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Saturday, August 6, 2022

I found my podcast again... sort of...

 Just got an email from YouTube indicating folks "watched" 2627 minutes of my so-called videos on YouTube last month.  My Libsyn setup had a thing that posted my audio podcasts as "videos," basically combining the audio with an extended still shot of the cover art.

So my podcast is still sort of out there, and people are still sort of listening.  

Now I wonder if I want to try producing stuff directly for YouTube.  Don't have to pay for it, and there's a very large potential audience there.  Assuming I have anything interesting to offer.  Last project I was on and never finished was the Federalist Papers.  I was up to 17 out of 75, as I recall.  Kinda dry stuff, much of it, but it's still important.

Then there's another project I could do.

I noticed something the other day, and I can't say this is still true.  Back when I was in school, we knew Thomas Payne was an important pamphleteer before and during the revolutionary war.  And we all knew he'd written an important pamphlet called "Common Sense."

But we never read it.

Don't know that many have.  So I read it, and it's interesting what he considered common sense.  I suspect that's why they didn't have us read it in High School -- because he didn't particularly approve of stuff we do as a matter of course now.  


So now I have a three volume collection of the works of Thomas Payne.  Question is whether I'm interesting enough to sustain that.  Or all that interesting so far.  And would it make sense to redo the old Federalist episodes?  Or my other projects?

I'm not particularly pretty enough for video...



Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Oh, well...

 Just completely lost my Libsyn site, so now points to the blog here.  At least Blogger is still free, and the domain is paid for for another three years.  So, now I'm not a podcaster anymore, just another blogger.

Got laid off from my job early in the whole stay-at-home thing with the pandemic.  Laid off hell, basically just fired. The Texas company that had bought the local company I worked for, packed up their carpet bags and headed back to Texas.  That's happened to me twice now.

Doesn't appear to be much work here anymore. Maybe none for an older fella like me. I do have Social Security, but that's enough for nothing-in-particular, about half what I made when I had my last job.  And now I can't even say I'm a podcaster.

I want to be working.  I keep reading about how there's so much demand for workers. And I look, and I'm not seeing the demand, without a college degree.

I do have a Diploma for Media Studies and Production, which'd seem to show I'd be qualified for some radio station. Except of course the radio stations aren't looking, best I can tell.  Really aren't "local" radio stations anymore, all corporate owned, and they don't use people, they use recordings and computers.

Most of my life I've been able to (1) get a job through a Temp agency, (2) have the employer decide to keep me for the full 90 days, then (3) get asked to stay "permanently."  That's how I got the job from which I was discarded after seven years.

I'm a fair writer, I think, though not brilliant. Only talent I have realistically is sounding pretty in front of a microphone.

Now I can't do that.

That's all I got.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

The FreedomBox?

 Listening to a podcast (old) and got pointed to The FreedomBox, which intends to provide anyone willing with the ability to host their own social media.  Right now, you can pick the T place or the F place, most people do.  I stuck with T, but I'm no longer F-ed.

Back in the 1990s, I used to run a BBS.  Certainly had its good points, and some of the offline messaging was quite frankly more useful and usable than the current web forum horrors.  This ain't that. Looks like it tries to replicate the commercial services (which has been done elsewhere) with all their attractions, and most (though not all) of their flaws.

I could buy one pre-built (looks to be about eighty bucks), which'd be nice and simple. Could download the package and install it on that laptop I use as a general-purpose server machine, someplace to park all the stuff I don't want on my main machine.  

 Or I could track down whatever remaining BBS software there might be.  I remember finding some, years and years ago.  But that doesn't do much unless there are other BBSes to connect to.  Most of the message content on my BBS came via some BBS nets from other systems elsewhere in the country / world.  And that's not liable to be much anymore.

I do like the idea of having my own home base, though.  Assuming I can come up with the eighty bucks.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The keyboard, revisited

Remember the other day I did a post about my two defective iClever keyboards, money I'll never get back?
Well, today I'm trying something stupidly simple, that in retrospect is almost obvious -- not quite, but almost.
Grabbed my USB to Go adapter, plugged in a small but conventional USB wired keyboard, and plugged the adapter into my Fire tablet -- and Bob's yer uncle. Works as well as can be expected.  No touchpad on this particular keyboard, but I only used the touchpad on the iClever keyboards when doing the try-the-touchpad thing.
Keyboard's too damn big and the cable's too damn long to be convenient, but it does work just fine for touch typing, which is important to my aging former-secretary ass.  Downside, the Fire has exactly one USB port, so if the keyboard is plugged in, the power brick isn't.  So typing is inherently time-limited by the Fire battery.
I should take a picture of this setup, if I can figure out which camera to use. I'm not entirely sure how many I have at this point.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Investing looking backward

 DISCLAIMER: You'd read a blog post from me for investment advice?  Are you out of your mind?

  I've been all stressed for a while about some of the individual stocks I've bought.  They seem to have done incredibly badly.

This was from looking at current price relative to what I paid for them.  And as the fella said, "Well, there's yer trouble!"

Like a lot of people, after getting my pandemic layoff, I had way too much time on my hands. And I finally bit the bullet and moved from a strictly-managed IRA to an account where I could buy individual stocks.  Then I bought a bunch of individual stocks I thought were good investments.

The heck of it is, I was right, they are good investments, most of them.

But I bought them when everybody and his cousin was doing what I was doing, buying individual stocks for the first time.  I also bought them during that period when the Fed was buying stocks, too, to keep the market from going down too much.  Neither of these are Bad Things.  But this made many of the stock prices go much higher than they normally run.  And yeah, that's when I bought them.

Well, after all that excitement, the Fed stopped doing what they were doing, and most folks went back to Normal Life.  And the prices of those stocks I'd bought?  Also went back to Normal Life.


I went into my account and looked at the charts for some of my seemingly "worst" stocks.  After checking more recently (huge drops), I checked back three years.  And it turned out that before all the chaos, the price of the stock then was essentially the price of the stock now.  It's not low.  It's just normal again.

Eventually, give it a decade, say, some of those stocks might once again get back to what I paid.  At my age, I might not be around to see that.  So I sold the worst-looking ones (it's inside my IRA, so it's still what it is), and gradually I'm going to move the money to somewhere I like better.  And  I'll take that as a Learning Experience.

Doncha hate learning experiences?

-- Griz

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Let's try this again...

Me being me, I am once again trying my second iClever keyboard with my Blogger app on my Fire, knowing the... well that one key didn't and doesn't work.   According to the Amaon reviews, iClever has very good customer service.  That may be.  But they may have good customer service because they have so many defective keyboards being returned, so they have lots of practice.
I wonder if the one I bought for my sister is at all defective.  I should ask her.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A bit baffled

 I lost my job near the end of July, 2020.  Like a lot of people, I did okay with the extended unemployment and supplements and such.  Then I tried going to school to be a Certified Medical Records Specialist online.  Thought I was doing okay, then I figured out I'd been doing the course completely wrong and had used up most of my paid-for school time.  Didn't manage to finish.

I'm no longer who I was 20 years ago, when a 8 hours a day on my feet, lift 50 pounds job was my usual.  A lifting injury, then too many years in front of a computer, most of that 20 years, and now I'm half-blind from glaucoma.  I want to be working again, and yes there are "lots of jobs," almost all those on your feet lifting 50 lbs ones.  And not many places want The New Guy to be The Old Guy.

I have skills, but I have trouble considering them special skills. I can write, but I know many who write much better.  I can speak, but I know many who speak much better.

I'd love to work on the radio, but there are few such jobs for many desirous of them.  It's a shrinking industry, with a growing universe of young people with YouTube shows.  Besides, I'm not good-looking enough for on-camera (he said, humbly).

I have Social Security, basically half what I was making on the job I lost.  I do look online for the jobs listed there, but find nothing for which I'm convinced I'm qualified. Almost all my jobs over my lifetime have been through Temp agencies, Spherion, Manpower, Kelly etc. And quite consistently, I'd start Temp, be asked to stay the full 90-some days, then asked to stay on "permanently," including my last job.  Which, of course, wasn't "permanent."  In any case, I've never really done job hunting as such.  

Being on the Autistic spectrum makes me about the worst possible person to do a job interview. We're not good face to face, and not making eye contact gives a wrong and unfortunate impression. Even thinking about job interviews makes me. literally, painfully anxious.  And I've noticed a lot of HR interviewers appear to be autistic themselves -- maybe that's just me?

You will note doing an audio-only podcast eliminates the need for eye contact.  Recording public domain books removes worries about what to say, mostly -- the content starts over here, ends over there, get to the end and stop. But that is not exactly a career, ya know?

Years ago a young lady described my podcast as "Some weird guy whining."  Gee, can't think why...

I found my podcast again... sort of...

 Just got an email from YouTube indicating folks "watched" 2627 minutes of my so-called videos on YouTube last month.  My Libsyn s...