Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Beginning of An End

I have thought a lot over this during the past year. I have decided this will be the last full year of putting as much effort into this blog as I have. So, by the end of this year the blog will come to an end.

I originally started this blog as a way to send family and friends the latest things I had been up to. It was easier to just send a link to here rather than send separate e-mails at different times of the year to separate people. Over time I have had lots of others follow along on what I have been doing.

While I have not shown every single part of every area I am getting to the point where I have covered a lot of my favorite places to show. That is not to say I do not know of any other trails or places to go. It is not like that at all.

There is always something out there to discover. That is one of the goals I hope has come across during my time in doing this. That wherever you are there is always something you can find "out there." For me though, the end result has to be something of interest to me in order for me to post about it. Simple walks through a forest or movie locations where there is absolutely nothing left are not worth posting. There have been somethings I have done that I have never posted for this reason.

One has to have a certain amount of drive and motivation to do this every week. I do enjoy it, but there are other factors where "life gets in the way." The economy is always a factor. As much as I penny pinch, cut back, and make the necessary sacrifices to continue to do what I do on here there is always another fee or a new tax around the corner. That's life, but my drive to do this just has not been the way it used to be because of it.

Notice that I did not say the blog will come to THE END. All I am saying is that this will probably be the last year where I put something up every week or two. I suspect I will continue, but a lot less frequent than before. There are somethings I want to do that are a lot further away than my normal range. Those take time and money, but I think things might turn around this year, or the next, and I might start doing that.

This year I will be spending a lot of time developing my Ramona series. That is something that I suspect will take some getting use to as I go along. In the next blog or two I will be starting that. It will take me about 40 or more blog entries to present all of it. It will not be the only thing I do here because I will continue to show more of what I normally do. I will be moving back and forth throughout the year.

I have a few more ghost towns to show. I will finally get to show my favorite one even if there is really nothing left of it. There will be a few movie locations here and there. I have held back on a some for a few reasons. There is so much I need to do in the Alabama Hills, but sometimes the weather conditions are not the best so I postpone what I have. It is easier to wait and go back. Those are easy to do so I do not feel I have to just post anything I have.

A couple of things I want to mention are things I have mentioned before, but I thought I would do it again:

1)Understand that many of the topics I post on here I do in order to stimulate interest in a subject. I do not always explain every detail I know on any given blog entry. My goal is to create interest and give a source or two. The rest is up to you if you want to pursue some topic or visit some area. I am not doing graduate level paper writing here where I feel I have to document every single word I write. I am really "old school" about this in that I think proper research really should be done by reading books and not consulting websites, blogs, or search engines.

So, please understand that if I link to Wikipedia I am not saying that is the best source of information. I have linked to Wikipedia in the past knowing some of the details of what is said I may not agree with, or I know may be wrong, but it is a good start in trying to pursue more infomation.

Sometimes I give sources that are dated, but are popular or easy to get. A few years ago I purchased a real scholarly tome on an old west vendetta that I have a real interest in. It was cutting edge with all sorts of new information in it. A great book! However, it is not the book I would recommend to just anyone. Keeping track of who's who and all the details in that book would be very overwhelming for some people. That is why I would probably recommend an older dated classic treatment of the history rather than that book. One can then decide if he or she wants to "graduate" to the scholary tome. It saves some frustration that way.

Also, a lot of "old west" history is "grassroots" or "folk" history in that there is a lot hearsay and stories repeated that are difficult to verify. Just because something is in a old newspaper doesn't necessarily mean the people and events are verified, but it does help. So, sometimes I just give a quick popular summary of some of the stories I have read knowing some of the sources might have some problems. Sometimes I read stuff that people think they are doing history when they aren't. If you were to ask these people what is their criteria is for an inference to the best explanation your probably not going to get much of an answer. It's the nature of the beast. Keep this in mind when I give out sources for anything from history to science.

2)My time is limited on here due to work and have other issues in life I must attend to. I do not always have my computer on all the time. So, if you send e-mail give me a few days to respond. I do get lots of real e-mail, so it takes me some time to catch up and respond.

Keep in mind I am not actively looking for comments on my blog entries on here. If you comment on things that are back in the archives, and really want my attention, you probably will not get it since I will not see it for quite some time. I might see it eventually, but you might be waiting for many months for a response. Also, I tend not to respond to every comment. Again, e-mail gets the job done better.

3)I very rarely advertise myself online. I have people that tell me they will link to me quite often and then proceed to tell me that I will get lots of traffic. There is no problem with this and always feel free to link to whatever I do. I get hard working people to some that have definately made themselves famous in the world that come on here and read some of my exploits.

However, I am the type that likes the idea that people have to work a little harder to find what I do rather than have it spoon fed to them. You could probably guess that it would make sense that I always enjoy things when I search hard to find them rather than being told where to go. The reward is greater this way. Years ago when I was heavily into rare Japanese movies that were difficult to get in the U.S. I enjoyed the research and the search to find what I was after. Some people I knew liked this too, but then we started to encounter people that just wanted to be spoon fed a few links and did not appreciate the amount of work that needed to be done to get what we were after.

As it is, it is not difficult to find what I do on few google searches. The people that want to find what I talk about will find it. If I am not on every search engine or some important website It is not something that concerns me.

4)Finally, there is some danger involved in a lot of stuff I do. I usually plan out a lot of stuff you see on here at least a year in advance. In most blog entries I put up some approximate GPS coordinates. Keep in mind you have to know yourself in this regard as far as what your limitations are. At times I tend to go off by myself, but for others that may not be a good idea to travel alone. I hardly mention this on this blog, but usually about 3-4 times a year I will see that someone has died at or had to be rescued from some area I mention on here. Just this last summer I was up hiking right near a tragedy had happened a month earlier.

This is not just hiking either, some of the areas one must drive to can have problems too. If you are not careful you could get into accidents or stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone reception. So, keep all of this in mind if you take off into the backcountry wherever you go.

Alright, I have said a lot here, but the bottom line is that I just do this for fun. I have been using computers "online" since the pre-internet days of Bulletin Board Systems. There are many uses of the internet that I think are trying to turn it into something that is was not meant to be for. But, throwing out all the high tech nonsense, I see what I am doing here like inviting someone into my home and sharing some pictures and stories.

With all that out of the way 2011 will be a fun year. Wait and see...