Polar Vortices

As I’ve archived past posts (some of which may return, others of which will be relegated to the vaults), one thing has become very clear: I sure do love themes and metaphors.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to try and stuff this one full of connections to the cold. It’s enough that the title is an extension of my last entry.

The first of the bitter cold has arrived. Today’s high: 2°F (-17°C). The low is -6 (-21), and the wind chill in the early hours was around -30 (-34). In any case, it’s a good day to stay inside and work on a web site. Except that the work has been incredibly frustrating.

The Gutenberg Pressure
It’s hard enough to get my résumé and web site into shape. I struggle with self-promotion, though I know how critical it is. But add to that the web site itself fighting against me, and it’s become a creativity-blocking challenge.

Like most of the world, I use WordPress for this site. For a few years, I’ve used the excellent GeneratePress Premium theme. It provides a nice amount of control without having to dust off the CSS books and figure out all of the code. Well, most of the code.

But WordPress decided that they wanted to shake things up with the last major release and came out with a new editor they’ve named “Gutenberg.” I really did try to get along with it, but I don’t think it’s ready for prime time. I’ll give it another shot in the future, but the fact that the “Classic Editor” plugin, which disables Gutenberg, has been downloaded over four million times tells me I’m not alone in my discontent.

So I’m back to the classic editor and Generate Press

The Categories of Things to Come
One thing that became clear as I shoveled through the old posts (see how I tagged the last entry there?) is that I had a chaotic mish-mash of categories, tags, and other means of confusing thing. At this point, I’ve deleted all but four primary categories:

  • Business
  • Career
  • Music
  • Journal

I’m not sure those are correct yet. Business and Career seem awfully close, though I intend one for articles covering the business world itself, leadership, strategy, criticism, and so on, while the other is earmarked for documenting my own career path and goals, networking, and advice for others.

Music may become confusing, because I plan on having a dedicated set of pages for that topic, primarily links to my own work. I’ve been releasing under the artist name “Releaux” for decades, but some of what I’ll release this year will be published under my personal name. At that point, this site will also be important for promoting that persona. I’ll just have to figure it out as I go.

Journal will be mostly slice-of-life or “what’s on Ray’s mind today” things. I had previously had this as “Trivial Nonsense” and it may end up as that again. Journal seems kind of dry and boring, but it’s also a lot clearer to new readers. In any case, it’s the more stream-of-consciousness writing. I’m not taking time to polish or hyper-edit.

The obvious missing category is Technology. I’ll bring that out once I’ve written some new posts on the subject. I used to have a lot of other categories (IT, Song-A-Day), but I think they’ll be better off as tags.

You’re Getting Colder
Ok, so back to the metaphor. Kidding. But I am getting cold on most social media. People have become so polarized, so negative, so and unwilling to engage in critical thinking that it’s worn me down. I’ve said on multiple occasions that if it weren’t for the need to promote my music (and myself), I’d probably detach entirely.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been refining this idea that maybe I can detach. Not entirely, but in a way that helps me avoid the time wasting and soul-sucking outrage culture to which so many have become addicted.

There’s too much to be thankful for and happy about. And I’m not going to change anyone’s mind with my well-reasoned and thoughtful Facebook post. My next entry will outline my current plan to start using social media in ways that are more beneficial both to my professional and personal goals.