Tag: blogging

Water Rises to it’s Own Level

Water Rises to it’s Own Level

Water rises to it’s own level. I used to hear my dad say that. He felt that people gravitate to other people like themselves. Trouble finds trouble, kindness finds kindness. But is it true?

Being little more than a speck in sprawling universe of the internet makes it unlikely that we’d find each other. We’re each just one of gazillions of stars. How is it that we reduce such an immense population of internet users to find each other?

Even if you said that people who share common interests like motorcycling don’t have to look very hard. Is that true? I mean, click the hashtag motorcycles on Instagram. There are 100s of thousands of potential connections. What is it that makes another anonymous person catch your eye enough for you to follow them? And then once you do, do you often strike up a friendship or develop a deep interest in that person? For me, that would be an exception.

With blogging, you don’t really even have the same hashtag-ability to cluster everyone together. Blogs are a bit more passive with their reach. They often have to piggyback on your other social connections to get them in front of people. And yet, we find each other.

Given the instant gratification that something like Instagram can provide, why do some people want to take it further and keep a blog? And who are the people that are seeking something more than just a photo that read them?

Some blog authors become “friends” in my mind. The flow of their language, the depth of their introspection, their vulnerability, and their triumphs become something… personal? to me, too. I become invested in what they’re up to. In my mind some blog authors become perfect people and I admire them. I miss them when they go quiet or wonder about them at unusual times. For example, riding along I’ll see a scene and think – that looks like something X would photograph.

But, I suppose that is just an impression of what I think they’re like filtered through the prism of my own thoughts. But the fact that this person I’ve never met crosses my mind while I’m moving through the world says they are important to me.

How can you be friends with someone you’ve never met? But, it seems to happen.

Road Notes – As they Happen?

Road Notes – As they Happen?

I’ve been thinking about ditching Instagram since I’ve pretty much abandoned using it. My feed has become an endless stream of the same old, same old and “influencer” drivel in a way that I can’t connect with anymore. So, what’s the point? Why not just share snapshots as they happen on my own blog instead?

And I totally get that blogs are passive where social media delivers you to a wider audience using hashtags and whatnot proactively, but – so what? I mean what I’m I doing here? The point has always been to document my experiences, firstly for me, and then to share that with whoever wants to read it. And if no one else ever does read any of it, the process of writing would still occur and be important to me.

The change to moving away (back?) from social posting to just the blog is a psychological one. For a long time, I’ve equated a blog to long-form posting. But it doesn’t need to be. So, maybe trying out occasional snapshot/on-the-fly posting from my phone is in order.

The biggest hurdle, I suspect, will be not losing my reading glasses so that I can see to type on my damned phone!

So, off we go. Good morning from my phone and the State Line Lookout.

State Line Lookout
Closter, NJ 07624
https://goo.gl/maps/mtrBE9rkLh32

The Inner Monologue of one Motorcycle Blogger

The Inner Monologue of one Motorcycle Blogger

It’s been a few months now since I set off on a road trip through the Virginias. In the time that has passed, I’ve struggled to put together posts to talk about what I saw. And that isn’t because I didn’t see anything worth writing about. It’s something different that I wrestle with episodically.

As my mindset fluctuates, the way that I approach writing about my time does too. But, I find that I’m often stuck in the same old pattern of trying to write about life in the “old way.” My robotic response is to work linearly on a timeline in medium-sized chunks. But, thoughts don’t always happen that way, do they?

For a while, I was especially rigid about timing. If I’d ridden somewhere 2 months ago and didn’t write about it then? Well, it was too late. There was some imaginary freshness calendar that had to be adhered to otherwise I wasn’t allowed to write about it. Isn’t that strange that I could be so particular about something like that? I’ve gotten over that, mostly.

What I’m learning is that trying to make my thoughts fit into a predefined size or shape is a recipe for disaster. Instead of an easy-to-follow formula that allows me to just plug in the pictures and words, I end up with a cramp. The result? Nothing.

My thoughts are scattered like dandelion seeds and are constantly floating away from me. Why can’t I share them here in that way? Little idea whisps that sail on a current – their barbs getting stuck on the people that want to read them. That’s how things like Instagram work. Everything is shared in snack-sized bites.

Why do I resign myself to thinking that I have to make blog posts lengthy? Why do I feel the pressure to write about my time in a particular way, as if there is some correct method to blogging? Why do I censor sharing my interests because I think other people are sick of reading about them? Why would I care if someone else thinks I post too much or too little? Why can’t a picture be worth a thousand words when I do it here? So many rules. But why?

We each develop a personal process to produce the things that matter to us. I feel that when I doodle in my sketchbook, too. When I deviate from my natural process, things feel off. To the viewer, the end result probably doesn’t look any different but I know something isn’t right. But how does the process grow when you’re so busy following the old rules?

I’ve always maintained that I write my blog first and foremost for myself. It is my system of record for thoughts and feelings about moving through the world on a motorcycle. But that must be a lie I tell myself. There is a nagging undercurrent of the need to please others or fitting into preconceived notions about what they want from me. Approaching this blog from the outside in is when things go wrong. You’d think I’d have fully understood and embraced that by now. I mean, I know that so why does the need for a reminder keep bubbling up to the surface?

 

Clearing the Tracks with Jaws

Clearing the Tracks with Jaws

There’s no good reason at all that I’m posting this photo of the Bonnie next to the track-clearing plow train. I just like it.

JAWS III sits beside the Long Island Railroad Museum in Greenport, NY. Whenever I stick close to home I seem to find myself out there on Long Island’s north fork.

Lately Ive been trying to find ways to kickstart my creativity. Or more accurately, hang on to it. I have no trouble getting inspired or excited about ideas. The follow-through is where I go to pieces. That seems to be the result of expecting too much or being too restrictive with my peculiar rules about what things I should be posting and when. I mean… I’m not writing medical research here. I’m not a business. I’m not a professional writer. I’m not building a “brand.” I’m just a dope with a computer who is recording their thoughts.

Somehow I get derailed by the idea that a blog is supposed to be more highbrow than what I might post to Instagram. That’s my favorite social distraction. But because of it’s ease and my low expectations of it, Insta has become a surrogate blog. There – people (I?) seem to be fine with long posts, short posts, no words, 20 posts in a day, or whatever. Anything goes. I need to adopt that type of thinking for my blog. My rigid ideas about blogging aren’t doing me any good. They make me not blog. And I think writing things down is good for me.

And soooo… hopefully I can get out of my own way here. Moving on! 🙂

Olde Tyme Travel Blogging By My Mom

Olde Tyme Travel Blogging By My Mom

While at my mom’s house for Thanksgiving, I got a chance to look through a bag of travel mementos that she’d set aside for me. Inside were stickers, pamphlets, receipts and ticket stubs from her travels over the years.

My eyes zeroed right in on a South of the Border bumper sticker in the stack. I knew I was there as a kid but haven’t really been able to place the exact time. Now, thanks to my mom’s olde tyme blogging on the back of an envelope – I know. July 17, 1988. I was 14.

fuzzygalore south of the border bumper sticker

Apparently we actually stayed over at a motel there. I wish I could jog my memory for any dusty recollection of this. I don’t remember going up in the sombrero tower or seeing any of the fiberglass figures around. Other than a dim memory of perusing some fireworks in a store, I’ve got nothing.

My mom scribbled down the toll rates, mileage, times, dates… I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I have been talking to my daughter Chloe about going to South of the Border. I’m not even really sure why. I just want to. She seems to be all in on taking the trip. Maybe it’s a rite of passage in the Fuzzmop family 😀

Side note: “Vargina”? Really, Mom? 😆

Update:

fuzzygalore howard johnson dillon south carolina

While going through the papers today, I found that we stayed in a Howard Johnson’s at I-95 exit 193 in Dillon, SC for the bargain rate of $37.40, including tax. Today that HoJo is long gone.

fuzzygalore south of the border brochure

The South of the Border brochure is super kitschy.

fuzzygalore south of the border brochure

Just check out the deluxe crushed velvet honeymoon suite! Velvet lamps on chains, carpet covered champagne chiller, entertainment system in the clamshell headboard thingy. Hubba hubba!

Blog Challenge: 5 Pretty Awesome Posts You Might’ve Missed

Blog Challenge: 5 Pretty Awesome Posts You Might’ve Missed

One of the biggest challenges for bloggers is how to highlight older content. Just by the nature of the basic blog format sometimes what we see as our own great posts don’t get enough action. How can we tell people that there is something pretty awesome they might’ve missed? Well, the best ways that I’ve found so far is…

shamelessly pull stories out of the archive and link to them.

Okay, bloggers. Are you ready for the challenge?

Post a list of 5 Pretty Awesome Posts Your Readers Might’ve Missed

Head back to your own blogs and find 5 blog posts that you really loved writing and tell your readers about them. Maybe we missed them the first time around, maybe we’re new readers, maybe you just loved the post so much that you just want to hi-five it again. Whatever! 

Blow the dust off of some of those oldies but goodies and re-share ’em with us.

Participating Blogs:

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re participating so I can add a link to your blog here.

Motorcycle Blogs – Showing Off or Sharing the World?

Motorcycle Blogs – Showing Off or Sharing the World?

Fuzzy in SwitzerlandIn March of 2012, MotoChat, the motorcycle Twitter/Facebook chat dedicated its hour-long gab fest to the topic of Motorcycle Blogs. One of the questions that was posed was:

Big Epic Trips: Is it showing off?

When motorcycle bloggers post about their trips to far flung places or their weeks or their months out on the road – do you see it as showing off?

My point of view~
Without people sharing their stories, their photos, writing about their experiences – a huge part of what inspires me to want to see more of the world would be missing. I have learned so much from reading about others travels. Sometimes I don’t even realize that a seed has been planted in my imagination until much later.

Showing off? I say, no way.

Have you ever read about something or some place in a blog and said – I have to see that and actually went for it? Was it around the corner or some far away place?

What do you think – is it showing off?

Blogging About Motorcycle Travel – For the Rest of Us

Blogging About Motorcycle Travel – For the Rest of Us

Riding close to home
Staying Close to Home

I read a mountain of motorcycle blogs each day. In the last couple of years there seems to be a trend that has emerged across some of them. It is the idea that in order to have an “adventure” you must undertake an epic trip. Preferably on some giant behemoth of a bike with fancy luggage and everything but the kitchen sink strapped to it.

The rest of us knobs putzing around on the tarmac within the confines of the state where we live or the country in which we were born – well, that’s worthy of a pat on the head and an “aren’t you cute with your little motorcycle rides?”

I call “bullshit.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you have the time and resources to find yourself in far off corners of the world for months at a time – you are indeed doing something wonderful. I am here to say that no one appreciates the effort people make to write about their far-flung travels and share their photos and routes more than me. It’s the stuff my daydreams are made of.

But… if your time and resources keep you close to home  – don’t you dare feel like you’re doing something less than someone else or that it isn’t worth writing about.

Enthusiasm Trumps Mileage

The more blogs that I read, the more I discover that it’s really the authors enthusiasm that draws me in. Some people can travel across the US or through spectacular alpine passes and manage to write a blog post that is yawn worthy. Others can make their moped trip across town seem like something you’ve just got to try.

Motorcycling isn’t about having to fit into a mold or into an ideal set forth by someone else. It’s about you experiencing your world in the best way that you can. The value in a journey is not solely the number of miles it contains or the borders crossed but in the enjoyment and experiences you come away with.

Motorcycle Blogging For The “Un-Adventurous”

If you’ve been thinking about telling your story but have been holding back because you aren’t in the midst of some tremendous undertaking – don’t!

The biggest trip you’ll ever take happens every single day that you wake up and complete a rotation on the Earth. There’s your epic trip. Savor each day, enjoy each ride.

So if you’re out there, just a regular “un-adventurous” motorcyclist with a blog who doesn’t have the time to globe trot – it’s alright. Keep loving your life and keep sharing your un-adventures with the world. You just might be surprised to find out how inspiring it is to the people who read your posts.

The Wayback Machine: 10 New York Blog Posts from the Archive

The Wayback Machine: 10 New York Blog Posts from the Archive

As a blogger one of the things that I often struggle with is how to call back older content. There comes a time when posts reach the point of no return. They get their sleeping mask out, curl up with a blanket in a dusty corner of the blog and prepare for a loooong nap.

So – this week while some new posts are cooking, I’m going to be calling back some oldies from Memory Lane and the Wayback Machine.

Here are a few “New York” tagged posts that you might have missed the first time around.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Bridging The Gap – July 2007
  2. Welcome Back to the Empire State – July, 2011
  3. A Ride to Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital – November 2010
  4. Long Island: Roadside Giant – Mr. Millennium Snowman – July 2010
  5. Unexplained Sighting on the Road: Your Theories Needed – April 2010
  6. Fruit and Vegetable Art Car: The Best Car in the Whole Universe – April 2009
  7. Back in the Game – March 2009
  8. Sights from the Road: New F’n Yawk Staw – September 2007
  9. To Tell The Truth: Will The Road You Are On Get You To My Place? – July 2008
  10. Ringing in the New Year – Island of Man(hattan) Ride 2011 – January 2011
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