I Need To Blog and I Have No Words

Illustration of a silhouetted boy staring up at stars on a clear night. A cat approaches him from the side.

Sometimes when you are stuck for something to say you go off by yourself and listen to the universe. What do you hear when it speaks in its own magical way?

I need to write a blog post and I can’t write very well. Almost a week ago I was in a car accident and I’m still recovering from it. Typing is uncomfortable. But don’t worry: this blog post is not a long explanation of what happened nor a rant about the inadequacies of modern medical science. I’m alive to tell you this much and that’s good enough.

No, I need to write a blog post because – of all the rotten timing – I installed a new plugin on four blogs the day before my accident. In order to test it, I need to write something on a blog.

It’s not easy to feel inspired when you’ve spent all week struggling just to get your work done (not to mention various tasks associated with the details of filing insurance claims and all). The whole week’s timing has been off.

But I’m not going to share the details of the week with you, either. I could, or I could just end the post here and see what the plugin does. But that would be a waste of a good opportunity to say something meaningful. I mean, I assume I can say something meaningful, or deep and profound. After all, I’ve been blogging (or writing on the Web) for almost 27 years. This should be second nature to me by now.

For Inspiration, I Play Old Music

It’s not easy to play old music any more. I can search online for my favorite songs but then I have to compile a list or engage in meticulous playlist management. Sure, I’ve ripped songs from CDs into a private library and I have some playlists. But because of a tale that shall remain untold, all that music is now archived on an SSD that I don’t want to dig for and connect to the computer.

So I found an online copy of Tales from Topographic Oceans by (Classic) Yes. I bought this album in 1972 on good, old-fashioned vinyl. But I’ve always hated record players because – well, never mind. I gave my brother all my vinyl years ago. I hope he’s taken good care of those albums.

Tales from Topographic Oceans is considered a masterpiece of Progressive Rock from a bygone era by millions of Yes fans and music critics. The rest of you have no idea of what I’m talking about. It’s a 2-record album with 4 songs, each one lasting from 18 to about 22 minutes. This is the kind of music you can turn on and forget about while your mind wanders. And rumor has it that some (a minority, I’m sure) old Yes fans may have indulged in illegal substances while listening to this music.

I never did that, myself. Seriously. Never got into drugs. I watched what they did to the people around me and decided I wanted to live a life worth remembering.

But Yes inspires me to think. And not least because of the cool Roger Dean cover art (now, there’s a blog post or two).

I Picked A Featured Image That Reminds Me Of My Childhood

If you glance up at the featured image, you’ll see the silhouette of a boy staring up at the night sky with a cat coming toward him. That was my childhood. Well, a big part of it. I used to sneak out at night and wander the dark pathways of the cities (or woods) where I lived. Cats were my companions, and we basked in brilliant star and moonlight.

I could tell you a tale or two about those adventures. Maybe I should. But they might not make sense to generations of people whose parents imprisoned them in their bedrooms for fear of what strangers might do to them. I mean, seriously, we Boomer kids got away with some wild and crazy adventures. My brother and I used to travel for miles by bus or foot to watch movies every Wednesday one summer.

We were latch-key kids. Dad was in the Army and Mom worked all day. We occasionally had baby-sitters but even when we did we were out running around, getting into fights, exploring woods and abandoned houses, swimming at the beach, or exploring the business districts of whatever cities we lived in.

Baby sitters were kind of an obstacle. Sometimes they were interesting companions if we had to stay home.

But it’s a cool picture to me. It reminds me of Young Michael and the Cats, wandering the streets at night, looking up at the stars and wondering what secrets they might hold.

About That Plugin I’m Testing

It’s called ActivityPub. It was co-developed by Automattic (official makers of WordPress, sort of). The plugin promises to federate your blog. Basically, if this works (if I did this right), you’ll see a teaser share for this post somewhere in the fediverse. You’ll come to this blog and read the post – and it will be like visiting someone’s profile on another fediverse server. Supposedly.

I don’t know, as I write this, what to expect. Couldn’t find any examples to study before I did this.

I also use the Jetpack plugin. It has a native social sharing ability. You can even share post announcements to your Mastodon account (if you have one). The thing about the ActivityPub plugin is that you don’t need a Mastodon account to share your content. So they say.


I still haven’t said anything profound and meaningful. And I’m too sore for a long walk down memory lane.

Anyway, I hope this works and if it does when I feel better I’ll come back and add a postscript confirming as much. If it doesn’t well, I guess I should say something there, too.


Well, the entire original post was published to the fediverse, but without formatting. And you must click through to the blog to see the featured image.

The comments are registered on the internal dashboard but for some reason they aren’t being displayed here. It could be an incompatibility with the theme, which I restored from an old backup for technical reasons some time back. I need to put a more modern theme on the blog.

But that won’t happen soon.

Addendum 2

Oh…there is a SETTINGS page for this plugin. I should have set it to publish only excerpts. “Well, now I know that.”

Anyway, adding content to the article doesn’t update what is available in the fediverse. Only the original post is still out there.

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