A Blogger Looks Back to 2009 and Asks, Why Am I Here?



I started blogging back in May 2009 shortly after I lost my job as a customer service rep at a bakery where only the baked goods were nut-free.

The gal who preceded me and the one who followed were also let go after three months. We all got the tee-shirt, but one of us didn’t survive. She killed herself several months after losing her job. The word “unstable” comes to mind. But she had help. The owner of the bakery expedited her journey into hopelessness.

I was in a dark place, too, when the owner told me, “We’re letting you go. I really need someone with more inventory management experience.”

He knew I didn’t bring that to the job when he hired me. I told him that. Nothing I said mattered. It was my time. The damage had been done.

I needed to purge dark thoughts from my head and blogged about it.


A day without work. At home trying to get organized. A problem. Always. Can’t reign in my thoughts to stabilize the content in my head. The executive function in my brain takes too many coffee breaks, gets in late, and leaves early. The proverbial cluttered mind with a desk by the window. I look outside and see trees but can’t see the forest through them.

Where will the trajectory path of my day go? Probably nowhere, fast until I look outside and see darkness but not the trees. If I squint and look up, I’ll see stars, none of them for me. Although one year, I received a star for Christmas named after me. An ex-employer’s idea of a really nifty gift. The card ended up in the garbage before I knew about shredders.

Today, I hope to deposit a check (checks and balances, you know) and get some food. Food is minimal like my thoughts. Tomorrow, I hope to get up and remember that it is Saturday and not a day that I should be working when I’m not, like today.

Blogging helped me reconnect to the world. Odd indeed since I only interacted with otherworldly types, often hidden behind an avatar.

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A Tale of Two Blog Feeds


It was the best of feeds; it was the worst of feeds … At times they worked; at times they didn’t work.

A Tale of Two Blog Feeds-ThinkSpin.com

But at least they were together, two feeds on a blog, until I discovered I could kill one off.

It would be painless. Just a quick click and then delete. There would be no remains to dispose of, no DNA to tie me to the crime scene.

But murdering a feed should not to be taken lightly. It requires some thought. There’s family to consider, readers who may drift away after I pull the plug, mourn its loss by hugging their own feeds.

Please always remember it even though it was meant to be temporary – just a Feedburner fling. We only spent two years together on WordPress.

I will think of it every time I visit the dashboard, but I won’t dwell on the loss.

I have another feed who has been my companion for many years … since we first met on Blogger – our impetuous younger days when I rarely had tech problems.

Think Spin Blogger-ThinkSpin.com

Big blogs cause big blog problems. 

Life is more difficult because of it, and because of it, a difficult decision must be made.

Do I really want to kill the feed?

The two feeds and I have been family, for a while anyway.

Do I really want to unplug one of the lifelines to my blog?

Dunno, dunno, dunno, dunno!

It’s hard to cut your losses, but sometimes it’s the only way to move on.

*sigh* R.I.P. Feed 2.

Please light a candle in its memory every time you turn your computer on.

If you subscribed to Think Spin on WordPress, please subscribe again. I’d hate to lose you. You are the engine that drives this blog. Thank you for sticking by me all these years.

I hope Charles Dickens’ ghost doesn’t haunt me. He was a scary looking dude.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

P.S. – I’ll keep the feed on life support for a while longer to give you a cushion of time to change it. Thanks again!!!!



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What’s on the blogging menu today?


Scrambled Words and Toast.

Do your words lay in clumps across the page, like scrambled eggs? Do they yearn for something more than a comma or a period? Do they need a fork to guide them, a menu to organize them?

Do your words lose their meaning and look more like toast?

It happened to me.

Just me and my scrambled words and toast. Food for thought or thought for food?

No matter. They both end up in the digital crapper. I press the delete key and flush.

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I Have a Linking Problem


My name is Lauren and I’m a 404-aholic.

I first realized I had a linking problem when Mike from We Work for Cheese told me about a defective link in the post, Canadians Blamed for Blast of Frigid Air or is that Frigidaire?

I accidentally added an “http” at the end of the address, which resulted in a “404 not found.”

Pfft!  Bloody, “oops…404 error.”


Post Purgatory


Don’t pity me or other 404-aholics like me, those who may be afraid to admit they have a problem, afraid that people will pity their stupidity.

Not me!

I will never make excuses for my dysfunction, which is clearly due to an HTML disability, the root of the problem traced to my family history and an anomaly in the linking gene.

So, I set Mike’s broken link in a cast and continued blogging and linking and falling asleep on my desk when writing late at night.

Sleep is optimum blogging time for me. I rarely get into trouble during a REM cycle, except for an occasional dust up with a character in a dream. Like Nancy in “Nightmare on Elm Street,” I never get bludgeoned to death or end up duct taped to an exploding chair.

Face it. Shit happens at night in our dreams and during the day in real life.

This is real life. Right? Pinch me!

A month later, online and awake again, another linking slip-up in a post, a review of Luke Armstrong’s book, How We Are Human.

While reviewing the post after publishing it – like buying a car before test driving it – I noticed I had omitted a word from a sentence and had included a moldy link to Luke’s website: lukespartacus.com. I discovered this after I clicked on the link and got a 404 page error.

Another day.  Another oops…404 error.

At that point, I entered a linking program with Dr. Drew, where I work on abstaining from one last hit of HTML.

Sadly, I fear I will never be able to completely give up linking, as it is inherent in what I do.

Last week, I went on a linking bender, failed an HTML webalyzer test and lost my browsing license. Going forward, I think I’ll be okay if I link responsibly and never, ever link while driving.

Do you have a linking problem?

I’m participating in Silly Sunday, hosted by Rhonda of Laugh-Quotes.


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Blog Armageddon

I Got Hacked – Excuse My Appearance

I’m having technical difficulty and am working on the problem.

Not me personally because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Some pages on my blog may look odd or unappealing.

More odd or unappealing than usual.

Please be more patient than I am.

I’m at Defcon 4!

In addition to dealing with Blog Armageddon (which is way above my pay grade), my dog is scratching at the door because I locked him out. He didn’t get the memo that this is a no barking zone.

At the foot of the memo, in 5-point type, I’ve included a disclaimer about suffering from cognitive dissonance due to acute malnutrition.

I don’t know if I’ll ever eat again.

Perhaps my husband will spoon-feed me Jell-O.

Oh, that’s the dog and I’m hallucinating.

None of this is real.

In an hour or two, my post and I will likely not be here.

Both will have exploded.

You might even see a white screen.

It happened last week.

No need for a med adjustment or to fine-tune your display.

It’s just my effing blog!

My Blog Saw God after BlueHost Pulled the Plug

On Sunday night, my blog’s soul left its template and saw a white page.

After floating through the blogosphere for twenty minutes, wistfully remembering a time when its theme filled a tiny void in cyberspace, my blog bumped into God on his way to his weekly meeting with Steve Jobs.

God smiled, laid his hand on my blog’s astral template and said, “It’s time to go back.”

And back it did, awakening on November 24, instead of December 2, the day it died, losing nine days.

My last post, Choosing a Username for Your Self-Hosted Blog, disappeared into 404 purgatory.


404 Purgatory


In my dearly departed last post, I had ranted about Euro hackers from Ukraine and Luxembourg who tried to log in to my blog with the username “Admin.”

How ironic and odd since neither Ukraine nor Luxembourg was able to break the code. However, China did. Not a surprise since Shanghai’s educational system is the best in the world.

After taking a leisurely stroll through my dashboard, Hacker China created a username for himself and then attempted to upload a file to my site. That’s when BlueHost intervened, pulled the plug and my blog died for twenty minutes.

Hacker China was able to sneak in through the back door because I had not deleted several inactive plugins. I should have listened to Lisa at Inspire to Thrive and BlueHost. But, at the time, I was worried about my dying boiler and lack of heat. The boiler had just turned twenty-five, 100 in people years.

This week I learned more than I wanted about boilers, hackers and plugins. Specifically, inactive plugins, which are as bad as Hacker China who created a username for himself without asking. Bastard!

That’s why I suggest you uncheck “Anyone can Register”under dashboard settings. You don’t want ANYONE to register. They’ll mess with your blog and your head. I have enough murky bits floating in my cerebral cesspool.

The point of my hacker post that lingers in 404 purgatory— never choose a simple username like Admin. It’s the most hackable username in the universe and should be nuked from the English language unless your God given name is Admin.

In addition to losing my post about hackers, I also had to re-install CommentLuv and redo other assorted settings in my dashboard. Stuff I HATE doing. WordPress should have never given me administrative powers. I don’t know how to fix things and I kill plants.

I hope you “Do as I say, not as I do.”


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Die Babylon Bitch! Search Your Soul, Not My Computer

For weeks, possibly months – perchance a millennium – I tried to purge the search engine scourge, Babylon, from my Firefox browser.

The scourge appeared one day whilst I opened a tab. Instead of seeing my beloved Google home page, I saw that blight Babylon, not the ancient city, which would have been awesome.

I stared at the strange search urchin on my screen and said, “Bloody hell, what are you? I command you in the name of the Lord to depart the toolbar.”

It didn’t.  It continued bullying Firefox into submission and took over Tab Town.

I searched for answers.  The They-Sayers said:

  • Clear the cache
  • Clear history
  • Check your addons

I did everything they said, but they were wrong.

And the unwelcome search squatter continued its incursion while I continued to seek counsel from other web tech scholars.

They said:

  • Block Babylon under Firefox Options

Nary, this was naught the right answer. Alas, Babylon remained and stalked me like a malware hooligan in the night.

One day after an exhaustive search around the globe, I found the One with answers – Dedicated 2-viruses, a site that cleared my computer and my head of infected Babylon residue. And poof, as suddenly as Babylon appeared, it was gone.


Has your toolbar been hijacked by Babylon?

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