May 8, 2013

crazy HuffPo

Posted in blogging tagged at 8:37 pm by weiszguy

What, exactly, is the Huffington Post all about?

Support for the Vietnam War is on the rise. Why?

Kim Kardashian Pregnancy Weight Fat-Shaming: Why You Really Should Care

How the Real Housewives Have Made America Better

What I Found in My 5-Year-Old Daughter’s Diary

Here’s What Really Happens in the Women’s Bathroom

My Son Wears Pink: To Share or Not to Share?

How to Meditate Your Way Through Menopause

Alaska moose head donated to Navy warship

My Wife Is Not a Rotisserie Chicken or Leaky Faucet


January 13, 2011

why I blog

Posted in blogging, philosophy tagged , at 6:43 pm by weiszguy

I blog because I need a place to work out my thoughts. Often I start daydreaming, if that’s the right word, and when I come to, I realize I’ve been explaining something very carefully, as if to another person. Sometimes this is something I understand very clearly, so my explaining was as if I was teaching something to a child. Sometimes the thing I’ve been explaining I don’t understand at all, and so my explaining was more like exploring.

In any case, I’ve had this conversation going on in my head, and I need to get this stuff out of my head while I still remember it, because it will quickly leave my head, and then be gone. I flatter myself that one day, I’ll have had something important going on in there. If that day ever comes, I want it recorded.

Do I expect people to actually read this stuff? No, I don’t. Occasionally I may say something that really hits home with someone else, but since I blog about such a wide variety of things, I don’t expect very much of what I write to hit home very often.

Am I just doing this to jump-start a wish to be a potential wannabe writer? No, I am not. I don’t want to write for a living and I’m not trying to gain a following.  I suppose if someone came to me with a lucrative book contract I’d have to think about it for a bit, but that’s not what I’m gunning for here.

January 4, 2011

RSS – simple!

Posted in blogging, technology tagged , at 8:04 pm by weiszguy

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and that is probably the easiest definition possible.  It’s a way to syndicate, really simply.

Not as many people take advantage of RSS as could benefit by it.  Let’s take a look at the benefits of RSS, and then a quick and easy way to set it up.

The Problem

The reason many people are not taking advantage of RSS, is because they don’t realize how powerful it can be, i.e., they don’t realize they have a problem.

Let’s take a hypothetical internet user named Merlin.  Merlin is a savvy citizen of the 21st century – he gave up television news for Yahoo News.  He particularly like the sports section and his local news section.  He also follows blogs about economics, eastern European politics, and miniature shih tzus.  Merlin visits these five news sources every day.  He has them all bookmarked in his browser.

If Merlin wants to add a new source of information, he has to bookmark it, and then visit it every day.  His list of sites to visit every day quickly becomes quite long, and visiting them all takes more and more time with each new source.  To make matters worse, sometimes there is nothing new on his blogs, and so he has wasted his time checking them out.

What Merlin doesn’t know is there is an elegant solution that combines all his favorite news sources in one place, and only shows him new information.

The Solution

An RSS feed reader is analogous to an email program.  But instead of showing emails, a feed reader shows “feeds”.  A feed is a stream of information from a particular source, published using the RSS standard.  When Merlin starts looking for feeds, he discovers that Yahoo publishes all their sports information on a “Sports” feed.  The miniature shih tzu blog also has a feed.

In a feed reader, Merlin subscribes to these feeds, and the feeds of all his other favorite news sources, and can see them all in one place.  When the Vikings win the Super Bowl, Yahoo adds a story about the miracle to their Sports feed, and Merlin reads it in his feed reader, at the same time he reads the latest economics news, and the latest news from eastern Europe.  Merlin never misses an important story, and he doesn’t waste time surfing to sites that haven’t been updated.

To his great surprise, Merlin discovers that adding new feeds is painless, and reading all his feeds takes much less time than visiting each web site individually.  With all the time he has saved, Merlin adds new feeds with reckless abandon, and is able to keep up with all of them easily.

Getting Started

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a feed reader.  If you have a favorite reader go ahead and use it.  If you don’t have a favorite, use mine – Google Reader

Sign in, or create an account if you need to.  Then in the upper left corner of the page, click the “Add a subscription” button.  Then type in the name of the site that has the feed you want to subscribe to.  Google Reader will automatically discover the feed and add it to your list.  Repeat this process with each of your favorite news sources, and soon you’ll a list of feeds that contains all the news that thrills you.  If you’re using a different feed reader, you’ll see different buttons, but the process will be the same.

After you have subscribed to all your feeds, you won’t have to visit those web sites again.  Just open your feed reader, read all the news, and save yourself all the time of visiting each sites separately.

Also, please subscribe to this blog in your reader!


benefits of daily blogging

Posted in blogging tagged at 5:28 am by weiszguy

benefits of daily blogging:

  • you develop the habit of doing something consistently, even when you don’t feel like it
  • you learn to use language to express inner thoughts and emotions
  • you learn to use language to discover what those inner thoughts and emotions are, in the first place. Sometimes you don’t know what you think about something until you’ve tried to put it on paper.
  • helps you stay up-to-speed on what’s going on around the internet, as you read other blogs and other bloggers read you
  • stimulates creativity. It can be hard to come up with something new to say every day. Forcing yourself to write stirs up your mind so we can see what’s in there.


January 1, 2011

blogging is better that facebook

Posted in blogging, philosophy tagged at 8:50 am by weiszguy

Facebook is good for things like telling the world you just had a bagel.  But if you want to get any more detailed than that, Facebook is not the most ideal platform.

For the most part, I don’t care if you just had a bagel, and I can’t imagine you’re too interested in my breakfast either.  What I’d really like to talk about is meaningful, deeper stuff.  Anything really.  Everything from world-stage type stuff all the way down to deeply held personal thoughts and beliefs.

In 2011 I’m going to try to stay almost completely off of Facebook.  This move should reduce meaningless noise in my life, and probably in yours, too.  If I have something meaningful to say, I’ll say it here.  If I don’t have anything meaningful to say…

September 7, 2007


Posted in blogging, technology at 12:07 pm by weiszguy

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a fantastic tool for staying up to date with your favorite websites. Unfortunately, many people are turned off by the apparent difficulty of using RSS. But I ran across a short, funny video that explains the concept in all it’s simplicity. Watch it:

By the way, this blog has an RSS feed. You can subscribe to it in your favorite reader.

August 13, 2007


Posted in blogging, money at 4:06 am by weiszguy

My brother recently chastised me for not writing near enough on my blog.  I told him, “Back off, man!  I’m busy!”  But lately I have been thinking a lot about putting up some meaningful content on a daily basis.  I kinda sorta half-heartedly made a decision to write at least one post every morning, but in the back of my mind I have serious doubts about where I’m going to get the ideas for that many posts.  Then along comes this post over at the Simple Dollar, and suddenly I have renewed inspiration.  The Simple Dollar is a personal finance blog that I’ve been following for a while now, and I’ve got some great ideas from it – but this may be the best yet.  I’m going to get myself a set of Thinkertoys and try ’em out.

July 18, 2007

new blog template

Posted in blogging, gender differences at 5:51 pm by weiszguy

Yeah, I picked a new template. I hope it’s not too feminine. I like some things about it: block quotes are actually set apart differently in the text, so it looks more like a quote; it is not a full-screen-width layout, which means my posts look longer than they did on the old template; the font is a little bigger; the sidebar widgets are more customizable.

Also, check out “my shared items,” on the right. These are my shared items from Google Reader. “my shared items” can be added to your favorite rss reader, in the usual way.

Hope you like it!

April 24, 2007

people’s personal responses

Posted in blogging, church, philosophy at 8:20 pm by weiszguy

A couple of incidents recently have me wondering how much people care about other people’s internal thoughts.

In church Sunday, after a particularly meaningful worship experience, our pastor asked us to respond to God in some way.  We could write a letter to God, write a poem, draw a picture, or any of several other ideas for creative expression.  The tables had all the paper, pens, crayons, colored pencils, and other art supplies we could need.  I thought that was pretty cool, so I wrote a letter to God, describing my response to the worship.  But then we were asked if we wanted to share our responses with the audience.  Only a few people wanted to share, and I found their responses boring and unmeaningful.  My response, however, was articulate and full of emotional depth :)

Obviously, each person’s response to the service was extremely meaningful – to themselves.  Am I then, completely out-of-touch with the average person’s response?  Or is each person’s response so personal so as to be meaningless to outsiders?  Should I take more care to be concerned about other peoples thoughts?  Do other people care about my thoughts?

I am currently reading a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal called An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.  In it, in encyclopedic fashion, Amy describes the many facets of being her.  She discusses her emotional response to seeing her own name, for example, and describes the particular method she uses for drying off after a shower, and why she uses that method.  (Which is a very interesting concept for a book.  I might have to borrow the concept and improve on it a little.)

I have a mixed response to this book.  Sometimes, when she is discussing some bit of arcane trivia, I realize I’m much the same way.  Even if my thoughts are a bit different than her’s, it’s cool to realize I have thoughts on the same idiosycracy as the author.  Other times I just shake my head and think, “This woman needs help!  Who on earth would waste their time thinking about such equine effluvia, and why would anybody else care what she thinks?”

If you’ve read this far in a post this introspective and self-aware, you must have some thoughts on the subject.  Please share them in the comments.

March 3, 2007

kids’ blog templates

Posted in blogging at 1:01 pm by weiszguy

[Update: I’ve been getting a ton of hits on this entry.  Apparently lots of people are looking for kids blog templates.  But nobody has told me where I can find these things.  If you know of any templates, please tell me in the comments.]

Does anyone know where I can get templates for kids’ blogs? My kids (ages 8 and 9) want to start blogs of their own, but the only templates I can find are adult templates. Does anybody make a blog template with baseballs or airplanes or dolls or flowers, that might appeal to children?