Writing for Business and Pleasure

Many have said that to be a writer, one must write. Write every day. Write, write, write.

In 2006, one of the goals I set was to write every day. Not necessarily to publish, but to write. And for that year and even beyond, I did. Then life interrupted, and I fell off. Funny how that seems to happen.

Goals are good

With the beginning of June 2019, I think it is time to set a new writing goal. I’m not sure how it will evolve or what the specific goal will be, but I’m working on it. I’m not sure whether it will be a daily goal or a per week/month goal or a word count goal, but I am considering all possibilities.

I wrote an article on June 1 and set it to publish on Monday the 3rd. I am writing this on June 2. I’m not even sure I will post this or if it will be an act of thinking through the keyboard about the proper goal to set.

To Write Daily

Daily writing isn’t hard, but it does take time to think through an idea and begin to flesh it out. For me, it takes a bit of quiet. I don’t seem to think well with the television or radio on. There is one exception, though. I can work in a crowded coffee shop by tuning out the noise and focusing on the people and their interactions. I get ideas for articles by observing.

A Book Idea

I am working on an idea for a book. I started thinking and making notes years ago and even build a considerable mindmap around the idea. At this point, it might just be a series of articles to work out.

I have written a draft of some of the ideas which I reviewed yesterday. It is rough, but it’s supposed to be. Reading it through again though re-affirmed the ide in my head as being valid. I can’t find anything on the subject at all. No books, no articles, nothing. That is encouraging and frightening at the same time.

Thank you for letting me ramble a bit as I think about the book and a new goal. I will let you know in the future how it went.

Sedan vs. Coupe

Have we lost the meaning of the words Sedan and Coupe? Reading an article the other day on a car site ( should know the difference) and the review was for a 2-door coupe. In the article, they continually called it a sedan.

For decades, two doors were coupes and four doors were sedans.

Did I miss the memo?

Please let me know in the comments. Thank you.

24 year old computer still boots

You might amazed that this Dell computer is 24 years old this month and it still boots and works. As shown in the video, it takes four minutes to boot from a cold start to mouse control.

My wife and I received this as a 25th anniversary gift from our family members. The old DAK 286 desktop was giving out from age and slowness and they knew how much we used a computer.

There was an Internet int 1995 and this computer came with a 14,400 baud modem to dial up to a local ISP (and we complain about 100Mbs). Later I found a 56,000 baud modem in a toss box at a local computer store. The box was $5 found. That modem made a big difference.

It came equipped with Windows 3.11 which I later upgraded to Windows 95.

We used this computer for about 7 or 8 years before replacing it with a couple of laptops.

I’m struggling with the term Retirement

Walter_Strickland
Working is in my DNA. Going back as far as my experience allows, both my grandfathers were hard workers. They are still an inspiration to me to this day, even though they have been gone for decades.
 
My maternal grandfather, Walter, was a cobbler by trade. He was also a deaf-mute. I guess today the term is hearing and speaking impaired. He could “speak” a little, but he was difficult to understand, so most of the time he signed. Not hearing didn’t seem to hold him back.
 
When WWI started, he succeeded in enlisting in the Army because of his ability to read lips. He managed to make it all the way to basic training before being discovered. As told to me, a Staff Sergeant walked up behind him, without his knowledge, and began barking orders at him. When he didn’t respond, the Sergeant grabbed him, spun him around and asked if he was deaf …
 
Well, you can imagine what happened next. In a quick and quiet, embarrassing way, the Army sent him home.
 
He went to work in a shoe repair shop and became quite the shoe cobbler. Learning the trade he succeeding in owning his own shop. 
 
I had great respect for him and I know it shaped me into who I am. 

Pictures With Cars

Mom & Larry

In the past, pictures of cars frequently included a person standing in front. A fine time-honored tradition, if you ask me.

In going through old photos, one can see my family was part of the tradition. I am in seven of the photos below, even as others are featured.

Look through your photo archives and I bet you will discover the same thing. Am I right? Let me know in the comments.

Twice as Long

It seem everything takes twice as long as it should.

 

I have an interest in writing in Google Docs, but need to publish on my WordPress website. That process is clumsy and causes formatting issues.

A bit of Google research shows a simple add-on to Google Docs called Publish to WordPress that does all the configuring and translating in the background to convert a document from Docs to WordPress. How cool is that?

No need for copy and paste, then spending time re-formating,inserting pictures, etc. Just write, add pictures, format, then click Publish Post or Save Draft. Should be easy peasy. The only requirement is to have JetPack installed and an account to log into. Got it.

Or maybe not

Installing the Add-On was straightforward and went off without a hitch. Adding the first website was as easy as I thought.

In authorizing my main website, I got an error message. As I normally do, I copied it over to Google to see what the issue was and how to fix it. Nothing. Not a single hit for the error message.

Okay, let’s go to the Publish to WordPress website to search. It took several searches before finding the add-on was by Plugmatter. I read all through the home page a few times with nothing jumping out as a potential problem. Then I noticed an FAQ section to check out.

One sentence, “make sure JSON API is enabled” caught my eye. Further digging says it is enabled by default. Yeah, right. More Google to figure out how to check this in Jetpack to make sure it is enabled. I found that information quickly.

BINGO

Well, you guessed it. It was not enabled on this website. The instructions didn’t mention how to activate it, but that was an easy mouse click.

Back to Google Docs to try again … Success.

I am writing this in Google Docs, formatting it, and have added a picture with wrapped text. Now to see how it works in real life. Now to click Save Draft.

IN WORDPRESS

Publish to WordPress ScreenshotDid it work? Not so much. Picture alignment is off and I can’t get the text to wrap to the right. The bold and italics didn’t come over and neither did the heading 2 formatting. The font size was the same in Google Docs, but changes in WordPress. I am disappointed in the results. The code is bloated and difficult to navigate. Fixing all the issues would be easier to just start over.

Since the add-on is free, there seems to be no support, so there you have it. I guess I’ll keep looking.

Has your experience been different? Let me know. Where do you write? In WordPress or in another program, then publish on WordPress?

Are Tablets Ready for Business?

iPadAir Are tablets ready for business? This is a question asked more each day. Here is how I answer that question. While businesses are asking the question, sales people are carrying their own tablets on sales calls.

I first witnessed this almost four years ago when a salesman I was working with left his big heavy laptop at the office when we left for a day’s work in the field. He did, however, carry his iPad under his arm, which I thought nothing of at the time.

At our first stop, he jumped out of the car, iPad in hand and I watched closely. As we talked with the customer about different products he needed, the salesman recorded each item on the tablet. When asked about a particular item, he brought up a picture from the web, showed the customer, and recorded another sold item on the order for he used.

Did the company issue the iPad? No, it was his own device and was not formally vetted for use in the field by anyone from IT. It was light, fast, easy to carry into an office and it instantly caused a reaction from the people in each office. I was hooked.

Normally between calls, my conversation with the sales person is about the previous call. What went well, what could improve … but not this day. I was asking questions about how he used the tablet in his work day. How did customers and prospects react to it when he was by himself? (It’s always different when two people go in together) Had he witnessed an increase in business by actively engaging the customers with this technology?

That was when I knew the tablet would come into business. It was a natural tool to use in front of customers. It was instantly on, it was easy to hand to the customer to look at a picture or watch a video, and customers were talking and asking questions. This is a customer engaged … a huge plus for any sales person.

I have begun using my Nexus 7 in my daily workflow at the office. I’ll write about the details in another article.

How does your company look at tablets? Has there been any discussion? Are people using their own equipment like they do with their cell phones?

I’d really like to know how this is playing in other industries. Talk to me …