Zero to hero: four

I’m running a little behind. As I write this the day five assignment is about to be unleashed. But I fully intend to do every assignment, so let’s begin with today with yesterday.

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics and five new blogs (and bloggers) in the Reader

WordPress’s Reader is one of the coolest things I have ever found on the web, blogosphere, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. You don’t even have to have a blog hosted on WordPress to take advantage of the Reader. Just create a WordPress account, and start following topics and blogs.

I have found the best way to following topics on WordPress is to head to the Reader, scroll down to Tags in the sidebar and click Explore. Then, on the Tags page type the topic of your choice in the Search Tags box, and you’re on your way. You can also click on one of the tags displayed on the page, but since that list only shows the most commonly used topic tags by blogs hosted on WordPress.

Tags, a.k.a., topics

I am already following quite a number of topics, but let’s see what new ones pop up and say “Pick me!” today.

  • zerotohero. It never occurred to me to follow the official tag of the challenge! Slap a big Duh! on that.
  • I spent a lot of time over the holidays exploring the family tree again, and most of that on This topic appears to have blogs with some good tips on using the service. I recently received a renewal notice for, so I tried that as a topic. Zilch. Archive (without the .com) overall didn’t strike my fancy.
  • Personal. On a whim I scanned the list on the Tags page. Part of the challenge is following a topic a little off the beaten path, and this one fits the bill. Glad I took a look.
  • Bohemia. Shortly before the birth of Czechoslovakia, my not so distant ancestors left Bohemia in search of a life of opportunity in America. Somehow, a scrolling stroll through Bohemia felt familiar, like seeing Grandma again after far too many years. (Sometime I’ll have to post about that.)
  • Hebrew. I have been fascinated by the Hebrew language for ages. Reason enough to follow the topic.

Blogs and bloggers

The second part of this challenge activity naturally flows from the first. While I might click Like an individual post, I generally only click Follow on blogs that resonate with me in some way. About pages tend to be a gold mine of interesting content.

  • Tea & Testimony. A post called The “catch-up” illusion caught my eye while browsing through the results of the topic search on Archive a few minutes ago. I can’t imagine why… I also like the blogger’s discussion of her journey through different churches and denominations, similar to my own current “re-reformation.”
  • Vows to Myself. A brand new blog I found in the Personal topic. Long Lost Friends is the first and, at the moment, only post. It will be interesting to see where the author goes with this.
  • Braman’s Wanderings. What started as a quick peek in the Bohemian topic turned into twenty minutes of fascinating reading. Everything from a little history of about Good King Wenceslas to tales of his travels around the world. Even Antarctica!
  • The Lives of Serfs and City Folk. I admit it, I had to follow because she also has Bohemian and Norwegian ancestors. She also has significantly more experience navigating the sometimes foggy roads of family history than me.
  • Reformedish. I found Derek’s blog after repeatedly clicking the refresh button on the You May Like list on the WordPress Tags page. I spent most of an hour reading and pondering his posts and pages. My favorite so far is his about page. He admits to needing a reformation of his own, and so do I.

This assignment turned out to be quite enjoyable, though time-consuming. I found myself lost in dozens of blogs today. Fortunately, I had the day off work!

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!This is day four of the Zero to Hero blogging challenge. New to blogging? Give it a try! Seasoned vet? Give it a try! Somewhere in between? Give it a try! Follow along with me as I use the challenge to liven up my own little corner of the web, blogosphere, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

2014 in preview

Gasp! Did I just use a multi-word title for a non-reblogged post?

I thought I would start the year with a list of resolutions. But I’m not sure “resolutions” is the right word. The word almost connotes goals that are started but quickly discarded. Instead, this is my list of possible accomplishments for the year. I expect the list to change some over the next 365 days.

  1. Make an initial list of accomplishments to achieve for the year There, that wasn’t so hard!
  2. Read the Bible deliberately and consistently, and learn more of what it really says
  3. Get back in the saddle again, and ride my bike farther and faster than I ever have. Getting fitter than I have ever been would be an awesome side-effect
  4. Be a better husband and dad
  5. Reconnect with relatives I have ignored over the years, and connect with those I have never met
  6. Learn Czech and Hebrew, and improve my Norwegian
  7. Extra credit: build a simple conlang that incorporates at least one feature from each of those languages
  8. Clean off the keyboard and learn how to play a few songs with skill
  9. Run a half-marathon. There’s that getting fitter than ever thing again
  10. Tend to this blog more often
  11. Declutter

Alrighty then, let’s see where this goes.