A User’s Guide to MidRange 📝

As I’ve been doing a bit of site-moving of late, I wanted to honor some of MidRange’s best, most unusual pieces. Hope you agree.

(Marcelo Leal/Unsplash)

As you probably know, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been moving the MidRange newsletter to its own domain. The process is moving along, and I hope to be done with the content upload sometime in the next week, at which point I can clean up the web interface and bring all this old content back to life.

But the problem is, doing this through Revue’s standard export tools is a bit time-consuming. In part, it’s because I’m trying to do it the right way, with image uploads moved to my own database. But it’s also because Revue has spotty support for RSS, and to get it to work I would have to plug the API into a third-party service like Zapier, which creates a bit of a crapshoot.

One nice thing about this process, though, is that it’s done an interesting job of highlighting to me the fact that a lot of MidRange pieces are quite good and quite weird, and I should probably do a little more to focus on highlighting them to the broader world, especially given the fact that many MidRange readers only picked up on the habit within the last six months or so. So, with that in mind, here are a few MidRange “greatest hits”:

Did Tumblr Miss its Shot? 🏒 While the subject matter is near and dear to my heart, I think the thing that makes this post for me is the fact that the hockey metaphor is followed all the way through with the imagery.

An Ode To Picross ✏️ In which I nerd out on an obscure type of video game I’ve been known to obsess over, one that was subject of perhaps the easiest-to-forget Mario spinoff game ever. I still play a lot of Picross, or as it’s also known, Nonograms. It’s a mind-sharpening tool.

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What I looked like when the squirrel attacked. (Demi-Felicia Vares/Unsplash)

Squirrel Story 🐿 In which, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I explain how I was attacked by a squirrel while working a college maintenance job, and why this moment brought joy to the team of people I was managing at the time. I can’t think of a better take-the-piss-out-of-myself moment than this.

Miss Cleo and Me 🔮 How Miss Cleo—or at least the very sketchy company managing her business—managed to rack up $400 in charges on my credit card. Mind you, I was 19 at the time.

Pretending I Saw the MacBooks Yesterday 💻 I was out of town appreciating nature when the latest MacBooks were released to the world, so how did I play that? Well, I wrote a post speculating as if I was there to see it. I think this is weird Ernie at his best. And I wasn’t terribly far off.

A Letter to My Robot Namesake 🤖 After I heard Amazon had a robot in its warehouses named Ernie, I decided to honor him by writing him a letter. “More people will know who you and your Muppet-named friends are than the workers who packed laptops and toaster ovens into containers to be shipped to homes and offices anywhere in the world,” I wrote in the letter.

It Could Be Anyone 😶 In which I ponder the weirdness of getting a profile view from “Business Owner in the Internet industry” on LinkedIn. Because that’s not specific at all.

The Lone Coder 💿 Probably the big hit among MidRange pieces, this was a nice bit of honoring of the work of Cameron Kaiser, the programmer who developed a web browser for PowerPC when nobody else would.

The thing about many of these pieces is that they’re generally not news-of-the-day pieces, but rather they’re slightly askew slices of life.

Sometimes when I write these, I’m looking for angles related to the news of the day. But often the best pieces, in my view, come when I write things that take weird paths that are more than just information regurgitation.

This process of moving the old site to the new one is a great reminder of that.

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Ernie Smith

Your time was just wasted by Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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