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31 Days In A Row; What I’ve Learned…

Today is the final day of 31 straight blog posts in Syracuse Wiki. This time around it’s been a bigger challenge for me than it’s been when I’ve done it on other blogs, and I decided to talk about the process and things I’ve learned overall on the journey.

1. Real life can get in the way… if you let it

January blogging challenge

Real life tried to get in the way as of the 23rd of the month when my mother fell in her house. This led to doing a lot of thinking and changing of options and, eventually, we moved Mom into our house… and she’ll be here as long as we can take care of her properly. I began on the 21st by talking about meeting a social worker who showed me the light and set me on the path just before Mom fell, then a few days later talked about situations and processes which eventually led to our deciding to move her here. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Things I’ve Learned About Dementia By Having Mom Living With Me

I feel like I’m outing all my mother’s personal information without her consent. Yet, I also feel that I’m going to help others because of what I’m writing here. This is a major learning experience for me, nothing I really expected… well, maybe a couple of these things I knew existed, but not to the degree I’m seeing now.

I’m learning a lot after 6 days here with Mom. It’s not been all that easy, but it’s not all that hard either. Staying up with her until she fell asleep at 4:15 a few mornings ago wasn’t fun, but it was better than 7AM, which my wife had to deal with Mom’s first night here. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Unique Central New York Scenes

Well… at least these are unique to me. I’m sure everyone who lives in the area has pictures that are unique to them, and some of them might look exactly like some of these. What I’ve tried to do is highlight some of what’s unique to central New York in a different way than many other people might do. I know that a couple of these will look exactly like a picture someone else took but, except for one of these, all of these were taken by me. One is from my friend Scott Thomas, but since it’s not a high definition shot and he’s getting attribution I don’t think he’ll mind all that much.

This is also day #29 of having a new post on this blog, and since it’s Sunday I know most people don’t want to read a bunch of content. So sit back and just enjoy the images. 🙂

Carrier Dome

This is a picture inside the Carrier Dome before a Syracuse Orange basketball game. It’s not easy to capture a great shot of the crowd from the inside; trust me, I’ve tried. 🙂

Green Lakes

Central New York is known for its lakes, and Green Lakes is no exception. I took a bunch of beautiful shots one day when I walked around the lake… almost killing myself!

Lights On The Lake

Every winter we get the Lights on the Lake presentation alongside Onondaga Lake. I think it’s best when there’s snow on the ground, but getting individual shots like this one are pretty fun.

NBT Bank Stadium

The stadium where the Syracuse Chiefs play baseball. I love the look of a baseball diamond and maybe if I hadn’t hurt my arm freshman year in college I’d have had a shot at a major league career. I can dream can’t I?

I probably have hundreds of shots of Onondaga Lake during the day but I don’t have a shot like this. I’m betting few people have thought about shooting this one; we’ll find out I suppose.

Lake Ontario sunset

Oswego counts as central New York which means we get to claim our piece of Lake Ontario. Renown as the location of one of the top 5 sunsets in the world, I have lots of these shots as well. This one I’m sure lots of people have taken.

sand sculpture NY State Fair

This is one of my favorite sand sculptures ever from the New York State Fair, which is held right here in Syracuse. I could have chosen from dozens of shots but this one seemed to be the most fitting.

Stella's Betty Boop's

Stella’s gets a mention meanly because of its affinity for Betty Boop dolls. I’ve always been a Betty Boop fan and there’s probably few places around the country so enamored with her.

Syracuse City Hall

This is another shot that I’ve seen a lot of pictures that look like it. I only hope it’s slightly unique when compared to the others. It’s one of the coolest city halls in the country in my opinion.

hockey game Syracuse War Memorial

I’ve been to a lot of events at the Syracuse War Memorial but lately I’ve been going for the hockey games. The Crunch are fun to watch and now I have a 3-game winning streak after having them lose every game I’d been to for over a decade. 🙂

That’s all I have; I hope you enjoy these shots.

Local Specialized Syracuse Magazines And Newspaper

I’m not a major fan of the big local newspaper but I’ve always had an affinity for the smaller periodicals and a couple of the newspapers. I remember years ago when we had The Call, which was the local black newspaper run by Eddie Moss, and of course I’ve been a fan of the Syracuse New Times for decades.

These days there’s a bunch more magazines, some I check out often, a few I don’t. I’m going to highlight 3 magazines and one local newspaper; only one of these magazines do I now check out all the time, but here and there I’m compelled to see what’s going on. All of these are free, so there’s no reason not to look at them from time to time.

The first magazine is 55 Plus, which I started reading just before I turned 55. As you can imagine, it’s geared towards the older set, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cover any other types of stories. For instance, the most recent magazine not only highlights Van and Linda Robinson, but offers financial tips for retirement, people who are uncovering shipwrecks from the bottom of Lake Ontario, and some restaurants in Skaneateles. Laura Hand, one of my favorites from back in the 70’s when I first moved here also has a nice feature written about her.

Next on the list is Family Times, which is geared towards parenting. This one I don’t check out all that often, since I’m not a parent, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t ever have something I’m interested in. For instance, this month’s issue talks about baking cookies, something I’ve never learned how to do but always read about it. There’s also an interesting story about body image for both kids and parents, something I haven’t thought about in decades but something I remember from my childhood.

A special feature in this magazine is all the family friendly events occurring in the Syracuse area each month. There’s so many that anyone saying there’s nothing to do in this city doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Just over 5 years ago I did a feature where I wrote about Syracuse Woman Magazine. I haven’t seen that one in a long time, so it’s possible that it’s been replaced by a magazine called Women of Upstate New York. It’s a bimonthly magazine that highlights women; that kind of makes sense.

I’m not going to lie; the covers almost always catch my eye. We have a lot of attractive women in central New York. 🙂 This month they’re featuring a model and actress named Jaclyn Hales, who will be starring in a new TV show just being shot called Extinct. Of course, the magazine covers a lot of other topics that both men and women can enjoy. One I liked was a motivational article offering tips for people to feel good over the winter. Another talked about local theatrical presentations while highlighting Syracuse Stage. These are things that men as well as women can benefit from.

The last thing I’m highlighting is a newspaper called In Good Health. You probably already figured out it’s about anything related to health, but it’s more than just tips on being healthy. For instance, telemedicine is still relatively new but it’s growing locally, and that’s a good thing. There’s also a story about why so many people are avoiding the dentist. I also get to mention that a friend of mine, George Chapman, has a monthly column in it called Healthcare In A Minute, where he tells people the truth about health care issues that people either don’t know about or think incorrectly about. I would know since I’m also a health care consultant. 😉

As I said, all 4 of these are free and supported by advertising. I pick mine up at Wegmans, but I believe they’re in most stores across the area. Go ahead and pick one up; I know it’s not like looking at things on your smartphone but they’re all still pretty cool.  

5 Great Things About Syracuse Blogging Meetups

I ended the last post with the line “maybe it’s time for another local blogging meetup…” and then realized that I never wrote about the last Syracuse blogging meetup we had; ugh! I’m usually better than that, but no sense in crying over spilt milk, right?

blogging get together 01

I love going to things like this, even though in some ways it’s against my nature. I’m not the best networking person in the world. One might not believe it by seeing how much I write but in person I easily withdraw from what might be considered social events… even if they’re related to business.

Yet, I’ve found that there are two types of networking events where I’ve been pretty good at talking to people. One revolves around “tweetups” and the other around blogging.

It’s probably because those are two areas I engage with people most often. Obviously I love blogging, but I also love when I have the time to hang out on Twitter. I even love it more when it involves local people because from my perspective I don’t know a lot of local folks. One would think that after more than 40 years in this area my address book would be filled; nope!

Thus, I decided to write about 5 things I love about blogging get togethers, with a twist. I’m putting the name Syracuse in it for two reasons. One, it’s kind of clickbait; I’m not ashamed. lol The second is that I’ve been to a few of them and written about them (though I missed the last one), so it not only gives me the chance to link back to the others but to share a couple of pictures from the last one. 🙂

1. You meet new people

Our last get together was at Spaghetti Warehouse, and I’m the guy who selected it. My thinking is that its bar area is expansive and it’s a great place to eat dinner afterwards if one is so inclined.

I feel like I got lucky because, though only 10 people showed up, 3 of them were new to the initial group, and it’s always great meeting new people. One had been blogging for a while, whereas the other was thinking about starting up. All of us had a good time interacting with each other and got to share our blog links. Whether anyone other than me checked everyone out I’m not sure, but in my opinion it’s always great meeting other people who either love blogging or are looking to see what others like myself have to say about it.

2. You get to go to new places

blogging get together 2

I have to admit that I’d been to all the places we’ve had the blogging get together’s to this point but not everyone had. The place we went to before Spaghetti Warehouse was at the Syracuse CoWorks location, which most of the people in the room had never even heard of. In my opinion there’s no better way of learning more about Syracuse than in working hard to creatively find new places to meet and hopefully talk about in one’s blog.

As far as I can remember, we’ve also been to Al’s Wine & Spirits and…ugh; I can’t remember the name of the other place near Armory Square. There were a couple while I was in Memphis that I missed but I’m sure those places were new to someone at the time.

3. You get to learn about a lot of new things

At one of the blogging events I met a guy who likes cooking gourmet foods I won’t eat and desserts I might eat but that he doesn’t. At another I met someone who’s beginning to become quite popular across the country by talking about ways to save money and maximize personal finances but was just getting started at that time. There were also a couple of people who were designers which I thought was pretty cool.

Photographers, writers, health nuts… it’s all pretty cool stuff!

4. You get to talk about blogging!

I have to admit that this is one of my favorite things. I write about blogging all the time but it’s not often that I get to talk to people in person about it, and have other people who actually blog to talk back. It’s fun to compare notes about the writing process, the making money process, the research process and the images process… heck, it’s all fun, unless we discover someone is stealing other’s content… luckily we haven’t had to go there yet. lol

5. It’s free!

Well, at least it can be. If you don’t drink it’s definitely free. At our CoWorks tweetup someone brought subs that were cut in many smaller pieces so food was free. All it takes it a bit of initiative to hop in the car, go to the location, get out of the car, go inside, introduce yourself and start talking. In this case, for once, no matter what anyone does everyone in the room has a shared interest. What can be easier and more fun than that?  

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