Tag Archives: freshly pressed

The Freshly Pressed Experience

When my post Old Barn Coat was featured on Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago, I had a couple of loyal readers ask me to comment on the experience. I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a post like this because in reality we can all look at the blogs that appear on the WordPress front page and easily see how much traffic these posts receive, even if only temporarily.

But, as I know a lot of people write a post-FP’d post, at least after the first time it happens, I thought I should fulfill my obligation as well. Because it really was a fun roller coaster ride of blogging activity that I wish could happen to everybody at least once! So here’s my very thorough analysis, based on my personal experience, broken down into categories and with graphical images to assist in documenting this event as simply and clearly as possible.

Statistical Bar Graph:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

twin towers

For about a week your statistical bar graph will look very similar to a pre-9/11 Manhattan with a very large spike in the early days.

After a Freshly Pressed event:

Cripple Creek

Your statistical bar graph will once again begin to look like the streetscape of Cripple Creek, CO, trending dramatically downhill.

Hits:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

Pete Rose

Your site will be breaking hit records like the great Pete Rose, who still holds the all-time Major League Baseball record for most hits in a career. Just don’t place any bets on who will be Freshly Pressed next or you might be banned from ever blogging again.

 After a Freshly Pressed event:

bill_bergen

Your daily hits will eventually drop back down to normal levels, somewhere in the statistical neighborhood of Bill Bergen, who during a 10 year Major League Baseball career, compiled a .170 batting average and is often considered the worst hitter in Major League baseball history among position players (non-pitchers).

Subscriptions:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

Wall Street Journal

Your subscriptions and stature will grow to levels comparable to the world renowned newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Weekly World News

Perhaps more like the Weekly World News. That’s probably closer to the writing skills and stature most of us possess anyhow.

After a Freshly Pressed event:

Alright… look… let’s be frank…

Times Brownsville Oregon

You’ll still only have about as many readers as this local newspaper whose lead stories on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 had something to do with a grain elevator and a cat.

Comments:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

bieber

When your post hits the front page you’ll have commenters reaching out to you like the screaming girls at a Justin Beiber concert.

 After a Freshly Pressed event:

Crickets

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In an Airport

I’m sitting in a lonely airport.

I just gave up my seat on an overbooked flight for a generous voucher and was re-booked on a flight four hours later than my original departure time. These situations rarely work out but this time I am mostly just shifting my layover times to different airports and moving my arrival time back about two hours.  I’ll be happy  for the voucher the next time I have to book a flight.

But now, here I sit with countless time to write… yet there’s really nothing to write about.

I am in a regional airport. Unlike the large hubs which are always filled with activity, regional airports are only loud and boisterous when there are flights coming and going and there often may be several hours between these times. Right now this airport is in between flights and so it’s deathly quiet other than the occasional announcement over the intercom’s, the faint sound of a television spewing propaganda on a cable news channel and the humming sound of the vending machines that are across the aisle from me. I am one of about a dozen passengers who have made their way past the security checkpoints and now are forced to kill time reading or sitting at the lone bar here or typing words into a blog.  Periodically someone else walks by, another passenger preparing to wait it out, or the cleaning personnel pushing a trash barrel.

I put my time in at the bar, ordering a sandwich and a couple of vastly overpriced  Corona’s for lunch. I sat by myself, my eyes darting from the TV behind the bar to the blogs I was perusing on my iPad. Neither was terribly interesting and so I mostly just sat and thought about what I could write.  A few other people sat in this little restaurant and read newspapers or stared at the screens on their phones.  I wondered what they might be thinking about; writing or missing their families or the work they had to do whenever they arrived at their destination.

The man behind the bar wore a net on his head, I assume because they were selling food here as well. It looked kind of silly and I wondered how he felt about having to wear it. He appeared to be about my age and was very friendly, running from the bar to the cash register and talking with the few customer that were stopping in. Regardless of his silly hair net, he was very jovial and upbeat and confident. He checked everybody’s ID that ordered a drink at the bar and would make the comment each time “can I see your ID so that nobody gets into trouble.”

After about an hour, I left the bar, walked to the restroom, emptied out some of the beer, then walked the couple of minutes to my gate. On the way I passed a young guy sleeping in one of the massage seats, his two bags sitting in front of him. I assumed he had probably not spent the $1.00 to get the seat to vibrate for a few minutes but only sat there because it was the most comfortable seat in the house.

When I arrived at the gate, there was nobody there and so I sat in the corner and fiddled with my iPad.  I snacked on a small box of Conversation Hearts that my wife had stealthily hid inside my backpack before I left. I had discovered these while loading all my electronics, my shoes and my jacket into the gray plastic tubs at the security gates. I smiled at her thoughtfulness and because I was reminded on my recent post on the subject of Conversation Hearts. As I sat, the minimal amount of alcohol from the Corona’s seeped into my blood and I felt sleepy but I didn’t want to fall asleep. Instead I wanted to try to write.

Now I sit at a little stainless steel desk with an outlet that I can plug my laptop into.  It’s the only desk in a row of six of these desks that doesn’t have a phone in it. I wondered who could possibly be using these phones anymore with the prominence of cell phones in the world today. But I’m happy to have the desk even though it’s too small for my height and I feel hunched over as I type.

I sat for a while trying to think of something to write. I thought about writing about my recent FP’d experience, but I just wasn’t inspired to write that post. As exciting as that was, I’m ready to move onto the next post. I tried to come up with something funny to write about, but there was nothing there. I considered writing about how I miss my family when I am on the road, about how difficult it is to leave, but that once I am gone and busy it becomes easier. But in reality, it’s not really easier. I remembered something another salesperson said to me several years ago; he said “there will never be a time when you’re on the road that you wouldn’t rather be home”. He was right and so I passed on writing about that as well.

So I sat in my little stainless steel cubicle and stared at the stark silver in front of me. I could faintly see my reflection in the shiny metal and my back ached from hunching over.

Then I just started writing.

Because sometimes writing about nothing can be the most interesting thing of all.

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My Oprah Interview

OPRAH: We’re here today with the world-famous blogger, Steve Warner who writes the hugely successful blog The Brown Road Chronicles. As you know, the massive popularity and growth of this blog has put the spotlight brightly on Mr. Warner as suspicions of doping and the use of banned blogging substances and methods has been swirling around members of the WordPress community.

Okay, Mr. Warner, so when we met a week ago today, we agreed that there would be no holds barred, there would be no conditions on this interview, and that this would be an open field.

ME: I think that’s best for both of us.

OPRAH: I agree. So here we go, open field. So let’s start with the questions people all over the world have been waiting for you to answer.

ME: Okay.

OPRAH: Okay. This whole conversation, we have a lot of time, will be about the details, Yes or No. Did you ever take substances to enhance your blogging performance?

ME:  Yes… wine…

OPRAH: Wine?!? So you have used Alcohol while blogging?

ME: Mostly just wine.

OPRAH: Okay, I get it… you like wine… but have you ever used any banned substances?

ME: No, I don’t think so, I did try BlogGro once…

OPRAH: BlogGro? What is that? Is that a banned substance?

ME: No, I don’t think so. I didn’t work anyway. I think it was just one of those Infomercial Scams. They charged me like $12.95 for the shipping and handling fee. Plus, even though the whole thing was totally guaranteed, totally refundable, like most people I never sent it back.

OPRAH: Did you ever use any banned substances like Plaigerisimone or Copynpasterone to improve your blogging performance?

ME: No.

OPRAH: When you won all your blogging awards, like the Versatile Blogger Award and the Stylish Blogger Award were you under the influence of any banned substances?

ME: Sometimes wine…

OPRAH: LOOK, QUIT IT WITH THE WINE, WINE IS NOT A BANNED SUBSTANCE …

ME: I know, but I’m funnier when I’ve had wine.

OPRAH: Look, can we please get back on track here?

ME: Sorry.

OPRAH: Okay, so, you’ve never used any banned substances. Have you ever used any other illegal methods to improve your blogging performance?

ME: Well, I did go see a Therapist one time when I wasn’t feeling very funny. That helped a little.

OPRAH: Last I checked, seeing a therapist was not illegal.

ME: No, you’re probably right…

OPRAH: When you were Freshly Pressed, were you under the influence of any banned substances?

ME: Ummm… I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.

OPRAH: Seriously?!?

ME: I know, right?!?

OPRAH: Okay, so then let’s back up a little… have you ever used any banned substances in an effort to become Freshly Pressed?

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….. ummm….

OPRAH: You seem sort of nervous all of a sudden.

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….

OPRAH: Mr Warner, I’ll ask again, have you ever used any banned substances in an effort to become Freshly Pressed?

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….

OPRAH: I’m waiting…..

ME: (Silence)

OPRAH: Mr. Warner have you been using Freshlypresstosterone?

ME: (trying to change subject) Have you heard that story about the Notre Dame Football player with the fake girlfriend……?

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Overlooked… AGAIN!

I am mad!

I am really mad!

I am really so fucking MAD!

Do you know why I am MAD?

No?

Well, listen up, ‘cuz this is some serious business!

You readers probably know this already, but just in case you don’t… in case you are not a subscriber… in case you haven’t seen the front page…. well… I have been overlooked once again. OVERLOOKED… ONCE… AGAIN! Do they think I haven’t noticed? Do they think I’m not offended? Do they think I haven’t figured out that they probably are not even considering me?

Well… BELIEEEVVEEE MEEEE… I HAVE noticed. It’s a sham, it’s a crock, its criminal. Time and again I’ve put myself out there in front of the world and time and again I’ve been overlooked. Overlooked like the last kid picked in gym class for the dodgeball team. Overlooked like some dork at the school dance, standing against the wall, hoping the homecoming queen will ask him out. Yeah, I’ve noticed alright! I keep getting overlooked and… I… AM… MAD! In fact I have been overlooked so many times I’m starting to feel like Susan Lucci at the Emmy Awards.

Seriously, are they saying I don’t have what it takes?

Well, you know what? I think I do have what it takes. I mean, what the fuck do these other guys have that I don’t have? Is it because I swear too damn much? Or what… do you have to have connections or something? Do you have to kiss someone’s ass?  Do you have to be like a goddamn movie star?

I mean, who in the hell do these people who make these decisions think they are? Who’s involved in the selection process? What’s their criteria for selection? I want to know! I want some facts and figures! I want some answers to these questions!

I demand some goddamn answers!

Because, you know what? YOU… KNOW… WHAT? I think it should finally be my turn.  I think I deserve it because I’ve worked hard and I believe I have a large fan base that would support my selection!  Think what it would do for my reputation, my fame, my stature.  Think how my blog would grow! Next time around, I want to be selected, I want to be on the goddamn front page!

I will not be OVERLOOKED any more!

I mean, who the fuck is Bradley Cooper anyway? Sure, he’s handsome and has great hair and stunning blue eyes and perfect teeth, and sure, he won this time…

… but frankly… I’ve never heard of the guy.

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Fine French Cuisine

Those of you who follow me regularly know that I have not yet had the opportunity to be represented on the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress.com.  In my thorough studies of the blog posts that have earned that honor, I have noticed that many are often food related and deliver in-depth instructions and photographs related to food preparation and fine dining in the home. I thought it would be a good idea to write some posts on some of the fine foods that we eat a lot of here at The Brown Road Chronicles.  So, today I’ve chosen four of our most popular meals, all of which have a French influence and all of which can be easily prepared at home with simple ingredients and in relatively short time for those of you who are busy with jobs and children and families.  As with many fine foods from European cultures and especially those from France, they are often difficult to pronounce properly.  Here at The Brown Road Chronicles, however, we encourage you to partake in these recipes with your finest French accent.  We find this increases the pleasure you will experience when you finally get the opportunity to dine.  Enjoy!

1.  Nudlés et Fromage au Robért de Sponge:

An excellent choice for any meal of the day, but we typically prepare this fine meal for lunch and dinner.

Ingredients:
Nudlés au Robért de Sponge
1 Cup Milk
Fromage de Florescent Orange

Preparation Instructions:
In a medium sized pot, boil approximately two cups of water.  Add the Nudlés au Robért de Sponge and boil until tender. Drain the Nudlés au Robért de Sponge.  Add approximately one cup of milk.  Tear open the package of Fromage de Florescent Orange and sprinkle into pot.  Mix thoroughly and enjoy.

Note:  the Nudlés au Robért de Sponge can be replaced with Nudlés de la Elbeaux.

2.  Pinut Butré and Gelée on Wheat Bread

This is a quick meal that can be eaten at any time of the day as a snack or perhaps even as the main course of a bag lunch.

Ingredients:
Two slices Wheat Bread (or bread of your choice)
Pinut Butré
Gelée (Grape or Strawberry)

Preparation Instructions:

Take the two slices of Wheat Bread and set them on a plate or counter top. Using a knife, cover one slice of bread generously with the Pinut Butré. Lick knife. With the same knife, cover the other slice of bread generously with the Gelée. Put the two slices of bread together with the Pinut Butré and the Gelée sides together. Enjoy.

Note: Bread au Wondére makes an excellent bread choice as well

3.  Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére



This meal makes another excellent choice for lunch or dinner.  We don’t often eat this particular meal for breakfast as it has been known to cause slight indigestion.

Ingredients:
One Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére
One Bunné
Mustard, Ketchup, Relish or other preferred condiments

Preparation Instructions:
Insert Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére into Microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Do not be concerned if Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére has areas that look burnt and exploded.  It will not affect the flavor. Insert Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére into Bunné. Add condiments as desired. Enjoy.

4.  Flakes au Maize avec Sucre

This is an excellent choice for breakfast, but also makes a great dinnertime meal when in a hurry.  For example, I had Flakes au Maize avec Sucre as my dinner last night as I was rushing to a meeting I had to attend.  Sometimes it can be less filling than desired, so when I returned from my meeting I had a Haute Dauge au Meat de la Mystére.

Ingredients:
Flakes au Maize avec Sucre
Milk

Preparation Instructions:
Pour Flakes au Maize avec Sucre into a large bowl. Add milk. Enjoy.

I hope you enjoy these fine French recipes and I encourage you to try them at home.  We here at The Brown Road Chronicles certainly have gotten plenty of nutritious mileage from them.  I will tell you as well, I thoroughly enjoyed writing about food and plan on sharing some of our other fine recipes in future posts.  So please keep an eye out.

Next up?  Helpére de la Hambergére.  Stay tuned…

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Getting Fu…Fu…Freshly Pressed!

WARNING… R RATED… JUST SAYIN’

I want to be Freshly Pressed!  I want to have my blog on the FRONT PAGE of WordPress.com, like some ROCK STAR on the Marquis at the Detroit Fox Theatre, lit up with neon and bright twinkling lights.  I want to get thousands of hits and comments and have screaming fans like the adolescent girls, pulling out their hair at a late-sixties Beatles concert… or a 2011 Jonas Brothers concert.  I want to be listed there, on the front page, along with the other ten or so FRESHLY PRESSED superstars getting repeatedly clicked, each click like the camera flashes at a celebrity press event!  That’s what I want…

A few weeks ago, when my blog was just starting to put its roots down, I e-mailed the editors at WordPress.com, introducing myself and inquiring about getting FRESHLY PRESSED.  I received a very nice and professional response from WordPress.com that included this line:

“Please note that “bad stuff” also includes offensive language, so unfortunately that would rule out several of your blog posts right off the bat.”

Wow, that fucking sucks is unfortunate!  Those three or four fine folks that have been actively reading my blog know that I occasionally emphasize my writing with some not-so-proper language.  I don’t swear nearly as much as Sara Swears a Lot but I do occasionally throw in a fuck or a shit improper word… you know just to add some exclamation for my loyal readers.  But, truth be told, I don’t really have a mouth like a trucker or a street whore call-girl or even a rum-soaked, shit-faced inebriated pirate.  I’m mostly a pretty clean-cut, respectable guy!  So I figured I’d at least introduce myself to the editors at WordPress.com.  Yeah, I know what your thinking, what are the chances of a fresh virgin rookie writer like myself getting noticed when I only had like four crappy-ass beginner articles on my site.  But I thought, well maybe it would be like that time when I was walking stupid-drunk responsibly through a casino in Vegas, pulled a quarter out of my pocket, jammed it in a slot machine like I was buying some peep-show-sex video at a truck stop porno shop with my fingers crossed and… YEAH BABY, HOT FUCKING DAMN gee whiz… hit like a hundred-dollar jackpot!   That day kicked some serious ass was really special.  Plus, in my e-mail I included a link to my article about finding the idyllic life, which at the time I thought was my best fucking, you’re gonna make a sweet-ass living as a writer most profound article.  Now, since I’ve been busier writing than a one-legged, in-bred redneck in an ass-kicking contest a professional author, I’m starting to think maybe my article about nasty goat shit being a farmer is my best article!  But regardless, a week or so later I received that very pleasant and professional response from WordPress.com.  I’ll be honest, I was totally like fall off the back of my fucking truck surprised astonished to hear back from someone.  No shit Seriously, I mean these poor mother-fuckers loyal WordPress.com employees probably get bombarded every day by douchebags promising writers like me, thinking they’re the next great J.D. Salinger, when their writing probably really sucks as bad as a nasty bitch stripper in a two-bit, run-down titty-bar isn’t that great   But it was a nice response and she gave me several links to articles on how to improve my blog’s readership.  They were some really helpful shit great articles and I’ve started to follow most of the points that were referenced and my readership is growing faster than a flock full of screwing rabbits bumping uglies in their rabbit hole ever.

So, now I don’t know what the fuck to do how to proceed.  If I keep using offensive language I may never live my dream of getting FRESHLY PRESSED.  And that would seriously suck some major ass be so very disappointing.

Editors, can I start over?

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