Disperser’s 2013 Tracks and the Path Ahead

Twenty-thirteen has passed into history. Twenty-fourteen is stepping in to fill the void. It is customary to pause, take a breath, and to look both ways before proceeding.

Blog-wise, I posted 251 posts during 2013. A mixture of opinions, photographs and fiction that garnished (if you believe WordPress) about 16,000 views. WordPress likes comparing that number to how many people fit in this or that stadium . . . I lean toward a more sobering mathematical reality . . . roughly 0.00022% of the world’s population visited my blog. And even that is probably an overestimation as many of those are likely web-bots.

Still, some real people came and read what I wrote, came and saw my pictures. I thank them, and hope they found bits to their liking strewn about the place.

For them who chance upon this, I offer a (relatively) quick look back through the path I traveled this past year. I’m not saying these were the best, most notable, or even most interesting photos or posts; it’s just a taste of what readers of my blog might have stumbled upon.

From January 2013, my first post about dead people’s stuff. There were more, but this was the first . . .

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Taken with my Droid X, many of the photos were serviceable, but lacking. I tried to make up for it with the writing accompanying the post.

From February, Rocky and Grace . . .

Dogs

Dogs

. . . and a very obliging hawk.

Red-Tailed Hawk

February saw the start of the Photo and the Flash series, with each post showcasing a photo and a piece of flash fiction. The first and second installments stand out in my mind.

The first showcased one of my more popular short/flash fiction pieces, “Movement Propels Destiny”, and the second has one of my favorite pieces from this past year, “Ancient, My Love”.

March saw Photo and the Flash – No. 6, which included the short story “Different”, and the photo of a very odd chicken . . .

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Come to think of it, I did a lot of writing in 2013, and although I still have things to finish, many were finished, and one even submitted to Writers of the Future, a competition for people with no or few professional sales.

I also entered a few photo competitions, the first of which was in April, with the theme Movement and Motion.

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I did not win, but it was my first exposure to something I did not like one bit; the photo was called into question as being photoshopped. I suppose these things happen, but I was none to pleased, and it soured me to the whole competition thing. I probably should have used this one . . .

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April also saw other bird photos posted, and although some were from 2012 (at the time I was, as I am now, behind in the processing and posting of photos I’d taken) . . .

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. . . some were from 2013 (despite the erroneous copyright watermark). These next two are a couple of my favorites. You can’t go wrong with Tree Swallows.

2013 Tree SwallowsTree Swallows
The month of May was mostly consumed with the second photo contest. The theme was Still Life. I won’t link any single post here because there were a series of them . . . I will, however, add a few of the photos. Those interested can use the “month” feature in the sidebar to call up all of May’s posts.

Still Life

Still Life

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No, I did not win or place.

In June I experimented with the Random Photo of the Day concept, and these were some of the photos receiving a favorable response.

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By July I was playing around with my then-new Samsung Note II phone camera, and all the associated apps . . .

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20130719_114343_Gadelf_Ruchba_Tretton

20130719_164941_HDR_Sanna_Devine_Twirl

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July is also notable for my hummingbird posts, namely A Quick Hummer Post, A S-l-o-o-w Hummers Post, and Hummer Wars.

Here’s a few selections from those posts.

Hummingbirds,

Hummingbirds,

Hummingbirds,

There is little that can compare to the feeling of a hummingbird landing on your finger.

August saw the publishing of a number of written pieces. Some were old, some were new, some still await completion. I won’t link them here since some are not finished, and because most people did not read them then, so there is no reason to believe they will read them now (and there are too many).

I will, however, post some of the photos from August.

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September had me pull travel photos from 2004 . . .

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September also offered up another story I quite like, this one in response to a writing prompt. Titled Closure, it was inspired in part by events shortly after we were married, and while I was a graduate student.

In September I also began documenting the November 2012 visit to the National Air and Space Museum. The series eventually encompassed eight posts, and concluded last week.

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October saw an increased number of photos taken with the Samsung Note II, a trend that continued in the following months, and is likely to continue in 2014 . . .

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The post October Horses dabbled in GIF animations. Only a few readers commented on them, but those who did offered positive reinforcement.

Animation-4 Animation-3

Of course, there were stills as well . . .

Horse, Horse,

October and foliage shots go hand-in-hand, and since fall colors are commonplace in most blogs, I tried different things.

Foliage, Foliage Foliage

I also tried different treatments in November . . .

Fall Leaves, Fall Leaves, Fall Leaves,

Even played around with dead things in one of my Before and After posts . . .

Fall Leaves, Fall Leaves, Fall Leaves,

November saw us taking a trip to Florida, and the entire trip was documented real-time using the Samsung Note II. We are now into recent posts, so I won’t link them here, but I will show a few of the photos.

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I’ve not posted many of the Disney trip photos taken with my Nikon, but the one below is worth reposting.

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

This takes us into December, and very recent posts. Just a few photos, then, as opposed to linking stuff . . .

Guffy 2012

onOne Suite's Enhance Plugin Filter
onOne Suite’s Enhance Plugin Filter

Cattails, Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel,

Morning Frost, Morning Frost, Morning Frost,

That’s a long year, Bob.  Which reminds me . . . read about that phrase HERE.

What about going forward? Any resolutions for the new year? Hmm . . . I don’t typically make resolutions specifically for the new year, but as it happens, I’ve have been more contemplative of what I do with my time, and as a result . . . . 

I have decided to further curtail serious interaction with people . . . politics, religion, personal matters, opinions on various topic, and so on. I don’t know that I will be able to do it consistently, but practice makes perfect, and I am more motivated than ever to succeed.

That means that if I chance upon an opinion, a personal recounting, something other than mindless entertainment, I will stop reading it lest I am moved to comment on it, to express an opinion, or to otherwise engage the individual. I find it too taxing, and ultimately no good comes of it. No worries, I will still express opinions on my blog, but those kinds of posts will be as rare, or rarer than they presently are. They too might eventually disappear altogether, but for now that’s not likely.

In view of the above, I plan to substantially cut back on Facebook, ignore Twitter, and be very selective about what I read in blogs I follow.

Few people ever engage with me on Facebook (or anywhere), and much like Twitter most of my attempts to engage others are either ignored, or they fall flat. Worse yet, the potential for things going badly rises whenever I open my figurative mouth, so this will be a win-win all around. Basically, my blog is where people can interact with me (or – based on recent trends – not interact with me).  

I resolve to be more focused with my time. If I’m on the internet, it has to be for a specific purpose, and not to mindlessly waste time. If I am on my PC, it will be for a specific purpose, and not out of habit.

I resolve to read more. Specifically, to get through my reading pile. To that end, no new book will be purchased, and subscriptions to magazines will be cancelled until I catch up with all my reading. I’ve subscribed to Analog since 1983, and I’m not renewing the subscription (it ends in April) until I read all the back-issues I’ve piled up (I’m currently reading October 2007). Same for Clarkworld, whose unread issues now span a couple of years. Same for Skeptic magazine, and any other publication I subscribe to. I have many books and other material sitting unread, and it makes no sense for me to add to the pile. 

I resolve to finish all the ongoing writing projects, and start regular submissions to open markets. 

I resolve to be more focused in my photography, more purposeful in what I photograph.

I resolve to regain some of my shooting proficiency (I’m now referring to guns, not photography); I’ve been lax with my practice, in part because I am pretty good. I now aim to not only be pretty good, but to build muscle memory for more instinctive shooting, and to expand into long guns.

I resolve to learn and be proficient with all the post-processing and creative tools I own, including the Adobe Creative Suite. There’s so much to learn that it’ll be a multi-year effort.

I have additional goals which are at the exploratory stage. I want to get into at least one console game, and right now I’m looking at Assassin’s Creed. I want to produce my own music for videos and animations I create, and to that end I’m researching what tools are available to help me create simple stuff without learning any instruments. I plan to double my daily gym workout time by June, and triple it by the end of the year. And I want to make a serious effort at cleaning my navel; don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty clean, but I’m thinking it could do with a regular cleaning schedule. Finally, I aim to sell (either individually or in bulk) all the Magic: The Gathering cards I own. I can’t see me playing ever again, and they take up a lot of room.

That might all sound like a lot . . . perhaps, but the trick to getting stuff done is to not only say you are going to do it, but to start doing it. And the trick to start doing it . . . well, that is the trick, isn’t it.

May your path through 2014 lead you places you want to go, and may that path be no arduous than you can comfortably handle.

We’ll compare notes a year from now.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Distant Goals
Distant Goals

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me some recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would actually mean something to me.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.