January 2021 was a challenging month for the USA. After the worst attack on democracy since the war of 1812, we finally got rid of the old neo-fascist, proto-racist, fake billionaire POTUS #45. And the social media companies finally grew a pair and de-platformed him. At least that part of our long national nightmare is over. POTUS #46 was inaugurated — a new (and real) president who actually cares about other people and wants to and knows how to govern. Whether the crazies on the red team will let him do so is unlikely, but many of them are going to prison for the attempted insurrection on the Capitol on January 6th. Also in the win column is people have been getting vaccinated for the coronavirus, though not nearly as many that could or should be by now. As for lil’ ol’ A Dude Abikes, I did what I could to keep my health and sanity to the extent possible by biking and doing some new or different things. Not resolutions exactly, because who needs that pressure? Let’s go to the stats, stat!Continue reading
There’s nothing like reading a good book, getting lost in another world while sitting at home and never moving out of your chair or exchanging pants for pajamas. I used to be a voracious reader, although the advent of Netflix sure hasn’t helped. Sometimes I still am. Given my penchant for recording my activities like bicycling, doing yoga, and walking, it makes sense to record what I read, too. Goodreads is a site for just that, a digital bookshelf, and much more. If you’re a reader, you probably know about it, but if you don’t, it’s worth a gander.Continue reading
Scenes from a day in the life of A Dude. Although it was not today, last night was not that long ago, so I’m including it. I went to One Page Salon and got to chat again with the affable host Owen Egerton and other phenomenal writers like Felix Morgan. She happens to be friends with a cyclist I once photographed for taking her bike in to the HEB grocery store. Jess recognized me and gave me two big hugs for some reason. Maybe I’ll hear from her, though I’m not holding my breath.Continue reading
If you live in Austin and have read the local newspaper in the last 30 years, you probably know of Michael Barnes. He’s been covering arts, entertainment, culture, history, the city and its people and changes and more in some form or another in the Austin American-Statesman for most of that time. He’s also written two books, performed and taught theater at the University of Texas and St. Edwards University among other things for many years. He has a diverse presence on the internet with several blogs and social media sites, and probably alot of other things I’m sure I don’t know about. He also has a doctorate in theater, and oh, by the way, last year he was 2017 Best Journalist in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll. So when I casually invited him to connect and he did, and then he invited me to meet him for coffee, what was A Dude going to say? I said yes, of course! Continue reading
Dale Thele is an author. If there’s one thing I took away from the very generous amount of time we spent together at a coffee shop today, is that to think of oneself as an author (or writer, if you prefer), is important. No, it does not make you good, or increase your chances of publication.
But, thinking of oneself that way is one key to behaving that way. Writers write, right? (Do authors auth?) Luckily, I took away alot more than that one thing, and as Dale was happy to share them with me, he’s happy for me to share them with all 168 of my followers and any new visitors.
Coincidence is a funny thing. When two disconnected but interrelated things happen for no clear reason, we search for answers. Religious people would say it’s the will of the one(s) they worship. Agnostic athiests and secular humanists like A Dude would chalk it up to chance. The spiritual might say it’s the butterfly effect, or intentions coming back to you. Scientists would say something… sciencey.
I don’t know what Walter Mosley would say about me writing a blog about one of his books just a few days ago, and then him coming to town from a reading and book signing. Well, I think he may have said thanks. I wasn’t starstruck as much as feeling like “Wow! That’s Walter Mosley! Did I somehow summon him to Austin?” I wish I had that superpower. But anyway, what I’d say about this coincidence, fate, destiny, kismet, stupid luck, good fortune, or whatever — it was freaking awesome! Thanks to my host for reading my review and cluing me in. Continue reading
The idea of reviewing books about bicycling has been in the back of my brain for a bunch of blogs. But I have Milly Schmidt from Australia (The Cat’s Write) and Shalini from India (Books, Reviews et al. by Shalini) to thank for reminding me that writing in different genres is perfectly acceptable (despite what some pro bloggers may say) and that reviewing books is a good thing to do for aspiring writers. I’ve just finished award-winning Walter’s Mosley’s Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawlins Mystery, so don’t be blue. Without further ado, here is A Dude Abikes’ review. For you. It’s true! And brand new. Continue reading
I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know
After job search group, a Linked In consultation and a tasty nap, on a whim I looked at MeetUp. There’s a WordPress group, and they happened to be having a class on Google Analytics, a free software program to learn who’s looking at your website. So I hopped on the trusty Fuji Silhouette and cruised downtown in the cool weather. I’m sitting here feeling as if everyone else speaks Klingon, and I’m merely an Earthling.
A Dude is very right-brained, and this is left-brain stuff all the way. Unless you have the luxury of money to hire a web person, learning this stuff is what one needs to do to get better in blogging, web mastering and so on. For my first time out, it was too advanced. But, I went, talked to some people, and got an ok feel for it. So for me that’s a win. Just like Charlie Sheen, A Dude likes WINNING! Continue reading