Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To Thine Own Self Be True

Those were the words of Shakespeare. Or at least that's what we are told. They might just be the words of Frances Bacon. Nevertheless, they ring a truth that transcends the ages and drives home a startling point: you shouldn't try to fool yourself.

I have come full circle. As I write this tonight, I have had what perhaps has been the most overwhelming epiphany of my life. All my life I have tried to rise above some invisible thread that holds me back. Always at the top of my class, but never where I wanted to be. At every turn, just when success would seem to be within my grasp, I would fail to gain the prize. I have always felt above average and called to have some significant destiny ... to rise above my peers.

I realized today that's not it at all. The truth of the matter is, I'm just an average Joe. I don't have any super destiny awaiting my in a pot of gold at the end of some rainbow. I have what I have right now, and that is it.

I have a contract job, working 40 hours a week - an average Joe.
I have a wife and three kids - an average Joe.
I don't own my own Internet start-up, and I never will - an average Joe.
I've never made a six-figure income, and I never will - an average Joe.
I struggle from month to month just to make ends meet for our family - an average Joe.
I'm not the husband nor the father that I should be - an average Joe.

So much for having anything really meaningful to share with you. I'm not a real blogger. I'm not a "real man" as the title implies. In fact, the truth is I'm nothing more than an average Joe.

So, without further ado, I believe I will lay this blog to rest. After all, there's not much point in me wasting my time on here. You're not even listening. How do I know? Because I'm just an average Joe.

Good Bye and Good Night to all the average Joes out there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Today in Weather History

Just checking my e-mail and noticed this little blurb at the end of my daily weather forecast:

"This data in Weather History... In 1919, an F5 tornado tore a path of destruction through Fergus Falls, Minnesota. 59 people were killed and 400 buildings were destroyed.

In 1947, twelve inches of rain fell in Holt, Missouri in just 42 minutes.

In 1972, the remnants of Hurricane Agnes dumped 10 to 20 inches of rain across Maryland, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was inundated by flood waters after a dike was breached, which caused $3.5 billion in damage."

Huh. Funny how we always think that our current predicament is worse than its ever been before. Judging from this blurb, 2008 may turn out to be just another average year. Oh well, so much for the harbingers of doom.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Independence Day

OK, maybe it's not Independence Day for the rest of the country yet, but today is Independence Day for me! It was one year ago today that I decided that I had enough of the bullying boss that I used to work for and walked out of the company I was employed with.

It was a tough decision, to be sure. With only a few months' worth of income set aside, I made the giant leap into the unknown. It's been a rough and bumpy ride, but worth every minute of it.

I still struggle with diversification. As a freelance professional I see "success" with any single company as just another form of a J-O-B. I think diversification for any self-employed person is critical to their ultimate success and freedom, allowing them to still call the shots.

One final thought on this Independence Day ... you can do anything that you set your mind to do. If you are still struggling with a big decision, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get moving!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Grammar in The Wrong Hands Can Be Dangerous

As a writer of web content, I'm going to take a minute to vent here. After all, if I can't do it here, where can I do it? OK, so there is your fair warning - this post isn't necessarily about working from home or fatherhood ... deal with it.

What has happened to the grammatical standards of the English language? Perhaps the Internet and all of it's fast-paced slang abbreviations killed it. Maybe, just maybe, we allowed it to die because nobody really held an interest in keeping it alive anymore.

I write for several places online, and am endeavoring to break into the offline markets as well. My concern for the future of English grammar comes from these writing experiences. Many times I have seen copy editors just ignore grammar issues an approve stuff anyway. That is disconcerting enough. However, when I see copy editors actually make corrections that are wrong and publish them to a group of people - hold the phone, we've got real issues now!

Not only does this impact the person who wrote the piece, but it also impacts everyone who is "learning" from this editor's feedback. While the editor's job should be to make corrections and bring things up to speed - all the while training folks, it doesn't always happen this way. So what happens when an editor gets it wrong and actually pushes the "correction" out to his staff? A group of people have just become more ignorant of proper grammar and are farther behind the writer's curve for having listened to him.

Now you know the reason for the title of my post. Grammar in the wrong hands truly can be dangerous. My only question now is how to communicate the truth to the copy editor without getting slapped in my wallet.