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Just punch those keys…it’s advice I frequently read from bloggers who blog about blogging, especially Cristian Mihai from The Art of Blogging.

Like, punch the keys when? Before or after I have a solid idea? Do I punch them until I see the germ of a workable post? Is it like panning for gold?

I’m taking his advice and punching the keys now to see what comes out.

“Freestyling” like this, I have no idea where I am going – I’m simply punching the keys…

Is it possible to succeed at blogging without drilling down on a specialty – or can my specialty be blogging about the things and people I find interesting?

I love personal development-related content.

I have been sober for more than six years, and I have an endless supply of stories I can tell about this journey – before and after.

I was a single father for quite some time. I have adult twins. There’s a storehouse of gold “in them thar hills” also.

I am a man of a certain age. I used to toss aside mailers and periodicals aimed at those coming up on their “golden years,” but now the people in the photographs are starting to look more and more like me – and I finally realized not too long ago that my time on this planet is limited.

What happened to the immortality I took for granted as a youth? I could blog about that.

Seth Godin blogs constantly about finding one’s tribe, and Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” concept resonates with me.

Is fragmentation a problem?

Politics? I fear the first time I publish a political post, the bots, trolls and haters will bear down on me with a vengeance. Because this is a fear, perhaps I need to do that.

Feel the fear. Do it anyway…

Aren’t there already too many armchair pundits with way more political expertise than I possess? Yeah, right. What I really mean is that nobody is more of an expert than anybody else. Some are just louder than others…

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and yours stinks…

I have done a good deal of recording. Little did I know that there were so many echo chambers outside of a recording studio.

I share a podcast with my brother.

I have been a freelance journalist for many years, and enjoy working on personal profiles – getting to the heart of the folks I talk to. Everybody has a story – and I see no reason not to include them in this blog.

I have worked in the premium cigar industry for decades. Why have I not explored this at any length in my writing?

Should I podcast about podcasting? Blog about blogging? At this point, I’ll leave that to the folks who have been in the game much longer than I have.

I am also a working musician, but I thought I’d be a rock star with my brother by the time I was a young adult. I’m 57 now.

Let’s just say the consequences of the choices I made have come home to roost. Another rabbit hole to explore.

I have lived. I have learned. I have lost. I have won.

But I have also been profoundly lucky. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to be punching these keys.

It’s Election Day, and I voted.

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Thankfully, the lines were not long at my polling place – and my girlfriend and I got in and out in just about an hour.

Certain figures would have you believe that some Americans are more American than others, but I don’t buy into the jingoistic claptrap intended to define what a “real American” is.

This country is far too diverse for that kind of pigeonholing.

I remember an exchange from the Blake Edwards film, “Victor/Victoria,” in which Julie Andrews (playing a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman) is talking to James Garner (playing a Chicago mobster) about real men and what is expected of them.

Here’s a screen grab of the quote from www.moviequotes.com:

See where I’m going with this? Just replace “man” with “American” and you get the idea.

And don’t get me started on the whole patriot thing. I love my country. Don’t presume that you love it more than I do. I’m every bit as American as you are, and you ain’t Paul Revere.

As I go through my day, I am subjected to the aggressive opinions of others with no regard for what I might or might not believe and whether or not those opinions are solicited – or a wink-wink, nudge-nudge from folks I might never have met before, as if I’m being vetted for membership in some sort of club I have no intention of joining.

It’s astonishing, this us-and-them mentality on crass display for all to see from people who really should know better – and clearly from those who do not.

What ever happened to keeping religion and politics out of general conversation? Can we vote on that?