BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

You knew there HAD to be days with random crap, right?

So, this posting-every-day thing has been going swimmingly, hasn't it? Two solid weeks, if you count the four book reviews heading into the new year.

I was glad to have had a review to stick in yesterday's slot, as I was out in the suburbs for 11 hours (I left the apartment pretty much at the stroke of 7am, and got back in pretty much right at 6pm), and was generally wiped out by the experience (that's me ==> waiting for my ride back to the Rosemont Blue Line yesterday - don't I look tired?). I learned a lot about "exciting new stuff" in the WFG project (no, really!), which I will no doubt be bothering you about eventually, but it was a real fire-hose.

Today I sort of slept in (well, I guess I got up more or less when I typically get up, but since I crashed about 2 hours before I usually crawl off to bed, it seemed like sleeping in) and succeeded in convincing myself NOT to deposit myself at my desk first thing after acquiring coffee. Instead, I got one of the netbooks set up in the living room, and got it organized for some blog editing, so I could do "useful stuff" while otherwise sitting and watching a couple of football games.

This has been a strange couple of weeks. As a life-long Bears fan, it is very hard to work around the cognitive dissonance generated by being in a position to be rooting for other NFC North teams. This made watching last weekend's Packers/Vikings game quite difficult as it's unlikely that BOTH could manage to lose, so I end up with a less-than-sporting cheering interest in the general concept of Egregious Bodily Harm. A similar strange mental state evidenced itself today, as my dislike of the Seahawks and Redskins found me in a position where I was actually rooting for the Vikings and Packers, respectively ... and even feeling bad for the Vikings for how that game fell apart on them.

Anyway ... since I was working with "bad craziness" of this sort in relation to today's games, I really wanted to be working on something else at the same time to lessen as much as possible the stress of the "pulling for the enemy" dissonance factor. One of the projects that I've been "working on" for quite a while is going to be a series of books featuring my reviews from each year ... initially I was only going to do these in a Kindle format (which should be easy enough as they're already in HTML format), but I've been convinced to do print versions as well (and at this point I think I could crank out books for Amazon's "Create Space" in my sleep). Now, I've been writing reviews for a dozen years now, and have posted 700 of those bad boys over that span. Seven of those years featured over 70 reviews, with the others less (I'll probably put the ones from 2004-2005 into one book as there are only 37 between them and they were much shorter than what I've been writing over the past few years).

If it were just a matter of cutting-and-pasting from my book review blog, I'd have had this done by now ... but noooooo ... because of a number of factors, all the reviews prior to last year require a certain amount of editing, and since I have them up both on that blog and on this one, I have to edit two pages for each review.

What is hard to swallow is that it takes about 15-20 minutes per review (and remember, there are 700 of those suckers), which I found difficult to believe when I was getting started on this project. However, here's the process: First, I have either my main computer (I do work on these from time-to-time at my desk) or netbook set up with Firefox running my main blog and Amazon, and Chrome running the book blog and Pinterest, and a .txt file where I have code for my book review sig (since my "BTRIPP" graphic is broken on anything past a couple of years ago, when WebLogImages shut down - taking a vast lot of my graphics with them) including both the "generic" CMP.LY badges, which I'm now adding to posts which pre-date CMP.LY (trying to be FCC compliant, and all). I'll "page" backwards through the posts on the book review blog, to the next one that's not been edited, and then open the same post in this blog in FF. I'll then open up the Amazon page for the book in FF, copy the URL of the main blog post (to go in a spreadsheet I'm building as a "directory"), past that in the spreadsheet, then hit the edit button for the post, then I'll copy the URL from the review blog to the spreadsheet and open the edit screen on that. The reason I have Pinterest open is that I have a board with (pretty much - I'm finding a few that I missed) all the reviewed books posted, and I'll copy from that (since it's plain text, and doesn't carry formatting over to the spreadsheet), the ISBN, the title and the author names. I'll then go back to FireFox and note the date of the initial review (I first post in here, then re-post in the review blog, and sometimes these are on other sides of midnight, so the dates don't perfectly align), and generate the Amazon short (affiliate) link for the book's page. Frankly, this is the key element of why I'm going through this, as it's only been in the past year or so that Amazon's been letting Illinois residents participate in the affiliate program (they and the state were in a multi-year tiff over taxation), and all my old affiliate links were no longer functioning. Once I've typed in the date on the spreadsheet and pasted in the link, I'll get to editing the blog posts (while I have the link in memory), replacing the old links in both posts with the new links. Then I'll grab the sig code and replace the old (broken - both in terms of the graphic no longer being available, and that the old links point to my now-gone Ning site) code with the new, editing as necessary (can't really put the "I got a review copy" CMP.LY button/link on posts where I bought the book). I then save both posts and then go over them to make sure I got all the stuff updated that needed to be updated.

Whew! It's exhausting just to type that out. Additionally, if I reference a book that I'd previously reviewed, I'll go back to those posts and update them (that happened twice today).

I'm currently as far back as August of 2011, which means I could start pulling together the most recent 4 years' worth, but I was really wanting to get these all done before moving into the "publishing" phase. However, as I still have about 450 of these to do, that means I won't be done with them for another 410-450 hours (over 50 full days' work - so I would not hold your breath waiting). However, doubling up the time with football (or whatever) helps ... I got 18 of these knocked out over two games today.

I was going to sign off with "figured you'd want to know" ... but that would be silly, as I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to care less about this stuff.

Visit the BTRIPP home page!

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