Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Obligatory end-of-year post

I would like to say that I will promise more activity here in the coming year, but I won't (promise, that is).  Most of the time, I just don't see much point in trying to post everything I find interesting.  My other blog, The Briar Files, gets a lot more activity than this one, I suppose because it's so much more focused.  I post over there much more than here, but I still have a huge backlog of things I could post over there, and haven't because I just don't care enough to.

It just seems easier to me to throw a link up on Facebook, and most readers here are "friends" with me over there, so you probably see it over there anyway.  If anyone who reads this blog and uses FB is not a "friend" of mine on FB, you're welcome to send me a request.  Just be sure to include a message that you're a blog reader, because if I don't recognize your name, I won't approve the request.

Speaking of which, here is something that annoys me somewhat, but not a whole lot.  Someone who I am "friends" with will tell me in meatspace "I really like what you put on Facebook."  "Oh yeah?" I say, "which thing?"  "Oh, all of them!"  "Well," I say, "thanks."  But what I'm really thinking is, well then would it kill you click the "like" button every now and then?

The biggest thing this past year for me has been my ukulele playing.  Actually, I wouldn't go so far as to say that I can "play" the uke.  I just strum chords and sing, and my strumming isn't very sophisticated.  But I have been having more fun with it than just about anything else I have ever done, and I know I would get much better if I dedicated myself to a consistent practice schedule.  In years gone by, I was told my more than one teacher that I had an enormous musical talent.  The problem is, I just don't have the ambition to develop it.  Anyway, I'm planning on buying another ukulele soon.  This one will be a tenor with what's called "low G tuning."  You can look that up if you're curious enough.  Also, I'm most likely going to get an electro/acoustic model, which is an acoustic with a pick-up so it can be plugged into an amp (but can still be played without an amp just like an acoustic).  I was thinking about getting a baritone but the place I want to buy from doesn't have any of the affordable models in stock right now, so I'll have to keep watching and maybe get one later.  I want both a tenor and a baritone because they're tuned differently and of course the baritone has a lower, more guitar-like sound.  I'll still have my soprano if I want to play it, and my daughter also likes playing with it, so she'll still be using it.

I thought I'd add a list of cool websites that I probably haven't mentioned here but which I read fairly regularly, and most likely only began reading this year.  I haven't bothered updating the blogroll in a long time because I read so few personal blogs these days and the big non-personal blogs don't need my link to get traffic.

First, podcasts.

How to Do Everything - A couple of guys take listeners' questions and call someone up who they think might know the answer and have the person talk about it.  Most episodes run about 20 minutes and they are very interesting and entertaining.  This year they have also been running a feature called "Toilet of the Week" but I don't know if they're going to continue it into the coming year or not.

Sophos Podcasts - This is a short podcast (about 15 minutes per) regarding computer security, explained in language that non-experts can understand.  Anyone who regularly uses the internet should listen to this one.

Titanium Physicists Podcast - A podcast about complicated physics problems in language that non-physicists can understand.  Very educational.  The main podcast runs about 30 minutes, but then there are always some extras added on after the main podcast where they go into off-topic, sometimes humorous commentary, so the whole thing can sometimes go up to an hour.

Useless Information Podcast - Another short (20 minutes or so) podcast from a high school science teacher in which he tells about weird things "from the flip side of history."  Also included are vintage radio commercials and trivia questions about odd things from history.

Other stuff:

Forgotten Bookmarks - A blog from a book collector who posts pictures of things he finds inside books that come into his possession.

Roger Wilkerson, The Suburban Legend - Let's see, I guess we can call this a "historical pop-culture blog," mostly picture-based.  Photos, magazine covers, vintage ads and music.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine - Another pop-culture blog about books, movies, music and other things, both historical and contemporary.

Great But Forgotten - A blog mostly about movies but also sometimes about books and music that, in the writer's opinion, are "great but forgotten."  I've learned about some good old movies from this one.

I guess that's about all for now.  Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Hope you and yours have a happy and prosperous new year. I really enjoy the links you post and in fact, just found another podcast to subscribe to. Thanks for the tip!