Why Are You Here?


Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because you don’t quite know why you’re here. Wait a minute, why are you here? Why does anyone come to this site? You could be so much more productive on StackOverflow, instead you’ve come here, read some nonsense and you now find yourself clicking links that pull you deeper into the nonsense. I post randomly about various tech topics ranging from Linux, to iOS, to Android and I usually begin each topic with a summary that includes a segue into the reason why you are here.

Let me explain some of the confusion on why many of my posts read the way they do. I used to watch my stats to learn why people visit my site. Because most hits came from random Google searches I decided to try to have fun with those users. People would type a random thought into Google such as “documentation on the Android plugin” and sometimes (not in the case of this particular thought) one of my posts would come up. I started to include a brief blurb in the middle of the topic summary which would explain one of the possible reasons your web search lead you to the post. In this case there was a dearth of documentation on Gradle unit testing with Android so you would be here because “you don’t read documentation”.

I’ve amassed various explanations for people visiting my site. Such explanations include, “you want a nicely structured project”, “your IDE doesn’t do what my IDE does”, and “you shave yaks for a living”. Most posts include these explanations to assist you in knowing why you’ve landed here. You’re welcome.

Not Funny
That’s sort of how it works here. The other thing I do is break up my extremely verbose paragraphs with parenthisized random thoughts. Some of these have little to do with the topic and only serve as a mild attempt to inject humor. Many engineers believe themselves to be the funniest person on the planet. I am not exempt from that category. Still I’ve learned over the years that I am not funny. I, like other engineers, don’t know what it means to be funny. I have learned that excessive attempts to be funny can sometimes trigger a compulsory giggle. If taken to the extreme, an overly excessive attempt at humor can become so obnoxious that it can almost be confused with humor. (Have you ever seen someone do a complete 180 with a dumb joke that is so dry you laugh at it?) So that’s something else I try on occasion. My humor attempts sometimes read as an embarrassment or fall flat but that never stops me from trying.

Over Explaining
I have been known to over explain a basic concept in such detail that it reads as redundant. I do this at times for humor but other times it comes from my up-bringing. My mother would always say, “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna tell you. Then I’ll tell you. Then I’ll tell you what I just told you!” Some of the people in my family have a problem getting to the point because we get side-tracked on minutia. Again, you may find it annoying but a select few may chuckle.

Colored Thoughts
Good writing attempts to paint a picture with words. You could write, “The man exited the vehicle.” Or you could write, “He stumbled randomly from the car door to the driveway, a trail of sprinkled beer droppings following him.” Each sentence describes the same action but one sentence leaves a picture in your mind. Good writing is fundamental to maintaining the reader’s attention. You will not find any good writing here. Instead what you may find are childish attempts to paint a childish thought with words. Again, these are random stabs at triggering humor. I’ve always been bored when reading technical documentation because it feels like wallpaper and comes across as dry and monotone. As I attempt to document my technical findings here with words I often get distracted by my inner child. It speaks from within as I write and sometimes the randomness oozes into my writing. I make no apologies for the blatant inclusion of childishness. I feel it adds a certain element of color to the writing. In hindsight some of the randomness I’ve included would be better left omitted, but I’ve been doing this for so long it’s too late to go back and clean up.

Inspired By…
I started my Blog way back when people like Joel Spolsky, Rory Blythe, and Kathy Sierra used to make blogs fun. Joel and Kathy are two of my favorite writers but I draw most of my inspiration from a guy named Rory, who disappeared from the net many years ago. He had a blog which was absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately his blog and every trace of it has been deleted. The only person successfully in deleting himself from the internet, he had a style of writing much like a person suffering from a drug addiction. It was extremely random and probably made the most sense to those with childish instincts. I was never addicted to drugs but I had a strange addiction to his writing which lead me to blogging nonsensically on this site.

In Summary
If you’ve see a post terminated with things like “tax, title, tags due on inception” read above to understand where it comes from. I am a child of the 80s-90s and certain commercials and tag lines tend to jump into my head as I write so you can expect the occasional GEICO reference here and there. Some of my older posts would also attempt to over explain and apologize for urban words and thoughts intertwined in the text. I’ve outgrown those posts but they are still in the archives.

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