Browsing articles in "Bloggery"
Sep 30, 2012

This is a boring post

Hello all.

If you use an RSS reader like Google Reader to subscribe to this blog, you need to update your subscription.

Please change it to:

If you don’t use an RSS reader like Google Reader, if you subscribe by email, or if you read my blog when I sent you a text message telling you to read my blog, you don’t need to take any action.

As a thank you for reading this very boring post, here is a photo of my mom’s dog Tuppence as a puppy doing the “Thriller” dance:

Tuppence as Michael Jackson (photo credit: mom)

Thank you for your time.

Jul 5, 2011

An Open Letter about SEO and Hungry Bears

Taken from Selva's Flickr stream.

Search engines are wonderful things. They’ve practically made the Internet usable. But, sometimes, they hiccup. Sometimes you search something perfectly reasonable, and instead of finding a helpful result, you’re directed to a page that has nothing at all to do with your query.

Sometimes you search “did anyone in the bible get eaten by a bear” and you’re directed to a review of Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos.

And that’s exactly what happened to you, Mr. Did Anyone In The Bible Get Eaten By A Bear Man.

I say “Mr.” because that’s how I imagine you, Mr. DAIBGEBAB Man. I see you as a guy with a wide range of interests. You enjoy a little light theology. You’re a zoology hobbiest. I bet you watch the History Channel. And you’re persistent, if a little pig-headed.

How do I know this last bit? Because you’ve searched “did anyone in the bible get eaten by a bear” eleven times in the last month, Mr. DAIBGEBAB man. Eleven times.  And every time, it brings you to the same review of Imaginary Jesus. I know this because Google Analytics told me so, and Google Analytics doesn’t lie. This review only mentions bears once, and doesn’t really have anything to do with bears in the Bible. Now, it’s possible that you just really enjoy that review and find this to be a convenient way to reread it. But you know you could just bookmark that post, right?

Of course you do. You’re an intelligent person, Mr. DAIBGBAB Man. You watch informed cable television.

No, I choose to believe that you’re still searching for answers. I choose to believe that you have a need to know about the dieting habits of ancient bears, and you refuse to change your search term, and darn it, Mr. DAITBGEBAB Man, I’m going to help you.

The answer you’ve been waiting for, Mr. DAITBGEBAB Man, the answer is…Yes. Forty-two anyones. It happens in 2 Kings 2:24.

Because I know you’re something of a naturalist, you’ll be interested to hear that the bear in question was probably a Syrian brown bear. And because you’re a theology guy, you’ll want to know that it was the result of a curse from the prophet Elisha. And because maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to thin a little up top, and you’ll be gratified to know that, well, Elisha was too.

Here’s how it happened:

23 Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!” 24 Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. 25From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel and finally returned to Samaria. (2 Kings 2:23-25, NLT)

Never mess with a prophet of the Lord, Mr. DAITBGEBAB Man. No, no.

So there you go, Mr. DAITBGEBAB Man. I suppose I’m reading into the text a little bit to say that these kids were actually eaten by bears, since the word is mauled, but I’m sure you could find someone to help you really get into the original intent of the passage. Just google “Hebrew exegesis” and don’t stop until you get the right result, Mr. DAITBGEBAB Man. Don’t stop.

Jun 15, 2011

This is Why I Don’t Blog

Id: I’m hungry.

Ego: Just remember, you have to blog over lunch. You put it off yesterday and the day before that.

Id: But I want to run around and yell!

Ego: Jesse, be a grown up.

Id: Blogging isn’t grown-up. Babies blog. I want to run around and yell!

Ego: Jesse. Seriously. You’re not allowed to go to lunch if you don’t blog.

Id: You’re not the boss of me. I know where you put my lunch.

Ego: OK, if you can think of a realllllly good reason not to blog, then you can have your lunch. But you can’t run around and yell.

Id: Twitter!

Super-ego: I LOVE TWITTER!

And then we go eat lunch and we don’t blog, we run around and yell and look at Twitter.

Jun 1, 2011

L’Esprit D’Escalier

Look! It's my wits! I keep them on my staircase.

Oh, hi. You found me.

I moved my blog. Or, well, changed the name. Apparently, I get itchy if I don’t change my blog/site once a year. I think it’s a Spring thing.

I’m changing things around because I want to have a little more freedom with what I blog about, and not be so concerned with just blogging about books. I follow a lot of  book bloggers, and I have a ton of respect for them and what they do. I just don’t think I have the focus to do that.

Also, I’ve never been totally sold on the name Short Version. One, I’m often long-winded, and two, I’m short, but I know a lot of people shorter than me. (Hi Mom.) The name just didn’t really fit. And abridged versions make me sneeze.

I learned the term staircase wit from John McIntyre’s excellent blog. The phrase is a translation of the French term l’esprit d’escalier (literally: the spirit of the staircase). It’s the name for that perfect retort you think of as you’re leaving the building. The perfect response just a little bit too late. Aren’t you so happy to know there’s a name for that? Now, while you’re lying awake, angry that you didn’t have the presence of mind to say what you needed to say, you can also wonder at the marvels of language.

This seemed just right. I am, quite regularly, a little bit late. To most appointments, family gatherings, to go to sleep at night, and to wake up in the morning. But I’ve also had this nagging feeling that I’m just a little late to most life events. It seems like I come in after the group is already formed, or after the rules have been established. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily; I’m used to being late.

I’ve also had a bunch of major changes since Short Version came about (busy year), and since then, I moved into my apartment with the Staircase to No Where that I love so dearly. Why would I not incorporate that into my life as often as possible?

So, stay tuned for more of the same. My lunch is ending, so I have to post this now. I’ll probably think of a totally appropriate and clever ending for this post in about five minutes, but such is my life.

Oct 26, 2010

In Which I Begin Blogging…Again

I promise.

No, really this time.

Also, I have an excellent excuse for not posting in 105 days.

I got a job. My last post was about three days before my first interview. My brain’s been just a little busy since then.

Oh, I also moved. Into an apartment. An apartment without Internet.

I’ll give you a minute to absorb that.

Yeah. No Internet. If I didn’t have my magic phone, I’d have died of malnutweetion.

So, now that I’m settled in and my brain only spins sometimes, I’m going to start blogging. For real this time. I’ve even got a plan. Sort of.

My plan consists of this: If I don’t post at least once a week, than I won’t buy myself the good coffee. If I won’t blog for personal improvement, then by golly I’ll blog for Intelligentsia.

Yeah, it’s that serious.

About my job: I’ve just started at Tyndale House Publishers. This is one of the top…oh…top four most exciting things that has ever happened to me. Most of my spare time has been spent practicing, “Oh, hi, my name is Jesse. I work at Tyndale. Yeah, I help make books.”

But I have been reading. Amazing what a lack of Internet and television can do for your attention span. So I plan to catch up on some book reviews and add a few new sorts of posts. I’m excited about it. You should be too.

Read this blog if:

  • You want to support me in buying pretty coffee.
  • You think “malnutweetion” is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard.
  • Hi, my name is Jesse. I work at Tyndale. Oh…you’re still here. I was just practicing.
Jun 2, 2010

Chapter One: In Which I Begin Blogging

I used to read everything: little books, big books, fat books that bruised the table when I dropped them, thin, floppy books, chapter books, picture books, books that sing when I pressed a button, books that left me quiet for hours after. I read books that came in series, and books that stood alone. I read short stories, long stories, magazines, and shampoo bottles in the shower.

When I was really desperate, I resorted to reading instruction manuals. These were always handy—every glove compartment comes equipped with one—but they were a bit dry. Really, what ten-year-old little girl needs to know the correct air poundage for a set of tires?

The problem with the instruction manuals, aside from not being terribly applicable, was that I never learned anything lasting. None of the information ever really stuck. There wasn’t a reason for it. But, I wanted to read, and it was sometimes useful to know what that button was under the steering wheel, so, when there was nothing else, I read manuals.

After a while, I began to see that reading everything wasn’t necessarily beneficial. I started to see that different books carried different merit, different weights. I started to dig deeper into the stacks, trying to find the books that were true. I wanted to find books that told the truth and told it in a way that I could, first, understand it, and second, remember it. I wanted to become other people in other places. I wanted to travel. I wanted to see mistakes and consequences. I wanted to find and hide treasures.

As I started digging for new stories, I found more and more, better and better books. I sorted them into piles in my head: the ones about sensible, talking animals; the ones about growing up quietly; the ones about extraordinary adventures. These are the books that did more than keep me turning pages, but prompted me to pick up another book when that one was finished.

As I grew up, my tastes matured a bit, but I have never outgrown the best books from my childhood. They’ve followed me everywhere I go, whispering into my ear whenever I walk into an old house, or see an animal peeking around a corner, or walk down a crowded street. Better, though, is when they offer nudges when I really need them.

They gave me experiences that equipped me for my semi-adult life.

But, I still need a good lot of equipping, so part of the purpose of this blog is to make me read more, and part of it is to make me process through what I read. Mostly, though, it’s because I love books, and want to have more opportunities to talk about them.

No one should ever be without something valuable to read, and I’d like to offer my opinion on some of the books available. Maybe I can help to save you from instruction manuals.