Looking Back? Forward?

The church I attended while growing up.

The church I attended while growing up.

The holidays are over. Here on No Facilities, I had some fun with my doors of the Twilight Zone and discussing resolutions at the bar. Now, it’s time to go back to work. Tomorrow begins the time of the year when I both love and hate working for a living. Never having worked for a company that observes Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day or any of the religious holidays packed into spring, the stretch from January 2nd 3rd 4th or 5th until Memorial Day is the longest period without a holiday. Oh sure, I could take a day off (I usually don’t) but it’s not the same. Holidays are special, and we don’t get one for five months and that’s sad. That’s a special kind of sad.

On the other hand, the period from January to June has often been marked by what seems like greater achievement than usually happens from June to December. I think there’s a certain freedom in the workplace during this time. The reckoning of budget decisions we made so long ago, and year-end results are a long way off. Freshly made goals all still seem achievable and this, that and the other things are all lined up likes ducks.

In the blogging world, we’ve all received that message. The one listing all the cable cars, subway trains, opera houses or Grand Canyons we filled last year. Some shared the message. Some shared bits and pieces. I got mine, but I didn’t share it. I had a good year, with only a few surprises. One surprise? One of my Top-5 posts in 2015 was a post I wrote in 2014 – “Gone at Last – Gone Forever” – a post about a Paul Simon, Phoebe Snow and the tiny Methodist church I attended as a child.

I touched on religion a little bit in 2015, stuck my toe in the water, as it were, but I didn’t go far. Religion is one of the third-rail topics I usually try to avoid. It’s not that I don’t view religion as being important, it is. Well, it is to me, anyway. But I don’t have the successful-religious-commentator view of religion. I think that’s best described as the two-humped-camel view. The right, of course, symbolically it has to be the right hump, would put my religion at the apex of all like-minded religions. The other hump, would be all the religions that are in some way wrong. I find that view at odds with what my religion taught me, so I can’t get comfortable with it. People are people, nuff said.

Yeah, it just can't work like this.

Yeah, it just can’t work like this.

The other prominent third-rail topic is politics. As hard as it will be to avoid this subject during 2016, I promise not to go there. I’ll do my best to make No Facilities a Presidential Endorsement Free Zone in 2016. If I falter in this endeavor, I think you can count on my editor to keep me from failing. She might let me sneak a religious post in, but she’ll dig her little heels in if I open the can of political worms (just like I’m sure she put a comma before that ‘but’ back there.

Nixon House

That’s the front door of the birthplace of Richard M. Nixon. America’s 37th President. The house was reconstructed on the grounds of his Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA. I’m not quite certain that the door is prominent enough for this series, but I like it.

You may have noticed some changes in this blog during 2015 – it became a little less random. The un-randomization of No Facilities started on Thursday, March 26th when Norm officially opened Thursday Doors to the world. My first door was as close as this blog has come to a political post. Thursday Doors became an obsession a regular feature here during the rest of the year. I like it, and I don’t see it going away. I also took on some challenges during 2015, in the form of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and lately, her One-Liner Wednesday prompts. SoCS isn’t something I do every week, but One-Liner Wednesday seems to be on a bit of a roll, so much so that, in case you didn’t notice, I moved my Traditional Tuesday post to Monday.

I’m not sure any of this will last. The move to Monday was to give you a break. Three inbox arrivals in a row seems like I might be intruding. One-Liner Wednesday is (usually) short and I’m trying to keep Thursday Doors closer to the 800 word limit (including descriptions). Getting my point across in fewer words is a goal that I’m working on. Really. It is!

For the love of beer

The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

One of the other things I’m trying to work on is dialog. Therefore, the “If We Were Having a Beer” posts will continue in 2016. Those posts also let me sneak in a close encounter with those third rails.

No Facilities will still be driven by “Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams” but it may become a little more predictable as the year(s) move on.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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80 Responses to Looking Back? Forward?

  1. GP Cox says:

    I’ve got to thank you for all the great posts you do, but hearing that there will NOT be any political ones in 2016 sure made me smile!! I decided last ‘year’ I would no longer comment on political issues myself – no matter whose site it is….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sinnerz13 says:

    Wise move on the politics!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nato says:

    Good luck in the New Year Dan. I am with you on not posting politics. However, I don’t do political posts to avoid upset with followers. Rather, I really have nothing intelligent to say about the topic. I admit, I am blissfully ignorant on that topic, which is probably not a good thing though. I should have some clue…

    I love the church sign. That made me crack up. And I love seeing your door posts. I didn’t realize it just started last year. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’m also with you on politics, in that I couldn’t make a good argument one way or the other. I do my research, try to separate fact from fiction and fill out the ballot as best I can. The church sign was up the last day I was there, back in 2012. My mom attended that church for 75 years before we had to move her to Iowa. She still stays in touch with everyone there.

      I had been following Norm’s doors for a long time before joining the fun. Thanks for the good wishes. Wishing you the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nato says:

        I think you do more than me. I do try to look but not enough. If asked who stands for what right now, I don’t know if I could even tell you. And like you said, whatever they say they stand for may not even matter if it is fiction. Perhaps that is why I ignore it?
        Wow-75 years. That is such a wonderful history to be with a group. How great for her.
        The door challenge has been fun. I plan on doing them for regularly this year when I can. My boyfriend has even started pointing out doors for me, lol. Now, it is a tag team effort.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I find that it doesn’t take much to decide that I don’t like a candidate. I just hope there are some left that I feel like I can vote for in November.

          I don’t know what it is about the doors, but I like participating and I like looking at the entries each week.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a lovely year, Dan. Thanks for letting us enjoy it with you.
    While it’s hard to resist the blogs I enjoy, I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m not as present. I resolved back in October to spend less time blogging and more time writing my novels… I cut back on my own blog, but not on anyone else’s… Result — I only wrote a couple of chapters since October.
    But I don’t know how I’m going to resist the “Doors” or the “Beer” or the SoCs…
    Your posts continue to be more entertaining. Happy New Year hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      No worries Teagan. I started out saying that I write for me, and that’s still true. I love the comments and I really love it when talented folks like yourself say something encouraging. I really am trying not to overwhelm people, but I’m also trying to manage how much time I invest in this activity. I seem to be up to four days a week, but I’m actually truing to get the word count below what it was last year. People, including me, are just too busy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think you post excessively. I started not to say anything, but realized I might not be around as much — and just wanted you to know why. I can see improvements in the writing of your posts. And I see nothing at all wrong with your dialogue. (I see that as a weakness in my own writing, so I can understand being concerned.)
        Being concise is not something I’ve mastered either. I’m a champion at going around my bottom to get to my elbow. ;)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          Thanks Teagan. These are the real reasons I keep this thing going. Learning how to write dialog, learning how to tuck subtle messages into a conversation, learning how to describe things better, learning how to research a topic. This all has its own reward. I learn so much by reading others too, so finding time is hard.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Norm 2.0 says:

    Here’s to continued success in 2016 Dan. Good idea to stay away from religion and politics; not to avoid controversy as much as because there’s enough folks in the media already blathering on about all that ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to avoid that third rail this year when we live where we live. The stupidity of some of it just rises to the surface, bubbles away, and it is awfully tempting to comment. LOL How many posts a week? Now there is a topic of interest to me. I get sensory overload from someone who posts every day or several times a day. Here’s to a great 2016 for No Facilities. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      I’ve always wondered how bad it gets in NH Judy. My brother lives in Iowa and I can’t imagine how he puts up with it.

      How many days a week? I started out thinking one was enough, then two. Then Doors happened and, well, I had to add that. Lately the one-liner-Wednesday has been fun to write, but mainly because I’ve heard some interesting things. I wouldn’t enjoy this blog if it felt like work, so I think/hope I’d be overloaded before my readers. The folks who post multiple times a day do tend to blur into the background for me. Besides, I have a day job that I’d like to keep :)

      I appreciate your support, and I love the posts on your blog. May 2016 be kind to us all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It gets bad, Dan. It takes on a life of its own, and you can’t get away from it. Having spent many years in the Midwest where you saw a few ads and once in a while a candidate would come the week before an election to this is hard to describe other than to acknowledge that it is truly an industry here in the state. It never ends because they just ramp up the next one – years and years before anyone else is even thinking about it. Thank heavens for the ‘mute’ button or I wouldn’t survive it. LOL :-)

        Like

  7. marianallen says:

    The third third-rail topic is “literary vs genre” writing. You want to put some noses out of joint, drop that one into the middle of a circle of writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Almost Iowa says:

    One can talk about politics and religion without upsetting people – but it is not easy and rarely worthwhile, yet with a good writer and a good person – both will shine through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Let’s see, you’re a good writer and a good person – maybe you can explore that theory a little more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Almost Iowa says:

        I’ll have to tell the Mrs that someone out there thinks I am a good person.

        She has her doubts.

        Which speaks to how to write about third rail subjects – people quickly see the honesty in criticizing what we hold most dear. They are equally quick to spot the dishonesty when we criticize what we disagree with.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. prior2001 says:

    Hi dan / totally agree on staying away from religion and politics – even though j feel like religion is man made and prefer to stay away from overtly religious practices personally too / faith and loving God is different than religious institutions we see today – church membership is.not in the bible – you do not have to reply to this – just sharing – anyhow I enjoyed your post and I think I am going to do Thursday doors more this year –

    Liked by 1 person

  10. prior2001 says:

    By the way- you’re welcome ! Just kidding – but the bills won and I told my hubs I knew you’d be happy – and the Broncos so. – so a triply good day /

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jan says:

    My third rail subject is “tips on writing” followed by religion. I have a lot of respect for people who are deeply religious as long as their beliefs are non-violent, non-prejudicial and inclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      “non-violent, non-prejudicial and inclusive” all seem to be in short supply these days. As I mentioned above, I have a post about an interesting day in my personal journey, but not to be used for urging/nudging/recommending purposes.

      Tips on writing is an area I also avoid, but I do sometimes offer technical tips on using apps and technical tools.

      Like

  12. The problem with posts on religion and politics, of course, is the ones we agree with are brilliant, the ones we disagree with are written by idiots. I follow a few of those brilliant bloggers but I mostly avoid reading too much of both subjects. I love your “If We Were Having a Beer” series, so I’m glad that you’ll be continuing those. And, I’m with your wife on the comma before the “but.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      She did put that comma in there, so you’re good with putting her in the “brilliant” category. I extend the political ban to reading as well, except for the folks who generally lambaste all of the candidates in a humorous way.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m looking forward to your posts in 2016 Dan. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. You and Norm have inspired me to do my P52 on Doors this year. I hope I can make my door images as interesting and inspiring as you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in 2016 Dan. Writing is not a talent of mine but I sure do enjoy reading you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joey says:

    Look at you, all structured and scheduled! I am much with the structure and scheduling, but not so much in blogland.
    I see religions as 90% a beautiful and comforting ‘all paths lead to the same end’ tapestry of diverse and ethereal threads sorta thing, and 10% as the worst excuse for hatred, bigotry, and violence ever. I give the hypocritical Christians a hard time, but I know and love many good Christians. Maybe I should do a post about what makes them good ones. heh
    I see politics as politics, without warm fuzzy feelings. I do occasionally make social political commentary.
    My third rail is the standard WASP aversion one, but I don’t mind to walk the line on it now and again. Not a fan of shame.
    I mean, it’s not like it’s a Nice Lady Blog, afterall :)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for sharing your year, Dan. January to June seems to be my most productive time as regards writing. My blog was very random, too, until Norm’s Thursday Doors, which gave me some structure and routine. It’s been great fun participating and seeing such a wide variety of doors from all over the world. Here’s to many more Thursday Doors. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. bikerchick57 says:

    Happy non-political blogging in 2016, Dan! Blessings upon you and your doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Peter Nena says:

    The Thursday Doors have greatly revealed your skills in observation and photography, which are quite outstanding, I’d say. I admire the skill and craftsmanship that shape those beautiful, elegant, and stalwart doors. I think the dialogue in “If We Were Having a Beer” improved very much over the course of the year. You actually do write better than some columnists whose works I have had to read. All in all, your posts are usually simple and easy to read, the ideas conveyed fluently and with a sprinkle of humor that is always charming and delightful. All the best this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. reocochran says:

    I liked you before, I like you now! I guess my ramblings and straying into longer posts “showed me the way!” I miss the research and brain stretching I did but photos work in a visual society. I was not sure if I deleted my year end review but it has been awhile since I check stats! :) Happy working on dialogue and other things. Your charts and photos are always great, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Glynis Jolly says:

    I enjoy your posts in the category, If we were having a beer, immensely. The witty humor and intriguing questions you discuss are stimulating. Of course, your other posts are worth reading too; I just am partial to the ones in the virtual pub.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anybody looking for months packed with holidays, please pack them to India. We have more than 23 religious holidays, 4 national holidays in 2016. Out of 27, 4 holidays fall on Sunday, but the rest are on weekdays. Happiest months are April with 5 holidays on weekdays, March my birthday month comes second with 4 holidays, October with 4, Jan and Aug share 3 holidays, rest all 1 or 2 holidays. Saddest month is June with no holiday. I remember my Microsoft trainer (Trisha) from Utah saying to me that India is a land of holidays because she was surprised to see every now and then some religious holidays popping up. She finally married an Indian and settled here in Mumbai.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      27 holidays? I am SO jealous! We have more in the US than most businesses observe, and there are religious holidays that most businesses accommodate by providing “floating holidays” to their employees. But, they lump the floating holidays in with vacation and it just doesn’t seem the same as when the office is closed. That’s when you know that you’re off from work and nobody is going to bother you.

      Like

  22. Dan Hen says:

    As for going back to work : I love work . I could watch it all day long .

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I didn’t share my stats either. I see-saw between being proud and feeling pathetic, lurch in my stomach and all. Two of my top five posts were written in 2014. WP told me that means I have staying power. Another view would be to wonder if my writing peaked and is now on the way down. Sefl-deprecation is my besetting sin. I can’t say I’m sorry to see the politics scaled back here. I always wonder if one can justifiably criticize what one would never in a million years volunteer to do. Like serve the public in legislature. Every time I try to watch a session, I find myself face down snoring. I much prefer to watch the leaves move, listen to rain fall and imagine myself in another world, far from this one. The Clintons have devoted their lives to politics. Yikes. The idea of it. How do they manage? Well, I hope your future posts pop up in my reader, but if not, I try to return visits. Your plans seem many, varied and delightful. Manifold blessings to you and yours in the new year! And Yeah! to your editor, who knows a good comma when she sees one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Brenda. she also knows a bad comma and I tend to leave plenty of those around in my writing. As for the 2014 post being popular, I’m going to go with “staying power” I like that.

      I don’t envy politicians. I don’t trust them either, but I don’t envy them. I wish we had more where I could say that I appreciate what they give to our country…see, that’s why I don’t go there ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  24. John Hric says:

    Predictable ? ! ? ! That would destroy to whole reason of why we are having a beer. Notice i did not say “if”. Beer is best savored with chaos. As long as no one sloshes the glass….

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Have watched and loved the evolution of your blog over the last year, Dan.

    Here’s wishing you an even better 2016.

    I come out of my holiday hiatus later today–8 years of blogging, and treasured friends like you and the BFF gang to show for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      You have been a big part of my blog/writing evolution Damyanti. I can look back at the posts and the activity and see improvement beginning shortly after the AtoZ in 2013. I am looking forward to 2016 snd I hope it’s a very good year for you.

      Like

  26. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Hmmmmmm ….. Seems as if we have some things in common, Dan. I’m another one who is random, yet I seem to have fallen into the habit of posting on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I’ve begun to mix that up starting this week. I don’t touch religion and try very very hard not to put God in a box or to push my beliefs on anyone. When someone attempts to push beliefs on me my teeth go on edge. Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs and I respect that. You should hear conversations between one of my sister’s and myself sometimes when I push her out of the box because I think she needs to expand her mind a bit. Tee hee …. Good thing we LOVE each other. And then she laughs and tells me I drive her nuts because I have such a curious mind. :)
    What is more important to me then religion is how we treat each other. Religion (spirituality for me) is personal, so IF someone is in my face, tread lightly. I know I had a post or two up at Petals really being explicit about how NOT to push religion on me. I had some religious “nuts’ write to me at my email (hence I took my contact information off) demanding to know if I was a Christian. Can you imagine my response? LOL
    As for politics …. ohhhhh no way no way! NOT going there! Politics is a hot bed and I for one do not plan on starting a fire. And I don’t even have an editor to make sure I behave. (smile)
    I look forward in seeing what you create this year, Dan. I know what a pleasure it has been in coming here this past year. I’m really glad we know each other!! Great post, my friend!!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy. I am glad to know you too. I can’t imagine sending an email to demand to know your religious beliefs. I can almost imagine your response :) I can discuss almost anything with people I know well, when I know that they have an open mind or, as you say, that they can be nudged out of their box. If you’re not willing to open your mind a little, then it,s not really a discussion. What I don’t want is to have one of those blogs that attracts a jillion inflammatory comments from people who don’t actually ever bother to post an original thought. Wow, you can see how easy it would be to give into the dark side :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Yes, Dan, it is easy to give into the dark side and that is one reason why I am so strong on focusing on Light, Love, and Beauty. For the most part my followers are wonderful people and it is not the usual for me to get those who are less then nice (to put it nicely). I’ve had to spam a few comments with people leaving a link to their blog. Sorry, won’t go there.
        Anyways … I have a wee bit of Irish in me and a wee bit of a temper in me, and when someone judges me I tell it like it is. Don’t go there with me ’cause I sure don’t go there with you. I worded my response via email very strongly yet without anger. Some peeps sure have a lot of nerve.
        Hope you are having a good day! <3

        Liked by 1 person

  27. dweezer19 says:

    Awesome Dan! I washed my apron. Hope I’m being renewed this season as bar tender? Your weiting AND dialog have progressed rapidly well over the last year. You’ve kept me informed, instructed, entertained and returning for seconds. Hope this year is a great run and that the next five months prove not so tedious as you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Cheryl. Your contract is solid. We’re debating the planned menu changes at the bar, maybe this week or next. The new chef wants a more “upscale” menu. Perfect fodder for those two grumps.

      Like

  28. dweezer19 says:

    Uh oh. Can’t wait to find out what I’ll be serving up (or defending) lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Our bartender is defending most of the changes but there are a couple she doesn’t like. Do you favor upscale or old school? Or, as is one topic, lentils or mashed potatoes as a side for trout ?

      Liked by 1 person

      • dweezer19 says:

        Perhaps not fair because I love mashed potatoes and loathe lentils as a side dish. Raw on veggie wiches I am good. Or in soup. And I DO like the option of some nice steamed or stir fried veggies on the side. Hmmmmm…….but you just can’t take away a comfort food like mashed potatoes man…

        Liked by 1 person

  29. dweezer19 says:

    Oh and if that is rainbow trout we’re talking about I can go it solo…….yummmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

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