I’ve had not 1, but two significant deaths lately. My good friend Rick passed away. He lived in Hawaii with his husband Jeremy. It was unexpected and a total shock. I don’t need to go into the details, but I’m sad to have lost my friend. It was not covid-19 related, btw. Rick and I met years ago when he was still living here in SF. We met at the gym and he was kind and friendly, even if he looked intimidating as a big ole bodybuilder. I was at what I refer to as the “end-stages” of some of my emotional growth. I had overcome a lot of my demons and was finding my confidence. Out of the blue, Rick came into my life and was just a good genuine friend. We briefly flirted with dating, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Our friendship survived his move back to Hawaii, and Shawn and I have visited him there more than once. He was one of our destinations as soon as we felt comfortable traveling again.
Rick was a war vet and suffered from PTSD. With the current state of political affairs, he was often upset and unhappy with where our country is heading. Not only that, he was denied his rightful military benefits for years due to the old DADT law. He did finally get them, but I know it bothered him he had to fight for so long to get them. I hope he is in peace now, free of the torments of this life and worries for the future. He will certainly be missed! Rick, we love and miss you.
Trailing right behind that, I found out the very next day, my old blog buddy ‘ThisboyElroy’ passed away as well.1 It was the day before his 40th birthday. This one also really shook me as I just never thought of someone so full of life could go so soon. I met Adam back after he started his blog, when he and his ex were still together. We actually met at one of the blogger shindigs that were so popular back when blogging was still new. He, Brad, and I hit it off right away! We randomly hung out together over the span of years. And after Adam and Brad split, we sort of became distant but not from any tension. We were just on different paths and didn’t often interact as much. I never got to meet Adam’s new husband. I didn’t want to bother or intrude on his grieving, so I’ll try to reach out to him after some time has passed. Adam was a positive force in this world. He was smart, not afraid of confrontation, and singularly focused on the goals he wanted for himself. His infectious smile and sharp wit will be sorely missed.
When I was younger, I often commented I didn’t expect to live into old age. For a variety of messed-up reasons, I never thought I’d live to see 40. Here I am pushing 50 and I am grateful for my life. It was wrong of me to be so callous about it. Life is too fragile and finite to be so careless about it. I should be so fortunate to be remembered as fondly as I remember Adam and Rick.
Well color me surprised, I got several welcome back emails after my last post. lol Thanks to those who responded. I honestly didn’t think anyone still visited the site. However, I forgot about my RSS feed and the email push. Duh!
Anyway, I’m always touched when folks read here. It’s pretty bland these days as I’ve resisted discussing current events. I don’t want the blog to turn into a bitch fest so I’ll have to really think it over. Lawd knows I have an opinion on most current events. Social media is so toxic these days I may open the blog up to more topics. I miss it.
A reader did follow up about my age post and I figured I’d update on what I meant. I have definitely noticed my age these last few years. It started around 46 but the following year seemed to really be the dividing line. I’m fast approaching ‘ancient’1 I’m just a year and a few months away! Oh dear, how will I cope? The same as always.
To the question put to me, I have noticed why some older guys tend to resent the gay community as I age. Many of these things don’t phase me but I can see how it can turn ugly fast. The one I get most tickled over is when young guys hit me up on ‘certain apps’ and then get bitter when I either don’t respond or politely decline. Many times the trending retort is something along the lines of” your old anyway” or “your bald and old“. One guy went so far as to setup a fake profile to try and harass me. He would send me messages like, “what’s up chubs” or “how you doing gramps“. It was hysterical. The less I reacted the more he tried to get me upset. I finally took pity and let him know his attempts to hurt or anger me had failed and he had my compassion. If your life is so bad you need to resort to such antics, you truly have my sympathy. The profile disappeared after that. When he sees me on the streets now, his sneers have turned to just ignoring me. Either way, not my problem.
On the flip side, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting a little when someone I’m into declines and I get the impression it’s due to age. But sting vs tantrum are very different feelings. I accept the fact it will happen and so it makes handling it much easier….usually.
And that is how I approach some of the more negative aspects of aging in the gay community. I get it, we’re very carnally driven and as we age the desire remains while our attraction from others wanes. This can lead to some painful conflicts. I think it really falls back on how much you accept and love yourself. If you haven’t tackled those demons, then aging can be very hard and even isolating when you’re single. I adore my Shawn but if things went south, I’d never hold onto him out of fear of being alone. Been there, done that and no thanks. Fortunately, we’re doing good. It helps that I care more for his happiness than whether we are together or not. I love him dearly but I’d never want us to stay together and be miserable just so we aren’t “single.”
I have more funny examples but I feel like I’m rambling. I’m sure I’ll share them later.
if you’ve ever read here you’ll know I lovingly refer to reaching 50 in gay years as ancient. [↩]
I mentioned it before but after Cooper passed away the desire to blog just sort of left me. I mean I’d been drifting away for awhile before that but Cooper’s death just hit me so hard and I didn’t really feel it anymore.
But, I find myself really missing it. I miss rambling on here. And a shocker for any of long time readers left, a few of my old demons have surfaced lately and I’m trying my best to deal with them constructively. Rambling away here has always helped me do that.
I looked at my site stats the other day and was a bit surprised how many of my old posts still get non-bot views. Who da thunk it? My google rank has plummeted but that is to be expected.
In new news, I’ve been grappling with my age lately. Not in a bad way just noticing things, specifically on how I’m viewed/treated by others. I have plenty of thoughts to share on it. So hopefully, I’m back at it here. Time will tell I guess.
So the last picture post here was supposed to go to my photo blog. Apparently, my dumb-ass forgot I changed some passwords a while back so it stopped updating. To make matters worse, when I updated it, I forgot how I had setup the transfer and ended up creating a new IFTTT1 applet.
When I originally setup the photo blog there wasn’t a direct way to import my photos from IG to WordPress. I had to create a work-around that sent the pic from IG to Tumblr then to WordPress. It was a bit messy but it worked pretty well. Best of all, it was automated. Well, all of the API’s have been updated since then apparently. There are multiple applets in IFTTT that allow you to import directly. My IFTTT account has my blog settings not my photo blog so when I “reconnected”, I connected it to the wrong site. hehehe Not the end of the world mind you. I just thought it was funny.
It’s all fixed now. I still need to go back and manually import all the pics that got skipped but it’s all automated again. Yay!
In other tech fails, I installed Chromium on an old laptop and for some reason, the CD drive will not re-install windows. Granted it’s an old copy but it should work. The BIOS settings are all good and the drive is functioning so I’m leaning toward blaming the install disc. It crashes after loading the software and drivers to install and I get the blue screen of death. I’m not too upset as I hate Windows 10. It’s clunky, ugly, and just not user friendly. It tries and fails to be a universal OS between desktop and mobile. I’m thinking of just installing Linux. I don’t use the laptop that often, but Chromium is still just a wee bit too simple for my needs. If I could just port Android it would be fine.2 Since it wasn’t ‘designed’ to run Android or Chromium both versions are modified ports, courtesy of 3rd-party vendors. Said vendors aren’t really in a position to provide support. Anyway, first world problems.
Well, it now seems that dastardly Cajun, BrettCajun has given up on blogging. I saw his last update ending his blog and I was a little teary-eyed honestly.1 It seems Homer and I are the only two left of our original crew. I miss all of them. I used to spend a huge chunk of my reading every day catching up on personal blogs and getting to know folks thru their writing. It was awesome and made me feel connected to the gay community at large in a way I never thought possible. I’m a bit sad to see a lot of that come to an end. Everything has its purpose I guess.
Granted there are plenty of prolific bloggers out there. But most of the ones left seem focused on trying to make a buck or be famous, neither of which has ever been my goal. I still remember the first blog I ever followed. It was a handsome fella out of Wisconsin. He moved to Chicago after his blog ended and we lost touch after that. I remember feeling a bit foolish reaching out to him at the time. I was worried he’d think I was a stalker. If I’d only known. hehehe
Luckily, Homer shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, he is doing better than me at it. I tend to have larger gaps these days. Life gets in the way more now. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep at it, but he itch hasn’t left me yet. I will always have a fondness in my heart for it. My blog and my readership seems to have leveled out over the last few years. I don’t blog near as much about random stuff as I used to. Most of that gets captured on social media. I always see an uptick in readership around the first of the month for some reason. But the averages are pretty even month to month. It does seem like more locals and coworkers read my nonsense more than ever these days.
Ironically, my photo site gets about twice the traffic as my blog. I’m sure there is a joke in there somewhere about a pictures and 1000 words. I originally set it up as a catch all for my online pics. Who knew it would be so popular? It gets consistently solid traffic. I blame Cooper. He is just too cute to miss out on.
I’m still at it though. To all who have gone, you are not forgotten.
Well, here we are moving into year 12 of this here blog thingy. Who woulda thunk it all those years ago when I started? Twelve years!
I’ve made many awesome friends along the way and said goodbye to a few as well. As I slowly pulled myself out of my immaturity and into adulthood, I got a chance to share my struggles with others. It was and still is my hope that others can gain insights from my struggles and be better for it.
I’m still at it . I went from answering questions of “What is a blog?“, to “OMG you have a blog too?“, to “You still blog?” and still at it. Hehehe I assumed it would be that way way back when. I kinda took to it right away and instantly expected to be doing it for years.
My favorite responses are often via Facebook when someone tells me they don’t read blogs but proceeds to go on and on about my Facebook post shared from my blog. I get on tickled.1 Anyway, moving into year 12 I hope to be a little more consistent. It seems life, laziness, and video games routinely interfere. I know, how rude?!
I was looking back the other day and just sighed heavily with so many emotions. I didn’t think I’d ever find this point in my life. I never dreamed I’d find the contentment in my soul or the level of happiness I’ve achieved. It is still a bit much at times to accept it.
After so many struggles, so many battles, and so much angst, a boring daily life can be such an amazing blessing! Here is to year 12!
Speaking of my blog, my photo blog has seen a huge uptick in visits. I’ve tried to set it up so anything I share on social media gets updated there as well. This benefits me for a variety of reasons. The biggest being if I ever leave or lose an account, I still have all my pretty photos. heehee I didn’t really think it would be that popular but it seems to have taken off.
I wonder though if it has more to do with the top level extension. When I moved from the old mobius.name1 domain to sfmoby, the .com version wasn’t available. There wasn’t anything there, it just showed as owned by someone. My inquires to the vaguely defined domain owner went unanswered so I gave up and settled on the .us version. Fast forward to present and it suddenly showed available last year so I gobbled it up.
So now I wonder how often people are hitting it first simply from habit. Most people always think of the .com version of pretty much every site first. Think about the last time you randomly typed in a domain name. I bet you used .com, even if was wrong.
I’m just thinking out loud here so there isn’t really a point to my ramble today. I just thought it was odd and now you know why.
Sadly, these domains are pretty much assumed to be spam and are routinely blocked by filters [↩]
You didn’t even notice it but I switched my domain manager and web host recently. Actually, I switched last month. After my rant about my old host, I got several emails asking why I was still with them. I started asking myself the same question. They weren’t bad, we just weren’t a good fit.
I guess after my 1 and 1 disaster, I had extremely low expectations. hehehe After some searching, I settled on InMotion. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with the switch. As happy as I was to be away from 1 and 1, I’m that much happier to have a host I feel is a really good fit. First, they deal a lot with WordPress, so can answer many related questions w/o delay. They also offered a discount on my first year of service so ended up cheaper than my previous host. After the first year, they’ll be pretty much the same price. They also offer 24/7 tech support by phone, web chat, an email. They transferred all my existing data, blog included, for free. I was a bit shocked when I read that part. They even transferred existing emails.1 I’ve never had a host do that! I had a tiny snafu with an internal domain configuration and they fixed it on the spot when I called.
Speaking of domains, I decided to have Google manage my actual domains. I transferred all but one from Tucows and the process was pretty easy. The Google domain management tool is pretty easy. They even offer email forwarding for domain only accounts. Email for a domain usually requires a host to physically store it. Google apparently allows you to create forwarders for no extra charge.
So, I’m all settled with the new host and so far extremely happy.
I always use IMAP instead of POP3 so had plenty of emails on the server. [↩]
You may have noticed some changes to the theme. You might have also noticed there are new links to my other domains.
Each has it’s purpose and I’m working on integrating them together so they look and feel the same. My goal is one seamless look that blends all three sites together. Eventually, I hope to have floating or scrolling tabs instead of links. However, said tabs require some tinkering and testing of the theme and/or CSS. I’m not quite advanced enough to write it from scratch so I’ll have to find an example that I like and incorporate it here.1
Of course, this will continue to be the blog. The only changes here are a new background image and links to the other domains.
I’ve already started this one and it will continue to be a repository for photos and social media stuff. Basically, if I post it anywhere on social media, regardless of platform, I want it to show here. It is trickier than it sounds. Not all platforms export directly to WordPress. I think the exception will be Twitter. I’ve pulled away from Twitter a lot. I’m just tired of the idea of micro-blogging. Of course, I say that now. I may change my mind. There are plenty of widgets that drag in Twitter feeds.
Is new and will be a repository for some of my stories. Did you know I used to write short stories? I did. I was told often that I was pretty good at it. Even in high school, I got high marks for creative fiction. I might also try to fold in a dream journal. I’m not sure how dedicated I am to the idea though. haha I’m still tinkering w/ideas on this domain but I definitely want it to be a more creative outlet than a journal.
I remember saying once back when I was still new to blogging that I wanted my blog to be a central hub for my online life. I even built a few website templates for it. Then came along social networking and I got sort of side-tracked. The idea of a central hub has stayed with me an I find I’m coming full circle again. I got a little down on myself for awhile because I tried to force too much into my regular blogging. As the need to tackle personal growth waned, I felt pressured to fill the void. I think on some level I even rebelled a bit.
Anyway, feel free to check’em out.
The image above is actually referred to as a Celtic Triquerta but it is often referenced incorrectly as a trifecta [↩]