Friday, December 4, 2015

Moristotle & Co. abandons regular scheduling

Baldassare Peruzzi, “Muses Dancing with Apollo”
Our muses insisted

By Morris Dean

This week I notified the staff that it was no longer working for me to try to live up to the blog’s commitment to have regularly scheduled columns. I told them that I wanted to give up specifying the days of the week (or month) on which particular columns would appear, so that there would be no stated or implied commitment to publish anything on any given day.
    As of this week, we are abandoning the schedule that used to be shown in the sidebar [note: mobile and other devices do not show the sidebar]:

Regular Columns

Note: The links in the above list are active.

The staff’s understanding, supportive responses have been gratifying:
I always felt like the commitment to regularly scheduled columns was imposing an unnecessary rigidity to the blog. I think I would prefer more of a free-form such as you suggested. If it makes your life a little easier, so much the better.

I actually agree with you. Structurally and for sound mind, it seems that publishing as articles come in is a good thing to do and will make everything easier. I handle the farm business in a similar way – tackle things as needed for organizational ease of management, rather than trying to control. Things flow better and the outcome is more productive.

Bless you, my friend. Keep your muse in action because [as the preceding staff member] explained so well, it actually generates productivity, ease of management, and smoothness of operation – without control. You have truly exercised self-truth and honesty and taken action to protect your daily being, because you knew physiologically it was the “right thing to do for you.” Again – bravo!

I’ve seen this coming for a long time. Your frequent pleas to me for copy were, I’ve never doubted, repeated in many other ears. I think something less magazine-like, more free-form, would be easier on all of us. Certainly I would benefit. As you may have noticed, I can’t come up with a musical topic of general interest more than a few times a year, and most of my recent contributions have been random inspirations. Maybe I’d write more if I felt free to take on whatever was on my mind at the moment, rather than search for an idea on a predetermined topic. I think you are wise to simplify life thus. I’ve always thought you work far too hard at this!

As the CEO of the blog you now have more opportunity to play. Your parent or adult is not the one in charge anymore. Your internal kid is. And what fun you can create from this point on. This also goes for your regular contributors. As one of them said, he can now write things that “come up” of self-interest and creativity for him too, and not have to come up with something to meet a commitment. So get in the play mode, big fella! Enjoy. Let go!

You have a win-win from everyone by the sound of it. Not having deadlines and imposed commitments will free everyone to conjure up more creative thoughts, I feel. For each of us there is only one. For you there are many. And I bet we will get even more interesting reads.

I feel it is a wise move on your part. While it provided entertainment for others, it seemed to be a job for you with no payday. Good on you, my friend – at our age more pressure is the last thing we need.

Glad you got clarity and a good night’s sleep for yourself. I suspect that the only rule we have in this retirement = endless vacation is to not do anything that feels like “ick work.” When we can, in good conscience, avoid it, let it be fun stuff only!

I have been very impressed with the sheer stamina in seems like it requires to maintain regularly scheduled columns on different days of the week and month. My dad and I have often remarked that we don’t know how you’ve kept the blog running on schedule for so long. I think the blog will be equally engaging in “free-form,” and I feel it is a wise move because it will reduce the stress you feel of having to chase down columnists. My guess is that going forward, you will still have many contributions from your different columnists at a rate that will still be frequent, if not daily.

I totally understand the break this affords you and I encourage it!

I really appreciate all the help and encouragement you’ve given me.

Hey, I think that you are making the right decision to stop trying to put out a daily blog. I am afraid that I, like many of your other contributors, have been tied up in a number of other matters and have not supplied you with much material. I find that my muse gets herself spent drafting complaints and legal briefs and does not do much in a more creative fashion. The result of the lack of contributions has forced you to do most of the writing, which, after a period of time, exhausts even your fertile imagination. In addition, having to produce a daily edition is like working seven days a week – a condition less desirable the older one gets.

I totally understand your need to streamline things. I don’t know how you have done it so long. Thank you again for all you have done to keep a very invigorating and diverse blog going strong. All the best.

I sympathize with the difficult decision you have made. It is hard to let go of something we have ambitiously and lovingly conceived and in which we have invested much emotionally and in physical effort. That, I’m afraid, goes under the heading of “life.” I am sure that I am not the only reader that will miss the old blog – it had grown on me and I enjoyed reading your contributors. But who knows what the new form might bring? The possible spontaneity of it could be a real asset.
One staffer asked whether previously posted columns would retain their original titles (like Fish for Friday, Second Saturday, etc.)? He thought it would be nice to keep those titles for ease of finding them in the future.
    Indeed, none of the columns previously posted will suffer a name change, and they can still be accessed. If you look in the sidebar where the listing of regular columns previously appeared, you will, under the heading

Links to columns previously scheduled for particular days,

now see links not only to the columns listed above, but also to columns previously retired, such as items by Ed Rogers, Motomynd (aka Paul Clark), and Tom Lowe, and articles by Jim Rix, Susan C. Price, and Vic Midyett that completed a set. I have re-arranged all of these items alphabetically (by author’s first name) under new descriptions. I hope it serves everyone well.
    Note also that staff members’ names included above – and appearing in the sidebar – are links to their posts. The rest of the staffers’ names, with links, are: André Duvall, Bettina Sperry, Bob Boldt, Chuck Smythe, Eric Meub, Geoffrey Dean, James Knudsen, James T. Carney, Jonathan Price, Kyle Garza, Rolf Dumke, and William Silveira.
    [For the record, since the sidebar is subject to change from time to time, I have included the revised sidebar section in a footnote.*]

But, hey, today’s the day you may have been expecting some fish. Well, let those be the selections above from my recent correspondence!
    And something even happened in a grocery store’s parking lot yesterday that inspired a limerick from my newly liberated muse:

“Oh, is that a new car?” she asked, the door
now dented by the cart she had let soar
    freely t’ward the collecting pen.
    “I’m sorry. Please forgive me, then.”
“You’re forgiven, now go and ding no more.”
* For your convenience – and for the record, since the sidebar is subject to change from time to time – here’s what the new sidebar section looks like today [as in the list above, the links in the list below are active]:

Links to columns previously scheduled for particular days

Copyright © 2015 by Morris Dean


  1. Very well done, Morris. Bravo! It's time for a different kind of fun now. Every day we ALL have the opportunity to hit the refresh icon.