Tag Archives: statistics

Snippets, newly minted

The new year is rambling on…

Writing
I mentioned a while back that I had submitted a poem that was accepted for an online publication. It is posted here, in The Front Porch Review, or at the link Periodicity under Published Work, down at the lower right of the menu bar. I am fond of this poem, as it captures some actual experiences of my life, and rolls some of the meaning into life’s cyclic nature. There are some other excellent poems in that issue, I invite you to give it a read. As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts.

I’ve started off the new year writing (attempting to write) some flash fiction pieces. I may share something here soon, but I’m also contemplating moving/reorganizing my blog site to accommodate things differently.

Music
After bingeing on holiday/Christmas music since mid-November, I have been cleansing my musical palette with “oldies.” That’s such a relative term, isn’t it? One generation’s oldies are not the next. When I say oldies, I mean 50’s and 60’s jukebox tunes. Doo-wop and British invasion songs are peppy enough to gloss over the general ‘suckiness’ of January weather. I don’t mind the snow…but the bitter cold. What do you listen to on a winter day?

Some random statistics
Since my unemployment began, I’ve applied for approximately 125 positions, mostly through internet application processes. I’ve gone through 12 phone interview processes (with different companies) resulting in 1 onsite interview. That means almost a 10 % conversion from application to phone interview, and only about 8 % of those result in a site interview. This gives a whopping 0.8% likelihood of a job interview based on internet applications – I think. This is biased due to my specific area of expertise and experience level, but it demonstrates the level of difficulty in finding the right job. Sorry about the math…I have to keep my skills up.

Reading
I wish I could say that I did a lot of reading over the last part of 2014 and the Christmas holiday…but I didn’t. I’m still nursing Philip Kerr’s novel Dark Matter:The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton– A Holmes-esque mystery novel during the time when Newton was Warden of the Royal Mint. I’ve read some interesting journal articles about anthocyanins that I mentioned in a post a while ago in December. And, my MIL gave me three Jack Higgins novels to read…which I am excited about. I read The Eagle has Landed when I was in high school and really liked it. Also, I dusted off my copy of The Silmarillion (after seeing the third and final Hobbit film), and leisurely read a few sections to try and jump start my interest in the book…sigh…the names.

Thanks for visiting and reading.

What I was thinking…better metaphors

I thought it would be fun useful cathartic to summarize a collection of thoughts/experiences that occupied my brain the last couple of days. brain

What I’m thinking –
My wife and I listen to entertainment/talk show radio on our commute to and from work. We get a dose of top 40 music and sophomoric humor in the morning, and sports talk radio in the evening. I was actually paying attention to music one morning, when I heard Katy Perry’s Dark Horse featuring rapper Juicy J…specifically this lyrical gem in the rap section:

She’s a beast
I call her Karma (come back)
She eats your heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer (woo)

Really?

Now….I am, admittedly, not a big fan of rap, though I understand the phenomenon and the urban appeal. It is a form of poetry(rhyming, meter, metaphors, alliteration, etc). I admire certain artists’ ability in rap…both in writing and performing (eminem comes immediately to mind).

But, not only is this example in poor taste…it is just lazy writing. To trivialize a serial murderer in a song lyric about addictive love/lust…surely someone could have come up with something better than that. I’m not a lyricist, and I don’t make a living as a recording artist, but I hope that we as a society don’t reach the callous point of integrating our worst examples of humanity into pop culture throwaway lines…like that.

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What I’m reading –

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a slow book finisher, and I tend to have several books going at once (probably around 5 right now, at last count). Most recently, I just started Robert Edsel’s The Monuments Men , in anticipation of the movie that going to be released soon. That one has me intrigued, particularly because the book is very factual and dry at this point, like a history lesson. It certainly has the makings of a great war time adventure story, and I will finish it. Incidentally, the last two books I finished were Graham Moore’s The Sherlockian and Dan Brown’s Inferno, both of which I finished within a couple of weeks of each other last summer/fall, which is some kind of record for me.
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Things that I’m writingwriting

I’m writing alot these days for work: technical reports of various thus and so. I enjoy putting together different ways to discuss trends in data, make predictions, and discuss what observations/results mean or extrapolate to other conditions. It is not surprising then, that for poetry, my inspiration comes mostly from observation. My most recent poem vignette is the result of me staring at a picture on my wall (of twirled poppies) that is located next to a window (where, conveniently this time of year, I can see winter/snow). The symbolism in this poem is not lost on me, as poppies symbolize sleep, peace, or death; these are beautiful and yet, being stuck in a frame, they appear to twist and strain to see the bitter cold and and peace of snowfall.

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Things that I wonder aboutcogs

I like statistics and trend relationships. The stats functions here on WordPress tell me something about my readership.
1. Someone in India really likes my poem, Respite, I get a hit from India every couple of days. Whoever you are, thank you for visiting…let me know what you like about the poem.
2. I don’t get many visitors for non-poetry posts. But, I will continue to write things as I feel inspired to.
3. NanoWriMo 2013 really boosted my readership, coinciding with Freshly Pressed, but I don’t think many of them returned after last April/May.
4. I get the highest hit rate when I write romantic or stylistic Romantic poetry. My take is that people like poetry that makes them feel good. But, still, I get very few actual comments (I’ll harp on that some more).

Thanks for visiting. And if you happen to write song lyrics, insist on better metaphors.