Posts tagged ‘Wordpress’

The Best of the Web

"Works Progress Administration Project 19...

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I thought it was time to brag on some other writers and visionaries for a change. There are a lot of other great blogs out there that are doing creative things, making progressive statements, advocating for women, and featuring more important stories than Jesse James’ tragic breakup from Kat von D. I really thought that would last forever. I’m just devastated!

First off, there’s a great cartoon site that I found through WordPress, mostly because she was kind enough to click the “Like” button on one of my posts. The Adventures of Gyno-Star: Fighting the Forces of Evil & Male Chauvinism is a cartoon gem that gets updated twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. The artist is supremely talented. Her superhero has a sidekick named Little Sappho, and together they fight nemeses like Stay at Home Mommy and Vlad Deferens. Clever fun, and the illustrations are fantastic!

At Rebuild the Dream you can sign a contract for a return to the American dream. Van Jones heads this campaign with the support of many other progressive organizations, most notably The idea is pretty simple. Start investing in America again. Update our infrastructure and invest in the future, create jobs to do this and hire Americans to fill the jobs.

What does that sound like? Why, if it weren’t for the green energy component, I think it sounds an awful lot like the Works Progress Administration. The WPA? You don’t say. The brainchild of FDR, a plan to bring us out of the Great Depression, improve our great nation, and feed our families, the WPA is still present in concrete and signs in small and large communities throughout the United States. How do we pay for this? By taxing the rich.

This brings me to another great website. Sometimes people, myself included, like to cast the rich in the role of villain in the deterioration of the American dream and the American economy. But that’s not entirely fair. There are some millionaires out there who are lobbying that their taxes need to be raised.

You can find those millionaires and billionaires on a great website called, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. These people are true patriots, and their message reminds me that with great wealth comes great privilege and with great privilege, great responsibility. These people incredibly, selflessly get that. They make me proud to be an American.

Speaking of being proud to be an American, some people make me proud to be a Christian as well. John Shore, whose blog I’ve championed before, had a great article about a woman named Kathy Baldock and how she came to form a non-profit called Canyonwalker Connections. Kathy had t-shirts made, and she attends gay functions like Pride parades and wears her t-shirt, offering an apology to any LGBT who’s been traumatized by the bigotry of churches who reject homosexuals.

Here’s a great video I found:

The video is a commentary on how household cleaning products are always marketed to women, using women almost exclusively to sell the products to women almost exclusively. The only exceptions I can think of to this are Orange Glo and Oxy Clean. Mr. Clean doesn’t count since he’s a fictional character who never actually cleans anything anyway. The Tidy-Bowl Man is a tugboat operator; he doesn’t clean anything.

What is marketed almost exclusively to men? Beer. How is it marketed to men? Using scantily clad beautiful women to imply that if only you drink enough beer women will want to have sex with you. Maybe if only the women drink enough beer they will forget that they have to do all of the cleaning and will want to have sex with you. Or, and here’s a novel concept: maybe if a man did his share of the chores around the house a woman might be inclined to have sex more often. Beer is optional.

I found this website by happy accident. Hugo Schwyzer is a Christian and a gender studies professor. He’s written many, many enlightening blog posts about issues relating to feminism and Christianity, including weighing in on the recent controversy over actor Doug Hutchison’s marriage to a 16-year-old child and’s pimping out of college girls. He writes about his views on porn and even cites Andrea Dworkin. He’s sharp, and he’s a pleasure to read.

Hugo Schwyzer also blogs on The Good Men Project. The Good Men Project bills itself as “a cerebral, new media alternative” to glossy men’s magazines. In other words, it’s the anti-Maxim. There are great articles on gender issues and relationship advice, and something for everyone. This website renews my good faith in men.

The Women’s Media Center is a non-profit that seeks to make women more visible and women’s voices more audible in all forms of contemporary media. Their website features a Sexism Watch. They sponsor conventions and leadership panels and encourage women to produce films and documentaries that tell women’s stories. They are fighting to see women represented more in the news and on political commentary shows. Check it out.

August 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Friday Night Dark

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...

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Friday was a great day for me. First of all, the editor at WordPress picked my last post to be on Freshly Pressed. Ever since then the number of readers for the little blog that could has increased exponentially. Of course, I know that I won’t keep all of the readers, or even most of them. There are about three men who commented that I wouldn’t mind getting rid of entirely.

I emailed John Shore, the real writer (as in, writing IS his day job) with the very funny Christian blog (check him out on my blog roll while I’m still getting the traffic to help him out). He emailed back:

“That is a lot of fun, isn’t it? What’s nice is it means you’re on their radar, and so will likely show up there again sometime in the future.”

“Prepare, though, for the inevitable letdown after all the traffic passes through. Afterwards, you kind of feel like the wonderfully fun huge parade just … disappeared on you. Not to rain on what’s happening, which is awesome! Just … be prepared for the inevitable letdown afterwards.”

Still, it was fun to watch the count climb. At first, it seemed surreal. I kept jumping from my site stats to the link to my article on and then back to the Site Stats. Amazing! By lunch, I was emailing friends. 1,400 hits in a day! Can you imagine? By the end of the day it was more than 3,200. The next day brought even more traffic. Astounding!

As icing on the cake, I did something nice for the administrative assistant at my work place, and she offered to pay for my lunch at Pappasito’s. Get out! And then there was a Halloween celebration, so there were people in costume and a bunch of cute little kids running around in costumes and more free food!! I LOVE free food. Free food is the best. It even tastes better. Popcorn balls, caramel apples.

Then, because I hadn’t eaten enough, I went out to dinner with the Mr. Brewsters and another of my former co-workers and a friend of his. I was the only straight person at the table, which is awesome.

I bragged about my blog, which they all think of as an on-line diary hobby kind of thing, so it didn’t get quite the response I might have hoped for. Hmmm…note to self. Pick new friends who find your blog to be a serious endeavor of monumental proportions right up there with the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence and that paper thingy that Martin Luther tacked on a door, whatever that was called.

And then I went home. My poor dog started bumping into things and knocking things over and whining, constantly, constantly whining. High pitched fussing at all times. You couldn’t get her to shut up for even two seconds between yelps. It was like an air raid siren. She was obviously in pain.

She’s been walking to the side, leaning, for about a year now. I never got it checked out by a vet because I assumed it was due to those back problems that dachsunds get, and she didn’t seem to be in pain. I keep up with her shots and her heartworm medication. I try to stay on top of her weight so her back doesn’t get worse.

I didn’t anticipate this. She’s only seven years old. Lately she’s been acting like it was maybe difficult for her to see, but she hasn’t been in constant pain. Sometimes when I try to pick her up she bites me. I figured it was arthritis maybe. One day last week, and this should have been my real clue, she peed the bed and just laid there until I got her up. But she never acted like she was in constant pain. I can’t stand for an animal to be in pain.

I gave her a Tylenol PM, and that worked for maybe two or three hours of blissful sleep (‘cause, apparently, I’m selfish like that – Damn dog, I need to sleep; It’s the weekend coming up, and I have social plans.) First thing Saturday morning I threw on some sweats, brushed my teeth, carried her into the car and headed to the vet’s.

Well, the vet’s office is miles away, and there was an accident on the highway we use to get there. Instead of a twenty minute drive it was over an hour with her whining  away in a midsize sedan the whole time. I love my dog, and I can’t stand for her to be in pain, but I also wanted to kill her. I gave her the popcorn ball, and that shut her up for long enough for her to eat it.

We told the vet’s office it was an emergency, and they got us in in twenty minutes. In the meantime, I tell them what’s wrong with the dog and that I gave her Tylenol PM so she would shut up, and I feel like a total shit, like I must be the worst pet parent that ever lived. Why didn’t I at least give her children’s Tylenol? Why didn’t I take her to the vet’s sooner? Because I was afraid that there would be nothing they could do to help her, that I could afford, anyway. That’s what I was afraid of.

First, she gets weighed. She weighs 26.5 pounds. So much for the weight control. She should weigh 20 pounds. The doctor takes blood and examines her. She’s blind as a bat. Apparently, she was only blind in one eye and had been compensating. Who knows how long it was going on before I could have noticed. The leaning thing doesn’t seem to be related, but it’s not back problems. We get the blood tests back, and everything looks good. No diabetes, no meningitis, no eye infection, kidney and liver function good.

The vet says that she can’t know for sure what the problem is. She suspects that my dog is more riddled with anxiety from the blindness than actual pain, but who knows? She says that some animals live happy lives blind; others never adjust. The problem is most likely neurological; could be a stroke or a brain tumor or any one of dozens of things that she can’t diagnose without either an MRI or a Cat scan, and even after that there wouldn’t be much she could do to solve it.

She tells me that I didn’t do anything to cause this, and that taking her to the vet sooner wouldn’t have changed the outcome. She gives me prescriptions for a muscle relaxant and some pain meds and tells me to take the dog home and observe her, see if she calms down. If she doesn’t, then we will discuss the alternative on Monday or Tuesday.

I take her home and give her the meds, and this makes her sleep for maybe three or four hours. Then she starts in with the whining again. I’m supposed to give her the pain meds only every eight to twelve hours, but needless to say, I cheat a little. When it comes time for us to go to sleep, I’ve given her twice the recommended dose, and the fussing is not letting up. Out of frustration, I put her in the other bedroom and close the door. Eventually, the whining stops.

I got some sleep, and I think she did, too. She seems not to hate me for jailing her for the night. I love that dogs have no short-term memory. I pick her up in the morning and bring her back in the bed with me, and she sleeps peacefully and quietly.

I cancelled my plans for the weekend ‘cause I need to watch her and also because if I have to say goodbye, ultimately, that I will want to know that I spent her last days with her. I hate to let her go, but I cannot stand to see an animal suffer, and there is no use in making her continue to bump into everything and live in constant fear and pain just so that I can feel better or somehow less lonely.

For now, she is sleeping peacefully. I wonder how long that will last. There is no use in keeping her alive to be doped up on pain meds all the time. I have a sad feeling that we will be saying goodbye very soon.

If you’re at all interested, you can read about how I met my best friend right here:


October 31, 2010 at 5:10 pm 11 comments

Blogging and Spam

The logo of the blogging software WordPress.

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You might think that this is an entire blog about Spam, the canned pork meat product that most people in America of a certain age or older were forced to eat during their childhood. You would be wrong. No, this is about that other kind of spam, the unwanted junk email kind. Also, this post is about blogging in general.

I have a friend who’s been blogging since November of last year. Frequently, he would write on topics that involved conversations we had had or things we had seen and experienced together, and I thought if my friend could write a blog, then so could I. After all, I have a bachelors degree in English. I am officially qualified to starve to death writing the Great American Novel. Why not starve to death writing a blog?

Although several people now make a decent living off of blogging, I am not one of them. I also have a day job. This should be obvious to anyone visiting this site. Since I have a PC, and I wanted to get started writing as quickly as possible, I did a little research on the internet and found that WordPress offered free software that was easy to use and free server space. Starting the blog was easy peasy. Choosing something worth writing about has been a challenge.

WordPress has an edit mode with a feature called Dashboard that lets you view how many people have read your post on any given day. It allows you to edit or delete comments. It catches spam comments. It shows you the most frequently used word searches to get to your blog. All of this is interesting stuff.

I’m guessing that most of my readership consists of my friends. The highest amount of hits I’ve gotten on any given day has been six. The most popular blog entries have been the blog about the morning after pill and the epilogue to the sweeping Rat Bastard saga. Sex sells.

Both of the most popular blog entries have received spam comments. What is a spam comment? A spam comment is when a company conducts a web search for certain words or phrases in your blog that might – just might – be related to a product or service that they are selling. They then post a “comment” on your blog, which is really just a link to another website.

For instance, the Rat Bastard spam comment was a link to an article on men’s sexual health. The words they gleaned from my blog that made them decide to post a comment are these: bastard, exclusively-sexually, over-at-train, place, sexually-attracted, and train. Obviously, no one actually read my blog before posting the spam comment because Train in the way I used it and train in the way they meant it, are two very different things. If you need this explained to you, congratulations! You do not have a gutter mind. You can probably go get a gutter mind by looking up the word train on an urban dictionary.

The most popularly used web search to get to my blog is “gay boyfriend.” This is probably because one poor gay man looking for the other kind of train was accidentally misrouted by a link on page 22 of his Google search for a gay boyfriend. This did get me to thinking, though, about how I could increase my readers. I could start sprinkling words into my blog that are totally unrelated to what I’m writing about but might be something else that gay men would search for on the internet, like, for instance, felching. (I’m going to warn you ahead of time not to look this one up in the urban dictionary unless you are prepared to learn the answer.) I was thinking I could periodically drop such words in, almost like subliminal messages and see if it works. It could also be like Pee Wee’s Word of the Day. I could put in a secret word with double meaning that you would have to ferret out. I will report back to let you know if this post receives more hits than usual or if we get another spam comment.

June 15, 2009 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

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