When Google Accuses Bloggers Of Having Affairs

My good friend Doc Google sent me a Dear John Letter today that left me scratching my head.

I looked at the words below and wondered how it happened. after all of the love we have shared, all of the good times and the life we have built together

After all of the love we have shared, all of the good times and the life we have built together you send me a note accusing me of having engaged in some unnatural torrid love affair.

Unnatural outbound links from http://www.thejackb.com/ violate Google Webmaster Guidelines

Dear Google,

You break my heart with the lack of trust and frankly the lack of evidence or proof here.

To the best of my knowledge I haven’t been running around with any of those trampy, skanky or slutty links.

Granted I have been known to frequent some of the less savory parts of the net but I did it for science, for research and for art.

I am a writer and a man in search of good stories to share.

If you are going to accuse me of these things at least tell me what you think I did wrong and with who.

I can’t read your mind.


When Google Accuses Bloggers Of Having Affairs

Google, I’d tell you to relax and say you suggest you tone down the hysteria but I can’t get you to take my calls, respond to my texts or even get coffee.

Our friends say it is because you’re concerned we’ll just end up in bed and you’ll forget to be angry with me but I can’t accept that.

Can’t accept it because I don’t know why you are angry and I am not sure if you need to be. I think there must be a misunderstanding.

Remember that night you heard me singing “I have loved you like a baby?”

That is a line from Seven Bridges Road by The Eagles.

I wasn’t talking to anyone, I was just singing along with the guys.

Sure, my voice sucks and it is a joke to think I can harmonize with others but that is not a reason to break up with me.

What Can I Do?

Google, after all these years you ought to know I try hard to make you happy. I am not condescending or patronizing

I am not condescending or patronizing. I don’t just listen to you speak, I hear you. I do my best to anticipate your needs but if there is a problem I can’t fix it without your help.

Can’t make things better if I don’t know more details about what you are upset about and why.

If you really don’t care about having a future and have reached that place where nothing I say or do matters, you need to tell me.

But I don’t think we are there yet and I am willing to work on things to try to fix it.

All I ask is that you meet me half way and give me some more details so that I can do something about this.

C’mon baby, give me something and I’ll whisper those soft HTML commands you so love to hear.

Signed with all of my love and a bit of confusion,


Write With Your Heart

There is something about The Ecstasy Of Gold from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack that touches me.

Today it set off an echo of thoughts and ideas in my head that reminds me about a place in my heart I locked up a while ago.

These thoughts pinballing around my head have caused some ideas to shake loose and fall off of the shelves where I had placed them.

The time has come to dust them off and do more than say I’ll tend to them one day.

They live in gardens that have been forgotten and are overgrown with weeds and things that obscure the beauty inside.


Write With Your Heart

I haven’t done a good job of writing with my heart for a while now.

Haven’t followed the rules of the blog by sharing the deep, dark and personal stuff the way I used to do it.

Sure you can say I have been busy and distracted and that this is why I haven’t but it is not entirely true.

I got tired of feeling like I was getting beat up and beat down about a variety of things so I just stopped writing about them.

You might ask if that means I didn’t follow through with my mantra to live your dreams and not dream you life and the answer would be no.

I never gave up on it, but I did stop writing about some of it.

Stopped putting pen to paper or hand to keyboard because of that aforementioned beating.

That twenty-something I used to be long ago would have never done that. He would have screamed at the world that he could take whatever was dished out and then proved it by taking it.

I can still take whatever comes but I no longer need to prove it to anyone so I figured it was time for a different approach.

But I made a mistake by not writing the same way, made a mistake by pulling back farther than I should have.


Time to get drunk on writing again and dive back into the stories I used to write. That sentence would read better if it was “The Stories I Write.”

It is time to write with the heart again.

Some Days I Wish I Was Wolverine

Some days I wish I was Wolverine because I think it would be cool to be him and some days I wish I was Wolverine because I Need to be him.

Don’t mistake it to mean I don’t like being me or that I have any real problems with it because I don’t.

Sure if I had the power I’d make myself slightly taller, give myself a digestive system that works at full capacity 100 percent of the time and one or two other tweaks.

But that doesn’t mean I think the person I am is bad, weak or deficient because I don’t.

It just means that I recognize I am as human as the next guy and that I’d like to be better.

Besides who wouldn’t want to have the ability to heal almost any wound and have Adamantium claws you can use for all sorts of nifty stuff.


Today is one of those funny days where I am feeling a bit frustrated and would like people to feel like a tiger is staring at them.

It is one of those days where I’d casually extend a claw and pick my teeth with it so that people know old Jack Steiner is feeling a bit ornery and it might not be the best time to aggravate him.

One of those days where I look at the picture just above and think about how nice it must be to live in a place so green and lush.

I can almost hear the sound of the water and that is a very pleasant noise indeed.

Will Dad Take His Own Advice?

When the kids tell me they are upset about something I always ask them if they know what it is because it is easier to work with feelings you have identified.

I suppose I ought to use this as my own teaching moment and should take my own advice.

If I did I’d ask myself why I am feeling this way and I’d say it is because I am a little nervous.

I don’t have as good a handle on the new job as I would like to and that makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Ask me if anyone has criticized or chastised me and I’ll say no.

All they have done is offer support and told me to take baby steps because it is brand new, been in the new position for one week and on my own for all of one day.

You have to learn to walk before you can run, except I am impatient and my own biggest critic.

If anyone else talked this way to me I’d tell them to get lost and or ignore them because they are acting like a fool.

Except this time I am that fool.


So here is the deal and the plan.

I am going to accept feeling uncomfortable, uncertain and foolish.

Give me the damn mask or the jester’s hat and bells so I can do some silly dance and get this over with.

And now that I have taken ownership of it I am going to tell you about the song that is playing in my head right now and how it made me smile.

It is Time Stand Still by Rush and the lyrics just feel perfect for this moment.

“I let my skin get too thin
I’d like to pause,
No matter what I pretend
Like some pilgrim
Who learns to transcend
Learns to live
As if each step was the end

Time stand still
I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now
Time stands still
See more of the people
And the places that surround me now”

And just like that clarity snaps back into place and my attitude is adjusted.

Someone call my kids and tell them dear old dad just proved some of his advice is worth listening to.

Still it might be nice to be Wolverine. I bought a bunch of stuff at Costco that was packaged in that crazy clamshell plastic and it just doesn’t want to open. 😉

When Blogs Go Bad

Sometimes blogs go bad and we the humans that run them find ourselves scratching our heads and or kicking and screaming because technology refuses to act as we think it should.

That’s what happened here.

Can’t tell you if the problem started last night or if it was today because way too much has happened.

What I know is that when I updated this joint to the latest edition of WP it gave me the finger and tried to kick my ass.

I don’t take kindly to that sort of treatment from people and even less so from machines.


I raged against the machine but tried to be smart about it.

Tried to stay calm and follow the same advice I give my children about effective problem solving and perseverance.

If you are reading this then I suppose I ought to present this as proof of my success in both resolving the issue and in doing so in a semi-timely manner.

But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tested or frustrated by this blog choosing to go bad.

I am supposed to the rogue. I am supposed to be the maverick.

Not the bleeping blog.

But sometimes things happens.

Sometimes life happens.

Roll With The Tide

I have to remind myself to roll with the tide and to use the power of the waves to push me forward.

Doesn’t make any sense to fight against such a mighty force as the sea because given time it will always win and it always has more time than we do.

Given that the Traveling Jack show is about to roll out another tour it is even more reason to work hard to not fight the elements.

The smart man lets the wind power his sails and saves his arms for when the seas are calm and he truly must row.

Got to be the smart man now, got to save my strength for when I really need it.

So much good stuff going on now, so many amazing things about to happen. Sometimes we fail to recognize how the ordinary can turn into the extraordinary overnight.


Life is going to be very busy the next few weeks so I am not sure how much time I’ll find to be around here.

The goal is always to update daily but there may be some moments where I just can’t get it done.

If you are a new reader the good news is there are almost 10,000 posts floating around here so there is plenty of material to read.

You can find some of it on the About Jack page or alternatively you can point and click your way through some of the links below:

Words Are The Death Of A Blogger
An Uncertain Certainty
Four Generations & A Wedding
The Best Thing My Father Ever Said To Me
1 Foolproof Way To Become a Better Writer
The Story Of A House- The Final Days
He Died A Hero
Twenty-Five Links That Will Make You A Better Writer/Blogger
Of Dads and Daughters
The Greatest Dad Blogger You Never Heard Of
Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms
Two Things That Are Killing Twitter
Reciprocity In Blogging
Save The Last Dance For Me- 75 Years of Marriage

See you soon,


Are You An Illiterate Brand Whore?

A short tour of the parent blogosphere today provided a fresh reminder about how many illiterate brand whores are masquerading as bloggers.

Can’t tell you how many times I came across advertising that was camouflaged as a blog post or all of the times I wondered if the brands spent any time reading the posts they paid for.

It warms my tiny black heart and angry black soul to see the sort of drek people slap upon their pages.

Really, it is good to know that fortune can smile upon you and provide you with products and trips even though you haven’t a clue how to tell a story that includes a beginning, middle or end.

Jack’s A Cranky Jerk

Some of you will label me a cranky jerk and provide a litany of reasons why people shouldn’t take me seriously.

You’ll say I am jealous or suggest I should keep my mouth shut because my prose isn’t perfect and wave your fingers back at me.

That is cool with me because I am not here to get your approval any more than you need to get mine.

I have spent the last 12 years blogging because I love to write and because this world had been one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.

Bloggers come and go and very few last unless they have fun doing this and that includes the people that are going on all of the trips and getting all of the swag.


Why Do I Comment/Complain?

I love writing and I believe it deserves respect. I believe it is a skill and that it is possible for all of us to improve.

I get cranky when bloggers devalue writing and our work by throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks and by working for free.

I believe a rising tide raises all ships and that Illiterate Brand Whores are dropping bombs through the middle of our ranks.

It is hard enough to make a buck this way and to make things work without those hacks blindly lumbering around.

Show some respect for yourself and for others and take a moment to proof your work. Get to know your spellchecker and take some time to ask if your stories have a beginning, middle and an end.


Do with this what you will.

Call me a crank, a saint or something in between.

I am the guy who bleeds at the keyboard or whatever the hell it was Hemingway said.

You may not ever find perfection here but you will find passion and a desire to do better every time.

My words mean something to me even when they suck.

There are many fine writers in the parent blogosphere. Many men and women whose command of the language makes me strive to do more and become better.

I just wish the brand whores didn’t get as much attention as they do. It is a real shame that and a disservice to those who deserve better.

End of rant.