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June 22, 2009 - 7:58am
posted by Joseph Langen in website, development, trial flight.


 Trial Flight
(Trial Flight)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How's your website development coming?
JOE: I've had my ear to the ground, nose to the grindstone and shoulder to the wheel most of the week.
CALLIOPE: Wow. Did the effort pay off?
JOE: I'm getting there. I tried one version live and wasn't satisfied with it. Back to the drawing board.
JOE: The new version is ready for a trial flight today.
CALLIOPE: What do you expect?
JOE: I hope it flies. My deadline is the end of the week. I am more confident that I know what I'm doing now.
CALLIOPE: Best of luck.
JOE: Thanks. I think I know how Orville and Wilbur felt at Kitty Hawk.
CALLIOPE: Interesting comparison.
JOE: Off to the proving grounds. Talk with you tomorrow.




June 12, 2009 - 7:36am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, people, website.


 Meeting the Neighbors

(Meeting the Neighbors)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Relieved?
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: My new website design is completed and apparently functioning normally although I will do some more testing yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Did you spend your whole day at it again?
JOE: Not entirely. Our neighbors suffered the loss of a family member. Carol baked some brownies and I took them over.
CALLIOPE: Did you know the neighbors?
JOE: Just a nodding acquaintance. I had never had a conversation with them.
CALLIOPE: And yesterday?
JOE: They invited me to sit with them on their veranda and we spent quite a bit of pleasant time together.
CALLIOPE: Was there a lesson there for you?
JOE: Yes. I realized that the whole point of working on my website was to communicate with people. I became lost in the technology for a while and lost sight of the purpose.
CALLIOPE: Good realization.
JOE: I think so. Talk with you tomorrow.




June 9, 2009 - 9:39am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, Dreamweaver.

 Island Home
(Island Home- Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. Yesterday was busy with errands but I did get some time to work on Dreamweaver and my website.
CALLIOPE: How's it coming?
JOE: Not bad. I'm no expert yet, but my competence grows by the day as I learn more about the programming.
CALLIOPE: So you think you will have your site ready by the end of the month?
JOE: That's my plan.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: Back to my writing. I haven't had much time to work on it lately with all the effort I'm putting into web development.
CALLIOPE: Do you need any help?
JOE: Not yet. I have had some kind offers from fellow denizens of my various web communities. So far I am holding my own, but at least have some ideas about where to find help if I get stuck.
CALLIOPE: Always good to know.
JOE: It is. I'm never comfortable feeling like I am on a desert island with no passing ships in sight.
CALLIOPE: One advantage of being a muse is not being limited by geography.
JOE: Sounds nice. I'll continue on as a mere mortal for now. Talk with you tomorrow.




June 8, 2009 - 7:38am
posted by Joseph Langen in construction, writing, website.

(Under Construction)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Ready for a new week?
JOE: Indeed.
CALLIOPE: What's afoot?
JOE: I spent all day Saturday poring over my Dreamweaver manual.
CALLIOPE: To any avail?
JOE: Fortunately yes. I was then able to begin reconstructing my website in Dreamweaver.
CALLIOPE: Effortlessly?
JOE: No such luck. In the beginning I struggled with every step. By the time I arrived at my third page I was much better and my development started to hum along.
CALLIOPE: Any other findings?
JOE: More a realization. I had difficulty with some of the automated tasks but found I could do them manually with the help of my understanding of html.
CALLIOPE: Where did that come from?
JOE: Once I thought it would be a challenge to write my own website from scratch and delved into html.
JOE: The task was beyond me but gained a rudimentary understanding and facility with html workings. Everything I learn seems to come in handy eventually. Talk with you tomorrow.

June 5, 2009 - 7:40am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, Dreamweaver.

(Geese in a Row)

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious- Marcus Aurelius


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Making progress. Dreamweaver looked quite daunting at first but I think there is hope.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: I struggled to get it to do anything. Then my book arrived, bringing hope with it.
CALLIOPE: What book?
JOE: A lifesaver (or websaver) called Dreamweaver CS4: The Missing Manual by David McFarland.
CALLIOPE: How has it helped.
JOE: It explains in detail just what needs to be done at each step.
CALLIOPE: That's it?
JOE: No. It also provides a tutorial to walk the unenlightened one (Grasshopper if you will) through the steps of creating a fictitious site using the skills just discussed.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good approach.
JOE: It works for me. I still have quite a bit to learn but, having produced visible results, I now think I will make it.
CALLIOPE: Keep after those geese.
JOE: I will but they have a mind of their own. Talk with you tomorrow.



June 3, 2009 - 7:34am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, development.

(Snail's Pace)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Back in high gear.
CALLIOPE: Explain.
JOE: Yesterday's mail brought my book, Dreamweaver CS4- The Missing Manual.
CALLIOPE: How did that change things?
JOE: I have been struggling to make sense of Dreamweaver from the tutorials online and fiddling with the program to try to understand it, mostly to no avail. Now that the book has arrived, so has hope of understanding and using Dreamweaver.
CALLIOPE: So you were right about a book being more useful than online materials.
JOE: I don't know if this is true for everyone, but it certainly is for me.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad there is hope. Whats next?
JOE: My first inclination is to jump right in and redesign my old website.
JOE: But I decided to take some time to learn how to use Dreamweaver first and once I become familiar with it, use it to reformulate my site. Talk with you tomorrow.

May 30, 2009 - 8:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, challenge.


 (George M. Cohan with Pigeon)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Exhausted from my search.
CALLIOPE: Search of what?
JOE: The Internet and bookstores to decide what to do about my website.
CALLIOPE: Why do you have to do something about it?
JOE: My website host will no longer support Front Page, the program I used to develop and update my website aft the end of June.
CALLIOPE: Have you come to a decision?
JOE: Yes, Your Honor.
CALLIOPE: How does the jury find?
JOE: In favor of Dreamweaver. I considered paying someone to do what I needed (too expensive for my taste), using a free program (too limited), using a combination of program and hosting (I like my current service provider), Microsoft's Expression (unintelligible for me).
CALLIOPE: So Dreamweaver is the least of the evils?
JOE: That's one way to put it. It is also the gold standard of web development. I downloaded a trial and decided it was manageable with some practice.
CALLIOPE: So you have a month to learn the program?
JOE: I don't expect to become an expert in a month, but I'm ready for the journey. Talk with you on Monday.



February 19, 2009 - 7:19am
posted by Joseph Langen in website, life's mysteries, playground.


(Metal Sculpture- Vigo Spain)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine, thank you.
CALLIOPE: What are you up to today?
JOE: Continuing to plan my website conversion.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more about it.
JOE: I see it as a playground for my ideas where I will let them run around and watch them develop.
CALLIOPE: You told me yesterday about what you know for sure. What else will be running around?
JOE: What I call life mysteries.
CALLIOPE: Which are?
JOE: Things I have thought about for years but still can't make much sense of.
CALLIOPE: For example?
JOE: Sexual abuse is one. I have worked in a sex abuse program and also written a novel about a priest struggling with his abuse issues. Still I don't really understand why people do such things, although I have a few hints.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a complex topic.
JOE: It is. Maybe we can make some sense of it together and with the input of our readers. Talk with you tomorrow.
February 16, 2009 - 7:43am
posted by Joseph Langen in website, life mysteries.


(Footprints in the Sand)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I thought I might hear from you while you were on the high seas.
JOE: I thought you might too, but it turned out to be more complicated that I thought.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about your trip.
JOE: It was wonderful to get away from the cold for a while. We spent more time on various beaches than ever before and enjoyed the water and breezes.
CALLIOPE: Did you discover anything about yourself while you were gone?
JOE: My mind remained pretty fallow. I concentrated on enjoying the moment most of the time.
CALLIOPE: You planned to consider your future directions.
JOE: I did but only toward the end of the week.
CALLIOPE: What did you come up with.
JOE: After finishing Joan Chittister's book The Gift of Years I have decided to concentrate on two areas, what I know for sure and life mysteries.
CALLIOPE: How do you plan to do that?
JOE: I will use my Sliding Otter website for my books and other formal writings. I will convert my Commonsense Wisdom website to a place where I can explore both issues.
CALLIOPE: Sounds interesting.
JOE: I think so. I'll let you know how it turns out. Talk with you tomorrow.
October 20, 2008 - 4:38pm

I had to go to Tractor Supply Co. in Batavia, NY on Friday 10/17/08 to return a ball mount that didn't have a deep enough drop for my camper. 

When I pulled in, I looked to my left and there was a wagon and four absolutely beautiful large work horses with wonderful halters on.  Now, I am absolutely curious, but I have to make sure that I don't get sidetracked and that I make sure that I keep my focus. 

I went in and made the return, trying to rush to get back outside to investigate.  After what seems to be hours, I finally get back outside and I start walking towards these beautiful creatures that are contently huddling around an odd looking wagon. 

As I begin to look at one of the horses, I hear some rustling to my left.  A middle-aged man comes walking around and we make the make our introductions.  With making conversation, I was able to to collect some interesting information: the man's name is Bob; his horses are of Percheron breed; their names are Doc, Dolly, Joyce and Dee Dee; he travels with his horses and wagon; and he is currently packing up to head back west. 

After chatting with Bob, I noticed some spectators starting to show interest, so I figured I would take one more look at the horses and then go on my way.  As I am walking back to my vehicle, I figure that I should take some quick pictures of this unique situation.  Though I am not a professional photographer by any means, I grabbed my camera from my vehicle and took as many pictures as I could before they could leave.  I figured this would be a perfect addition for my calendar that I plan to make of various nature pictures I have taken over the years.  So, photo after photo, I am scurrying to always get that last picture before they can leave. 

As they begin to exit the parking lot and make their way left, across Rte. 5,  I rush to my vehicle and slowly drive ahead of them.  I pull over into the parking lot of a small welding business that is about 300 feet in front where they are currently traveling.  I jump out of my vehicle with my camera and started taking pictures of them coming at me on the main roadway.  It is neat to watch these four horses loyally and proudly pulling their friend and his wagon. 

As they begin to pass by me, I wave to Bob and tell him thank you.  Thank you for being you, thank you for caring and keeping these beautiful animals, thank you for being so courageous and unique to travel all over the American north east with them, and a much bigger thank you for providing and showing this neat phenomena to the world.  In response to my thanks, he gave a very kind gentleman's nod and replied, "Your welcome." 

I snapped a few more photos as they continued down the road and muttered to myself, with the utmost amount of satisfaction, "Right place.  Right time."

 (For more info, visit their website: www.wagonteamster.com)


October 10, 2008 - 8:55am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, marketing, website.

(Gulls on City Island, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Are you finished with your marketing challenge?
JOE: Not quite. My web site is back functioning well. There are a few refinements I would like to make such as adding my podcast and some keywords.
CALLIOPE: Is that your plan for today?
JOE: If I have time. This morning I am taking Carol for some outpatient surgery and then we will shop and have lunch. I'm not sure how much time that will leave me.
CALLIOPE: What's up for the next few days?
JOE: Carol and I are leaving for New York tomorrow morning and will be back Tuesday.
CALLIOPE: Anything special going on there?
JOE: We're just going to visit Carol's son who is just back from Germany after a stint in The Barber of Seville. We just thought it was time for a visit.
CALLIOPE: Anything planned?
JOE: No. We will play it by ear. But I will stay aware of opportunities to discuss writing and marketing.
CALLIOPE: Enjoy your trip.
JOE: We will. Talk with you on Wednesday.

October 9, 2008 - 1:02pm
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, search engine optimization.


(Monarch Butterfly)

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I was afraid you fell off the face of the earth.
JOE: I didn't but my website did and it took me until just now to get it working again.
CALLIOPE: What happened?
JOE: I spent yesterday working on search engine optimization with Steve Weber's website.
JOE: I learned quite a bit that I was anxious to implement.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: In the long run, okay. But along the way I managed to run into quite a few snags while trying to implement simplification.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a contradiction.
JOE: Simplicity is not always easy to achieve. Just ask anyone who tried to simplify his or her life.
CALLIOPE: Did it turn out okay in the long run.
JOE: Yes. I still haven't figured out how to post an interview on my website although I had it working before.
CALLIOPE: Something to work on.
JOE: I guess I need some sort of challenge. Talk with you tomorrow.
August 29, 2008 - 7:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, website, moving.

(Fishing Boat- Antigua)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Good. Before you ask, I didn't do anything literary yesterday other than to post my column.
CALLIOPE: You're forgiven considering the requirements of moving.
JOE: Thanks. I did spend some time working on my website.
CALLIOPE: What prompted that?
JOE: I have been reading about what makes for an effective sales site. I began to realize that although the site looked nice, it was too busy and difficult to navigate.
CALLIOPE: So how are the changes coming?
JOE: Quite well. I hope to finish and post the changes today.
CALLIOPE: Are you doing just Commonsense Wisdom?
JOE: No, I plan to revise Sliding Otter too but not today.
CALLIOPE: I'm surprised you had a chance to work on it.
JOE: I can't let my mind run entirely fallow while I am moving.
CALLIOPE: That's good thinking. When will I hear from you again?
JOE: I will be working in Leroy over the weekend. I'll try to contact you on Tuesday.

August 2, 2008 - 10:08am
posted by chris johnson in racing, chris johnson, stock car, website.

check out the website for local mini stock racer chris johnson





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