Some scheduled blog neglect

You may have noticed that there was no product review this week. That’s because there’s going to be a little bit of blog neglect through the month of September. It’s been a crazy end of August as well, but some of that will be leading in to more content.

One of the big changes at the end of August was that I upgraded my bike. I’ve been doing a LOT more biking this year and after 9 years of my faithful Trek FX I decided it was time to go for something new. There’s a whole story around this bike, and the purchasing of it, but I’ll make that into a post at a later date. I’ll also do a full product review of the bike once I’ve had it for a few weeks.

The other reason for some blog neglect will be the amount of traveling I’m doing this month. This afternoon we head up to the north shore for the Superior 100 (volunteering and pacing), and then after that we’re heading out of town for 12 days to help pace at the Tahoe 200 and the Sangre de Christo 100 race. This is going to be an incredibly long trip, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to send off a few dispatches from the road. I’m really looking forward to getting out west again and seeing some trails I’ve never seen before.

In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to post my weekly fitness updates, and work on more new features for the blog. Here’s to an exciting end of 2019! #livingmybestlife

The blog in 2018

Three years ago I embarked on a journey. I decided to start blogging on a daily basis, and for the most part, I’ve kept that up for three years. It’s been an amazing journey, and a phenomenal challenge. However, it’s also been a bit of a struggle as of late. Trying to keep my mind fresh enough to post something unique and interesting every single day can be fun, but it can also be a struggle. Especially, since I feel like I have a lot of other things on my plate right now.

Therefore, in 2018 I will be reducing the number of posts that I make. Don’t get worried though, I’m still going to be here quite regularly. I’m simply going to drop from 7 posts per week to 3-4. That will allow me a bit more time to work on long-form pieces that I feel need more attention, as well as be more intentional with the photo posts that I do.

Spending the past three years blogging on a daily basis has been an incredible way to get the juices going, but now I feel like I need to spend more time being thoughtful in what I write, and ensuring that I’m completing my arguments like I want, or spinning the tale that I want to share. I want to be a better, and more creative, writer, and the next step in that journey is to take all the momentum from the past three years and put it to work on honing my writing craft.

I can’t wait to see where this will take me in 2018, but I’m excited to give it a shot!

The big 1000

I know that I should probably post something here about the current DACA mess, but I feel like a lot of people I know, are already saying what I would say. Therefore, I’m going to take this day’s blog to celebrate a milestone here at Second Runnings, the 1,000th post. Post number 1,000 was actually yesterday’s post about the Mississippi Valley Wildlife Refuge, so today is simply a celebration of it.

Some other interesting statistics.

That gives me a total of 1,817 posts that I know for sure that I’ve made since September 2002. Not bad if I do say so myself.

To be political or not

One of the things that I’ve always strived for on my blog is to try and avoid politics as much as I can. I felt it was always best to keep my political views to myself when sharing in a public forum. I’ve often found when sharing my views on Facebook it tends to lead to arguments and hurt feelings. Often times Facebook is the worst possible vehicle for communication, despite being a platform for doing just that.

However, with the current state of affairs in the country being what they are, I don’t want to feel hamstrung by worrying about all of my Facebook friends not liking what I have to say on my feed. There is too much at stake over the next 2-4 years, and it would be remise of me not to speak out on issues that are important, for the sake of political correctness. When a government takes such a strong turn towards the wrong side of history, it would be wrong to limit myself.

Therefore, I’ve taken a step towards isolating my blog writing from my personal Facebook feed. I’ve created a Facebook page for people to follow, who would like to continue to see my blog posts in their feed. As of a couple of days ago, all of my posts started pushing to that feed, instead of my personal Facebook feed. Now, if you don’t want to read my ramblings you can simply “un-Like” my page, and you don’t need to worry about un-friending me.

I’m in no way insinuating that my blog will become constant political ramblings. There might be weeks or months without a single political post. However, I want to reserve the right to use my platform as best as I see fit, as a way to express my feelings, and create something that wasn’t there before.

Besides following this blog directly you can also find it pushed to the FB page mentioned above, as well as Twitter and Tumblr. Thanks to everyone who reads this and hope you stick it out with me during these trying times.

Blog template update

I decided to update the template for the blog today, despite still not being able to access the Twenty Seventeen theme. My practice in years past was to update to the new yearly default WordPress theme each year before the new year rolled over. This year the upgrade to Twenty Seventeen is dependent upon WordPress getting updated to version 4.7, which hasn’t been done yet for my site.

I selected a very beautiful and simple theme called Lovecraft by Andres Norén. It’s simple, clean, and easy to add modifications to if I so desire. I’ve kept it mostly stock, but I have made a couple small changes.

  • I selected a random header banner which I will keep updated with photos I’m really proud of. When I post a really nice landscape photo here it may end up in the banner rotation, which also gives a bit of surprise when people visit.
  • My flickr feed is now in the sidebar under my instagram link. I want to start putting more of my photos up there for people to view.
  • Moved the categories and archives menu lower in the sidebar to better feature the image feeds.
  • Removed Twitter feed from the side, and put it in the footer.
  • There is now a calendar at the bottom of the entire page for jumping to specific dates.
  • I added a widget to show other likes I’ve done on WordPress sites I follow.
  • I lowered the amount of posts on a single page to 5. The calendar widget is a great tool for navigating to a specific date once you’ve selected a month from the drop down menu.

I might make a few more tweaks in coming days, but I wanted to get the major changes in place before some bigger changes coming in the near future.