Monday, January 9, 2012

What's in Store for Me in 2012, Part 2: The Patio Boat Blog

I'm sure some of you have noticed several political posts in a row and are thinking, "Where the heck is the beagle haiku that I have come to expect from the ol' Patio Boat?!"  Worry not, this place isn't morphing into a full-time political blog.  But you are likely to see a heftier dose of politics this year than in previous years.

When I started up the Patio Boat blog my only real intention was to put up a little place where I could update friends and family on what's happening in my life, and maybe have a little place where I could post up a bit of poetry on occasion.  It's not a one-theme blog, nor is it intended to be a commercial blog.  (But could it kill y'all to just occasionally click on an ad, huh? I've got an old British sports car to maintain.)

That first year I made a real effort to post on a near-daily basis. That was a good way to get into the blogging habit, but I found that I was also posting up stuff that would serve better as a Facebook update or even a tweet on Twitter.

If you want to read that sort of stuff, you can always friend me on Facebook, where you will be subjected to fairly regular status updates, the vast majority of which consist of telling you what I'm eating for lunch in my cube.  You can also follow me on Twitter at @Patioboater. I tweet a genuine original thought once or twice a week, and usually retweet several things a week, usually cool weather and astronomy photos, links to interesting blog posts, and earth-shattering Weird Al Yankovic news.  I try to keep a pretty high threshold on deciding what to retweet, so if I do retweet something, the odds are pretty good that it's something that I found to be genuinely cool, interesting, or funny.

Last year I decided to write an average one genuinely good blog post per week.  Critics may say there weren't any genuinely good ones, but I think that sort of schedule benefited the blog. So, that's what I'll aim for again this year.  In terms of blog content you will indeed be seeing more posts around politics this year than in previous years. When I started up the blog I declared politics  to be one of the out-of-bounds topics because ... well, I'm a politician (albeit a minor-league one) and because I hate blogs that club you over the head with whatever agenda a politician is trying to push.

So, you're still not going to see those sorts of posts from me here.  I'm sure I will occasionally discuss the presidential election, but am more likely to discuss the mechanics of the election more than anything else, as was the case with my last few posts on the topic.  I might also occasionally touch on policy points as the year goes on, but when I do so I will try to make sure that whatever I post is supported by citations.  Polite opposing opinions are always welcome, but I will certainly ask you to have your facts in order and supported by reasonably reliable sources. I have grown increasingly annoyed by a national political discussion that has spiraled far, far away from actual facts, and I'm not going to put up with it here. (So, there!)

What I really intend to concentrate on here are the mechanics of politics, especially the electoral process. As I mentioned in the previous post, I've taken an interest in trying to figure out how we can improve our current system in Michigan.  There are a lot of differing proposals and options out there. I'd like to take a closer look at some of them.  I find that it helps me to do so logically by writing about them, and as coincidence would have it I have a handy place to post just that sort of stuff.  So you'll see some of that here as the year goes on.

On the beagle haiku front, as of today we occupy three of the top four slots on Google when you search on the phrase "beagle haiku".  But we've been bumped out of the #1 slot.  It's time to do something about this disgrace!

So, what I'll do is promise to write and post more beagle haiku.  What I'd like you all to do is to post the link below somewhere, anywhere. It takes you to a results list of all the Patio Boat posts that were tagged with "Beagle haiku":

C'mon, America! We can do this! Let's reclaim the #1 spot!

Also on the haiku front, I am making a public offer to double Mary Campbell-Droze's fee as our Indianapolis Colts haiku correspondent.  Hopefully, that will keep her and her contributions in the fold for another year, including an NFL draft special that will consist entirely of seventeen syllables dedicated to Andrew Luck.

On the non-haiku poetry front, you might see less of that this year, though I confess there wasn't a whole lot of poetry-writing last year, either.  It's been about twenty years since I put any effort into having any of my poems published, but I decided that it might benefit my writing to brush a few of my efforts up to that level of scrutiny.  So, that means that a few poems are likely to go out for a few rejection slips before they appear here.  On the bright side, once I give up on getting a poem in a genuine physical magazine, you'll get to see it with a list of the magazines that found it unfit for publication.  That should be fun.

And what else? Eh, the usual stuff.  Look for a few posts on the MGB, the lake, home improvements, occasional photoblogging, or whatever strikes my fancy.  After all, it's still just the ol' Patio Boat.

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