Byrdmouse is a devoted husband and father that says what's on his mind even if no one else agrees with him.

In fact, especially if no one else agrees with him

Versatility

Last week a blogging cousin of mine nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. At first I thought it was flattering, then nice, then I read what it entailed. Answering questions about yourself and nominating others, if you weren't versatile before you were nominated, you will be afterwords. Of course, the award seems to be a self-multiplying award that can quickly spin into an out of hand number of awardees that are struggling to find bloggers that aren't already nominated. But that's the mathematician in me talking.  The first real question I asked myself was, am I a versatile blogger? I'm reminded of the quote, "To do two things at once is to do neither," by Publius Syrus. Too often I believe he was right on with his take on it. Just this evening I found myself writing a blog post, making potato salad for the ChristX lunch at work, cleaning the bathroom, getting one of my inboxes down from 409 unread to 124 emails, and doing laundry (for the record, I only cleaned the bathroom after I had peeled and cut up the potato salad parts). But the award doesn't necessarily stand for straight versatility, it is for versatility in blogging--a much more difficult sell.

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So, am I a versatile blogger? Just being able to meet the rules of this award could show that I am or am not. The rules are to nominate 15 fellow bloggers, inform the bloggers of their nomination, share 7 random things about yourself, thank the blogger who nominated you, and add the Versatile Blog Award picture on your blog post.

 Well, thank you, Edee. I really do appreciate the nod, even though I'm pretty sure my blog is one-tracked, at least to my way of thinking.

 As for random things, I think I'll share information that floats around in my head that you can get from me at any point on any day. Why is this random? I know that the last war fought with blue uniforms issued to American troops was the Spanish-American War. I know that the last man to walk on the moon was Eugene Cernan. I know that the day after Christmas is Boxing Day even though it isn't "celebrated" in the United States. I have also had to explain Kwanza to some American-Africans.

I once purchased tires of a different size for my truck. On the way home I calculated the difference in the height of my truck to be 0.4 inches by converting the tire size (first number is the distance from bead to bead, second number is percent of tire in sidewall) from metric to standard. When I arrived home I googled tire sizes and had my computer tell me the difference in height was 0.35 inches. Not bad calculating in my head (I am SOOOOO an engineer). By my count that is six random facts that are just floating around in my head.

One more random piece of information in my head is the fact that I know more about the War Between the States then anyone who doesn't precede their name with Doctor or call themselves a professor (and perhaps as much as many of them). If you ever doubt the accuracy of that statement ask me a question sometime. With my current work location being such that I have begun to tell people I'm from the Mississippi Territory (living in Alabama, working in Mississippi and residing in both places, often simultaneously) I am also quick to point out that prior to the war there were more millionaires living in the State of Mississippi than any other State in the Union. This was an inflated number, as many Louisiana plantation owners lived in Mississippi because they could build their houses on the bluffs and look over their property in Louisiana where the river flooded.

Now, enough about random facts about me (or running through my brain), on to the versatile blogs I follow.

  • As for other bloggers, I follow 50 now, though I was stuck at 42 for a while. Using a RSS Reader is great, and I can thank Michael Hyatt for showing me that. I have learned a lot about blogging from Michael Hyatt, to whom a great deal of thanks should be given. He has also led me to many of the bloggers I follow.
  • One of the most versatile bloggers I follow is Jon Stople. His Stretched blog has been a source of posts for me in addition to just liking what he posts about.  
  • Another of my favorite blogs is Mike Duran's deCOMPOSE. I often feel that the two of us have a lot in common, though he's a former pastor and a published author. His posts not only answer unasked questions I have, he tends to answer my unasked questions not long after I think of them. His Winterland novella is incredible.
  • Jeff Goins also has a blog I am an avid reader of. His Manifesto is a must read, after which it may well become a mantra as it did for me. He also is a friendly, helpful, mentor though like Michael Hyatt (through whom I "met" Jeff) may not know it. Like Mike Duran, he too answers questions I am pondering without asking from time to time.
  • I'm not sure if I stumbled on Mike Duran from Rachelle Gardner's blog, or from the WordServe Water Cooler but both are blogs I don't miss a post on. I have read Rachelle's blog so long that I have to fight the urge to submit my writing to her because she doesn't agent the genre I write. It's easy to fight that urge because she constantly reminds readers when she blogs on agents how important it is to know what the agent covers and doesn't.
  • Joe Bunting (and his Grammaticus Liz) has a website worth reading as well. In fact, I didn't link to his blog, but rather to a post that seemed appropriate as I blog during the midst of National Holiday Month. Joe and Liz are incredible sources of information.
  • Leah Adams's The Point blog is one I follow closely as well. I suspect that her target audience is really females, but she doesn't mind (and never blogs directly only to females) male readers.
  • In addition to giving me a difficult, long post to write for this "award" Edee turned me on to both BrainRants and Boggleton Drive. The later is not versatile at all, sticking strictly to the topic of grammar in the humourous form of cartoons. The former, however, is all over the board while posting about the day-to-day life of serving in the Army. It is always another fine day to be in the Army, and BrainRants shows it.
  • I believe the point of this "award" is to get people to post about it, but there are a few blogs that I am certain that won't. One is John Archibald. For one reason, his blog is the original blog, a newspaper column. He is the sole saving grace of the Birmingham News, especially since Tom Scarritt dumped Prince Valiant (he kept the Phantom, what the heck?). I never miss a chance to compliment John or to dump on Tom.
  • Another that won't post won't matter. It is a private blog amongst my cousins, sister and I. The cousin that nominated me created the ByrdPress blog so that the four of us would have a spot to share our writings with one another. Mama Byrd instilled in us the desire to be grammatically correct, and Edee was the first to spot that she, Tara, Regina, and I all have similar tones in our writing. This blog, while private, is probably the most versatile blog I follow.
  • Another that won't post about the Versatility Award is Officials Say the Darndest Things. By definition it cannot post on the award (since they only post dumb things officials say) and yet they are the most versatile quoting everyone from the President to Governors to City Council Members.
  •  What engineer doesn't follow Scott Adams? This is a versatile blogger. He writes Dilbert, Dilbert books, is looking to start a new company, and is running a campaign for President. Plus he is highly entertaining to boot.
  • Though he posts infrequently here of late, BSchebs's Course Adjustments is a versatile blog. He has an obsession with Walt Disney World, but that isn't all he posts on. I haven't heard much from him lately, but life in Iowa has to be full of non-stop fun, right?

So, that's my 15 versatile blogs. I enjoy something different from each of them. There are others I follow but they aren't as versatile, simply entertaining and/or informative. Such as Dr. Thweatt's blog, though he does from time to time throw out an off topic family story that's pretty amazing. Mostly I think of his blog as a guilty pleasure that allows me to revel in his incredible skills outside of church.

I suppose I'm backing out of the rules by not emailing directly the authors to tell of their nomination, but I'm expecting that they'll see this as a pingback link to their blogs and either comply with the award rules or not. Again, I thank Edee for nominating me, and hope that I have propagated the award just enough but not too much. Now back to our regularly scheduled holiday (and blog) schedule.

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