A to Z Challenge Reflections

img_4815Those of us who participated in the 2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge last month have been asked by the promoters to write a post reflecting back on our experience. Okay, fair enough. Here are my thoughts.

During the month of April, I had 15,438 views, of which 1,586 were of my 26 A to Z posts, so the A to Z posts accounted for just over 10% of my total views for the month. And I probably gained some followers in April through my A to Z Challenge participation.

My top five A to Z posts viewed in April were:

  1. B is for Blogger (120 views)
  2. G is for Gender (95 views)
  3. X is for Xenophobe (93 views)
  4. A is for Acronym (92 Views)
  5. C is for Chronological Order (68 views)

Interestingly, 57% of my A to Z posts were viewed in the first half of the month and only 43% in the second half, so readership dropped off significantly as the month progressed.

One of the goals of the A to Z Challenge is to encourage bloggers to post every day during the month of April. But I already post multiple times a day anyway, so I’m not sure that having to come up with a challenge post each day wasn’t more of a burden than it was worth.

And yes, it was a bit of a burden. Unlike many others who participated in the challenge, I didn’t have a theme. So I had to come up each day with some rather random “alpha-post” in addition to my other prompt-response posts and my political rants. And yes, some of my A to Z Challenge posts were political rants.

I met a few other bloggers who were new to me as a result of their participation in the challenge, but not that many. A few hundred bloggers participated and ain’t nobody got time to read a few hundred posts each day from other bloggers.

Aint Nobody Got Time For That GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Will I do this again next April? I honestly don’t know. I’ll have to see how I’m feeling then, assuming that I’m still alive and blogging.

Z is for Zilch

FE58492C-6D4C-4ECB-BCF1-FF260933D86EI’ve got zilch, zero, zip. So it’s a damn good thing that today is the last day of the 2019 A to Z Challenge. Because I’m used up. There’s just nothing left for me to give. And I didn’t even have a theme for this 26-post alphabet challenge, like many bloggers who participated in this challenge did. I was free to post about whatever popped into my tiny little head. And even with that freedom, it was a burden.

So it’s over. For another year. If I’m still around and still blogging in April 2020, I’ll have to think long and hard about whether or not to participate again in next year’s A to Z Challenge.

Of course, should I decide to do it again next April, I can always just recycle my 2018 A to Z Challenge posts, since the odds are that many of you won’t still be blogging in a year.

It’s true. I read a couple of articles I found recently on the internet — so you know they’re accurate — when I Googled “What is the average lifespan of a new blog?” One article said that the average lifespan of a new blog is about 100 days. Another site estimated that new blogs these days typically have a four to six month lifespan.

And for those few of you who will still be here next April and who may have diligently read each and every one of my posts for this year’s challenge, you probably didn’t read, much less remember, any of my posts from last year’s challenge. Thus, by next year, they’ll all seem new to you.

In fact, do any of you who were around for the A to Z Challenge in 2018 even remember what my Z-post was last year?

Hint: it wasn’t “Z is for Zilch.”


Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Y is for Yankees

9B98C3B5-973C-4665-A5FD-6746012E81A1The New York Yankees — the baseball team I love to hate.

When I was a lad growing up in the Washington, DC area in the mid-fifties and sixties, my favorite baseball team was the Washington Senators. They played in the American League and their arch rivals were the New York Yankees. Back then, the Yankees were the perennial American League champs, while the hapless Senators were the basement dwellers.

There used to be this saying, “Washington: first in peace, first in war, last in the American League.” Most Senators fans, including me, hated the Yankees.7715B4F8-1531-462C-884B-0C32EC35431CThere was even a 1956 Tony Award winning Broadway musical and a 1958 movie version titled “Damn Yankees.”

It was about a frustrated Senators fan who makes a pact with the Devil to help the baseball team win the American league pennant against the Yankees. I loved that movie!

About 35 years later, my family and I moved to the Boston area, where, once again, my home town team, this time the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees were — and still are — fierce rivals.

And even though it’s been a decade since I moved to San Francisco, I still, to this day, hate the Yankees just as much I did when I was a kid in DC and for the almost 20 years we lived near Boston.

In fact, the only thing I hate worse than the Red Sox losing is the Yankees winning.


Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

X is for Xenophobe

4F6BB380-E9BD-4736-9808-50345B95CBA7Let’s see. There’s xylophone. Nah. There’s Xerox. Nope, I did that last year. How about xfinity? No, that’s a made up word that serves as the brand name for Comcast’s cable and internet service.

Oh wait. I know. Donald Trump.

I know what you’re thinking. Donald Trump doesn’t start with the letter X. Actually, though, Donald Trump is America’s Xenophobe-in-Chief.

A xenophobe is a person who fears or hates foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers. And based upon what Donald Trump says and does, he is definitely a xenophobe.

He wants to spend billions of dollars to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico because, according to Trump, Mexicans “have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade.”

And it’s not just Mexicans that Donald Trump hates. He hates people from what he calls “shithole” countries. “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” he wants to know.

Shithole countries in Africa, like Nigeria, or island nations like Haiti. Trump said that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts,” and that Haitians “all have aids.” “Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump asked. “Take them out.”

Instead of people from Central America with brown skins or from Africa with black skins, Trump spoke of taking in immigrants from “great European countries like Norway.” Could skin color have anything to do with that. Well, that would be racist, wouldn’t it? And for the purpose of this post, I don’t want to talk about Trump the racist, even though he is one.

Nope. This post is exclusively about Trump the xenophobe.


Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

W is for Whoa

298FB7DA-4BA5-4017-9F88-DC7DF2F28989“Whoa!” That is what I often say multiple times a day each time I read or hear the latest news on the words or actions of Donald Trump, his surrogates and sycophants.

Whoa! When Kirstjen Nielsen was the secretary of Homeland Security, she reportedly wanted to warn the White House about Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 election, but Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told her not to bring it up to the President because he still believes any discussion about Russia’s election interference undermines his 2016 election victory and doesn’t want to hear it, much less do anything to prevent it.

Whoa! Donald Trump told Sean Hannity that the Russia investigation was an attempted coup by the Democrats and that it was an effort to overthrow the government of the United States.

Whoa! Donald Trump, in his attempts to obstruct Congress from conducting oversight of the Executive Branch, has instructed his current and former aids to defy congressional subpoenas and to violate their legal obligations.

Whoa! Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has once again delayed a decision on whether to turn over President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, which according to law, the IRS must do when such tax returns are formally requested by Congress.

Whoa! Trump and the Trump Organization are suing House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings to stop subpoenas for financial information from the president’s businesses. This from the man who claims that he is the most transparent president in history.

Whoa! The five conservative Supreme Court Justices, two of which were appointed by Trump, are showing signs that they are inclined to vote in favor of allowing the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, despite the fact that the Constitution requires that every person residing in the United States — not just citizens — be counted each decade.

I could go on and on, but whoa!


Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z