This Post is Very Meta

The term “meta” means “(of a creative work) referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.” This post is very meta because it is going to refer to itself a lot. You should probably ignore this, since I’m only posting it to experiment and figure out how something works.

Namely, I’m figuring out how to make a blog post that will also go out to my newsletter subscribers. Ideally, I publish a blog post and it will automatically go out to my subscribers.

Running Experiments

These days, software and apps usually have poor manuals. Describing all the details of how to use a program is a big task. In my days as a software designer, I sometimes wanted to add a great feature but didn’t because it would require a lot of explaining in the manual and help.

Today’s manuals and help often don’t go into much detail. As a result, the user has to figure out how things work by doing experiments. That’s what I do, anyway, but maybe that’s just because I used to be a scientist (I’ve had several careers—a “retread,” as my friend Jim Schuyler calls it). That’s what I’m doing with this post. I’m going to figure out how formatting in the blog post affects the formatting of the newsletter broadcast. To do that, I’ll experiment with some formatting and set MailerLite (the newsletter software I use) to broadcast the resulting newsletter to one person: me. Here goes the experimenting:

This is Heading 1

This is Heading 2

CEWidth400Here is an image that I’ve placed on the right with text that flows around it. I have resized the image. BTW, this is the cover of my next  book, Conclusive Evidence (I’ll release it in March).

I’m expecting that the image won’t be properly formatted in the newsletter.

Another line.

Another line 2.

Another line 3.

Here’s a cover concept for another book I’m just starting on. This image will appear between lines of text. I’ve resized it and centered it:


Here is a link to a funny video:

Here it is as hyperlinked text.

And here it is as an embedded video (using direct HTML editing):

Okay, that’s the end of today’s experimenting. Thanks for ignoring this post!


Posted in Blog

Did I Already Tell You This Story??

In the 1990s, I played trombone in a big band in the San Francisco Bay Area:


The leader, a famous jazz pianist who had worked with Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, the Supremes, and others, would often tell us jokes at rehearsals. The problem was that he would tell us the same jokes repeatedly, and the whole band would sit through the telling, trying to make themselves laugh at the punchline. Here’s one of the jokes he would tell us (I remember it because he told it several times):

A man was driving down the road when a policeman stopped him. The officer looked in the man’s car and said, “Why are there four penguins in your car?”

The man replied, “These are my penguins. They belong to me.”

“Well, you need to take them to the zoo,” the policeman said.

The next day, the officer saw the same guy driving down the road. He pulled him over again. He saw the penguins were still in the car, but they were wearing sunglasses. “I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo!” the officer said.

“I did,” the man replied. “And today I’m taking them to the beach.”

I worry that I’ve started repeating myself. Recently, I was in the middle of telling my friend a story, and I stopped. “Have I told you this before?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Twice!”

Aargh! But I’ve learned that I’m not necessarily getting dementia. Research tells us that sometimes, even when we’re young, we may remember that we’ve told an anecdote, just not whom we’ve told it to.

So, from now on, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Now, I’m going to go back over my old posts and make sure I haven’t talked about this before.


Steals and Deals

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Christmas Videos


Our 2018 Video Christmas Card to You (please comment below)












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