The Call Bulletins | Moving Plans for November


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I’ve decided on the future of my blogging and decided to move the main focus of my blogging from WordPress come this November, to my Blogger site The Collect Call of Troythulu. I shall be transferring earlier posts during the interim to that venue, and I would be delighted to see you all there as well.

I’ve posted on this site for nearly eight years, and you’ve been a fantastic community to write and art for. But it’s time to move on, or soon will be.

Thank you. Thank you all. You, readers past and present, have made the success of this site, and have my gratitude for as long as I continue to think and breathe.

Why though? Why move?

Well, Blogger really doesn’t see much of my attention, and it has, truth to tell, much better functionality than WordPress and greater ease of use. The Collect Call is, in fact, a predecessor of this site, being the second blog I created after founding my first, the now defunct site, Troythulu’s Log in January 15 of 2008. This site is chronologically the third I’ve created, as I’ve written before, on December 28 of that same year.

But this blog isn’t going away forever. After October, I’ll simply update the theme one final time, and close it for further regular updates, though if I have my way, it will remain online until needed once again. I’ll post monthly thereafter on The Checkerboards of the Gods, my now-infrequently updated writing and wordplay blog.

But until November, I’ll continue to update this site somewhere in that mysterious region between weekly and daily as usual. Thank you for clicking on me.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

The Call Bulletins | 2016.05.19


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Namaskar.

I’m mostly done blogging for this week, and have decided to cancel some of the paid options for this site, namely the ‘No Ads’ and ‘Media File’ subscriptions. So, the ads that WordPress shows on its unpaid sites with renew later next year. It’s good though, that in the nearly 8 years I’ve posted on this site only 29% of the total space for media files has been filled by all of the images and PDFs I’ve uploaded. I’ve decided to use the funds freed up from this to expand my Patreon support for the artists, writers, podcasters, and bloggers I follow and sometimes share from here.

I’m currently working on a draft for the Bengali edition of Lost in Translation, which will be scheduled for posting when complete, sometime next week. I’ve lately been setting up quizzes for my Bengali lessons, for both catch-up work on earlier material as I’m going over now, plus the next set of study units I’ll engage with when the next 18 week semester begins later this summer. These quizzes have been set with notifications, so that each Friday night one of each in the set will pop into my inbox, ready to be completed before moving onto the next week’s study unit.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup | Mother’s Day 2016 Special


 

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Good morning! Things have been busy this week, as I’m working on my touch-typing skills and studying to correct my weak points in Bengali script; the incredibly graceful but difficult conjunct letters (well, difficult for foreigner Ingreji speakers like me…). These letters combine short groups of consonants in one letter, and which join in what letter are not always apparent from the conjunct’s shape. But that’s cool, because the challenge makes it interesting and fun. I’ve created two virtual decks of flashcards, and started retrieval-practice sessions to learn by testing myself on the first such deck. So far, I’ve successfully recalled 117 letters twice, and 5 letters once, so I’ll work on recalling all four times in a row before continuing with the next deck. So, on other matters, (whispers) I’ve got a surprise for the Parental Unit™ this Sunday, while trying to get the new cat to stop snubbing her–rotten little beast! Ricky still seems reclusive, only coming out of his crypt at sundown to feast on the kibble of the living…well, at least he’s adorable even though hiding through much of the day! So, as I’m going through a disc of lectures, I bid you all to have an awesome, or at least a survivable, Sunday, and a good week ahead.

Stay brilliant!

Tf.Tk.Tts.

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A. R. Rahman: “Jiya Jale” (Dil Se) Berklee Indian Ensemble (cover)

The Call Bulletins | A New Blog is Spawned in the Void


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As you may know, this blog’s editorial policy forbids recent and future posts dealing directly with religion and objects-of-faith, and a good policy it is, in keeping the focus on, among other things, issues of scientific skepticism and scientific claims, as well as claims passed off as science that fail its standards and processes.

But I’ve had a lot of ideas on material about atheism and religion that would be inappropriate for this blog and needs a different venue, so I created a new blog, The Gods of Terra, where I’ll be posting on my godless thoughts and sharing material posted elsewhere, with full credit, by fellow disbelievers.

I’ll strive to apply and maintain a high standard of fairness and rigor to the level of discourse; no crude bashing, or using argument as a sledgehammer, no inflammatory rhetoric, and most certainly no going out of my way to offend or insult. I have many friends and relatives who are religious or spiritual. I respect and love them deeply, and I take care to avoid stomping on toes even while not walking on eggshells on the new blog.

There’ll be enough to offend without my adding anything to it. But the site is still not for the easily insulted nor the most devout, and those are advised to steer clear of it. A reasonably thick skin and sometimes, a secure sense of humor will be needed. None of the material on the site will be reblogged or mirrored here.

I’ve yet to publish the inaugural post for the site, but once complete, it will set the tone and mood for the blog from then on. It should be interesting, and…enlightening…to see what comes of this.

The Call Bulletins | Death to the Blogcation


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I’m still on blogcation, but have decided to end it and resume regular posting with the next Caturday’s Astrophenia on March 19 of this year. I’m still on a kinda-sorta study break, at least on new study units of my Bengali texts and previously uncovered material, but am fully engaged in overlearning material not yet mastered. My penmanship with the graceful script is less unutterably horrible than before, but my writing speed still needs much work.

I’ve decided to update this and my other WP blogs’ themes to something more device friendly to those readers and other site visitors with dodgy Internet connections, something a bit more minimalist that puts less strain on bandwidth, with fewer widgets. The current candidate for the new theme is Flounder, the same one used by my blogs’ hub page, The Unspeakable Blogs. The preview screenshot taken for this site is below:

Flounder_Theme_CoT

I’m uncertain on an precise posting schedule for my sites, but I shall resume posting often on this blog and on others as I have material ready. Rest assured, and this goes to all of my subscribers, that I’ll try to avoid overwhelming your inboxes!

I’m currently working on additions to the Poetry Styles & Forms page, particularly a section on septets, or seven-line poems, will add an entry for 13 word stories, a form popularized by SF writer S.A. Barton, and have cleaned up the Stuff Kai’Siri Say page. There are also entries requiring updating before being republished. I’ll continue updating pages and other features of the site over the next couple of weeks.

Tf.Tk.Tts.

The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup | Blogcation Tremulations


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This blog has existed since late 2008, and this posting break the latest since December of 2010. The rate of traffic on the site has varied over the years, currently at around a few dozen page-views a day, on a normal posting schedule of about one per every other day.

A fair amount, I would say.

The peak traffic for this site was in 2010, at over 40,000 additional page-views for the entire year, upwards of 100+ page-views each day. I could probably continue that if I felt inclined, but I don’t.

From late 2008 to late 2010, I was involved heavily in publishing to the point of near exhaustion and neglect of my well-being.

This, of course, was a mistake. Hence, my first blogging hiatus, after posting nearly constantly for almost two years, was undertaken, inspired by that of my late friend and former fellow blogger, the pseudonymous Skeptic Cat, whose online handle was to be quickly abandoned, his blog deleted, about a year after we met via our mutual blogging hobby.

I found that to maintain my balance and to take on new projects, I could no longer post on the site at the level I did at the start. That results in periodic blogcations.

So, what do I do with days and often weeks of time not blogging?

I’m engaged in lifelong learning, and as many of you know, a small part of that involves the study of three languages of the Indian subcontinent: Bengali; Tamil; Hindi. And mellifluous tongues they are indeed.

There are other subjects of interest; math; symbolic logic; developing better study skills; critical thinking; public speaking; conversational skills; medical myths, lies, and half-truths; learning how to think like a scientist, or perhaps like Sherlock Holmes, take your pick; physical training for health and endurance in my older years — after all, I’m in my fifties and not getting any younger.

I’m rediscovering my old hobby of drawing in another series of lessons I’m taking. There are my fractals. There is occasional practice playing virtual instruments via GarageBand.

I’m still pretty bad at that last, by the way.

I’m working on developing my writing career. Each day, I write at least one page of…stuff, about 500 words of stuff, three pages of it if I can, on absolutely anything. Even if it never gets published or posted on this or other blogs. Much if it goes into a private journal, some of it here and elsewhere online. I’ve published my first book so far, and I’m currently putting the second on hold while I deal with organizing and studying from lecture notes and assignments taken from my course collection.

I’m developing my fictional universes; plot elements; historical timelines; alien species; languages, however alien or arcane; protagonists; villains; alien gods and eldritch horrors from Outside.

Only this last week I had a bunch of really cool ideas on better using such plot elements as time travel, interstellar travel, and journeys to other regions of the multiverse in one of my settings. More on that once I develop the concepts further.

It should be evident there’s no possibility of doing all this on top of life events, maintaining my treatment plan, and just doing what needs to be done day by day. There are other things I’m engaged in as well, including ongoing personal research on logical fallacies and cognitive biases.

It’s obvious from the above that I’ve a tendency to give myself too much to do, too many projects to embark on. I’ve grown too many heads on my hydra, as it were, too many tentacles on my kraken. Maybe. I’ll grant that possibility. There’s no way to finish all of these in the short-term, and in fact, no ending of it all short of my death.

But that’s the point.

When I first began blogging on my now-defunct WordPress site Troythulu’s Log on January 15, 2008, there was little in terms of off-time activities, little to do beyond routine necessities, and blogging was a good way to channel my energies into something different, challenging, and maybe even useful.

The gaming shop that I’d been visiting for decades had closed its doors earlier that same year, giving me a lot of time at home alone when not at my old volunteer work job or out with friends, and I was still recovering from my injury from 2007.

Blogging was new, and fun, and it still is, and I met a lot of interesting people, then and now. Skeptical blogging, or as I put it, skeptophrenic blogging, was a useful, and at the time, the only other way beside gaming to channel my energies into something that I enjoyed.

Now, I’ve so much else to help me stay busy, to keep striving for…what?

Does it really matter what?

I fail to see good reason to reject or dismiss the value of striving. Striving is something we humans do. We’ve been striving since before we were human, even in striving for purpose, for meaning. Striving is just what explorers do, to cross that next mountain, to ford that next river.

I’m as much for living in the present moment as any meditation advocate, and I’m a “being” person as much as a “doing” person, so I like constantly working on things, then moving on to the next project. It gives me satisfaction, as much as mindfulness practices can at times.

It contributes to meaning. It grounds me in the present, and in the enjoyment of the moment, as I make the most effective use of the time I have in this brief, precious life in an ever-changing universe.

So who cares if it’s only transitory? Even meditative states, perhaps caught up in oneness with the universe, or something else of that sort, are only transitory.

Everything is transitory, and nothing lasts, even being ever in the present, even being in the moment.

So I prefer to spend some of my waking hours in sometimes intense activity, others in relaxation, still others in routine activities that take little exertion. There’s mindfulness practice involved as well, and walks. Long walks on sunlit days.

That’s how I roll.

Tf.Tk.Tts.

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xkcd: Famous Duos

The Call Bulletins | Spring Break & February Blogcation


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G’day! This week I’m officially on the equivalent of spring break, and so will take time off from studying new units and chapters of my Bengali texts, though continuing to revise and practice on all previously learned material. Yes, this is a bit shorter than the full 18 weeks of the first semester, but I’m going on break early to prevent burnout, and give myself time to fully consolidate my previous learning. I’ll be extending the next semester period by a few weeks to make up for that, and once that’s finished, pick up on my study of Tamil for two semesters, then afterward, Hindi for the same amount of total time. Part of that practice, of course, involves regularly listening to online radio stations using the language being studied. So that would involve radio stations located in, say, West Bengal or Bangladesh for now. There’s one located in Dhaka that I like to listen to at night, Radio Dhoni 91.2fm.

Fun stuff!

I’m also going on blogcation this week, perhaps for several weeks, but that depends. I’d like to pick up the pace of my posting schedule, but that must wait until I take care of other projects currently under my belt. I won’t be completely absent from the site, or from my other blogs as I regrettably have been during the last few months, it’s just the the posting of updates on this site will be less regular than usual. I’m hoping this also lets me resume updates on The Checkerboards of the Gods, and my personal blog, the Prank Call of Troythulu, as well as this site’s hub-page, The Unspeakable Blogs. I’ll resume regular posting…well, I’ll keep you updated on that when the new posting schedule is ready to launch.

See you then!

Tf.Tk.Tts.