Category: Web Sites of Mine

 

A Classic Spin of the Song “The Piano Man”

I think most can agree that Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is a classic song. As a kid, I would hear the tune and think of it as a st9ry of bar life. Hell, it was the 1980’s and “Cheers” was dominant. I didn’t associate “Piano Man” with Billy because his hit songs and music videos were the pop music of the moment in sound. Songs like “Uptown Girl”, “Pressure”, “Tell Her About It”,, and the song that really made me a Billy Joel fan: We Didn’t Start The Fire. Unless you know the career and life of Joel. you wouldn’t associate that music with “Piano Man”. You wouldn’t know the true autobiographical story behind the tune and Billu.

I love that song. I also love a classic blog post that puts a humorous spin on the song.

Clark Brooks is a long-time online presence in the Tampa Bay metroplex – from his own blogs since the 2000s, to his Tampa Bay Lightning coverage with me at Raw Charge in the 2010s, to his comedy coverage on The Identity Tampa Bay. His post, Everybody Hates the Piano Man, takes the song and puts a for-humor spin on them. I’m not saying parody a-la “Weird Al” Yankovic but in literal meaning.

It’s an old post that’s not sowing up on search engine results at this point That’s why I’m writing about it – to share it (clicky-clicky!). Like Billy Joel with music, Clark Brooks has shown a thorough ability to write and joke over time.

“The Piano Nab” (above) and the blogger/comedian (below).

The (Forced) New Look of JohnnyFomts.com

This blog needed a theme upgrade… Partly due to look, partly because it was not properly compatible with WordPress – and not been for years.

But…

Sunday night, I was casually messing around in a potential theme upgrade and I accidentally activated it. That would not be a big deal, just switch to the other theme, except the out-of-date blog theme was/is no longer available for use. Oops.

So… The blog’s look is changing, ot must be configured and la-de-da. Mind the dust as I reconfogure the site.

A personal ramble at my milestone in Blogging

Writer John Peter Fontana II, also known as Johnny Fonts (who is aka John J. Fonts Esqyuew) – the dude writing this. Me. Hi. – has been a weblog author for 20 years now.

What I am connonly known for, hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning, didn’t start for another year and a half. My start in blogging began during the forced end to a static web site devoted to the Beatles. It will be 20 years on Thursday since the feature on that incident was published by the St. Pete Times.

I am not proud of everything in this blog’s archives (most of whicj was written on “The Stibegauge”), and I also don’t know what stands out in my career in general. I just know this is the avenue I took and it gave me a place to vent, ramble wxpress, inform, and share.

Physical hardsjo[ makes it tough to do this now… Oh, I say so much about THAT. It’s a tough job to even know what is going on in sports, movies, politics, and the world around me, let alone the challenge to type it out.
NF2 is a bitch.

Johnn0y Fonts lacks new content, but I am on here daily updating TunedQuest… It’s a listing that grows a!d must be tended to. I spend ample time looking into stations and sites that accept music submissions. * get thanked… That’s something.

So…! Utilize and the words if Cassie McClellan: reader continues to take advemture and entertainment in what I put out.Typing remains an adventure for me, I hope an0

Blind and Anxious, an update on my status

I congessed in late 2019 how hand issues are affecting me and limiting my writing on Johnny Fonts. Late in the summer of 2020, I made another confession as I explained why this long-time Tampa Bay Lightning blogger wasn’t saying hit sd the Bolts ran the gamut and won Lord Stanley’s Cup: I couldn’t follow what was going on. I couldn’t see.

I still can’t, folks. And it’s getting worse.

Oh, it’s not the entire reason I have not blogged a write-up of substance or opoinion in forever; I’m neurotic and don’t finish posts all the time for opinion shifts on what I wrote, or I lose focus and just move on.

Scatterbrained or not, my participation online is being stopped by the cloudy, blurred vision that seems to worsen daily and make me further appreciate Al Pacino’s performance as Frank Slade in The Scent of a Woman.

Just one scene; Charlie.

I am not in the dark though. It’s a white blur. No carbon-freezering recovery involved.

So, I’m limited in multiple fashions, and my general online life is joining my stunted life participation. Writing, forums, streaming video, chat/instant messaging… It’s all in a hazr sent from hell with a little note attached (that I can’t read, but seem to include the letters “F” and “Y”).

My anxiety is also bubbling., I’m so lost in day-to-day life that my ignorance in what is going on can lead to me erupting, and certainly does when I’m pushed to partake in something I am not prepped for, or when I’m left to feel like nothing more than a rag doll. John can’t, so lets put him in that chair and thrn go do that living thing!!

I miss being, knowing, doing.

My eye situation likely needs a cornea transplant – replacing the eye lenses. I don’t know if other visual issues will ever be dealt with – cataracts and an astigmatism – I just know I need aid or else.

[It was tough writing this. While I can if typos, general editing, and rewriting are just too visually tough.]

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Here we are, deep into the NHL’s COVID-19 affected NHL playoffs! It’s sports-content when the world is generally forced to step back. The NHL’s system is proof of the step-back: Two host-cities for gameplay, no attendees, players/team personnel in a “bubble” to prebent catching the dreaded virus that has afflicted the globe.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again facing the Columbus Blue Jackets (last season’s series is a painful memory) and have taken two of three games played… Well, unofficially, it’s two of six games as the clubs had eight(!!!) periods of play in the series opener – regulation play and five overtimes.

In all the stories I just shallowly touched on with this, I haven’t said one damned thing in written content. The fact I’m writing this with a sudden personal turn is bad enough, but I was the original Tampa Bay Lightning blogger and this is my personal site so…

Why haven’t I said shit? That in itself is personal.

I have it upfront on Johnny Fonts that I have an issue with my hands which makes typing more difficult. I’ve also written on Raw Charge about my condition in general in a (failed) fundraising attempt. There’s stuff here too, but none of it speaks about the now. I haven’t gone public with this one – with friends on social media or on this site.

Oh, my silence has been influenced in part by the risk factor for the NHL that is at play with the virus. In May it made this writer turn up his nose at the playoff-system (so did the Lightning) but this isn’t the virus or politicking that has muted me…

Han Solo said it best in the Tatoonie desert in Return of the Jedi, “Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.” Subtract the daek and you have my silencing ailment, cornea scars that have rendered me blind.

It’s not total blindness or I wouldn’t be able to even attempt to write this. It is profound though and stops me from spending time reading coverage of the Bolts in articles or on social media. I struggle to read, I lose patience with thanks to pop-up elements on top og illegible text and give up. I also lack – and always have – the ability to keep up with the fast-fast pace of Twitter during games or events.

And then there’s watching games. I can’t. Or movies. Or news coverage. It’s blurred into discontent for me.

I pay attention to headlines I see; I follow news on Reddit specifically for that. I’m just not going deep in coverage as the die-hard sports fan that I am… And it sucks. It sucks that I am not invested in my passion covering the Lightning.

My general health affliction (paired with anxiety and insecurity issues) has always prevented me from much involvement with things. This vision issue continues that plight. The cornea scars are a result of eye-dryness which is a condition I’ve suffered for decades by way of tumors and necessary surgery. This explains why I’m always in sunglasses in photos: To hide the scats unsightliness.

To be visually impaired like this on top of my heating issues? It’s making me into a modern-day Helen Keller.

So, I’m not in the playoffs and coverage of the Coolest Game on Ice during this time of plight. I have been investing myself in music in a manner derived through my blogging days: Content management, promotion, and research. Oh, listening is a part of it too. It’s a step down from sports coverage as many independent musicians who are out there are only doing things as a hobby and I am and will remain irrelevant to them as I have no reputation in the industry. Having been part of Lightning coverage for so long made me relevant in hockey and Bolts coverage, especially seeing local media has never given the Bolts more focus and coverage which the franchise has earned through competitiveness.

So, uh, yeah… I’ve shut up. I suppose that makes some people happy. Perhaps this explains to my friends and colleagues why I’ve been scaled back on social media (though Facebook corporate/political issues have contributed, that’s one platform though). I media-share a lot and sometimes post messages. I don’t exactly enjoy making it seem like I want all focus on me by not reacting to others.

We]l see (pun intended) if things ever improve, but John Fontana is muted in many ways in the online world that has been his home for most of his life. And it pains him. Profoundly.

The stage is set for a cultural event

The stage is set for a cultural event

In 2014 as I was deeply involved in hockey blogging, I was inspired to write a lengthy piece about cultural events after NY Post hockey beat-writer Larry Brooks made a remark comparing Team USA’s preliminary-round, shootout win over the Russian Federation at the 2014 Winter Olympics to the Lake Placid “Miracle” win by Team USA over the Soviet Union fomc 1980. I saw the remark, that it was Team USA’s biggest win since said-“Miracle”, as asinine in both a competitive and social contest.

Why social? Winter of 1980 was not exactly a bright and shining time in American history. In my w5iteup, I made the sodal comparison with music and the onset of the British Invasion back in February 1964 with the arrival of The Beatles. That winter wasn’t the highest time for the United States either. You can read the full write-up over at Raw Charge.  It’s arguable how good a piece it is, but it’s the social/cultural event remarks that make the piece relevant now.

In short, the stage is set for society to be slammed, in a good way, by a pop feat that will lead to change in one fashion or another.

I was a little taken aback by a comment in the 2014 article as someone tried to play up how things weren’t great. Oh, they never are; and Billy Joel / Aerosmith told us this in two classic rock songs. The moment we live in now is different, and vastly so, compared to 2014. In fact, it feels like partisanship and race (and taking issue with Barak Obama by way of it) were integral “issues” at that point, but that should tell you how well my memory is handling reflection on the time. Unemployment hadn’t skyrocketed by way of a mishandled (and now ignored) pandemic, that’s for sure. Racial issues hadn’t grown into a ravenous divide; that has been an issue that’s been growing since the start of the Donald Trump presidency (did you really think his anti-immigrant lust toward Hispanics and Latinos from Mexico and Central America was based on a “threat”?). America sinks on so many global measures and US citizens struggle more and more on the day-to-day…

If only for a moment forget the election, forget the coronavirus, forget the necessary Winds of Change. This nation could use a shot of pep right now. An accomplishment or an event in entertainment/sports that makes us turn away from the dubious infamy that rules 2020 and puts the psyche of America back in pop/sports culture on a united level.

The thing is, if it played out like The Beatles in 1964 or Team USA in 1980, an event in the now would be the onset of far more. The British Invasion was major in music history and the Fab Four alone changed the course of rock and pop music. Likewise, Team USA  helped raise the interest and social investment of America in the sport of ice hockey and sus the NHL. Is it the sport of the nation now? No, but that doesn’t change the fact the game’s growth in the US was helped along by Lake Placid.

While we could use the morale boost of an event, that doesn’t mean one is coming (though marketing may say otherwise). Likewise, it’s not necessarily something that would play out in sports, or music, or cinema and other entertainment fields… It’s something that’d make us all look away from the negatives toward a feat that captures the interest and attention of the masses. Something to invest attention in or rally around.

The stage is set for something like that… but can it actually happen? That remains to be seen.

Lecavalier in Kazan, 2005

NHL History: Vinny Lecavalier’s “Rough Translation” to Life With The White Bear

I’m happy to see the Tampa Bay Times has resurrected its old articles from its days at sptimes.com… That enables access to the past of online content in the history of %ampa Bay like news features in sports, such as the March 2005 feature by former Times writer Tom Jones.

2005 was par5 5wo or the roiled 2004-05 NHL season. While some players stayed idle an waited for labor resolution between the NHL and NHL Players Association, others went abroad to continue their play in the sport, such as Vincent Lecavelier of Tampa Bay Lightning fame.

I’m also happy to see my Boltsmag write-up about the piece is still alive in the Raw Charge archives. Below is my quoted piece with updated links where needed. I do encourage NHL fans to check out the piece of NHL history by Tom Jones. The following write-up was my personal introduction to the piece.

Life with the White Bear,
by John Fontana

I’ve sometimes wondered if me and Vincent Lecavalier woudl ever meet somewhere or somehow cross paths in life. He’s only a few months younger than I am and when he was drafted and the big hoopla was made about him, I had this premonition that Vinny and I could be friends, could get along, could hang out.

And yet with each day, every season, every interview that I’ve read (not many, because Tampa Bay is not Montréal or Toronto) that link… that kinship that I felt disappeared. Vincent is a big name star, he’s got it all and he’s got confidence… He dates models and he’s an icon in Canada.

And today in the St. Petersburg Times, that link was renewed… That sort of hopeful understanding.

Tom Jones traveled to Kazan and spent time with Vinny. This is all chronicled in a piece called Rough Translation and some of the things that Vincent has gone through in Ak Bars Kazan have made me feel… Well, like someone would understand some of the crap I go through daily being hard of hearing. That lack-of-understanding and such.

But to get off my personal points, this article by Jones chronicles some of the adversity that Vincent has faced in Kazan and how he’s kept a positive attitude. How trying it can be to understand his coach’s rants (Zinetula Bilyaletdinov speaks English but addresses his team in Russian), how not understanding what someone says makes you want to shrink away because you don’t know the translation, and the difficulty just to order a bowl of Oatmeal in Kazan.

And if you are interested in seeing the photos associated with the article (and there are a few), please check out this link.

[Meta] This blog isn’t all about the Bolts

I round out that every single category of his web site was listed as “Tampa Bay Lightning” in search engine results. One setting or another related the mistake.

I wouldn’t think any repeat visitors saw 5he issue. I still feel the need to apologize; it’s a big s red up an embarrassing to have happened.

A quick update and seeking input on Radio and streaming music submission options for indie musicians

With 100+ station/screams listed and 5,000 words, the C pos has become an immaculate reference point for independent ane small-time musicians who want to get yheir music exposed. I had started that list for potential pe5sonal use in 2018 and decided to post the (at the time) few station options as an o object of encouragement for musicians: Seek airplay in traditional media.

There have been two changes in the layout of the post in the past month – one was just “launched” today. Genre-specific streaming stations have their own “group” now. This move was made because genre-specific sites were part of the very long General section. Today’s change is the geographic division of the College Radio section. All the college stations were thrown in there in a generally disorganized way before today’s regrouping.

All of this may be a precursor to the post being broken up into three or fou5 posts. Stay tuned.

I ould use some suggestions on music genres and stations/streams to add. If you can suggest noteworthy college radio stations — small schools or major universities — to look into, that would be appreciated too.

Typing

“Typing’s an adventure…” takes on new meaning

For those who check in on me here with any regularity, while I wish this was just an extension of season’s greetings, sadly it’s not.

Due to issues, I am experiencing with my left hand (and many many typos by way pf it), my online content production – writing – is vastly hindered. This has frustratingly slowed my writing to end 2019.

I do hope to have new content up in the days ahead, but certain typos are not seen by spell-check editing apps and programs. Ig puts my love of writing in a mire of inability.

In essence, fair readers: Technical difriculties; please stay tuned.

Advertising

Let me stress outright: This is a personal weblog. All content on the site is of a variety of subject matters by a lone author: Me. Hi.

There is a section for “Guest Writers”, but that content is literally writing penned by personal guests/friends (and hasn’t been used for more than 15 years). I am not looking for “guest writers”. I’m not seeking to do “sponsored” posts.

To be frank and candid: With the minuscule amount of web traffic that Johnny Fonts draws, you’d be better off investing elsewhere.

What this site is open to is traditional banner ads on the sidebar and within posts. I am willing to discuss in-post link, In both cases, the content must be fitting for the site and not a scheme, pornography, or other

If you are interested in discussing things, please use the Contact Form to drop me a line. If your content in the form turns out to be a copy-and-paste, mass-communication, you’re not likely to get a response.

Polls are now open…

Just a quick note that I’ve got a (working) poll application now. I don’t know how often they will be used but it’s a live feature. A poll is on the sidebar (and I am seriously curious of people’s opinions on the subject).

Theme foray fade

Just an aside remark:
I went back to my previous WordPress theme. There were just a few many aspects of the new one that didn’t sit well with me after a month of use. This site is a lone author’s writing, not a news magazine…

“And I desperately need a manicure!” – The look, the feel, the folly

I’ve spent a bit of time the past month or two looking to simply upgrade The WordPress theme for this site. Too often the look isn’t something I want to build around. Lately, I’ve been finding interesting themes that have flaws that I can’t correct.

It’s a distraction from writing, so I’m a little lapsed on that… But it’s also a challenge for a long-time blogger to find a fitting, the functional theme for a WordPress 5 site (…for free).

My love for hockey and the glory of the Stanley Cup

With the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals tonight, I got a wee bit nostalgic.

In 2014 the Raw Charge staff of Tampa Bay Lightning writers participated in a series of posts chronicling things that endeared each of us to the sport of Ice hockey.

My Five Things post was published on February 18th, 2014. The final topic that makes me love this sport is what I quote in full here.

One reason I love ice hockey and am tied to the game is my reverence of the Chalice of Lord Stanley and it’s history:

Read More

Lack of writing is a visualization thing…

For those who are left wondering why Johnny Fonts hasn’t had new posts lately: I’ve been focusing on other aspects of the site and other web projects lately. In the case of this site, I’ve redone the logo and I’m trying to find a new theme for the blog:

JohnnyFonts.com Logo 2019 Edition

The theme issue… Well, that was a quirk I was thinking of dealing with, but it gets more interesting – and complicated – with the theme bells and whistles on the development end of new WordPress themes. Some themes are VERY powerful while others are arcane. Finding something visually appealing is a must, but finding something with a working backend goes along with it.

What to do with HockeyDaily.net?

I bought a domain name last week, one that I’ve thought about for some time: HockeyDaily.net. Yet with the site in my possession now, I’m not sure how I should go forward with it.

My original intention was blog syndication. I’m someone who used to rely on HockeyBlogs.org to show me content (headlines, not full stories) from around the blogosphere. Yet, is that the best idea? Is the blogosphere for the sport of ice hockey still active enough – with readers interested in the content – as it was in the past?

Is there already a blog aggregator site out there — one that shares blog headlines and not siping full articles? Is the majority of the fanbase out there now just tied to what they cross on social media from the bloggers themselves?

Another option would e to start a hockey blogger network of my own but… well,, that would require recruitment and crap that I’m not so good at.

Input from others on this topic would be appreciated. Perhaps there is something lacking for the sport that people could use online with regularity?

Personal note: I’ve taken back “Boltsmag”

Just a heads up:

When I started blogging about hockey, the posts were published on Boltsmag.com. Upon me founding Raw Charge, I pointed the domain name at the new SB Nation site. All my archives are posted over there, after all. It’s been set up like that since 2009.

With the two-year anniversary of my resignation from the network and with me posting re-direct links to Raw Charge archived articles I wrote there, I’ve decided to redirect the Boltsmag domain name toward my hockey post category here on JohnnyFonts.com.

I don’t know if anyone even knows of the domain name, let alone uses it. If you do use that domain, this post should explain why you’ve landed on this blog site and not on Raw Charge.

Instead of thoughts and speculation, Erik Karlsson trade rumors bring thundering silence to the Tampa Bay Lightning blogosphere

Rumors, innuendo, speculation… It’s loomed since before the 2018 NHL trade deadline and now it’s on the forefront during the NHL offseason. Days after the start of the free agency season, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson’s name started making headlines again. Karlsson is available on a revamping Senators franchise that is also a marred object by way of owner Eugene Melnyk. (Sinuate: Senators fans – We’re expansion brethren and I sympathize with you over ownership issues; the Tampa Bay Lightning have been there, believe me).

That little statement there dropped the bomb on which franchise this post is about: Les Bolts de Tampa Bay are tied rampantly in speculation at the end of the first week of July. In fact, yesterday (July 6) you could have come to the conclusion the deal was final and done and just had to be announced with details fully disclosed. That’s how much chatter was on Twitter and other means. A third party franchise (or many?) was supposed to be involved in order to manage contracts and move bodies to get things squared away all right and good.

You wouldn’t know this if you checked some of the Lightning blogosphere. Read More

A Tampa Bay Lightning ramble by the original Lightning blogger

I made a name and reputation for myself with 12-and-a-half years of blogging about the Tampa Bay Lightning. I was a pioneer in hockey blogging in general (starting what will be fourteen years ago in a matter of days). Want proof? I’d send you to the archives of Raw Charge but SB Nation complicates the process (read: I’d send you to my profile alone but they don’t list all the articles, Fan Posts and Fan Shots that I’ve posted).

Have I stopped following hockey or the Lightning? Hell no! Read More

Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017

I may have touched on talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.

Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Read More

Social Media Reach and the Tampa Bay Lightning

And down the stretch they come….! Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Lightning as the NHL season wanes

The road to recovery becomes the highway to…where?

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.

The South should celebrate its hockey heritage at Tropicana Field

A long time hockey blogger steps aside

Perhaps you heard a hockey blogger quit covering the Tampa Bay Lightning for SB Nation. Maybe you heard, maybe you didn’t hear.  You are on his blog at the moment, by the way.  Maybe if you ask him, he’ll tell you.

Seeking blog contributors for Raw Charge

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.

The annual high-speed track to summer irrelevance by the NHL

Come what may; thoughts and rambling on the eve of the 2016 NHL playoffs

The joys (sarcasm) of charitable fundraising for a rare disease (NF2)

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.

 

Do you do cabinet work in the Tampa Bay area? I’m selling a domain name

I have a domain name for sale that was purchased for marketing sake for a web site I used to work on. The company has been gone for years and they never much took to the regional domain name. Heck, even the field – wood work and cabinetry – makes it feel like a regional domain name isn’t a necessity for marketing.

That being said, TampaBayCabinets.com is available for purchase through Sedo. The site it was purchased for had cabinetry and woodworking in mind catering to customers in the Tampa Bay metro area. While the price isn’t cheap, the regional branding for a company is a good marketing point (as long as the domain name is clearly listed on company branded material).

 

Hockey blogging and blog aggregation

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 2004-05 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

Re-enGauged

My writing habits have been stuck on Lightning hockey for something like 7 years now. Sometimes I vent on Reddit.com or in private conversations. Other times I’ve articulated in fiction writing that’s sitting in a “Saved” folder on my PC.

I dunno,perhaps it is time to un-mothball this thing and use it to express myself instead of hiding it? Then again, reviewing some of my riting here I call people out by name. That’s not good.  At the same time, knowing this site hasn’t been public for years (and not easily accessible even to me) the site has not been indexed in search engines or shared through social mediums in a long, long time. Looking over web traffic data proves it.

This article draft was put together months ago, but it’s publication is only being done now.  Hmmm, maybe i should actually post some worthwhile content instead of venting writing-wise?

One thing I have to do that absolutely has to be done is clear up the blogroll. Some of those sites are spam sites now, others are just dead-in-the-water.  Sorta like Stonegauge, which is only getting reads (from me) for the first time in forever.

Stating a life of "Pinterest"

I’ve had a Pinterest account for over two years, but I’ve only posted once (in a contact attempt with someone not on broader social media). During idle time during the holiday season, I decided give Pinterest a try, more for content promotion than discovery of stuff that’s already out there on Pinterest.

Good news: I seem to be getting the hang of creating boards and posting content. My topics are dominated narrowly so far by hockey media and multi-media, but that’s what I tend to do anyway on Facebook.

Bad news: 1 follower – that person I wanted to contact two years ago. I have no clue if anything I’ve posted has drawn a look-see from the general public or what. There are two articles form Raw Charge that I’ve shared that haven’t drawn a click-through, but I also have no altered their description listing either… so lacking keywords won’t help draw in eyeballs. There are two shirts form the Raw Charge Store that haven’t gotten much (any?) of a general look, but I can’t track data on Pinterest (or so I think).

If I actually stick to Pinterest isn’t certain, but it’s worth testing out as social media is a necessary tool to utilize with site management and online socializing.  We’ll see.

When it’s about attendane and not competitiveness (or costs) in the sport of hockey

Sports are a business, the fan is a consumer, and mediocrity of a team doesn’t earn high turnout (nor should it earn judgment of a market). Click the title to go to the article.

The anniversary of the start of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey

The weight of the Lightning and an absence from the headlines

The business of the NHL demonstrates a culture clash

Of hockey events and Tampa Bay as host

Jeff Vinik’s Channel District plans aren’t with the Tampa Bay Rays in mind

Comparing two Tampa Bay Lightning teams separated by 11 years

The cold November rain; thoughts on Martin St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay

Five things John Fontana loves about hockey

You can’t compare USA Hockey’s win over Russia at Sochi to the cultural event at Lake Placid

Theme Scream

I need to redo the theme for Raw Charge. I mean, I like it in general — K.I.S.S. and all that — but the problem is that it is FUBAR with the text.

End of an era: the closure of the NHL Fan Association

Lightning fans can hate the Bruins, but just don’t call them “rival”

What would it take for Tampa Bay to host the IIHF World Junior Championships?

An open letter to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Execut5ive President Donald Fehr

Nashville’s success beefits the Tampa Bay Lightning