Category Archives: Raw Charge
I’m choked up upon reflection this afternoon. I just had physical therapy formally end. Therapy that was assigned to me after the shit hit the fan in December 2016. It’s also exactly one week after I met the surgeon who saved my life on Dec. 6th, my opportunity to express my gratitude to the exact man who is a direct and true hero for my life.
Delusions had me thinking I really was dead in the immediate aftermath of emergency brain surgery. Logic, reality and time have made me wonder just how the hell I survived. Knowing my condition, the infamous genetic disorder NF2, and my medical neglect in recent years (lack of MRIs and communication with my doctors), it just mounted things against me.
Unfortunately, I have other things against me now that logic and reality sway before me in a mocking sense all the time. Lack of social interaction, lack of romance, lack of work, little productivity, empty dreaming of achievement…
Last time I dealt with these morale haphazards was the winter of 2003-04. John J. Fonts Esq., the formal version of my cutesy nickname, was once again recovering from necessary surgery. This time, the catastrophe looming without surgery or with a screw-up during the cut-cut was paralysis. That was defeated, say thank you and praise the maker. What got me away from that maize of morale post-op was web design, sports and being a pioneer of the NHL blogosphere with the birth of the Tampa Bay Lightning blog Boltsmag.com. Boltsmag has turned into Raw Charge on SB Nation; you can find my old posts through the archives. It may not be an easy feat though. The site’s birthday is February 13th. Next week.
That was then though, this is now. And even then, the site did not financially show accomplishment to me (meaning ads, which I hate, did not pay me back or something). It did give me something to focus on in my unique voice as a writer, but it (and Raw Charge) were not much of a rewarding time investment.
Creativity and writing may still be where I go from here; I’ve been working on a potential book of poetry. It would be stuff I’ve written for the past 20+ years. I’ve also toyed around with lyrical verse and trying to get music made to turn it into song. I don’t know how to have a legit career as a lyricist but that would be an adventure worth taking for this man of rhyme and reason.
I’ve survived, yet I’m lost. I’m happy to be here but I’m in a foul spot of ugh, hold the pickle. What comes next may be nothing, it may be grand, and it may be a fulfilling whisper that makes me feel accomplished. Whatever the answer is, it is still in the process of becoming.
Raw Charge is looking for writers to add to the staff of their SB Nation blog covering the Tampa Bay Lightning. How would I know? I run the damn place, that is how I would know.
I bring this up on my personal blog site that gets next-to-no web traffic (but a gargantuan number of bot driven spam comments) because it’s a chance to talk about the aspiration to add staff. Well, it’s not just adding staff, per se. It’s about trying to find writing teammates to work with. This is a quest to find guys and girls who love the sport, and the team but also want to be part of something bigger.
Things have changed in the past calendar year (or a bit longer) on Raw Charge with people leaving the site, self-driven writers who didn’t want to fit a format (be it site use or grammar), and college influence / professional aspirations stopping others from writing in a casual format.
While the site has taken on some very capable writers the past few months, there is still missing elements and consistency in contributions.
I’m looking for a Tampa Bay based element for new contributors. I don’t mean relocated-for-college-but-originally-from-TB people… I mean folks who are here.
You can access the official post about looking-for-writers at this link.
Wednesday, February 10th marked my 12th anniversary as a hockey blogger. That’s a pretty huge milestone as bloggers don’t usually last more than 3 years… let alone 12! Oh, Stonegauge is probably older than that – though I did not have many entries the past few years. To mark the occasion I brought up the genetic/neurological disorder I’ve been dealing with since I started, and started a charity drive called Deke the Deuce. The money is going to a Tampa Bay area based Neurofibromatosis Type II charity organization.
Big time blogger raising awareness and pulling in dollars to aid the fight against NF2! Cute name for the drive too!
Yeah, well, what I’ve learned in the past week-plus of the drive is that charity fundraising is tough even if you have a huge reach through social and general media. You may have a wide number of readers or thsoe exposed to the drive by way of retweets and Facebook shares but if someone doesn’t connect to the cause, why would they hand over a nickel, let alone the amount of cash that would actually show up on the charity page?
I don’t know the best way to “update” the page. Anything I say is too personal and too thin an audience sees it. Yet I have to connect and personal is the only way to do it. But telling people how you went deaf? What life can be like in deafness or even just hard of hearing?
The fact I’m also mostly pushing this at hockey fans hurts things too just because I’m not sure how to give it a broader appeal.
I plan on running thins through March 16… I don’t know if I’ll even reach $500, but the money raised is better than nothing. And I HAVE enlightened some people and introduced them to the disorder in general.
I used to depend on Hockey Blogs — an RSS aggregation web site — for one-stop coverage of the web log world for the NHL and the sport of hockey. A decade ago, when there weren’t many blogs but some great blog writing, that site was a killer tool to have, especially during the 2005 NHL lockout.
Yeah, and then it got killed because of what it was aggregating. I won’t name names but a certain blog that was doing aggregation of its own got its RSS listed on the site and inundated the page with its shared-content, making it hard to find actual writing efforts from notable blogs of the time. Now it’s even worse as a feed of pro-news sites and another, singular, mass-content blog over-dominates the feed.
I still rely on RSS (Sputnik RSS reader) but one thing that my RSS reader can’t do is discover other hockey blogs from indie writers. In days of yore, those indie web loggers lusted to get themselves listed on Hockey Blogs. That doesn’t happen any more.
I don’t know… I once helped run a aggregator aimed specifically at Tampa Bay blogs… Maybe I could start a WordPress powered hockey blog aggregator comparable to Hockeyblogs.org, run independently by someone devoted to the sport? Who knows… It’s tough finding independent blogs these days; SB Nation, Fansided, The Nation Network and Bloguin dominate with individual sites/blogs, while The Hockey Writers, Today’s Slapshot and a few others try to cover things widely under one franchise/site name. It’s that one-site, mass content aspect that ruined Hockey Blogs