Spam Comment of the Week — Week 9 2023

I get some interesting spam comments on my blog, most of which are captured by Akismet, WordPress’ spam blocker. I generally do a mass delete of all of my spam comments after checking to see if any legitimate comments got caught up in Akismet’s spam-catching net.

I thought it might be fun to select a particularly interesting or unique or outrageous spam comment and highlight it each week.

This week’s featured spam comment was from Tara Laffoon, whose comment made on a post I wrote in response to one of Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights prompts.

hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again soon..

Tara, I’m sorry about the technical issues you’ve been having on my site and that you had to reload it a lot of times. I’m not sure if my “hosting is OK.” My blog is hosted at WordPress, and WordPress can be buggy. I’ll immediately reach out to the Happiness Engineers and let them know about the “sluggish loading instances.” Thank you for this heads up and I’m sorry you’ve had issues reading my respective intriguing content.

Anyway, have you read some catchy spam comments that you’d like to share with us? If so, put them in the comments or create your own post and tag it #FSCW.

Blogging Insights — About Me

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Today Dr. Tanya wants to know our thoughts about About pages. She asks:

How important is the About page of your blog?

I think it’s important for every blogger to have an About page. In fact, I think it’s so important that I typically will not follow another blogger who doesn’t have one. I want to know at least a little something about the person behind the blog and the nature of the blog.

What constitutes the perfect About page?

I have no idea. The About page is an opportunity to tell others in the blogging community a little bit about who we are and what our blog is about. If an About page accomplishes that, then it’s perfect.

How often do you think an About page needs to be updated, and when is the last time you updated yours?

About pages are what’s called “static” pages. That means that they typically don’t change all that often. So unless something about you or you blog has changed over time, I’m not sure your About page needs to change.

My blog’s About page notes upfront that “My real world identity will remain a mystery.” I once had my identity stolen and it took many painful months to get that all straightened out. Consequently, I am perhaps overly guarded about revealing too much about myself, my personal life, and my family, which is why I blog anonymously.

I also explain that I have no particular niche for my blog. It is about “this, that, and the other.” And as my tagline suggests, my posts reflect my personal observations and perspectives on life, society, and politics. I try to infuse my posts, even those that cover deadly serious topics, with humor when I can. I occasionally throw into the mix some flash fiction.

Also on my About page, I reveal that I’m a retired, liberal, practical, and pragmatic septuagenarian. I also admit that I can be a bit cantankerous, as well as somewhat pedantic (i.e., fussy) when it comes to grammar, spelling, and usage.

Because none of what’s on my About page has changed since I created it in May 2017, I have never updated it.

Blogging Insights — Prompt Me

It’s Monday (albeit late Monday) and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Today Dr. Tanya has given us a quote from a writer and wants to know what we think.

“Writing is always difficult, but easier with something to say.”

Today’s quote comes from “Bridge of Clay” author Marcus Zusak.

I agree that writing his easier when you have something to say. Because writing when you have nothing to say serves no purpose, other than maybe to hear yourself talk…or read your own words.

I know that if I don’t have anything to say (or to write about), I won’t write a post. Fortunately, I rarely have nothing to say, and, as a result, writing comes fairly easy to me.

Of course, there are times when external factors may affect your ability to write. Like since I broke my hip a month ago and have been struggling to find the energy to write. I still believe I have something to say, but I just can’t generate the energy to say it. Hopefully this, too, shall pass.

Blogging Insights — Prompt Me

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Today Dr. Tanya wants to know how we feel about writing prompts. She asks…

How do writing prompts affect your creativity? Do they expand it, or do they restrict it?

I think writing prompts are a great way to stimulate creativity. You’re given a word and/or an image and asked to create a story or a poem around the prompt. The prompt word or image sets off your imagination to create whatever your mind sees or conjures up. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of taking multiple daily prompt words and weaving together a story that flows nicely and doesn’t sound forced, and I’m hoping to get into that once this torpor that I’m in passes.

Some people don’t like prompts with word limits because they believe that such limits stifle creativity. But as someone who appreciates brevity, I don’t mind them. I like the challenge of crafting a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end within a specific word limitation.

Can they be considered ‘real’ or ‘true’ writing?

Of course they are considered to be real and true writing. I would posit that all writing, not just blogging, but almost any writing, is triggered by prompts of one sort or another, whether current or historical events, dreams, something that was seen, heard, read, or personally experienced.

What is your favorite kind of prompt?

Any port in a storm; any prompt that triggers one’s imagination.

SYW/BI — 01/23/2023

It’s about 9:00 Monday night here in the post-operative acute care orthopedic rehab center and I just had the best dump I’ve taken in eight days, which makes me a happy camper! So I thought, before I turn in for the night, I’d celebrate my accomplishment by taking a few minutes to respond to two of my favorite Monday prompts, Di’s Share Your World prompt and Dr Tanya’s Blogging Insights prompt.

Let’s start with Share Your World. Di asks:

1. Do you find it relatively easy to fall asleep at night?

Before my accident, I found it relatively easy to fall asleep, but not so easy to stay asleep due to having to get up and pee at least once during the night. Since my accident last Saturday, I’m so exhausted from pain and the physical and occupational therapy sessions I’m having four times a day, I fall asleep almost the instant I close my eyes.

2. Do you remember your dreams?

Maybe for 15 to 30 seconds after I wake up. But then my dreams, for the most part, just disappear from my memory. The only exceptions are recurring dreams that I’ve had and I can usually remember them because, well, they’re recurring.

Interestingly, I’ve had a lot of really weird dreams since being in the hospital, and I do remember at least the gist, if not the details, of some of those dreams.

3. If you can’t sleep, do you watch TV, read or listen to music in the hope you will nod off?

I either play solitaire on my iPhone or read blog posts on my iPhone until I can no longer keep my eyes open and am able to nod off.

4. Can you literally sleep anywhere (chair, sofa, bus, train, flight, etc.)?

If I’m really tired, I can, indeed, fall asleep pretty much anywhere. But a nice comfy bed is always my preference.

Now for Blogging Insights. Dr Tanya asks:

Do you write directly on a device? Are you old school, do you write on paper first?

When I first started blogging back in 2005, I’d draft my post using Microsoft Word on my laptop and then copy and paste it to my Blogger-hosted blog. But for the past six or seven years, I draft my post using either on my iPhone or using the WordPress app for iOS on my iPhone. Today, I almost exclusively use the iOS app.

Do you re-draft? If so, how many times?

Except when I’m responding to a Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the only editing you’re technically permitted to do is to correct typos and misspellings, I do a lot of redrafting. I proofread, edit, move things around, re-edit, re-proofread, and do it as many times as I think necessary before I’m happy enough with my post to hit Publish. I’d say, on average, I have ten to twenty redrafts for each post.