As the Spring warms the air and welcomes the emergence of crawly creatures back into the light, the East Coast is beginning to buzz in anticipation of the return of periodical cicadas. From Georgia to New York, we can expect to see the winged bugs — Magicicadas — leave their underground burrows and emerge from their 17 year stay in the soil.
This was a photographic challenge — to share my backyard/neighbourhood landscapes in portrait format instead of traditional landscape format.
This first view is across the fields towards the small mountain range called Serra do Cercal, you can see the aqueduct which is part of a huge irrigation project in the region crossing the valley and the fire breaks in the forested mountain slopes behind.
I am not celebrating the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. The passing of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 was announced this morning. It has been said that she is one of the most vilified and controversial of leaders of our time as well as one of the most socially divisive.
She was responsible for the privatisation of several state owned industries and was in Power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands.
If you haven’t visited The Google Graveyard yet — you need to go there and leave a flower or 40 — before your read this Google Keep review. I admit I’m wary about investing even one second in Google Keep because of the company’s rotten history of starting neat products like Google Reader and Wave and then killing them while you’re in the middle of loving them.
The attitudes toward domestic animals in rural Portugal was one of the first, and the hardest, lessons I had to learn on arrival here. In Portugal, with the exception of a few pampered pooches and overindulged kitties in the cities, most animals the western world consider to be domestic animals are, in fact, considered working animals and are treated as such.
I am not one to live in the past or have any regrets. History cannot be changed and regret only rots the promise of tomorrow. In putting together this new Boles Blog to reflect what came before in 14 other instances of thoughts and writing, I came upon the old Awards page for the now retired Go Inside Magazine; and I found great joy in looking back at those wildly created and brightly colored animated .GIFs, and I decided to share them with you here now. I moved the images off the now dead GoInside.com domain and placed them on the live Boles Books domain for serving, but I left the historical, clickable, URLs intact as a compendium of the greatest hits of what was, really, The Original Internet.
Do you recognize any of these websites? Animated .GIFs were big back in the mid-1990′s, and one good way to promote your new website was to “give an award” to another website — there were no blogs back then — and require a link back to your award website. The most elite award we won was from, at the time, the fledgling “Microsoft Network.” MSN was starting with a big bang and a booming promise and it was a Big Deal to get that congratulatory email from Microsoft telling us we were “The One” for a day. That single award from MSFT doubled our readership for the rest of our being.
The year 2012 went by rather quickly for me — one day at a time, as it were. It was a year of many moments spent with my wife and son and remarkably not too many spent attending concerts and movies as in years prior to Chaim being born — but we are quite okay with it and know that it too shall pass and we will eventually have a sitter over more than once every half a year or so.
There’s a television commercial that endlessly plays on late night television promising you fast, easy, money. It’s a 30 second advertisement that actually plays twice in 15 second increments. The commercial plays once and then instantly re-starts to annoy you with a repeat of what you just heard 15 seconds ago. I was finally able to capture a screenshot of the “loan” company with my iPhone, and I was shocked to learn the hard-to-read fine print of their financial terms for a $10,000 USD “next day loan” deposited straight into your checking account.
In two-and-a-half weeks, I published eight volumes of “Best of…” books for Urban Semiotic, Go Inside, the Boles Blogs Network and a special tribute to Dr. Howard Stein. The process of peeling back the onion of my writing life over years and years was both painful and exhilarating. I discovered exactly what worked and what did not work. Here are seven of the best lessons I learned in editing eight book volumes of blog posts.
Well, that was fast! One day Volumes 1 and 2 of the “Best of Urban Semiotic” hits the virtual Kindle Direct Publishing shelves, and here we are on the same day with an all-new “The Best of Go Inside Magazine, Volume 1 (1983-2012)” magically published via Amazon Kindle Direct as well!
Here’s what happened. I have a plan for testing the viability and sustainability of “The Best of” the Boles Blogs Networks articles on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. After I submitted the Urban Semiotic volumes to Amazon for KDP publication, I immediately began redacting and condensing a GO INSIDE “Best of” series.
When I ran into some publication problems on the Amazon side that delayed the process for several days, I kept editing the GO INSIDE volume with an eye of just putting the work up for sale on the Boles Books Writing & Publishing website if it didn’t work out as a KDP book and I would charge a nominal PayPal fee for the publishing effort.
I was amazed that Amazon KDP approved and published the GO INSIDE volume within hours of submission — and so here we are!
Based on my history, I think you could say that I have pretty awful luck when it comes to messenger bags. One of my first messenger bags came free of charge with a subscription to a now defunct magazine called Cargo that was meant to be the men’s version of Lucky magazine, a shopping magazine. I honestly got the subscription because it was ten dollars and came with the bag.
Today is the third day in a row I’m writing about the death of the great author and teacher, Dr. Howard Stein, because I just can’t get his life out of my mind. Every time we’d meet or speak on the phone, I would take copious notes because I didn’t want to forget anything he told me.
Every conversation was ripe and ready for memorialization in a blog post or in a future thinking endeavor. Howard Stein was always teaching, and when you had his attention, you were the most important person in the world to him. He was staunchly rational and fearless almost up to the end; and I say “almost” because during the last few months of his life, he confessed to me that, at night, he would get scared.