Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Decluttering Mentally and Emotionally

This purge was WAY overdue!

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Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash. This is absolutely NOT my desk, btw.

Today, I went through a five-pound stack of papers that had been occupying my office desk drawer, untouched, for a solid decade. Prior to that, they occupied my life, untouched, since 1991.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Marie Kondo shows lately, but I had a strong urge to declutter — and to ask whether the things I’ve kept truly “spark joy” as she puts it. Turns out many of them do not.

While pursuing an MFA at George Mason University in Virginia (an awful story), I was made to participate in a “thesis roundtable.” Only, I was a first-year and had no thesis. …


Selected Samples

Kind of a highlight reel of various writings.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Quirky Essays & Misc:

Fiction:

Business & Tech:

General Interest:

Writing On Writing:

Favorite Musical Compositions:

Favorite Word Write-Ups:

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For a longer sample of how I write, there’s nothing more representative than my latest novel, CHROO. The book is available on Amazon.

✍🏻 Jim Dee maintains three blogs — Hawthorne Crow, Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine, and Wonderful Words, Defined — and contributes to various Medium pubs. Connect at JPDbooks.com, Amazon, FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, or Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com. His latest screwball literary novel, CHROO, is a guaranteed good time, and he’d be delighted if you purchased a copy!


Online Scams

🚚 An interesting one I stumbled across the other day. 🚚

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Photo from a current Facebook scam post. This one shows the “Spartan” model.

The other day, I was casually browsing Facebook Marketplace and happened across an ad for a covered trailer (listed as “Carmate Enclosed Trailer” but also appearing as “2016 Spartan 14X7 Enclosed Trailer” and probably a bunch of other trailer makes/models).

I actually wasn’t in the market for a trailer, but by coincidence was planning on renting a U-Haul soon that would set me back about a grand. So, when I saw an enclosed trailer listed for about the same price, I got to thinking, “Wow, maybe I can just buy this thing, use it, and then resell it!”


Awkward Tales

And I still don’t. 😕

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Autographs” photo from Flickr user Bart (Creative Commons). Hardly a book cover here, but it certainly shows autographs — and hey, it made you click the article, didn’t it?

In my publishing “career,” I’ve never done a book signing. And, though I’ve sent a handful of copies of my books to friends (some with short inscriptions), I’d never actually had anyone ask me to sign one — until the other day when my writer friend Shawn whipped out a copy of my novel “Chroo” and asked me to sign it.

Oddly, I had zero idea what to write. I just stared at the inside cover and my brain stopped working (akin to a mental DDOS attack, for any fellow techies out there). Overwhelmed with questions spinning around in my brain, I found myself unable to actually do anything: So, like, I just sign here? But, like, not *just* my name, right, because that’d be odd. So, do I write something first, like a message or a witty quote? If so, what message? What quote? Or wait, should I *draw* something, or make a little squiggly line? Hmmm, and do I then sign my *full* name as though it were a legal document? …


Food, Baking, Strategy

A guaranteed path to fame, fortune, and glory for those able to bake well.

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I’ve been binging The Great British Bake Off, and have come up with a sure-fire strategy for winning (provided you’re lucky / talented enough to get into the tent in the first place). Mostly, this list reflects the reasons (in my view) that others have been eliminated from the show.

  • Step one: Binge-watch every episode of the show, and take copious notes for things to do and not to do!
  • Don’t take crazy chances — at least, not in the early rounds. Such chances might include things like using oddball flavors, doing anything in the signature or show stopper round that is untested, or veering from the week’s focus. Use the early rounds to simply bake perfect, simple, delicious bakes, and you will be safe and make it into further weeks. …

Organizing Corporations

A web developer’s opinion on the matter, including SEO considerations.

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Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

In my decade of full-time work as a web developer (and certainly including all of my corporate marketing time prior to that), I’ve now encountered just about every imaginable scenario when it comes to companies with multiple things to market online— e.g., brands, services, products, and locations.

While the following may well pertain to products, services, and brands, the most common discussion about multiple web sites arises around corporate locations in particular.

A Quick Tangent Illustrating Some Related Challenges You Hopefully Will Never Face

I first ran up against this in the 1990s, actually, when I was a Sr. Manager for Marketing Communications & Internet Services for an massive nonprofit association. We had the main association web site, but then there were dozens of sub-group sites spread around the globe. …


Fanfiction — or, Double Fanfiction, Actually.

A background and introduction to the tale, which is linked to in its entirety below.

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In The Big Lebowski (TBL), the first time we see Maude, she appears suddenly — almost magically — standing above The Dude inside his apartment as he’s contentedly basking on his newly acquired rug.

In the scene, she’s wearing a green robe or cloak, flanked by two stern-looking, all-denim-clad companions. How did all three of them manage to enter The Dude’s apartment unnoticed (even if The Dude was admittedly, in all likelihood, a little stoned)? …


Double Fanfiction — Two for the Price of One!

I think the title says it all, but for an explanatory background (which I recommend starting with), click here first (link stays on Medium).

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The following tale is a work of fanfiction utilizing two completely different yet highly beloved worlds: (1) the Harry Potter universe, created by J.K. Rowling, and (2) the Big Lebowski universe created by Joel and Ethan Coen. The tale below is original, in that I made it up and wrote it. Most (but not all) of the characters are original, as well (although the tale certainly uses some familiar characters from the Harry Potter series). Feel free to Google any names here. If they’re real Potter characters, you’ll find them discussed online. All other characters and events are completely fabricated by yours truly. I’ve tried to keep things generally as faithful to each universe as possible (aside from the new/original characters).

Tilly Lebowski and The Philosopher, Stoned
— Year One (2002–2003)

Our story opens with a broad, sweeping view of a Scottish loch surrounded by gorgeous dense greenery and giant billowing clouds. There, on some unnamed ancient stone outcropping overlooking it all, a mid-40s man walks into view — mousy hair, bright-though-melancholy eyes, a young-looking face.

“Oh hey!” he says, perking up considerably. “It’s so nice to see you all. And if you’re the audience that I suspect you are, then I should begin with an apology. I feel awful that most of you were likely expecting the old stranger I’ve heard so much about — that white-haired, western-talking, sarsaparilla-swigging cowboy everyone loves so much.” …


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Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Recently, my wife and I had a long road trip to make. We weren’t keen on dropping $100/night on hotels, especially considering that we planned to be on the road for up to a couple of weeks. Between the prospect of dropping $1,400 or so AND having to sleep in a ton of hotels during Covid, it became clear pretty quick that maybe we could/should just sleep in the car.

We do have an SUV, though. It’s an old one, but pretty roomy. So, what we did was to make up a bed in the back, with the seats folded down. Our stuff went on top of that and then, each night, we’d move the stuff to the front seats and hop into the back. …


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Okay, that wasn’t our car. But, it was a funny little thing we saw while passing through New Orleans.

My wife and I had to make a crazy-long business trip this month, but we were hyper-concerned about doing it during Covid. To begin, we didn’t want to fly — which, I get it, might seem a little over-cautious. But still, we didn’t have to fly, so we thought we’d just road-trip it — get some dfresh air and see the countryside.

Only, we also weren’t crazy about the idea of staying in hotels during our travels. So, we threw some cushions in the back of our SUV and decided we’d sleep in the car the whole time. …

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