Big ‘Uns

Photo by theyedropperworld... http://www.flickr.com/photos/theyedropperworld/5068942333/in/photostream. Edited and used according to Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 on this non-commercial blog.

Mmm… big ‘uns. I love ’em! I could spend ten minutes just staring at them and, in fact, if they’re really big I have to spend at least that much time to truly take them in. The beauty of their graceful form sometimes brings a tear to my eye. They don’t appear out of nowhere and spring up overnight… big ‘uns take a very long time to develop fully but, to me, they’re well worth the wait.

Don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing wrong with itty-bitty ‘uns. Little ones can be fun but, as far as I’m concerned, the bigger they are, the longer they hold my interest. I don’t think this admission should come as a surprise to anyone, in fact I’m under the impression that a lot of people think of me as a big ‘uns kind of guy, and anyone who does think that would be 100% correct!

I’m not alone in my appreciation of big ‘uns. I’ve noticed that many women who have big ‘uns and are quite proud of them. Some guys have big ‘un, too. For example Dave “Noobcake” Farmer has some really big ‘uns — as big as any woman’s I’ve seen — and I have some honkin’ great big ‘uns of my own. Now, I cannot speak for Dave but I am not ashamed! I’m as proud as any woman of my big ‘uns and I feel that a man’s big ‘uns can be every bit as wonderful as a woman’s big ‘uns.

I am, of course, talking about lengthy blog posts.

Big posts are really satisfying to write and are the product of dissecting a complicated issue, lumping a whole bunch of things under one umbrella, or simply letting one’s imagination loose and following it down some meandering path. Sometimes the big ‘uns are inspired by a love for something and sometimes they’re fuelled by an overwhelming desire to rant. Sometimes I find that my posts get the better of me and simply go off in too many directions.

I think that something that happened to me in the crazy ’70s has something to do with my lack of restraint when it comes to writing. It was a time of introspection so I was looking for a studio to learn meditation and the most popular such franchise at the time was a movement called Transcendental Meditation. Walking down the street one day I saw a big TM sign, so I went inside and signed up for a bunch of classes. Unfortunately, I realized about two weeks into the session that I had made a terrible mistake… I had signed up for training in Tangential Meditation! This very paragraph is an example of the kind of permanent damage that was done by those classes. So let’s try to find our way back to talking about blogging, shall we?

You just cannot churn them out every day (we’re talking about large posts again), or at least I can’t, but when I hit that Publish Button on a wordy draft a warm wave of accomplishment passes through me as the WordPress servers strain to absorb some of the larger chunks. The funny thing is that unless I’m working on a post that is to be published at some far-off date, I almost always feel an urgency to get the thing done and sometimes I’m less than satisfied with the final product.

Some of you may have wondered “What the hell was he thinking?” when you see some of my large posts. I feel I owe you an explanation so I planned to list my five longest posts. But I’ve changed my mind and I’ve decided I’m not going to do that… in the true big ‘uns spirit I’m listing the top ten! Aside from being an act of blatant self-promotion, I hope you enjoy what I have to say about about the heavyweights of my blog.

Go put on a pot of coffee (or a turkey if you’re actually going to revisit these top ten big ‘uns) and settle in.

#10 – Recumbent Review: The Legendary Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S [2780 words] – An ambitious post about a legendary Nikon lens. While it is tenth on the list of big ‘uns, it is my second most popular post ever, hit-wise.

#9 – The Great Ones of Comedy [2927 words] – A largely forgettable post about some unforgettable comedians, this one never struck a chord with anyone. While I enjoyed writing it, it’s not so great to read. But if you are just looking for a list of some old comedy to listen to, you might have forgotten about, or not have heard of, this list might help you expand your comedy library.

#8 – Toronto Politician Proposes Municipal Brothel [3768 words] – This was my very first post following my inaugural “Hello World” post and was the reason for me starting a blog. You see, prostitution is legal in Canada but just about every activity necessary to participate in it are illegal, such as negotiating or stating a price, operating a place where sex for money occurs, living off the proceeds of prostitution, etc. Well, a Toronto city councillor proposed building a red light district there and regulating the industry — there was a lot of talk in the media about it at the time. I did a little research and found that in places that have liberalized prostitution, more problems were created while essentially none were solved. When I stated my case in on-line news services, I found my comments were sometimes censored by being flagged by people holding different opinions and the ones that did make it through were met with rhetoric by other commenters. WordPress allowed me to fully state my findings and views.

#7 – Confessions of a Pigtail in Ink Dipper [3881 words] – Another rant, this post was in response to a Freshly Pressed post by another WordPress blogger. Her daughter had experienced some rough treatment at the hands of some of her male classmates. Some people said that “the boy probably just likes you” and the blogger believes that any such treatment is bullying and has nothing to do with affection. Having once been a young boy, I can know for a fact that little girls (or their mothers) may misinterpret boys’ actions as malicious when the boy in question might not have had anything of the sort in mind. Find out what goes on in a young boy’s mind by reading some personal anecdotes in my post.

#6 – Recumbent Review: The Seriously Versatile AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G ED VR [3960 words] – My fourth photographic review, but this time it’s not a top-of-the-line, exotic, or discontinued piece of equipment , which explains this post’s poor performance in the hits department. It was lots of fun to write and there are a few tips in there for hobbyists, some silly stories about me buying my camera, my general philosophy for buying camera stuff, and a bunch of pictures for the total non-geek that just wants to keep their eyes busy for a while.

#5 – How Not to Be a Jerky Hotel Guest [4009 words] – Another rant, although not quite as frothy as some of my others. If you’re willing to read between the lines this post also includes some tips that you might find handy the next time you want to book a hotel room.

#4 – Recumbent Review: The Mighty Reflex-Nikkor C 500mm f/8 [4215 words] – A truly exotic lens that has been long since discontinued — my personal Reflex-Nikkor 500 will be celebrating its thirtieth birthday this year. It is an inexpensive way to get your hands on a high-magnification telephoto but the lens is difficult to use. A lot of people are interested in buying them but have heard horror stories of them not producing good images. I guess that’s why this post is my third best hit-getter… camera guys love to read about oddball equipment.

#3 – Speed Thrills: An Open Letter to Police and Lawmakers [4684 words] – Another long rant about how law enforcement targets “speeders” because it is easy to do and generates millions of dollars in revenue for local governments. For you conspiracy theory buffs, I also touch on how the cops and insurance companies are in bed with each other. Yup, it’s long but if you’re pissed about getting a ticket for driving too fast, this post will really feed the fire.

#2 – Happy Australia Day! [5194 words] – If you have the time, read this post. I got the idea for it many months before Australia Day so I just kept building on it. It’s a great mix of fact and BS yarn spinning. It was one of my favourite posts to write and I honestly think you’d like it.

#1 – Death to the Magic Internet Wish Genie! [8481 words] – This is a rant of biblical proportions which talks about those e-mails everyone gets that the sender sends you and twenty other people without even adding comments. Some people call them viral (even though you’re not seeking them out) and some call them spam (even though they’re non-commercial, but I call them “bacteriograms”. As painful as this post may be to read for those of you with diminished ocular stamina, after I posted this piece and sent a link to the people who regularly sent me bacteriograms I stopped getting them! It has been months since my in-box has been littered with this garbage. So if you want to stop getting bacteriograms, dive into this post and follow my instructions. You’ll be glad you did.

So that’s my Top Ten List of weighty posts. I guess the moral to the story is “Don’t get me started”… it’s so hard for me to stop!

P.S. While I have no intention on updating this list, I do reserve the right to write new posts that dethrone the aforementioned posts from their ranking!

P.P.S. This post is less than 1700 words long.

The End

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About HoaiPhai

I'm up late digging up the dirt. View all posts by HoaiPhai

21 responses to “Big ‘Uns

  • ghostofawriter

    I loved it, you gave me a laugh when I really needed one tdoay.

  • ghostofawriter

    and apparently my fingers are going to continue to misbehave and push keys in the wrong order when I don’t watch them closely…I wish they would listen to me and learn how to spell.

  • clownonfire

    This is an apropos post… I recently blogged about some of my favourite bloggers, including Sweet Mother. A friend of mine visited her blog, and although she appreciated her writing, couldn’t get through the length of her posts.

    Same with a very lengthy comment I received today… J’ai fait une petite blague sur le fait that I gave up on reading her comment after the first paragraph…

    Great post!

  • Carl D'Agostino

    Less is more. Because they read it all.

  • Dave Farmer

    Well I have to say I was completely on the wrong track when I started reading this! I agree with you there, I’m not ashamed of my big ‘uns whatsoever. I can’t crank out a blog post a day, something short and sweet, just for the sake of blogging. I prefer a good chunk to get my teeth into, just like your good self.

    I don’t mind reading short posts but I am left with a sense of something missing, like the good stuff has been edited out before posting. I’ve had people contact me saying they rarely read a post longer than 500 words.

    Seriously. That’s nothing. I’m just getting warmed up at that point!

    Long live your big ‘uns HoaiPhai!!

    • HoaiPhai

      I have shopping lists longer than 500 words! I am totally on board with you on having to tease every fibre of a subject out, however tedious it is for some readers. It’s the others that stick it out that I like to hear from and I’m truly glad that you hung around long enough to have found out that by big ‘uns I was referring to your posts!

  • Ape No. 1

    Long and to the point 🙂

  • elmediat

    I did not halter reading this one. Nor do I think I could top you in length of blog posts. Well done indeed !
    One of the things I point out to my teaching colleague is our disconnect between our teaching goals and how we do not take advantage of new media. We block blogs on our school server regardless of content. The number of young males writing blogs is equal or greater than the number of young females. Yet we complain that we can not get the guys in secondary school to write. Our ideal is a well organized 5 paragraph response ( typical of an average blog).
    Schools/boards (London School Board is an example) have had great success getting reluctant (mostly male) readers to read when they were encouraged to blog about what they are reading.
    Guys write & read when you give them the proper platform, because, ….. size matters. 🙂

    • HoaiPhai

      Blogging to me is not about churning out something for the sake of size, it’s about getting things off my chest (the rants as well as my attempts at humour and my raves about stuff I marvel at). I love the freedom of having an idea and letting it run wherever it wants to go.

      I found writing in school to be a real chore because of having to write about a narrow and imposed topic without the benefit of a rigid structure. When I did find something interesting, I had trouble not making a federal case out of it and had to “cut” so much from what I wanted to say.

      In post-secondary, it was much more fun to write — there were fewer constraints or, in the case of the sciences, the enjoyment of following the rigid format to make the information clearer (like filling in a crossword puzzle).

      I imagine I could come up with a five-paragraph post, but I have a funny feeling that the paragraphs would not, technically, be paragraphs… but the post would have just four paragraph breaks.

      Were I to pare down my posts, I might get more readers but just seeing that a single person has read, or commented on, a given post is a rush. Thanks for being today’s comment! (I even managed to keep this reply to only five paragraphs!)

  • Redneckprincess

    Hahahaha…you are awesome 🙂 big or small!!

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