Background Sunset Photo Image

Background Sunset Photo Image

In my Blogging 201 course on Intermediate Customization, we have been experimenting with various background colors, images, and fonts for our sites. Although I had selected a nice background color several days ago that seemed to look pretty good, I thought I would check out whether background images might be worthwhile.

Today I thought I might try using the same original sunset photo that was cropped for my custom header. I thought I would see how it works, and whether readers have any comments. Then I will probably explore some different font combinations to see whether I like them any better than the current ones (PT Sans and Arimo).

Piano Music

I love piano music! I took piano lessons for several years as a kid in elementary school, when I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. My parents signed me up with a piano teacher that was recommended by someone in our church. She was older and lived in a neighboring town, so they drove me there for my lesson each week.

Eventually I managed to pick it up, along with my (somewhat irregular) practice, but she didn’t make it interesting enough for me and I got tired of the lessons and quit. I think it was a traditional approach to teaching piano, but it didn’t get me playing music that I enjoyed so it lost its relevance for me. Later I tried some other musical instruments at school, such as the clarinet for a while; then I tried guitar lessons at a local music store for a little while (until my fingers got sore and calloused).

With high school, college, work, marriage, and children, I never really got back into playing music, although I always loved listening to music, attending concerts, etc. My music interests have always been quite diverse, but recently I have become infatuated with solo piano music again. Now I have decided that I finally want to try learning and playing piano again to see if I can play it like the wonderful artists I enjoy.

We have had a Yamaha piano in our house for probably over 30 years now, but it’s rarely used. Initially, we thought it would be nice to have a piano available to play, and always thought it might be something I would like to do someday. Also, we rationalized that it would be good if our two boys had it available so they might learn music.

Actually, my youngest son is quite talented and creative with both art and music. He has a great ear for music, and could hear a song on the radio, cassette, or record (remember them) and just sit down and start playing it from what he has just heard. We were totally amazed that he could do this, but he would never actually want to learn or read music.

We bought him MIDI keyboard synthesizers, drum machines, and music software to encourage his interest in music, and he really got into that. In fact, he has composed lots of music, which is really quite good, and he even was selling it on the internet for a while and making some money from it; it’s mostly trance, house, techno, etc., and he has even DJ’ed a little at some dance clubs with his music. He still enjoys it, but mostly for himself, and even has those initial things we gave him as Christmas and birthday gifts. My older son also likes music a lot too, and does play guitar which he picked up on his own.

I have thought I would like to play piano again, but there just was never enough time (or at least I did not make the time available). Since I retired several years ago, it’s something I have been thinking about doing sometime, and now is the time to get started! I will turning 70 soon so time’s passing by, and it’s about time to do things that I have put off until later. By the way, I decided to finally get started cooking too, but that’s another post. Later is getting shorter!

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

I’m amazed at the progress with my new blog after just 3 1/2 months. I just started it on September 17, 2014 in Blogging 101, extended  it with Photography 101 throughout October, and enhanced and grew it further in November with Blogging 201.

I have created 316 posts which had 3,200 views by 1.595 visitors, including 639 likes and 191 comments, and now I have 96 WordPress followers as well as 106 email subscriptions.

I would like to thank all my visitors and followers, and I appreciate all the interaction with your likes and comments while reading and listening to my blog. I have really enjoyed this experience and all the connections it has created. I’m looking forward to 2015.

Click here to see the complete report.


I hope you enjoy your visit to my site – reading, listening, and watching … and come back often.


Use the menu tabs above to access posts and pages in the Music, Photos, Travel, WritingRecipes, or Blog sections. There is an About section with additional information about this blog and me, helpful tips about using the Menu, Sidebar, and Phone, as well as a Contact form.


There is a lot of music available on my site to listen with Spotify and watch related videos on YouTube.

Check out my personal playlists.

Some alternate Music Players may be used instead of “Spotify” to select highlighted artists or albums.  Additional information is also available about using Spotify.


The Photo Gallery highlights some of my photos, including a lovely panoramic full Morning Rainbow. My 10 most popular photo posts are listed in Favorite Photos. A Photo 101 Calendar displays all 21 photo blog posts during the Photography 101: A Photo a Day workshop in Nov 2014, organized in calendar format with day of week, date, and theme/title. There’s a Photo Summary that lists all photos in reverse date order.


Travel posts feature photos from an 8-day Viking Rhine Cruise from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands, as well as an extended 2-week Germany Trip with visits to Munich, Salzburg (Austria), Romantic Road (Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenberg ob der Tauber), Leipzig, and Berlin.


Writing posts includes my Poetry assignments in the Writing 201: Poetry course in Feb 2015. Best Stories features a few articles with stories, short quotes, and thoughts about my grandchildren, children, and parents.


I would like to know what you like and what I can do to improve your experience. Comments and likes are encouraged on posts and pages, and general feedback about the web site and suggestions for improvement can be provided on the Contact form.

100 Posts

100 Posts


100 PostsWow! I have reached another Blogging 201 milestone toward the October 31st targets set for my Blog Goals. I have now written 100 posts for my blog.

I am closing in on my remaining goals.  I now have 44 followers, with only 6 more to go.  There have been 850 views, and I should reach 1000 over the next several days.  I have received 68 comments, so reaching 100 might be a little stretch.

Also, I have written 47 pages, but that doesn’t seem to measured by WordPress.  Since my archives are growing, I have spent a lot of time this past week adding additional features and capabilities to provide better access to my posts and pages.

I appreciate the response to my blog over the past month since I started it.  I have met many new friends and found many interesting blogs that I enjoy.  Thanks for reading and listening.


I added an Assignments sub-menu under the Blog menu.  These represent the top 10 Blogging University workshop assignment articles viewed most on my blog as of October 24, 2014.

These are the blog posts which I have written for Blogging University workshop assignments. They are included on the main Blog menu tab above, which shows all of them in reverse chronological order.  Also there are sub-menus for just those associated with Blogging 101 and Blogging 201.

Some results are fairly understandable and would be expected. However, there were some surprises with this analysis and associated insights.  I have included some observations based on reviewing the results, and I have already started making changes.

Enjoy reading my responses to the assignments from the workshops, and see which ones that other readers like the most. I will update the Assignments hit results weekly.

Page Summary

I added an Page Summary sub-menu under the Blog menu, which highlights the best custom pages viewed on my blog as of October 24, 2014.

These are the custom pages which I have created to enhance the usability of my web site and improve access to my archives.

Some results are fairly understandable and would be expected. However, there were many surprises with this analysis and associated insights.

I have included some observations based on reviewing the results, and I have already started making changes.

I will update the Page Summary hit results weekly.