Friday Fictioneers — Package Delivery Scheme

59D2C44F-02E4-4737-9D47-03DFC845800E Harold placed the package inside one of the cages in his basement, locked the gate, and walked away. I shoulda thought of this before, he thought.

His wife was in the kitchen when Harold came up from the basement. “How was your first day?” she asked.

“Great,” Harold said, sitting down at the table. “I drive around dropping off packages people ordered on line. It’s easy and there are great perks.”

Harold figured he’d take home just one package a day of the several dozen on his route, and sell it on eBay. No one will notice one undelivered package.

(100 words)

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — November 22

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 22nd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on November 22, 2014 in my old, now defunct blog. It was a bit of a rant. Sorry about that.

Second Thoughts

416BE191-4846-4736-907E-881C29AF6489The title of this post is probably a little misleading. I’m not really having second thoughts about anything in particular. Second thoughts imply a change of heart or opinion or resolve reached after considering something again. It might also mean having new doubts about someone or something. But don’t worry, I haven’t suddenly found religion or been having intimate conversations with God or Jesus.

No, this post is not about changing my mind or having doubts. What this is about is complaining (okay, whining) about bloggers who follow certain practices on their blogs. I realize that it’s not my place to tell anyone else how to run his or her blog. But I do have a few strong opinions about certain protocols some bloggers follow.

Awaiting moderation
543E056E-07C5-4DA4-BBFE-45D675E70213When I make a comment on your posts, I don’t like to be told that my comment is awaiting moderation. I mean, seriously, what are you afraid of? If it’s spam you’re worried about, and if you blog on WordPress, Akismet should have you covered. Since I’ve been blogging on WordPress, Akismet has trapped more than 125,000 spam comments on my blog. That’s like half of a quarter million spam comments, for crissake. And if you’re worried that someone is going to post a comment that you or some of your readers might find inappropriate or offensive, then perhaps you should close your posts to comments. Problem solved.

I invite anyone and everyone, without moderation, to comment on my posts. No filtering, no deleting. Say what you wanna say and it will be there for everyone who reads and/or comments on my posts to see.
So this comment is awaiting moderation business — just cut it out.

Chronological order
reverse chronological orderWhat is going through your heads, people, when you choose to display the newest comments at the top of your posts’ comments sections and the older ones at the bottom? Showing comments in reverse chronological order makes no sense. The natural flow of any conversation is from start to finish, not from finish to start. When comments are displayed in chronological order, it’s easy to follow along with the conversation, to see the interactions, the reactions, the responses, and the replies in the order they were made.

This is especially true if someone posts a comment based upon an earlier comment that someone else posted. If the latter comment appears at the top of all the comments, how the hell are you going to know what that commenter was referring to?

So why would anyone want to have the newest comments first, rather than the oldest? If your blog is set up to show the newest comments at the top of your comments, you need to think about changing that. Please.

It’s none of my business

Well, I grant you that. It really isn’t my business. It’s your blog and if you want to moderate comments and/or display them in reverse chronological order, that’s your right and privilege. But in a way, it is my business because I find both practices to be quite annoying. And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way.

I’m not going to do something silly like add a poll here. But I do wish those of you who read this post would let us know what your thoughts are about comment moderation and about oldest first or newest first in the comments sections. And if you do state your preference or express your opinion, explain why you feel that way. Or not. It’s up to you.

But if you “like” this post and don’t comment, I will take that as an endorsement — nay, a mandate — that I’m right and that comment moderation and reverse chronological order for comments are both inherently evil practices.

#writephoto — The Perfect Tree

2B5433D4-9F88-4FF7-9F71-C0ABFC709848”Dad, let’s go. I’m cold,” Doug said.

“Yeah, me too, Dad,” Dana said, echoing her older brother.

“Steve please,” Arlene said. “We’ve been out here for hours and you still haven’t found your ‘perfect’ tree. It’s going to be dark soon, the kids are tired and, quite frankly, so am I.”

“Just a little while longer, hon,” Craig said. “I don’t want to have to come all the way back out here again. I’ll know it when I see it.”

Arlene looked at her watch. “Kids, let’s give Dad another 15 minutes,” she said. “If he hasn’t found his perfect tree by then, we’ll go.”

“Aw Mom!” the kids said in unison.

After about five minutes of walking deeper into the woods, Steve stopped abruptly. “Look,” he said excitedly. “Look at the way the late afternoon sun is shining directly through the branches of that tree and down upon us. It’s a sign from the heavens that this tree, this perfect tree, was meant to be our family’s Christmas tree this year.”

Steve took his portable, gas-powered chain saw out of its sack, and went to work on the base of the tree. It was almost dark by the time he had the tree down and was able to maneuver it onto the large sled. He hauled the tree-laden sled back to where they had parked the family’s pickup truck.

The drive back to town would take a few hours, and both of kids and Arlene had fallen asleep shortly after Steve started driving. Despite having poured himself a cup of lukewarm coffee from the thermos he almost always had with him, Steve, himself, was struggling to keep his eyes open.

It wasn’t until mid-morning the next day when the park rangers discovered the overturned pickup truck at the bottom of the steep ravine.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Sorry about the dark turn this story took. I didn’t expect it to go in that direction, but that’s where it went.

Three Line Tales — When Pigs Learn To…

Pig in water “Yeah, like that will happen when pigs learn to swim,” Sandy said.

“I think the actual expression is ‘when pigs learn to fly,’ is it not?” Rick said.

“Oh my God, Rick,” Sandy groaned, “you know damn well what I meant.”

Written for This week’s Three Line Tales prompt from Sonya. Photo credit: Jakob Owens via Unsplash.