Maggie’s Blogging Survey

Maggie, over at From Cave Walls, has a blogging survey she’d like us to take. Sure, Maggie, I’d be happy to.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many? I generally post between 3 and 5 posts a day.

2. How many blogs do you follow? A little over 200.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs? I try my best to read (or at least skim) posts from every blogger I follow that shows up in my Reader.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow? If so, how do you find them? Not very often. I’m pretty much tapped out as far as the number of blogs I can follow. If someone new (to me) comments on one of my posts, I will likely go check out their blog and if what I sample looks interesting, I may start to follow them.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog? There are not enough hours in the day for me to comment on all of the posts from all of the bloggers I follow, since most of them post multiple times a day. I comment on those that I can and like them as well. As to commenting on comments on my posts, I read them all and comment back on probably around half of them, but I like them all (unless they’re spam).

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why? My comments close after 45 days from the date the post was published in order to minimize spam.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why? I will periodically go through the blogs I follow and if the blogger hasn’t posted anything in four or more months, I will unfollow that blog. Other than that, I have only unfollowed one blogger because of comments she made. Of course, sometimes I discover that WordPress has inexplicably unfollowed random blogs I’d been following. I don’t know why that happens.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger? Engaging, entertaining, witty, well-written content.

9. What content turns you off from following someone? Content that is not engaging, entertaining, witty, or well-written.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post? Very important. Sometimes it takes me longer to find just the right photo or image than it does to write the post. Of course, when I respond to photo prompts, another blogger has taken care of that for me.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out. Ooh, this is a tough one. Paula Light picked me, and I appreciate that, but I think I’m going with Di, at Pensitivity 101. She stepped in when Melanie was sick to pick up three prompts, Share Your World, Truthful Tuesday, and Fibbing Friday, and keep them going and has continued them after Melanie passed away. So kudos to Di.

Rory’s Morning Dawdler — 01/07/23

Rory, the king of questions, also known as the Autistic Composter, has come up with a new series of questions that he calls “The Morning Dawdler.” He poses four questions three times a week, questions he says are “inspired by life, humor, conversations and observations, town life, blog posts, writers, gardening, news stories, television, entertainment, and human curiosity, and so on.”

Here are Rory’s four morning dawdler questions for today.

Have you ever learned to fight or taken self-defense lessons – why did you feel this was necessary or was this something that you wanted to know to feel safer?

I never took boxing, karate, or judo lessons. I learned to fight in the streets and I was decent enough to defend my self when provoked and couldn’t talk my way out of a fight.

Do you spell grey as gray and also is it colour or color?

I’m an American, so for me, the color is “gray” and the word “color” does not have a superfluous “u” in it.

Are you now or have you ever been afraid of the dark?

I probably was when I was a kid, but now I love the dark. My bedroom has to be pitch black and on top of that, I wear a sleep mask to block out any light that might sneak into the room.

Where do you prefer to do most of your clothing shopping – online or in-store?

I can’t remember the last time I bought any clothing in a brick and mortar store. Every article of clothing I buy these days, from shoes to underwear, from shirts to pants, is purchased online.

Rory’s Morning Dawdler — 01/05/23

Rory, the king of questions, also known as the Autistic Composter, has come up with a new series of questions that he calls “The Morning Dawdler.” He plans to pose four questions three times a week, questions he says are “inspired by life, humor, conversations and observations, town life, blog posts, writers, gardening, news stories, television, entertainment, and human curiosity, and so on.”

Here are Rory’s four morning dawdler questions for today.

How hard is it for you to ask for help if you need it? Can you do so quickly, or are you resistant to it?

I am a self-reliant, do-it-yourself type when it comes to most things. I tend to not ask for help except as a last resort. That said, since I hurt my back on New Year’s Day, I have been relying on my wife to help me get out of bed in the mornings.

Are there any phrases that people use that annoy you immensely?

When someone says that they’re going to send their “thoughts and prayers.” Or when someone claims to know God’s will.

How do you acquire new skills – what systems do you adopt to aid you, and why do they make things easier?

I’m not sure I’ve acquired any truly new skills lately. That said, I diligently read the instructions if I’m putting something together that I’ve never put together before, and I’ve found that watching YouTube videos can be very useful on certain tasks.

Which three spices or condiments do you use the most when cooking, and what makes them more valuable?

It depends upon what I’m cooking, but I’d say that garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of seasoned salt are the spices I use most often.

Question Time Over Coffee — 12/24 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. Are you more socially or community-minded regarding people, or do you not think there is a difference between the two?

The truth is that my wife and I are not particularly social anymore (other than with family) and I would say that we are minimally community minded.

2. On a scale of 1 – 10, how ethically minded do you think you are? What behavior do you consider to be ethical?

On a scale of 1 to 10 I’m not going to answer because Rory didn’t set the parameters. Does 1 mean totally without ethics and 10 mean ethical to a fault? Or vice versa?

What do I consider to be ethical behavior? I would say that ethical behavior is characterized by honesty, fairness, a respect for the dignity, diversity, and rights of individuals and groups of people. As to me, I would characterize myself as being an ethical person. I don’t steal, I don’t cheat, I don’t lie, I don’t commit crimes. And with respect to others, hey, whatever floats your boat.

3. Tattoos are a very personal lifestyle choice by those who have their bodies inked. So, do you think tattoos make people more confident or less? Do tattoos look good on everyone?

I have chosen not to have my body inked (or pierced). As to others, I will once again say whatever floats your boat.

4. What enrichment do you personally receive from being social? Have you become noticeably more socially isolated or socially interactive after the pandemic and the lockdowns?

As I mentioned in my answer to #1, at this stage of my life, I’m not a very social person anymore, other than with family and a small circle of friends. And yes, the pandemic and lockdowns partially contributed to that. I’m not even on social media. The place where I’m most social is right here on WordPress.

5. What would be your top sustainability tip?

This is a tough one. I guess I’d say to be a minimalist in order to reduce your carbon footprint. Use less energy and water, buy sustainable products, avoid purchasing plastic products, buy hybrid or all electric cars, buy organic, and just be cognizant of your impact upon the environment.

6. We live in a world that treats being open and vulnerable as a taboo and something to be frowned upon. So, do you find it easy or hard to talk to your friends and family about your health?

I’m not sure I agree that being open and vulnerable is frowned upon. Personally, I’m a stoic person and I don’t talk much about my health, which, fortunately for someone my age, is reasonably good. But I’m confident that my family, in particular, would not frown upon me openly discussing with them any significant health issues I was facing.

7. What will you be doing this weekend?

Not much today. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting with our son and daughter-in-law and our grandkids.

8. As the writer and author of your blog, how connected do you feel to your audience? Does your blog reveal too much, too little or just the right balance of you to your readers?

I feel very connected to my fellow bloggers and look forward to reading their posts and interacting with them on a daily basis. As to the second question, while I blog anonymously, my posts reflect my personal observations, opinions, and perspectives on life, society, and politics.

9. If you were granted a day at being one of your favorite book characters, who would you choose to be and why?

I enjoy reading about the characters in books, but I prefer to be me reading about them than being one of them, even for a day.

10. What do you believe is the greatest threat to our planet today?

Human beings. Particularly the greedy, selfish, and willfully ignorant kind.

Question Time Over Coffee — 12/17 Edition

Rory, over at Earthly Comforts, has once again posed a number of intriguing questions this morning. Let’s see if I can come up with some equally intriguing answers.

1. What actions do you take if you can’t sleep naturally?

I’m fortunate in that once I turn off the light at night, I usually fall asleep quickly. My issue is staying asleep, as I often have to get up at around two or three o’clock to pee. But I can generally fall back to sleep pretty quickly. On those rare occasions when I have trouble going to sleep, I have some cannabis-infused gummies that have a 20 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC, so they don’t get me high, but they do relax me to the point where I can quickly fall asleep. And I have some fantastic dreams after taking one, too.

2a. Can you easily recognise if you are suffering from stress, and if so, what do you do to reduce it?

I don’t get too stressed out anymore now that I’ve cut back on reading and watching a lot of the political news. However, if I do get stressed, I’ve found that this solution mellows me out quite nicely:

2b. Are you able to see signs of stress in your friends or your family more than you?

The person I’m most in contact with is my wife, who is much more high strung than I am. A lot of things stress her out, but when she does feel stressed she dives into crossword puzzles to distract her.

3. The West holds firm concerning the war in Ukraine. However, how do you feel about it all now? Do you believe we are providing too much or too little support?

I’m amazed that Ukraine has been able to hold off the invading Russia for this long and hope they can continue to repel Putin and his not so mighty military. Are we providing too much or too little support? In my opinion, we are not doing nearly enough. We should not only provide weapons and technology to Ukraine, the West should be much more actively engaged. If we don’t step in to more aggressively aid Ukraine and if Ukraine does eventually succumb to Putin, what will be next?

4. How much black-and-white honesty from your best friends do you believe your friendship with them warrants? Should friends be brutally honest with you or provide support without question?

I expect my friends to be supportive, but not without question. Honest feedback among true friends is a necessity.

5. Do you think you have an addictive personality?

Not really. The closest thing I have to an addiction is WordPress, but if I needed to or wanted to, I could give it up cold turkey. I might have more difficulty, though, giving up my addiction to a nightly helping of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream.

6. Why are so many of today’s online/television advertisements so cringey? Are you ever influenced by the comedy or corniness of them?

With respect to television commercials, most of the TV I watch is on commercial-free steaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+, HBO MAX). Whatever shows I watch on network TV are recorded on my DVR and I zip through the commercials.

As to online ads, the most cringeworthy are those that show up on free WordPress sites, and I just scroll past them.

7. Do you ever need help responding to some comments left by readers on your blog posts, as in not knowing how or what to respond with? Why is this, and what usually throws you off?

Help? What kind of help? I have never needed assistance in figuring out how to respond or what to respond with.

8. What five vegetables do you use the most each week or month?

Potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and corn.

9. What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?

Taking a continuous shower for 102 consecutive hours, temporarily holding the world’s record, when I was a freshman in college.

10. Have your blog reading habits changed since you first started to blog? Have you ever felt frustrated from reading blog posts because they are perhaps not piquing your interest? What have you done to prevent the boredom from biting deep if this is the case?

No, my blog reading habits haven’t changed much, although I’m following a lot more blogs now than I did when I first started blogging, so it takes up considerably more of my time. If a post doesn’t “pique” my interest, I don’t feel frustrated, I just move on. There are plenty of interesting post published by the bloggers I follow that I never suffer from “deep, biting boredom.”

11. Do you find it easy to make difficult decisions, and do you have a process of elimination for making those tough decisions?

I try to gather as much pertinent data as possible when faced with making a significant decision. That is my process.

12. What’s the longest you have gone without a shower?

After the pandemic hit and I rarely left the house or came in contact with anyone other than my wife, coupled with the severe drought were we live, I started to shower every other day, instead of daily. I have gone for as many as four days between showers, but mostly it’s still every other day.

13. Between the choice of a deep fried insect sandwich or a raw earthworm hamburger with no option of declining either, which would you choose?

I’d instantly eliminate the raw earthworm burger, so that leaves the deep fried insect sandwich.

14. How would your family and friends react if you started to talk to another person one day that no one else could see but you? Do you speak to yourself regularly?

I think they’d start looking into homes for demented seniors if I suddenly started conversing with an imaginary friend. Do I speak to myself? Well, I occasionally feel that way when I’m speaking to my wife even though I know she’s not listening. And I may sometimes mutter to myself. But no, I don’t regularly speak to myself.

15. How far can you be pushed before annoyance becomes full-blown anger and what is your anger style?

I’m a relatively easygoing guy who rarely gets very angry. My anger style is mostly to withdraw inwardly and to silently seethe.