Instances of poetry

Hello everyone. I’m still here. It’s spring, and I’ve decided to come out of hibernation. Just the other day the temperature went up over 10C and I swear I felt a kind of sap surging in my veins. I’m alive! It’s warm! I feel the sun on my face!

I have decided, however, to adopt a new blogging style. Short. Sweet. To the point. No more ramblings from one topic to another. That’s a real challenge for me, because I find so many things interesting, and I want to share them all with everyone. I guess that means I’ll need to post more things, then, if I limit myself to one topic per post.

Today it’s poetry. I happened to visit Brainpickings, Maria Popov’s brilliant blog, and read a fascinating article about a woman named Nina Katchadourian, who photographs the spines of books arranged to make sentences and poems. It reminded me of Jane, a woman I met a couple of weeks ago when I was visiting my mom.

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I’m not dead yet! This may very well be my favorite line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail –  it’s a close tie with Silly English kuhniggits! and Run away! Run away! Spoken with the proper accent, each phrase has served me well in response to a variety of situations I’ve encountered across the years.

You might very well have wondered about my status, since my last post was about a month ago. I saw my trusty CTO Dave not long ago on a trip to the US, and the issue came up.

Dave: You haven’t posted much to Gydle lately.

Me: I don’t have anything to say.

He shrugged, and that was that. Yesterday he sent me a comic from the Oatmeal that explains it much better than I did. Make sure you scroll down to the part that says “I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have anything to say, you shouldn’t be talking. And if you don’t have anything to write about, DON’T WRITE.” Continue reading

Time of reckoning

Last week, when I was writing about the kilogram and got sidetracked into calendars, I realized two things:

One. Gydle is a year old now! The first post was on March 2, 2011.

Two. We’ve been living in Switzerland for 7.5 years, 8.5 if you count the sabbatical year in 2002-2003.

Time flies, huh? There’s way too much in these two momentous events for a single post, so today, I’m just going to bask in the glow of Gydle’s one-year birthday. I’ll write about number two tomorrow (maybe).

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A moment in the sun

chillin'Due to visitors, huge quantities of work that have piled up, and my growing obsession with trolling useless websites, I haven’t posted anything on Gydle for almost a week.

I think I need to take a lesson from my cat.

One of the cardinal rules of blogging is that you’re never supposed to write anything about your cat. Ever. I know this because the websites I’ve been trolling lately are those that purport to tell me about how I should be blogging.

The other thing they all seem to find important is a blog’s ability to generate “traffic.”

I wonder, though. It’s kind of like the question about the tree falling in the forest. If it falls, and there’s no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

I was a philosophy major in college, and so I spent a lot of time pondering this question, with and without the aid of alcohol. I came to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter. Not to the tree, not to the person who didn’t hear it, not even to the little worm who got squished when the tree hit the ground. I’m pretty sure I wrote an essay on it at one point,  judged by an Oxford don as “Interesting…” (Note: when an Oxford don says something is interesting it means they think it’s completely worthless.)

Just because a blog has a lot of traffic doesn’t mean it’s worth reading. After putting some thought into it, I realize I’m not willing to do what it takes to get people to flock to Gydle. I could probably spend the time and do the cybergymnastics required, but I won’t. Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter if anybody in the vast cyberforest of the internet hears my particular tree falling. This blog is my moment in the sun. And that’s enough for me.

Does it look like Smokey over there cares if you’re looking at him or not?  He knows he’s handsome. Get a life, he says. And next time, clear all this crap off the chair before you leave the room.

Smokey has it right. Life’s too short to worry about whether you’re doing things right. Just enjoy the sunshine and don’t squish anyone.

Stay tuned, because once I’m caught up with my work, I’m planning to write about some exciting topics, including a manifesto on cognitive biases and another on units of measure. I might write about nutraceuticals, too, because I think they’re a huge scam. (I’m living in Nestle-land, after all.) As usual, I welcome your ideas and suggestions. I might really rock the boat and write a post about Smokey. He’s not an ordinary cat.

Here’s a link to a hilarious geeky gadget blog. I love its tone. It reminds me of my cat, who doesn’t care if I think he’s gorgeous or not. Thanks, Ellen, for showing it to me!