Author page: shep

2019 Resolution

I’ve never really been a New Year’s Resolution type of person, but that may change in 2019. I’ve been a bit bored with my websites recently and I’ve had the real urge to tinker around. I haven’t had this urge in years. Since it has been a while since I’ve kept up with the web development community, I started researching what software or service everyone is using these days for creating content. I signed up for a trial on Squarespace out of curiosity and imported this site to see if I’d like their interface. It’s pretty nice, but there are a few things that bother me about it and will, most likely, prevent me from moving from WordPress, which I’ve used since this blog’s inception. I will probably create a separate blog post for my thoughts on Squarespace (and WordPress) at a later date. The point is, that led me to a realization that is brought me to my resolution: I don’t blog anymore and I’d like that to change.

Over the past several years the frequency in which I update this site has slowed and slowed and has pretty much stopped almost completely. If you look at 2018, I had four posts. Yes, four. This is a blog that has existed for 15 years. I used to post weekly, if not daily, in the beginning. Of course back then I was in college and in the beginning stages of my career and as such I had more time, but in 2018 I managed to knock out four whole posts. I’ve essentially stopped writing. I think a lot of the reason why I no longer post is I’m always busy at work and when I get home the last thing I want to do is spend more time staring at a computer. This makes finding the motivation to write or share something pretty low. Especially since there are easier ways to share my thoughts. That brings us to Twitter.

Posting Activity for 2018

I’ve been on Twitter since almost the beginning. I think since it’s second year in operation. I used to love Twitter. It was my go to place for sharing thoughts on a variety of topics. There was also a really great community that I followed on Twitter, especially the St. Louis area people. However, Twitter has become a cesspool of Alt-Right hate groups and trolls. I don’t spend nearly as much time there as I did a year or two ago. In fact, there are days where I don’t check it at all. So now I’m getting the urge to get back into blogging and sharing myself through my blog, taking me full circle.

So in 2019 I’m going to try and post more. If I have something to share or say I’m going to try and do it here first. I’m going to make myself get back in the habit of posting. I have an Instapaper account full of articles that I thought would make great posts but never took the time to actually post them. It kills me when I discover something really cool, save it for a blog post later, only to see it spread its way around the internet and by the time I work up the motivation to post it is old news. 2019 is the year of the blog (again).

Conan Without Borders

conan without borders

I was looking for something to watch on Netflix over the weekend and found a show from Conan O’Brien entitled Conan Without Borders. I’ve been a fan of Conan for years. He quickly became my favorite late night talk show host and I was excited when he took over The Tonight Show. I don’t have to tell you how that ended, but the whole experience allowed me to have some dealings indirectly with Conan and his people (I once owned the domain teamcoco.com and sold it to him after he left The Tonight Show).

Conan Without Borders doesn’t have any new footage, that I can tell, but is instead a re-packaging of Conan’s travel segments from his talk show. If you’ve not watched Conan before, oftentimes he goes to another city for several days (if he’s filming the show in said city, then he’ll usually stay the whole week) and each night they will air an 8-10 minute segment of Conan interacting with the people and places of that city. What this show does is takes each of those 8-10 minute segments and combines them into a single episode. There are 6 episodes in the first “season” and he visits Cuba, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Haiti, and Italy.

The idea of the show is pretty smart. It can potentially open up Conan to more viewers who don’t watch his late night show. It also shows Conan at what I think is his best. In these segments he is his typical goofy self, but in many of these places he really shows his human side and there are moments of the show that are quite touching (in the Haiti, Mexico, and Israel episodes for example). He’s having real conversations with real people about real things. They are not the normal 6 minute canned promo interviews that plague late night talk shows. Each episode was really enjoyable, though I think Haiti and Israel were probably my favorite. Those two I think were really impactful, especially in the current ‘America-First’ political climate.

If you are a fan of Conan or travel shows, or both, I suggest you give it a watch. Some of the segments you may have seen before if you are a regular viewer of Conan, but the segments are so good they hold up in repeated viewings.

Tech N9ne on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

One of my favorite artists over the past 10+ years has been Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne. I was first introduced to him in High School by my friend Leon. Since then I’ve been following his career closely and have been amazed at his success, including appearing on Forbes’ list of most successful rap artists. I even interviewed him in person for a Midwest hip hop website while I was in college. This week Tech appeared on Tiny Desk Concert on NPR. Watch the video below. It’s a pretty stellar performance.

Lost Episode of Saved by the Bell

The other day I was browsing YouTube and a suggested video that came up dubbed itself a lot episode of Saved by the Bell. What? An episode of SBTB that I have not seen? How could this be? So, I watched it. All twenty minutes of it. It’s not really an episode. It’s a promo for the NBC Saturday morning lineup and it features Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater, Screech and Jessie. There is no Mr. Belding, and the whole premise is really weird.

Because it’s a promo for Saturday morning, there are a lot of clips of cartoons. You have Alf (the puppet) interacting with the SBTB kids and talking about his cartoon. There’s John Candy introducing Camp Candy, and appearances by Marsha Warfield and Sherman Hemsley. It was really weird. If you like SBTB or retro TV stuff in general, give it a watch below.

The St. Louis Accent

st. louis
Before there was a Hot in Herre, there was Highway Farty and carn on the cob. No, I’m not having a stroke, I’m referring to the dialect that I heard as a child growing up in St. Louis. Citylab recently had a post explaining the St. Louis accent.

The most stereotypical St. Louis pronunciation is “farty” for “forty.” St. Louisans swap an “ar” for an “or” sound, so they eat “carn on the cob” and wish each other “good marning.” This is unique to St. Louis, but the city has other features in common with the Midlands. Older St. Louisans say “worsh” for “wash,” “wants off” for “wants to get off,” and “I waited on him” instead of “I waited for him.”

The whole article is pretty fascinating. Go and give it a read.