WTF Blogger?

87F16EF0-7E93-4291-B36F-5BCED8510096I periodically receive comments on my posts from Blogger bloggers. And when I read their posts on Blogger, I would occasionally like to be able to “like” their posts, to post a comment, or even to follow their blogs. But I don’t know how!

I don’t see (or can’t find) anything that looks like a “like” button on Blogger. Neither can I find a way to indicate that I want to follow a Blogger blogger. And I can’t even figure out how to leave a comment on a Blogger’s posts.

When I attempt to comment on a Blogger’s post, I’m presented with this:9AA1F39D-9EA3-4449-A02A-01631625C9E5I can type in my comment, but since I don’t have a Google account for my blog, I have to, as shown above, select a “profile” by either entering my name and URL, or to post the comment anonymously. And so I select “Name/URL.”

That brings up this screen:F32A08F4-1572-48E1-8776-2447460C39E9I dutifully type in my name (Fandango) in the first field and my blog’s URL (fivedotoh.com) in the second field. But when I go to publish the comment, the comment disappears and nothing happens. Nada! Zippo! Where did my comment go?

So can anyone who is familiar with how Blogger works please explain to me, a WordPress blogger, how to “like,” follow, and/or comment on Blogger’s blog posts.

There’s got to be a way, right?

MLMM Photo Challenge — Read Me; See Me

CreativeHe went to the blogger’s contact page, typed in his name, his email address, and his blog’s URL. Then he entered his comment:

I am in love with you. I am mesmerized by your words, your verbs, your nouns, your adjectives, and even your adverbs. Your grammar, punctuation, and usage are exquisite. Your every sentence is so well conceived and constructed, you paragraphs are riveting. Your writer’s voice is exquisite. I image you to be a vision of pure beauty and elegance. I must meet you. Tell me where you live. I will drive, sail, or fly to you, but I cannot go on much longer without being touched by the real, physical you as I have been touched by the abstract, metaphysical, cyber you. I eagerly await your response.

The response came back a few days later:

Thank you for reaching out to me. I was truly touched by your message. But you need to understand that I am not who you believe me to be. I, like you, am merely a blogger who marvels at the majesty of words. But in reality, I am invisible. You have painted an image of me that uses only the metaphoric ink I have poured onto the symbolic pages of my blog. My writing has allowed you to create an ink blot of my visage that can be seen only by your mind’s eye. I am to you who I want you to imagine me to be. So, knowing the impossibility of being able to live up to who you wish me to be, I must decline your request to meet in the real world.

His disappointment upon receiving the response was immense. He would not give up and wrote back:

You are not invisible to me. I see you clearly and I am smitten. Your words show me who you really are, a warm, tender, sensitive, emotive, empathetic individual who has cast a spell upon me, one that can only be broken by meeting the you who exists in the physical world. You have taken my heart and I beg you to not deny me the opportunity to complete the portrait of the person your words have outlined.

A few days later, another email response arrived:

Okay listen up, dude. I know I have a way with words, but let me be real with you. I’m actually a 48 year old, 400 pound guy sitting on my bed in my mother’s basement in her house in New Jersey. So if you still wanna meet me in the real world, sure. We can meet at Newark Airport on the second Tuesday of next week.

The guy from New Jersey was shocked when he got this response:

Works for me. How about this coming Tuesday in Terminal C.


Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Origin Eight.

The Dream and the Reality

71a83a70-33b2-4e9c-89be-b9a98cf8220eI see myself in my dream as an accomplished writer, an author who has the ability to compose a truly great work of literature.

I can visualize, as I toil away on my keyboard, a flock of festive letters, like little, white snowflakes, floating up from my typewriter, transforming into magnificent words — nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and yes, even adverbs — and then slowly descending down to bedeck the blank pages of my book.

And then I wake up from the dream, sit down at my computer with a cup of hot coffee, and struggle to punch out enough words for a simple blog post.

There’s the dream and then there’s the reality.


Written for these one-word prompts: Fandago’s One-Word Challenge (compose), Scotts Daily Prompt, (literature), Your Daily Word Prompt (festive), Ragtag Daily Prompt (white), and Word of the Day Challenge (bedeck).

Happy Thirteenth Anniversary

No, it’s not my thirteenth wedding anniversary. I’ve been married for way more than 13 years. But it was exactly thirteen years ago today, on October 10, 2005, when I published my very first post on my very first blog.

It was on Blogger or Blogspot, which may be the same thing (I think my URL had a “blogspot.com” domain name), but it (or they) are now part of the Google family, which they weren’t at the time I started that blog.

Anyway, I named my first blog “They Took an X-Ray of My Head and Found Nothing.” It was based on something Dizzy Dean, a professional baseball pitcher in the 1930s, said. In game four of the 1934 World Series, Dean attempted to break up a double play on a ground ball. The second baseman’s throw ended up hitting Dean in the head, knocking him unconscious. Dean’s x-ray at the hospital came back negative, and Dean was quoted as saying, “The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing.”

But I digress. The tagline of my blog was “All the news, views, and commentary that I think are important…to me, anyway, because, after all, it’s all about me!” Hmm. Not much has changed in 13 years, has it?

My first post was a whiny lament about how the second basement for the Boston Red Sox made an error that cost the Red Sox the game. And it was a playoff game, too! I used to blog about sports a lot back then because politics at the time was, you know, boring. Oh how I wish that were still the case.

My “X-Ray” blog was up and running for more than three years, until December 6, 2008. It was replaced a month later, on January 6, 2009, with my second blog, which only lasted until June 9, 2009. For my third blog, which I started a month later, on July 6, 2009, I moved it from Blogger to TypePad. Then, in July of 2013, I started blog number four on WordPress.

For personal reasons, in mid-April of 2015, I took a two-year hiatus from blogging. Until May of 2017, when I started this blog, blog number five (hence, “Fivedotoh”). I realized that I couldn’t stay quiet with Donald Trump as POTUS and with all of the chaos he was creating and the damage he was doing.

I also decided that, in order to maintain my own mental health, I would dabble in flash fiction to serve as a distraction from the insanity in Washington.

And here we are, thirteen years later. So happy thirteenth blogging anniversary to me. Thank you for sharing this auspicious anniversary with me.

To Control or To Be Controlled

AB1E42E7-7F30-4213-A11E-60ADEC67D82E.jpeg

This is not my first blog. In fact, when I decided to launch this blog four months ago, it was the fifth blog I launched.

I started my first blog in 2005 on Blogger. It lasted for maybe 18 months and ended when, between work and family, I just got too busy to post consistently. Not that anyone would have noticed. My blog had no followers.

In early 2008 I started my second blog, which lasted for less than a year. That time around, I was using the blog hosting site, TypePad. I ended this second iteration because I lost my motivation. This second iteration had only a few followers.

About a year later, I started my third blog. It, too, was on TypePad, but because I wasn’t getting much traction on TypePad, even after four years, I moved my blog to WordPress. Within a year on WordPress, though, my blog soared. I had accumulated close to 3,000 followers and was averaging around 500-600 views a day.

While every blogger wants a following, that relatively large following turned out to be a curse. I became obsessed with creating an even larger following. I felt compelled to post multiple times a day and to respond to each and every comment anyone made on my posts. I “liked” and commented on the posts of my regular readers.

And so blogging consumed me. I sacrificed time with my family. I spent more time blogging than doing my job, which hurt my job performance and reputation. I hardly ever ventured outside because I didn’t want to be away from my computer for long periods of time.

I even resented having to go to sleep because it meant I couldn’t be composing a new post, responding to comments, or reading those posted by others on their blogs.

I was addicted. Not to drugs or alcohol or tobacco. I was a blog addict. And I needed to change my behavior before I completely lost myself and my real world identity into my blogging persona. With the help of, and encouragement from, my wife, I stopped blogging cold turkey in early 2015.

In early 2016 I started another blog on WordPress. I wrote my observations on the presidential race. But I kept that blog private because I was primarily writing for my eyes only. That fourth blogging go-round never saw the light of day.

This past May I decided, once again, to dip my toe back into the world of blogging. I told myself that this time I would not become obsessed or addicted. I would post periodically and I would not feel compelled to focus on getting a bunch of followers. I would post only for the purpose of writing down what I observe, think, feel, and experience.

I named my new blog “Fivedotoh” in recognition of this being my fifth blog.

And now I am, once again, consumed by blogging. I just need to make sure that this time around I can control it and that it doesn’t, as it did once before, end up controlling me.