}

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

At the midpoint

Considering how much I focus on anniversaries and other markers of time, it’s kind of surprising that I’ve never mentioned this before: Today is the midpoint of 2019—we’ve completed half the year, with the other half yet to come. Specifically, there were 182 days before today, and 182 yet to come after today. So, it’s as good a time to take stock as any.

Because today is the 183rd day of 2019, this post should be my 183rd of the year. In fact, this post is only my 164th of the year, and that means I’m running 19 posts behind in my annual target. Everything’s relative, though: Last year, I didn’t reach 183 posts until late August, after a productive July and August. Of course, that still meant that at that point I was still way behind.

A more meaningful comparison is that from January to June this year, I published 161 posts, and in the same period last year I published only 105—56 fewer posts than this year. Little wonder that I had to work so hard in the second half of last year to catch up; this year it should be much easier to catch up and hit my goal, and probably without having to work so hard later on this year—unless I want to, of course.

The reason I’ve fallen behind at all is because of the drug they put me on back in May, something I talked about in a Health Journey post at the end of that month. Since then, I’ve found that if I blog in the daytime, I have a better chance of actually completing a post. For most of the years I’ve done this blog, I’ve written my posts mostly in the evening. That was convenient when there was a breaking news story I wanted to comment on, but also just because I could then take advantage of the quiet time of the evening. Now, though, if I haven’t at least started a post by the evening, there’s often little chance I’ll have the energy to do one, and so, there have been several post-less days over the past couple months (made better by multiple post days, of course).

One thing that will be different in the second half of this year is that there will be far fewer "Weekend Diversion" posts where I share pop music videos.
In a surprise move, the corporation that owns the music channel I always used to watch removed it from Freeview (our free to air TV service) and Sky, the pay TV service. It's now available only by streaming it online, by using their mobile/tablet App, or through smart TVs/devices or  set up to allow it to be streamed. This was especially annoying because for the past few weeks they’ve been advertising that they were going HD, but they never once mentioned that they were leaving actual television.

The Stuff article linked to above said the chief executive of the company that owns the radio station and the former music video channel (among many others) claimed that the move was “in line with audience trends, which show people primarily consume music videos online,” the article said. It then quoted him directly: "With the move to viewers consuming music videos online, it is a natural progression for [the former TV channel] to be available [only] via streaming." (edited to tell the real story and to avoid giving them any publicity).

I have, in fact, watched new music videos online, but often—maybe usually—only after I saw them on the music video channel. Then, I’d share some of them here. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t listen to broadcast radio anymore, and that music video channel was pretty much the only place I heard new music. Now, it seems, I won’t.

Like a great many TVs in New Zealand, ours isn’t set up to stream their channel. We could do that, sure, but why would we? After all, we never stream any of the company’s other channels, either (nor watch the ones still on Freeview). Maybe I’ll put it on my computer sometimes while I’m writing a blog post, but that seems like that’ll probably be rare, if ever.

I have a few “Weekend Diversion” posts that are unfinished, but once they’re done, that may be it. While I’ve sometimes shared other things in the “Weekend Diversion” series of posts, the sorts of non-music stuff I once shared are now included in an “Internet Wading” post. So, it’s entirely possible that I’ll retire that “Weekend Diversion” category completely.

Nothing stays the same forever, of course, and this blog certainly hasn’t—I change things all the time. One of the many changes I never called attention to is that I added a counter for the countdown to my “Blogaversary” (it's down near the bottom of the righthand sidebar). I used to have a static counter showing the number of days, but the graphic suddenly disappeared. I tried to fix that, then just gave up and replaced it with an active counter (meaning, it actively counts down to my Blogaversary). A benefit of doing that is that the time it’s counting down to isn’t just the day of my first post, but also the very moment I clicked “Publish” for the first time. That makes the pedant in me very happy.

So, the blogging challenges, self-imposed or external, remain, events make me change the way I blog, and yet I still find ways of making this here blog thing do more of what I want it to do. No wonder I wanted to observe the midpoint of this year: I’ve been busy!

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