Longevity

Lately, I have been trying to find ways to transfer my weblog entries and digital pictures that are stored on my site to a more permanent website. I’m doing this on the off-chance that someone might actually want to see them on a future date, long after I am not around.

You see, my web domain and server are only paid up for a few years into the future. If I should die today, my personal history would die shortly thereafter. I don’t know why this is so important for me, because I really haven’t done anything noteworthy in my life. It is, though. I guess I just figure that there already are oodles of time-wasting media put out there by others, and they will be around long after I am dead and buried. So, why not my story, too?

When I think of how many stupid movies I have watched, how many stupid books I have read, how many stupid songs I have listened to, and how many stupid pictures I have seen, my desire to put something out there about me that will have longevity doesn’t seem so, well, stupid. Logic tells me that nobody will care about my life after I die, just as nobody has cared about it while I have been living, but I can fantasize, can’t I?

To that end, I searched around for a place (or places, rather) on the internet where I could store my documentation. For my weblog entries, I decided to go with Blogger. I copied all my entries to a new weblog there. Also, I installed a program that will enable me to post any new entries I make to both my website and Blogger from within the program. So, Blogger essentially mirrors my website’s weblog, except that I am unable to publish any entries with a timestamp prior to 1970 there. That’s not a major problem, as there is currently only one entry in that timeframe on my website.

I uploaded all of my digital pictures to Picasa. I played around a bit with Flickr before doing that, as it seems to be the current favorite right now for websites dedicated to image storage and presentation. However, the free account there really doesn’t provide for much, and I’m not looking for something I have to pay for. It isn’t the pay services that I mind. It is the fact that when I die the services will cancel my account, because no one will be paying the bills. Google owns Picasa, as they do Blogger, and it appears to me that they aren’t going away any time soon.

I recently began uploading recordings to my weblog as podcasts. They are just recordings of my voice reading the weblog entries. For this, I am using Odeo, as it includes free storage and an online audio recorder. This gives me the freedom to use it from anywhere there is a computer with internet access and a microphone. I got the idea of recording my voice from remembering about an experience I had with Pa, my grandfather from my mother’s side of the family.

Shortly before Pa’s death, I sat down with him and asked him some questions about his life. I don’t recall specifically what questions I asked him, but I’m sure there was nothing profound as I was a very young boy at the time. Still, there may have been some nuggets of wisdom Pa shared with me, as he was a man with plenty of it. I used a cassette tape recorder to record the interview.

I do remember a portion of the conversation being about a picture that hung on the wall in Pa’s TV room, where the interview was taking place. The picture, a print of a painting, was of various men engaged in harvesting wheat. It portrayed the process as it was done when Pa was a young man. He described a bit about it on the tape and how hard work on the farm was back then. After Pa passed away, I got that same picture and it is now hanging on the wall in my home office.

Pa had lost a portion of his feet while working in the farm years before that. As I recall being told, he was trying to unclog a machine like the one depicted in the wheat harvesting picture, when something happened and his feet were badly injured.

I believe that tape of my conversation with Pa may still exist. If it does exist, it is in a box of memorabilia at my parents’ house. I will check on it this summer, when I visit them in America. If it is, I will get it and put it online. If it still exists, it will be the only recording of Pa there is.

I’m not saying that having voice recordings of me can compare in any way to a recording of Pa, for he was truly a remarkable man. Indeed, I have come to personally know of no better a role model than Pa. Through his trials and tribulations, he always maintained an upbeat and vibrant demeanor. I often ponder upon his memory for inspiration in my life.

My recordings exist for the sheer reason that there might be some redeeming value learned in them, no matter how slight and/or accidental it might be. For that reason alone, I think it is a noble effort. However, the recording project won’t happen overnight. Slowly, one-by-one, I will record my weblog entries and post them online. It will take a very long time to get caught up.

2 comments

  1. I got to your blog by pure accident and was pretty hooked up in this story of yours. I guess like is not black or white but shades of grey because while I have been reading all about your first son Cameron, your continuos diatribes of the problems with your first wife and the problems with yoru second one and all the ansgty stuff you talk about I just could not make my mind up. On some occasions I would feel pity for you, boy, those two women are bitchy but on the other hand I sometimes felt you were very possibly not the best man either, that you probably had a lot of fault also. Also might be that I distincly do not like very religios people, they normally preach about all the things they dont afterwards do. A lot talking about God but after that they are awful people. I dont know, as I said I cant make up my mind about you.

    But what I do know is that I think you have done terribly wrong by telling all of this on blog, and specially by identifying every and each person by name and surname. It is horrible. Nobody has to know about all this stuff, at least not exactly who it is about. It is small wonder that your son has stopped talking to you when you are saying such awful things about his mother and divulging her name to the four winds so that everybody knows. I dont doubt that your ex-wife may be a very problematic person that she is his MOTHER for crying out aloud, what would you do if somebody started telling everybody on the internet how horrible your mother was? Did you nto think of that before you started writting? Do you really think your son wants all of this stuff to be on the internet for eyars and years? How old are you anyway? Because you dont seem to have matured that much, this is just a way to get back at her, to make her the “badddie of the film” in fron of everybody elses eyes. I can understand that feeling but with yoru son in the middle? You should have been more inteligent.

    And talking all about your problems with your second wife too? That is just so private a matter, how could you possibly do this? Has she found out about your website yet? Because I know that if I were her I would kick you out of the house the very moment I knew. And on a so touchy subject as sexuality is also. And now all her friends will know everything about and snigger behind her back. I am appaled at your lack of understanding that people do not want everybody around them knowing about their private stuff.

    But I think you have partly to blame too anyway, how you go and marry a person just after four months of dating is beyond me. It was bound to be a total mess of a marriage and also at that age when people change so much. And then you go and get married to someone without having sex with them? Well, I think that is just asking for disaster, because you dont really know someone until you have had sex and lived with them, only then do you actually get to know them. And even more disaster when you know they have been with someone 7 years and not done anything!There is obviously something wrong with that person, at least in these times we live. (It might be perfectly normal for other cultures, but when you come from another culture it must be hard to accept it)

    Those are my opinions at least but I do not judge you, since I do not know them and they might be terriblw women, I have no idea but I do still think you were very wrong to put all this in the blogsphere. Now I am no saint either, I have plenty of issues, and have made my fair share of mistakes. And yes I am writting them down and explaining my feelings in a blog but chek it out. You wont find a single reference to a name, to a company, to a school, to anything that can let you guess at what city I live in, not even what country. I write in anonymity because this is just therapy for me, a way to let out these negative feelings I have and to sort out my mind. I dont want anybody to know about all this, I dont want to hurt anybody by publishing their private life over on the internet. There is the difference between you and I. Thank you for making clear to me that I was so right in my decision.

    I do hope you manage to, at some moment, get the reigns of your life and make it better, and it has to be you who does it, God wont come down and fix your life for you, you know? Goodbye

  2. Finally, a REAL comment. Thank you very much, Mimi. this type of comment is exactly what I wished people would leave. The issues that you raised, about the open-book nature of my weblog, have been things I have struggled with for a long time. It may be surprising for you to learn that the guilt I feel is not from the things I have revealed, but the things I haven’t.

    Last year, a past girlfriend of mine was told about my comments regarding her by a friend of hers. Up until that time, she had been writing me often about her happenings. She sent me a message saying how appalled she was at what I had written on my weblog. I reviewed the entries in my weblog regarding her and really saw nothing that was unflattering. Obviously, it was the brutal nature of the honesty she was against.

    Shortly after receiving her message, I received one from her husband. He asked that I remove all references to her. I felt bad that I had offended them with my words, but not so bad that I would delete them. What I did instead was to change her name in the entries, using a nickname I called her instead of her real name. Her husband wrote to me that he and she were happy with that.

    I guess the damage was done, though. I never heard from her again. The frequent messages of how she was doing and what she was up to ceased. I guess she figured that what she told me may end up for the world to see. The truth is, I am a trustworthy person. If someone tells me not to put something on the weblog about them, I won’t. I’m talking about this time forward not the past. To me, the past is fair game for the weblog entries.

    I am a scumbag. I’m the first to admit it. It doesn’t make it right or wrong that I admit it, but it just makes it known, out there in the open. I own up to my actions and, through my weblog entries, I force others to live up to theirs. That’s why I name names, places, and times. The world is screwed up, with everyone walking about believing that his or her neighbor is someone s/he really isn’t. Shakespeare’s words had more depth than most people realize, when he wrote that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

    Regarding my disparaging remarks about my ex-wife, and how my son Cameron may or may not feel about them, the reason I write them is to try, in some small way, to combat the years of constant lies she has perpetrated against me with him. Think about that, as you read these things. Asking me to walk in another’s shoes is okay, if you first try and understand what it is like to walk in my shoes. Life is just too short to roll over and die and let the truth never be told. For what? For the sake of tactfulness? Tact is highly overrated. It is a high-society game we pretend to play, becoming more and more fooled by illusions put on by those around us.

    No, the guilt I was referring to before doesn’t come from being blatantly honest. It comes from that small change I made to my past girlfriend’s name, to satiate her and her husband. I did it to make them feel less threatened by my words, so they can forget about the past and go on with their lives. But, it is the past which molds us into who we are today. To embrace it and learn from it is the best way for us to move forward, not from sweeping it under a rug. By cowering down to their desires, I made yet another mistake in my past that I have to live with.

    If the truth hurts me or those who have encountered me, I feel bad. But, I attain to a higher goal than living a façade. Presenting lies and half-truths is not in my character and I hope it never will be. I strive to maintain a high level of integrity. With me, you get what you see. How many other people can you say that about?

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