Friday, April 19, 2013

The "best of" The Walk Report (and related babble)

A Brief History of The Walk Report

Ever since I got sucked into Facebook, August 27, 2008, I have made a habit of posting photos, events and music which have taken place on my "daily constitutional," a walk which I have done now with a great deal of dedication, rain or shine, in sickness or in health, for the last 12 years. I seem to be one of the rare individuals who actually make social media, social. I make it about me, my reflection onto my world which includes people I care about. I don't claim that this is very interesting but I find personal interaction more satisfying than what most people I see post on Facebook, Twitter, whatever. I almost instinctively want to entertain other people with the simple side of my life and that's what I like back from others who touch my life. Having some device tell social media what shop or restaurant you're at is just pure boredom unless it's accompanied with how your effected, by the contribution you've made to the event, or the joy, sorrow, or even the dullness you've experienced. If you want to say you saw a movie, a play, went to some other place of interest share the experience.

On or about March 25, 2012 I began labeling these Facebook posts as, Today's walk report. Eventually I found out that some "friends" would look forward to the Walk Report. I also found out that my son, 22 and his girlfriend, 21, enjoyed my report. Wow! I'm appealing to a younger audience. Unfucking believable, I thought to myself. This too has been a primary motivation in moving the report since "the kids," like many kids, have recently bailed on Facebook. I myself have bailed on Facebook 3 times in order to "refresh."

Here's the thing about the walk itself.... It is rather routine. It's typically the same 4-6 mile trek each and every day with only minor variations and extensions depending on how I feel and how much time I have. Occasionally there is a supplemental walk of some sort. I might actually go to and from a location like a movie theater, a store, or I'll report on something related to walking in general--like shoes, foot problems, injuries. Once in awhile I'll report specifically about the diversions that take place with music during walks. Music is a huge part of my walks. In relation to the report itself the walk is almost superfluous yet it becomes, at times, the challenge of tying to find something interesting within the banality of the act itself.It encapsulates a subconscious desire of making something ordinary and mundane somehow interesting to another person... or not. Aside from the report the walk is--routine exercise.

Why it's moving here...

The main reasons to move from Facebook are so I may share with non-facebookers in my life and to further remove myself from Facebook because, for the most part, I feel Facebook blows. A good part of this disdain comes purely from the software ergonomics of the application. Most specifically, the "fail" factor of its image loader, the compression of images when you're going from high resolution images down-sized to their low-quality progressive scan jpegs, the whole "square" mentality for presenting images on one's wall (I reposition 99% of my uploads), the aspect ratio for the "cover photo"is also lame. By my measurements it's 2.35:1, that's not a common aspect ratio, they just made that shit up. The overall look of "Timelime" is in fact ugly and its juxtaposing of posts is confusing. Facebook also edits your "wall" activity. As you go back into your posting history you'll see gaps within about 2 weeks. For example, right now my wall activity goes from "10 hours ago" down to April 5th (today being April 14th), then there's a gap marked by "Earlier in 2013" and we jump to March 23rd. So somehow, by some algorithm out of my control, March 24th-April 4th became insignificant. If you missed my shit, well, that's too bad. The only way to see all of the entries you made is to "Download a copy of your Facebook data." I last did this March 20, 2013. It took dozens of attempts to download a 1.13 GB .zip file. Once you accomplish the download you can then effectively see all of your history on Facebook. If you deactivate your account it may not work very effectively since these HTML docs have a great number of links back to Facebook. Anyway, before FB implemented "Timeline" I could effectively go back into my wall posts and look up events, remind myself of dates, etc. I can't do that anymore. Well, I can but it's a pain in the ass. The "best of" here is going to come from skimming over my wall.html file from my 3/20/13 download. That and  using one's FB "Activity Log" are the only ways to accurately reference back on your data. That's the pain in the ass I'm referring to. Only you can see your Activity Log, it's under your Privacy Settings and Tools. But it's YOUR activity. If you want to see a post in full, meaning friends comments on the post in the log you'll need to click on the link to the post. So, aside from any stupidity you might run into on a user level, I don't like the design and usability of Facebook. End of rant.

I hope at least a few people find some sort of entertainment in the idea of somebody posting ordinary drivel of a routine event... that's another thing about posting here... people can just bump into me, don't have to feel obligated to "Like" because they are my "friend," they don't have to "belong" to Facebook, etc. and who knows some of you might get it and come back for more.

On to the report...
Finally... to familiarize this audience with the Walk Report here are some sample postings from the past year or so... my so-called, "best of," more likely they are random selections--I don't know myself at this point.

 March 17, 2013
Today's walk report: This ALMOST happened yesterday, same exact spot about the same time, except yesterday as soon as I raised the camera it was bye-bye birdie. Red tailed hawk, I took close to 200 shots from 45 to 6 meters away. He/she (really hard to tell with RTHawks) sat and watched me until I left. I thought I took a ridiculous number of pictures but now I think I should have kept going until we parted together.

Sometimes the report is a little abstract...
March 11, 2013
Today's walk report: All I did was walk. I think the walk looked like this.

Serious moments. This was the report the day after my mother passed away, here in my childhood home with me at her side, age 90.
Today's walk report: I discovered that I cannot cry and walk at the same time so, for the most part, I walked, 5.45 miles and took in some really great music. Today was the 2nd worst day of my life. It only stands to follow, they will get better.
March 6, 2013

Revelations about my personality.
Today's walk report: End of the walk, back home. People thought I was watering but what I was really doing was making rainbows. Sometimes you just need to make your own.
February 28, 2013

Hummingbirds have been the subject of several walk reports but what typically is going on is the exoneration I find in the process. Taking photos is about what it does for my spirit, if I happen to get a nice picture or two than that reward is comes later.

Today's walk report, SPECIAL, MATINÉE EDITION: For those of you who have an idea about what goes on in my life... The mom's been pretty sick last few days. This is on top of a rather rapid decline in her overall fitness over the past few weeks. So, that's where my attention has been. My sister came for a visit today and that gave me a couple of hours to take an early walk. It was really nice to have so much light. I should go out earlier more often. It's really windy today so that did a number on some close up picture takin' but my hummingbird friends ultimately provided some nice photo ops.
February 24, 2013

There have been financial rewards on walks.
Today's walk report: That's about $1 a mile. This was on the sidewalk just short of the 1/4 mile mark. I walked about another 30 yards thought "wait a minute" and went back looking for more to no avail. Someone might remember the walk last year when I found $1... I'm working my way up to the big money. See, exercise really does have its rewards.
February 13, 2013

 Frequently there are sunsets in the report...Today's walk report: A little sloppy but so be it. 6 image panorama of the first Woodland Hills sunset of 2013. I never mention this but when I'm out on a walk--that's the main deal, the walk. Happy New Year again... I hope everyone had a wonderful 1st day of 2013.
January 1, 2013

Sometimes I just make shit up...
Today's walk report: I dunno the story here. I hardly think that's going to contain him though. The Sheriff told me, "it's just a kitten. It's not too bright."
December 21, 2012

Simple observations...
Today's walk report: Bolero Hat.
November 9, 2012

That's it, in a nutshell and from today, April 19, 2013 it's happening from here. Please, please, contain yourselves... the applause is deafening. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Be good, have fun!

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