Oct 07

Blogging on DeBaytable Blogging

To Blog or Not to Blog

Expectations often fail to comport with reality. Such is the case with this blog. But before I expand on that, your assignment, should you choose to accept it (sound familiar, Charlie’s Angels fans?), is to review my first posting in August 2013: Words of Welcome…etc. You will find it in the August Archive on the right.

First, to give you a bit of history, for several years friends who like my writing style urged me to begin blogging. I was briefly tempted when a reporter from the local paper suggested I write a blog for the paper. I have been one of the few go-to Americans when the paper wanted a pithy quote in reaction to a current election or breaking news from Washington. But then I remembered that individuals with experience in blogging had written that it consumed their lives. As I had my ceramics to occupy me, I politely refused. But the suggestions continued.

Then came my operation that left me with several disabilities, but an intact mind. Emailing became my lifeline, my social life. Unable to eat or to talk clearly, I discovered that writing to friends about different subjects, not least politics, was a satisfying way to stay connected. I found that sitting in front of the computer writing to friends was my new social life.

There is little doubt that I became insufferable at times, bloviating about right wing conservatives undermining the Constitution or the rights of women being ignored. Thanks to the forbearance of my early readers, they stuck with me despite this. My legal background, not to mention my natural cautiousness, gave me a degree of believability that led some friends and even relatives to increase their suggestions that blogging might be in my future. Well, it was that or they realized that a blog might result in their being spared some of my windy discourses. On that they were right. Now I can direct my windy discourses at a wider audience: those who do me the honor of reading what I have written.

My ill-informed initial efforts at starting a blog were aided by long-time, multi-talented friend, Dave Meyers, who cobbled together a facsimile of what I had in mind, but it was going nowhere thanks to my practically boundless ignorance of basic blogging knowledge. Finally, when my talented daughter, Kathy, a self-described computer “geek,” said she would put together the blog for me, the project moved forward. Either that or I’ve gone soft in the head. My artist wife’s volunteering to design the banner of the blog was the last hurdle. A blog was indeed in my future.

The plan was that the blog would debut in September when my high school class was to have its reunion. I couldn’t attend the reunion but my blog would be the substitute. Kathy pointed out that the blog should go public in August so we could work out the bugs that were sure to crop up. So it was that my first piece titled Words of Welcome and Some Descriptions of “Worth Checking Out” hit the Internet on August 22, 2013.

I hope that the pieces I have published since my opening salvo have, if not inspired you, led at least to thoughts you’ve not previously considered or possibly to disagreement with those thoughts. That said, I am interested in any comments you’d care to make about the pieces already written or suggestions you’d care to submit for future pieces.

Back to Expectations and Reality—

Now to drop the other shoe, what were my expectations and what has been the reality? I expected that my pieces on religion, now numbering two or possibly three, would result in comments expressing some level of disagreement. The reality has been that those pieces have been met with a shrug of silence. I’ve tried to divine why this is the case. Is it because the readers feel that religion is a private matter or is it that they are taking care of my feelings by not disagreeing with me?

The one piece that touches on religion but deals primarily with justice, Free Will: R.I.P., has generated both heated disagreement and thorough confusion over what I was saying. What I believed was clearly stated has been seen by some to be muddy or not understandable. I made an effort to remedy that by writing Part 2 to the Free Will piece, but that elicited a similar response that came through regular email instead of by way of a public comment. Again, expectations failed to comport with reality. I still have to ponder that one.

Contrasted with those, some pieces have resulted in high levels of interest but little or no public comment. Drugs (marijuana) and the Syrian situation are examples.

Ones that brought a large response in both numbers of readers and comments dealt with death with dignity. They were intended to state my philosophy about personal autonomy in connection with observed mental deterioration in friends as well as my own disabilities. Many friends responded with great concern over my honestly revealed feelings believing that I was on the brink of taking my own life. I reassured them that while I was tempted by the thought of nothingness, I intended to hope for and look ahead to improvement. Indeed, my current intensive swallowing therapy holds some hope for improvement in that critical area.

Frustrations—

The past two months have taught me an enormous amount about both expectations and reality. But they have brought some frustrations as well. One is that with few exceptions, readers have shown a distinct reluctance to publicly comment on the pieces I have written. Comments are a way for me to gauge reader interest or to suggest that clarification is needed on something I have written. If you disagree with what I have written, tell me what you believe and why you believe I am wrong. Additionally, they are a way for readers to suggest other possible pieces for the future. Comment if you feel moved by something I’ve written.

Another frustration is that readers often fail to realize that they can receive notifications in their email accounts of future pieces as they are published. This frees them from the need to check the blog site from time to time. To do this—and I urge you to do this if you haven’t already done so and are interested in what I have to say—you can enter your email address in the box titled “Subscribe to DeBaytable via Email” on right side of the Home Page.

This piece gives potential bloggers my experience with blogging. Every day is both a surprise and educational. Surprise that what I thought would interest or arouse readers failed to bring the result I had expected. Educational in that reader response or lack of response revealed that what interests me will not necessarily interest readers. Is it that the title doesn’t reach out and grab your attention or is it that my writing is dull or perhaps too pedantic? As long as you comment on what I have written, I will have some sort of guide as to what interests you. My job is to not only let you know what moves me but to give you material that will engage your interests. Let me hear from you.

Yeah, blogging is eating my life, but I’m having fun and it keeps me out of trouble.

6 comments

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  1. Religion.
    I am writing a book on the hypnosis of religion and so enjoy your views. Responding is not always in the cards because of my nutty schedule. YET I love hearing from you dear friend.
    Here is a news article:

    REAL LIFE HYPNO TALE
    LEAP OF FAITH
    (Reported August 2001 in Religion in the News on the web and penned by Elroy Willis)
    A Little Rock, Arkansas woman was killed yesterday after leaping through her moving car’s sunroof during an incident best described as a “mistaken rapture” by dozens of eye-witnesses.
    Thirteen other people were injured after a pile-up resulted from people trying to avoid hitting the woman, who was apparently convinced that she saw twelve people floating up into the air, and then passed a man on the side of the road who she believed was Jesus.
    “She started screaming ‘He’s back! He’s back!’ and climbed out through the sunroof and jumped off the roof of the car,” said Everett Williams, husband of 28-year-old Georgeann Williams who was pronounced dead at the scene.
    “I was slowing down but she wouldn’t wait till I stopped, She thought the rapture was happening and was convinced that Jesus was gonna lift her up into the sky,” ” Williams said.
    “This is the strangest thing I’ve seen since I’ve been on the force,” said Paul Madison, first officer on the scene. Madison questioned the man who looked like Jesus and discovered that he was on his way to a toga costume party, when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blow-up sex dolls filled with helium, which then floated up into the sky.
    Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, pulled over and “lifted his arms into the air in frustration” just as the Williams’ car passed him, and Mrs. Williams was sure that it was Jesus lifting people up into heaven as they drove by him.
    “I think my wife loved Jesus more than she loved me. I just wish she would have waited until I stopped the car,” the widower said when asked why his wife would do such a thing.

      • Don Bay on October 8, 2013 at 15:46
        Author

      The article reflects religion at its worst. If you want to see another instance of religion taken to the extreme, Google “Jesus Camp” and watch young children being indoctrinated. If this doesn’t make your blood boil, nothing will. As I understand it, these folks have closed up shop due to the publicity. Doesn’t mean it isn’t done any more, just that it’s now “underground.” Thanks for the article and good luck with the book. The world needs to read it.

      • Don Bay on October 8, 2013 at 16:01
        Author

      It’s good that there is some sanity growing in the USA. Some of that sanity needs to grow here in Sweden. Counterintuitively, some of the opposition to sanity in California came from established marijuana dispensaries who don’t want the competition to be legalized. Ever shall it be. It’s up to informed progressives to smother the opposition, regardless of its source, at the polls. Let New Mexico lead the way. For the uninitiated, “Sandia” means “watermelon,” the color of those lovely clouds over the mountain.

    • Mary Ann Conley on October 8, 2013 at 14:54

    Standing in my kitchen waiting for it to get light enough to go on my morning walk. Not worried about walking in the dark because of strange people, but because I might run into a hungry bear.
    I definitely enjoy reading your blogs, generally agree with your perspective, and love to experience my perspective in your elegant portrayal.
    In New Mexico, we have passed a medical marijuana law which allows the sale and growth of the product. There are a number of growers who are taking their role very seriously and devoting themselves to creating strains of Cannibis that correspond to the specific needs of the client. Some strains are mood elevators while others are more useful for a quieting response. They are also developing strains that are harvested when they contain less THC and more CDC (?—I think) which is helpful in the treatment of pain without the “high”. As a psychologist who has specialized in working with people who have medical diagnoses, I am delighted with the willingness of patients and physicians alike who are willing to explore the effectiveness of this medication vs. opiate drugs that have significant negative effects on the central nervous system.
    I would certainly support the general legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug as well. Alcohol is significantly more toxic than Cannibis.
    Dawn is manifesting in a pink cloud glow fly over the Sandias.
    Keep the blog coming!

    • Dave Meyers on October 8, 2013 at 21:07

    BOY, talk about high expectations! Launched in August, you say… and the masses haven’t found you yet? Hmmm.
    Given the endless stream of comment to be found in all media, Internet notwithstanding, I would guess that it might take some time for folks to home in on you, Mr. Bay.

    I too was a bit confused by the Free Will article…but think I got your point mostly.
    The marijuana piece sent me out for a bag of Cheetos and upheld my belief that the whole legal approach has been a colossal waste of resources and a total folly.
    I added no comment because I felt you laid it well and no benefit to others would come from my two cents.
    As far as your observations go in general, I much prefer seeing the real Don Bay, no matter how deep or mystical, rather than someone’s fluffy observation that fails to impress or move me.

    As far as your comments on Right wing activities go, there is plenty to “bloviate about.” The more writers like you that point out the ridiculous behavior demonstrated by the Right and certainly by the Tea Party, the better, say I.

    If I understand correctly, you have been offered to blog for a newspaper? If that offer still stands, DO IT. That could surely link more readers to your Internet blog. Perhaps a brief teaser article in the paper would pull people into the more complete and lengthy online version.

    Also, don’t forget that this exercise provides you with several positive things: Exercising your brain, laying out your thoughts in a clear and concise way that may even serve to solidify them for YOU, reaching out to others in an attempt to perhaps clear the waters for them. There is nothing like reading the wisdom of others to help each of us establish clarity of our own thoughts (an old tribal custom, no?) and, I would dare say, that this might be an outlet for you: offering a sense of accomplishment at a time in your life when you are struggling with your ability to accomplish.

    I don’t know if this link will be helpful to you, but take a careful look (watch the video):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PQAVEObNYNk

    And this one too:
    http://www.justluxe.com/community/how-to-promote-your-blog.php?ref=OT

    I say, in the words of Yoda, “Dread not, proceed you must, feel the Force, be heard”.

      • Don Bay on October 9, 2013 at 18:25
        Author

      The solicitation to write for the local paper was three or four years ago. That offer is as cold as any corpse in the graveyard. As it is, it’s all I can do to write pieces for debaytable.com let alone write a blog for the local paper. Thanks for the thought, the words of encouragement and for the links you included. I will give them consideration.

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