Other Blog: Sweatpants Life

A while back I started a new blog called Sweatpants Life. Typically, it’s about, well life. I’ve been writing about words and SEO a lot lately. The most recent post was about portmanteaus and one that’s gone bad.

Check it out! Please.

SEO Made Me Do It: New Words For The Year


SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO made me do it! SEO makes a lot of people do a lot of things. Good things, mostly weird things, always narcissistic things that reek of desperation. It’s the reason why people create web pages devoted to lists. SEO causes people to make punchy sans-article titles and sentences. There’s also all those calls to action. Basically, SEO is why you hate people that share posts that read “37 Ways Banana Cream Pie Catches Fire: What Lactose Intolerant Cat Does Next Is Amazing!”

That is SEO at work. Notice the lack of articles and the silky smooth tone of a late 1860’s snake oil salesman. In fact, no stop words show up until after the colon or as people in the super sexy search engine optimization biz refer to it as, the call to action. That title is so silky smooth, machines could crawl the shit out of that page and properly catalogue it.

The Future Was Yesterday and The Machine War Far Less Theatrical Than We All Expected

Essentially, SEO has made some human bend the knee like the machines have already risen and won the damn war. That human has gone on to create lots and lots of content on the internet. Of course, so many other humans are doing the exact same thing and they’re all desperate for hits. Trying to find the right words. Unique things that stand out in the subset of unique yet broad subjects.

Now, Onto The Original Topic (Go ahead and scout scroll, but it’s not much longer)

If you’ve been around recently, you will have noticed that I’ve been going on about toiletfires. If you are a super astute wordsmith or at least a diligently astute breaker downer of word parades. You may have noticed a difference between this post and this one.

I’m sure you’ve clicked those links and either refreshed yourself because you previously read both posts, or are crackling with the afterglow of having read one of those posts for the first time. Perhaps even both, you scandalous thing.

Did You Notice The Difference Between The Posts?

It happened while finishing up the second post. The previous post had been more about 2017, or something other than a fiery toilet. I have no recollection what my SEO keyword was. However, when it came time for the second post I was faced with a dilemma.

I typed toilet fire into the keyword area and the little circle went orange. I tried it a few more ways, but my free version of Yoast wasn’t having it. It was then that I took a bold step forward for humankind.

Somebody Get Webster’s On The Phone. At The Very Least Urban Dictionary.

It was in that moment, wanting to get that dang post up on the blog and not wanting to spend ten dollars a month, that my hand was forced. Forced to turn my previously open compound word toilet fire into the closed compound word toiletfire.

I felt like a real rebel! Not even Urban Dictionary has been so bold as to combine the words toilet and fire. To be honest, there’s something exhilarating about putting two words through the holy matrimony ringer. To step out in front of the humanity and become a representative of literary population. “You know what, these words belong together. Like peanut butter and chocolate! Like Ross and Rachel! Everyone can see it, just that no one’s done it yet!”

Much like an uber driver after popping a Vicodin or a child on coke and pop rocks, no one could stop me. That little circle went from orange to green. I hit publish before any crawl-bot 6000 thought otherwise.


When Grammarly told me toiletfire should be toilet fire, I added that to the dictionary. You’re welcome!

2017 Ate All The Dicks

2017 ate dicks!

All of them. It was literally the worst fucking year of my life. It could be said that most years have been pretty great so that maybe 2017 isn’t all that bad. While the former is true. That latter isn’t. 2017 was terrible. 2017 sucked shit through a silly straw. Hey, 2017, I loathe you. I will look back at 2017 like the festering speed bump made gawhd god-knows-what organic matter – I swear I see severed limbs and a horse’s head sticking out of it – that it was.

There was a prologue to 2017 called 2016. As far as years go, it was kind of fucky. Until 2017 blew the doors off this muth and showed people what a terrible year looks like. From a statistical standpoint, the quality of years seem to be in a downward trend. Good news is, I’m not alone. Ever since that human toilet fire showed up on a debate stage, almost everyone’s quality of life has been trending down. Even if their head’s up are shoved up their racist uncle’s ass. It won’t grant them immunity as it isn’t the ring of protection the nerds are prattling on about. Now having their head up their rich as fuck racists uncle’s ass, well, that’s a different story.

It’s not just the politics though. It’s not the fact that I can’t go on social media without stumbling upon some trash heap post that’s somewhere between smoldering and five-alarm. Whether it’s from a friend or some troll bot 5000, it doesn’t matter. It’s sucked the fun out of social media. There’s a bit of anxiety. It’s like walking around downtown and happening upon a greasy back alley handy-j while someone is yelling “This is my opinion, my opinion is fact!” Let’s say, I’ve muted a lot of people this year.

Take A Break.

I’m sorry, that last bit was kind of gross. On a personal level though, I’ve been obliterated. Bad shit occurred. The kind of terrible real shit that we all eventually deal with and though many have, there’s no good way to deal with it. It’s rough, different. Lives have been forced to change and it can never be undone. That’s why, once again, I’ve vanished for a while. I wish it were because I was working on my novel for nanowrimo, but that has about one days worth of writing against it. In general, I just haven’t felt like sitting in front of the PC and tippy-tappin’ out the words. I’m basically forcing myself to do this right now.

Thankfully, I’m fuelled by rage and the need a laugh. Laughing hasn’t been as prevalent during the last few weeks. Which is too bad because I’m a fairly funny person. Although, since it’s taken me the better part of two months to write this, more laughs have occured. I like to laugh and enjoy making others laugh.

Back to the laughing.

2017 and to that end, life, are like a horse. But not just any horse. One of the big black evil bastards that bites everybody and kicked one of his trainers into a well. Of course that was when he was young and in a good mood. Now he is more days behind him than he does in front of him. The racing days are over due to arthritis. That’s why he started taking PCP*. And to support his cool habit of taking hard to come by drugs he had to get a job. So he hauls trash carts behind him. Basically, that brings him full circle on the hipster scale. Old drug, old job, old technology, in general being a drip with a penchant for black.

At any time did I mention that the trash cart is on fire? No? Doesn’t seem like I did. Well, it goes without saying that fire freaks horses the fuck out and makes them run in the opposite direction. That’s just a regular horse. Not a horse on PCP, hauling a trash cart that is perpetually on fire and four feet behind the asshole, both literally and figuratively.

In closing, 2017 sucked. Drive an oak stake through its heart. Chop off its head. Salt it. Burn it. Bye Felicia.

Can’t wait to see how fucky 2018 is!


Before the Chicken Soup for the Soul demographic get after me, there are plenty of things I’m grateful for. I’m just, pissy.

*PCP ( ) is a horse tranquilizer that was taken off the market in 1965. People took would become dissociative and feel nothing. Case in point, in the original Terminator movie, the police thought that the Terminator was on PCP. Turns out he was a time travelling killer cyborg from Austria.

Rules of Blogging and Nanowrimo

First rule of blogging, don’t allude to any breaks or gaps in content that have already occurred. In other words, “If you can’t say anything, don’t let people know that you failed to say anything at all.” Second, love yourself for the narcissistic,cosmically offended moral compass of piety that you are. The third? Don’t allude to any breaks or gaps of content that have already occurred.

To those that have noticed an absence of posts, sorry and thanks. It’s okay that you didn’t assume the worst and filed a missing person’s report or anything. The police didn’t need to get involved, because laziness isn’t a crime. Even though, something could have been horribly wrong. However, I’ve just been busy with life, transferring the site to a new host, and prepping for Nanowrimo. Yep, that’s right. Now I’m on the hook because I’ve mentioned it to a few people.

For those who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. Nanowrimo, is a magical time that happens a few times a year, but especially every November*. During this time, typically sane people attempt to write a book in a month. That is on top of everything else they have to do and at the sacrifice of what they usually do in their day to day lives. I should call out that it’s more of a first draft these folks are aiming for. Something to whittle away at for the next year or six and turn it into an actual book.

I’ve tried one other time before, but came up short, by a lot really. Mostly because it was my first attempt and I had no outline or any real idea what I was wanting to do. Although I was having fun and didn’t think what I was working on was a dumpster fire, I could see that it was turning into a huge mess.

This year will be different! At least I hope. It’s a whole new project, one that I’ve been cooking in my head for years. Even better, I have an outline. I only hope that it’s enough of one to get me through the rough times. I’ll post when I can.


*November shot first!

The Great Site Migration of 2017: Field Full of Rakes

The Great Site Migration of 2017 is kicking off just about any minute or day now. It’s a special and magical time where one rolls the dice and hopes too high hell that everything moves more smoothly than pacific northwest logging road. Well, everything has been gathered up and both hosts have been contacted. Our websites are ready to blast off into a bold new future.

But first, we have to wait five days or so. I’m unsure if this is standard practice or just one more piece of evidence that our current host isn’t as good as they used to be. Which is basically why we’re moving. I’ve been assured by both hosts that everything is going to be fine, but those are famous last words. They also have a very broad non-specific definition. Some people’s definition of fine is far different and less rosy than man. I say expect the worst and not be disappointed. On that note, here’s an old post you can check out, if my site hasn’t exploded into nothing.

 


I apologize if The Great Site Migration of 2017 causes any technical difficulties that prevent viewing sweatpantslife.com

Alarm Clock: Keep On Ticking

I woke up this morning before my alarm clock. That’s not uncommon. In fact, it happens so much that sometimes I wonder if I even need an alarm clock. Yet on this day, it was preferable to the recent bout of insomnia that caused me to wake up around four and then mostly stare at the ceiling for two hours. For that reason, I wasn’t at all upset that I beat the alarm by ten minutes.

With that extra time I was able to devote a moment to reveling in the splendor of my alarm clock. My early morning mind was simply ponderous about that little alarm clock, boxy with just a few buttons on it, a green digital display that’s still working, and most of all the logo on the front, Aiwa.

Aiwa was a brand that had existed for almost fifty years before the majority share holding Sony simply bought the brand completely and retired it. For a brief moment, around the millennium, Aiwa commercials were everywhere. They were the new, less expensive kid on the block. It seemed if anyone was getting new audio equipment, it was Aiwa. Then they simply vanished. Yet, according to wikipedia the brand returned in 2015 and made some bluetooth speakers. According to the global webpage, Sony has since bought the company again.

Around the time that Aiwa was huge and stereos were turning silver, I was graduating from high school and moving to college. I’d hadn’t really had a reliance on an alarm clock before. Having the safety net of parents to wake me up had served me well. There I was, twenty years ago, ready to move out into the world and I needed this little thing to come with me and make sure I didn’t sleep through the whole day. Which is a strange threat to live under because now it’s wild times if I make it passed seven.

Over the last twenty years I’ve had countless phones and computers die on me. My Aiwa alarm clock has been a constant. While those other electronics were used on an almost daily basis, so has that alarm clock. Sure they were far more complex and all the alarm clock has to do is tell time and chirping like the sentinel of not sleeping in and gainful employment that it is. May it live for another twenty. Perhaps I can be buried with it. Wouldn’t that be ironic. I’m seriously starting to entertain the idea of being buried with it.


 

Dog Days of Summer: Certainly Can Lick…

It’s the Dog Days of Summer. What the heck is going on? That’s kind of a rhetorical question and yet I wouldn’t mind an answer. It’s been hot here. Sure I know it’s hotter in other places of the world, but it’s a relativity thing. When it gets hot I don’t feel like doing much. Probably due to me being so busy sweating that I don’t have time for much else. That’s all I seem to do, and blackmail deodorant companies with claims of their failing products.

That’s when I start working a bit longer at work and enjoy some of that air conditioning. An extra bonus is that I can bring the dogs with me. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with this heat in a fur coat. They are always excited to go to work. I don’t think it’s necessarily the air conditioning though. No, it seems to be all the attention they get.

When I get home, there’s a mixture of condensation from sitting in air conditioning and sweat from being outside. Trust me, it is as awful as it sounds. That just makes me kind of lazy. I have a tendency to lay around reading or watching one extra episode of whatever on Netflix. Which isn’t too bad if it’s a half hour episode, but an hour episode can really throw any aspirations I had out the window.


Maybe I should go do something else.

 

Break Time: Time For A Break

Hey y’all, it’s time for a break, break time! I’m going to do the responsible thing first and say, that I’m not planning on any new posts for the next three weeks. No, it isn’t because you’ve done anything wrong. It’s definitely me. Furthermore, I can neither confirm, nor deny, that there may, or may not, be some sort of thing resembling, or fully considered to be a post over the next two weeks. Who knows. Anything could happen. Likewise, nothing could happen.

So, be pleasantly surprised if there is something new in the next three weeks. Until then, there are over two hundred in the archive to keep ya busy.

Here’s A Few of Mine:

Nintendo

Dr. Pepper

Dogs

Shitslinger: The Legendary Oscillating Fan of Judgement

Truth

Vegetarian

Here’s A Few of My Fave Blogs:

Austin

Bitter Ben

The Bloggess

 

Thanks for reading!

Failing At Blogging?


 

Failing At Blogging

That’s what the tweet said. Mimicking one of those desperate 900 numbers from the 90’s that wanted to teach me TV VCR repair. “But I’m just a chubby child? What am I going to do with the knowledge to fix a VCR?” Looking back now, I could have made some major coin with that knowledge. Not only would I have been savvy enough to program VCR’s and repair them during their heyday, I could have been the Dr. Frankenstein resurrectionist that hipsters come to for the absolute worst in home video entertainment.

I kept an open mind this time and didn’t shoot it down immediately. Am I failing? Well, by this guy’s definition, yes. How could a single person not be failing when he is comparing them to Huffington Post and Mashable. Is your blog missing the financial backing of a publicly traded company? Do you have less than twenty full time writers, editors and contributors?

The site looked like what a Smart Car would look like all tarted up like a Nascar. Stickers, bumpers, creepers and bleepers were everywhere. My first reaction was to have a seizure. However, before my eyes could roll back in my head and my mouth began to froth, a popup, er, popped up. Perhaps popup isn’t the proper name, as it covered the entire screen and descended from the top of the site, like someone drawing a blind to cover up some hideously bright scene.*

My faculties came back to me. The clickers started clickin’ and the peepers started peepin’. That’s when I realized the shade was wanting my information. My digital digits. I wasn’t in the mood. Hell, I didn’t even know why I would want to come back to this site. Ever! So I clicked the X in the corner. And the nuclear Nascar sensibilities came back into view. I was ready this time though. Steeled like some ancient armored sentinel with an evil looking blade and a worse attitude.

Yet, as quickly as the site appeared, it was grayed out again. As a different popup, well, popped up. This one was the more standard rectangular affair that wanted my email address. At this juncture, I still had no idea whether or not I liked this site. Scratch that, I knew I didn’t like the site, but perhaps I needed the site. Maybe it had an untold trove of information that would turn me into a trend maker. Visions of putting an ad on Craigslist for an unpaid intern, as I read on for the life changing information it contained.

It didn’t! It told writers to write and artists to art. In summary, keep blogging. Post whatever it is that you do. Link it to your other sites and creations. I saw the flailing magician, trying so desperately to get his trick to work. I heard a drumset falling down the stairs, the cymbals rolling at the end. For all the glitz of the site, it seemed lackluster. Like something anyone could have cooked up. A Captain Obvious for obvious times. Yet, there he was with a zillion followers and shares. Who knows if any of them are repeats or if they are the poor souls who don’t know about the X buttons and sign up for something every time a popup, phew, pops up. Heck, maybe he bought them.

When, why, did blogging turn into this? Sure, it’s great to gain followers and have readers, but this was such an overt desperate plea for attention and numbers. It was making a scene, dropping down to its knees, made huffing puffing sounds as it tried to work up some tears. “I love you so much, stay with me forever, follow me.” It’s like going to the bar and someone sneaks up behind you and demands your phone number before you can even turn around or talk to them. That’s some power tripping creepazoid Fifty Shades of Grey shit right there. That being said, I’m going to turn on all the wingdings and doo-dads my blog can muster.

 


The love child of a Sally Struthers quote and this post: “Failing at blogging? Sure, we all are!”

*Something that happens all the time in Las Vegas.

Blogging On The Cheap


Blogging has been a hobby of mine for the last three and half years. That’s a long time for me to stick with anything. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older that I’m able to focus better on one thing. Perhaps I simply enjoy blogging so much that I’m still willing to put in the time. Regardless, when compared to other hobbies I’ve had: video games, comic books, magic cards* – it’s inexpensive. Especially when one makes the cheap choices like I do. It may also have something to do with me moving the blog several times.

Blogging In The Beginning

I started out with blogspot, which was fine. It let me post, which was really all I was wanting to do. Yet, when I would go to other blogs I couldn’t help but notice how much cooler they looked. Good looking themes seemed easier to come by on other platforms. That was when I decided to move to wordpress.com. Which was a better move, but overall frustrating. I got the cool themes I was looking for and wordpress reader was a great way to gain readers. Yet, there was a paywall that was always lurking behind a button click or grayed out options. Themes and features could only be used to certain points before wordpress would ask me to shell out two to four times the amount of money I would to host a site somewhere else.

That was when I decided to move to wordpress.org. Which I’m overall happy with, I get to implement all the plugins and features I want and customize any part of a theme – granted it’s not hobbled by the developer. Although, most things that present a problem can be fudged in CSS, but sometimes they lay beyond my current skills. That’s when I use an alternative, which are easy to find in the wordpress dashboard and marketplace.

Still there was one small step back. That’s the lack of wordpress reader integration. As mentioned, it’s a great way to gain readers. It’s an RSS – think facebook feed – for wordpress.com blogs and others. It does what Feedly and Bloglovin’ do, but automatically and with a shootin’ fish in a barrel attitude. Anyone who posts to wordpress.com gets access to reader on top of their other platforms. Those not on wordpress.com do not get the auto access, although they can still be subscribed to.

Blogging Right Now

Ultimately, I find running my blog through wordpress.org preferable and wish I would have started with it. The move was basically a tear down that burned it all to the ground and started over. I changed the name of my blog from the difficult to remember Zweihander Plus Eins to Sweatpants Life. So basically, I threw some of my audience off the trail. That’s my bad. Although, I am doing my damnedest to earn them back and gain new ones.


Fun Fact: Sweatpants Life is preferred by Apple users.

*The card game, not for doing magic tricks. I’m not that nerdy!