More Sunshine and More Questions

2AB530A2-2109-492B-9A9E-12A16043D380It must be awards season. Sadje, over at Keep It Alive, was nominated for another Sunshine Blogger Award, and she was kind enough to nominate my blog, along with nine others, to receive this award. So first of all, congratulations Sadje and thank you for honoring my blog with your nomination.

For my part in this process, I’m going to answer the interesting questions Sadje posed. Here we go.

What is your favorite time of the day?

I think it’s that moment right between the time when I’m in bed at night and I close my eyes just before I fall asleep and my mind starts wandering and the seeds of a dream begins to emerge.

How strict are you with yourself, regarding health?

I wouldn’t say that I’m strict, but I do try to watch what I eat and to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

Do you follow back a blogger who follows your blog?

Not automatically. I try to visit their blogs and I will follow some, but I’m more likely to follow the blogs of bloggers who regularly comment on my posts than of those who follow my blog but never leave a comment.

How do you deal with criticism in real life?

Depends upon who is doing the criticism. In general, I take it for what it’s worth.

How do you deal with criticism in the blogging world?

Same as in real life

Any ideas about how we can turn the current situation to our advantage?

Yes. Keep giving Mother Nature a chance to heal the planet by driving less.

Are you a dessert person?

Perhaps this shot from my freezer drawer will answer the question.E60412E4-FC64-415F-B766-F146B8C254BE

What colors do you like to wear?

I mostly wear blue jeans and casual shirts of almost any color, but often with blue in them.

What color decor you like around you, in your home?

Whatever color decor my wife likes around our home.

What is your favorite place to write from?

I blog from my iPhone, so almost anywhere. But typically during the day, it’s either while sitting on the family room couch or in our backyard if it’s nice outside. At night, it’s in my bed before going to sleep.

Do you like getting Blogging awards?

I’ve declared my blog to be an award-free blog, but I do appreciate it when someone takes the time to recognize my blog. I typically don’t follow all the rules for blog awards, including tagging other bloggers, but I do enjoy answering the questions the person who nominated me/my blog for the award asks.

Share Your World — Back In My Day

Share Your WorldTime for another one of Melanie’s Share Your World prompts. She has, once again, asked some fun and provocative questions, so it’s time to start sharing.

What’s something you really resent paying for?

I resent paying for Trump’s border wall, for Trump’s so-called Space Force, and for all of Trump’s other ego-follies. It’s not so much that I resent paying taxes as it is paying for some of the asinine things my tax dollars are paying for with Trump as the president. Especially for those things that are making him, his family, and his cronies even richer.

What was the most unsettling film you’ve seen?

My son once forced me to watch the movie “The Human Centipede” with him. Use your imagination.6FACD435-F486-45C5-9F59-6D2A8CD0FC14

Do you judge people?

Of course I do. Anyone who claims that they don’t is full of shit. For example, if I see someone wearing a red MAGA cap, I judge them to be a fucking asshole. That said, like MLK, Jr., I don’t judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Finish this sentence:  “Back in my day, we…”?

…we only had 3 channels on the TV, in black & white, and had to get our butts off the couch to turn it on, off, and to change channels. Can you imagine?

Blogging Insights — Comments

Blogging insightsOn this week’s episode of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know what we think about comments. Hmm. Comments, huh? I’d like to comment on that topic.

How important is the comments section to your blog?

I’ve heard a number of bloggers, particularly novice bloggers, claim that they don’t really care how many likes their posts gets, how many followers their blog has, and whether or not their posts get comments. “I blog for myself,” they’ll say. Well, I call bullshit on that. And I know it’s bullshit because I used to say the same thing myself.

But that was before people from all around the globe started liking and commenting on my posts and following my blog. If I wrote only for myself and didn’t care about what others thought, I’d just keep a private journal. But I have a public blog on WordPress and I love my blog’s comment section. I love reading what others have to say. It’s that sense of community and the interchange of ideas that make all the hours I spend writing and reading posts worthwhile. It’s that feeling you get when you know that something you wrote and posted resonated enough with someone else that they actually took their time to write a comment in response.

Do you read the comments on other people’s blogs/posts?

Not as much as I’d like to. Between drafting, editing, proofreading, and publishing my own posts, plus reading as many of the posts from bloggers I follow as I can, there just isn’t enough time in the day left to read all of the comments people make on other bloggers’ posts. Sorry.

Spam comments and spammers: we all hate them. How do you identify spam comments?

I have to say that Akismet does a good job of trapping most spam comments before they are show up in my comments section. The few that do make it through are pretty easy to spot and remove.

Have you ever “approved” negative comments?

I don’t moderate comments, so all comments that aren’t automatically sent to my spam or trash folders are posted. But, since I do occasionally express my personal opinions and perspectives on topics such as politics, society, and religion, I do occasionally get comments from people who take exception to my personal opinions and perspectives. But I have never deleted any comment, even those that can be, at times, a little nasty. Sometimes I’ll engage, but most of the time, I just ignore them and move on. After all, I’m a big believer in what Abe Lincoln once wrote on his personal blog: “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.”

An Award and Some Questions

706255B6-C7F8-4988-9247-42AE4F1D1464I was honored by blogger TiongHan, who, after being nominated himself for the Sunshine Blogger Award, paid it forward by nominating my blog, along with a handful of others, for the same award.

Of course, my blog is an award-free blog, so I won’t be following the usual rules. What I will be doing, though, is answering the 11 questions that Tiong posed.

1. What is your sign according to Chinese Astrology? If you don’t know, use the below chart to determine your sign by looking for your year of birth.

I’m a dog. Woof woof!

2. For those unfamiliar with the Chinese zodiac, list the 3 characteristics that you recognize in yourself (use this link to familiarize yourself with your traits).

The link says that people born in the year of the Dog are conservative and full of justice. Well, I’m not politically or socially conservative, that’s for sure, although I will admit to being fiscally conservative. And I definitely see myself as being “full of justice.” It also says, “they only wish to live quietly with their family.” Yeah, that’s probably fits me.

3. Which of the seven deadly sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride) are you most guilty of? (‘None’ is not an option anyone would believe anyway. ‘All of the above’ is a sure ticket to damnation.)

Wrath is what I’m feeling most these days toward Donald Trump and his Republican sycophants for what they are doing to destroy my country.

4. What is your favorite song of all time?

Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It always make me tear up.

5. What in heaven’s name compelled you to start blogging?

God told me to.

6. What is your average number of likes per post? Yeah, I can take double digit numbers. I’ll probably turn green with envy.

According to my stats page, just shy of 28 so far this year.72A2D246-E589-4287-A350-BE7AC34120DA

7. Forgive the ignorance of this question, but do you know what Trump accuses Obama of in what is now labeled Obama-gate? Because I don’t have a clue…

Yes. Trump hates Obama and everything Obama did in his eight years as president, so he’s desperately trying to make Obama look bad by using the term “Obamagate.” In the real world, there’s no such thing.

8. What is your favorite football team? And I mean football as in soccer.

Sorry, but I haven’t followed “football as in soccer” since my kids got out of elementary school. Ask me about American football at some point.

9. What are your weaknesses, as no one is likely interested in your strengths. Besides, weaknesses make for much juicier stories, so please don’t fob us off with some generalization or two.

When I was still a young buck and would go on job interviews, I hated it when the interviewer asked, “What would you describe as your biggest weakness?” I’ll tell you the same thing I said to the interviewers who asked me that question. “My biggest weakness,” I would say, “is my inability to describe my biggest weakness.”

10. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written? And we’re dying to know why.

This post. Why? Because it really happened and it’s something I never forgot.

11. What is your favorite poem?

Actually, I’m not a big fan of poetry, but back in high school English lit class, we did have to study some of the world’s great poets, including Scottish poet Robert Burns. Of all of his poems we read, one poem, “To a Louse,” and one particular line in that poem, “O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us,” really stuck with me.

For a more contemporary interpretation of the quoted line, it essentially means, “It would be great if we could somehow have the gift of being able to see ourselves the way other people see us.”

We really can’t see ourselves as others see us, can we? We see ourselves through our own perspectives, our own perceptions, and our own reality. Few of us can understand how we really come across to those around us or to the world.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, even for just an hour or a day, we could know how others view us? I think that seeing ourselves as others see us would be a gift, but perhaps it would actually be burden. No doubt, though, it would be illuminating.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #66

FFFCWelcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from Andrea Piacquadio at the visually challenged writer, the photo is of an elderly man sitting at a desk typing on a laptop.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.