While I Was Sleeping

When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is go to my WordPress app and check my stats to see how many views my blog got while I was sleeping. Typically, that number is between 85 and 120. But this morning I saw this.B301FCED-E6AC-494F-A483-E19788820D71Yes, that’s right. Almost 600 views, a number of views that is higher than what I usually get in total on an average day!

And then I saw this in my Reader.66F58CDC-9742-493F-98B5-3BBD1634C608464 hourly views when my normal hourly average is more like 22! What?

Of the 599 views when I awoke this morning, 306 were “Home Page/Archives,” and I noticed that a lot of the posts viewed were older ones. Only 60 of the views were of the three posts that I had scheduled to be published overnight.

I checked my Spam and Trash folder and there were a few posts in each, which all appeared to be legitimate spam and trash comments.

So either my blog has been hacked or there is yet another glitch in WordPress, this one dealing with how it tracks blog visits.

Is anyone else having an unusually high number of views showing up in your stats page today?

I’m Not Alone!

08ADF090-F175-4F01-BFF1-88C78C366D28And I’m not crazy, either. For the past six months I have been complaining regularly to the Happiness Engineers at WordPress about a multiple hour gap in the Reader on my WordPress iOS app for my iPhone. Here’s the the post from last October in which I first raised the issue.

On Saturday I got an email from Anna, one of the WordPress Happiness Engineers. She wrote:

“I have taken a closer look into all of this and this issue (or something similar) does appear to be affecting other people than just yourself.”

Woo hoo! It’s not just me. I feel vindicated. It’s a total and complete exoneration! But I do wonder what she meant by “something similar.” It’s either the same issue or it’s different.

“Fixing this has been escalated to high priority for our developers and it’s looking like there should be a fix for this coming in the next app version released. I am checking in with our development team to confirm that now, and I may not hear back until after the weekend.”

Well, I’ve waited this long, I suppose I can wait a few more days for the next app update to get this frustrating glitch resolved.

“Once I can confirm the progress that’s being made on identifying and fixing this problem, and when we are likely to see a result, I will get back in touch with more information for you. Thank you for your continued patience while we have been investigating this frustrating and unusual problem.”

Wait! If others are having this same issue, why did she call it an “unusual problem”?

Hmm. Based upon my past experience, I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath.

Not the Typical Set of Questions

a glass of cognac in front of fireplaceUrsula, the blogger at An Upturned Soul, received a Sunshine Blogger Award nomination from Rory, A Guy Called Bloke. Congratulations Ursula!

If you’ve never visited An Upturned Soul, you should. Ursula presents her unique perspectives in her posts in an interesting and articulate manner and expresses herself exquisitely.

After answering Rory’s questions, Ursula wrote, “And now I’m going to do what all the cool blogging kids are doing with their blog award nominations. I’m going to nominate all of you.”

And then Ursula posed her own set of eleven questions. But her questions are unlike any others I’ve seen asked by or of other bloggers, as you will clearly see when you read them. You’ll understand, given the nature of her questions, why it’s taken me almost three days to answer them.

So grab a snifter of brandy, light up the fire, pull up a comfy easy chair, and take a look at her questions, which are far more intriguing than my answers.

One: In that moment everything changed. It would never be the same again. What changed and what would never be the same again?

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. America (and the world) will never be the same again.

Two: The words swirled upon the page of the book, they appeared to be alive, the ink strokes stretched, breaking free from their confines, distorting, losing all meaning, blending into an image… what was the image?

The ghost of Christmas Future from the Charles Dickens’ book, “A Christmas Carol.” The reader was testing an experimental, interactive ebook version of the classic tale.28C76DAA-EC1B-448B-BFEC-28E9C00BA509

Three: Well, that wasn’t what she expected. She’d followed the recipe diligently. Not even one grain of the ingredients was where it shouldn’t be. And yet… what was supposed to happen and what happened instead?

The guinea pig was supposed to have died. She was practicing preparing a recipe for a special holiday meal for her elderly husband, thirty years her senior. She fed it to the guinea pig, but it survived. Back to the drawing board. 

Four: Not again. Yes, again and again and again. It would keep happening until… What would make it stop happening?

The visual auras she got every day were driving her crazy. She’d take some Advil and sit quietly in a soundless, darkened room, her eyes closed until it passed. But then the next day it would be back again. She was sure that she had a brain tumor and, at this point, she would welcome death if it meant an end to the auras.

Five: A philosopher, an astrologer, a psychiatrist, and a shrouded figure walked into the waiting room of the local dentist, which was now a trendy bar… what happened next?

The psychiatrist suggest to the dentist that turning his dental office waiting room into a trendy bar was a cry for attention. The astrologer said that the moon was in the seventh sun and this was a typical move in the age of Aquarius. The philosopher questioned the existential aesthetics of the waiting room/bar. Finally, the shrouded figure walked up to the dentist/bartender and said, “So what does a guy have to do around here to get a beer?”B8EC82B4-6B3A-4957-85BD-F79E79CE7051

Six: If there was one thing, Desperado McNair knew, it was to never ever do what he had just done… What had he just done?

They had him dead to rights, so under threat of long-term incarceration, McNair agreed to turn state’s evidence. 

Seven: The door closed behind her with a hush. Salome Vegan, let her shoulders slump ever so slightly for she knew that she was still under observation. The interview had been grueling. She had been well-prepared but not for that, and now all she had to do was… what?

…ace the written part of the exam in order to compensate for her relatively poor performance on the oral part.

Eight: Today was what is sometimes known as “One of THOSE days” when things come together in a certain manner and conspire to… what?

…undermine everything he had worked so hard to accomplish.

Nine: That was the final straw. She was never going to love another character in a film ever again. After everything she had done for… who?

…the head writer, who rejected all of her suggested script changes that were intended to make the film’s main female character more realistic, relatable, and sympathetic.

Ten: I have gathered all of you here at this time and place at the behest of your Facebook friend, The Big Cheesy Squeeze, aka Donald… not that Donald… to divulge his… what? Who are these people? WTF is going on?

This was an intervention by Donald’s closest friends and family members. They needed him to recognize that his “Make America Grate Again” campaign had gone too far.02B54B78-0A2E-4BCF-B027-EA131D7E6681

Eleven: After the rain came down, after the lights went out, after they all vanished, all that was left was… what or who was left to narrate?

Me. I am the narrator of an apocalyptic flash fiction story I am posting to my blog.