When I started blogging fourteen years ago, blogging was a leading-edge technology. It was primarily text with maybe a few images, but since the Internet speeds were less than 1% of what they are now, pictures took a long time to download and therefore seldom used. Since then, blogging has given way to many social media sources such as Vlogging, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Medium, and probably a dozen other popular sites.
But the bottom line is that we humans have been writing and reading for thousands of years, and that is not going to change. One thing I hate about all those alternatives is that they are usually full of advertisements that annoyingly distract from the message put forth! And, they are also pretty much fluff. I don’t think I am alone with that nuisance. I do have a presence on several social media sites, but only to a minimal degree. RJsCorner is an important part of my life now, and I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. Enough, let’s get back to the theme of this post.
Images now drive almost everything on the Internet. If your words are not accompanied by at least your avatar, then they are usually ignored. It wasn’t that long ago that I only knew the word Avatar as a movie made in 2009. I am a sci-fi guy, so I loved that movie. But now, if you get on the Internet at all, you MUST have an avatar of your own. They have become essential for those of us who live in the cyber-world. It gives our viewers a glimpse of who we are, or at least what we want them to see.
I have had several avatars over the years. Let’s look at a some of them. Each has a story of its own which will eventually be told here:
My Pleasant Hill Avatar
This is my current avatar and has been for several years now. It was taken in 2011, in the dining room at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village near Lexington, KY. (The next post in this series will be about Pleasant Hill.) I still look like this, but now with a few more wrinkles and dents that I have gathered along the way. If any of you have wondered, yes I do have a big head, figuratively and mentally, as well as physically. 🥸 Something else you might notice is that my head is almost always tilted to the left. That is because I lost the hearing in my left ear over fifty years ago, so I always leaned that way to give my “good” ear a better chance of to hear.
My New York City/Statue of Liberty Avatar
This one was taken in the 2000, just before we moved back to the Midwest. It was taken in Battery Park which is on the bottom end of Manhattan. If you look closely, just to the right of my head, you will see the Statue of Liberty. I always considered this to be my “author” avatar. It was taken in January when we were celebrating my wife’s 60th birthday.
When we moved to New Jersey in 1996, my wife just hated the idea of making the move. In 1998, I took her into her first trip to NYC by train, going to the Madison Square Garden. She was always an ornery creature, so she didn’t immediately proclaim that she liked it, but it wasn’t long before she wanted to go back again. Before we left, she was taking several of her visiting northern Wisconsin clan into the city on a regular basis.
My Happily Married Senior Citizen Avatar
This one was taken in 2011 when I turned 65. It was the first official image of me with my goatee and my with my much more beautiful wife. By this time, I had shut down my furniture making business and was in the full-volunteer mode. It is my favorite picture of us together. I still miss her greatly. 😪
My Other girlfriend Avatar
I imagine you have already figured out that this one was taken in 2016 at Disney World. We had been there once before, but only for a few hours the first time. This time we spent 5 days in one of the Village Resorts. It was the last extended vacation that we went on before my wife’s death. Daisy and I got along nicely.
My Cleveland Market Avatar
This was a short trip of my wife’s request. The end point of the trip was to see where Punxsutawney Phil predicts how much longer winter will be. It was a strange destination, but I humored her. One of the points before that final destination was to visit some of my high school classmates near Cleveland.
The picture is from a cafe adjoining the Cleveland Westside Market. We were there on a Wednesday but found the market closed! But at least we had a very nice breakfast. I will have a long “A Picture Is…” post about that coming up soon. I think maybe it will be entitled “You Can’t Go Home Again” as I was surprised at what my friends had become. This picture was one of the first one I tried to morph into a caricature. I used it for a few months, but then got tired of it.
My Mourning Avatar
This final avatar never made it on-line until now. It was a selfie taken the day after my wife’s massive heart attack that ended her life 78 days later. I really don’t know why I took it? I was reeling from experiences I had never had before. The second round of the pandemic was going on, and that added almost overwhelming stress to those initial hospital days. If you want to read that story, click here. I was not allowed to leave the hospital, but they did let me go out into the garden area in the front.
Made it to 1,000 words 😁