Archive for the 'wordpress' Category



30
Nov
08

Dr. Seuss asks Roald Dahl: whatever happened to The Leaky Brain?

The other day I searched in vain
For some sign of The Leaky Brainthe-leaky-brain-call-me

This lady, see, was so much fun
Among my reads was number one

The first I’d go to in my reader
Some days I’d wish I could go meet her.

But then one day near end of summer
She stopped posting.  What a bummer!

Did she get a fake ID
And go to live up in BC?

She failed to leave a mail address
Along her sidebar.  Such a mess!

I wonder if she’s still alive!
Not long ago she did survivethe-leaky-brain-acrobat-photoshop

A dive into the world of porn
We all laughed.  But then one morn,

She up and left.  Came back no more,
She only left an open door,

For comments still come far and wide
Though nowadays no source of pride.

Oh I know.  Just let me guess…the-leaky-brain
She’s found those candies in her dress

But choked on one while a-composing
Another post that’s based on hosing

Hunky guys who wear no shirt
Just another daytime flirt.

Or did those strippers she made fun of
Catch up with her and give her some of

That rice that she was yelling for?
Tell me please.  It’s such a bore

That I can’t find my Leaky Brain
Since she’s not here my life’s a pain.

Maybe she’s in North Korea
With Kim Jong-Il, caught diarrhea

Or is she now a Twitter victim?
In two-line bursts, her wit and wisdom

Lost among the pointless chatter
Of many things that do not matter.

Then again, she is a teacher.
Could it be that, like a preacher,

She had to keep her nose quite clean
Until the day her blog was seen

By the chairman of the school board
Who looked unfavour’bly toward

A teacher unafraid to show her cooter
Instead of teaching kids computer?

Although some blogs have had a boost
From their authors getting dooced

It seems our Leaky Brain has flown
Leaving me to sit and moan.

The web is full of jokes and stuff
Crap and garbage and plain fluff

‘Tis rare originality
Pokes through all that banality.

So if you find The Leaky Brain
The one whose drips were quite insane

Tell her to send a signal flare
Some sign of life.

Because

I

Care.

25
Sep
08

How do you tell your wife you’ve been unfaithful?

I wasn’t going to write this.  Maybe I thought that by making absolutely sure there were no traces of it left anywhere, that she would never notice it happened.  But it happened, there’s no denying that fact.

So now I’m left with the question: how to tell her?  And maybe more importantly – when to tell her?  You can’t say the timing right now is the greatest.  Here I am about to ride off west to spend the weekend with a bunch of bloggers in Bremen, and I leave her behind with this?   But then again, when is it ever a good time?

Maybe I could just post-date the timing this post is to be published.  That’s an idea.  I’ll be a 60 miles away in another city when it’s posted.  Seems like a cowardly thing to do, though.  I should be able to tell it to her face.

Than again, what of the repercussions?  Will things ever work as smoothly again?  Will there always be a sticking point?   I could say yeah, I’ll never do it again.  I learned my lesson.  It was stupid, I was stupid, the whole thing was stupid, stupid, stupid!

Too late for that.

You know, it all started innocently enough.  An email here, a chat there.  Then a blog post or two.  Pretty soon I was going back for more – thirsty for more.

It lifted me up – what can I say?

I feel bad about it, but it’s done and there’s nothing to change that fact.  Nothing to do but own up to it.

Own up to the fact that I was unfaithful to the vow we made to each other.

The vow we made when we first bought it to honour and cherish our Sony Vaio laptop and to never drink coffee or anything else while anywhere near it.

Fuck what a mess.

Stepping onto the balcony carrying my second cup of joe I somehow stumble over the sill.  Trying to steady the cup on the saucer I lunge forward, sending a jet of coffee Splat! Right onto the keyboard.  Couldn’t have hit it better if I’d stood right over the thing and poured.

I yank the plug out right away and flip the thing over as coffee drips from the keyboard all over the placemat.  While it’s upside-down I have the presence of mind to stop swearing and hit the off button, then rush back inside to grab a roll of toilet paper and get to work drying it off and then trying to clean the recesses between the keys.

Lucky it’s a beautiful morning and the sun dries it out pretty well.  Must have, because it’s been plugged in while writing this and it hasn’t fried out yet.

28
Aug
08

The bearded queen that’s always on top

Regular readers may be excused for not knowing what the hell I’m talking about when I say that this blog is really two blogs in one.

On the one hand, it’s the nearly 200 posts since mid-January, 2007 that have come barking down the WordPress puppy mill at this address, along with the various pages and fiddly sidebar doo-dads few bother to click on but have come to expect when you stumble upon an everyday non-stick, peel-off, biodegradable, low-calorie passive-aggressive blog such as this.

On the other hand, there’s one post that regular readers have probably forgotten but which sets itself apart from the rest. One post that almost since its completion one cold, dreary day back in early December last year has drawn more than 200 times the hits, generated more comments and attracted more meet-‘em-in-the-park crazies than nearly any other you’ll find here.

It’s the one making fun of some scam email where the so-called writer poses as a representative of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation, an organisation that does various good deeds for needy people in more places than I care to mention or bother to link to.

On the face of it it’s really hard to figure out why it’s so popular. One read-through and you think…meh. The concept’s been done before, and the jokes? As a great man might have said:

Sir, your post is both funny and original. Unfortunately, the original parts are not funny, and the funny parts are not original.

Seriously, I consider it a mediocre effort. A far cry from the gut-splitting one-liners I’d imagined coming up with as I got the idea for the post cycling home from work.

So what’s bringing them all in?

Is it the scandalous depiction of Canada’s beloved sovereign wearing the unmistakable facial attribute of a male, hinting at what might lie below?

Or is it the mistake in the headline? In another brilliant example of my aversion to research and chronic state of sloth, I adopted the scammer’s mistake by leaving out Elizabeth’s all-important apostrophe-s in the headline. So for months Google has been coughing up that post as high as the highly-coveted Number One Result Position when searchers wrongly type in Queen Elizabeth Foundation.

Not bad, eh? Try it yourself and see. Type in Queen Elizabeth Foundation into Google and see what you get. Do it many, many times and maybe you’ll help push it back up from the number three where it is now. :-)

Speaking of bizarre visitors, I’m sure you aren’t one of them, but some guy calling himself a private investigator and who lives in his mother’s basement in Toronto definitely is.

Sans-merde Sherlocque really didn’t like the off-hand way I told a commenter that the stupidest thing anyone could do would be to send the scammers any money.

Of course he had to point out that it’s your identity they’re after, and in no uncertain terms in subsequent comments made it plain that I am indeed the lowest form of ill-informed pond-scum ever to disgrace the Internet, and furthermore … Well, at this point my eyes kinda glazed over, but you can take a look for yourself. For maximum impact, read them all.

I dunno – maybe I was a little too polite to him? He says he’s a fellow Canadian, after all.

Perhaps on a flight to Hamburg this very minute. Whoa.

13
Jul
08

Fox Spews: fare for the unbalanced

This post dedicated to my dear friend Trish in California, who wishes they would have a moratorium on campaigning until two months before the election just to give everyone a break.

A fellow blogger recently commented on the wordpress.com forums that she has saved SO. MUCH. TIME. not paying attention to American politics. Or French politics, for that matter, even though she was born there.

Well, I’m sorry. Much as I’d like it to be otherwise, what happens in US politics affects your life, whether you live in the States or not. Neocon foreign policy, where diplomacy is dead and pre-emptive war a God-given right? That hasn’t affected anyone’s life? Got on a plane lately?

And much as I’d also like it to be otherwise, I can’t vote for the man I’d like to win in the upcoming presidential election. But I can spread the word on how awful the smears have been against Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Nasty Larry’s still stinking up the joint, but not many are paying attention to him.

Fox News on the other hand gets millions of viewers, and those people are being fed a streak of racism and lies about the couple.

Watch this video to see how Fox is doing it. Then sign the petition. Oh, and hope you’ve had a great weekend.

31
May
08

When I quit blogging, I’ll do it my way

I think it’s a sign of the times when one of the most passionate, committed bloggers out there mentions that Blogging Just Isn’t Fun Anymore.   In saying he’s Closing This Shit Down, another blogger says as he switches to Tumblr: WordPress is so 2006…  Comment fatigue, post burn-out, eyes glazed over as the feedreader spits out another 55 updates…

Have you thought about quitting blogging?  I have.  It’s going to happen sooner or later, so when it does, I want to be prepared.    This is about how I want to end it.  The last post.  The so-long-I’m-outta-here.  Not like some, who simply slink off and let their blogs die. 

When I quit blogging, I’ll do it My Way.  Perhaps I’ll link back to this very post.  So here’s a preview:

And now – the text is clear
And so I face – the final posting.
My friends – have left Facebook
Without a trace, of which I’m certain
I’ve blogged – a blog that’s full
I’ve followed each and every comment
No more. No more of this.
I’ve hit the high – way.

Trackbacks? I’ve had a few,
And linked to things – too dumb to mention
I’ve post’d ’bout – a lot of bull
About a life – of nervous tension.
I planned each post, of course
Each paragraph, each punctuation
But so… so bored to tears,
It’s time to go ‘way.

Yes, there were times – I posted shite
Just like that site, for those that arrrre white
But nonetheless, when I look back
I chewed it well, and spat it out,
I wrote it all, I had a ball,
Writing ev’ry day.

There’s more, but I simply can’t go on…
Take it away Sid:

27
Apr
08

Possibly related posts definitely not for everyone

It seems to be a WordPress habit. Friday afternoon rolls around, time to spring another feature on a million unsuspecting bloggers just in time for support to high-tail it to the dude ranch for the weekend.

Latest addition hard on the heels of the wildly successful upgrade of early April is the addition of Possibly Related Posts. It’s being billed as a way of leading readers elsewhere to posts that might be about the same thing you have written.

The operative word you have to keep in mind is Possibly.

A quick survey of the links now inserted at the bottom of a couple of my posts include:

Other bloggers have had the ultimate creep-out: one complained in the forum of links to porn inappropriate content, for example.

If you’re not happy with links appearing on your blog you never chose and have no control over, there is fortunately a way to disable it. Go into your dashboard and click on Design, then Extras. A page will pop up. Check the box marked: Hide related links on this blog.

But to give WordPress credit, they are saying that over the coming days we’ll be allowed to tweak the results to our liking. Hopefully that will include the ability to filter out the crap. Not a bad idea, but one that should have been there from the beginning.

© 2008 lettershometoyou

11
Apr
08

This site may harm your computer

Waiting for a flight at Hamburg airport early last week I sat down at an internet terminal and was about to drop a coin in before the nice man sitting next to me said, “take mine, I have to go and there are about 25 minutes left on it.”

I thanked him warmly and sat down in his place, immediately typing lettershometoyou into Google to see if I could find Adsense ads on my blog. You’ve probably heard that they’re out there, lurking on every wordpress.com blog. It’s the price you pay for free hosting, and no amount of whining is going to get wordpress to take them off short of your paying them to do so.

Problem is, if you’re logged in to wordpress.com you never get to see them.

So every once in a while I slip into the skin of Joe Regular Blog Lurker to try to find out how Google is making an even greater mess of my blog. Do they stick ads for jock itch powder next to posts about my mother-in-law? Blurbs for psychiatrists next to write-ups about psychos? Tart up my skiing posts with pitches for helmets and handbaskets and other crap I have no use for?

The list of hits Google chucked up had me scrambling for my camera. Not for what they said, but for the public terminal’s net-nanny warning label:

At first I thought they were referring to my blog. After all, even if there are no trojans waiting to ambush the unsuspecting visitor, there is a ton of stuff here people might find harmful. Fake news, accounts of deception and outright lies, denunciations of crap, transcripts of discussions with an underage female child concerning condoms, naked girls in newspapers, death and more death. I don’t know why I haven’t already been hauled before a judge as a menace to society.

Then I realised the warning was all about WordPress.com. How could it not be? The link is to wordpress, not lettershometoyou, which only appears in the description.

Maybe it was just a forewarning, because a few days later I and millions of other unsuspecting WordPress.com bloggers logged on to find our blogging universe turned inside out without so much as a ‘”hey guys, guess what? Big changes coming up tomorrow at 4pm Pacific Daylight Saving Time.”

Did someone at WP central hit publish instead of save by mistake before turning out the lights for the weekend?

I’m sure after a few months this will all die down and we’ll wonder what all the fuss was about, but in the meantime wordpress.com probably is harmful to your computer. Judging by the number of pissed-off entries on the forums, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a youtube video posted of someone throwing a laptop out the window frisbee-style in frustration. I don’t care what it looks like, merely uploading an image, for example, has become a mind-numbing chore, a multi-stepped process where once a couple of clicks sufficed.

This in an upgrade? Sure the savvy bloggers using wp.org had a go at it for a while, but given the huge drop in skill level between those bloggers and duffers like me using wp.com, didn’t they think to test it on a few hundred of us wp.com users who’d never seen it before? They could have run a little sneak-preview contest, choosing a hundred or so bloggers to run it through it paces for a month just to iron the kinks out.

Hell, maybe they did test it out on no-brain bloggers like me, I don’t know, but the way it was released reminds me of the time I bought a new desktop from Dell a few years back. The monitor was a new flat-screen model from the Korean firm LG, back when flat screen meant the surface was flat. The rest looked like an old-style monitor.

Anyway, the first one they sent didn’t work, so I sent it back.

The second one arrived three days later. It didn’t work properly either, so I sent it back, too.

The third one arrived a few days after that, and it didn’t work either.

So I phoned up Dell to complain – not for the first time – and asked them why they couldn’t ship me a monitor that worked. Their response? We can’t test the monitors as they come in, we just ship them along.

Fair enough, I said, but can’t they at least have someone switch it on at the factory? Twist a knob? Tweak a button?

Nööö, too expensive. It’s cheaper to ship them halfway around the world and have the consumer do the testing.

Happy blogging.

© 2008 lettershometoyou




The banner photograph shows the town of Britannia Beach, BC, Canada, where I grew up. It's home. But I don't live there anymore.

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