In which I pose a serious question in a roundabout way

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My family has two puppies under our care. One, we adopted because we have a seven-year-old boy living in the house and he’s been begging for a dog since he was three. The other adopted us because we fed him at a time when he was down on his luck and we obviously know how to take care of puppies.

Their names are Diesel and Ren, but I call them “Lil’ pup” and “Big pup.”

Big pup. He likes to guard smaller creatures. He doesn't guard food and seems to not understand toys at all. He's quiet unless he has something important to say. And he doesn't jump up on people even when they're waving meat at him.

Big pup. He likes to guard smaller creatures. He doesn’t guard food and seems to not understand toys at all. He’s quiet unless he has something important to say. And he doesn’t jump up on people even when they’re waving meat at him. Has the makings of a super-sweet working dog.

They get along well. Ren is six or seven months old, based on his size and dental development. Either a German Shepherd, or a GSD mixed with one other related breed, we’re pretty sure. And we’ve done our best to make sure no one’s looking for him. It seems that no one is.

Lil' Pup. She's a monster, and a connoisseur of fine paper. That's Mr. Chicken she's gnawing on there. She loves Mr. Chicken, but they are not friends.

Lil’ Pup. She’s a monster, and a connoisseur of fine paper. That’s Mr. Chicken she’s gnawing on there. She loves Mr. Chicken, but they are not friends. Diesel is a bit of a terror.

If I ever figure out a way to migrate my consciousness to some surrealistic fantasy world and become a not-so-evil overlord, I’m bringing these two with me. They will be my gargoyles. If you happen to wander into my fantasy domain unbidden, Big Pup will pose you a riddle. If you are unable to come up with a satisfactory answer in a reasonable amount of time, Lil’ Pup will eat you alive, starting with your face.

So, on to the serious question. These doggies love, love, love some paper. It makes interesting sounds and tastes enough like food to satisfy. And it is so. Very. Shreddable. Cardboard, wrapping paper, tissues, toilet paper. Just doesn’t matter. Ren mostly sniffs around and forages for little bits of paper, but Diesel seems to be on a holy quest to sample every type of paper that ever existed. We have to watch her around the books. This is totally normal behavior for a three-month-old puppy and we correct it often enough that it’s not a long-term concern.

I have a computer desk with a floor-level shelf, and until we got puppies, I was accustomed to storing documents on that shelf. It’s very convenient. They are out of sight and I know where they are if I need to refer to them. One of the documents stored on that shelf is my Master’s Thesis, shrink-wrapped and nestled snugly in a Kinko’s box.

Those of you who are familiar with the academic meat grinder will get this. A master’s thesis is a thing you sweat over, and if you’re a flighty person, maybe you go to therapy to get it done. Then once it’s done, unless you’re a genius or were at least smart enough to use the master’s training to do exploratory work that you can build on, what you really want to do is disavow it and pretend someone else wrote it.

So, anyway. Lil’ pup has worried and worried at the Kinko’s box for weeks now. The entire lid is gone. She really truly wants to get into that box and rip the plastic and sample some 25-lb linen paper seasoned with 9-year-old ink.

Given that I’ve never taken that document out of its box even once since I published it, it’s probably the least favorite piece of writing I’ve ever finished, and it’s archived in an academic library for posterity in any case . . .

. . . Should I go ahead and let her have her way with it?

They like to help the boy study his spelling words. That is great fun for EVERYONE.

They like to help the boy study his spelling words. That is great fun for EVERYONE.

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Weekend Coffee Share: In Which I Finally have a Good Week

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m feeling more myself this weekend than I have in a couple of months. Things have mostly settled down in the family sphere, even though we STILL haven’t got all the boxes unpacked. I’ve almost got a huge work project off my plate. Fall is coming, but it isn’t here yet and I have a week or two before I really have to start gearing up. Life is good.

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And I’d tell you I am pondering where to go with my blogging from here. A certain amount of my blogwriting has to be pop-culture related because my blog Sourcerer is all pop culture, all the time. But I have other interests, and things I’d like to write about that don’t fit there.  And some those other interests are political.

I could publish political things here, but I’m not sure it really fits here, either. Not sure how well it would be received, and really, this blog has been so all over the map over the last couple of years, I’m not sure about shifting the focus *yet* again.

I’m also questioning the wisdom of having two blogs on WordPress.com. WordPress is working well for Sourcerer, but here’s the thing. Because I built a blog specifically for contributors and separated the personal one, I have limits to work within here.

I’m not able to generate slow and steady audience growth by posting frequently here. Once a week, and the occasional piece that I either hammer out quickly or take a couple of weeks to finish, is about all I can manage.

I’ve got no search traffic, because I’ve never been good at writing for searches, and this blog in particular, up to this point, hasn’t let itself very well to content that people are actually using Google to find.

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

What this means, in practical terms, is that I get readers from two places: From the #WeekendCoffeeShare linkup, and from sharing things I post here with friends. The potential audience for any given post here is only 25-50. I’ve had much better days than that, but never consistently, and not since I cut back to once-a-week posting.

This blog is hampered by the fact that every like I give and every comment I leave leads people to Sourcerer. That’s by design, because growing that blog is my top priority. But the ability to leave easy links when you interact on other blogs is one of the biggest benefits of blogging on WordPress. And using two separate accounts doesn’t work for me, because then I have to constantly be checking both accounts for notifications.

So, in short, I’m questioning the wisdom of having two blogs on WordPress, and I’m thinking about opportunity cost. I can generate 25 to 50 page views every Saturday no matter where I do the posting I’m doing on Just Gene’O, and a blog on another network, or just on the Internet as a whole, might mean the potential to find readers who would never otherwise find us here.

I’m thinking about standing up either a self-hosted site or a blogger blog in the late fall when the back-to-school madness settles down. Not bringing the complete archives with me. Just the stuff I need to keep my projects going.

But I’m only thinking about it at this point, and in the meantime, I’m wanting, very badly, to write about the problems of the U.S. penal system, various forms of privilege, and some other social/activist issues. So you may see an uptick in politically-oriented posts from me here.

Happy weekend! Don’t forget to add your coffee post to the linkup at Part Time Monster and share it with #WeekendCoffeeShare on Twitter.

Love Wins

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I’m sure you’ve heard about the Supreme Court ruling by now.

This is what the Campaign for Southern Equality has to say about it. I agree. The tv is telling me at least two marriages have already been performed in Mississippi.

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Part Time Monster has also chimed in, and Deep South Daily is taking the day to share photos of celebrations on their social media submitted by Mississippians. Info in this post on their Facebook page, and they’re @DeepSouthDaily on Twitter.

Can you tell I’m happy about this?

🙂

Updated: Not entirely suprising, but obstruction from some states and more legal wrangling is coming.