Six Minutes — Give or Take

Christine Bialczak has this thing that she calls Simply 6 Minutes. She asks us to spend six minutes writing a post in response to her word or photo prompt. She suggests setting up a timer or sitting near a clock so we can keep track of the six minutes we will be writing.

I write my posts on my iPhone and I estimate that it takes about 50% longer to tap out a post on an iPhone’s tiny virtual keypad than it does to type one on a laptop or desktop keyboard. So I’m going to give myself nine minutes — Six minutes plus 50% — to complete this post.

This is my first attempt at Christine’s six minute writing prompt, but when I saw this picture, I couldn’t resist. So here we go.This little guy looks cute, doesn’t he? But that’s because he’s just a kit, which is what a baby raccoon is called. And aren’t all baby creatures cute?

My experience with raccoons is primarily from walking my dog at night. I used to walk her at a small park/recreation center and because it was dark, I would wear a campers headlamp so I could see where we were walking. Whenever we walked around the rec center, I would see up to half a dozen pairs of beady eyes reflected back at me from the tree branches when my headlamp would find them. It was spooky.My dog would go crazy when she saw or sensed the raccoons and I would struggle to hold her leash so she didn’t go after them.

I never thought that these raccoons were particularly dangerous, but I had heard that these trash bin scavengers, which can get as big as 28 inches long and close to 60 pounds, are common carriers of rabies and other serious diseases. I also heard from other dog owners that raccoons can sometime be aggressive and have occasionally attacked smaller dogs.

Fortunately for me and my dog, we never ran across any aggressive raccoons. But there was that one night….

Oops, sorry, my six nine minutes are up.

Keeping It Brief

When I first started blogging back in 2005, my posts were often long and meandering pieces covering whatever I had on my mind at the time. It was not unusual for my posts to exceed 1,000 words. And sometimes, when I was on a roll, 1,500 or more words. It took me a while to realize that most people who read blog posts have neither the time nor the inclination to read lengthy posts.

So I decided to embrace brevity in my posts. After all, none other than than The Bard, himself, William Shakespeare said that “Brevity is the soul of wit,” and I do endeavor to be witty in my posts. The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” His “magic number” for his editorials was around 300 words.

It took me a while to retreat from my habit of writing lengthy posts. For example, in 2006, my average words per post was 1,072. By 2009 I was down to 772 words on average. In 2014 I was down to 556. In 2016, 367. By 2018 my average post was only 235 words. And so far this year I’m at 221.

And each year, as my average words per post dropped, my average views, visitors, and followers went up. So I have become stalwart in my belief that, when it comes to blogging, being concise and exercising brevity is the way to go.

Because when it comes to reading long blog posts…

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (brevity), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (retreat), and Your Daily Word Prompt (stalwart).

A Month of Love #24

Paula Light says, “Let’s celebrate the month of lurve (aka love) by posting one thing we love every day throughout February.

Now the truth is that I’m not really a romantic guy, so I might be hard pressed to come up with 28 objects of love, but I think I should be able to come up with 28 things I like a lot.

I know this might sound like I’m cheating by declaring my love for my Roku Streaming Stick+ a second time, given that I did it the first time just five days ago in this post. But this morning, when I opened up my Roku menu screen, this is what I saw:Step right up folks. Come visit my store and let Fandango know what movies or TV shows you want to buy. My fees are quite reasonable. 🤪

One-Liner Wednesday —The Know Nothings

Before I offer my One-Liner Wednesday quote for today, I need to provide a little context. In the most recent issue of The Week magazine, Editor-in-Chief William Falk wrote:

America needs two viable, sane political parties. Parties provide voters with a coherent choice of governing philosophies, and galvanize people to unite behind an agenda and candidates … When parties become enamored with unpopular and foolish ideas, they can die: The Federalists, the Whigs, and the Know Nothings all once flourished and then perished.

Falk ended his editorial with this line:

“The Republican Party can be revived, but it must first turn back from the Know Nothing path it’s on now, which leads to Knowhere.”

If you want to know more about the Know Nothing Party, you might want to read this article.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #110

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today’s provocative question is what I hope will be a fun one, and I hope that those of you who choose to participate will not respond with a one-word answer like “fine” or “good” or “nonexistent.” Or worse, tell me it’s none of my business, even though it really is none of my business.

I do hope you’ll just have fun with the question and dazzle us with your answer.

So what is this question? It’s simply…

How’s your sex life?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.