Category Archives: Blogging

Five Little Words


Today’s post is dedicated to all of you who labor every day to post your prompts and to read our responses. You and your predecessors have been my motivation for seven years now, every day, and I have probably rarely thanked you, so for Ragtag Daily Prompt, Fandango, Your Daily Word, Word of the day and The Daily Spur, this one is for you. And Ragtag, your prompt today wasn’t meant to be taken personally, right?

Prompt words today are windbag, (Hope this one isn’t personal,) begrudge, futile, inspire and ease.

Five Little Words

Lest you think I’m a windbag and lest you begrudge
my words meant for chuckles, to inspire or nudge
for social reform and for giving the boot
to public servants who pillage and loot
our public coffers and fill up their pockets
with money or spend it on guns, walls and rockets.

Better the money be spent on our own
in stead of a POTUS who sits on his throne
dreaming of golf games and bragging of pussies,
berating mask-wearers as alarmists and wussies.
OK see how I’m off on a whim or a breeze,
raving again with remarkable ease?

I can’t seem to stop, even though I’m retired.
I simply can’t shut off the words when inspired.
So long as the world is so stupid and brutal,
efforts to stifle my words would be futile.
Just five daily words will inspire the rest.
I write all the others at their behest.

Announcing: The First Annual Spamster Awards


Announcing, the First Annual Spamster Awards

After reviewing the spam messages on my blog over the past five years, I have appointed myself to be the founder, administrator, adjudicator and guardian of the first annual Spamster Awards. I’m now taking nominations for blog Spam above and beyond normalcy, literacy, legitimacy or usefulness. To submit your nomination for worst spam of the year, check your spam folder on your blog and then copy and paste the message you wish to nominate into a comment on this blog. If it does not fall into one of the below categories, do not worry. We’ll make up a new category. Spread the word, but please be sure to send nominations only to this particular blog posting. Also, feel free to submit new category suggestions.

“Spamster” Nominations


For the category of most incomprehensible:

* “Help make your subject matter more at ease by presenting some form of a prop. Give you a lady a blossom to try out with or a gentleman a basketball. Give you a happy couple some bubble periodontal and get them blow bubbles jointly. You may not need to include the prop inside the frame in some instances but there may be photographs that actually work out properly together.”

* “Usually do not anticipate to you should every person using the selections you will certainly be producing. This day is designed for you, which is depending on what you like. Usually do not let anyone who may criticize get you straight down or make you improve your brain. Do what definitely makes you pleased since you will keep this in mind day time for an extended time then anyone else will.” Followed by a URL for an “images” site. ?? (nominated by Christine Goodnough)

For the category of most likely to have used a translation app for the message:

* “There is noticeably a bundle to realize about this. I assume you made specific good points in functions also.”

* “Should you suffer from a type of ringing in ears that is certainly causing a frequent “visiting” sound with your the ears, you might have a condition brought on by jaw joint misalignment, or TMJ. Watch your dentist to discover if this is your trouble.”

+ “Hi there, simply turned іnto aware of your weblog via Google, and located that it is truⅼy informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful when youcontinue this in future. A lot of рeople might be benefited from your writing. Cheers! (Marilyn Armstrong)

For the category of comments most unrelated to the blog posting to which they were a comment:

* (In answer to my posting of a photo of a flower) “It has never been easier to judge between the transportation services, as all bloke opinions and testimonials are gathered in identical see fitted
you to pick the best. Bolt injurious supremacy and as a culminate miserable face by consulting any paraphrase website reviews.Thoroughly written testimonials purpose influence you including the approach of selecting the one and but change checking that will-power fit your needs.”

*  (spam comment to the following haiku “Fly by Night,” posted by Christine Goodnough:
Wings over hayfield/ moonlight in the hunter’s eyes;/the grasses tremble) ” 
I wish to express my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from such a situation. Because of looking through the world-wide-web and seeing advice that were not productive, I assumed my entire life was done. Existing without the presence of solutions to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of your entire guideline is a critical case, and the kind which might have negatively affected my entire career if I had not noticed your blog. The competence and kindness in handling all the things was very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a subject like this. I am able to at this point look forward to my future. Thank you very much for this professional and sensible guide. I won’t think twice to recommend your web page to anybody who requires guide about this topic.” 

* (In answer to a posting entitled IS IT HOT OR IS IT ME? WHAT?  which is about the temperature in her house, Marilyn Armstrong got this spam message:)  “welcome you XXXX me and fill me mouth with his sweet XXX my nickname (XXXXXXX)I Want a lot of sex like role-playing games Copy the link and go to me … XXXXXXXXXyou porn gay XXXXXXX compilation gay porn of indian men tegami bachi porn porns filthiest mature ffm porn resi

For the category of editing services I’d be least likely to accept:

 * “I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.”

* I cherished as much as you’ll receive performed proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an nervousness over that you want be handing over the following. unwell certainly come more before once more as exactly the same just about very steadily inside of case you shield this increase.

 * “ . I don’t call up I’d edited that line of reasoning, but i’m always editing when I reckon mistakes after posting so no one’s flaw that we can check and why would we want to anyway?”

For the category of most hilarious:

  •  “For those who have an extensive ab, your entire armoire will need to have folks gentle clothes in addition to darker coloration. Soft shades usually strengthen all of your big mid-section. Be certain to make sure make use of an actual jacket when it forbids freely flesh approach using transpiring. Rather long sleeve T-shirt can be the right kind just for you. Sidestep minimal midsection jean.” (nominated by Christine Goodnough)

Very important!!! Please be sure to substitute XXXXXXXXX for any product names, sites or other information that would identify the spammer as well as extreme obscenties.

And yes, I did receive a spam letter in response to this posting.  Of course, it was totally unrelated to the subject.




Spam I Love to Hate


Ever go through your spam comments folder on your blog? If so, you must have a “Best of Spam” list—those messages so audacious or poorly written or inane that they invite a response, and yet how dare you? Any reaction at all is sure to invite more spam.

Today, I wrote this Skype message to okcforgottenman: (Remi is my alter-ego name.  If you really want to be my friend, call me Remi!!!)

[9/24/17, 2:30:41 PM] Judy/Remi: I love it when I get spam that says my blog could use some fresh content— like I haven’t posted in the last five minutes. Who posts more posts a day than I DO? I am sometimes embarrassed at the number of posts I make.  People must think I just sit around blogging all day and I have no life at all. Only way they know I do is that somehow I manage to have events to post about.

[9/24/17, 2:31:27 PM] Judy/Remi: People post a one-liner and get a million views. No one works harder for fewer views than I do!!!

[9/24/17, 2:32:29 PM] Judy/Remi: I quote : “I see your website needs some fresh articles. Writing manually takes a lot of time, but there is tool for this boring task, search for: XXXXXXX* tools for content.” 

[9/24/17, 2:32:34 PM] Judy/Remi: (Expletive deleted) !!!

*(Site deleted—why give them free advertising?)

Do you have Spam you love to hate?  If so, please share it.

Happy Anniversary to Me

I just received notification from Word Press that I registered my blog five years ago today. It’s very strange, because although I set it up on September 18, I didn’t post a blog until March 27. Either I was trying to figure out how to do so or I was waiting for our book to come out, as I thought I was setting it up to promote the book. Little did I know!

I posted daily throughout April,  when I joined NaPoWriMo and wrote a poem a day. I backslid after that and only started posting daily again the next April.  I’ve posted every day since then. This is my 3,455th blog. Yes, if you are thinking it is an addiction, you are probably right, but a quite benign one.  If you are curious, HERE is the first blog I ever wrote. What I’ve been doing since then is quite a departure from what I thought I’d be doing. Thanks to all of you who have kept me here, reading your blogs and reciprocating with mine.

My readership has increased by leaps and bounds (literally) since someone “gifted” me with four kittens.  They take a very active part in my blogging life.

Including a bit of blind unauthorized editing.

OKCforgottenman even sent me a celebratory cake!!!

Guest Blog: How Judy Gets Blog Views?

Hola to Judy’s readers. Some of you know me here as okcforgottenman, Judy’s (mostly) behind-the-scenes/curtain techie, keeper of secrets, and spotter of misspellings. I also like watching her blog stats daily as I try to figure out what specifically draws viewers/readers in. A few minutes ago I saw that someone out there in cyberspace today found Judy’s blog by typing in an interesting keyword search into some search engine:


In case your screen is too small (or, like me, your eyes are too mature), here’s a closer view:


Might this yield further insight as to how Judy acquires more readers?

Judy? –

(Judy speaking now.) Well, over-60 female viewers might agree that we need to find our thrills where we can find them and a little fermented sugar cane mixed with a cola beverage seems a pretty socially acceptable way to find our bliss.  Do you agree, ladies?

As for forgottenman, you have no idea how many things in stats I would miss if it were not for him. He pointed out a milestone in views reached yesterday, has found reviews of my poems in a New Delhi newspaper and he was the one who spotted the article in a British online news magazine that did a comparison between my stats and Donald Trump’s.  Now how unlikely is that and how would I have ever known? Nice to have someone backing me up on my blog. He writes a pretty mean blog, as well–quality-wise if not quantity-wise.  You should check it out HERE.

He is also the one responsible for fishing your comments out of Spam, where they have unfairly been filed by WordPress.  So let’s give him a big round of applause. okcfm, I’d like to see you do another guest blog on the weirdest search engine terms you’ve seen on both of our blogs.. and challenge others to check theirs out for oddities to share as well.

Ball’s in your court, forgottenman.  –Judy



I’ve been an avid blogger, in fact it is inane
the hours I devote to it. I fear I am insane.
I only slept three hours last night for I was agonizing
about the state the world is in, never realizing
that hours I could have spent in sleep I spent in speculation
of how giant guns in hands of fools leads to eradication
of larger numbers of the human race we’re meant to love,
but instead of arms embracing, we use arms to push and shove.
There’s such incentive now I fear for these fools to abuse them.
Why spend so much on weapons if we’re never going to use them?
It’s thoughts like this progressively that fill most of my thinking.
I cannot help believing that our ship of state is sinking,
bringing the whole world with it. In fact, I am obsessive.
With so much to be thankful for, I have become depressive.
I know I must pull out of it for what life we have left
should be enjoyed for soon enough it may be we’re bereft.
These are the thoughts that constantly roil within my mind.
I fear for breath, I fear for life.  I fear for all mankind.
The more I write about it, the more morose I grow,
and so I think I might quit blogging for a month or so
and see if I can concentrate on things a bit more cheery,
for I’m growing so reclusive that my friends are no doubt leery.
I could fade from sight before the big guns do it for me,
so my resolution on this day is that I must restore me
back to the hum of daily life, throwing down my pen
to try to remember how my life was way back when
I suffered from a writer’s block that kept my words inside,
milling about disorganized until they up and died.
And since I do not think much ’til I see what I have written,
I’ll grab the serpent by the tail before I have been bitten.
So adios for now, my friends, you’ll hear no more from me.
I need a small vacation where I can simply be.

The prompt today is avid.   I really didn’t know where this poem was going when I set out, but after a sleepless night spent having to deflect another asthma attack–or at least fearing one–and unable to find my oxygen machine, I think maybe I really do need to stop thinking for awhile and just live.  Perhaps this will be a time to get a book together or to finish the 71 bracelets I designed and compiled at the beach that I need to find a way to finish off.  Or perhaps I’ll just swing in the hammock and read upbeat books.  Any suggestions?  My friend Jane arrives in a few days and that will help. It’s true we should all be concerned with the state of our world, but when it blinds us to its joys and beauties, it is time to affect some changes.  With a week to go on NaPoWriMo, I may delay for a week, and may change my mind tomorrow, but for now I need to deflect my thoughts elsewhere.  If you still desire a daily dose, I’ve posted 3,042 blogs over the past four years, so please go back and perhaps start at the beginning, or pick a topic  to search by and read random blogs from the past.  It has taken awhile to grow a readership so I’m sure there are many blog entries very few of you have ever read.  And, I’d still love to hear your comments. Doubt that I’ll be able to resist checking now and then.  Or daily.  But hopefully not hourly.

They Do Not Like Me in Mongolia

I just noticed that they’ve reinstated the stats page that shows readership of blogs country-by-country.  I always enjoyed it and so I was very happy to see it back again.  Then I started to notice little blank spots that indicated countries where no one has ever read my blog, and of course my obsessive side took over. The result is this poem. This happened once years ago with Greenland and eventually they caved in and someone viewed my blog and even commented.  Of course, it was a Filipino who had moved to Greenland, so I am aware of the fact that native Greenlanders still resist my charms, but it took care of that big gap on the map, so I’m happy.  But!  What about all those stans?  Does no one read English there? Is their taste too impeccable to give me even a chance?  Clearly, something needs to be done, so if you know any stans that you can toss into my blog begging cup, please help. Have I been at this too long?  Is it time to stop and find a less public obsession?  Well, we will see.  At any rate, here’s my plea, in rhyme, as usual:

They Do Not Like Me In Mongolia

They do not like me in Mongolia. My blog they are not reading.
The advice I give that they might need, I fear they are not heeding.
The Russians do not snub me, nor do the Turkestanis,
But I see that I have zero stats for Turkmenistanis.
They enjoy me in Samoa and endure me in St. Kitts.
The folks in Montenegro just love me all to bits.
But why won’t they read me in Uzbekistan, I wonder?
I’ve never once insulted them. I’d not make such a blunder.

Tajikistan might like me if they’d give me a chance.
Just ask my faithful readers in Great Britain and in France.
It’s true my knowledge of where Kyrgyzstan lies is most hairy,
and I can only spell it if I use a dictionary;
but still, why won’t they read me? They could have a look and rate me.
And if they noted what my blog is lacking, educate me.
For a year there were no stats that showed us views country by country,
and so I didn’t suffer from the shame and the effrontery

that there were countries missing from my readership
who are surely suffering from lack of leadership
in how to train a Scottie with fifty percent success.
and how best to deal with the chaos and the mess.
How to avoid chocolate, at least one day in ten.
How to post too many pictures of everywhere I’ve been.
I’m expert in so many things that, really, they should know,
so if you know folks in these countries, please be sure to tell them so!

Note: Let’s see if the Eastern block countries will have a little compassion and cave to our pleas.
And since stats are surely a measurement of readership, this post works for the Daily Prompt as well!




A river between us, each high on a ridge.
If we’re ever to meet, we must build a bridge.
But it’s hard to accomplish unless we take hand
to collect the cement, the gravel and sand.

So those of us tired of  manual labors—
not given to chitchatting much with our neighbors—
can go on our blogs to find our own kind,
constructing bridges purely of mind.

Blogging is great to bring folks together
on separate continents, in any weather.
We can be lazy, me here and you there,
building our bridges with ease, through the air.

Not over yet! Now click on this URL:

The prompt today was “bridge.”

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla


Feet up at the Tequila Sunset Bar!

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla

When I was asked what my three most successful blog postings have been, I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to find out for sure. I knew it had something to do with the stats page, but I didn’t know how to go about finding out the total of views for each post over the years. I accepted the challenge, however, and found that the three topics that have created the most views over the two years plus that I’ve been blogging all start with the letter “M!”

First of all, as my title so clearly states, anything having to do with La Manzanilla, Mexico, where I spend two months of my year, garners immediate views. This is probably because most of my postings about La Manzanilla have been linked to their incredibly popular message board which has a loyal following. If you need something in La Manz from a ride to the airport three towns away to the loan of a charger for your camera to information about your computer, your house or your life—go to the La Manzanilla message board. And, for sure, if you took pictures all along the beach of different campfires and parties on New Years Eve and posted them on your blog, mention it on the La Manzanilla message board.

The third most views I garnered for any one post was a piece I wrote about the murder of two friends, and as the investigation into their murder continued, the international interest in my blog continued. I think the dearth of other information (since the murder occurred in Mexico whereas their families and lifelong friends were in Canada) contributed to people picking up on my blog from Google and Facebook. This is a sad way to earn views and of course that was far from the reason why I continued to write about this most tragic occurrence, but for some reason I wound up as a liaison between Mexican and Canadian friends of the couple, local police and higher up government officials and one local woman who relentlessly pursued the ones she knew were responsible. In the end, one of the men  was caught and sentenced, but I keep hoping that one day I’ll surpass the day’s total for views for one of the days I wrote about their deaths, as every time I see that number in my “top three,” I am reminded of the sad topic of that post.

Also high in the ratings over the past two years was a blog I wrote about migraine headaches. I remember my friend, proof-reader and fellow blog administrator Skyping me that I’d had hundreds of views from Great Britain in the last few minutes and upon investigation, I decided that this must have been due to a web crawler picking up on the work “migraine” and distributing the URL for my blog to its participants. I hope in writing this that I’m interpreting correctly how and why a web crawler works. I can only say that it is exciting to see the numbers mounting, but I don’t delude myself that it was anything but a fluke.

In summary, I guess what I’ve learned from surveying my stats is that what is most important in attracting views is to write about a timely topic you have personal knowledge of—especially if no one else is writing about it. Or, to choose a topic of particular and clearly-defined interest and to find some way to get news of your posting to the particular group that has an interest in it. This might be through your choice of tags, where else you establish a link to your blog or the luck of being picked up by some service that disseminates information to its subscribers.

Ironically, this is something I rarely do and which in all of these cases happened more or less by accident. I think if I were to make these concerns my main consideration in blogging that all of the fun would go out of it. I love the more hit-or-miss option of writing about the Daily Prompt and posting pictures on the daily or weekly prompts given by a handful of prompt sites. If you look at my blog, you will clearly see which ones they are and I furnish links to all of them at the bottom of my posts. It is wonderful to be widely-read but I’d rather have the freedom of writing about what I want to write about and in the style I want to write. In my case, I think the label of my blog could best be described as eclectic. That’s how I like my life and that’s how I like my writing and photos.

The starlings come back to La Manzanilla. (Perhaps they’ve been here all along, but a lack of a stunning sunset in the west last night brought our attention to the southeast, where a lot more was going on thanks to the clouds and the murmuration of thousands of starlings, which I took for bats until Daniel straightened out my thinking by saying they were birds. Meanwhile, he took a break from smoking his cigar to smoke his cigarette.  More about this in a later post!

(Click on first picture to see enlarged photos.)


A generous friend with time on his hands sent me links to my top eight most-viewed blog postings.  These are the links he sent:



The Prompt: Go to your stats page and find your three most successful posts.  What do they have in common?



No “cauldron boil and cauldron bubble” for me.  I’m too busy with a different sort of ritual.


Up at eight, feed the dogs.
Back to bed to write some blogs.

Around noon, finally rise.
Open drapes, survey the skies.

It’s really time that I got uppa,
donned some clothes and had a cuppa.

Pull on Levis and a blouse,
Make my sojourn through my house.

Blend a smoothie, drink it down.
Get in my car and drive to town.

Do some shopping, have some lunch
or meet up with my writing bunch.

Go back home to meet my fate–
three dogs barking at my gate!

Throw Morrie’s ball, pat other dogs.
Go back inside and write more blogs.

Post more photos, read the Reader,
then to the garden to be a weeder.

Take some pictures of some blooms.
(Cee’s daily flower posting looms.)

Post the picture, read blogs of others:
Serendipity’s and Mother’s.

Go out to dinner or to dance,
then home to have another chance

to catch up on the blogs I’ve missed––
To see if I’ve been “liked “ or dissed.

By now you’re probably all agog
at how my ritual’s mostly blog!!


The Prompt: Just Another Day–Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?