I think I know…

..what I need this place to be. I have Facebook for interaction and quick “status” updates. My “readership” is far higher there than this place will ever have.

I do more actual “blogging” (in the original sense of the word weblog) on Facebook now. I share my latest finds and likes there. This “blog” is no longer really a blog.

But what this does is give me a place to put things I like, things I need, things I want to remember I wrote, things I’ll need to refer to later. It will also give my friends and family something to know me by, something they can read about me or about my life with them. I have a need to collect the stuff I do and make it available.

After 10 years of journaling or “blogging” I realize that this have become kind of a legacy. I have responsibility to maintain this since it captures so much of me and my family, things that otherwise get lost.

And it is good that Future Me will have something to look back and remember and maybe have a good laugh at the fool Past Me truly was.

Movers are here! (and a poem)

All my posts have been delivered from my old blog. My web past has been preserved.Thanks again to Matt Mullenweg and his man Otto who helped get my pathetic disheveled blog self into these new digs!

Now I need to decide what my blog future holds, what a blog means in the age of Facebook and daily hyper micro sharing. I need to decide what to unpack and what to store, what rooms to build out and what to leave bare with potential.

I do know that I never intend to quit using this place to collect my favorite poetry. I’ll set this one, freshly picked, down right here:

Nights

Kevin Hart

There’s nothing that I really want:
The stars tonight are rich and cold
Above my house that vaguely broods
Upon a path soon lost in dark.

My dinner plate is chipped all round
(It tells me that I’ve changed a lot);
My glass is cracked all down one side
(It shows there is a path for me).

My hands—I rest my head on them.
My eyes—I rest my mind on them.
There’s nothing that I really need
Before I set out on that path.

 

from Gettysburg Review
Volume 19, Number 3, Autumn 2006, page 470

Waiting for the movers to arrive

This is my new blog space.  I lost my lease on the old crossimpact.net domain name and I decided to move my old blog onto a hosted WordPress platform.

That, and I figured it was time to quit freeloading off of Matt Mullenweg, who has been quite nice to let me store Overflow on his  server for over eight years. I decided to quit being so much of a freeloader and support him with my dollars.

Back when Matt was still at the University of Houston Downtown, he offered to his fellow Houston bloggers free hosting on his personal server to anyone who would be willing to try this new blog software he wrote called “WordPress.” I was tired of Blogger anyway and was eyeing a change to Moveable Type, but I wanted to help this enterprising kid get off the ground.

He was one of these guys who seemed to have the formula for success (and I don’t just say this in hindsight.) He was whip-smart but self-deprecating, creative, kind, and very charismatic. He had a diverse set of interests like Jazz, political science, nd photography. All those things are hallmarks of the kind of guy you just know is going to be successful. Not necessarily always famous, but successful.

And so that’s my only “I knew him when” story. I tried to buy Matt a beer for rehosting my blog, but he didn’t drink, so I bought him lunch instead. I got to see him play Jazz. He graciously came to a couple of my ill-fated but fun Bad Art Nights. And I accumulated over 1400 blog posts on his dime over the years.

All before he became that Matt Mullenweg.

And, as a final kindness as I file into line amongst his millions of happy customers, he is having one of his people move my baggage from Overflow to this new blog. I’ve been blogging since, well the days when Geocities was the coolest way to self publish on the web. Before the word “blog” was coined. I have twelve years of my life chronicled on Matt’s personal server, my family history, my weird ideas, my geekery, the chronicles of my adoptions and my marriage. Quite a bit of history.

And, as one of the very first WordPress blogs ever, Overflow was historic in another small sense as well. I guess this means I’d better not let it go to seed now.

So I’m just waiting for the movers — a nice guy named Otto — to move me in to the new digs. Paid my first year’s rent. Now I guess I need to think of things to write.

Way Back Machine: Versions

I paid my crossimpact.net bill last week. Two more years. I figure I need to use this for something. I don’t know exactly where my writing mojo went, but I am not discouraged enough not to re-up on my domain name.

I was going through some old files and came across something I wrote back in 2001. See, I used to write stuff and enjoy doing it. Maybe I’ll do it again someday. I just paid 60 bucks to save my space for another two years, so…

Anyway, here’s what I wrote. Very futures-ish. Intended to be funny.

Successfully? You be the judge.

Versions

I had to terminate myself the other day.

no, there’s no body,
no smoking gun,
just some empty disk space
where I used to be.

Versions of me, that is.

my friend works for this startup,
he recruited me as a beta tester:
you’ll get a kick out of this he said
he had me sign some waivers
I should have read more carefully
and then he gave me the box.

don’t i get a demonstration? i said
you shouldn’t need one, that’s part of the test — usability.
it should be easy to make working copies of your mind.
send them out to do work, watch TV, take classes.
And upload the new experiences later, at your leisure.

The scans could be configured with your choice of three interfaces:
DiskMe — a living version of you on with a GUI front-end
WebMe — an intelligent web bot with your mind as a driver
EmbedMe — a version of you that could be loaded into any machine with a CPU and enough memory

i put my first scan — me 2.0 — to work as a WebMe
do that quarterly report, i said
and gather the trends research.
he knew just what I meant because he was, well, me
i’d go to the office, he’d surf the net doing research. that was the plan.
i came home from work that day. report was done. research looked good.
just like i’d have done it.
this was cool.
so we’d separate every day and have
— literally —
a meeting of the minds each evening
and catch each other up.
i was a good team. my productivity doubled.

until i found out how naughty i’d been.
2.0 apparently didn’t have enough work to keep him busy
2.0 didn’t take lunch or bathroom breaks
2.0 didn’t engage in water cooler gossip
what 2.0 did was cruise the VR chatrooms
after a week or so i began having some
impressively realistic memories
of sex with virtual women i never even met
they were just avatars, but the sense memories were very real.
2.0 was a virtual reality casanova in his off hours.
apparently i’m quite the ladies man
when i’m not stuck with this body
who knew?

my wife was not amused.
i didn’t touch them, i pleaded
i didn’t even have cybersex
it was an electronic copy of me
having cybersex with animated women.

but those women are in your head now
and your copy scan thing wouldn’t have cheated
if the potential weren’t in you in the first place
get rid of that memory and i might forgive you

my wife was right.
i had to revert my mind to the backup copy of myself
i wisely made before I set 2.0 to work
i lost a week’s worth of memories
and a two-day training class my employer sent me to.
I had to shell out a thousand bucks and take two days vacation
to take the course again before my boss realized it was missing.

and at my wife’s insistence
2.0 was banned from the net.
i have him answering my email.
he talks to my kids while i’m still at work.
i turned him onto Halo so he wouldn’t get bored.
and now i’m apparently some kind of badass game guru.
without fingers his reaction time is instantaneous
my name is reknowned in gamers’ circles. i get fan mail.
so i have that going for me.

3.0 was born out of frustration.
i couldn’t find my car keys.
So i made a quick copy of myself
and loaded it into my cleanbot.
(he has the same OS as my computer so it was easy)
i asked him to skip his regular cleaning chores
and see if he could remember where i left my keys.
this was going to be a quick copy I’d delete
after i had my keys back.

but 3.0 had other plans.
i came home and he had my keys in one claw
and an injunction in the other.
the PETA people helped him get it.
apparently there’s this law against the indiscriminate termination of cyborgs.
but you aren’t a cyborg, i said. you’re just a robot,
you have no biological material.
well apparently there’s this legal precedent
— Cybercolonics vs. Fischer —
that classifies brainscans as biological material
for the purpose of cyborg termination cases.
seems i was stuck with 3.0.
so i put him to work too.
you know all those books you’ve always wanted to read
but never had the time?
well when he wasn’t cleaning i had him read for me.
War and Peace, Finnegan’s Wake, Harry Potter.
But he doesn’t clean very well anymore.
he only does the kind of lousy job i would do.

4.0 was my worst.
he almost bankrupted me.
he was a web bot with the, um, libido removed
i sent him out on the net to help me with research.
by the end of the first week he had filed
twenty-three separate lawsuits
against twelve large companies.
apparently some of the larger sites on the web
don’t allow bots to access their pages.
so he filed suits under the civil rights laws
alleging discrimination against the disembodied.
he also filed under the persons with disabilities act
alleging that not having a physical presence qualified as a disability
and so they had to allow access.
the companies counter sued alleging criminal violation of network security
it was gonna get ugly. my lawyer quit on me, overwhelmed.
i finally reached a settlement with them
4.0 had to go. delete. empty recycle bin. defrag.

i gave the scanner back to my friend
he asked how it went
horrible, i said
my first two scans rebelled
and i had to kill the other.
could be worse, he said,
you could be raising teenagers.

Wobbles. But Doesn't Fall Down.

Any Gen-Xer like myself will recognize that phrase. That’s how I feel about this blog. And I do quite resemble a Weeble.

I’ll go into a several month “wobble” with no posts. Whole years will have a scant dozen original posts. But I’ve been doing this blog since the word “blog” was coined and I just cannot let Overflow fall down.

I recently lost my mojo. I was walking past my office upstairs, worried about some jejune client work matter, when I caught a glimpse of my poetry books out of the corner of my eye. I realized that I had no poetry in my life at the moment.

And that’s when I further realized — I’ve lost my mojo. No poetry, no art, no contemplation, no reading, and pretty damned minimal with the prayer life as well.

No wonder I’ve lost my blogging juju. I have no inner life left to articulate.

So I’m feeling around in the dark for my bootstraps so I can give them a yank. Maybe this weeble’s wobbling back upwards? We’ll see.

Add-on

I have added a new room to my online digs — an Overflow wiki. I’m not sure exactly how I will use this, but I figure I need a better hub for my online world than Yahoo mail. I envision a guest room/lounge/studio/workroom/junk closet type thing.

Drop on by if you wish. There’s nothing much there except for my collection of poems which I have finally gotten in one place.

Default Look

Yes it’s a new, less cluttered look. I went to one of the WordPress generic templates. Lost the verbage on the left. lost the ill-maintained lists. Lost the picture of me attempting to devour raising and kissing a baby petunia. Added a little color. I like the font better.

I love WordPress. Change the look of your blog with a button.

This is your same blog. Same management.

Awkward Swing

I’m back in the Swing. Family is back from vacation. Kids are back to school. I’m back at work.

Maybe I’ll post more regularly now. I’m going through one of those periods where I don’t see how my blog fits into the rest of my life and so I am feeling no impetus to update as frequently. Maybe I’ll hit my stride as life returns to something of a regular rhythm.

I have hit that period in my blogging life where i don’t really care how many people read me. I haven’t looked at my stats in months but I’m sure they’re way down from what they used to be. Whatever.

But I really appreciate the connections maintained with those of you who do read me. You are my reason for keeping it up. My living counterexamples to the idea that peaks occasionally in my mind that blogging is rather a waste of time. Thanks for sticking by me as I figure out how to weave Overflow back into the rhythm of my life.

Back Now

If you came by in the last few days and this site wasn’t here, I apologize. I forgot to pay my crossimpact bill. Apparently I didn’t check the automatic renew option like I thought I did. But we’re back now.

My readers took a vote

My readers took a vote. (Well, the two that are still left that is.) They want me to start posting again, “and not so much of that existential stuff.” They want the kid news, the funny stories, mindless trivia, daily effluvia.

I’ve not been much into blogging lately. I’ll try to do better, promise. Is anyone still out there? I remember back when I used to monitor my hit count daily. Ah, those were the days.