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.

H is for Human Being

DE0EB7B8-5A7E-48F4-BBE8-F0803FC70D56Just in case you were wondering, I am a human being. I’m not a bot. I’m not an alien from another galaxy far, far away. I’m also not a deity. As a human being, I am not perfect. I am fallible. I make mistakes. I make typos.

Yes, it’s because I’m imperfect, fallible, make mistakes, and am human, that my posts may occasionally contain typos, misspellings, improper grammar, or misused words.

It’s not that I don’t know better. I do. And it’s not that I don’t carefully proofread my posts before I publish them on my blog. I do. But my mind works in mysterious ways. I find that when I proofread my own work, my eyes will sometimes see what my brain expects them to see rather than the words that actually appear on the page.

For example, even though I know the right and wrong usages, I have typed the word “to” when I should have used “too”; “there” instead of “their” or “they’re”; “your” instead of “you’re.”

And then there was the other day in one of my posts when I used the word “heat” instead of “hear” (thank you, Jim Adams, for letting me know), or when I wrote “male carrier” when I meant to write “mail carrier.” It’s goddam embarrassing is what it is.

So, why am I pointing out my human foibles so publicly? It’s simple, really. I’m asking you, my readers, to come to my aid. If you see one or more typos or other errors in any of my posts, please let me know so I can fix said faux pas.

Hence, this is my personal plea. 5C8A7500-4865-4FF9-8F02-14C839960894Yes, if you see something, say something. Let me know in a comment on the post. Or go to my contact page and send me a note. Either way, I welcome your corrections.

To borrow from the 18th-century English poet, Alexander Pope, “To err is human, to constructively point out when a blogger has erred so that the err can be corrected, is divine.”

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:

C is for Chronological Order

A0D7DDCE-DF70-46FD-8993-D737913FFC33Have you ever heard the inventory control acronyms FIFO and LIFO? FIFO stands for “first in, first out,” meaning you distribute the oldest items first. LIFO stands for “last in, first out,” meaning you ship out the newest items in inventory before the older items. In other words, FIFO means handling inventory in chronological order, while LIFO is in reverse chronological order.

When it comes to most matters, including blogging, I prefer the FIFO method because chronological order makes the most sense. Something happens first. That leads to the next event, reaction, or response. And that leads to what follows after that. It flows. It’s logical. It’s easy to follow. Perhaps that’s why, when I was still working, I enjoyed creating process workflows. One thing follows the next.

Comments on blog posts, for those of us who read them, can be the best part blogging, especially when the post is of a controversial nature and generates a lot of different responses.

To follow the thread, the sequence, of the discussion, doesn’t it make sense to read the comments in the order in which they were posted, or oldest first? Of course it does.

When comments are displayed in chronological order, you can easily follow the conversation, see the interactions, the reactions, the responses, and the replies in the order they were made.

Yes, it may be convenient to show the most recent comment at the very top of the comments section, but then the latest comment may not have context, particularly if it was posted in response to an earlier comment.

Thus, posting comments in reverse chronological order, with the most recent comments first, is just bass ackwards. I mean, seriously, do you read a book by starting on the last page and working your way to the front? No, you don’t.

Do you open up a newspaper to the comics section at the back of the paper first? Well, okay, maybe that’s a bad example.

My point is that the natural flow of any conversation is from start to finish, not from finish to start. So why would anyone want to have the newest comments first, rather than starting with the oldest?

As a blogger, do you post comments in chronological order, from oldest to newest? Or are you a fan of having the most recent comment at the top? What do you do on your blog? And what’s your rationale?

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:


Why I Don’t Answer My Own Questions

Ursula, at An Upturned Soul, asked me a question in a post that included her response to my weekly prompt, Fandango’s Provocative Question. This week’s question was, “does size matter?” She asked, “Do you believe that size matters, Fandango? Please explain your response.”

And Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, commented, “I don’t see YOUR thoughts on this Mr. Fandango. What say YOU???”

Okay, those are fair criticisms. Let me start off by saying that I view my role in posting these questions as soliciting the thoughts of others on the topic of the question. I certainly have my own opinions, but I don’t think it’s my place, as the person posing the questions, to offer up my own answers. My interest is learning what the blogging community thinks, not what I think.

Second, I don’t want to influence how others might respond to the question by answering it myself. I know that readers here on WordPress have their own reasoned opinions on provocative matters, but, given that Donald Trump is the POTUS, it’s clear to me that many Americans (around 40%, anyway) are susceptible to the wild rantings of a demented moron and are apparently easily swayed by the expressed opinions of others.

Third, as I read the responses that people post in their own blogs or in the comments on my post, most have already expressed opinions that I share as well, so why pile on with an answer to the question that someone else has already posted?

And one last comment. I am concerned that when I ask a question like “Do you believe that size matters?” some might simply respond with either “yes” or “no.” And so I add “Please explain your response” or “Please elaborate.”

I hope that sufficiently answers the question of why I don’t answer my own FPQ questions.

For what it’s worth, my answer to the question of whether size matters would be that it depends upon the context. In some cases, size doesn’t matter at all, whereas in other cases, it matters a lot.



Yesterday I had received more than 300 comments in my spam folder, which is unusual, as I typically get maybe 20 spam comments a day, most of which are about Nike sneakers. Almost all of these spam comments looked like the comments shown above. And when I woke up this morning, another 110 such spam comments were in that folder.

Is anyone else getting bombarded by these same spam comments?