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Some Kind of a Blogging Nut

I’ve recently been called “Some Kind of a Blogging Nut” by a person of prominence. Stated in such a derrogatory manner, it was no term of endearment! For some reason it tickles me, as I aspire to live up to that pejorative.

Chances are, if you don’t understand blogs or blogging, you are not going to see this post. That is so sad, in so many ways. I suppose not everyone is capable of comprehending the changes brought about by the Internet for writers.

The one thing I’m trying to convey with my writing here is that for those who have led a life with any interest, it benefits the entire world for them to share their experiences in a blog. That’s most of what I have to say, in a nutshell.

If you are a writer, if you are a blogger, if you use the Internet to do research, surely you understand my message. We have wonderful resources; managed sites, like Wikipedia, and other formal information sources available for these purposes. But, in them, we won’t find the personal accounting of the history from people who lived through things like the great depression, WWII, the Korean War, or Viet Nam. Seriously, any simple story some person wants to share about how it was and what they were doing when they were going through it may be of value to someone who would not otherwise understand that experience.

This is the essence of “Blogging for Posterity”. Future generations will want to know.

It’s really quite simple. Blogging for posterity requires only the ability to tell a story. Sharing your point of view from where you were in that part of history may be the most valuable contribution you can make to society, your friends and family, or maybe only to yourself. The value of social networking comes from participants who are willing to contribute. Be one of them.

That’s all I’m trying to say.


Using MS Word To Create Email Messages

If you are going to create an email message of any length greater than a few sentences, or, if it just happens to be an email message with great importance, you may want to use a word processor for this purpose. Specifically, one with an auto-save feature will be the best choice. MS Word has this feature, so let’s discuss that.

Many people use online services, such as Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL for their email. This is good in many ways, except for the possibility of losing your work. Using an online service for email will preserve much of your content, simply because your message database is not on your computer. So if your computer crashes, you won’t lose your address book and all of the email you’ve sent and received over the years. That’s the upside.

On the downside, if you are typing away at a message and suddenly find that your Internet connection is no longer viable, that message may simply be a thing of the recent past! And, it isn’t just your connection to the Internet that can spoil your efforts. If your computer hangs, or you accidentally close a window or do any number of other things that may remove your attention from your work, that email message may simply not be there long enough for you to click the “Send” button. That’s a serious downside; would you agree?

Enter auto-save – a feature of MS Word (and, by the way, of the service I’m using to create this blog entry). This one feature is reason enough to use Word to create any long-winded message for email. Word will automatically save your work every few minutes. So, if you’ve typed a few paragraphs and your computer suddenly hangs, you’ll be able to recover your work the next time you launch Word.

There are a few more details to this, but I think the point is made. Create your email message in Word, then copy and paste the text into your online email message. It’s just that simple. Other benefits include having a local copy of your message stored on your computer, along with spell checker and many other features included in one of Microsoft’s flagship products.


Lincoln – The Movie

It’s interesting to note that knowing the story or not knowing the story doesn’t necessarily impact the entertainment value, or the experience of seeing a movie. Case in point, I did not know the story behind Les Miserable, and although I am happy to say I did see the movie, I cannot heartily recommend it – while in the case of Lincoln, I did know the story, but will encourage you to go see it.

In the case of Les Mis, I simply struggled through an ordeal that ate up nearly four hours of my day. In the case of the Lincoln movie, my heart was pounding about 15 minutes into it and I continued to have that experience at different times throughout the story. One thing that continued to hound me during the two and a half hours of tension was an unending sense of how little my life has had an impact on anything in the world. Imagine what it must have been like to be Lincoln, with the fate of the entire country on your mind daily, as your decisions and how you acted upon them would literally change the world.

This was more than a history lesson, it was a wonderful illustration of the democratic process, carried out against the backdrop of a long and bloody war. I recall reading about Lincoln in grade school and remember understanding that his sense of humor was one of many qualities that endeared him to his country. Today I know you can go look up how many times honest Abe failed at different ventures in his lifetime, and it is supposed to inspire you to never give up. This movie goes a long way to improving on that theme. Near the end, you are provided with a graphic representation of the gruesomeness of a battleground littered with human remains and you see Lincoln’s humanity as he has to internalize this understanding.

That’s enough for now. I would say I won’t spoil the ending, but you already know how it goes.

Oh, I should say, I also saw Django, Unchained this weekend. So, now I’ve heard the “N-word” more in the last few days than I had in the last several years!

Happy New Year to you.