Day 17: Recruit your Friends!

Today’s “Build a Better Blog” task is all about watching a first-time reader browse through my blog. I’m going to assign this one as homework to you, my loyal followers readers friends. Here it is, in three easy steps:

Step one: Phone a Friend

Actually, this really requires you to VISIT a friend or RECRUIT one to come over. I’m encouraging you to be social. You’ll need about 10 minutes of their time so bribe them with cookies and milk or maybe just some special time with YOU. Good thinking.

Step two: Introduce the Sciolist

Now that you’ve cornered your friend at your place, stick them in front of the computer and send them to this here fabulous blog. Then just watch. How long before they get bored? Do they ever laugh? At what point do they turn to you and ask, “How many people and/or personalities are writing for this blog?” Laugh.

Step three: Ask them “How sweet was that blog?”

Or ask them more serious questions like, “What was your first impression?” Cool header. “How did you feel reading it?” Like I could conquer the world. “Would you ever go back and read it without the cookies/milk bribe?” Maybe if somebody bribed me with a hot dog with cheese in the middle… mmm.

The end.

Now on to the fun part… CAPTION CONTEST. WOOT WOOT!

Enter the CAPTION CONTEST now!

The Sciolist Cell Phone Pic of the Weeknot-TM is published each week with the intent to entice readers to comment. This is accomplished with a CONTEST! The winner will receive a blog nod in the following week’s post-what a TREMENDOUS prize. Entering is easy. Just click on Comment below, fill in the identification information requested and enter your caption for the above picture as your comment. You have until Larrie posts the following Wednesday’s pic to enter.

Ready… GO!*

Last Week’s Winner: First off, nobody even made mention of the red note my boss had put on my white board: “Just say NO to sports.” But that’s okay. These are YOUR captions, not mine. So I almost picked the drugs comment (doesn’t that make you feel jipped, Clancy, that I ALMOST picked yours, but then, that I DIDN’T?), but in the end, the accolades go to Carolyn. It’s so true, too. DON’T ERASE WHITE BOARDS IN THE IT DEPARTMENT. EVER. Carolyn’s my good friend from “the island”** who taught some of my favorite Relief Society lessons*** and is much smarter than I am in the geek world. High five, Carolyn!

*And by GO!, I mean COMMENT!

**If you missed my life on “the island”, check out the old blog entries that date back to my really old blog over at live spaces: here, here, here, here and here.

***And for somebody who’s not always excited for RS, this is a big deal.

Day 16: Solving All Your Problems! (How to write like ME)

For today’s “Build a Better Blog” task, I get to solve all of your problems!



Correction: I get to solve ONE of your problems.

Let’s not try and catch a whale when all we have is a pole and one worm.

So what problems do you have that I can solve? I had to answer that question myself in order to write this fabulous post. In order to do this, I just answered the question FOR myself. What are MY problems?

Yes, the list was long. It started with ‘broken ankle*’ and continued on through ‘dislocated jaw,’ ‘imperfect vision,’ and ‘dislikes making phone calls.’ At this point, I realized that I don’t know how to fix my own problems. Yet. If anybody knows why in the world I dislike making phone calls so much and how to change that, do tell.

I then switched back to trying to solve your problems and thought I could at least offer some advice: how to write cool blog entries like Larrie.

Step one: Hate English. My 7th grade English teacher sent me to the Vice Principal’s office. He told me I was supposed to go to the higher English class. He couldn’t bully me into being in that class, thank you very much. I continued in high school taking the regular English classes because I told me teachers that I didn’t like English. They didn’t include my vocab/spelling tests in the bell curve grades for the class. (I’m such a word geek.) Then, my freshman year at BYU, I decided to scrap the Accounting degree and declare myself an English major. My high school AP Calculus teacher was very upset with me.

Step two: Write in lots of journals. I had a journal when I was younger. I mostly only wrote in it when I had mono in fourth grade and then again for a Young Woman’s Personal Progress goal. Then I signed up for a creative writing class my senior year. I hated the teacher, but I still wrote in my journal, as required. It became addicting. My friends gave me journals for birthdays and Christmases. I wrote in those. Sometimes I drew in them.

Step three: Come from a facetious family. I don’t have a choice. I am sarcastic. I really don’t compare to my siblings, though. I’m the quiet one. Promise. Everyone else is loudly facetious. It probably comes out when I write, though. Probably.

Step four: Be creative. You might have to work on this one over a very long time. Start with drawing books in preschool, graduate to a comic strip about unlucky Natey the fish in 6th grade, then draw the cartoon for the high school newspaper. Transfer this to attempts at creative writing and then evolve into a random blogger – emphasis on random.

Step five: STAY AWAY FROM BE-VERBS. Writing with be verbs and adverbs is dull writing. It’s like Mrs. Lake would say in high school: show, don’t tell. Which of the following sentences would you rather read? I was writing frequently. OR I wrote mini novellas every night about the quiet knight at the round table, the rat hanging out at Elsinore castle, and the alcoholics anonymous meeting with Puck, Antigone, Ismene and Linda Loman in attendance.

Step six: Read interesting writing. I mentioned some of the blogs I like to read already. That’s a start. The more you read, the better you write. I read Dave Barry when I have the time. He’s mighty hilarious. There’s also Mark Twain, David Sedaris, James Thurber, Will Rogers, Dr. Seuss, and Ann Coulter**.

*I broke my ankle as a kid, playing soccer (surprise). I remember sitting in the dining room showing the “double ankle” to my dad who examined me and determined that I was okay. He’s a chemical engineer turned project manager turned best-selling author, not a doctor. He sent me on my way and years later, an x-ray revealed the now floating bone fragment and I still have a double ankle.


Day 15: Spending the Weekend Away from the Computer

I skipped a couple of days of “Build a Better Blog” tasks. I didn’t even log on to my PC over the weekend to check emails or Facebook. Gasp. That means that I can pick and choose which tasks I complete for today from those that I missed during my internet absence. Here are the choices:

So what would you pick? The task where I actually step away from the PC; the task where I go and make changes to some of the pages I haven’t looked at for a while like the about me page or the cast of characters; or the task where I find me some blogging buddies? I think I might make an application for that last one… at a future date and time. I do need to update my cast of characters again; it’s been a while. But for today, let’s tackle the first task.

The blogger that writes Problogger admitted in the description for this task that he was in his PJ’s still blogging at 4pm. I suppose that blogging is his job so he’s really been working all day and the dress code is casual. Still, get out more, buddy. His way of getting out was to go to the mall and observe people.

My way of getting out is to interact with people. Wow. I must be an EXTRAVERT.

Here’s what I learned from this weekend of interactions:

  • The entire internet should be jealous of my family; this includes my extended family as well. We even make baby showers a great little party for my fabulous sister-in-law, Laina.
  • Hot tubbing is a beautiful thing; hot tubbing when the water smells like eucalyptus is bliss; hot tubbing with eucalyptus-scented water and raspberry-lime ice water is celestial.*
  • Manual labor can be exhausting, but I also met more of my neighbors when we decided to save the HOA some money and clean up our desperate landscaping around the condos; turns out, we should have rented some dumpsters for the project – caution: piles of ripped out ivy everywhere.
  • I’ve never enjoyed losing so bad in a soccer game, but it just felt so good to work really hard and inch ever closer to my goal of being in shape again.
  • What would you do if you came home and the power was out? Beth and I walked to the store (one mile away) to buy lunch and picked up a fire bowl on the way back. Then, we grilled steaks and sat out on the porch in the sun. Welcome spring!
  • I am now far enough removed from high school that I like seeing old friends… like at stake conference where there are many of you.
  • I’m glad Beth made me be social and go to Chili’s Saturday night; I didn’t need more food, but the company was superb.
  • Making cookies Sunday mornings is a tasty way to start the Sabbath.
  • Spring time is amazing; especially when it includes spending time at the park BBQing.
  • I have the best friends and the internet should be jealous of them, too; they laugh with me til my abs hurt, they make delicious crepes, they look for a missing cat and even make a poster, they clean up after parties, they like my home, they like me, they plan trips to a yet-to-be-determined destination, and they rock the casbah.
  • Minyo (my cat) came back last night a little before 3:00 a.m. Now we know that I don’t lose a cat after only a year. Phew. Now I have ‘lost kitty’ posters that I won’t need to use. Phew again, but thanks to Megs who made them even though she doesn’t like cats. She must like me. Bonus.

*That was the three degrees of hot tubbing glory. (Ha, what a funny Mormon joke.)

Day 12: Larrie’s Blog Format

The “Build a Better Blog” task today says I should create an editorial calendar for my precious blog. That would require me to think ahead. Sometimes, I think ahead. But that’s only about 5 minutes ahead. Makes it a little difficult sometimes to write papers for class.

There was another option to consider: come up with a weekly rhythm for my blog.

I had no idea it was called a rhythm.

It’s like my blog is on the rhythm method.


For my regular readers, you must know that I already follow such a method. Lately, however, I’ve strayed from the rhythm because of these tasks so I hope my blog doesn’t get pregnant. Living on the edge…

What do you think of my blog’s typical rhythm? Do you like it?

Here’s the format (in greater detail on this page):

  • Mondays – Larrie’s opinion/rant day
  • Tuesdays – Quote of the week
  • Wednesdays – Cell phone pic of the week / caption contest*
  • Thursdays – Therapy Thursdays**
  • Fridays – The IT Office
  • Saturdays – Occasional book reviews

Should I ditch out on any of these? Keep it up? Be more consistent with Saturday entries?

Also, still VOTE in my rockin’ poll below. You have the power to determine the future of the Sciolist blog!

*My favorite… when you participate, of course.

**My least favorite and from what I hear from some friends, the entry that often confuses people into never returning. Sigh.

Day 11: Sweet, a Poll – on future blog topics

For today’s “Build a Better Blog” task, I am doing my own version (surprise). The real task is to brainstorm ten new blog post ideas based off of past blog posts. Instead, I decided to use my AWESOME past blog post, Nearly 100 Journal Ideas, to create a poll.

HOW COOL IS THAT? That means that I’m asking you, internet, for your opinion. What do YOU want me to blog about? These are based off of my lengthy list of journal ideas and if you don’t like the choices I gave you, feel free to enter your own from the previous list or from your own idea.

You can pick more than one answer. Are you ready? Go team, go… take your pick.

(I’ll blog about the one or two with the most votes after my precious 31 day tasks have ended.)

Day 10: Alerting my Niche

Apparently, to keep doing these “Build a Better Blog” tasks, I really need to figure out what in the world my blog’s niche is. I have no clue.

Therefore, I will not be setting up ‘Alerts’ to monitor what is happening in my unknown niche. Looks like I’m skipping another one of the tasks. My blog will suffer, I’m sure.

On to more entertaining things: CAPTION CONTESTS!

Enter the CAPTION CONTEST now!

The Sciolist Cell Phone Pic of the Weeknot-TM is published each week with the intent to entice readers to comment. This is accomplished with a CONTEST! The winner will receive a blog nod in the following week’s post-what a TREMENDOUS prize. Entering is easy. Just click on Comment below, fill in the identification information requested and enter your caption for the above picture as your comment. You have until Larrie posts the following Wednesday’s pic to enter.

Ready… GO!*

Last Week’s Winner: It’s a picture of ducks. Said ducks all came running from the bushes when I was walking to an acquaintances apartment. They just kept coming and coming. Correction: They weren’t so much running as they were waddling rapidly and these rapid waddling ducks converged on me. I was on the phone with my dad and told him, “I have to go; the ducks are coming.” I hung up. I took a picture. I later posted it on my blog and wondered if anybody would comment.

Did you read the comments? I laughed, AUDIBLY, at most of them. Truly, madly, deeply, they were funny. You guys should write my blog instead of me.

And now that I’ve rambled on long enough without telling you who the winner is, do you want to know? Do ya? Huh? Huh? Have you already looked ahead and aren’t even reading these here superfluous words? Fine, here it is. The winner is Braden. Again. It was punningly beautiful. Also, he posted a picture of a kiwi less than an hour after I made my joke about what happens when you eat a bad kiwi… you have to pee-wee. He had no idea I’d made that superb joke. He was prompted by the internet humor spirit to post his kiwi: “A kiwi a day keeps the frownies away.”

*And by GO!, I mean COMMENT!

Day 9: Where’s the Forum for Facetious Sciolists?

I totally FAILED the “Build a Better Blog” task for today: Join a Forum and Start Participating.

I know, it doesn’t really sound all that hard, does it? So how come I failed?

I’m supposed to join a forum in my niche. I couldn’t find a forum for facetious sciolists. Imagine that. Won’t you go search for a forum that you think is suitable for me and let me know, please? Then I’ll go join and participate.

I don’t seem to have a niche because of two reasons: one is ME; two is SCIOLIST.

We won’t discuss the first reason, but let’s talk about the second. People ask me all the time, what in the world is a Sciolist? They usually can’t figure out how to say it and I get attempts like “skee-o-list,” “sheeoeeo-lies” and “callipygian.” Didn’t know it was so hard to pronounce. (Try this on: saɪəlɪst.)

This word doesn’t show up in many dictionaries anymore. Apparently, it’s archaic. That’s why I’m trying to help it MAKE A COMEBACK. It was, once upon a time, a word you would use to insult your rival-call them a superficial pretender of knowledge. And here I am, calling myself that. I say it fits, though.

It does derive from beautiful Latin-no German roots for this English word. Since it comes from the verb, “scire,” it’s related to other words like science, omniscient, and conscience. The Latin folk used it in reference to people who only had a smattering of knowledge. I like that… a smattering.

Still, it’s an old word that apparently hasn’t appeared in print much although I did find that in the 70’s and 80’s, The Sciolist Press published books. Wish they were still around so I could try and publish something with them. Sigh.

Old words don’t have forums dedicated to them.

I could start my own forum. I’d be the only member: “Facetious Sciolism Forum – a place for old world sarcasm in a modern, PC world.”