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Words, pictures, blogging, the hats we wear and the stories we tell…


I’ve been thinking…

The_Thinker_Musee_Rodin smallHey it has to happen every once in a while!

Seriously, I’ve been having this kind of firestorm going on in the back of my head when I eat, watch TV, fiddle on the net, exercise, plan for my return to the world of dance, sleep, tinkle…

Uhmmm was that TMI?  It has been going on for about two or three weeks now and it came to a head (kinda sorta) in yesterday’s blog post.

There is lots of debris flying around in that thought typhoon: stress about my finances, the challenges that lie ahead, the reality that the road is going to be tough, that my life is about to change yet again, uncertainty, angst.  Now toss in a new found political awareness and activism, frustration that the system, the environment, and so many factors seems rigged against people trying to better themselves.

A huge chunk of that inner thought tornado is the difficulty in conveying why when “I went to the grocery store and to my storage unit today” should be received by the listener with the same respect as someone saying “I just ran a marathon in record time.”  — more on that in a later post. For now, please accept it as one tiny line of paint to be included in a much larger painting.  A thread in a larger tapestry.

However, there is a center.  A “core” to that whirling maelstrom inside my brain.

In every case, somehow it all comes back around to WORDS!.

And how inadequate they sometimes are.  How easily they can be misunderstood and the meaning behind the words lost when they come from me to another person.

Words and the inadequacy of “words.” How they can either soar and convey with perfect clarity emotions and thoughts or they can plumment horribly and thud into the ground, like bricks falling from a workman’s scaffold, creating the most awful mess!

Arrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!

Here, on this blog, on any blog, the words are both the solution and the problem.  How to use them?  Which ones to use? Do I write about this or that?  Share this bit or that bit?  If writing about that bit then “how?” In what way? Get the idea?

Let’s break it down a little; use those words to illustrate:

Here I am in Dallas, sitting in my room (which needs desperately to be neatened, dusted, and cleaned up).  Over in one corner is a shirt and a pair of pants that need to be thrown into the laundry hamper which is itself overflowing. On my futon are my pillows from last night, and the sheets from last night which really should have been neatly folded and put into the closet for the day, but weren’t.  The futon is still in it’s “inclined” night-time sleeping position instead of being moved to it’s upright “day-time” couch position.

Right next to my desk I have a stack of three boxes and a stack of two boxes.  These boxes are detritus from my storage unit which I’m slowly working through: sorting, selling on CraigsList, tossing in the trash OR giving away the enclosed “junk” and “stuff” to the local resale shop which benefits the LGBT community called “Out of the Closet.”  Watch for the return of my “online garage sale” as I work my way through that pile and the much larger pile-o-clutter that I need to get OUT of my house!

I have a half finished diet soda on my desk (which I really swore I would not be drinking any more of… …I should be switching to green tea instead).  My desk is as cluttered as my mind.  Lots of stuff left in mid project, bits of this and bits of that.

Yer basic slice-o-Tony’s Life in fifty words or less…

About those words…

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This “Getting Fit and Healthy” thing is gonna kill me! (Part one of ???)


Right now… my body is saying “WTF?!!!”

Pitchforks and flaming torchesMy torso (lower back and abs) right now are having pretty much a full on “Angry Mob” kinda thing going on!!!!!

Brace yourself…

I’m going to bring you into my world…

eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkk  slam

Ok, now that the strong among you have decided to not run shrieking from the room…. and those who headed for the exits have closed the door behind them….

Right now I am in pain. As in I’ve taken drugs and I’m icing it down kind of pain and I really really wish it would stop kind of pain.

My lower back and my lower abs are literally clenching and hurting and doing the whole spasm thing..  Earlier, I had to ask my room mate to help me get out of my chair (more on that in a bit)

Literally.  I needed help to stand up and get of of a chair.  I’m being dead serious here folks!  I. Could. Not. Stand. Up!

And you know that when I’m being literal, with no added drama, then the actual real “facts on the ground” are pretty darned dramatic all by themselves!

I think that my new efforts toward health and fitness are creating an uproar in my body…!!!!!

The never ending dilemma of a blogger / writer…

Janus - Two Faced CoinThe never ending question;

the quandary, the puzzle, the issue

that every blogger, indeed every writer, always faces is

“What should I include?”

In my case…  I’m writing a blog about “health, fitness, and my personal pursuit of those goals”

which means that I HAVE to share SOME personal details with… 

Uhmmm….  well, not to put too fine a point on it, … with YOU fine folks who are reading this

But how much should I share?  Obviously I need to share enough in order for the readers to “follow the story”  But how much is “enough” and how much is “too much” and what should never be mentioned?

It is a juggling act.  And for the most part my “rule of thumb” is “would I tell this story among casual acquaintances?”  Which is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow.

Now that at first glance doesn’t seem too bad or difficult.  However, now I find myself in a place, where in order for the readers, like yourself, to “follow the story” I have to share bits and pieces which I would rather not share.    Details which describe a “story” that thousands have experienced and thousands have blogged about and about which books have been written and careers have been made and talk show hosts have broadcast.

So what’s the big deal?  Well, this is MY story.  MY gory details!  This is ME we are talking about.  Details that are not flattering in any way.

[CUE THE FORBIDDING MUSIC]

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Changing up how I report on the Top Ten Line Dances


There is just not enough time in the day…

keep calmKeeping track of the Top Ten Line Dance Reporting lists takes time.  Lots of it.  You’d be horrified about how much time it takes.  So I decided to change from reporting on the Top from Weekly to Monthly.

Up to now, I’ve had a detailed page where I put the Top Ten Dances from each site:

  • Copperknob
  • Kickit
  • World Line Dance Newsletter
  • LineDancer Magazine

On each of these detailed pages I had, for each dance:

  • The dance’s current rank #1, #2, #3, etc
  • An indicator of whether the dance was moving up or down the list
  • Details about the dance, like count, # of restarts & tags, difficulty level, etc.
  • The name of the dance and the name of the choreographer
  • Link to a stepsheet for the dance
  • Link to the music on Amazon.
  • Link to the music on iTunes
  • And embedded videos of the dance, both demonstrations and teaches

Then I had two “summary / review” lists which I created myself:

  • TxCowboyDancer’s Weekly Summary – which basically listed the Top Ten dances as a simple list and then had a link to the more detailed page.
  • TxCowboyDancer’s Weekly Review — a kind of Best of the Best “Most Popular” which listed only those dances which appeared on at least two of the four websites.

Whew!  I’m getting tire just listing it.  The “Weekly Summary” didn’t take that long, but the detailed page.   OMG!

So…  I’m keeping the “Weekly Summary” but I’m switching the detailed page to a monthly report instead of week.

Here’s what I’m doing.  I’m keeping track of the dances for each week during a given month.  Then I use some statistical magic and list only the top ten dances for the whole month.  In other words, only the VERY MOST POPULAR dances make the top ten for the month.

Which means [drum roll please]  I save time and you, dearest readers also save time.  Why?  Because instead of learning a potential of 40+ dances per month… you can look at my Monthly survey and learn only the top 10.  Woot!  Uh-huh!  Doing a happy “chair dance”!

Coo huh?

So.. Here is my very first one that I’m unveiling —

The Top Ten Line Dances from CopperKnob for the month ending Sept 21, 2013:

Enjoy!  See ya on the dance floor!

Thoughts on blogging, noses, unmentionables, wallowing and starting over…


What to write?

OMG! You're blogging about THAT? ©2012One of the problems with writing a blog is that people actually do read it.

In my case, not a lot of people, about six of you including my mom.  Ok, ok, there’s more than six but my little blog reaches only a few hundred folks, not a few hundred thousand.  But that’s enough to count.  LOL

And it is enough so that I, like any blogger, have to decide just how much detail to include from my personal life.

Ok…  I’ll give you a moment to process that.

Give it a bit… think about ALL of the things you do on a daily basis.  Now think about all the things which you do that you DON’T talk about in polite company.

Just for the sake of being obvious, and to indulge in a moment of juvenile regression, here are some examples of normal routine ordinary things which we all do, but usually don’t talk about or in this case, things we usually don’t blog about…

  • …how many times we go potty in a day.  The nature and quality of the products eliminated from the system during the potty process.
  • …whether or not we really wash our hands after going potty.
  • …how many times we insert our fingers into our noses. The nature and quality of the *ahem* product of finger insertion.
  • …how many times we scratch *ahem* unmentionables located in places usually covered by clothing while in public.
  • …and other such random acts of physiological grossness and impoliteness

Ask yourself:

My Chart Rocket is still headed UP!!! WOOT!


It is going Up, Up UP!!!!

Rachel Maddow, reporting from Kandahar

Rachel Maddow, reporting from Kandahar, standing next to her very very butch very very cool ride! 🙂

Yay!!!!!   This morning, my article just moved into Tier 2!!!!!  Woot!

It ranked 9,153 overall, (It started out at 263,525) and it is #29 in the “Books >> Reading List” category.  I need the article to break into Tier 1 (under 2,000 overall)

Article: Books and Songs from the Rachel Maddow Show (Current Season)
link: http://www.squidoo.com/RachelMaddowShowBookList

Thanks to everyone who has visited or shared.

If you haven’t checked out the article please do so.  It is a list of music (lots of cools songs) and books written by the guests on the Rachel Maddow Show.   April is current through last night’s show.  All of March is there and all of Feb except for a couple of days at the beginning of the month.  Jan should be listed by the end of the week.

If you want to read about some back ground on why I wrote the article and why the ranking is so important, check out my blog post:

“We’re not talkin’ “Daddy Warbucks” yet, but… One can hope, and you can help! –> My Songs and Books From the Rachel Maddow Show is a Chart Rocket!”

Even if you hate the Rachel Maddow Show, help out a struggling writer by at the very least going to the page and allowing it to load.  Every visit helps in the ranking.  Then if you are feeling generous, hit ALL of the like and share buttons for the social networks to which you belong!

See ya on the dance floor!

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