Tag Archive: blogging

The last post was my 500th and I felt, perhaps self-indulgantly, that the milestone deserved a little marking.  I started blogging 8 1/2 years ago in order to regulate my writing and give me an outlet effectively to replace lined pieces of paper and diary-type books which were constantly going missing.  In that time I’ve met people both online and in person, had some excellent contributions, and hopefully made the odd one or two.  At the beginning this method of communication was comparatively new, there were people doing it who had been for some time but there were a great many more who had never heard of it and looked quizzically when I mentioned it.  I had heard about it through media coverage of the so-called Baghdad blogger, Salam Pax, who started at a similar time to me but was picked up very early in The Guardian due to the currency of his postings in Iraq at the time.  Pax last posted in 2009 from what I can see and largely ramped down in 2006.  By this time there were many people blogging, it was before the phenomena of Facebook and Twitter where people needed an outlet for their mindless inane ramblings.  Some of it was unadulterated tosh, but the same might often be said of mine, why should opinions of the global and national events of the day be any more valid than those of very localised events about the type of clothing one is wearing to parties?!

In the early days I wrote a lot, at time a self-confessional, at time chronicle and usually rants from the rather left wing of the political dial.  Within a few months there were a few people who seemed to regularly read my ramblings.  It was nice to have a connection to others across the world at a time when in my personal life I was confined to a small one room bedsit and writing was the escape.  Additionally the interaction from others often sparked new ideas and new posts and the desire to write often enough was good for regulating my output and stemming the lethargy that I often succumbed to.  I’ve spoken to those who share similar political leanings as me to the holocaust denier on the other end of the spectrum.  There is no greater catalyst to inspire writing than the actions of others, whether one agrees or vehemently opposes.  There was even a period of about 3 months when I wrote every day just to see if I could do it.  As I was listening to the news constantly in order to have subjects to rant about I was very much alive and participating in the online world at large and it spilled over into my work life, an environment increasingly unaccepting of my brand of political diatribe.   In some ways my actions through the formative years of the new job I started at almost exactly the time I did my blog shaped people’s opinions of me that last to this day, for better or worse.  By the middle of 2006 due in no small part to personal reasons my output subsided and became perhaps 2 posts in a month rather than a couple in most weeks.  It became almost a chore, a desire to keep something going that I had held dear to me at a time of flux but my heart wasn’t in it in truth.

I went on hiatus for a long while, online fripperies took up far more time than they should have done, it was a more immediate method of communication replacing face-to-face contact in many cases, it did make you feel connected for a while but then, at least to me, became far more disconnected a medium due to its short conversational style.  There is little place for wordy monologues now and some might say this is a good thing but I object to trying to shoehorn what I wish to say into 140 characters.  This may make me more verbose than I should or could be but to speak to the outside world with only really the people you know following you, if even them, feels like an admission that the essay is dead, or just in-depth conversation.  I do not wish to play a part in the murder of prose.  I like long words when searching for the correct word or term for something I want the one that is most apt, or apposite, but were I to say ‘more appropriate’ that would already take up 10% of my allocation so I would have to restrict myself and this is low-fat communication, better for you but tastes like shit.

Besides which as an experiment I checked myself occasionally to see whether or not I had a sort of pithy retort the like of which I might see fit to post in so short a space.  The only time I remember thinking that I had a good tweet was –

Drinking Irish beer in a Cuban bar in a German city.

– which I thought possessed both my own activity and one of some interest and would be worthy, in that moment only, in my having such an account to post to.  This was in 2010 so had I been an early adopter of Twitter the endless tripe that might have preceded and ensued would have been a pretty unfulfilling experience both for me and anyone unlucky enough to read my feed more than the once.  That is not to say there are a great deal of people here nowadays, it is like the small town in the Klondike that had its brief bedlam of people and activity when blogging became the online gold only to become a ghost town when the resource was exhausted and people went in search of it elsewhere.  Every now and again a lost traveller stops in to ask directions and I think the Wild West analogy should probably stop there.

I found the silence made my writing more about what I wished to say than what I thought people might wish to hear.  I don’t mean that I was purely writing for the audience but I was probably more likely to self-censor to protect some of my own identity.  Now it is back to barking at the moon, people are no longer blog diving and therefore no longer find you which is at times liberating and at times discomforting.  Anyone who writes does so to be heard, otherwise you wouldn’t write, it is a method of communication just as direct speech, but unlike talking it affords you the time to work out what it is you want to say before someone comes back and tells you that you are wrong and why they think so.  It is also a way to commit one’s life to posterity, even if you write about things that are not related to yourself, the words you use, the way you see things and the experience of your eyes in seeing those things changes all the time as you age and it is in the very style that this is most visible if you know how to read it.  I find the idea of trying to build a picture of someone based on throwaway comments that have been distilled into a mere sentence saddening, as if identifying a body from dental records rather than unearthing a perfectly preserved specimen that tells so much about the individual and the time in which they lived.

Perhaps people have just evolved to the point where demands on their time are so many and so varied that to sit and write long blocks of text is a luxury they feel they can no longer afford.  Maybe it is a fashion the future generations will see as folly and return to the written word.  Or I might just be a dinosaur clinging on to a fading food source as many around have moved on, evolved or died out.  If it is the latter then so be it, I shall go down writing.

Song Of The Day ~ Air – Alone In Kyoto

I may be a sporadic visitor and participant over the coming weeks. Times is tough as they say and circumstances require a little more than the very sketchy attention that I customarily pay to these sort of things. Hence evenings now are often a juggling act between spending time with g/f (been over 6 months now!) and cracking the whip to get her to work on her thesis (and that’s not a euphemism, I hasten to add) and trying to extrapolate myself from decades of financial buccaneering.

Besides which it has often been difficult to find proper inspiration, I don’t think I’ve been writing at the top of my game for a little while now it’s been a case of good paragraphs here and there strung together with mediocre bits. Last time I took stock if I recall correctly I returned with a little more vigour and energy.

I am still writing, often tidying up the large library of unpublished entries which will gradually see the light of day in their own time. I also have Thinker For Hire which is a place that I put up some of the old naive stuff I wrote nearly 10 years ago. One day I’ll corrolate it all and sub-edit it but for now it’s up there raw and naked. In addition I’m posting to that blog the parts of a manifesto series that I decided to do, it seemed appropriate for it to be there since it ties in with a re-visiting the sort of material I wrote in the 1990s. It’s an occasional series (as we speak only the first part has been written) and in no way replaces this blog which will come back to its former glory hopefully shortly.

I do have a load of reviews from all the gigs I went to over the preceeding 6 months and I will post them to here and Red Baron Reviews in due course. – [Update – this site is now defunct]

So don’t go anywhere, think of it as a chance to briefly get on with some of those things you need to get on with whilst I do the same. That does not exonerate you from writing comments and shit and if you happen to be the 200,000th visitor who is due in mid-late March then make yourself know to be feted with pretty lights and virtual confetti.

Song Of The Day ~ Captain – This Heart Beats For Me

Original Comments:

Kristie made this comment,
Dogspeed, my liege.
comment added :: 3rd March 2006, 04:33 GMT+01
Lynne made this comment,
😦 Hope things sort easily and you’re back soon.#(hugs)
comment added :: 3rd March 2006, 22:41 GMT+01
Haddock made this comment,
Will you be selling lollies and popcorn in the intermission? 🙂
-Redbaron responds – King Cones, Wrestlers hot dogs and wheelie bin sized containers of popcorn are available in the foyer!-

comment added :: 4th March 2006, 01:37 GMT+01 :: http://greenhaddock2.blogspot.com/
leah made this comment,
this is jimmy sunshine commenting on leah’s log-in while she is having a poo or something (don’t tell her i said that, she thinks i don’t know she has bodily functions).
keep blogging fella, i don’t comment much i know but i keep reading. and i hope you keep adding vital, poignant and well, slightly smug comments on my blog.


-Redbaron responds – It’s always nice to see you fella and I do enjoy leaving smug comments on your blog. Fear not tho’ I am not gone just busy and very very skint and this is affecting my ability to sit down and write very much with any fluidity. All things must pass tho’-

comment added :: 10th March 2006, 22:39 GMT+01
leah made this comment,
ooh i’m so mad. i just slapped him on the leg for that. and he is laughing but it is not funny.
you wanna talk about poo, sunshine, that’s fine but NOT IN MY NAME.

-Redbaron responds – I found it very funny and also it did in fact lure you into commenting for the first time in I don’t know how long so double whammy!!!-

comment added :: 10th March 2006, 22:44 GMT+01
Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
for a handy definition of failure, you must try looking here (sorry to change the subject, but this is funny)…

comment added :: 14th March 2006, 15:23 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
*Wishing that I could say that I was too busy to blog due to companionship from the opposite sex!*
It’s always fun to read our own thoughts from years past.

Have fun! I’ll be busy doing laundry, or something.

comment added :: 16th March 2006, 04:51 GMT+01 :: http://pimme.blog-city.com
baracuda made this comment,
I assume/hope your blogging hiatus has not affected your TV watching and that you saw the mighty green army crushing the puny English defence on Saturday???
comment added :: 20th March 2006, 08:52 GMT+01 :: http://myveryownblog.blog-city.com/
Fallen Angel made this comment,
I know the feeling.. many seem to be taking blog breaks lately.. that being said though, hope to see you back soon 🙂
comment added :: 23rd March 2006, 13:19 GMT+01
Fallen Angel made this comment,
I know the feeling.. many seem to be taking blog breaks lately.. that being said though, hope to see you back soon 🙂
comment added :: 23rd March 2006, 13:20 GMT+01
Spike made this comment,
Thesis writting is horrible, my sympathys to your girlfriend. I enjoyed my Thesis but still hated doing the write up by the end!
comment added :: 23rd March 2006, 17:09 GMT+01

It seems memes are back in again with a vengence and it’s been a long while since I did one on this blog, so here you go like it or not. Oh and I nicked it from My Boyfriend is a Twat! Normal political service will be resumed shortly!

Four jobs you have had:

Fork Lift Truck Driver, BMW Munich, Germany
Office Maintenance Technician (ok, well Cleaner!) Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Conference Interpreter & Translator, Rostock, Germany
Tree Feller, East Sussex, England

Four movies you could watch over and over:

The Ipcress File
Les Ripoux
Goodbye Lenin

Four places you’ve lived:

13 different places in London
2 different places in Germany
Cleveland, OH

Four television shows you love to watch:

Mark Thomas Comedy Product
(Still the finest politically-charged stand-up comedian)
Cutting It
(Mmmm Ruby, she’s looovely!)
Life On Mars
(Amiable inane drama about 1973-4, ah the clothes, the music, it’s like a trip down memory lane)
University Challenge
(Bloody brainbox students, I can beat them, I could have been a contender me, no I could really, come back here…)

Four places you’ve been on vacation:

Atlanta, Georgia

Four of your favourite foods:

Thai Green Curry
Full Breakfast as cooked by me or my Mother
Chicken Ra Piaj (Nepalese curry, similar to a hot dopiaza)

Four places you’d rather be right now:

Isles Of Scilly
Interrailing somewhere in Europe

Four sites I visit daily:

Devient Art
Lenin’s Tomb
Guardian Fantasy Football
My Blog Admin Page

Four bloggers you are tagging:

Sarah, my Twin
Lynne, which rhymes with twin
Moog who’s blog is Jealous Twin
The Very Idea, who comes from the state of the Twin Cities.
-Phew I didn’t think I’d manage to keep that one going!-

Oh and Fulham beat the Filth 1-0 last night so bragging rights to the Baron for now, huzzah!

Song Of The Day ~ Thompson Twins – Doctor, Doctor Ooh, see I’m on a roll now!

Original Comments:

Sister Spikey Mace made this comment,
I retrieve your gauntlet, sir. Look for my completion of said meme on Thursday.
comment added :: 1st February 2006, 03:37 GMT+01
Lynne made this comment,
Oh alright then, but I know this is a fiendish plot to get me blogging more 😉
comment added :: 1st February 2006, 09:46 GMT+01
john made this comment,
University Challenge. Me and the missus beat those eight cocky little buggers nearly every week. 😉
comment added :: 2nd February 2006, 16:46 GMT+01 :: http://bigjohn.blog-city.com
Bob Red made this comment,
I had no idea you were so well travelled in the US Mr B! Life on mars is pure class, really enjoying it ATM even though i usually despise everything filmed using 70s fashions. Saw some of mark thomases earlier stuff on C4 like when he takes a heard of cows into macdonalds because they want a happy meal… utter genius!
comment added :: 19th February 2006, 09:38 GMT+01 :: http://bobred.blog-city.com

It’s that time again. My blog has survived its second year and I sally forth into its 3rd term with I think as much vigour as I did the first. You can judge for yourselves if you like, my opening salvo to the blog world was this one.

It has been a fairly packed 2 years looking back on it. I have come to know many people in some way shape or form, some have come and gone both physically and figuratively and others like you obviously have remained, we’ve sadly lost Chris Mann on the way but Cass may have been granted a reprieve so I guess honours are even for the time being. It has been vital for me that people interact with me, it fashions and sometimes hardens my opinions and my resolve. I do not think I would be bereft of ideas without audience participation but by the same token I don’t think I would have been able to address such a breadth of subjects. I am grateful for that.

Statistics-wise I have in this 2 year period written 463 entries at an average of 0.63 a day, at a guess I think around 430 of these have been published and I wouldn’t like to guess how many words that is likely to be. Occasionally I have had to grind out an entry or two but these are rarely published I tend to leave it to see if I recapture any lucidity later down the line, but by and large the writing has been easy and enjoyable from my end and I hope the same can be said now and again at least from the perspective of the reader. I have mustered a total of 169,465 hits (231.83 per day) and of these have garnered 1,356 comments. There are 10 hardy souls who have subscribed to my mailing list, scholars and gentlepeople every one I’m sure.

My most read blog of all time was the review of the fairly recent U2 gig in the summer which has received 478 reads and gets more every day. Next is my dodgy LPs entry, one I was especially chuffed with and itself is about to clock 450 reads. The golden age for commenting was definitely Summer 2004 with both Short but Sweet and illblog clocking up 22 and 21 comments respectively. I guess the political stuff doesn’t illicit quite as much response but hey ho I do derive much pleasure from writing it. I periodically reset my referrer log because I find it strangely compelling to see what Google searches have led to people landing here but the links on Longrider and my twin Sarah‘s blogs have always proved fruitful and recently my response to the krypto-fascist email I received has been cited on both a Manchester United supporters club forum as well as one in Aberdeen. I also like the Blog City tags feature and it is of no surprise that my links have been from Capitalism, Imperialism, War, and Politics wouldn’t have seen that one coming eh?!

Finally thanks to Alan and Ceri at BC who have always sought to answer my, often inane and ridiculous, questions swiftly and succinctly, it has made the user experience by and large a painless one, and that has prevented detraction from the job in hand which, for me, is the writing itself. And thanks to everyone who has read and/or contributed at any point, I hope you’ll feel enthused enough to stick around and help me with the next 463 entries.

I’m on 2 weeks sans the booze at the mo’ so you’ll have to do the honours and raise a glass on my behalf, make it a large one, go on, we’ve a lot to get through.

*Reproduced by kind permission of Lynne

Song Of The Day ~ Cut Copy – Going Nowhere

Original Comments:

Rina made this comment,
You make me smile! By the way, I felt very smart yesterday thanks to you. Remember you were saying how the only time to get things done and projects and stuff as work is during the summer? Well I work in the IT dept. at school and one of the reall (full-time) guys and I were talking about breaks and I got to say that. I felt smart, at least smarter than usual as I never know what to say around all the techies.
Anyway that was babble. Hope you’re doing well.

comment added :: 18th January 2006, 16:23 GMT+01 :: http://sugarbowl.blog-city.com
John made this comment,
Blimey ! Is it two years ? I don’t know how you do it Baron, but keep at it mate.
comment added :: 18th January 2006, 17:35 GMT+01 :: http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/
:ynne made this comment,
Happy Blogday to me favourite Baron (even if you *have* nicked my brithday-blog title, you bar steward!) Two weeks on the wagon, eh? And just as I was about to offer you some o’ this lovely mead wot I brought back from Scotland too. Shame, I’ll have to drink it by meself now 😉
-Redbaron responds – Hahahaha, When the title came to me I thought that’s a good title, it sounds a bit familiar but I couldn’t place it. It was stolen inadvertantly and in good faith but I shall credit you with it accordingly! Mead, mmmmmm, I love mead, drank it in Cornwall all the time. Nearly at the end of me abstinence as well!-

comment added :: 18th January 2006, 22:20 GMT+01 :: http://raingoddess.blog-city.com
:ynne made this comment,
Oops! Gremlin alert! Didn’t mean to comment _that_ many times!! Sorry
comment added :: 18th January 2006, 22:27 GMT+01 :: http://raingoddess.blog-city.com
Kristie made this comment,
Happy Blogday, Baron. You keep me honest and aware and thinking.
Damn you! ;o)

comment added :: 20th January 2006, 08:29 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
happy late blog day mate!!! not really around at the mo, and i miss you. i can still sometimes get emails, just not my blog quite so much… i hope that you are cool.. and im glad that the U2 review is the one peeps go to, it was a mad day 😉
comment added :: 21st January 2006, 14:14 GMT+01

Been busy of late not to mention having just got hold of a new version of Civilisation, and it’s been that rather sedentry part of the month where some notes are about all I come up with until I can string together something more cogent, so just to let people know I’m still alive I thought I’d give a little blog info for anyone interested.

My blog is worth $25,404.30.
How much is your blog worth?

In the last little while I hit 100,000 hits and am now up to 137,000, passed the 200 hits a day average which was something of a pleasant milestone really. We’re close on 1,300 comments on around 400 ish published entries which is a decent ration.

Other than that, there’s a lot more politics to come, and I have a load of gig reviews lined up just as soon as the resize picture thing is sorted out by the powers that be. When that happens I can post some of my finding of the camera research that I have been doing as well as some of the results of my Minolta Dimage A2 which I am finally starting to figure out how to master, only starting to, mind.

Anyway, you’ve got a 7 1/2 minute podcast and a lot of back entries to catch up on, and if you’re bored my new review site, Red Baron Reviews is a place I consolidated all my reviews and will keep updated.

So as we approach the 2 year mark, I’d like to thank those that have taken the time to contribute, since I make no secret of the fact that I am a reactive person, the input of those kind enough to take time out is as critical to me as the stuff I write. Some people have come, others have gone and doubtless more will do the same leaving their footprints as they do.

Here, at least be assured, the red flag will continue to be flown.

Song Of The Day ~ Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

Original Comments:

Pimme made this comment,
How time flies!
So you’re a podcaster now, are you? Up until now, I didn’t know anyone who signed up for that service here.

Keep up the good work!

comment added :: 10th November 2005, 04:27 GMT+01 :: http://pimme.blog-city.com
BlogIntro made this comment,
Intorduced! on BlogIntro.com
comment added :: 10th November 2005, 23:21 GMT+01 :: http://BlogIntro.com
The Fat Boy made this comment,
Congrats Red Baron, hope you’ll return the favor and come by more often. podcasting is an awesome medium, btw. ur blog is priceless to me, but is worth 0 in any currency. the stupid technorati thing prob bases “worth” on hits, which i guess r valuable to both of us, eh Red?
-Redbaron responds – You do disappoint me, my friend, I’m interested to know what your take may be on Fallujah as the new Dresden and starvation tactics, not to mention CIA running round impregnating people will-nilly (if you’ll ahem excuse the pun)!

comment added :: 16th November 2005, 09:59 GMT+01 :: http://spongeblog.blog-city.com
sarah made this comment,
my blog is worth only 12k 😦
i know i am horribly late with the wishes but happy two year bloggiversary anyway!

-Redbaron responds – It’s worth more than that to me hon, and it isn’t the bloggiversary yet, not till Jan 18th I think but I felt like making an update then since I’d passed the 100k mark.-

comment added :: 21st November 2005, 15:59 GMT+01
“baracuda” made this comment,
Well done fella.
I obviously gave up a while ago, but I’m up and running in a new locarion now.

Ireland finally won a game today, pity it was just Romania…

-Redbaron responds -I’ll check your new gaff out matey and we’ll post-mortem the rather nondescript rugby.-

comment added :: 26th November 2005, 23:00 GMT+01 :: http://blog-chorus.blogspot.com/

This HitMap thing is very strange because according to it I would appear to have quite the fanatical following in Belgium but not a single visitor from England, which is cack ‘cos I know Moog has shuffled in once or twice. I wonder if this is how The Hoff feels about his Austrian following! This leads me to question whether any of the Hitmap is accurate at all which is a shame because I was quite liking the idea of having somebody from South America (Northern Argentina or Southern Brazil if my geography and map reading serves me correctly) as well as someone from India and a goodly selection of Antipodeans and Septics on the Eastern Seaboard. And I think rayts is on there too.

I have now passed 250 entries of which well over 200 have been published so I’m quite chuffed about that because if each entry averages 250 words then I’d have written 50,000 words. As it is I think I have written a reasonable amount more but unlike Blogger you don’t have a total word count at BC which is a shame. Hold on I might just suggest that one to the BC aristocracy. I’ve nearly reached 900 comments as well which I’m even more pleased with because so many of those comments have led to new blog entries and online friendships and things which I would not have expected when I started this project.

I nearly passed 50% of my total hits coming in November which is a bit mad, at the peak I was getting over 1000 hits a day for a few days. It has settled down since then and I suspect my return to obscurity is around the corner. So be it, at least I can now say I was a player once! I’m not sure where all the hits came from whether the Anti-Bush webring had something to do with it, or the fact that I went right-wing blog-diving just for some fun! I have ruled the commenters list in the Baron dynasty days before the illustrious reign of Pimme who is positively Victorian in her longevity! And I have been on the Hot Blogs Top 10 as well as simultaneously in the Top 3 of all of my categories (WierdoBlog No.1) and Top 3 under England which I was kind of chuffed with. So I have at least this month done my bit to get up the nose of the right.

I’m a little concerned about the whole bandwidth situation if this becomes a problem, I was on 1.54GB at the end of Nov which based on the figures I’ve heard about from other people would appear to be quite high. However I don’t know what the qualifier is is so far as is it down to the amount of pictures and stuff that you have or does incoming/outgoing traffic or whatever come into it. Certainly I expected that since I pay my cash I will be left to get on with it and if that is not going to be the case then I’d have to decamp, after all there are services like Blogger which is free and various others that charge that may not have restrictions. Anyway the bandwidth thing may not come to the fore, at the moment mine stands at 0 whatever that means (presumably I am talking to myself then!) I was just a bit concerned at the precedent the whole ‘looking at the bandwidth with a view to charging’ idea set. Just an opinion.

I appreciate this is all very dull for you but it’s for me to look back on really. Call it an AGM shareholders report if you like, the Baron commits his blog, as of the last 11 months of his tenure, for your approval and would like to offer the above as the evidence as to why he believes he should remain at the helm! Oh and I wouldn’t mind a pay rise whilst you’re at it!

Song Of The Day – Toots And The Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number

Original Comments:

Pimme made this comment,
I was wondering why my blog never made it to the Top Ten or the categories list, then I realized that you have to be premium to get that. *Rats!*
Right when I did the blog about the bandwidth, the end of the month came and they reset us all to zero. However, now it’s Dec. 2 and so far none of use have seen our counters move from 0. Maybe they’ll scrap the whole bandwidth idea?

Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 2nd December 2004, 19:12 GMT+01
alsoknownas made this comment,
What a fabulous blog.
Visit me @ http://alsoknownas.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – I say, what a marvellous comment, you can come again!]

comment added :: 3rd December 2004, 08:47 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
::sighs:: I actually had something intellegent sounding to say here, but my computer broke down, I signed back on, and the moment is gone. So sorry.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 5th December 2004, 01:05 GMT+01