June 2023

Blog Archive - July 2023

1 July 2023


Last month saw the biggest upgrade to this site in several years. The Reviews page, which houses a table of all the reviews and projects on this site, can finally be sorted and searched in multiple ways.

One small improvement which I neglected to mention, though, provides a worthy topic for the sleepy beginning of July: I have finally done something with our ‘Quote of the Week’ panel on the main page. Most people probably haven’t even noticed it is there. And for the most part, I neglected it. Quote of the ‘week’ became a new quote every three or four months when I remembered it. And because I don’t like to make things unavailable, I had created a quote archive for old quotes which I also had to maintain, which possibly meant new quotes were less likely to be introduced, since it’s a lower priority than everything else.

But I noticed that a number of other websites on Neocities had introduced random quote generators. I first noticed it on Hasty’s site, No Happy Nonsense. So last week, after the Reviews page was finished, I searched about for a way to do this, and we now have a set of quotes which are randomly displayed and are easy to update, meaning I don’t have to maintain a quote archive. If you want, you can check it out on our front page, just above the large panorama photos. It even has a button you can press to generate a new random quote.

One last thing is a possible new project from a new and unexpected contributor. We’re in the early stages of nutting out exactly what to do so I won’t say anything further, except that I hope to be able to reveal details about it late next week or into the following week!

- bikerbuddy

16 July 2023

Michael Duffy to contribute to the Reading Project

I hinted in our last blog post at the beginning of this month that we were likely to be hosting a new project from an unexpected contributor. This afternoon Michael Duffy, local author of the Bella Greaves crime series, visited us to discuss his idea for a series of interviews of famous authors.

We first came to Michael’s attention when he read a blog post on this site about his book, The Problem with Murder. We have since reviewed The Problem with Murder, along with its sequel, The Strange Death of Paul Ruel. I also recently reviewed his book about the history and culture of the Blue Mountains where we live, Tall Stories.

Michael was a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald. He has also written four true crime books and the Sydney crime novels The Tower, The Simple Death and Drive By.

I’m hoping to publish the first of Michael’s pieces by the beginning of next month. It’s a fictional interview with Vladimir Nabokov, the author of Lolita (based upon Nabokov’s own words), along with a profile of the writer and his life.

Naturally, we were quite excited at the prospect of this new project. Michael was kind enough to pose for some photos, too, even though I was finicky about each shot (because I simply hate how I look in photographs). In the end we got a group shot in which I didn’t look entirely peculiar:

Michael Duffy, Toriaz (Victoria), Me and WaywardWoman (Jenny)

After Michael’s first piece is published, we hope to get one published at the beginning of each month after that.

- bikerbuddy

19 July 2023

My early morning photo shoot

The photo below shows the scene this morning at the back of our house as I stacked books on a table while the rest of the family remained asleep. Moments later I was taking a series of photographs using the timer on my iPad, hoping to achieve at least one shot where I didn’t look peculiar, or where the terrible rictus of my smile didn’t suggest psychopathic malevolence. I think I got there in the end.

Why was I doing this? For now I will remain silent. Maybe one or two people may care to wonder in the meantime. But I promise to reveal all, hopefully in a few days’ time, when I expect my machinations will bear fruit!

- bikerbuddy

20 July 2023

A “local cultural icon”!

As I sit here this morning, struggling to find the best way to start a new review for Georgi Gospodinov’s Time Shelter, I discover that I am a local cultural icon!

Let me back up here and explain.

Over the past year and a half I have had several exchanges with local author, Michael Duffy. Recently, we came to an agreement to publish some profiles of famous authors on this site. That probably won’t happen for a week or two, due to my time constraints. But in the process of talking about that, Michael asked would I agree to an interview for his website. It was the second request I have had for an interview (see Web Weekly who interviewed me a few months ago) but the first time outside the Neocities ecosphere. Naturally I agreed.

Yesterday I posted a photo of books stacked on a table. I’d been taking a photo of myself and the books were my mise en scene, so to speak. Here’s the photo I was taking for Michael’s website:

To read Michael’s interview with me, you should head to orphanrock.com where you can also read other profiles of people from the Blue Mountains, as well as check out some of Michael’s books and art inspired by the area we live in.

- bikerbuddy

27 July 2023

Facebook (AGAIN!)

A few years ago I made a false start into the world of Social Media. I’m not particularly a fan of Facebook, but I am discovering that sometimes people who are interested in this website are. To that end I decided to revisit the Facebook page I abandoned a few years ago and start again.

My thinking on this was that it is the same decision I made with RSS feeds. When Hasty from No Happy Nonsense (another Neocities website) wrote about them I had heard of the term but had no knowledge about what it did. But I realised after reading Hasty’s article that some people who used RSS might wish to see new content about this site through that medium. I figured people who like Facebook might also feel the same way, too.

So, with that in mind, my Facebook page for Reading Project is again active. For the moment I’ll probably only post announcements about new reviews and other things happening on this site. I’ve written one explanatory note on that page so far. Anyone interested in checking it out or – even better – following the page, can find it here. You will also notice there is now a link in the menu bar, above.

- bikerbuddy

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August 2023