I’m In a Rut

The past week or so it has been hard to come up with things to write about for my blog. As a result, some of the topics I have come up with are quite dull. Well, to be more precise duller than usual.

As I was thinking of what I could do to get out of such a rut, I was reminded of one of my first blog posts, from March, 2015. It was titled: Get Out of That Rut. The post was a tribute to a series of newspaper ads that harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, placed in the Wall Street Journal on a periodic basis. The ads were one of the highlights of reading the Wall Street Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By the time he was finished, Gray had written 75 such ads. I liked the ads so much, that I decided to share one ad per week, along with my comments, and 75 weeks later I was finished. You can click here to the post where I include links to all 75 articles. Over the years, I have received many personal emails from people who were grateful for the memories that reading the ads brought back.

Anyway, getting back to my rut. I thought I would go back to the Get Out of That Rut post to see if there were any suggestions as to what to do to escape from the mundane. After I shared Harry’s ideas, I created a list of my own suggestions, a more modern update if you will of how to get out of a rut.

I’ve done a few of those items on my list (started a blog, took an online class, opened a Twitter account, created and shared a YouTube video). However, one item I had not done was to try Duck Duck Go as my default search engine.

If you are not familiar with Duck Duck Go, here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

DuckDuckGo (also abbreviated as DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term. The company is based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, in Greater Philadelphia and has 129 employees as of June 2021.

So I thought, let me give it a try. So I added the Duck Duck Go to my Chrome browser, and started using it as my search engine.

The first thing I decided to try was to see how a search for the phrase Borden blog went.

Borden’s Blather was the first result, ahead of a blog by Bill Borden at Microsoft and a blog by D S Borden, an award-winning artist and writer. For comparison purposes, my blog also came out on the top of the results when using Google as my search engine.

So I don’t know what that says about my vanity that searching for my own blog would be the first thing I try, but at this point, I am happy with the results.

But the coolest thing is that they are located in Paoli, PA, which is only about 20 minutes from where I live. I never knew they were so close by.

So I’ll keep trying Duck Duck Go for about a week to see if I note any difference between it and Google search.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to look for other ways to get out of my rut…

62 thoughts on “I’m In a Rut

  1. You could do a series dedicated to Philly specific foods. Like the soft pretzel (the old school buy it as you cross the bridge kind, not the new fancy wawa kind!), various versions of the cheesesteak (wizwit/wizwitout, pizza, meatball, etc), the proper use of the word hoagie (and its sub par counterpart the sub), et al. If nothing else, you’ll probably be eating well through the rut 😂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It won’t. I’ll keep your secret. But the wawa ones are way more convenient (at the convenience store), but there was something about crossing the bridge and right as you hit Philly being hit by the smell of diesel fumes and pretzels. You just knew you had crossed over into somewhere new, ya know? Plus, when they stopped letting the street vendors sell them for hygiene reasons there was actually an uproar among everyone I knew. Something nonsense about the more hygienic versions at wawa and pretzel factory losing some of the Philly flavor. Now, those smells and tastes are all but wiped from our mind, replaced with cardboard signs asking for money or pretty pre-packaged pretzels with not quite enough salt to count.

        But honestly, outside of this immediate area, no one knows what any of it is. Out west if you order a cheese steak they look at you funny and then give you a t-bone covered in cheese. So then you learn to ask for a cheesesteak sandwich. It’s the same thing but with a piece of bread under and over. It’s quite sad.

        You’re up near king of Prussia right? If you’re willing to travel a bit, I can also give you the name of the best cheesecake in the world (Juniors is NOT it), but that’s this side of the bridge. I also know a place with scrumptious german cheese cake in Philly proper. Also a great Chinese restaurant in China town, some of the best cheese steak roach coaches (if they’re still in university city post Covid). Think of yourself as a local Guy Fieri (I can’t spell his name). Let the world know the highlights we have on tap!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. sounds like you know your Philly food! have you written post about it? And I’d love to hear the names of the cheesecake, cheesesteak, and Chinese restaurants. And yes, I am not far from K of P at all…

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      3. I’m not far from Philly but I don’t go there a lot. And no, I don’t write about Philly foods – too busy eating them 😂
        Cheesecake is in S NJ called Gallos. Specifically the chocolate chip cheesecake. Best cheesecake in the world.
        Cheesesteak in uni city is right off 30th at station by Drexel’s main building.
        Chinese restaurant was called Kens. They do these gigantic crabs that turn into like 3 course meals, and they have dumplings that are to die for.
        There’s also a great Peking duck place called “Joe’s Peking Duck” it’s the best around by far that isn’t in NYC.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. wow – thanks for all these tips! it looks like I’ve got a few places to visit. Sadly, as a vegan, I’ll have to skip all these, but I’m sure my family will love it 🙂

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  2. I’ve used it for years. I don’t think it’s as powerful as Google, so when I’m searching for something really important and obscure, I use Google’s engine. Otherwise, it’s Duck Duck Go for me. I became familiar with it one day, after a certain someone, who will remain unnamed, turned me into a duck. Her name rhymes with Marilyn.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Jim, thanks for the information about DuckDuck. I’ve seen this used but I had no idea what it was although I suspected it was some sort of search engine from the context. You live and learn. You could do some prompts either photographs or creative writing. Those are always fun to do and to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You could write my blog for me as I have plenty of ideas and scribbled notes but can’t seem to get time to get to WordPress due to all that’s been happening that I haven’t had time to write about! Duck Duck Go sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It has to be challenging to find something interesting to write about after thousands of posts. My question is what will you do after you break Cal Ripken’s record?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Well, I have heard of DDG but have not tried it. It sounds like having a more open-ended response to a search could be refreshing. You have written quite a few posts, my friend, so it is expected that at some point you may feel like you are in a rut. You live in an area steeped in culture, good food, and historical relevance. May be a series about Philly or some aspect of the area could sustain you for a while. Whatever rut you think you are in, we are still lined up to read it, so take heart and keep the ink flowing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there may be something there with the Philly angle; I will start working on that, so thanks for the suggestion. Maybe it’s just a matter of having to replace the ink in my printer… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. it’s understandable after so many posts. I think we all go through ruts in writing, and somehow find ourselves out of them again one day, without even realizing it. I find your blog greatly entertaining, and even if you don’t at times, know your audience does. you could do the ‘open a book to a random page and write the first line down then expand on it what it could mean’ approach. write what you see around you. write what an average day is for you, an hour, a minute. walk around your town, see movies, have conversations with strangers – the world is your oyster waiting to be written, or at least it’s your pretzel.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. thank you for the encouragement, Beth, and all of your suggestions. I like the idea of what an average day is like for me, it would make everyone feel better about their own life 🙂

      and now I want a pretzel…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. How about doing a post on your Duck Duck Go search for ‘places that aren’t Philadelphia’ and see what you get. It could be revealing for those who don’t realise the world extends beyond Philly’s boundaries 😉

    Or another on your DDG search for ‘why does Philadelphia cream cheese come from New York?’ I think we should be told…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel your pain ..I am struggling atm to write…DDG is quite good I have used it for a while now but Google has the edge, not over privacy but their search engine so I flit between the two…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am just impressed that you actually write a post every day. I get in a rut trying to come up with about one a week. So kudos to you for your tenacity Gonna try DuckDuck. It sounds interesting and I am curious.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cool, I’ve heard of DDG but to be quite honest never really tried hard to understand what it was lol not sure why nothing I came across described it as a search engine lol… Cool that your blog was top search on there! I get the whole rut thing… I try to be authentic on my blog too but sometimes I run into walls… Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woo… I find it is MY PC PROBLEMS.(using Firefox browser)
      I could read all posts from my iPad, but not from my windows PC.
      I will check my PC.
      I am sorry for bothering you.

      Liked by 1 person

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