May 25, 2013

Coming Along, I Hope

I'm about 2/3 of the way done with scheduling my old Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly column history into this blog. It has been a few years since I've looked at this stuff, even though it was always archived on my own website with Comcast for years. Comcast doesn't offer website space for new customers and, sooner or later, I'll become a new/old customer and the website will become history.

Funny how technology and communications "evolves" and changes the way we humans communicate. For years, I was convinced that I'd find a way to "monetize" my websites (I had several and at least a couple of them were intended to attract business.) Several friends and ex-corporate drones had figured out how to make a killer living as "consultants" and I figured I could dip into that pie, too. I had this sneaky angle that "nobody else figured out," simple explained as being a contrary old guy who solved problems without massaging the egos of the corporate CEO-CFO-whatevers. 30 years ago (Yeah, it was that long ago when Americans made stuff that people bought without government subsidies.), I managed a small manufacturing business. That company went from being a money-loser to knocking out a substantial profit on a substantial gross income in a decade and I had a lot to do with that evolution. I imagined that I could pedal that experience into a fairly regular income, after abandoning my last Misfortune 500 disaster area. I didn't image this strongly enough to count on it and I did my usual thing of cranking up a half-dozen "businesses" and waiting to see which panned out/paid out the most. Having done the for-hire consultant thing for 6 months in the early 90's, I knew how phony most of the crap was and how unlikely it would be that I'd actually find a business owner who wanted to build a business instead of scrap the assets into his pockets and run away before the buildings collapsed on his employees. The one skill Americans have lost above all of the rest of our problems is the ability to manage anything for long-term benefit. We just don't know how to build anything substantial any more.

And I was right. Business and manufacturing consulting turned out to be a non-starter. My income ended up coming from a collection of much less ambitious and mostly-recreational music and small business customers doing acoustic consulting, audio forensic work, and electronic design and repair work. The websites, including the website for the above businesses, didn't do squat for me. Everything I did came from referrals.

Now, I'm told that blogs are "old fashioned." I should be "communicating" on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other limited-text, attention deficit resource. "Nobody wants to read a whole thought," seems to be the direction humans are heading. I am sixty-five-fucking-years-old. I do not care what cliff humanity is driving towards. Like H.L. Menken said, "I write for the same reason cows give milk." There is probably a similar reason why I ride a motorcycle, but I can't think of it. (Of course, I didn't originate the Menken quote either.) If nobody reads what I write, I still write. It's a compulsion. That partially explains why I have a "resource page" where all of the crap I've written is held for publishers to pick-and-choose from that is always about 20 essays-full and I have at least another dozen mostly-written and waiting for a bit of editing before they are also added to the slush pile.

If you haven't caught the "code" yet, if there is a number ("#1001," for example) in front of a Geezer blog entry, it's an old article being archived to this blog. At first, I thought I'd just add the stuff from Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, since that magazine's current website status was the impetus for moving my stuff from the website to the blog. Since I got started with the process, I have decided to put everything I've had published here, too. That will include a couple of Motorcyclist how-to-ride articles, the Rider's Digest articles (in original form), and every bike review I've done in whole (rather than the published and edited versions). That will amount to about 200-and-counting articles, so the blog will be "busy" for a while (I'm up to #41 and that takes the blog into February of 2014).

I joked that, at this rate, I'll be publishing stuff on this blog long after I'd dead. My wife did not think that was either optimistic or funny. I do not come from a long-lived male heritage, so if the old stuff keeps the blog alive beyond 2015, I'm betting on the blog. And this time, my money is somewhere tangled up in this bet.

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