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The domain name ProBlogger.net is ridiculously successful due to the hard work and business intelligence of Darren Rowse. In fact, it was none less than Chris Brogan who mentioned the domain name AmateurBlogger.net in a Twitter message he sent while at BlogWorld Expo 2009. Following the lead of Darren and the Tweet of Chris I ask: How can these two heavyweights of the blogging industry be wrong?

Someobody probably has a great idea about the best way to develop AmateurBlogger.net. Why not contact me to discuss it?


The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker & the Dentist

by Amateur Blogger on November 8, 2011
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My father was a medical doctor, so you might imagine that I grew up wanting to be a doctor when I grew up, too. But you’d be wrong about that. For some strange reason, as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you.

Back in the early 1960′s (I’m old as a dinosaur, get over it!) our family lived close enough to walk to our dentist’s office. In fact, living in a real, live neighborhood like most people those days, we could walk to just about anywhere we needed. We could walk to the bank, the grocery store, church or to the dentist office. Believe it or not, I still remember the name of our family dentist: Dr. Walter Hladun.

Although I don’t have a very good memory, I’m pretty sure I remember his name because of the positive experience I always had when I was in his dental chair. Contrary to horror stories I’d heard about the “dentist office”, Dr. Hladun never caused me any pain or discomfort in all of my visits. This was no small feat, either, because back in the days before fluoride treatments existed I can assure you that I grew up with a mouthful of cavities that Dr. Hladun skillfully fixed and repaired. To be honest, one of the other reasons I remember his name is because of the unique spelling and combination of the letters “h” and “l”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used one-after-another in a name since then.

So…I always wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. But there’s more to this story.

Fast Forward to High School Graduation

I was a good student with great grades. Schoolwork came easily to me. The next natural step out of high school, in order to pursue my goal of being a dentist, was to attend the University of Detroit as the university was both local and had a well known and respected dental school. I applied and was accepted! The plan was in full swing and my adventure to become a dentist began.

All Good Things Come to An End – Some Quicker than Others

Freshman year was tough. The requisite biology & chemistry course work that were part of my first year classes were taking their toll. This was tough stuff! Just as Dorothy learned in The Wizard of Oz I learned at the University of Detroit: I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

I survived year one and moved quickly into my sophomore year. Long story short. Organic chemistry took me down. The class was tough, the lab was tougher, and I decided that the journey to be a dentist was going to end in Professor Yvonne Szutka’s organic chemistry class. I’m old enough now to be honest about my college chemistry days. I was lazy. I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t work hard enough. I was well prepared and bright enough to be successful in that class, but I had other things on my mind and just didn’t want it bad enough. There. I said it for all the world to read. So I dropped out of the University of Detroit. My lifelong dream to become a dentist was over.

Now What?

Once I decided that dentistry was not in my future, I switched schools and attended Wayne State University in downtown Detroit and entered their pre-law program. After a year or so I decided that being a lawyer wasn’t for me. Are you seeing a pattern here? I know I am.

Although I’m not sure why, at this point in my “career quest” I decided I wanted to be a police officer. The chase began, and on November 27, 1978 I landed a police officer job in suburban Detroit. Twenty eight years later – on Halloween of 2006 – I retired. It was a great job for a young man and I couldn’t believe they actually paid me to have fun! But police work is tough, and the older I got the more I hated it. An early retirement was a great choice, and I’ve never looked back once during the past five years. That chapter of my book of life closed and I moved on to the next.

The Story Continues

For the past seven years I’ve been designing and developing websites with a special interest in using WordPress as a content management system. I own, operate and sweep the floors at both Stoney Creek Web Design & 1955 Design. Guess what? I really love designing websites, so I think it’s fair to say that being a website developer is what I am going to be when I grow up!

Let’s Blog Off Information

This post is one in a series that I have written (and will continue to write) for Let’s Blog Off. Every two weeks participants from different points of view explore a selected topic from their personal perspective. It’s interesting to see how different people approach the same topic!

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It Sure is Hot Today

by Amateur Blogger on October 25, 2011
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“It sure is hot today.” That’s what I thought on that hot August day in 1982 as I eased the rented moving van into the driveway of our now-sold home on the northeast side of Detroit. The day had arrived and the process of moving our young family to a new home in suburban Detroit was about to begin.

My wife and I were in our mid-twenties and proud parents of two young sons. Our oldest son was two years old and our little boy was only 3 months old and still in diapers. Moving is always a hassle, but moving with a family so young seemed particularly taxing, made even more so by the heat of the day.

And it was hot. As I recall, the thermometer topped out at just under 100 degrees that day. By the time the day had ended my wife and I, and a group of friends, had packed up everything and completed the move to our new home in the downtown Rochester, Michigan.

“This Old House” Awaited Us

Our “new” home was actually an old house, having been built nearly 100 years earlier. An elderly woman had owned the home for many years, and for the last ten years or so she was no longer able to take care of the place the way she once had. The house had fallen into a bad state of disrepair, and to be honest this was the only reason we could afford the house in the first place. The house was in bad shape. Really bad shape.

I didn’t know it yet, but five years of house restoration lay ahead of us. By the time those five years passed my wife and I had gutted and replaced virtually every component and surface of the house, both inside and outside. Suffice it to say the home we had just purchased was not “move in ready”. Regardless, we had just moved in!

As you might expect, a home of this age and in this state of disrepair was not outfitted with air conditioning, so the outside air temperature of 100 degrees had pretty much become the inside air temperature that day. Coupled with the hard work involved in moving all of our worldly possessions, you can well imagine that it had turned into an uncomfortable evening as we settled in to our new home.

I don’t imagine anyone slept very well that night. I know I didn’t. Strange house, unfamiliar neighborhood and a ridiculously hot night all added to my tossing and turning. I was also feeling a bit of regret about our old house, and was somewhat homesick on this first night in the “new” home.

What is Home?

As I lay there awake for most of the night I remember having a lot of thoughts about what the future had in store. But there was one thing I distinctly remember thinking that night. Even though the physical surroundings were new and strange, the one constant that remained was our family. We were all tucked in our new beds awaiting the adventures that tomorrow – and the years to come – would bring. Home, I realized, is wherever your family is. And my family was here with me. Life was good!

Let’s Blog Off Information

This post is one in a series that I have written (and will continue to write) for Let’s Blog Off. Every two weeks participants from different points of view explore a selected topic from their personal perspective. It’s interesting to see how different people approach the same topic!

Read the Full Article

What Kid Wouldn’t Want a Creamsicle?

by Amateur Blogger on October 13, 2011
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I remember when I was about eight years old I saw a magazine advertisement for a pedal car that I knew I just had to have. And it wasn’t just any pedal car, either. It was a Good Humor three wheeled pedal car, and there was nothing on the face of the earth that this eight year old wanted more than that red, white & blue ice cream wagon.

Like any child who wants something, I pestered my folks for weeks and months on end about the pedal car. Both of them made it clear to me that this toy was just too expensive for our family to purchase and that I should set my sights on something a bit less costly for my next birthday gift. I’m certain that I was persistent in my pleas, but at some point I remember accepting the fact that I was never going to get the ice cream truck pedal car for my birthday.

It’s not liked we lived in the poor house when I was a child. My father was a physician and my mom stayed at home to take care of my brother and I. This was pretty common in the late 1950s and early 1960s. All of the costs associated with raising a young family, making a house payment, and otherwise providing for our family didn’t leave much money left over from my dad’s paycheck each month. Clearly there was not enough money to buy me this rather expensive birthday gift.

My birthday finally arrived. I remember that we were celebrating my birthday on a Sunday so that my Aunt Dorothy & Uncle Mac, who lived a couple of hours away, could make the drive up to our house for my birthday party. My brother and I always looked forward to my aunt & uncle arriving as they were both fun to be around and we always had a good time when they visited. I heard our small dog Candy barking at the back gate and knew that it must be Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Mac arriving.

I raced out the side door and to our driveway gate to meet them. And what do you think I saw? Uncle Mac & Aunt Dorothy were standing on the driveway with a brand new Good Humor pedal car as their birthday gift to me! I can still remember how excited I was when I saw that pedal car.

I’m pretty sure I wore half the tread off the tires that very afternoon as I drove the Good Humor truck up and down the driveway. Years later, after thousands and thousands of trips up and down that same driveway, all the paint on the truck was worn off. You’d have never known that years early it was a brand new, shiny birthday gift that made the day for an eight year old growing up on the east side of Detroit.

To this day, 48 years later, I still don’t know if that Good Humor pedal car was actually bought for me by my aunt and uncle or if my mom and dad just arranged it that way to be a surprise. I never asked and they never said. Whatever the answer, that gift meant so much to me that it’s the first thing that came to mind when I decided to try and remember what one thing I really wanted when I was a kid.

Oh, one more thing. You probably guessed by now, but my favorite ice cream treat from the real Good Humor ice cream wagon was the tasty orange and vanilla Creamsicle!

Let’s Blog Off Information

This post is one in a series that I have written (and will continue to write) for Let’s Blog Off. Every two weeks participants from different points of view explore a selected topic from their personal perspective. It’s interesting to see how different people approach the same topic!

Note: I wrote this article long after the deadline for submission to Let’s Blog Off, so it probably won’t actually be featured or linked to from their website. However, there are links below to other contributors who made timely submissions. Take the time to see what other contributors really wanted when they were kids!

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