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Fifty years ago, Eisenhower created the plans for the interstate highway system. Not only did it encourage people to drive more, but on a deeper level it affected hundreds of comunities along the formerly busy state highways, when the interstates were designed with a straighter, less obstructed path. The towns along Route 66 are more historically visible victims of the interstate rerouting, but every state has them, like ones along Highway 10 in Minnesota. North Dakota was the first state to complete their highway system. #

Sealand has caught fire -- but it's out now. The self-declared island nation, built on an old UK gunnery tower seven miles out to sea, strugged with being recognized internationally, and tried marketing itself as a secure data center, but for the time being it's back to being an abandoned wreck. #

Quite a while ago I wrote an article for Collector's Quest, reviewing the magazine Fine Books and Collections. Well, to my surprise, search engines find things! The editor had Googled his magazine's title, and found my review, to which he wrote a lovely response, which tels me I wrote good. Er, well. Write well. Yeah. #

If you've been coming here for the "Fargo Life" tidbits I post, prepare for them to reduce in number: the Fargo Forum is buying the Grand Forks Herald -- which used to be the only regional paper that had Fargo news available without a password. The Forum has pissed me off for years now because I couldn't ever email a link to a friend, link it in a blog, submit an article to Fark, link it on Backwash, use it in an article as Plastic, etc, etc, because there's no way to tell if anybody will ever be able to read it without registering. As the Forum has been buying up regional papers they've been adding their oh-so-inconvenient password protection to the newly acquired websites, so I can expect that unhindered access to the Herald will stop soon, too. Being linked by me isn't a site-altering change, but I can't be the only one: just think how much traffic the Forum, already limited in scope just by interested population, is losing because bloggers can't link directly to stories without it asking for a password. Yes, Forum-believers, I know you can get the first article free, but limiting me to one link during an indeterminate time isn't good enough for me to believe people will actually get the page I'm linking to instead of a login. Having "(subscription)" next to your name in Google News tells people to find the story somewhere else, don't bother stopping there.


While the bestest blogs move at a constant pace, mine -- like most others -- ebbs and flows depending on my life. Personal blogs tend to be stuck in that mode; the more constant ones tend to address more journalistic purposes, talking about society or politics, or some single subject matter. I've started to branch out in those areas, with Fargophilia and The New Publisher's Journal, but even those have suffered lately.

The problem is that real life has been rather prominent in my daily activities over the past few months, affecting both personal time and work time. The stick that the universe has shoved in my spokes is something I don't particularly want to talk about, the problems are not overtly life-altering (although some changes are rather severe, but for the positive), but they occupy a lot of my time. LOTS of my time. Such that work is being neglected.

Almost two months ago, as part of these problem-solving changes, the wifey and I decided to devote specific days of the week to our profit-building aspects, and the rest fits in the free days. One such profit-builders is our writing -- blogs do count, since they draw traffic, but we're also doing our sellable writing. I sold one article at Constant Content, along with our Collector's Quest writing, and things went pretty well for a while. Then a new time-consuming problem arose, affecting our income.

So, barring any upcoming family troubles (knock on wood), we're just now getting back on the track. Today's not the normal official "Freelance Writing Day," but I've missed 5 in a row, which is not good. Writing is also not something that can be jumped into gently; it's a set of skills that I don't exercise on a daily basis. It's part of why beginners are told to write every single day: writing doesn't come easily, so it's easier to leave the flywheel spinning rather than try to turn it over by hand. It's like a bunch of metaphors pertaining to engines and wheels, describing something in motion that's easier to run than let sit idle. It's a part of the brain that atrophies just a little every time it sits in the weeds unused, allowing for poorly-written metaphors to fill a blog until it's working properly.

As you might guess, I'm writing here to prime the pump and see what I can get to move.

Fargophilia had been severely neglected; the readers I'd started to cultivate had moved on (I don't even show up as a 'featured blog' after letting it sit dormant for two months). TNPJ used to be good for an article every few days, but I haven't written anything there since April, either. The lesser places I write are even more neglected. Hopefully I can get a jumpstart here, just enough to turn the engine over, so I can come up with something other than car metaphors to get across my ideas. Maybe in a little while, I can pop the hood and see what's under there, kick the tires, and drive it right off the lot.

The CBS Early Show will be in Fargo tomorrow. Corporate winnebagos will be rolling into town to give away a free trip, and broadcast the weather from the Air Museum. Had I less self-respect, I'd go down there with a big sign, jumping up and down outside the windows, yelling some variation of "WOOOO", until they put me on TV. Maybe I'll go just to watch those people. They sound more interesting than the weather. #

Can ALL primates survive on commercially available monkey chow? Since humans are, albeit on the fringe, still primates, this guy will try to eat only monkey chow for one week. I wish him well, and if all goes well, it will prove that a new meal option will be available to college students everywhere. #

Japanese scientists, using measurements taken from the painting, have figured out what Mona Lisa would have sounded like. Sure, those scientists could have been doing something more worthwhile, but, dude -- that rocks. #

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