Category Archives: Blogs ‘n’ Blogging

Life Begins At – 60!

It’s been such a long, long time since I posted here and a lot of water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since then. Recently I’ve been looking for a good excuse to start posting again and I can’t think of a better reason that celebrating my 60th birthday.

The expression goes that life begins at 40 and I guess there’s a certain amount of truth in this. Certainly a lot has happened since my 40th birthday; got married to my fabulous wife, raised a wonderful, strong daughter who has recently flown the nest, moved county (twice) and a whole lot more.  But turning 60 is like opening a brand new volume in the saga with so many new challenges becoming. What better reason to reinvigorate the blog?

Photo Blogging

This weekend I’ve create a Photo Blog for myself using the excellent Pixel Post tool. Most of my photographs are more snaps than art work; but they represent things going on around me and so I think they’re fair game for a blog. I’ve posted a few pictures from the past 12 months for a starter.

Unfortunately the comments section of the photo blog doesn’t work reliably if you’re using Firefox and I’m currently trying to get a fix for this issue. If you’re using one of the other browsers then I’d be delighted to read your views.

Update: The Firefox issue seems to be peculiar to my personal set-up and may be related to the Firebug add-on that I’m using. However other users of Firebug have reported no problems. Hopefully it works for you.

Blogging Events

Two blogging events coming up in the West Cork area in the near future.

Firstly SOHO Solo West Cork are running a training session on “Blogging & understanding the commercial advantage of Web2 tools” on the morning of the 1st April (no it’s not an April fools joke). The session is on at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery and aims to introduce the business benefits of blogging.

On a similar theme the West Cork Enterprise Board monthly meeting will also be about Blogging For Business. This talk will be given by Damien Mulley who, amongst other things, organizes the Irish Blog Awards. This event is at 19:30 on the 14th April, again in the Celtic Ross Hotel.

BirdSpotter – The Birdwatchers Log Book

I’ve been a keen birder, twitcher if you will, from an early age. Whilst I don’t have much time in the field at present I’ve decided to embark on a project that I’ve had on the back burner ever since I first go into web applications about 10 years ago; a web based birders log.

So has been born. Check out the blog on the site for announcements and information about design and features. If there’s anything you’d like to see then leave a comment over on the blog and I’ll add it to the list.

Photo Blogging

Thanks to my new Sony Ericsson K770i I’ve just discovered the delights of photo blogging.

What is photo blogging? My definition is: ‘the ability to upload and publish online a series of seemingly unconnected and probably meaningless photographs’.

OK, that’s a bit cynical I know. More sensibly; as a blog is a written online journal so a photo blog is an online journal created with photographs. My new K770i has a really neat feature that allows me to publish a photo taken on the phone straight to a blog. Unfortunately it doesn’t support WordPress at present so I can’t publish direct to this blog. I’ve created a completely separate photo blog over at blogspot.


Blog Posts I Avoid

Maybe it’s just me; but I really dislike those blog posts that start:

x Number Of Ways To…..

There seems to be a proliferation of these posts offering an ‘easy fix’ solution in any number of steps. Here’s a small selection from my news reader this morning:

  • 21 more riddles to train lateral thinking
  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Read History More Than News
  • 10 Tips for Razor Sharp Concentration
  • 18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule
  • 50 Frugal Blogs
  • 7 Habits To Improve Posture

(Actually that last one is quite a good posting).

There’s something about these posts I don’t like that I can’t quite put my finger on. To me they lack substance – I don’t want my life reduced to a series of lists.

Maybe you like that type of posting, or maybe you prefer a post that’s more of a discussion than a list. Let me know your preferences and I can adapt my style appropriately.

A Tough Few Days

I know the blog’s been a bit quiet the last few days as I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with my work situation. I was made redundant last Thursday (31st May) and even though I’ve known this was coming since the start of March I’m still finding it harder to adjust too than I’d expected.

Despite of having lots of plans for the future, this blog being part of those, I still feel angry that I’ve lost my job, and not a little down too. I guess it’s knowing now that all the structures that go with having a full time job; the routine and not to mention the pay cheque each month, have all been stripped away leaving me feeling empty and rejected.

So here are some of the things I’m doing to stay positive:

  1. I’ve lots of DIY to do around the place and this is coming on well. I’ve never had much motivation for DIY in the past; but I’m pleased with what I’m doing now and I’m getting a buzz out of getting the jobs done.
  2. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking so I’ve a list of career oriented affirmations that pop-up on my PC every 30 minutes. These keep me focussed on the opportunities that now present themselves.
  3. I’m also a firm believer that these things happen for the right reasons and that nothing arises in our lives that we’re not already equipped to deal with or find the answer too.
  4. I’m continuing to read up on subjects that interest me and that might lead to new avenues of employment.
  5. I’ve the feelers out with the recruitment agents so I get an early shot at any relevant positions that come along.
  6. I’m continuing with my goals and expanding on these as I go along.

So, all in all, I’ve a good bit to be getting on with. Actually, now that I’ve written this posting, I feel a good bit more energised and positive. It’s been a very useful exercise just to get me back in touch with some of my core values and beliefs.

Right, back to the gardening!

Whatever Happened To

I first read about in one of Gretchen Rubin’s posts on Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain.

Towards the bottom of the posting (great sketches by the way Gretchen) she mentions the site which I duly surfed off to investigate.

The site appeared to be a social site devoted to personal development topics. You could link in your blog postings for other members to vote on. If you got enough votes you’d get the article posted on’s front page.

It seemed cool so I thought I’d give it a try. That was back in mid-April so I thought I’d check out how things were going after a month. I was most surprised to find the site replaced with a photography site.

Does anyone know what has happened to the personal development

Get Rid Of Clutter.

My good lady wife was often cajoling me to, “Get rid of the clutter” and for a long time I didn’t really heed her advice. Until, that is, I decided I was going to de-clutter my home desk.

My desk at home serves as both my home office and my personal PC space. It was cluttered! As well as all the PC equipment on the desk I had:

  • Code print outs from work
  • Reference books
  • Non-work related books
  • Music CDs
  • Software CDs
  • Ornaments

You get the picture? One day I realized how crowded I was feeling. Not only could I not find the stuff I wanted; but the stuff I didn’t want kept falling on the floor. It was time to get organized.

The next time I sat down at my desk it was a joy to open my laptop. My wife commented afterwards that I’d looked more at ease and more confident as I started work that morning. I felt much more in control and on-top of things. I could expand my horizons by not being overwhelmed by irrelevant stuff.

Whilst Ive been writing these posts the last couple of weeks I’ve also been surfing around reading blogs by fellow travelers in the 21st century. Some of these blog sites I’ve found to be absolutely over loaded with all manner of:

  • Google Adsense advertisements
  • Feedburner subscription links
  • Other advertisements (frequently blinking fast enough to induce a fit)
  • Pictures of recent readers

So much stuff, in fact, that it becomes difficult to determine the true purpose of the blog as the real stuff, the content, gets swamped by all the extraneous material.

I think a blog is a an expression of the person. Why not de-clutter your blog and let the person shine through?