skyring: (Default)
I've continued on down the blogging path. Obviously I'm having far too much fun with this.

Yesterday I registered a new domain: hogjowls.com, after trying out various possibilities such as lookingforamerica.com and tastingamerica.com etc. Even shufti.com was taken.

So I've gotten an eight letter domain name, which is pretty good, considering there's a domain name registered every five seconds or so.

The idea is based on something that's been running through my head for a long while. I've loved and looked forward to my travel trips for a long while. Especially to America, where I've had so many great times.

I listen to the Simon and Garfunkel song America. It's beautiful, it's intriguing, it's a metaphor for life:
"Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together."
"I've got some real estate here in my bag."
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
And we walked off to look for America

"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
"Michigan seems like a dream to me now"
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've gone to look for America


Walking off to look for America. What a concept. What a vast task. Or a simple one.

This is going to be my travel blog. Not a list of what flights I took and what places I staid. No, this will be a collection of snapshots of places and meals and songs and snippets of history. Maybe others will like it, maybe I can attract other writers to contribute. Maybe it will end up as a rich, spicey, gumbo stew of American tasty treats.

My first post kind of explains the whole concept, based on a recent visit to a cafe in Missouri.

I've based it on the Lifestyle theme from StudioPress, powered by WordPress. Such a rich, easy, powerful, flexible blogging environment.

As are my other blogs:
Sunnybank74.com - my memories of high school and the early Seventies, based on an upcoming reunion.
OneMoreFare.com - my taxi blog
Skyring.com.au - my catch-all journal, and serial novel. I'll see if I can find a way of linking to the posts in the other blogs.

I'll start off a world travel blog for other experiences outside the USA and Canada later on. Have to find a good domain name for that.

Yes, I'm kind of spreading myself thin here, but diffuse blogs don't work. Using the same environment for all makes it easy. And, most of all, it's fun.
skyring: (Default)
Part One in an occasional series.

Steve Leveen's blog Well-Read Life

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but Bookczuk, that all round wonder woman, deserves my eternal praise for introducing me to Levenger. Levenger's Circa journals and awesome stationery products, not to mention their wallets and bags, are all supremely well designed. I love my Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase, and my travel journals, in Circa covers and rings, are treasures to pull out so that I can relive and relove my trips.

Levenger's founder keeps a blog. You'd think it would be a new product advertisement, a promotion for the company, a sales tool. And it is, to a tiny degree. But most of all, it's a wide-ranging look at all the things that make up a life dominated by reading and writing, quality design, and a keen eye.

His latest blog entry is an expedition back down the supply chain to find the origins of the excellent paper that is used for the notebooks, journals, cards and so on that makes up much of the product line. A log blog. He's also blogged about libraries, books, shipping Christmas orders - a whole range of things. And he does it with grace and style, illustrated with appropriate photographs, full of links. An eminently readable blog.

Hard to classify it, but if anybody reading this is into reading and writing, take a look and let me know what you think. I don't often recommend blogs, because there are so many around to fill up my scarce spare time, but this is one I love.
skyring: (Default)
Sultan of the Taxi
Sultan of the Taxi,
originally uploaded by skyring.
I’d never taken much notice of taxis or taxidrivers before. Colorful characters in colorful cars. Part of the background. Lined up here and there, scurrying along city streets, minor characters in movies.

And then, when I became a cabbie myself, suddenly everything was cabs. I’d look at a line of cabs, pick out the tiniest details and point them out to my wife. I bought “Taxi Driver” to relish in Robert de Niro. I scoured the internet for taxi stories. I started my own taxi blog. I wrote copious accounts of my adventures.

I was hooked, plugged into a life I’d only guessed at before. The crackling radio conversations of codewords - suddenly they became clear.

Other taxidrivers fascinated me. We’d chat on ranks, occasionally I’d drive one home - mates rates - from a club, interstate or international cabbies would jump in at the airport. I relished the chance to swap stories with other cabbies. Each yarn would spark another memory, of runners, pukers, singers, jokers, kangaroos and caribous.

When I travelled, I’d go hunting taxi adventures, hauling my big yellow bags to a tiny yellow taxi, jumping in beside the driver in Frankfurt, Chicago, Hong Kong and swapping tales.

Hasim in Istanbul handed me his business card at the airport, with an email address of “Sultan of the Taxi”, posed with RingBear, and drove away out of my life.

Melissa Plaut encouraged me with my blog and when her superb book “Hack” was published, I bought my own copy, fresh mail-order from Amazon. I devoured the hilarious tales of a taxi despatcher in Arlngton, cabbies in Hawaii, London, Canada.

And I’m still loving it. There’s not enough hours in the day to drive a shift, read up on the blogs, and write up my own adventures. But I try.

And, in what may be a first for the cab sector of the blogosphere, my day driver Paul is tag-teaming with me. Two drivers, one car, night and day, the driver’s seat is never cold. His stories are my required reading, even when they’ve been summarised in a few words at shift changeover. He posts them in off moments from his iPhone, and he calls them Taxi Typos.

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September 2010

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