason for creating stupidity there is just that. I don’t take it seriously so I write dumb stuff there. There is no real gateway to my innermost being since the media is not right. Give me a blog though and I will sooner or later let you see the mile markers to my personal Hell and Heaven on earth.

In the end, I write this and that. I create and then I mull it over. Should I share it with my daughter? She perhaps suspects I write such a thing. In the previous instantiation, the blog became filled with personal ruminations on divorce, travel, my kids. Perhaps it fulfilled or violated all the rules. I quit my self-maintained wordpress.org site in favor of a new start. Perhaps we all need to recreate the rules above and re-evaluate them. Maybe we will only write a single post. Perhaps it becomes too personal and we give people a viewpoint into the gateway that is way personal. Life is personal though folks. What I have gone through even if you replicate it exactly would not be the same for you.

As my mom used to say,

We create our hell on earth

And perhaps our heavens too…

Welcome to the new domain

I had purchased the personal option on wordpress.com awhile back and had wanted to test whether I would stay around or just bring up a self-hosted site. With this, I earned the one free domain thing. I think I’m ready to call this home now after deciding to not import the 10 or so years of old stuff from my blog before. This is a new start for me and it fulfills what wordpress.com sold to me. With a blog comes incredible responsibility. Well maybe a bit of that :-). This is what the blog is meant to be about:

  1. Its meant to prepare me for a change in about a year when I can stop working and hit the road and be a place to capture the preparations and planning and elimination of things which are in my place now.
  2. I don’t blog politics or other stuff like that even though I just did recently. I don’t find joy in it these days so after reading that post done in anger, I am going to delete it. I don’t like where we’re going or where we are coming from these days.
  3. Between the now and then, its about travels both figurative and real. There is the need I have to take a vacation, to plan a trip, to find a place where I can relax. I like to write on my daily meanderings. In the past I wrote about Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Kyoto, Seattle, Portland, and Eugene. Lots of places I visited in the then and there.
  4. Most of all, the blog is meant to trace and record the moments. After all; why do you write one of these things? Is there a thing you wish to communicate, an idea you wish to transform, a story to tell? I’ve outlasted a few people and I still read a few blogs outside the ones I’ve followed here. Particularly noteworthy are these folks that I think maintain a standard of blogging. Jonas Luster, Doc Searls, and Setuid all create content that I admire. I’ve worked with or near them at various places and their writings, stories, photographs still leave me wanting more. So many others have simply gone away and the blogging has become something different with the passage of time. Now there is no institutional or power glory or authority. Its about wanting to communicate and tell and see and show and share. Perhaps collaborate on occasion.

So there you have it, a new domain with no new purpose. Now I’ve redeemed the value of the blog here and created newness. I’ll go walking soon and see yet another tree and leaves and a glorious evening with its sun touched skies. So many steps and a plan and a desire to find another thing that is worthy of doing and others that are not.

Its all good though. Perhaps you will find some value here and maybe not. Its okay. Sometimes I don’t either 🙂

On Hiatus

I read this on the popular blogs or used to. The big guy blogs would every so often go on hiatus or decide the time had come for a makeover. Content would be static and perhaps the normal blog page with all its descending content would be replaced with a sign that claimed the author or authors and the theme were being updated. I never understood this rationale but I think the real message is that authors run out of things to write about.

What do we start these things for and why do we keep at them even in the face of moderating readership and people veering away to other content. Here are a few reasons why we keep at it.

  1. We write blogs because we enjoy them and get some kind of thrill or satisfaction from doing so. We don’t care if others read or not. Its the writing of it. The catharsis of it that rewards.
  2. We like to promote an ideology, theory, technology, belief. Witness the tech and news blogs out there which favor or diss a thing.
  3. We don’t care if others read them or not. Very unlike blogging in its heyday when you were given authority by who linked and you gave authority by linking to others
  4. We want some kind of connection with others that read or write. Some would say we need connections to be real so we write these things to inspire that connection.
  5. We still count visits as successes, reads as mandates, likes and hearts and mentions as inspiring. We like it when someone favorites a post or mentions us on social media or praises or even blames us in places. We publicize our posts on various sites to encourage that connection. Maybe we want to write illimunating things to the visitors and let them see that we see.
  6. We write these things for none of those reasons. I’ve been doing blogs for 10 years or more now and had my self-hosted wordpress site with the same name since 2005 or so and before that on Advogato. Sometimes I don’t write at all.

And the reasons seem to go on forever why we do these.

I only write a day a week or so now. Perhaps I’ve reached the zenith of the things and then perhaps I question the entire thing and wonder if I should simply put this instance on hiatus. I don’t have a good reason to do that since often I don’t understand why I write here myself so I will continue.

When its Sunday Morning, we excel

And not word and powerpoint either. We sit at the McDonalds for breakfast on their wifi. Read the news and continue to test the keyboard inputs for the ipad pro 9.7 device we are not using to make our lives more fun. Yes “we” means “I”. I am branding this as ours because I felt like it. I’ve tried a few keyboard setups with the ipad pro including those that do smart connectors. I’m not a convert to those. When we get to bluetooth keyboards the Logitechs seem to rule. Perhaps a review is inevitable on Amazon for the specific model I am using. Maybe not.

My main message is on this Sunday with the rain falling and the sky threatening I’m feeling the need to walk. Its been two days and this old body needs that release rain or shine. So this afternoon I’ll go forth, get wet, and enjoy it immensely. Laundry and chores can wait on my only weekend day this week. 

Work

There is always work and I’m fortunate to have what I have. I left another place that was a disaster for this place. The old place regaled me with dress codes, no working at home, strange rules about the team I supported. Nothing made sense and I am not a good travel advisor or planner. I don’t do good when people add “other tasks as assigned” and then tell me that those tasks are really meant to test me and I failed on so many fronts. So I said screw them and their tasks. I found another thing and its better and it turned to full-time and it made life much better for me. In another two weeks I’ll be done with the migrations I am held to and I’ll shift groups to the PMO team that wants me. All is good in the land of work. Lets talk

Play

Because play is as important as work. To make work matter you need play. Play is like the other side of the brain coming up for air and questioning the facts of work. It makes you want to walk, to run, but mostly to want the experience. But without work, play would be a meaningless experience. We need play and most definitely Play. The big Play is the one that makes the mind and soul and feelings come together on a Sunday morning with no real responsibilities and duties and all day to do them. I don’t need another to do Play. Its not linked to another person complaining or telling me this is not fun or Fun. Nope. Play is a personal thing and it lets the mind and body jettison the old things and tasks and milestones and lets a person simply be. I don’t think we understand it completely yet we need it

I’ll leave this here for now and see if anyone ever finds the new place I’m blogging. I’ve blogged other places for over 10 years. I had my own self hosted wordpress site with the same name. I’ve blown things out and realigned them so many times. This site is meant to stretch to a new thing which is out there. We get old but we never lose the desire to find a thing out there. I’ll re-plan the plan because a plan is just that without goals. Goals are not there without milestones along the way. And when the milestones all reach 100% its time. Time to fly boys and girls.