Flog The Blogger

destined for me
I didn’t intend to share Nobody Beats The Disease again but after I finished listening to Whiskey Lullaby iTunes moved straight to Streets of Philadelphia and my heart screamed and my head answered.

You might read the words in the picture and those that began this post and wonder whether old Jack Steiner is feeling melancholy and sad and I would shake my head.

Maybe I would choose to tell you a few stories but there is a better chance I’d share the quote pictured below.

Some people have secret feelings.

Some people have secret feelings.

There are boundaries in blogging and though I sometimes use this place to empty the dust contained in the mental closets of my mind it doesn’t mean I’ll share all that lies inside.

I’d call that a good thing and say it is important to retain a piece of ourselves and share it only with those who truly need to know.

And as much as I might want to use some of the darkness or joy I carry to suck you in further and encourage you to become a devoted reader I don’t think it would serve me well.

Make no mistake I am a man who wants more readers and wants this place to be the miracle that moves my world from the mundane to the magical because that would make one hell of a story.

But then again the larger part of me says it is better to do this as I do most things, my way. Sometimes it is smarter and easier and sometimes it is six times harder but it is mine.

So flog the blogger who chooses a different path than those who say they know better. Flog the blogger who looks askance at the Sneetches who race to get their gold stars because they fear to be left out of the race.

Flog the blogger who tells others he disagrees and isn’t popular enough to gain the support of those who could rally to his side to support him.

Don’t mistake that for being bitter because it is not. It is just me writing and sharing a few thoughts.

Some will love me, some will hate me but most won’t have an opinion one way or another.

Not Inspirational
Been sailing through stormy weather for so long now I am not always good at recognizing the calm. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes longer to realize I can take a deep breath and relax.

I work on it daily and have gotten pretty good at being present in the moment in ways I never used to be able to do so.

Found out today that I have health insurance again and smiled so damn broadly my face hurt. I had never intended to be without it but circumstances led to hard choices so I went without for a while so that my kids would not.

Almost hesitated to include that here because it embarrassed me but decided to put it in because one day when the kids read these words now this will help then understand the hows and whys of this particular moment in time.

And if it goes as it should they’ll know part of the reason for the smile is dad recognized it was time to be present because the change marked the start of the change.

One moment in time in which you could almost see the air shimmer and gold dust fall from the ceiling for reasons I don’t understand and label as just because.

More Springsteen

Bruce is singing Tougher Than The Rest now and I am smiling because I identify with the song and love the album. Smiling because part of me feels a little more vulnerable and that is always a sign that I am putting more of myself into these words.

Smiling because part of me feels a little more vulnerable and that is always a sign that I am putting more of myself into these words.

Don’t know if the finished version of this post will make me smile or cringe but part of what I like about it is it feels like there are some layers here and that is always a goal.

It is part of why I like to include pictures, music and quotes because in a perfect world these posts are an experience.

Bruce is singing Walk Like A Man now and I am staring forward and backwards.

I can feel the presence of my father and grandfathers standing next to and behind me. Dad is still around so it is easy to see him there but it is also effortless to feel both grandfathers there too.

If I turn my head I know I’ll see them smile and fade back into the ether so I won’t turn and force them to leave.

My children are down the hall, fast asleep and unaware of how much goes on inside my head at this time of night.

They don’t see me wander under moonlit skies or hear me thinking about the best way to handle certain situations. They don’t hear the racket and rumble of me trying to manage it all and that is ok, they don’t need to.

Tomorrow they’ll ask again if I am really reading two books at a time and roll their eyes when I point out the stack of magazines and suggest if they don’t want to be lazy they try emulating dear old dad.

The  Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride pace of the recent past should be changing soon and things will take on a different sort of pace.

Heart and head are working together now. Gut feelings, intuition and eyewitness operation all in sync.

Time marches on and I march with it.

The future calls and I am off to answer.

What Should We Do About Uninvited Guests On A Blog?

Curzon Street, Eastside - sign - Private Property - No Trespassing

A fellow dad blogger asked me about how I deal with uninvited guests on my blogs. He told me he would like to be more honest and open with his writing and that he can’t because there are family members that read his blog as well as a few trolls.

We’ll skip past the part where we suggest not telling family and friends about your blog unless you don’t care if they read along or are willing to censor yourself.

Once the barn door is open the horses are off and running so unless you close up shop and start over anonymously there are no good solutions.

I suppose you could ask them to stop reading but that might raise questions. People are funny, tell them you don’t want them to do something and they’ll try harder to do it.

What About Trolls?

In the old days I was foolish and willing to engage with trolls. I used be quite willing to jump in the mood and splash around there but I stopped doing that because I didn’t see the upside.

Instead I just ignored them or blocked their IP address.

The problem with blocking IP addresses is that every now and then you end up blocking readers who are good people whose sole crime is to live or work within the same IP range as your troll(s).

Once in a great while I received an email from someone I blocked asking why I did it. I almost never responded.

An IP block doesn’t mean the troll can’t find their way back. There are lots of ways around that but most of the time it takes too much effort and they go away.

Really Aggressive Trolls

If a troll becomes really aggressive I label their IP address and watch for useful information. You might be surprised how much information you can find in your stats.

There are lots of bread crumbs you can use to identify someone. During my tenure I have posted the IP addresses of trolls here on the blog and a note that explained I would take screenshots that showed how much time they were spending here and send them to their employer.

Oh, did I forget to mention that if you come from work it is not unusual for the statcounter to show it. Years ago one nasty troll crossed the line and I sent him the note saying I would call Bob Boorke LLC (I made that name up) and ask them to figure out who was harassing me.

That ended the harassment.

There Are No Perfect Solutions

If you spend enough time writing online you’ll find your own troll(s) and you’ll wonder why someone can be enraged by your writing about potty training but trust me, they are out there. About seven years ago I received nasty emails and comments from someone who said it was wrong to teach boys to pee standing up.

They didn’t think it was funny when I suggested they try to pee while sitting in a urinal either.

Anyhoo, it is worth mentioning that sometimes when you change your webhost you have to go deny IPs again because the old blocks aren’t enforced.

One of the reasons I am not using CommentLuv at the moment is I was getting besieged with spam from China and Bangalore. Livefyre does a pretty good job of filtering that out and since I am not offering the same link juice some of that nonsense has slowed down.

Suppose I ought to go through the list anyway to make sure some of the knuckleheads of the past stay locked up in their igloos, caves and shacks.

How Do You Fix A Broken Blog?

Angry Man! / Spew Love

The guy with the sign cracks me up, fits my sense of humor. However at the moment I am looking for my sense of humor because there are some issues here that are making me crazier than I am normally am.

If you are one of the lucky few that heard The Three Things Podcast or listened to The Broken Blog Podcast you’d know we are working through a few issues here.

And you’d appreciate why I wish I could punch the computer in the mouth and kick the blog in the ass.

Technology and I are at odds and nothing is working. I have spoken nicely to it, told it how very smart and handsome it is but to no avail.

When flattery didn’t work I tried coercion and that didn’t work either. So now I am prostrate upon the floor begging the tech gods to take mercy upon me.

I Like Learning By Doing

This is not the first time the blog has been broken or I have had some sort of tech issue and I am certain it won’t be the last. Most of the time I am able to figure out a solution via Google.

I enjoy that. I like learning by doing but this time around it has been more challenging for a host of reasons not the least of which is I don’t have time for this.

And now I am going to go ask the Magic 8 ball for its help because surely a powerful object such as that can help me.

What about you? How do you fix a broken blog?

You Won’t Learn How To Blog Or Be Sexier From This Post

Head in Hands

She Had Sharp Teeth & Hands Like Sandpaper isn’t a post about The Shmata Queen but it might reference an experience from about 25 years or so ago.

Or maybe it doesn’t.

Why would I tell you about someone who might have thought the way to a man’s heart is to pull upon him as if she were using a block and tackle to pull the two ton prize stallion out of quick sand.

Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey

Ever hear of this band called The Beatles? Once upon a time they were considered to be pretty special. Do you think people criticized them for using that last subhead as the title of a song.

Did people go running Helter-Skelter because they couldn’t find Sgt. Pepper to tell him about the fool on the hill or the guy who said he was the walrus.

Maybe.

Some people still think Paul is dead and that we never did land on the moon. Hell I read today that the people who blew up the World Trade Center are responsible for trying to murder thousands of people in Syria.

Did I mention that they said it was the Jews and that we run the media too?

Yeah, I just said “we” because I am a member of the Tribe and in case you are wondering I just reviewed the notes from our last meeting with the Illuminati and Masons and I see that next week I am responsible for creating a media sensation to distract everyone from what is important.

Maybe I’ll do some twerking with Miley Cyrus.

Bacon Isn’t As Awesome As You Think

Believe me when I tell you that Bacon Products That Don’t Taste Like Bacon is about to become bigger than the Member’s Only jackets we used to wear in junior high.

You can go down to Electric avenue and pass the dutchie on the left hand side or take the double dutch bus if you want but that won’t help you all that much.

Some of might still wonder if I there is some sort of hidden message in this post. You might ask yourself if this is just Jack trying to make some sort of point and I’ll tell you that I rarely try to slide things into or by you.

But that is not me, I am more like Winston Churchill

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

That is because simple works and it is harder to misunderstand and misconstrue. If I write the sky was blue, her lips were full and her eyes were empty it means exactly that.

It is not me trying to come up with some sort of clever metaphor.

This Makes Me Smile

Got a Venn diagram to share with you that I have seen in multiple places throughout the ‘Net. Don’t know who to credit for it but if I find out for certain I will pass it along.

I am big on providing attribution. I mention this not because people continue to steal my work but because sometimes people come through here and leave me nasty notes because they didn’t see the attribution for a picture or quote what have you.

Sometimes I screw up and don’t include it but often it is here and when you leave nasty comments because you didn’t see it I might respond in kind. Just remember if your introduction consists of throwing rocks at me I might choose to respond the same way and I have bigger rocks than you do.

Woohoo.

And now onto our diagram:

bonovenn

You Won’t Learn How To Blog Or Be Sexier From This Post

Maybe you learned something and maybe you didn’t but I do hope if nothing else you were entertained. I wrote this because I love to write and because the only way to become a better writer is to do a lot of reading and a lot of writing.

And now I am off to the gym because mind and body are connected.

See you soon.

Good Vibrations- Breaking Bad While Breaking The Blog

Hadyakh

5 Songs:

Tougher Than The Rest- Bruce Springsteen
Good Vibrations- The Beach Boys
My Way- Frank Sinatra
All I Ask Of You- Phantom Of The Opera
Tunnel Of Love- Bruce Springsteen

“it ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above
if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love”
Tunnel of Love– Bruce Springsteen

It is not nice to refer to the upstairs neighbor as Fat Boy but I am sleep deprived and fed up with listening to his footsteps at all hours of the night which is probably why my banana plan is beginning  to sound like a good idea.

The kid isn’t fat but he needs a nickname and Stampy is already taken as are several other good ones but pretty soon he is going to be Gimpy George the recently disabled dude from Texas.

It might not be how Walter White would handle things but he is far too human for me to pretend that he is a Walker which limits the things I can get away with doing.

Since this is Texas I am tempted to don my black hat, knock on the door and explain to him that this town isn’t big enough for the both of us but even here the law frowns on that.

Breaking The Blog–Again

Telephone rings and my son and I get involved in a long talk about life. He wants to know if he has ever seen me really lose my temper and how many fist fights I have had.

I tell him if he wants to see me lose it he has to come watch me do battle with the blog and then he’ll see a side of dad he barely recognizes. But I also tell him he’ll get more than a glimpse of how dear old dad will fight to the death because he doesn’t give up…ever.

Ok the fight to the death doesn’t exactly apply to a battle between the blog and I but damn if I didn’t want to kill it. Every day I take a hard look at this sucker and try to figure  out what sort of tweaking it might need to make it better.

“Dad, did you just call your blog ‘a real motherfucker?’

I pause and tell him that I must have been thinking out loud and he laughs. I tell him I am sure he must be out of earshot of mom because I know he wouldn’t speak that way in front of her and he laughs.

“You know sometimes I use colorful language but I know when to mix it up and how to use it for effect. Think about that for a bit. This blog and I have been battling each other because it is not working properly.”

Comments Evolved and Comments Lost

Got a few emails from folks who told me they couldn’t comment because of technical issues and decided I was fed up again with CommentLuv.

Sometimes I love it but the tech issues with people not being able to comment combined with a proliferation of questionable comments made me decide to turn on Comments Evolved.

My doppleganger tells me it is a good system and that it has helped expand his reach but that was only part of the reason I turned it on. The proliferation of questionable comments made me crazy again.

That refers to people who post comments on old posts but no where else. Allow me to offer more detail.

Someone places a comment on a old post about the joy of air travel. Their comment is reasonable and in concept adds to the conversation but I take issue with it because it links to a business that caters to people who need help with travel.

That appears to me to be someone trying to gain some free advertising so I nuke their link.

If they were a regular member of the community I might let it go but they aren’t and they never show up any where else. That won’t fly with me.

cpanel

Have to upgrade my PHP to make Comments Evolved work so I dive into cpanel and start messing around under the hood of the blog. Kind of enjoy it because it reminds me of working on my Camaro and my Dart.

Like getting my hands dirty and I like the combination of using my head and hands. Takes a bit of doing but I get things moving the way I want them to and now I get to sit back and see if I made things any better or if perhaps I might have made them worse.

Either way I feel good and if you saw the smile on my face you would know that I feel like good things are coming cuz I got those Good Vibrations running through me.