So, what’s coming up in 2015? The question that is nearly as daunting as a blank screen. Let’s see what are a couple blogging goals.

These are a few of the measurable goals I’ll work to attain:

  • At least 1 post per week (daily would be ideal!) – That would be more than I did in 2014 by quite a bit.
  • Leave a substantial comment on at least 3 separate blogs per week. Also, make a post about it, if  possible.
  • 1 game review per month (February will be the first!) – This also has a side effect of getting some of the backlog of games cleared.

I almost want to add more goals, but I do want to be realistic here. The above are things I know I can do that would be more than in previous years. Forcing myself to be more focused and regular about it is what I’m making myself more accountable for.


Today’s assignment is a bit more behind-the-scenes than the earlier ones, but it could be interesting.

I sort of rebooted this blog decently well this past November, with Blogging 101, but the assignment today is something I should now be able to start on, and it’s the ever-so-exciting task of analyzing how it’s doing, and what’s working, and what’s not, or at least, that’s my interpretation of the assignment.

Stats from before November had very few human visitors and even then, a quick peek based upon a Google search (for, among things, “guild tabard”).

More interesting is how things went in November. A decent analysis to get an idea of how slow my blog was most of 2014, generated by Jetpack. You can take a look at it here:

Jetpack Annual Report for

I’m sure I have too many categories for most of them to be useful, and the same is true for my tags, so I’m removing many of them. My tag cloud is more useful now, I hope.

Yeah, there’s a few clear winners for tags…
Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 9.25.09 PM
This feels less scattered somehow.


I spotted some mistakenly created tags as well as some broken posts that still are based on an older address for this blog, so this process is already worth the time spent. I’m not “done”, as this is an ongoing process, but I have a better idea how I’m going to keep tags and categories somewhat manageable. I’ll be a bit less liberal with tags and less likely to create one if it’ll be used rarely on the site.

Today was some work, alright, but I think it’ll pay off in a less random structuring of content. We’ll see.

This post is part of a workshop I’m participating in, and is my response to the day #5 assignment, over at the Desk community site.

10 Days to a Better Blog — Day #5


I’ll be honest, I haven’t put much thought into where I want to primarily sit down and write at, so I often wind up writing where I have spare time and a computer. Since I’m mostly* a Mac user, the app Desk is usually at hand, but the most recent WordPress update has done well allowing distraction-free writing, if I’m not sitting in front of one of my Macs. I do want to improve this, since sometimes I still allow myself some distractions (too many!)

Ideally, the place and environment I’d want to go with is a place with a comfortable seating environment, room to deploy my writing machine, and music (via headphones, if needed) is really the “essentials” for me.

I’m going to try a few places that are available to me as I go through the current challenge. Having a MacBook Pro handy should help with that. First, I think I’ll try a few areas around the homestead. Then I’ll take a look at some remote locations, including a few break areas around the office. This post is just the start.


via 10 Days to a Better Blog — Day #3 – Writing – Desk Community.


*I do own a non-Mac laptop for gaming mostly and also since it’s good to experience a different OS, first-hand.

I’ve been prompted to collect my thoughts on expressing my reasons for blogging. I should more accurately state that these are my reasons as well for blogging more often. Hopefully, this is the blogging push that keeps the train on the tracks. So, here’s a rough list of reasons I came up with and it’s subject to change after future review, your mileage may vary, batteries not included, etc.

  • I have these thoughts sometimes, but there’s no audience ready to avail,
  • Some things I’d possibly like to remember, or pass on to another, at some future date,
  • Social networking

I think those reasons are a good start (back) up blogging.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

– Douglas Adams

I’m participating in an online blogging workshop and this post is day 2. More great posts are available over at the Desk Community.

It’s time for some free writing. I used to dread these exercises in high-school composition. The main reason being that I was always afraid that the thoughts wouldn’t flow for the entire time set and I’d feel a bit foolish when I had it evaluated by my peers. Yes, peer review is a scary thing at any age!

So, I sat down, set a timer, and just started typing. I think it might be easier to handwrite, but that’s only because my handwriting speed has suffered over the years due to less usage. I really ought to look into more practice there as well. Speaking of hand-writing, I want to pick up a fountain pen again. those actually felt pretty good to write with. Despite my analytical nature, advanced writing classes were a thing for me during the grade school years.

Another thought I had is a bit work-related, and it’s a bit of a view on how technical support should be very useful. I think it’s better being a “guide” for the person seeking help, and not simply taking over and doing some arcane task. It’s a fine line between being a teacher and a friend, looking over the person’s virtual “shoulder”, especially when you can’t be physically present to see what the person you’re helping is struggling with. Sometimes, frustration could be avoided by keeping in mind that role.

I sometimes see signs of a gradual change, sometimes irreversibly, into jaded, minimal help, with less human touches in a response, and more links to documentation. I try encourage bing sparing in giving links unless needed, and only as the “for more information” part of my response, following an explanation or step-by-step instructions, in my own words, if needed.

Well, that’s it, the timer is going off in a few seconds and I’ll be hitting publish soon after. That wasn’t as bad as I remember it.

Go for a 10-minute free-write: have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self (feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

via Ready, Set, Done | The Daily Post.

Software engineers should write

This appeared on my dashboard a few days ago, and I finally got around to taking a peek at it.

Code and essays have a lot more in common. Both begin as a blank slate and an idea, then end as a discrete product for an intended audience.

Good writing skill, much like well structured and commented code increases the value of the person doing the writing and coding as well as making communicating  ideas and software maintenance easier for not only the original, but also future maintainers of a piece of code.

Thinking clearly is such an underrated skill. I also agree that good writing takes time (and some focused effort.) I totally had a particular writer/developer in mind as I read that post.

If you’re a code poet that happens to also write non-code on a regular basis, then that’s a good thing.

Reward Yourself
Here’s a good idea.

Sometimes, you need to create your own virtual achievements and rewards. I’m a gaming enthusiast, so I do sometimes think about life from that perspective. That often means that I do things like give myself rewards for completing some necessary tasks, such as paying some bill, or completing an errand.

Yesterday, after I realized that I was able to really make strides in almost all my resolutions for the past year, purchased a game I’ve been wanting for a while. It wasn’t expensive, but has a high entertainment value, which is really why such rewards, even when given to myself, from myself, can be highly motivating.

Now, what should the reward be if I actually finish a game review…?

Do you believe in rewarding yourself? How do you go about doing this? A prompt found at:

Desk Community.