David Tiefenthaler Word Cloud (54/365)

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Writing a journal entry every day is a beast of a task.  I’ve been reading a book about blogging as an author by Kristen Lamb, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, and one of the things she suggests is a word cloud.  Basically, it’s a brainstorm about who I am, what I’m doing now, and where I would like to go.

David Tiefenthaler

Husband, father of three boisterous children, son to two of the best parents a child could ever have, middle child between an older brother and younger sister, extrovert, creative creator, reader, writer, author, loves to draw, illustrator, middle school teacher, dreamer, loves a good time, former athlete, amateur wood floor installer, terrible drywaller, cat lover, makes random sound effects during conversations, admirer of stand-up comedians and secretly wishes he could do that, The Walking Dead fan, collected comic books as a kid like Wolverine, The Punisher, and The Uncanny X-Men, wishes he lived on a lake, brain always running in circles, only finds peace and calm in his head when he’s fishing or when he can hold a baby, listens to techno, alternative rock, hard rock, old school rap, but not much country, loves seafood but lives in a house with no seafood lovers, hates the cold but lives in Wisconsin, favorite teams in order are Wisconsin Badgers Football, Badger Basketball, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, and the Milwaukee Bucks, loves playing baseball, no better feeling in sports than swinging hard and hitting the ball square, cross country runner, track runner, coached high school baseball and high school track and cross country, coaches little kids soccer and t-ball, needs to workout to get in shape, Tough Mudder, anti-bully, Minecraft player, perennial flowers, little vegetable gardens, built a playground for the kids, but made the monkey bars high enough for him to cross, desperately wants to move to Hawaii, producer of several YouTube videos from running informational videos to outdoor adventures, scared of fire, hates heights, raised Roman Catholic, middle name is Thomas, needs to be in nature, wants to do some kind of survival challenge, gets bored doing the same thing for too long, taught math, social studies, chorus, biology, special education for cognitively disabled, and now teaches English Language Arts, prefers shade over sun, comfortable with moderate discomfort, balding white guy, spends too much time on social media, wants to walk into the room like a WWE wrestler when he does an author talk, the sound of a purring cat makes him smile, wants to catch a 50 inch musky, lost his wedding ring years ago and is still upset, competitor, wants to find a good group of guys to play cards with, champion level sheepshead and euchre player in college, two time fantasy football champion even though I put minimal effort into it, afraid of international travel, never been outside of North America, vacationed in Canada, Jamaica, and spent one afternoon in Mexico, allergic to ragweed like something fierce, restless, determined, committed, honorable, friendly, worker of several different jobs before teaching like bus boy, roller rink attendant, lawn boy, landscaper, janitor, video store worker, grocery shelf stock boy, corrugated cardboard box plant worker, radio station producer, night club DJ, a fan of talking on microphones, need my slippers in the winter, chips and salsa, I like to pretend I can rap at talent shows and have the video to prove it, horror films scare me so I don’t watch them, does high school math with his wife for fun, and that’s about all I can think of for now.

Here’s a picture of me with my children, because family is probably the most important thing of all for me.



I don’t really like putting my kids out there on social media or on my websites, but I love this picture of us at Al’s Run in Milwaukee.  It’s a run walk that my wife and I always take the kids to because it benefits the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Lifetime Writing Goals – (40/365)

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I’m reading a book by this blogger lady, Kristen Lamb, that helps fiction writers, and one of her suggestions is to write down all your goals.  You start with your goals six months from now, and work up to your Lifetime Goals.  Let’s write ’em down. This will be fun to look back on, provided I am successful.  Otherwise, this could be the beginning of my personal trail of tears.

Six Months – August 2015.

1. I’ll still be writing one journal post per day.  2. I will have my first book either published or sold to a publisher.  3. The first book I wrote, “O.K. is Great” has an editor looking at it right now, but if it doesn’t get an offer, I’m putting it out there on my own.  Also, “The Axe” should be edited and ready to be pitched to the publishers.  4. My blog will have at least double the amount of followers.  I have six right now.  COME ON BIG 12!  5. The Brewers will be in first place in the NL Central (that’s just wishful thinking), and I will take my kids to at least one game this year.

Look at that serious home run face!

Look at that serious home run face!

One Year – February 2016

1. I will say the word “February” with out always pronouncing the “r”.  I like to annoy people by saying FebRRRUUUary.  I should stop that.  It’s annoying.  2.  I will have my fourth book written.  I’m not sure which book it will be.  It could be O.K. number Three, The Cross Country Running Realistic Fiction I’ve been thinking about, or a sequel to The Axe, but I better have another book written a year from now.  3.  I will have sold at least 1,000 copies of O.K. is Great if I self published it.  4. I won’t blog every day anymore, but I will blog three times a week.  I want to at least have 24 subscribers to the blog by next year.  Exponential growth!

Three Years – February 2018

1. I will have three books for sale, “O.K. is Great”, the sequel “The Beast of Boykinville Road”, and “The Axe”.  I will have sold at least 10,000 copies for my books by then.  2.  During the summer, I will visit schools and bookstores to promote my books!  3. I will have at least six books written, and at least three for sale.  The Cross Country Book will have been written by now.  4.  I will maintain the blog with at least one post per week, but I also will be doing at least one video per month on my Tips4Running YouTube channel to strengthen my audience for my realistic fiction Cross Country book.  I will have at least 50,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.  The Blog should have 384 subscribers if it continues to double every six months.  This post is now turning into a math problem.  Yeck!

Five Years – February 2020

1. I will finish the “O.K. series”  I plan on writing five books in this series, and by this time, I will be putting out the last in the series.  The five books in the series will be titled, “O.K. is Great”, “The Beast of Boykinville Road”, “Money is O.K.”, “O.K. 4.O”, and “The Basketball Book (working title)”.  The total number of books sold by now will be over 20,000.  2.  One of my books, either “The Axe” or the first “O.K.” book will be picked up by a traditional publisher.  3.  I also will be working on the sequel to the Cross Country running book, and it will be about track.  4. The blog will have more than 384 followers.  I got tired of doing math and I don’t know where my wife’s calculator is.

Ten Years – February 2030

1.  I will be able to decide if I want to keep teaching or not because my books are making enough money to afford me that choice.  2.  I will have at least 10 books written by this point and eight of them will be published.  3.  I will still have a strong social media presence, but I will be flexible enough and work at least once a week on whatever medium I prefer (blog, YouTube, etc.).  4.  I will be a high school coach for either cross country, track, or baseball because my kids will be in one of those sports (That is assuming they like one of these sports).  5.  My books will have sold over 100,000 copies all together.  6.  I will eat caviar and drink things that require my pinky finger to be extended.

Twenty Years – February 2040

I’ll be 58 years old.  I’ll have the financial flexibility due to my book sales plus the money I’ve earned from teaching to decide if I want to retire or not.

Wish me luck!

The Jack of All Trades is Dead (29/365)

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As I am getting deeper and deeper into the blogging world (I’ve only been at it for a month), I’m beginning to realize that my blog is pointless.  There isn’t any real reason to keep reading it because I don’t focus on one topic.  This journal is just a collection of my inane ramblings, and that really has no place in our world of hyper specialization.  I don’t want to find a niche.  I hate the word niche.  You have to pronounce it all weird like it’s some sort of French cuisine.  Have some quiche and make sure to focus on your niche.

But, I don’t want to write about one thing every day!  I like food, but I don’t want to have to take 46 pictures of my bowl of ramen noodles while I blog about the secret splash of soy sauce I put on it.  I like sports, but I don’t want to break down the shot selection of Kobe Bryant at home games against teams with a center that is over seven feet tall.  I like traveling, but I don’t want to visit Brazil and fish for peacock bass in the Amazon River.

Wait a minute.  I actually would like to try the last one.

What I’m getting at is the Jack of all trades is dead,  or at least he doesn’t live on an internet website.  If you want attention, if you want success, if you want money, find one thing that you are good at and then do it over and over and over and over again.

Think I’m lying.  I did specialize in something for a while.  I wrote vacuum reviews for a couple of years.  I’d get a new vacuum shipped to my house every couple of weeks, I’d run a series of tests on it, write a review, make a video, and post that article.  I got paid well, and it drove me absolutely insane.  Here’s an excerpt from the review of Dyson DC41 Animal Vacuum.

The “Root Cyclone Technology” is combined with the HEPA filters to eliminate any dust from coming out of the vacuum exhaust. The particle scanner detected no dust over 0.3 microns coming out of the Ball vacuum.

Hot damn, that’s some awesome writing!  I’m raking in the page views with my great keyword selection and SEO friendly content.  Now, fork over my money.

Take that same advice and apply it to our economy.  Refine that hyper specialized skill so you no one else is as good as you.

Maybe you’re a welder.  That’s not good enough.  Maybe you’re a scuba diver.  Not specialized enough.  But if you can weld underwater, BAM!  Success.

I got a question for ya.  How’s that chicken taste?

I'm a one day old baby boy chick, and I'm about to die!

I’m a one day old baby boy chick, and I’m about to die!

You can thank the graduates of the Zen-Nippon Chick Sexting School for your juicy chicken.  At this school, a student is trained how to squeeze a day old chick and look at it’s cloaca (the chick’s private parts) and determine if it is a boy or a girl.  It sounds easy, but apparently it isn’t.  When a chick is a day old, “there are as many as a thousand vent configurations that a sexer has to learn to become competent. The job is made even more difficult by the fact that the sexer has to diagnose the bird with just a glance.” Excerpt from Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. (Affiliate Link to Amazon).

See, the females can lay eggs, and their meat is tender, so we keep those ones.  The males aren’t so nice, and their meat is tougher.  Most of those boy chicks are killed off.  Hooray for hyper specialization.  If we had to wait six weeks to look at their feathers to determine the boys from the girls, that would waste a lot of feed, because those cocks have to die right away.

Alright.  That’s enough from me.  Enjoy this YouTube video vacuum review of the Dyson DC41 Animal.  I’m the producer, and my wife is the on camera talent.

Don’t worry if you didn’t like this post.  I’ll write about something different tomorrow.

Six Things to do Everyday of the Year (28/365)

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I’m only 28 days into my Project 365 challenge where I’m attempting to write a journal entry for every day of 2015, and I’m already thinking of ideas for next year.  That’s probably not a good sign, but it is a good journal writing topic.  BONUS!

1. Go outside for an hour every day.  That one could be tough in the winter months.  I’m not built for the cold.  I shouldn’t say that anymore.  When I was younger, I was razor thin.  I’m much softer these days.

2. Celebrate a different holiday everyday.  I like looking at this website, checkiday.com, where they list all these random holidays.  For instance, today there are five holidays listed: Data Privacy Day, Fun at Work Day, National Blueberry Pancake Day, National Kazoo Day, and Thank A Plugin Developer Day.  If I were doing this, you know I’d be eating blueberry pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I’m liking that idea.

Do you really need an excuse to eat blueberry pancakes?

Do you really need an excuse to eat blueberry pancakes?

3. Vlog everyday.  I’m technically blogging everyday, but I prefer the word journalling.  A vlog is a video blog, where you’d see my ugly face on YouTube every day talking about something not very important.  I’m not so sure about this one, unless I came up with a theme for each day of the week.  Like on Monday’s I’d make a Minecraft video (so I don’t have to be on camera).  On Tuesdays I’d do something like film myself outdoors trying to find a deer.  This idea would require a boatload of work.  I don’t think it’s a possibility.

4. Run at least a mile everyday.  This one would be doable as long as I don’t push it too hard.  I don’t have the best knees, but if I don’t try to run a lot of mileage (like going for six or seven mile runs) I could do it.  This would get me outside of the house too because I refuse to run on a treadmill.  I feel like I’m in a hamster wheel whenever I get on one of those contraptions.

5. Try a new food everyday.  As I’m getting more into the blogging because of this journal, I’m finding out that blogging about food is a pretty big deal.  I could join those ranks, but I’d have to go to a place like Whole Foods, and there isn’t anything like that near my house.

6. Catch a creature on camera everyday.  This idea would be awesome because I think my kids would get into it as well.  My daughter, The Flower Child, catches bugs all the time in summer.  We could film these adventures.  The winter months would be tough.  I could focus on birds and maybe go ice fishing?  Nah.  Ice fishing is brutal.  Nothing’s worse than staring at a hole in the ice while I freeze.

What ideas do you have that would be fun to try?  Do you think you could do any of the ones I have listed above?