Time To Move

By all measures, the bus terminal in this podunk town is insignificant. Of course, I’m used to taking the bus on the commute to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan for my job from our home in suburban New Jersey. But even though I am at the bus terminal every day during the week, I admit that it can be easy to get lost there, to meander around the vast building, looking for a gate or even for an exit to the streets of the city. It can be perplexing even to a seasoned traveler visiting New York City.

But here, literally in the middle of flyover country, the small bus station I’m standing in front of is at the opposite end of the spectrum. No concrete jungle infused by the suffocating fumes of hundreds of busses coming and going into a building inhabited by commuters and the homeless. Just a small building with weathered wood siding surrounded on three sides by a field covered by yellow dandelions, orange tiger lilies, and green shrubs. A single ticket window and a bulletin board with bus arrival and departure times posted on it. No lines, few people, and remarkably fresh air.

You know, living in a rural community like this might be a nice change of pace. We could probably buy a house here at a quarter of what our home in Jersey is worth. Escaping the hustle bustle of the big city might be a change for the better. I think I’ll call my wife and see if she’d be up for a move. She tends to overthink things, but I can be quite persuasive. After all, I’m a hugely successful salesman.

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (terminal), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (insignificant), E.M.’s Random word Prompt meander), Word of the Day Challenge (perplex), My Vivid Blog (dandelion), Ragtag Daily Prompt (tiger), and Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge (overthink). Photo credit: Shutterstock/Resul Muslu

Maggie Asks Questions About Blogging

Maggie, over at From Cave Walls, wrote a post today where she offered some sound blogging advice and also posed a number of questions for her fellow bloggers to answer. You can visit her post here. I’m going to answer her questions from my perspective.

Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji?

No. I wish I could, but I just don’t have the time. But I do read every comment and I will at least acknowledge it with a “like,” even if it’s just an emoji.

Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?

I’m not a fan of blogs with dark backgrounds and white, light gray, or other lighter, contrasting colored fonts. I read exclusively from my iPhone and find these hard on the eyes. I also don’t like overly fancy fronts. I find some ornate, script-like fonts difficult to read. I am generally a minimalist and I like to keep things simple, so that readers can focus on my words and not get distracted by the appearance of the blog.

Under what circumstances would you block a user?

I rarely have blocked any user, as I can take just about anything anyone throws at me. That said, I have blocked one or two users who, in the comments section on my posts, become abusive or offensive toward my readers.

Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?

Not really. Bring it on.

How do you feel about blogging awards?

I feel that they are a dime a dozen and there are so many awards floating around that they have lost their meaning. I have designated my blog as an award-free blog.

How old is your current blog?

I started this blog in May of 2017. This is my fifth blog (hence fivedotoh.com). I started my first blog in October 2005.

Do you respond to prompts?

I both respond to a number of prompts and host a number of prompts.

Does the number of your blog followers matter to you?

According to WordPress, I have around 5,000 followers. Yeah, right. That number doesn’t matter to me at all. What matters most to me are comments and likes from actual readers.

What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?

I follow bloggers who write engaging, informative, entertaining, witty, and well-written posts. I will periodically go through my list of bloggers I follow and purge bloggers that haven’t posted anything in the past four or five months. I figure they have quit blogging.

What is your blogging pet peeve?

First and foremost, it’s the shenanigans the geniuses at WordPress pull when they “fix” something that wasn’t broken or roll out new features and functionality that no one asked for or really wants. Also, the fact that WordPress seems to be catering to commercial and business bloggers rather than us casual hobby bloggers really bugs me.

Blogging is a medium built around words and writing. If you blog, you should learn how to construct sentences using proper syntax, to use proper grammar, correct word usage, and appropriate punctuation. And to spell.

In her post, Maggie offered five pieces of blogging advice, all of which were good. I’d like to add a sixth:

Create an “About” page. Tell us who you are and a little about yourself.

5 Things — Annoyances

Dr. Tanya noted that for her 5 Things prompt, she most often ask us for our five favorite things related to whatever topic she gives us. But this week, she decided to go to the dark side and has asked us to share five things that can cause a lot of irritation or that annoy us. What? Only five things?

I am annoyed by…

  1. People, often tradespeople or service providers, who tell you they are going to show up at your home on a certain day or time, or commit to getting back to you with an answer or a quote by a specific day, and then never show up or even call or text.
  2. Dog owners who don’t bother picking up their dog’s poop when walking their dogs around the neighborhood or wherever they might be walking it.
  3. People who refuse, in the name of “personal freedom,” to get COVID-19 vaccinations and to wear face masks in public.
  4. Most television commercials, which is why I rarely watch live TV. Almost all the things I watch on TV are shows that I’ve recorded on my DVR so that I can zip past the commercials when I view the recordings. And these days, much of what I watch on TV is on subscription streaming channels, like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and Discovery+, which have no commercials.
  5. Republicans.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #155


Welcome 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.

I remember back in the day when I was still working, I would often get invited to interview for jobs with other companies than the one I was working for. And I would, if the position sounded interesting enough, agree to the interview. It seemed at the time that many interviewers liked to ask what they considered to be probing or provocative questions that had nothing to do with my previous experience or my qualifications for the job for which I was being interviewed.

One such provocative question that they often asked was, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” I was an excellent interviewee, if I do say so myself, so, if I was at all interested in the position, I’d come up with some bullshit answer that I figured the interviewer wanted to hear.

But I always thought that question was a ridiculous question to ask a candidate for a job, and what I really would have liked to have said in response to that question, although I never did say it other than in my imagination was, “Where do I see myself five years from now? Anywhere but here working for an asshole like you.”

For this week’s provocative question, it’s my turn to be that asshole who asks you the question…

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

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.