Blogging Genesis


Thanks to TimeSnapper, this image captures the moment just after posting my 3rd Google Buzz entry.

Five years ago today I opened my gmail and found an extra link under the Inbox labelled “Buzz”, Google’s new social media platform. In a poor attempt at ironic humour I posted a comment on Buzz about the irrelevance of Buzz, and two days later another post about how I didn’t “get” or like Buzz.

But in the ensuing weeks, the accessibility of that Buzz link, sitting just one click away from my Inbox lured me in and I started using Google Buzz to post my random thoughts and observations on the oddities of life.

Less than two years later, Google itself decided it didn’t “get” or like Buzz, and they shut it down, so I migrated on over to Google+ to continue my random blurtings.

My postings to Google+ lasted for eighteen months, but I never really liked Google+, it was a few extra steps away from the Inbox, and I was beginning to be frustrated by the lack of formatting options. Also I was continually irked by a changing interface and Google’s insistence of foisting upon me in the “What’s Hot” section, the predilections of a billion people who were not like me. So in June 2013, this WordPress based website was born.

So five years and 391 Buzz/Google+/Wordpress postings later, here I am. But why am I here? I know (because I measure it) that the readership of this blog is a very, very close approximation to zero. So why do I do it? There are a number of different reasons, why I post various kinds of content, but the overriding reason is because I enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge of stringing words together to make something readable. I enjoy the challenge of watching out for the absurdities of life and human behaviour to comment on. I enjoy the challenge of snapping an unusual and opportunistic photo of the everyday things of life that highlights the beauty around us. I enjoy posting content that I think other people may find useful, even if it’s only one person.

In a way, this blog is also my own little private rebellion against the social media madness of our world that promulgates the lie that something has to be retweeted, hashtagged, liked and linked to death, for it to be meaningful, or worth doing.

So to end this little introspection on my five year blogging adventure, do I have a favourite post over that time? Yes, my observation in July 2010 that swapping the staff of “A Current Affair” with “Australia’s Funniest Home Videos” would instantly result in ACA having more credible and competent journalism, and “Australia’s Funniest Home Videos” becoming more humorous. As true today as it ever was.

Change – lots and none at all

coalmineboysWhile investigating the local history of Lambton recently, I’ve been digging around a quite a bit in Trove’s newspaper archives. In doing so I’ve often been struck by how much some things have changed, and yet other things, have changed not at all.

In the changed ‘lots’ camp is the practice of sending 13 year old boys to work extraordinary long hours in the coal mines:

“The 4 boys who drive the horses that take away the coal in loaded skips, leave home shortly after five o’clock a.m., as they must proceed … to get yoked up by the time the bell rings at six o’clock, when work commences, …  and keeps, on till  six o’clock, when the day’s work is concluded for all hands, and the boys … deliver  up their horses to the horse-keeper — getting  home by about seven o’clock, thus having been absent nearly fourteen hours, and working continuously eleven hours”

The Newcastle Chronicle, 11th January 1873.

The thought of sending a 13 year old boy to work in a coal mine for 11 hours is almost unimaginable these days. (I say almost unimaginable – I have a 13 year old son and by the end of six weeks of summer holidays, well I started wondering … )

Anyway, in the changes ‘none at all’ camp is the subject of Novocastrian opinion of the Sydney based government spending, with one local alderman complaining …

” … the broken promises of the Government were simply disgraceful. Many months ago Mr. Goodchap had promised that tenders should be called for within a month, but nothing had yet been done. … He  objected to the principle of spending money in large amounts in and about Sydney, and refusing to do the same thing for Newcastle and the surrounding districts.”

The Newcastle Morning Herald, 8th April 1885.

Yep. That was written 130 years ago, not last year.

Moth (not rat)

Img_2683Since late last year when I stumbled across it, I’ve enjoyed following neighbouring suburb blogger Mark MacLean’s musings on Hamilton North. Maybe too much, for as I cycled to work today and came across a dead rat on the bike path I had a sudden, strange, and almost irresistible urge to stop and photograph it.

I didn’t though, and instead offer here a photograph of a moth on my wall yesterday. I’ve never seen one like it before, I don’t what it is, but I do know that it was stunningly beautiful, and that the photo does not do it justice.