SoCS — How To Write a Blog Post

53777316-BF99-4AAF-9225-F10F49550527For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to “Write instructions for anything you know how to do.”

I don’t possess a particular expertise in any area, but there is something I do multiple times a day. I write posts for my blog. So here are my instructions for writing a blog post in 32 easy steps:

  1. Sit down at your computer (or with your tablet or smartphone).
  2. Open up your blogging app.
  3. Stare at the screen while you think of something to write about.
  4. Fix yourself a cup of coffee.
  5. Check your stats and read comments on your other posts.
  6. Go to your newsfeed, Facebook, or Twitter for ideas on current events, politics, religion, sports, or technology, or read other bloggers’ posts for ideas and/or writing prompts.
  7. Stare at the blank edit page waiting for something to click.
  8. Get another cup of coffee.
  9. Choose a topic for your post.
  10. Start typing (or tapping).
  11. Stop typing and read what you’ve written so far.
  12. Admit that it’s crap and move it to trash.
  13. Check your spam folder.
  14. Go back to your edit screen and start typing.
  15. Repeat steps 11 and 12.
  16. Repeat step 14.
  17. Repeat step 11 again.
  18. Decide that it’s good enough.
  19. Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  20. Fix any such errors you find.
  21. Read your draft post out loud.
  22. Make any further edits to enhance flow and readability.
  23. Search the internet or your own photo library for a suitable image to illustrate the subject matter of your post.
  24. Preview your post.
  25. Make any further changes necessary.
  26. Repeat steps 24 and 25 until you think it’s ready to go.
  27. Hit “Publish.”
  28. Read your published post in your browser.
  29. Say to yourself, “Shit, how did I miss that typo?”
  30. Fix the typo.
  31. Hit “Update.”
  32. Go take a nap.

The Lobster Award

17B474C3-1BD9-40A1-BBEB-AF4C26609417I’ve been gifted with a Lobster Liebster Award nomination from Vanessa (aka Faithfully Yours) at It’s Me 4 U! A Lobster award nomination would have been more tasty, but I am still grateful to Faithfully Yours for thinking about me and my blog for this Liebster Award honor.

So the rules are

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you. Thank you Vanessa.
  2. Share 11 facts about yourself. See below.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you. See even further below.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and make them happy. Nope. I’m nominating everyone.
  5. Create 11 questions of your own and ask your nominees. Nope. If anyone wants to participate, you can answer the same questions Vanessa asked me.
  6. Notify your nominees. Consider yourselves to have been notified.

11 Facts About Me

  1. I’m male.
  2. I’m a first generation American.
  3. I’m a septuagenarian.
  4. I’m caucasian.
  5. I’m married.
  6. I have two kids — a girl and a boy.
  7. I have two pets — a cat and a dog.
  8. I used to be 6’1” tall, but now I’m 5’11” tall. It could happen to you, too, as you age.
  9. I used to have a head of thick, brown, wavy hair. Not any more.
  10. I have worn a beard continuously since 1972.
  11. I despise Donald Trump.

11 Questions and answers

1. How important is Wi-Fi for you? Is warm running water or wireless internet more

WiFi is nice to have, but it’s not life or death. And since I primarily use my iPhone for blogging rather than my laptop, as long as I have cell service, I’m good. Thus, having running water is much more important.

2. Name your favorite blogger (any genre).

Me. Duh!

3. If you have to pick a place to settle down forever, where would it be and why?

A cottage or bungalow on the west coast with an ocean view and from which I can hear the sounds of the waves breaking.

4. What is one silly moment you’ve had that you’d like to share?

My life has been so full of silly moments that I couldn’t possibly pick out just one to share.

5. What is your favorite trait about yourself?

My dry sense of humor.

6. What is your favorite time of day?

Morning, when I have the whole day ahead of me.

7. Tell us your favorite food/cuisine.

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.2FC064A5-B338-450B-A702-F0FDAC9DC844

8. Name three destinations you would like to visit once in your lifetime.

Australia, New Zealand, Japan.

9. If you could change something in the world, what would it be?

That Donald Trump was never elected President.

10. What are you most passionate about?

Making sure that Donald Trump doesn’t get re-elected.

11. What is so special about your blog?

It’s my blog.

Remember Your Four-Legged Friends

dog-fireworksYes, it’s that time of the year again when America celebrates its birth. Independence Day. The Fourth of July. It’s a time for picnics, barbecues, family, fun, and fireworks.

Most people love to go to their local fireworks displays. Since the 4th falls on a Thursday this year, that means, depending upon where you live, localities will have their big fireworks shows starting tonight and as late as Sunday night.

But while humans are oohing and aahing at these beautiful, magnificent, stunning displays that celebrate the birth of our nation, our beloved canine family members are not going to be very happy.

No dog that I know of, and certainly not our dog, loves fireworks. Over the next four nights, we will either have to take our dog out for her last walk of the day well before it gets dark and the explosions commence, or very late after the last of the fireworks has been launched.

Because during the fireworks, while humans are thrilled about seeing and hearing the loud, colorful explosions of bombs bursting in air, our terrified dog will be shaking like a leaf, sitting in the bathtub in a windowless bathroom while we are playing loud music to try to drown out the sound of the exploding chaos going on all around us until quiet and calm have returned.

So by all means, have a wonderful Fourth of July today. Be with family and friends, celebrate the holiday, and enjoy yourselves. But please don’t forget about your loyal, loving, furry four-legged friends tonight. Those fireworks you love so much are going to scare the shit out of them.

Is This Really Necessary?

I understand that the folks who bring us WordPress have to make money. And since many bloggers take advantage of the fact that WordPress makes its site available for free, one way for the company to make money is by placing advertisements at the end of people’s posts.

But one would hope that those ads would not be disgusting to see. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. As evidence, I present you with this example of what I saw at the end of one blogger’s post this morning.F6EBACCA-47B7-4D4A-88F8-7B8C45B7FC34Eww! Jeez, WordPress, is displaying such a gross ad really necessary? I was drinking coffee when I saw this and almost did a spit take.

This is one of the reasons I opted to upgrade to a paid plan. It doesn’t cost that much (I think they start at $3 per month) and it eliminates all ads. I figured that was a small price to pay to not expose my readers to vomit-inducing advertisements. I’m not suggesting that others should opt for a paid plan. I’m just making you aware what other bloggers might see when they go to visit your site if you’re using the free plan.

Something to think about.

Adding Insult to Injury

9BC1D069-73AC-47EB-AE93-0CD86E667F58I downloaded the lasted update to the WordPress app for iOS and was greeted with the normal graphical representation that shows how poorly my blog is doing in terms of views. But the so-called Happiness Engineers at WordPress also gifted me with some in-your-face statistics showing that my blog has received 42% fewer views today than it did yesterday. All I need, according to this new addition to the display of stats, is 151 more views today to match yesterday’s views, which, incidentally, were 144 views fewer (down 29%) than the day before that. That’s kind of depressing.

Come on, WordPress. Is it really necessary to give these stats in addition to the chart that tells me that nobody is reading my posts. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

And you call yourselves Happiness Engineers. Yeah, right.