On hiatus

Q: On hiatus? What does that mean?

A: It means I don’t really have the time or energy to keep this blog up to the standards to which I aspire. So rather than keep running endless birthday posts, I’m going to take a break for now.

Q: Will you return?

A: I imagine I will. Some day.

Q: Are you taking a break from the Web in general?

A: Not at all. I’m still all over social media. In fact, I’m sharing good pages and graphics and links to online presentations that impress me. I’m just doing it there instead of here.

Q: Are you ill?

A: No, just sick and tired (heh). And eager to have a little “me” time for a change.

You can’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. Back when I was doing the consulting/teaching thing full-time — which is a fancy way of saying I was unemployed — I was able to blog five or six times a day. I was mighty happy with that.

When I returned to work in March 2013, I spent several months living by myself in California while my wife and daughter still resided on the East Coast. I still managed to get in a lot of blogging time. Not quite as much as before — hey, having a full-time job can be quite the time suck! — but still enough for me to feel like I was serving my readers.

When my daughter moved out to California with me, however, I found myself wanting to spend more of my down time with her and less with my head buried in my rapidly-aging laptop. So I cut waaay back on my blogging. I’d go days, sometimes, between posts — other than the by-then-obligatory birthday posts.

When I moved to Texas a little more than a year ago, that time crunch became acute. Not only did I no longer have time to write thoughtful posts, I found it a real problem just keeping up with furniture items — those birthdays. Which, thanks to the lack of substantive content, had completely taken over the blog.

I dislike doing something poorly. Therefore, the decision to stop was an easy one. Or should have been. I should have stopped two years before I did.

Q: Why didn’t you just become a full-time blogger?

A: I never really found a way — or, at least, a way I could live with — to monetize this blog.

We talked about it from time to time. But since so many of the pages and photos and graphics I posted here were donated by you, my readers, I didn’t feel right trying to charge you to look at your own work. I was always much more comfortable as essentially a nonprofit operation.

The main problem with a nonprofit operation is: You don’t turn a profit. And I still need to eat, sleep with a roof over my head and pay the bill to move pixels around the interwebs.

I tried, though. I came this close, once, to getting hired by a big Florida-based journalism think-tank. That was way back in 2012.

When that opportunity tanked for me, it took with it any real hope I had of one day being a full-time online journalist. No matter how prolific I had been over the years.

Q: Will your archives go away?

A: I hope not. I put a lot of time and energy into blogging over the past 12 years. Five of those years reside here, at CharlesApple.com. I hope we can maintain that permanently. Or, at least, as permanently as anything can be online.

Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five excellent visual journalists…


Jason Boyd is digital media manager for WCTI-TV 12 and FOX 8/14 in New Bern, N.C. and a writer for the Stanly News & Press. A product of East Carolina University, Jason worked as a sportswriter for the Washington (N.C.) Daily News, the (Greenville, N.C.) Daily Reflector and the Wilson (N.C.) Daily Times and sports editor of the Washington Daily News and the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram before moving to the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., in 2006 as assistant sports editor. He spent seven-and-a-half years as an associate editor for the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C. He moved back to eastern North Carolina in May. Jason turns 45 today.


Scott Goldman is senior director of content strategy for Angie’s List in Indianapolis, Ind. A 1990 graduate of Syracuse University, Scott spent two years as the Sunday sports editor for the Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1994. He moved to the Washington Post in 1999 and then to the Indianapolis Star in 2004 as assistant managing editor. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 2006. He moved to Advance Digital of New Jersey in 2012 as the chain’s director of content. He moved to Angie’s List in 2014. Find his Twitter feed here. Scott turns 47 today.


Kevin McGeever is senior editor editor of Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing arm. A 1978 graduate of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, Kevin earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1980. He spent eight-and-a-half years as an assistant sports editor for the St. Petersburg Times and a similar amount of time as a suburban news editor before becoming senior editor for online news in 2004. He joined Visit Florida in 2011. Find his Twitter feed here. Kevin turns 59 today.


Gursharanjit Singh works in the field of pharmaceutical technology in Bangalore, India. He also draws cartoons and writes Punjabi poetry. He’s a 2004 graduate of the Rajiv Ghandi University of Health Sciences. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Gursharanjit turns 35 today.


George Treviranus is a user experience designer for Musicnotes.com of Madison, Wis. A 2014 graduate of Madison College of Wisconsin, George served as design director and then editor-in-chief of the student paper there, the Clarion. He’s also worked as a freelance designer for print, user experience and branding. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Gursharanjit, Jasaon, Scott, George and Kevin share a birthday with actors Beth Behrs and Christopher Catesby “Kit” Harington; musicians Lars Ulrich (of Metallica), Jared Joseph Leto (of 30 Seconds to Mars) and Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector; comedian Irwin Alan Kniberg (better known as Alan King); puppeteer Caroll Spinney; sports greats Yohan Blake (track and field), Osborne Earl “Ozzie” Smith, Carlton Ernest Fisk, Carroll Christopher Chambliss (all three baseball), John Franklin “Frank” Broyles (football coach) and Jay Glazer (commentator); politicians Birch Evans “Evan” Bayh III and Albert Arnold “Al” Gore Sr.; Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung; mathematician Charles Babbage; author Henry Valentine Miller; TV hosts Stephen Valentine Patrick William “Steve” Allen and John Edward Walsh and radio host David Sedaris.

In addition to Boxing Day, today is National Thank-You Note Day and National Whiner’s Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of excellent visual journalists…


Brian Root is assistant sports editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. A 1990 graduate of Washington & Lee University, Brian served as managing editor of the Bulletin of Martinsville, Va., before moving to the Newport News Daily Press in 2003. He jumped across the James River to the Pilot three years later, serving as team leader for reporters until switching to sports in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.


Lindsey Turner is creative director for the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, Tenn. A 2004 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Lindsey interned at the Birmingham News. She spent spent seven years at the Memphis Commercial Appeal as a designer, copy editor, blogger and assistant art director. She moved to the Gannett hub in Nashville in 2012, where she led the team that designed papers in Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia. She was promoted to creative director in 2014. In addition, Lindsey sells what she calls “salty and Southern-fried pretties” — greeting cards, note cards, gift tags, wall prints and so on — via her Etsy store. Find Lindsey’s portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Lindsey and Brian share a birthday with actors Sissy Spacek, Gary Sandy and Humphrey DeForest Bogart; musicians Cabell “Cab” Calloway III, James William “Jimmy” Buffett, Barbara Ann Mandrell, Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan (of the Pogues), Annie Lennox, Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevirlle O’Malley Armstrong (who normally only goes by her first name), twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso (of the Veronicas) and Harvey Phillip “Phil” Spector; sports greats Rickey Nelson Henley (better known as Rickey Henderson), Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox (both baseball), Kenneth Michael “Kenny” Stabler and Larry Richard Csonka (both football); Red Cross founder Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton; Egyptian leader Muhammad Anwar El Sadat; hotel owner Conrad Nicholson Hilton; auto racer-turned-manufacturer Louis Chevrolet; scientist Isaac Newton; author Carlos César Salvador Arana (better known as Carlos Castaneda); TV producers Rodman Edward “Rod” Serling and Richard Keith “Rick” Berman; Believe It or Not! cartoonist Robert LeRoy Ripley and political commentator Karl Christian Rove.

In addition, today is Christmas Day. Which, I suspect, you already know.

Have a great birthday, you two! Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 24

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four top-notch visual journalists…


Pat Carr is a visual journalist based in Washington, D.C. A 1970 graduate of St. John’s University of New York, she spent 17 years teaching in various schools in South Carolina and Virginia. She served as an editorial coordinator for the Dahlgren Memorial Library at Georgetown University’s medical center before joining Knight-Ridder Graphics in 1989 as a researcher. She was promoted to senior researcher in 1995 and then to graphics editor in 2000. She left the service — which had become MCT Graphics — in 2014.


Tyson Evans is a member of the New York Times’ Newsroom Strategy Team, which seeks to prioritize and launch digital initiatives and implement the famous in-house innovation report that made the rounds last year. A 2005 graduate of UCLA, Tyson spent his senior year as editor-and-chief of the Daily Bruin before serving a news design intern for the Los Angeles Times. Later that year, he went to work for the Las Vegas Sun, where he designed for both print and online. He was hired away by the NYT in 2008 as deputy editor for interactive news. The Times promoted him to his current position in 2014. Tyson also teaches at Columbia University and serves on the board for the Society for News Design. Find his personal portfolio page here and his Twitter feed here. Tyson turns 33 today.


Nathan Groepper is director of consumer experience of Gannett’s Des Moines (Iowa) Register. A 1998 graduate of the University of Iowa, Nathan went to work right away at the Register as a copy editor and designer before being promoted in 2008 to presentation editor for features and then to design director in 2009. He moved over to the Des Moines design studio in 2011 as creative director. He moved to his current position a year ago. Find his Twitter feed here. Nathan turns the big four-oh today.


Chinelo Onwaulu is CEO of Sylvia Fairchild Editorial Services, a firm offering writing and copy editing services in Abuja, Nigeria. A 2003 graduate of Calvin College, Chinelo spent a year as night web editor for the Observer-Dispatch of Utica, N.Y., and then another year as online editor for the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., before moving back to Abuja in 2010. She spent a year with Timbuktu Media — publishers of a number of newspapers including Next — before working for Cassava Republic Press, a book publisher. She went freelance three years ago. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

Chinelo, Tyson, Nathan and Pat share a birthday with actors Ava Lavinia Gardner, Karl Diedrich Bader, Anil Kapoor and John Anthony Woods (better known as John Levene); musicians Enrique Martí­n Morales (better known as Ricky Martin) and Louis William Tomlinson (of One Direction); model Daphne Groeneveld; radio and TV personality Ryan John Seacrest; comedian Steven “Steve” Smith Jr. (better known as Red Green); frontiersman Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson; eccentric bazillionaire Howard Robard Hughes Jr.; sports greats William McGarvey “Bill” Dudley, Tim Jennings (both football), Jerold Taylor “Jay” Wright (basketball coach) and Jay Scot Bilas (ESPN basketball commentator); writer and director Nicholas Meyer; authors Stephanie Morgan Meyer, Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney (better known as Mary Higgins Clark), Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. and Isidor Feinstein Stone; children’s book illustrator Johnny Gruelle and comic book creator Mark Millar.

Of course, today is also Christmas Eve. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, all! Best wishes and Merry Christmas to you!

Birthdays for Wednesday, Dec. 23

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six excellent visual journalists…


Michael Higdon is a city life reporter for the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, where he says he covers “gentrification, tech, hipsters, beer and spirits.” A 2009 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Michael worked a summer internship with the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., was a Pulliam Fellow at the Indianapolis Star and an summer fellow at the Poynter Institute. He also did some work for NASA during his final year in Reno. He started work for Swift Communications, also of Reno, in June of 2009 as an ad designer and slid back to the editorial side in 2010 as an editorial designer. In 2012, he was named Swift’s editorial systems administrator. In 2014, he launched Drinkable Reno, a web site focusing on Reno’s craft beer scene and parlayed that into the new reporting gig in which he started work in June. He also teaches part-time at the University of Nevada, Reno. Find Mike’s personal portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Alicia Kramme is lead designer for the Kansas City Business Journal. A 2014 graduate of the University of Iowa, Alicia served as graphics editor for the student paper there, the Daily Iowan. She spent two-and-a-half years at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, before moving to the KCBJ a year ago. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Alicia turns 24 today.


Mary Peskin is an associate at We Media, a digital media company in Reston, Va., co-founded by Mary’s husband, Dale Peskin. A graduate of N.C. State University in Raleigh, Mary spent 22 years as design director of the New York Times Regional Media Group. She joined the American Press Institute in 2005 and spent seven years as associate director until API merged with the Newspaper Association of America in 2011. She continued working on the merger and developing programs and coordinating workshops through 2013.


Marcia Prouse is the storytelling coach at the Nashville Tennessean. A graduate of Arizona State University, Marcia earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, where she edited a book in lieu of a thesis. She spent 16 years at the Detroit Free Press, as a magazine art director, photo editor, deputy director of photography and section editor. She moved to the Orange County Register of Santa Ana, Calif., in 1997 as a photo editor. She was named director of photography in 1998, Sunday editor in 2008 and then added daily A1 duties in 2012. She was named assistant managing editor in 2014. Marcia joined the Tennessean a year ago. Find her Twitter feed here.


Tom Roeder is weekend editor of the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo. A 1996 graduate of Washington State University, Tom spent two-and-a-half years as a reporter for the Chronicle of Centralia, Wash., before moving to the Herald-Republic of Yakima. In 2003, he moved to the Gazette as military affairs reporter. He was promoted to weekend editor in 2012 and added duties as military editor a year later. Find his Twitter feed here.


Stephanie Selensky is chief of the copy desk of the Forum of Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn. A 1997 graduate of North Dakota State University, Stephanie spent a year as a copy editor at the Aberdeen American News and then two years at Prairie Public Broadcasting before joining the Forum in 1997. Find her Twitter feed here.

Alicia, Stephanie, Michael, Tom, Marcia and Mary share a birthday with actors Corey Ian Haim, Susan Victoria Lucci, Joan Marie Severance, Ronald Ralph “Ronnie” Schell and Harry Julius Shearer; musicians Edward Louis Severson III (better known as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam) and David Michael Murray (of Iron Maiden); model-turned-reality TV star Holly Sue Cullen (better known as Holly Madison); model-turned-singer-turned-First Lady of France Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi Sarkozy; synchronized swimmer-turned-model Estella Dawn Warren; U.S. Navy admiral-turned-politician James Bond Stockdale; U.S. Army general-turned-politican Wesley Kanne Clark; sports greats Robert Albert “Bob” Kurland (basketball), Danny MacAskill (cycling), Gregory Jack “Greg” Biffle (auto racing), Hanley Ramírez, Cody Ross, Jerome Martin “Jerry” Koosman (all three baseball), James Joseph “Jim” Harbaugh, Jack Raphael Ham Jr., Bennie Lee Cunningham and Paul Vernon Hornung (all four football); political commentator William Kristol and Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith Jr.

In addition, today is the Human Light Celebration. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!