Tag Archives: writing

Been a While

I’ve been thinking about how over the years I haven’t lived up to so many promises about posting here. I should change that by deciding on the type of things I post. In the past (say, 2004-or-so) I was at least partially opinionated about politics, social issues, and technology. My posts were sometimes rants and other times contributions to a larger conversation. The problem with those kinds of posts is that no one gives a crap about what I think; I’m not that influential. In recent years I don’t very much care about politics (they’re all full of shit) or television (they’re all full of shit, too). I am simply not passionate anymore concerning the popular.
What I have done for the past ten years is talk about, study, toy with, and teach technology. Being a full-time instructor, I’ve become even more fond lately of creating tutorials with screenshots and screencasts. For the last few months I’ve had a daily reminder on my calendar to write a post here, and every day when I look at it I have nothing to contribute. This evening I came across the weblog of a fellow IT worker, Jeffrey B. Murphy, who appears to write simple yet concise how-to’s and tech notes that help him through his days as a system administrator. This, as I see it, does two things: it provides him with some sort of searchable knowledge base he can reference and it offers the World Wide Web some sensible and usable information. I’ve done a few posts for similar reasons, and they happen to be among the more popular here.
I’ve been hesitant to write a post if it’s not very long; all the SEO folks say it’s bad to publish fewer than 300 words. From now on I won’t care how long the post is – if I can share accurate and helpful information, so be it. I’ll post even the simplest things in hoping that it may start a conversation. That’s what this thing is for, right?

Wait – did I get down to my point? I had one when I started writing…

Either way, here it is in fewer words: I plan on posting helpful how-to articles and tutorial-type screencast videos here. As often as I can. I’ve been writing here for just over ten years and it’s high time I made more use of it.

150 Words Often Misspelled in Business Letters

I was sifting through old notebooks the other day and I came across a ten-year-old composition notebook I used in college English comp. It had an old handout of misspelled words, and I thought it would be useful to put them here. I wish I could give credit to the source of this information but it is a photocopy of some other source and does not have a reference.
Here we go:
absence
accept
accidentally
accommodation
acknowledge
acquaintance
acquisition
adjustment
administrative
affirmative
aggregate
agreement
allege
anticipate
apparatus
apparently
appropriate
architecture
arrangement
assignment
associate
available
beginning
bookkeeper
bureaus
candidate
characteristic
circular
circumstance
commissioners
committee
competitors
conference
confident
consequence
controversy
convenient
cooperation
cordially
correspondent
creditor
criticism
current
customary
dangerous
decision
defendants
deferred
delegate
develop
difficulty
disappoint
disposal
dissatisfied
earliest
economical
efficiency
elimination
embarrass
entitle
especially
exclusively
exhibition
existence
extravagant
facilities
finally
financial
foreign
frequent
haphazard
illustration
immediately
incidentally
increasing
indebted
industrial
injunction
install
interrupt
investigation
judgment
justifiable
legitimate
machinery
majority
maneuver
minimum
minority
necessary
negative
obstacles
occurrence
official
opponents
pamphlet
paragraph
partially
patient
peculiar
personnel
politician
possession
possibility
preliminary
premium
preparation
presidency
privilege
probably
proceed
proprietor
qualified
questionnaire
reasonable
receipt
receiving
recognition
recommendation
reference
referred
reliability
responsible
routine
sanitary
schedule
seize
separate
similar
sincerely
socialism
soliciting
specimen
statistics
strenuous
structure
subsidy
successor
sufficient
superintendent
supersede
suspicious
sympathize
tariff
temporary
testimony
unanimous
undoubtedly
unusually
valuable

Now it is here for your reference. Enjoy!

On Whatever, or One Post Per Day (No Commitment)

I really miss being able to concentrate.  If the reader might notice, most of the posts in the last four years are very short.  A thought comes to mind to quit using computers during my time off so that I may gather my thoughts more efficiently and perhaps provide the reader with more entertaining fodder.

But giving up the use of computers at any time is very difficult for me.  I could easily give up my phone as it does nothing but sit on my hip.  No one calls, and I could talk to my wife through the computer with better results at times than the telephone.  My life permanently on the other side of a computer screen is nearly unimaginable.

Being an amateur software designer/developer and a professional systems administrator, it is very hard to put thoughts of “what if…” out of my mind.  I read about systems and rebuild things almost every day.  It takes that to be better at what I do with every iteration at work.  I rarely think of much else, and wouldn’t have anything to write of if I didn’t do what I do.

I find myself lately writing about not writing.  It’s a good exercise to sit down and just write, as many writing classes always begin.  No matter if you think you don’t have anything to write – just write: “I don’t have anything to write.”  Then elaborate.  It starts just like that.

Sometime I may begin to try posting at least once every day here on the blog and see what comes of it.  Every day for, say, a week, and if it’s working out I’ll keep it for a month.  We should see how that goes.  I’ll tag them with OPPD, for One Post Per Day.  If I can post at least something genuine once per day for a week I will claim to have accomplished something.

Okay, the rules.

I’m a design and planning freak.  I like to know how it could be done, and the likelihood of outcomes with each scenario.  I picture things in my head a lot before I do something.  So if I’m going to make the attempt at posting every day, I need to furnish at least the semblance1 of a plan.  Here are some thoughts: I will likely make posts from my laptop in Atlanta, and they may be about the day, news events, or (the most likely case) simply start with “There’s nothing to write about today….”  I will make reminder items on my calendar that will tell me to write.  There is no topic I can’t write about – an instructional post on system administration is perfectly acceptable, as is a post about the royal wedding (probably the least likely to come to my attention).

I could make notes about something with my phone.  Pictures from the day’s events could draw more words out of me for the posts.  I like taking pictures.  I need to ride my bike or run more, so getting out to grab pictures and thoughts is probably a good way to seed blog posts.

I see that this hasn’t actually been a bulleted set of rules, and that’s good.  My life must be flexible, and I want it known that I haven’t committed to this yet.  There is no start date specified.  I remember committing to reading every non-reference book in my library in 2005.  That got nowhere.  I read one book, and I can’t remember much at all about The Time Machine because I read it so fast.  It really didn’t count as reading.

But I do want to write more and write better.  I want to try the one-post-per-day event.  I suppose the first post tagged with “OPPD” will signify my commitment. We’ll see how long my interest lasts.

Notes:
1. I just realized that I have never before typed the word ‘semblance’ but have only used it in speech.  I happened to get the spelling and the use of the word correct.