Disappearing Act

0DE6ADF4-60C2-41F7-8BD4-590D9C849F68I received a rather strange and disturbing email via my contact page from a blogger I follow, Marilyn Armstrong, over at Serendipity.

“Haven’t heard from you in weeks. You mad at me?” she wrote.

I didn’t know why the real Marilyn would send that, since I read her blog almost religiously, click like on most of her posts, and comment on many of them. I thought maybe someone had spoofed her email, and that if I clicked on her embedded link, I’d be the victim of malware.

So I reached out to Marilyn, who informed me that the email was, indeed, from her. She responded by telling me that she hadn’t seen any comments from me since early April.

What? The only explanation is that my comments were disappearing somewhere in cyberspace or getting hijacked in the blogosphere.

You know, I’ve seen other bloggers complain that their pingbacks weren’t working or that their comments weren’t showing up, but I didn’t realize it was happening to my comments as well.

So if you suddenly happen to notice my absence in you comments section, it might be due to some glitch in WordPress.

Just wanted to let you know. In case, you know, you missed me.

The Mask I Wear

This is the mask I wear when I wander the corridors of the blogosphere.

With it, I say what I feel deep down inside of me.

Without it, I say what people expect of me.

The true me, then, is the man behind the mask.

(Exactly 45 words)


D7A1540D-A4BE-4617-B8B4-681D7D3F0916Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “mask” in exactly 45 words.

I’ve Never Skied Naked

62f3e412-a061-49f0-bcab-4003b9716ea9.jpegThat is not me in the picture. Just to set the record straight, I have never in my life skied naked. Yet there is a rumor floating around the blogosphere that I have, indeed done so.

It all started when Rory (A Guy Called Bloke) posted about being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. In that post, he included me in the group of bloggers he nominated to pay it forward and he posed a bunch of questions, the nature of which Rory is wont to ask (i.e., weird ones).

Being the accommodating blogger that I am, I wrote a post with my answers to Rory’s weird questions. That post is HERE.

Rory’s second question asked, “What’s the most fun you have ever had without the obvious, naked?” I interpreted Rory’s question to ask about the most fun I’ve had without being naked. And so I responded, “Without being naked? Um, downhill snow skiing at Taos in New Mexico?”

Think about what I wrote. I wrote, “Without being naked?” Maybe I misunderstood Rory’s question, but my response was clearly talking about not being naked. Am I right or what?

But apparently a number of bloggers glommed on to the notion that I skied naked. I figured this misconception would eventually fizzle out.

But no. Today, Mel, over at Crushed Caramel, “gifted” me with this pair of thermal underwear. 7ADB5CB0-32D5-4A88-A7EE-ECB209E1224AShe wrote, “My first priority is a gift to Fernando* Fandango, the creator of This, That, and The Other. I would like to give the gift of thermal underwear for skiers. Specialist skiers underwear that is also aerodynamic. It won’t slow you down on the ski slopes but it will help to prevent frost bite. Frostbite can turn very nasty, so please do wear something on the slopes.”

But I already do wear thermal underwear when I go skiing because I don’t sky naked!

So, once and for all, I’ve never skied naked. I’ve been naked at a nude beach, I’ve been skinny dipping at a flooded rock quarry, and I’ve frolicked in the altogether with friends in a hot tub. But skiing naked. Uh uh!

* Don’t ask.

The End of the Blogosphere?

Comedian and political satirist Jordan Klepper, host of Comedy Central’s The Opposition, said on his show a few nights ago, “Net Neutrality isn’t for everyone. It’s not like guns.” Of course, he was being sarcastic. At least I think he was.

I don’t own a gun, but like every one of you who is reading this post, I use the internet. A lot.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is going to vote today on whether or not to repeal “Net Neutrality.” In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a term used to describe a set of regulations designed to ensure that all information flowing over the internet is treated equally. It means companies cannot block websites or offer certain companies faster loading speeds for money. Net Neutrality prohibits internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any content, applications, or websites you want to use.

Here’s a short video that helps explain Net Neutrality and what’s at stake.

If Net Neutrality is rolled back, ISPs would be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings. For example, now that Verizon owns Yahoo, it could force you to use Yahoo as your search engine. If you wanted to use Google instead, you might have to pay more to use it.

Under President Obama, the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules, giving internet users equal protections. But President Trump wants to roll back everything Obama accomplished while he was president. Because, well, Trump hates Obama.

Trump appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC, and Pai is on record for wanting to end Net Neutrality. The FCC is made up of five commissioners appointed by the sitting president and right now Republicans have a 3-2 majority. All three of the Republican commissioners are going to vote to repeal Net Neutrality. So today, the FCC is likely to do Trump’s bidding.

This is yet another GOP giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. And for those of us who are bloggers, this could also mean the end of the blogosphere as we know it.

So what can we do to protect the internet? Probably not much in the short-term. But in the longer-term, we can vote to get the damn Republicans out of the White House and Congress.