Where do I begin? That’s a very good question, one that I do not have a good answer for. If I try to start at the beginning, will that indeed be the “write” place? In my very limited experience, I would have to say no. The beginning would not be the correct place to begin, nor would it even be possible. You see, the beginning is actually the end. Bear with me for a minute and I will do my best to explain…

When I write, I generally have to have a destination I mind. I need to know how it finishes before I can even start the process. This annoying little problem actually lends itself nicely to functional solution documents (which I am very experienced at writing I might add), but for me this is a horrible obstacle to get past when trying to “author” anything else. Needless to say, writing is not an easy process for me. I generally sit staring blankly at the screen for an incredibly painful amount of time before I give up and move on to something else.

So, where do I start? Let’s start at the end, since it is undoubtedly the beginning…

What is the end-game? In other words, why am I writing this? Using this post as an example, the end game is pretty simple. I want to show readers how horribly difficult easy it is to write.
So now that you know what it is you want to accomplish, what’s next? Good question, I’m glad you asked… I have no clue what you should do next. However, if I were you, I would do one of several things with varying degrees of expected success:

1)  Outline the steps you would follow to get to the ending from a specific point

Is that specific point the beginning? Maybe, but not necessarily… It is easiest for me to illustrate by using a functional solution document as the work in question. (That is what I am most familiar with after all!) In writing a functional solution document sometimes the point you start at is actually a result of some other functional event. In order for your document to be usable, you need to preface your solution with the events that led you to that specific point. This “preface” is actually your starting point, but I have found that it is usually the very last thing I write.

2)  Just start writing and see what comes out

Believe it or not, this actually how this post was started. I didn’t know what to write about so I typed out the words “Where do I start?” on a blank page. The rest just started flowing…

3)  Give up and go to bed!

This option sounds completely counter-intuitive to the process, but I must disagree… When I say give up and go to bed, I don’t truly mean “give up”. What I actually mean is to write down any thoughts or ideas you may have in head and then put the process on pause until you can better put those thoughts and ideas into words. Think of it as a “reset” button on your mind. Sometimes you just need to step away.

4)  Pay someone to write something nice for you to read

In other words, go buy a book or a magazine to read. Browse some blogs. Read something… Sometimes just reading material that someone else has created will spark an idea.

 


What does this have to do with Hodgepodge you say? Visit my Why Hodgepodge page to find out.

haiku

Just penned this beauty and thought I should share!


Sitting by himself

Cold rain falling on the strip

Warm beer goes down smooth

 


If you would like to learn more about Haiku, check out this post on how to write a haiku poem. If you are trying to figure out how haiku has anything to do with hodgepodge, visit my Why Hodgepodge page.

IMAG00047

In my last post, I discussed “Traveling” vs. “To Travel” and how that having to travel can be somewhat… difficult.

In this post I want to discuss some of my pet peeves when traveling by aeroplane.

Let me be very clear here, though… It’s not the flights that are the problem. It’s not the drive to and from the airport that’s the problem. It’s not even the process of getting through TSA that’s the issue. Generally speaking, I have always had good experiences with individual TSA agents. The process of getting through TSA can definitely be a headache, but most of the time the agents are just trying to make a living like you and me. If you’re a TSA hater… lay off. They are people too and deserve to see a smile every once in a while instead of being constantly bad-mouthed. (There are definitely some bad-apples in the bunch, but that is the exception, not the norm.) I have found that usually a little bit of kindness will get even the most grouchy public servant to lighten up.

Minor Pet Peeves

A few minor pet peeves of mine include:

  1. Gate Changes. (As long as they are in the same concourse it is not that bad. Just a very minor inconvenience.)
  2. The process of boarding the aircraft. (I hate lines, and don’t care for crowds…)
  3. The seats on a plane. (I am not a small man, so the leg room, arm room, and lack of personal space can be… uncomfortable.)
  4. The process of leaving an airplane. (See number 2)
  5. Layovers… (If you have plenty of time to get from incoming gate to outgoing gate, all is well.)

Major Pet Peeves

  1. Layovers… Specifically, having to rush from Concourse A to Concourse C during a layover that was supposed to give you 45 minutes, but ended up only allowing 5. Ugh.
  2. Flight delays… This is only a problem if it causes issues with a layover, or if it is an extremely long delay because of weather. I know… weather is beyond anyone’s control. (Did I mention I like being in control?)
  3. Waiting 45 minutes for a hotel shuttle that runs every 30 minutes, only to call the hotel and find out that you are at the “wrong side” of the terminal. The shuttle you need only picks up on the Red side of the terminal and you are currently on the Blue side. Oh yeah, the shuttle should be there now and will be leaving in about 5 minutes. If you hurry you can make it… Run!
  4. People. Some people are OK… it’s the ones that are not OK, that I have problems with. See below for more info.

People

People in general are alright. (I’m a people and I assume that you probably are also.)

The people I have problems with are as follows:

  1. The Jibber-jabber. I enjoy a good conversation as much as the next person, but if I am listening to a Ted Radio Hour podcast, listening to The Avett Brothers, or if I’m reading a book…. I am not looking for an extended conversation. A smile, a nice “Hello, how are you today?” and some small talk before the flight begins is OK, but once the headphones go on, please let me jam in peace.
  2. The Announcer. You know who this is. He is not usually next to you, but sounds like he is. He has to announce to the plane everything that is going on. He says it as if he is talking to one individual, but he says it loud enough for the pilot to hear! Not just once… or even twice. He does it during the entire flight. If this is you… Please. Stop. Please…
  3. The Snorer. I get it. I’m tired too… Do you know that you snore when you snooze? If so… please drink some coffee. Just sayin’… On second thought… never mind. I brought my head phones, so as long as the jibber jabber will leave me alone we are good.  😉
  4. The Pigpen. When I travel, I like to be comfortable. If you want to travel in sweats and a raggedy t-shirt that’s fine. Just please bathe before you start your journey. What’s that? You had to work out before you left and didn’t have time for a shower? If you had time to work out before you left, you had time for a shower. Nobody wants to smell you. And no… dousing yourself in cologne does not make things better!
  5. The Toilet talker. I am not talking about the person in the next stall that just realized there is no toilet paper. I am referring to the guy that walks in to the bathroom on the phone does his business while continuing his conversation, (“that noise, oh nothing… I’m just in the bathroom…”) and then leaves… without washing! Eww!
  6. The Michael Moore. Not the Michael Moore, of course.  I’m talking about the guy that feels he has to video tape “everything”… Especially, the process of getting through security. This is the same guy that refuses to go through the normal screening process and insists on a pat-down. Only to have his “associate” video tape it…. You know, “just in case”. (Be forewarned, the Michael Moore is usually also an announcer.)

That pretty much sums it up… Given some more time I could probably come up with some additional pet peeves, but that would take all the fun out of leaving comments. Speaking of comments… If I missed something that you feel should definitely be on the list, feel free to leave me a note in the comments.


What does this have to do with Hodgepodge you say? Visit my Why Hodgepodge page to find out.

Just in case you were wondering, I took the featured photo with my cell phone while I was returning from a recent trip to Denver, CO. (Denver International Airport: Concourse C)

 

 

 

 

luggage

I love traveling, I just don’t like to travel . Let me explain…

Traveling

“Traveling” is all about the end-game. Where are you going, and what are you going to do once you get there? The end-game is usually (let me re-iterate that… USUALLY…) worth the headache of whatever it took to get there.

Example:  I am traveling to Denver so that I can watch the Broncos destroy the Oakland Raiders! I love to watch the away team start gasping for air midway through the second quarter. Most people believe it is because when playing in Denver they are actually a mile higher than usual, thus the air is thinner. Not true, though… The reality is that the air is much cleaner. Less smog… Them Oakland boys aren’t used to breathing in fresh air and it hurts their fragile smog coated lungs!

To Travel

“To travel” is the act of getting from point A to point B via flight C with Layover D. Not to mention other means of transportation. Ugh.

Example:  To get to Denver, we will have to travel by car to the airport. Once there, we have to find a parking spot and then we will need to travel by foot to the TSA checkpoint. Once through security, we will need to travel by foot to the appropriate concourse and gate. Then we will need to travel by air through multiple layovers with various concourse changes, hoping for no delays. Once we make it to our final destination, we will need to travel via hotel shuttle to our “home away from home” for the game. We have secured a local party bus to travel from the hotel to the game and back. We will be there for a few extra days so we will need to travel by Uber to get to Casa Bonita and the other places we want to visit.

So, as you can see, there is a very distinct difference between the two. Traveling can be fun, exciting, and at times exhilarating. Having to travel though, can be arduous, painful, and even treacherous. Do you agree, or disagree with me? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


What does this have to do with Hodgepodge you say? Visit my Why Hodgepodge page to find out.

haiku

Let me preface this by saying that I know it is not very good. It does, however, follow the 3 basic precepts of Modern Haiku, and it was inspired by my immediate surroundings.

  1. It adheres to the 5 – 7 – 5 rhythmic pattern.
  2. It includes a seasonal reference.
  3. It contains a juxtaposed idea (subject shift).

Cat mewing softly,

Tiny dog asleep on couch.

Cool start to hot day!


If you would like to learn more about Haiku, check out this post on how to write a haiku poem. If you are trying to figure out how haiku has anything to do with hodgepodge, visit my Why Hodgepodge page.

I just want to do a quick shout out to a few VIP’s, without whom my Welcome to hodgepodge post would not have been possible:

  1. Claire Diaz-Ortiz
    • If you haven’t heard of her, click the link above. She has a fantastic blog and is the reason I decided to dive back into the world of blogging. She has a great post about how to start a self-hosted blog. If you are interested in the world of self-hosted blogging, check out her post here. In fact, the next two VIP’s for my blog are a direct result from that post. The last VIP listed here is a result of another post from Claire concerning how to find free images. Thank you Claire for the inspiration and the tools to make it happen.  :)
  2. bluehost
    • This is the hosting service I use. As mentioned earlier, I found bluehost because of a post from Claire Diaz-Ortiz. I did a lot of research before I finally took Claires advice to use them, but ultimately I found they had the best combination of price, support, and features. Thus far, I am very happy with my decision…
  3. WordPress.org
    • If you are self-hosted then you have to have to have a way to build your website, right? Right. I had previously heard of WordPress, but had never used it. Claire convinced me to give it a try. I am still learning the in’s and out’s, but I can say without a doubt that it is better than the free service I had previously used.
  4. morgueFile
    • Last, but certainly not least, is morgueFile. This is a free photo archive that is absolutely free. All of the images from morgueFile are completely free, with no expectation of link backs, no copyright issues to worry about., nothing, nada. They are F-R-E-E… “free”. (I love that word!) They have a lot of high-quality photos to choose from and the banner for my blog was created solely from images found at this site. Once again, I only new about this site because of Claire.

Once I get everything figured out, all of these VIP’s will have a place of honor in a sidebar. For now, however, they will all have to live on in infamy as part of the very 2nd post of Hodgepodge.

podge2

This being the obligatory first post, you probably should not expect much. However, in the future you can expect a jumbled up, mishmash, patchwork-collection of miscellaneous information. There will probably be various links and maybe even photos. Who knows what all you could expect? Certainly not me… Hang around for a while and see what pops up. :)