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Friday, January 30, 2009

A code to live by

I have to admit an ongoing fascination with all things hobo. I know this comes from my love of 1930’s era movies and that my vision of the hobo lifestyle is highly romanticized so I have determined to learn more about the topic and to see hoboes in the harsh light of day. (I just read that sentence and it sounds as if I might be joking but I’m completely serious.)

I’m currently reading "The Hobo: The Sociology of the Homeless Man" by Nels Anderson. It is a very odd book in that Anderson must have spent a good amount of time hanging out on the “main stem” in Chicago. His text is a simple reporting of what he found there in early 1920s but he creates a very vivid image. I suspect I may post some of the more entertaining ideas in the future.

For now, here is the Hobo Code. I’m pulling this content from www.hobo.com . It is attributed to the 1894 Annual Convention Congress of Hoboes which was held at the Hotel Alden on Market St. in Chicago. Market St. is the “main stem” that Anderson mentions. The “main stem” is the main street for hoboes in any given town.

You’ll see the phrase “jungle” used as a verb. A hobo jungle is when hoboes collect in one place to compare stories and to learn from each other’s experience. “Boil up” means to literally boil your clothes so that you kill whatever might be on them.

1.-Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you.

2.-When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.

3.-Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.

4.-Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but insure employment should you return to that town again.

5.-When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.

6.-Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals treatment of other hobos.

7.-When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.

8.-Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.

9.-If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.

10.-Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.

11.-When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.

12.-Do not cause problems in a train yard, Another hobo will be coming along who will need passage thru that yard.

13.-Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose to authorities all molesters, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.

14.-Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.

15.-Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.

16.-If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it, whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!

I don’t think I have the internal fortitude to ever tramp. I like my couch and television way too much. Still, I have to say that I think the world might be a better place if we all followed the Hobo Code.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Some blogging options you might want to explore.

I’m trying to get back in the habit of posting so I’m hoping these posts will get me brain active again

I just posted a comment to an older post on someone’s blog and it occurred to me that it may not be obvious how to know when someone has commented on your blogs, particularly if they comment on an older post.

If you go into the Settings tab of your blog and click on the Comment’s link you’ll find an option Comment Notification Email down at the bottom of the page. If you put your email address here and click Save Settings, you’ll always get an email when someone posts a comment.

One other idea that you might like to consider. If you find yourself using a camera phone and you have an email/texting package, you can send photo directly from your phone to your blog. Under the Settings tab, look for the Email link and you’ll see two options.

The first option is similar to having an email sent to you when someone comments but in this case, you can list your friends email address and it will send them an email whenever you publish a new post.

The second option has a blank that you need to fill in to create a mail-to-Blogger email address. Whatever you send to this email account, whether it’s a post, or photo, or both, will publish to your blog. This is a fun option when you take a trip since you can let others know what your seeing without having to take time to update your blog at a computer. Again, don’t forget to scroll down to the Save Settings button – it doesn’t always appear without scrolling down so it’s easy to think you’ve updated the settings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do you ever wonder who's reading your blog?

It’s been so long since I’ve posted to this blog – sorry. Welcome back to the spring semester and welcome to ScottM blogging under the name Random Zealotry. If you get a chance, visit his blog and say hi.

I mentioned last semester that I have a number of blogs and I post to one of them every day. I’ve been trying to build an audience for this blog. I’m not sure exactly why, probably just for the challenge. As I write this, I’ve managed to get 503 hits on my blog since the year began. That’s chicken feed in the big picture but to give you some perspective I had only 2000 hits in 2008 so I’m off to a big start this year.

How, you may ask, do I know these stats? I use a service called Stat Counter http://www.statcounter.com/ There are a number of web-counters but I’m pleased with the information that Stat Counter provides. It’s pretty easy to use.

First, you have to register an account which is quick and easy. Once you’ve done this you need to add a project (you can track multiple projects from a single account.) You’ll answer a few questions to add a project. If you don’t understand a question, I’d say just leave the default answer and move forward to the configure and install code screen. You’ll have a few options – I chose the invisible counter. On the next page, you’ll pick what sort of webpage you want to track – Blogger is the default for me but if not you’ll find it on the list. This will generate the Javascript code you need to add to your blog as well as instructions for how to do this. This probably sounds difficult but it’s easier than you’d imagine and the Stat Counter will guide you through. It even sends an email to you with the Javascript and instructions.

Once you’ve done this, look at the menu bar right below the Stat Counter logo for the My Projects link. Click there and you’ll see your blog and any other projects you might add to this account. Of course, you might have to wait a while for someone to visit your blog so that you can track them but you’ll be surprised at what you can learn about your visitors. For example, today I see that 11 people have visited this blog including someone in Beijing, in the Netherlands, in San Paolo, Brazil, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as well as our friend Jessica (http://everythingifnotthesun.blogspot.com/)

One thing I would recommend doing is adding a blocking cookie to any computer that you use regularly so that you won’t end up counting yourself whenever you visit your own blog. Look for the Blocking Cookie link right above your projects list.

Sorry for the boring post. Hopefully I’ll learn something more interesting for next time but I thought this might be interesting.