Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

October 01, 2018

A Bunch of New Blog Links — and a Squirrel

Grey-phase Abert's squirrel.
Unlike some bloggers, especially a certain gunwriter who never updates her blogroll even when someone dies (cough cough), I think of my blogroll as a resource for readers.

I have been eliminating some that have gone dark or have not updated in a year, my cutoff point.

But I have found some good new (to me) blogs as well.

In the sidebar under Southwesterners:

High Country Gardens — produced at a commercial plant nursery in Denver, this blog has good archives on growing both native and non-native plants in the sometimes brutal Colorado Front Range environment.

The Last Word on Nothing — a group blog, including Craig Childs, author of Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America, who writes from Colorado's Western Slope.

Mountain Climer — Jeremy Climer, Colorado writer and photographer. "The wilderness is my life blood.  Everything I do in civilization is for the purpose of returning to the wilderness and everything I do in the wilderness is to keep me centered while in civilization." (We are calling him a Southwesterner by grace, since he lives in the South Platte drainage.)

Raven Dreaming — Dyer Lytle and Liz Blaker of Flagstaff, Arizona, feature "Southwest nature in words and photographs."

In the sidebar under Elsewhere:

Bedrock and Paradox a backcountry and wilderness hunting and adventure blog by Dave Chenault.

Corvid Research — by Kaeli Swift, a "post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington studying the foraging behaviors of Canada jays in Denali National Park." (They are now "Canada jays" again, not "Gray jays," according to the American Ornithological Union.) She is interested in the full range of corvids, however: crows, ravens, jays, magpies . . .

Food for Hunters — Rick and Jenny Wheatley's wild game cookery blog, "borrowing from our American, Mexican and Vietnamese backgrounds." They live in Nebraska.

Forage! a group blog by ethnobilogists for anyone interested in foraging or growing wild plant foods, "fostering the ethnobiological community and movements."

Go over there and poke around!

April 29, 2018

Are Blogs Coming Back? This One's Not Leaving

Fisher on in the forest, 2016, using the Solocator phone app.
I put "Is blogging making a comeback?" into the Duck Duck Go search engine, and learned that quite a few things are making comebacks:
  • The "humble telephone"
  • Baby names
  • Donald Trump (as of February 15, 2018)
  • Methamphetamine
  • "Jurassic Tech" (portable cassette players?)
  • Nye's Piano Bar (Minneapolis)
  • Paganism (as religions)
  • Pertussis
  • Wood paneling
  • "Dad jeans"
  • Measles
  • Print catalogs
  • Rail travel
  • MySpace (!!) (Article from April 2015)
  • Mumps
  • Four "Old School Marketing Tactics" (Direct mail!)
  • Flip phones
  • Heritage apples
  • Battleships, however, will never make a comeback
But I did hit some articles such as "Are Blogs Dead? 5 Reasons Why The Internet Says Yes, And We Say No" when I asked, "Is blogging dead?":
The blog, or weblog, has been around for about two decades. That’s a minor eternity in the Internet age, and the term blog has been a flashpoint since the beginning. There are still some who cling to the idea that blogs are written by Cheeto dust-stained losers in their parents’ basements, but the form has mostly gone mainstream. It has remained divisive, though, and it seems you can’t throw a rock without hitting a take about the impending demise of the form.

Given that we are open advocates for blogs with our clients, and that we maintain an active (and we may be biased, but brilliant) blog on the Raka site, you can probably guess where we stand. Still, let’s examine five reasons the Internet thinks blogs are dead, and why every one of those reasons is wrong.
 Or "Is Blogging Dead?" No, but bad blogging is dead.
But if I had to be honest with you, I would say that social media should be second in command to your blog. One of the benefits of being a blogger before social media got as big as it is (Instagram especially) is that I learned how to build long-form content that is valuable to my readers (all of you). I learned not only how to use this place as my own personal form of therapy, but also how to provide useful tips, tricks, recipes and DIYs that could help you guys lead a healthier lifestyle. Social media was simply a marketing tool to get the word out.
"Blogging is Dead, Long Live Blogging":
Blogs haven't disappeared – they have simply morphed into a mature part of the publishing ecosystem. The loss of casual bloggers has shaken things out, with more committed and skilled writers sticking it out. Far from killing the blog dream, this has increased the quality of the blogosphere as a whole.
Even though RSS and feed aggregators failed to go mainstream, content aggregators such as Techmeme and Google News are experiencing quite strong traction. Learning from Google Reader's mistakes, these smart aggregators now conveniently surface fresh and quality blog content for users.
In general, quite a few narrowly focused blogs are doing quite well, especially on political topics.

So here is what I am doing.

First, I cleaning up and reconfiguring the blogroll on the right. Links will now, in most cases, display the title of recent entries instead of how long it has been since something was published.

When possible, I am adding the authors' names for a more personal touch, unless it is an organizational blog, such as Fair Chase Hunting, a group blog, or the author wants to be anonymous.

Second, I want to add more content more frequently, trying to mix the personal stuff with the newsie stuff. You won't see me vlogging though, no matter what the experts say.

I am not trying to make a living at this — no ads, and there never have been. Maybe an Amazon link on a book title, that is about all that I do for monetization.

I hope you'll stick around and read it.

September 11, 2015

A Fistful of Euros

Blogging will be light, erratic, or off-topic for the next couple of weeks. M. and I are going on a trip. Maybe we need a theme song:

It was the movie that made Clint Eastwood famous, incidentally.

March 18, 2015

Don't Be Alarmed! Keep Calm and Click On

Astute readers may have noticed that this blog's URL has changed. It is now

Maybe that will help in search-engine optimization.

Anyway, the cool kidz say it's cooler.

March 29, 2013

Thinning the Blog Stew

Trees burned in the 2010 Schultz fire. Image: Flickr/Coconino National Forest
• Coloradans: your fishing licenses expire on Sunday. And big-game hunting applications are due Tuesday night. Time to make some choices!

• A piece from the Colorado Springs Gazette's blog on Colorado's official sport of burro-racing with quotes from Hal Walter. You will find his too-occasional blogs in the sidebar: Farm Beet and Hardscrabble Times.

Scientific American describes big forest-thinning projects in the White Mountains of Arizona.
The Forest Service hired Pioneer Forest Products last May to cut and process the trees from the thinned forests. Pioneer will recycle the small-diameter timber into wood products -- for cabinetry, for example -- and wood laminate. Nearly 40 percent will be feedstock for a 30-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant run by Western Energy Solutions/Concord Blue USA. The processing plant in Winslow, Ariz., will employ about 500 people. The firm is still waiting to receive financing to begin operations in a budget-strained environment, said Marlin Johnson, a consultant for Pioneer.

January 12, 2012

A Blogger's Temptation

With departure for the SHOT Show only days away, my inbox is filling up with news about a military contractor's new .50 BMG sniper rifle or the chance to meet "Mr. Predator" himself.

Maybe the trick is just to take everything written about the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and recycle it, just switching the names.
The first thing I notice every year when I settle into a hotel at CES SHOT Show is that no matter how fancy the hotel, the tap water smells like eggs.
I would start with this.

January 03, 2012

Cabin Fever, the Hidden Blog-Killer

New Year's resolutions: get my email inbox below eighty items and make progress on various writing and editing projects. The usual. Not much blog-fodder there, though.

It snowed thirty inches (76 cm) here the week before Christmas, and we had a Dallas family coming on the 26th for a week at the rental cabin. But they assured me that they were renting a 4wd vehicle for the trip. I spent hours behind the snow-blower, clearing my 100-yard driveway, the driveway up to the cabin, and a neighbor's.

Since these are all bumpy gravel roads, I don't try for a bare surface but leave a remnant of three or four inches of snow that you easily can drive over. (Martha Stewart says that that is more elegant anyway. These rules are a parody, but #1 is true.)

For a three days or so, skis and snowshoes were the way to get around, especially cross-county skiing on the county and Forest Service roads before they were plowed.

By Christmas Day, our driveway looked like a long white trench speckled with dog turds. But a  series of bright, sunny days and below-freezing nights were rapidly converting it to something slipperier. Wherever you drove or walked froze quickly, and soon it was instead a ribbon of ice—speckled with dog turds.

The Texans arrived after midnight, so technically on the 27th. I walked out later that morning with the dogs and found a front-wheel-drive minivan skewed diagonally across the driveway, in such a place as to block us in too.

They had been unable to rent the planned SUV, they said. Probably everyone wanted one to go to New Mexico or Colorado for their ski trips.

It was one of three vehicles that I had to help get unstuck that day. By the 30th or so, the road had thawed enough that they could drive it all the way up to the cabin.

I like to get some winter visitors—ours is mainly a May–September rental business—but it is always more worrisome then. Like when the power went out for about six hours on December 31st because of the pole-snapping high winds.

Meanwhile, wood! I was more Grasshopper than Ant last summer, nor did I buy a couple of cords, split and delivered, from Harry the Firewood Guy. So we hit winter with less than a cord stacked, plus several beetle-killed pines uphill from the house that I had my eye on.

I sawed and I hauled, and we burned through at least three trees before the snow  got deep. Then I could not even get up the road to the "back twenty" in the Jeep. We ended up hauling pine tree "rounds" down the hill on sleds. It sometimes was too much like Captain Scott goes to the South Pole.

And one that part is done, the splitting is done. M. will haul a sled like Lt. Oates, but the chainsawing and the swinging of the Monster Maul (TM) is my part. To use the phrase I picked up from the Atomic Nerds, it's the New Hampshire Home Gym.

Free weights bore me, unless they are on a 30-inch steel or hickory handle. And a little of that goes a long way.

But soon I'll be off to the SHOT Show, and I have been pointedly reminded that there must be enough split wood on the veranda to cover my absence.

Meanwhile, walking in the woods means snow drifts, treacherous crusty snow, or mud. My favorite quail-hunting-for spot has silty soil that turns to goo when it's wet. I will check tomorrow to see if it has dried enough to be walkable. Because I am getting the fidgets bad.

I do have some newsy posts in draft. Expect those soon.

October 06, 2011

Where Was I?

I have been on the road the past week, so I thought that I would throw in my first-ever puzzler. Be the first commenter to tell me in what region this photo was taken, and I will send you some little outdoor trinket or other. Precision counts. Don't just say, "Montana," for example. (Family members and people whom I visited on this trip are not eligible.)

The Answer (Oct. 14):  The photo was taken along the Niobrara River's "national scenic river" corridor east of Valentine, Nebraska. I know that I have one reader in Nebraska who should have gotten it. Oh well.

May 08, 2011

A Blog for Colorado Gardeners

Perennial Favorites is a small nursery in Colorado City, south of Pueblo, so obscure that you only learn of its existence when a friend tells you about it.

The nursery specializes in plants adapted for our altitude, low humidity (the relative humidity was only 2 percent in Pueblo today), and sudden shifts from cold to hot.

Everything comes with expert advice and occasionally contact information for even more obscure growers, scribbled on a scrap of paper.

They do most of their business in May, opening fewer and fewer days as the summer progresses.

M. and I went by today and dropped about $150 on bedding plants—we will rebuild some perennial beds hit hard by this cold, dry winter, and try some new experiments as well.

This year they started a blog, which I will add to my blog roll under Southwesterners, hoping to learn more about growing plants  "particularly suited to Colorado's challenging conditions."

January 02, 2011

Uncaffeinated and Unprovoked

With the new year, Patrick Burns has announced that he is hanging up his shovel at Terrierman, the blog about working terriers, marketing scams practiced by veterinarians, the evils of the dog-show world, and other items often written at dawn under the heading "Coffee and Provocation."

He says that he "may be back a year from now," but I don't know if that means in dog years or people years. I'll miss Terrierman.

June 01, 2010

Blog Stew with Dandelions

• Nature 1, Technology 0: Dandelion fluff cripples British locomotives.

• Also from the UK, another dog who finds his way home past many obstacles.

• You can tell when the bloggers at Field & Stream are having a slow week. The comments are interesting, for a change.

• Patrick Burns is tearing into veterinarians for "price-gouging, selling medically unnecessary services, upcoding, and bill-padding."

I hate to say it about the veterinary profession, but he is right--and I fell for one or two of the "unnecessary services" before I wised up.

When one of our old vets sold his large-and-small animal practice to someone who focused more on the "small" side, I began to see that she had taken the seminars on how to increase your billing, right down to sending the sympathy cards a week after putting down your dog.

April 01, 2010

Yes, It's a New Template

I like simplicity—although I might add a photo.

And the new Blogger templates permit easy editing of type sizes and colors.


March 09, 2010

A Slap from the Colorado Legislature

Because Colorado's lawmakers in their wisdom are trying—and failing—to make collect state sales tax, Amazon has cut off all of its Colorado affiliates.

From my perspective, the legislators were willing to sacrifice individual "Amazon affiliates" who happen to live in Colorado (like me). In return, they get nothing except the satisfaction of making some kind of point that will be lost in the general political noise.

I never made big money as an Amazon affiliate. It was about enough to pay my Web-hosting and email account bills for the year. Who knows, I might have spent part of my commission in Colorado and paid Colorado state sales tax.

But no more.

Way to go, wise legislators! (I just had to vent.)

March 04, 2010

Now We Are Six

Tuesday (when M. and I were in Colorado Springs) was Southern Rockies Nature Blog's sixth "blogiversary."

And in tribute to such longevity, here is the first post, which I did not write.

That's right. This started as a class blog for English 325, "Nature Writing in the West," a course that I designed at CSU-Pueblo. (I don't know if it survived my leaving.)

Consequently, many of the earlier postings are by students. And it was hard to get some of the student writers to hyperlink names, terms, etc. in their posts--or even put titles on them!

When the semester ended, I hated to see the blog die, so I kept posting. Later other nature-writing classes also participated.

This is post number 1,358, by the way.

November 25, 2009

Blogging Hermits

What is it with blogging hermits—or quasi-hermits?

Would Henry David Thoreau have had a blog? I am sure of it. Anyone who would edit his autobiography so that two years of experience fit neatly into one literary year has demonstrated the capability of self-romanticizing that blogging requires.

Sunday's Denver Post had a long piece about a man named Daniel Suelo who lives in a cave outside Moab, Utah, never handles money, dumpster-dives, etc.—and blogs about his life, courtesy of the long-suffering local librarians. (Somebody tell him that white-on-black fonts offer poor readability.)

I can see Diogenes the Cynic updating his blog at the public library too: ""

And there are others.

Lately I have been reading As The Crow Flies, who offers this thought:

If you want to be alone, it’s important to know, you can never get far enough away;  humans and their noise producing machines are everywhere.   One thought that helps me, is to think of myself as an alien dropped off on a planet of apes.   Then I can just sit back and enjoy the show—like going to the zoo.

But the post that sold me on her blog is this one.

I cannot get it out of my mind. Maybe it's because M. and I often go several days without talking to anyone else in person (not counting email). Without her (and the dogs), I would soon be wondering the same thing.

Cross-posted to Southern Rockies Nature Blog.

October 11, 2009

Blog Stew is Warming or Cooling

• Greenpeaceniks have climbed the Houses of Parliament to "raise the temperature of the debate," but the BBC admits that the data are confusing. I was looking a pictures of shrinking glaciers in Glacier National Park (I think it was), and that evidence was incontrovertible, but could glaciers be lagging indicators?

• Recent Google searches bring visitors: "mad mountain bird feeders slave labor," "nature bear man blog," "on a map what does a blue line mean," and "beautiful suicides."

• Did things go really wrong on your last walk in the woods? Maybe it qualifies for Hiker Hell.

September 28, 2009

From Custer to Custer, and, oh yes, Custer

Today we leave Custer County on our way to Custer County (the one with Custer State Park) in it.

The great cavalry tactician has quite a few things named after him. It's part of a shift in nomenclature that I notice when traveling north of the Platte.

M. and I live at the northern edge of the tide of Baroquely religious Spanish place names, which is how it is that I belong to the Blood of Christ Shooting Sports Club—which sounds like something from Franco's Spain.

But up there in the country of my boyhood, place names reflect a flint-hard animism (Spearfish, Sundance, Black Hills, Bear Lodge) or the memories of Army officers, from the luckless (Cherry County, Fort Fetterman) to the more competent: Sheridan, Fort Collins, Miles City, Sturgis, Crook County, Terry Peak.

Which brings me back to Custer. On my trip north three weeks ago, I listened to the audiobook of James Donovan's A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn—the Last Great Battle of the American West.

What I learned from it was not so much about the battle, which is covered elsewhere. Read whatever has been published since the archaeological work of the 1980s, such as Son of the Morning Star: Custer and The Little Bighorn or Soldiers Falling into Camp: The Battles at the Rosebud and the Little Big Horn.

It was the politics. The post-Civil War Army was a real catfight, as officers fought for promotion in a shrinking military force, and back-stabbing was an art.

Donovan describes how Custer and the man who would become his key subordinate at the Little Bighorn, Capt. Benteen, published anonymous letters attacking each other in newspapers during the 1870s. Talk about blogging about your boss!

Yes, Custer's rashness led to the complete loss of his battalion, but he was also a convenient scapegoat, Donovan argues. Terry's caution, Crook's vacillations, Gibbon's hesitations—not to mention Benteen's hesitation to reinforce Custer when ordered—all were minimized in the official reports, while Custer took all the blame, being conveniently dead.

Even the inquest into Major Reno's drunken cowardice at the Little Bighorn was affected by a desire to save regimental honor and blame Custer, Donovan suggests.

As I drove north, occasionally the text and geography coincided, so that certain locales, such as those from the 1874 Black Hills expedition, coincided in the text and out the windshield. It's nice when that happens.

Now M. will be with me, but we are not looking for Custer. Blogging will be irregular, maybe nonexistent, until we return.

September 22, 2009

Blog Stew with Shades of Green

A few good reads from the blogroll:

October 29, 2008

A Trip, an Award, and a List of Good Bloggers

M. and I are packing. Later today, the dogs go to the kennel, and we go to La Junta to catch the train for an academic conference that I attend every year. I will have two copies of my conference paper, plus one on a flash drive!

Meanwhile, Steve Bodio has awarded me the Super Scribbler award. (I was a high school journalist too, of the very "underground" sort.) I am to nominate five other bloggers.

So, quickly, here goes:

¶ Women are becoming hunters (or huntresses, as Holly Heyser calls them) in larger numbers, and she is blogging her own experiences afield at NorCal Cazadora. Like me, she is an ex-newsie.

¶ Galen Geer has been blogging at The Thinking Hunter for a little over a month. But I have known him for 30 years, and in that time he has written hundreds of columns and articles, plus a few pithy books, most recently a collection of stories set in southern Africa, Last Supper in Paradise. So blogging will come easily to him.

¶ I have been messing around with a scout camera, but I go to Chris Wemmer's Camera Trap Codger to see how it's really done.

¶ Tamara K. at View from the Porch is the sultana of snark, the prom queen of the gunnie blogosphere, well-read, knowledgeable, and a daily read. She needs this award like a moose needs a hat rack.

¶ Mike at Sometimes Far Afield gets into similar country to mine, and he brings along the best sort of dog. Go, Chessie bloggers!

Our destination today is Chicago. You would not think that "Southern Rockies Nature Blog" would touch on Chicago much, but actually, I have done so a few times.

September 19, 2008

Blog Stew with Wild Pork

¶ Chris Wemmer posts scout-camera photos of feral California pigs and links to an article suggesting that they fill a similar ecological niche to grizzly bears.

We don't have the big feral-pig population here. I swear that I saw one on Colorado 96 near Pueblo Reservoir in 1999 or 2000, though. Anyone have any other sightings?

¶ The physics of fly-casting, via Fishing Jones.

¶ An old friend of mine, the writer Galen Geer, has started blogging at The Thinking Hunter. Go visit.

¶ Holly Heyser links to several positive hunting-related articles in the national media, including an interview of herself for the Sierra Club's hunting-and-angling interest group, Sierra Sportsmen.