Read Write Play: Q4 2018

Here’s my most recent RWP.

Read: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

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This was on recommendation from Auren Hoffman. I try to at least skim most of what he says is good.

Hillbilly Elegy is an interesting glimpse into a world I don’t know at all: poor, white, southerners in the 21st century. The author, J.D. Vance, is basically my age. The same world events were happening around us at the same times as we grew up, but we lived drastically different lives.

Write: VoteBuckley.com, SustainablePolicy.us, Rbucks.com

This website-slash-blog-slash-project has taken on many forms in the last year and change. It began with an observation: if I want to run for office, then my campaign is a bit like a startup. Campaigning for public office has been making an inexorable shift online, so if I were to treat my campaign like a startup, then I would put up a website and start earning some SEO now, long before I plan to “launch.” 

So that’s what VoteBuckley was. It was a campaign website launched years before there would be any campaign. The problem was I didn’t feel comfortable promoting blog posts with that domain. People would be confused, and rightly so. I’m not campaigning for anything… yet. I just want to build SEO because (as I’ve said in my book) it’s never too early to start. But since I’m willing to put almost anything online, when I get a twinge of “Hmm, I’m not sure this is the right thing to do,” I listen to it. I built the site and wrote a bunch of blog posts but didn’t promote them. It took the fun out of doing it.

My first solution was to change the website to SustainablePolicy.us, which was the title I gave my VoteBuckley.com blog. That worked for a few weeks but I recognized that SustainablePolicy was too limiting. I wanted to blog about my whole self, not just my political and policy-minded self. So the itch was there and every once in a while it would really start to bother me.

What was the answer? I didn’t know. I struggled with it for a while until one night I hopped back into the GoDaddy domain search and typed a few obvious URLs in. RyanBuckley.com was taken. I knew that. I wanted to get a .com because even though there are a bunch of fun and creative ways to use the other TLDs, nothing says “official” like a .com domain.

Rbucks has been my online moniker for a long time so I tried that. It was avalaible but it wasn’t cheap. However, for a 6-word .com domain of the handle that’s identified me for nearly two decades, I was able to justify the $1,000 price tag. This will be my personal website URL forever. That campaign I’ll run some day? Yes, that too will be on rbucks.com. My supporters and opponents alike will be able to read more than they ever wanted to about me. I’m hereby betting that it will be a winning strategy.

Play: Let It Be

My neighbor lent his book, The Bealtes Complete Scores, nearly a year ago and when I’m tired of playing Mozart and the like, I pick an easy Paul McCartney piano song to learn. 

“Let It Be” happens to end on a C major chord in the exact same voicing as the final chord of the Bach Preludium in C. I’m sure you’ve heard this. 

Listen to that final C chord arpeggio. Now listen to the first chord of this.

Same chord! Exact same notes in the exact same order! So for a while this became my warmup sequence. The Preludium followed directly by Let It Be. Bach and The Beatles. A match made in musical heaven.  

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