Category Archives: blogging

Hiatus? Hiatus over? Mid-hiatus? Even I don’t know (I’m going with hiatus almost over)

It is my habit at breakfast to keep a pen and notepad at hand along with a small pair of scissors. While I read my paper and sip coffee, glorious coffee, I jot down thoughts to perhaps follow up on later, and often – too often – clip articles with interesting passages highlighted. (I tried that underlining thing – did you know that ball pens often cut through newsprint?) And thus do I seed posts for Whatever Works.

After the ritual, I drop  the morning harvest into a wire basket in the office. If the basket starts to fill up, I do some aggressive weeding, which isn’t hard since much of this is far less interesting at second look.

Right now the basket is full. It is overflowing. It is intimidating.  It has become the enemy. It mocks me mercilessly. And it impedes blogging.

I’ve learned that some things can be left unexamined without doing any harm. So it shall be and so shall I be unbloggy until I face down that nasty basket and strip it of its power. The wastebasket and I shall overcome. Soon.

Meanwhile, it’s summer, the pool and grill beckon, the days are blessedly slow and quiet time is here for the taking, not stolen as in other seasons.

This may be over tomorrow – hell, it could even be later today. So this post shall serve either as explanation for why no blogging, or a return . But that’s summer:  non-committal, and that’s okay.

Friday oldie?

Still having problems inserting videos. Been going back and forth with forums, even cleared out the cache and cookies (what a pain that is!). But no solution yet. So, why don’t you go here and choose one for yourself.

WordPress wouldn’t let me post the Friday oldie

Same problem this morning. (Blogfriends? Anyone having the same problem?)

I – and anyone out there – will have to settle for a link, so here.

This one is Till Then by The Classics from 1958.

A new resource for political bloggers – thanks Josh!

The season is almost upon us and Talking Points Memo has very thoughtfully launched a new site, PollTracker, that features – are you ready bloggers? – a Presidential Dashboard! Great stuff – all the polls, all the breakdowns, the latest in the swing states.

I was surprised to Obama leading (sometimes only by a nose) in all 12 swing states. Today, anyway. I expect to visit often. And so should you.


Not the oldie yet

So unbloggy this week. This one always re-animates me. (Plus I feel simply compelled to post it. Again.)

Nothing blog-whore-ey here. Absolutely not!

This is the image I used in my own ‘tanning lady’ post – back when she was still a story. It turned out to be quite popular on teh google and lo, thus did those seekers-of-wisdom-and-truth come right here, right to Whatever Works. And lo, they left their delicious digital signatures, and lo, they did cause my May site stats to soar and climb to a great big number. (It was an outlier. I know. I know. But still . . . )

So now, as an experiment – only an experiment of course, there is nothing blog-whore-ey about it – I’m re-posting that very picture (or ‘gooble-bait’ as I call it) to see what happens.

I myself see this as important research that must be done, so yup, I am so doing it.

Unbloggiest ever

Six posts in the last six days – sparse (and one was a Friday oldie, published with a single click so it hardly counts). Very very sparse.

I conclude therefore that I am very very unbloggy.

(In other news, it’s reported that a member of the British House of Lords thinks Bush and Obama are bad guys and has offered a bounty of ten million pounds to get the two. Can it be worse? Yeah, he announced it during a visit to Pakistan. I must say that was quite bold of His Lordship.)

Comments problem?

I’ve heard from a few readers that they’re not able to comment . . . if you’ve had the problem, please email me at my already hopelessly public address:


News gathering done well

The Guardian newspaper has been ‘live-blogging’ developments as they happen in Toulouse, France, where police have named and cornered a suspect in those multiple killings.

Even a paper with the tremendous staff resources of The Guardian can only report what they know and many aspects and events are not understood at first. Details unfold over the hours, and eventually a fuller picture emerges.

Their live-blog is as good an example as I’ve ever seen of how the reporting process works, how the various elements evolve into a narrative with each bit of new information . . . in other words, it shows how it’s done (or how it should be done).  You can also see early reports – often inaccurate – become clearer over time as professionals stay with the story and push for more facts.

Worth a look if you’ve the time. (I’ve bookmarked it so I can check back and see what happens next.)

Something up with WordPress?

WordPress bloggers: my comment notifications are acting weird today. Anyone else??

Blog here, elsewhere is me

Understand this, Yoda would. Lately my blog posts have been either derivative or stuff I’ve posted because I think I should post. My heart is perhaps tired. I’ve even just re-blogged for the first time (new WordPress feature that is very very easy and very very tempting).

I’m  not going  to go dark here or get all unbloggy . . . but nor am I going to just toss stuff up. I must set out to find my mojo. It may have been used up for now by the astonishing tone of the GOP race and the more astonishing and bold steps by Republicans to reign in we ‘uppity’ women.

Find it, I will. Lost, it is not. Hiding, it is.

Still lite blogging and unbloggy anyway. But there is this . . .

. . . from Las Vegas’ 8 News NOW: “Trump to make ‘major announcement’ on presidential race” He still thinks we care. I think that’s kind of cute.

In other newz, my new shiny silver laptop arrived today as did my all legal-like, brand spanking new Office 10 Professional Suite. Tomorrow is a big day as my digital life finally will come off life support and be born anew.

And once it does . .  I will immediately and completely re-organize every single thing in my life to absolute perfection, put everything I own in the right place, rearrange the contents of the bookshelves as they always should have been,  begin blogging on a strict schedule (probably after my 45 rigorous minutes on the elliptical – and the protein shake), never again handle a piece of paper more than once, and feel secure in the certainty that I will never ever misplace anything again. Ever.

Ah, the power of the new ‘puter.


For non-bloggers: A look behind the curtain

Lessons in spam: How [not] to Sound Like A Person:

I had been questioning occasion you ever considered altering customized for specific cultures of the website? Its really correctly created; I adore what youve obtained to say. But possibly it is possible to small a lot more when it comes to content so males could interact with it greater. Youve obtained a terrible total lots of text for only finding a single or two images. Maybe you’ll manage to area it out greater?

We all get robo-spam, those announcements of the latest ‘enhancement’ drugs or miracle weight loss systems. For every one that gets through, 100 others are probably kept out of your inbox by a blocker.

Same with blogs – Aksimet on WordPress does a fine job for
Whatever Works. (It’s blocked almost 14,000 spam comments from making it through, but does hold them for review, just in case.)

Robo spammers (see above) have been working at creating auto generated and specific ‘comments’ based on the content of a post. Sometimes they’re even successful, but not often. Sheer awfulness still reigns supreme. It’s a Beta world so far.

But that could change. I notice lately that the language is a bit sharper, the comment itself more relevant, almost believable.

The goal for now is commercial, to encourage a blogger to click through. Which means of course that the goal is to deceive.

I do wonder about future implications for us all when deception is run by software, is automated, targeted and widespread.

Pet peeve: a post is not a blog

Lately, especially in media where they really ought to know better, I hear ‘blog posts’ referred to as ‘blogs’.

A post is not a blog. An article is not a newspaper. A story is not a magazine.

Please stop it.

Thanks cousin Liz. I needed that.

Some gentle blog humor

Linda Holmes at NPR’s website had some fun yesterday, inventing 20 ficitonal commenters and their comments. They’re right on. Here are her “20 Unhappiest People You Meet in the Comments Sections of End of the Year Lists”:

1. The Poisoned. “The fact that you included Adele on this list of 100 things you like makes it a total joke.”

2. The Really Pretty Sure Person, Who Is Really Pretty Sure. “I’ve never seen Game Of Thrones, but I’m really pretty sure it’s not as good as Boardwalk Empire.”

3. The Person Who Is Exactly Right. “It really seems like this list of things you thought were good is just your opinion.”

4. The Surprisingly Lucid Narcoleptic. “ZZZZZZZZZ” is the classic. “SNORE” and “YAWN” are acceptable variants.

5. The Mother Of Tim “Freckles” Matterley. “There is a musician in Ann Arbor named Tim Matterley who is better than all these songs! You would like his music. He has a web site at, and you can get his songs free on your computer! Please check out Tim Matterley, who does not have a big record contract YET but is very very good!!!!” Two comments later, she will often come back. “Also, Tim Matterley is in this YouTube video where he plays ‘Imagine’ at a children hospital. I am just one fan but I think he is great and he will go far!!!”

Continue reading

Well. Well.

Snipped this from my site stats page, just now. As I write I expect the clock will turn.


Um, WordPress? 78 spam to deal with?

WordPress (this blogging platform) has a comments spam blocker called Akismet which historically has been very good. But in the last weeks, more and more are getting through – 78 just this morning, all of which I will review before deleting because maybe, just maybe one of them will be legit.

The life of the stat whore.

Suicidal Barbie or not

You may have noticed my mug has disappeared from this page and in its place is suicidal Barbie (who knew Ken was gay?).  She landed here (no pun intended) quite by accident, but  I’m kind of liking it. Thoughts?


Blog brag

I just noticed that sometime last week I put up my 2000th post at Whatever Works and comments topped 13,000.
Further, it seems that with just 170 more visits before Monday, October 2011 becomes my all time big time mostest bestest ever ever EVER month.


Terrorists and dictators, lacking the filibuster, have no effective defense against Barack Obama.                                    Rebecca Kirzsner, Democratic strategist

Busy. Unbloggy. Later.

I like this place

Teh busy is easing up at last. Friday oldie is forthcoming (it’s Thursday, isn’t it. Yikes. Again.)

Meanwhile, a ‘like’ on my last post just led me to Psilomelane. Stop by for some fascinating miscellany. It’s fun. I especially liked this:

Friday oldie

Not unbloggy, just that this week has been chewing me up like bad scenery. A convergence of obligations that isn’t likely to slow down till the middle of next week. And Orhan is going to be traveling . . . ergo, blogging will remain light.

But Friday is Friday. After all. So here are the Teddy Bears; this one is kind of lame but has a place in musical history because one of the original Teddy Bears was Phil Spector, who went on to an outsize career as an R&R impressario. But that was before he shot his girlfriend. So Phil is singing in prison these days.


Till tonight? Till tomorrow?

There is work on my desk whispering in my ear and making veiled threats. So . . .

Happy blog birthday

Just realized that this past Wednesday, Whatever Works turned two years old! Whoppeee!

My first post was “Is this thing working?”.

(not original: lifted from the first post by Dr. Duncan Black, aka Atrios, on April 17, 2002)

Even I didn’t know I was on vacaction

I really didn’t, at least not until I noticed I actually was on vacation. But it is August after all.

So I’ll throw up an oldie and not worry about this place for a few more days. Friend Shep sent this last week. The voices, the music, the lyrics – as good as America ever produced.

Blog blog gone away; come back another day

Unbloggiasmic. Later.

I am the go-to place for Scalia. I guess.


For well over a year, the top search term that brings people here is ‘scalia’. I don’t know whether that’s a function of how frequently people enter his name into search engines or if there was something particularly delicious about my one and only (I think) post about the good Justice. If that is the case, I wish I could find the damn thing and figure out what was so enticing about it!

Information overload

Too much happening; my brain just broke. Perhaps I need to see some movies.

So . . . unbloggy.

Shares a name

I was just at Whatever Works – yup, there is a blog sharing my name at Blogger. I got there while googling to see if either or was available. They weren’t. (The first is a pest control company!)

I tried to leave a comment for the proprietor but failed. This has happened before with Blogger; it seems to resist comments – from me anyway.  Can’t sign in via WordPress (refuses my URL). Can’t sign in via my Google account either.

So I shall link to the blog here. And hope she stops by so we can get acquainted.