Archive for the ‘Off-Topic’ Category

A Very Literary Halloween

In Off-Topic on October 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought it was only appropriate to have a little party here at pinionpost. I invited my very best dead friends and told them to come dressed to the nines.

Edgar Allan Poe as Burt Reynolds

“Quoth the raven, ‘It’s funny because it’s bigger than a normal hat’.”

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New Look, Same Great… Taste?

In Off-Topic on October 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

Regular visitors of my site, or at least the particularly astute observers among them, will doubtless notice that every last thing about the way it looks has changed.

This is more or less a trial run. I was somewhat less-than-jazzed about the old look of the site, so I wanted to try something lighter and simpler, something that keeps the focus on the words instead of on all the dark colors and such, and moves more stories to the top. It came down to two choices, and in the end, this one won out.

Personally, I think this is a swell theme, but before I make the change permanent, I’m interested in hearing what you think. To that end, I’d be much obliged if you reg’lars (and even you not-so-reg’lars) would comment, email me or send messenger pigeons to let me know what you think.

Do you have a site of your own? If so, what theme do you use and what you like most about it?

Search Me: Adventures in Analytics

In Off-Topic on September 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Every now and then, in my drive to make this site better and get more people to visit, I delve into the world of analytics to see how I’m doing. It’s good to know how often my site shows up in search results, and even more useful to know what people are searching for that sends them my way.

That’s where Google Webmaster Tools come in. Basically, they let me see what people searched for and the average position my site holds in the results. Pretty snazzy stuff, really.

Some searches, like “Brian Benoit,” were perfectly rational to find in my list (my average position is 8.5, though I swear I’d be first if The Dillinger Escape Plan had never existed) – but what about the others?

Here are some of my favorite searches:

Turtle Mustache

Turtle Sex

I’m extremely pleased that this is on the list. Both words make me laugh; taken together, they’re a killer combination, and as it turns out, I’ve referenced both turtles and mustaches with strange regularity in my posts. Most recently there was “Pietro Barbino,” where a naked dwarf (more on nudity later!) rides on a turtle. Read the rest of this entry »

My Bad (Care to Guest Blog?)

In Travel, Writing on September 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Excuses, Excuses

Yet again I find myself apologizing for an extended absence, but this time I have good excuses, I swear!

Firstly, in a piece of toot-my-own-horn kind of news, I recently got a new job (unemployment, it turns out, while a great generator of free time, isn’t so great for the wallet). I officially started two weeks ago, and it’s been keeping me pretty busy, so I shall henceforth need to learn to budget my remaining free time a little better – an adjustment, to be sure, but as of today I’m resolving to make it happen.

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Walkin’ in the Old South

In Travel on August 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

If you’ve been following my Five Sentence Fiction story over the last couple of months, you’ll know that it takes place in the Civil War-Era South. And if you’ve been stalking me lately, you’ll know that, coincidentally, I’ve also just moved to Atlanta.

Well, over the weekend my girlfriend and I got out of the city and went for a hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park, where the trails took us on a bit of a historical tour – one that turned out to be oddly relevant to my story.

Sweetwater Manufacturing Company, Georgia

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Writer Went Down To Georgia

In Travel on August 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

Those of you who check my About page on a regular basis (admit it, you know you’re out there!) will notice that I’ve gone from living in Boston to living in Atlanta. Indeed, the page doesn’t lie – I’ve been down here for almost a week now, slowly waiting for my thick Yankee blood to thin so I can go running without experiencing cardiac arrest.

I went to a southern school, so hopefully that shouldn’t take too long, but I’m also waiting for something a little more important: a job. I’m near the end of a pretty lengthy application and interview process, so with any luck that shouldn’t take too long either, but in the meantime I should have plenty of time to write!*

In honor of my new living situation I feel inspired to read a little Faulkner or Twain, and maybe even blog a bit about it. But first I wanted to know: who are some of your favorite writers from the American South**? If you can’t think of any, I will accept suggestions from the English south, or from Southern Europe, or from the Canadian south (you know, America).


*Of course, the Olympics are on, so maybe I shouldn’t get too ambitious.
**Technically I’m a southern writer now, so I suppose I could be your favorite… you know, if you wanted.

‘The Newsroom’: Journalism, but better

In O'Pinions on June 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Ahh, inspiration…

It’s been a good while now since I’ve posted anything about journalism or politics (or for that matter, anything besides flash fiction), but this afternoon I finally got around to watching the first episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, and since I work in a newsroom myself (and since I still happen to believe journalism performs a crucial function in any true democracy), I couldn’t help but be inspired. Read the rest of this entry »

Excused Absence

In Travel, Writing on May 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm


I realize I haven’t posted in a few days, and I was sorry especially to miss the Friday Fictioneers prompt this week, but this view, from my hotel balcony, is my excuse. Let’s just call it inspiration or research or…whatever, I don’t care, my drink has arrived!

See you all next week!

Rupert Murdoch, though ‘not fit,’ will not quit

In O'Pinions on May 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

Rupert Murdoch – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Bad boy, Rupert…

Today, a parliamentary committee in the UK came to the conclusion that billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch is “not fit” to run a major international company. Read the rest of this entry »

Brian Dettmer’s book excavations

In Off-Topic on May 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

book autopsies, brian dettmer

I’m not generally an advocate for the destruction of books, but then again I wouldn’t say this counts as destruction. Read the rest of this entry »