Blog # 300!!

Another Milestone

Well, here it is – my 300th blog post. To be completely honest, I have a few more than 300, but some were kept private. So this is my 300th “published” blog. Over the past few blogs, I knew this milestone blog was coming, and wondered just how a blogger celebrates this kind of achievement. I found that most look back and reflect on stats.

I don’t know about doing that. Does it matter that the most popular day my blog is viewed is Thursday? Are you impressed that in the first 299 blogs I have written 64,488 words? Does it thrill you to know that each blog averages about 921 words? I highly doubt that means anything to you.

A Short Reflection

300 blogs. It is amazing to actually look back and see the wide variety of content that I covered since beginning this blog:

  • The blog is full of many posts about music – some about specific tunes (Tune Tuesday) and some filled with many songs.
  • There have been many blogs about television – whether it be actual shows or just theme songs.
  • I have also written many blogs about movies – some as part of blogathons hosted by other bloggers and some of my personal favorites.
  • There have been blogs about holidays from throughout the year – some contain specific memories and some are just general thoughts.
  • I have written special blogs to family and friends – my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my godfather, my kids, my wife, and my lifelong friends.
  • There have been no shortage of radio stories about listeners and coworkers.
  • Some blogs were just full of random thoughts and observations.
  • There were blogs about celebrities – some funny, some musical, some just for the hell of it.
  • I shared the love story of my wife and me.
  • I shared with family and friends the news on our miracle baby and blogged about the days that led up to her arrival.
  • Of course, after she was born, there have been many wonderful stories and things to share about her as she continues to grow up.
  • I was honored to have my brother write a guest blog for me (and hope to have more in the future).
  • I opened up about many personal things – my divorce, thoughts on suicide, the changes in my personal life, reflections on life and death, my faith, and so many other topics I kept to myself.
  • There have been some “Question and Answer” blogs that contained things asked of me by friends and family.

Looking back, I am impressed with myself. Who knew I had it in me?

New Connections

If you have a Facebook, you know that they will occasionally give you friend suggestions. They will offer up “People You May Know.” Many of those suggestions stem from mutual friends. There are people that pop up and I have 65 mutual friends with them because we went to the same high school together, or we both have the same radio friends, etc…

With this blog, we don’t have that feature. However, through searching things for things like movies, TV, music, and such, I have found many bloggers that share my interests. I follow quite a few blogs and continue to add more to my “read” list. Some of those bloggers offer up personal stuff like I do on occasion. Some respond with personal stories to my personal blogs. Through that, I feel like I know many of them.

Max is a good example of this. He has blogged about things I remember and vice versa. We also share many of the same musical tastes. He actually helped me set up the index on the side of the blog. Since doing that, more of my older blogs are being read than before. We swapped e-mails and eventually phone numbers. When I called him to talk about the index and creating some pages, it was like talking to someone I had known for years. How cool is that?

Lessons Learned

After 300 blogs, I think it is important to note some of the things I have learned since the beginning. If you are a new blogger, maybe some of my observations can be useful to you.

Even with spellcheck, I make mistakes. I found going back through some older blogs that there are some typos. Some are spelling mistakes, some are grammatical. My one radio buddy, who also works for a newspaper, told me I need an editor. He then proceeded to tell me I couldn’t afford him! I need to be better at proofreading.

There really is no way to know which blogs will be popular. I have written blogs that I think will get a great response, only to see that is not the case. At the same time, I have written blogs that I feel are just “ok” topics, and had a ton of hits on it. You never really know. It hurts your ego a bit when a blog you think is great is barely read, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Keywords matter. I try to include as many “tags” as I can with each blog. I have found that this will ultimately lead to more followers and readers. My most read blog? It is about a scammer. I got an e-mail saying that someone noticed I spelled a word wrong and said I should download some app. With research, I found the app is actually something you want to avoid. The keyword “Scam” or “Scammer” has lead to many reading that blog and some even commenting saying that they got the same type of e-mail.

The personal blogs I wrote about suicide, divorce, staying positive, dealing with a narcissist, and depression led to many new people following this blog. Some went as far as to reach out and share their own stories about those things. You know, sometimes, it helps to know you aren’t the only one dealing with those issues.

Each blog represents a moment in time. It represents what I felt at a certain moment in time. Early on in my therapy, I was angered easily. I didn’t realize how certain things by certain people triggered it. I was not a pleasant person. Over time, I have learned to not let those things trigger anger. I have learned coping skills. I am a different person than who I was.

Think about your favorite TV show. Did you like it immediately? The first time I watched Seinfeld or Cheers, I was not impressed. Over time, I came to enjoy the shows more. At one moment in time, you may feel one way, and over time you can feel another way.

Many of my blogs are memories that I want to preserve for the future. Other blogs are about things I have observed. At the time, I felt a certain way about things – over time, my thoughts or feelings might change. It helps to keep that in perspective.

Write about what you are passionate about! Chances are if you are passionate about it, a reader will find it interesting. This same principle was suggested to me when I worked in radio. Share things that “make you feel!” Some readers love my musical blogs while some prefer my more personal ones. I am passionate about everything I write, however, not all things will appeal to everyone. Anyone who comes to this blog will see my love for all things entertainment, but also see my love for my family and my children!

Another principle from radio that translated to writing a blog is to simply “observe life.” Look around and take notice. A successful stand up comedian is one who observes little things, talks about it, and the audience says “Oh yeah! I have noticed that too!” George Carlin was a master observer! Take those things that you observe and relay them. You know the whole “which way should the toilet paper roll go on” thing was simply something that someone wondered about, right!?

I always loved the above Far Side Cartoon. It points out another lesson I have learned. Be yourself. You don’t have to agree with everything I write. That’s ok. You have a right to disagree with me. However, when I write, I’m going to be myself.

While it can sometimes feel like work, I find blogging to be fun. I enjoy writing. I also enjoy hearing from readers who comment on my blog. That’s as much fun as writing them.

There are some blogs that I just sit and write. Others (most of them), it takes time to plan out. Either way, I try to give myself time to think it through and get the flow. It takes time and sometimes, you have to MAKE time to write.

So there you have it ….

Blog #300. As a follower, I need to say thank you. I am truly glad that you are here. I always welcome your suggestions. How can I make this blog more enjoyable for you? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Please feel free to let me know. What do you like? What don’t you like? Feel free to suggest other blogs I might be interested in. Feel free to share this one with others.

Thank you so much for reading. Here is to the next 300 ….

Football and Family

Ashamed to be a Fan

Like most guys, I’m a football fan. I’m also a very lucky football fan, as my wife loves to watch football, too! For my readers who don’t know, I live in Michigan. The good news is that we have a professional NFL team here. The bad news is that the team is the Detroit Lions. In the 50 years I have been on this earth the Lions have played in 14 playoff games (mostly Wildcard games) and have only won 1 game. Since 1944, only 5 NFL teams have had the embarrassing privilege of going 0-16 in a season – the Lions did it in 2008.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, football fans in Michigan cry “Same old Lions!” after every game. No matter what, they always seem to find a way to lose!

I was surprised to turn on the game in the 3rd quarter Sunday and find that they were actually beating the Chicago Bears 23-6. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the commentators on TV had to flash up some stats that recounted just how many times the Lions have blown leads and lost in the 4th quarter. It happened again on Sunday.

In the fourth quarter, Chicago scored 21 points to come from behind and beat the Lions. With 6 seconds left in the game, D’Andre Swift dropped the potential game winning TD! It was just sickening!

When this happened, all I could think of was that scene in one of the Naked Gun movies with everyone facepalming:

I am left to wonder if I will ever see the Lions in the Super Bowl, let alone WIN it! Until then, I will continue to watch “the same old Lions”……

Not sure who Robustoman is, but he nails it with this drawing/logo!

The Kids

Since last blogging, our little princess hit another milestone: She is 7 months old!

She’s almost 17 pounds, is sitting up by herself, has two teeth , and is eating real food. She will be crawling before we know it. She truly could be a model, as she has so many wonderful facial expressions. Today, while eating peaches, she was puckering up like she took a bite out of a lemon or something!

I was especially happy this weekend as both boys were over to visit. I made breakfast for all of us, we walked the neighborhood, and had some good conversation. My oldest boy is working a lot of hours, so it was nice to have all of my kids together for the day. Wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was able to snap this one –

Big brothers and their sister

Someone once said, ” In a society that has you counting money, pounds, calories, and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings instead.” Another said, “When you count your blessings, you realize you are doing just fine.”

While I may not be blessed with a winning football team, I certainly have been blessed with three amazing children and one amazing wife!

Tune(s) Tuesday – “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Then They Do”

Let me preface this blog by saying I had an absolutely amazing Father’s Day Weekend!  Friday, I spoke with someone about some future possibilities (a future blog), Saturday I got the best unexpected surprise (which is another future blog), and Sunday, I spent time with my sons.  Past Father’s Day’s we have gone to ball games, the zoo, Outdoor Adventures, etc… This Father’s Day was a bit more low key.  We went to the movies together and saw this Pokemon Detective Pikachu movie  (which despite knowing a thing about Pokemon, I thought was a good film).  Afterward, we went to the Sloan Museum in town to see the Robot Zoo exhibit.  We also spent a little time in Barnes and Noble (getting ideas for my youngest’s birthday and checking out what they had on vinyl.

While I sat there waiting for the movie to start, I was looking at my sons.  They are out of school for the summer and they will be in 12th and 7th grades next year.  It is almost unreal how fast time has flown by.  Today’s tunes are fantastic songs that are great not only they tie in with Father’s Day, but they are a reminder to enjoy every moment – because time waits for no one!

It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker

This song was a hit, despite the bad reviews it received in industry magazines.  I always liked it, probably because I could relate to how fast my kids were growing up.

He didn’t have to wake up
He’d been up all night
Lying there in bed listening
To his newborn baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It’s gonna be OK
It won’t be like this for long
One day we’ll look back laughing
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

 

Four years later ’bout four thirty
She’s crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at pre-school
She’s clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says, “What can I do?”
She says, “Now don’t you worry
This will only last a week or two”

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon you’ll drop her off
And she won’t even know you’re gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long

Someday soon she’ll be a teenager
And at times he’ll think she hates him
Then he’ll walk her down the aisle
And raise her veil

 

But right now she’s up and crying
And the truth is that he don’t mind
As he kisses her goodnight
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
‘Til her eyes are finally closed
And just watching her it breaks his heart
‘Cause he already knows
It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
So he’s trying to hold on
‘Cause it won’t be like this for long
It won’t be like this for long

 

Then They Do – Trace Adkins

This is the same kind of song as the one above.  What I love about this one is the “Twilight Zone”-ish ending to it.  What I mean by that is that as parents, sometimes we just wish our kids will grow up – and then they do.  You get what you wish for, but sometimes it takes getting the wish before you realize it is not what you wan. It’s a reminder that sometimes all those little things that maybe drove us batty, are the things we really love about our kids.  Time moves forward – and moments come and go.

This can also be said of loved ones who are no longer here.  The stories that my grandma and my mother told over and over – at the time I remember thinking “this story again?!”  Now, I’d give anything to hear them tell those stories again.  Treasure each and every moment with your kids!  Enjoy even the things that drive you crazy – because soon, they grow up and you’ll want those moments back.

In the early rush of morning,
Trying to get the kids to school:
One’s hanging on my shirt-tail,
Another’s locked up in her room.
And I’m yelling up the stairs:
“Stop worrying ’bout your hair, you look fine.
“Then they’re fightin’ in the backseat,
And I’m playing referee.
Now someone’s gotta go,
The moment that we leave.
And everybody’s late,
I swear that I can’t wait till they grow up.

 

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Now the youngest is starting college,
She’ll be leavin’ in the Fall.
And Brianna’s latest boyfriend,
Called to ask if we could talk.
And I got the impression,
That he’s about to pop the question any day.

I look over at their pictures,
Sittin’ in their frames.
I see them as babies:
I guess that’ll never change.
You pray all their lives,
That someday they will find happiness.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

No more Monday PTA’s,
No carpools, or soccer games.
Your work is done.
Now you’ve got time that’s all your own.
You’ve been waitin’ for so long,
For those days to come.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Ah, then they do.