When should I have been born? (#blogboost)

I’ve been participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month (yes, John, we know… EVERYONE knows…), but evidently there’s a challenge called NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), sponsored by BlogHer, that goes on every month. The object is the same: one post per day each day of the month.

A number of blogs that I’ve been following for UBC are also doing NaBloPoMo simultaneously, and posts on several blogs have been responding to the daily prompt. Today (yesterday, since you’re reading this tomorrow), the question was

Do you think you were born in the “right” decade, or do you feel like you belong to a different time period?


I’m a Baby Boomer, since my birth year falls between 1946 and 1964. I feel comfortable having been born in the 1950’s, and had a chance to see things like the moon landing, the Kennedy assassination (both of them), and The Beatles. Ours was the generation that shaped the world we live in today, if you choose to believe the hype. But really, I like being a Baby Boomer. My friends are all here, and I like the music.

Of course, if I HAD to choose, I might opt for being born in Generation X.


I have a brother who’s almost twenty years younger than I. I got to watch him grow up. His early years were the early years for much of the technology we now take for granted: personal computers, the Internet, VCR’s, DVD’s and CD’s, and cable and satellite TV. Technology that’s old hat by now was all new and exciting when he was in grammar school. But it was more than that. He grew up not having to worry about being sent to Vietnam. The great social and cultural upheaval that characterized the 1970’s was almost over by the time he started school. The music was better than it had been in the Seventies. So were the movies. It would have been fun to have experienced the 1980’s and 1990’s as a younger person.

On second thought, nah… I like things the way they turned out. I’d like a mulligan on some things, but I think I was born at exactly the right time.

How about you? When do you think you should have been born?


The Thursday Ten: Ten facts about Idaho (#blogboost)

Source: Google.com
Source: Google.com

I can just hear you now: “Idaho? Are you nuts?”

If you don’t know the answer to that by now…

But seriously: I haven’t slept well lately, so I took a nap yesterday, and dreamt about Idaho. I have no idea why. I’ve never been there, never really given it much thought. In my first job, I worked with a guy from Montpelier, Idaho, I remember that Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was from Payette, Idaho, and that Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in Ketchum. But that’s really about it. So I decided that I was going to look up some facts about the 43rd State and share them with y’all.

  1. Idaho is the 14th largest state in the United States, with an area about the size of New England. It is home to 1.2 million Idahoans, ranking it 39th in population, and it is the seventh least densely-populated state in the country. The state has 200 incorporated cities: Boise, the state capital, is the largest, with a population of 205,671, and Warm River is the smallest, with a population of 3.
  2. Its nickname is “The Gem State” because nearly all of the world’s gems have been found there. The star garnet (the state gem) can only be found in one other place, India. It’s also called “The Potato State” for its largest agricultural product. 25,000 acres of farmland was dedicated to the growing of potatoes in 2013, and Idaho grows a third of all potatoes grown in the United States.
  3. The state was named by a lobbyist named George M. Willing, who claimed that the name meant “the sun comes over the mountains” in Shoshone. That was the story he gave, anyway. It might have come from the Plains Apache word for “Enemy,” and that was the word that the Comanches used to refer to it.
  4. Idaho is surrounded by Washington state and Oregon on the west, Nevada and Utah on the south, and Montana and Wyoming on the east. Its northern border is with the Canadian province British Columbia. The portion of the state south of the Salmon River is in the Mountain time zone (UTC-6), the portion north of the river is in the Pacific time zone (UTC-7).
  5. Although landlocked, the city of Lewiston is the furthest-inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the lower 48 states. The Columbia and Snake Rivers have a series of dams and locks along them, creating the port.
  6. The state has three universities: the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, and Boise State University. The teams of the University of Idaho are the Vandals; Idaho State calls its teams the Bengals; and Boise State calls them the Broncos. Brigham Young University has a campus in Rexburg, Idaho.
  7. There are two minor-league baseball teams in Idaho: the Boise Hawks of the Northwest League, a short-season Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League, the Rookie affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Pocatello, long a minor league city, hasn’t hosted a team since 1993, but now hosts the Gate City Grays, a semi-professional team. The Idaho Steelheads are an ECHL hockey team affiliated with the NHL Texas Stars. The Idaho Stampede is an NBA D-League basketball team affiliated with the Utah Jazz.
  8. Interstate highways 84, 86, and 90 all run through the southern portion of the state. Boise Airport, also called Gowen Field, is served by Alaska Airlines (via Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines), Allegiant, Delta, Delta Connection, United, United Express, Southwest, and US Airways. Gowen Field is the home of the Idaho Air National Guard. There are also airports in Hailey, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, and Twin Falls.
  9. Idaho’s governor is currently C. L. “Butch” Otter. The state legislature is bicameral, with a House of Representatives and a Senate. The state has two US Representatives, Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, and two US Senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.
  10. Boise hosts the largest women’s 5K run in the nation, the St. Luke’s Women’s Fitness Celebration 5K.

And that is your Thursday Ten for July 10, 2014.

Year of Ideas: You ain’t got time to think (#blogboost)

Source: aligned4results.com
Source: aligned4results.com

I promised one of these Year of Ideas posts every other week. I’ve been holding to more of a “every other month” schedule. Oh well.

Posting to a blog every day, whether doing it for a month as I’m doing for the Ultimate Blog Challenge or for the entire round of ROW80 (and beyond) might be the single biggest boost to my creativity and idea generation that I’ve come across. It doesn’t allow for me to mull over an idea for more than a few minutes, it forces me to think ahead to next week (or next month or next year), and I’m not rejecting ideas as quickly as I had been doing.

Does that mean that I’m just going to be coming up with any old crap that I can think of and posting it here? I certainly hope not. Katie (a/k/a “The Wellness Mama”) had an article yesterday at Copyblogger that has given me insight into how someone who does this for a living comes up with content every day. This is the process she uses:

  1. Create a writing environment.
  2. Schedule writing time.
  3. Have a framework.
  4. Outline for two minutes.
  5. Write 200 words.
  6. Refine.
  7. Optimize.

I do some of these (I have themes for Tuesday and Thursday) and have had some success with the blog (hey, you’re reading, right?); I just wonder how much more success I could enjoy if I followed all of these, at least for a while, until I refine this process for the unique way I work.

Stay tuned…

Two for Tuesday: Ray Stevens (#blogboost)

I don’t know where I heard it, but up until today, I thought Ray Stevens had passed away. I’m happy to say that I was wrong; he’s still at it, making music and making people laugh. Harold Ray Ragsdale was born in Clarkdale, Georgia (not far from where I live, as it so happens). He started his professional career when he was still in high school, and recorded his first song, “Silver Bracelet,” in 1957, and has been at it ever since. He has a website and YouTube channel (who doesn’t these days?), so stop by and be entertained.

One of my favorite songs by Ray is his countrified version of Errol Garner’s “Misty.” He recorded it on his 1975 album of the same name, and it reached #3 on the US Country chart, #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Many of Ray’s songs are novelty tunes that appeal to children of all ages. When I was in seventh and eighth grade, Ray’s “Gitarzan,” which he released in January 1969 on the album of the same name, was a particular favorite. (My friends and I were pretty good at the “boogie woogie” break in the middle of the song.) The song reached #8 on the Hot 100 in April 1969.

Ray Stevens, your Two for Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Image Quotes (#blogboost)

This morning, there was an article on Write to Done about creating and using image quotes in all social media. The article gives some good reasons why you should include these, and provided a list of nine websites that will help you create these graphics.

I decided to take one of them, Quozio.com, out for a spin, and while the process there is slow, it really turns out some nice graphics. Here are some examples:





Oh, this solves all kinds of problems for me, because I’m not exactly handy with tools like GIMP.

Anyway, try it! And post some of your favorites in the comments, if you like!