Fandango’s Flashback Friday — January 20th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 20th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on January 20, 2018.

The Earth is Flat

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When I was still working, I used to have to fly a lot for my job. When the plane I was flying in was five or six miles above the planet, it was pretty obvious, looking out at the visible horizon, that the Earth is not flat.

And yet there is something called the Flat Earth Society, whose members claim to believe that the Earth is flat. To these idiots, the planet’s surface looks and feels flat, so it must, therefore, be flat. They deem all evidence to the contrary, such as satellite photos of Earth as a sphere, to be fabrications of a “round Earth conspiracy” orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies.

Seriously, I’m not making this up. According to the Flat Earth Society’s official website, “The evidence for a flat earth is derived from many different facets of science and philosophy. The simplest is by relying on one’s own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us. The world looks flat, the bottoms of clouds are flat, the movement of the sun; these are all examples of your senses telling you that we do not live on a spherical, heliocentric world.”

Flat Earthers believe that the Earth is in the form of a disk with the North Pole in the center and Antarctica as a wall around the edge. The Earth, they say, is surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back. This ice wall is what explorers named Antarctica.

What is beyond the ice wall? Well, according to the Flat Earth Society, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. “What we do know, the official website says, “is that it [the ice wall] encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond.”

How much do you want to bet that members of the Flat Earth Society voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016?


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “horizon.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — December 30th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 30th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on December 30, 2017.

Almost Over

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The year 2017 is almost over and many of us are quite happy about that. It was, in the macro sense, a pretty shitty year. Can the upcoming year be any worse?

Personally speaking, though, 2017 wasn’t a bad year. I retired at the end of last year and managed to survive. Someone once told me that fifty percent of men die within their first year of retirement. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, I’m happy to still be among the living.

No one I personally know died in 2017, which is a good thing. And my wife and I remain relatively heathy for aging Baby Boomers, so there’s that, as well.

I also started this blog in May of 2017, and I consider that to be an accomplishment. My wife is happy about it because it keeps me occupied and out of her hair.

So while 2017 saw the world cratering, I’m doing okay. I just hope that next year at this time, when 2018 is almost over, I will not be calling it yet another truly shitty year.

Assuming, of course, the world doesn’t end and I live through my second year of retirement.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “almost.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — November 18th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 18th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on November 18, 2017.

New Speak

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“That’s totally atmospheric,” the teenage daughter said to her father.

“Yeah,” said her brother. “I’m totally down with that.”

“I’m gonna be throwing some kinda shade at my squad once they find out we scored those tiks,” the girl said.

“That arena’s gonna be totally lit,” the boy said.

The father had been listening to this back and forth between his son and daughter and was scratching his head. “Excuse me,” he said. “But are you happy I was able to get you two tickets for that concert or not?”

“No, Dad, it’s super Gucci,” the boy said.

“Hundo P, bruh,” the girl said. “Totally goat.”

“Definitely dope,” the boy said.

“What language are you two speaking?” the father said. “It’s certainly not the English I know.”

“You need to get woke, Dad,” the boy said.

“Yeah, Dad,” the girl said. “I can’t even!”

The father sighed. “Whatever happened to a simple thank you?” he asked.

Finally his daughter came up to him, put her arms around his neck, and said, “Chillax, Dad. We’re totally turnt.”

“Totally,” he said, and smiled at her.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “atmospheric.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — November 4th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 4th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on November 4, 2017.

Trending Down

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You’re no doubt familiar with the philosophical riddle, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

I have a slight variation on that philosophical riddle. “If you publish a post and hardly anyone reads it, does it matter?”

Why should I spend my time thinking about and writing posts that few people read when I could invest that same time and effort doing something that does matter?

I’m proud of what I write. In fact, just the act of writing what I believe to be high quality posts is all that really ought to matter. Having said that, though, I do admit that it’s reinforcing to know that others read what I’ve written, like what I’ve written, and comment on it.

So the question is, should blog stats be the proxy for blogging success?

I try not obsess over my blog’s stats. In fact, I rarely even check my stats. Not more than 15 to 20 times a day, anyway. I check them to see whether or not what I’m writing and posting is being seen by, and resonates with, others.

The good news is that some people do read my blog. The bad news is that fewer people are reading my blog now than they were a few months back.

I started this blog in late May and slowly gained an audience. But, as you can see from the chart below, my views peaked in August, dropped in September, and dropped yet again in October. And what’s even more disconcerting, comments dropped considerably from September to October.

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Should I be concerned about this downward trend? Good question.

Each of us, as bloggers, has our own definition of success. We use certain metrics — blog stats, perhaps — to measure success. It may be the number of posts you’ve published. Perhaps it’s the number of views or likes your posts get.

Maybe your primary measure of your blog’s success is your number of followers. Or the number of comments your posts generate.

I admit that views, likes, and comments do matter to me. And the more I get, the better I feel. At least it let’s me know that someone besides me appreciates my efforts.

But, again, are my blog’s stats the best proxy for success for me to be using? What do you think?


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “proxy.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — September 16th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 16th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on September 16, 2017.

Faith Versus Reason

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My blogging buddy, Jim, wrote a fascinating post today entitled “Why is it So Hard to Believe in God.” In addition to being a provocative post, he managed to get in the WordPress one-word prompt, “recreate,” when he wrote, “We cannot recreate the Big Bang, so we may never understand all of this, but we can believe that we do exist.” Well done, Jim.

In response to one of the comments on his post, Jim wrote, “I believe in logic and God makes sense to me….” I found that notion to be particularly interesting. I believe in logic, reason, and rationality, and it’s because of embracing those things that God makes no sense to me.

For purposes of this post, I’m going to consider “logic” and “reason” to be synonymous, although technically they aren’t. Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.

That said, logic (or reason) is the antithesis of faith. It takes tremendous faith to believe that an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, supernatural being created everything that exists.

So the question I have for Jim, or for anyone who cares to weigh in is this. When it comes to belief in God, can logic and reason support that belief, or must one suspend logical and rational thought in favor of pure faith to believe in the existence of God as the creator of all things?

Please feel free to share your thoughts (or beliefs).