Pingback backlash

I’m not a web-tech nerd. Web-tech words, symbols and directions deep fry my brain.

Still, many of us learn web tech stuff simply through osmosis. And learn it I did, this past Monday when I added my blog to Google Analytics.

That took about an hour.

After I added Think Spin to Google Analytics, submitted a site map, using a WordPress plug-in, and then verified I was the site owner, Google performed an integrity check of my blog, which didn’t go well.

Google found several issues, became apoplectic and then was quite rude. It said, “Hey stupid, you have 10,000 problems that must be fixed!”

So, I did what Google told me since it’s usually right about most things.

Though there was that time I ended up on a remote dirt road when using Google maps.

To appease the Google, I dashed over to my dashboard and enacted a plug-in called Wordfence Security, not to be confused with Homeland Security and the color-coded warning system. My warning appeared in the red-letter phrase, “File bad!” or something.

Wordfence informed me that my site had been infiltrated by an evil spam pingback — not a hairy-nosed wombat or pig in the blanket.

But like a hairy-nosed wombat and pig in the blanket, the pingback was bad. So, bad that Google’s web bots couldn’t crawl my site.

Ew! I hate creepy crawly things on my arm or my blog.

Then, Wordfence ordered me to delete the pingback file.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Why should I trust you?” — since we just had met.

I needed confirmation from another source.

After spending the afternoon searching the vast cyber library of “too much information,” I gave up and did what I should have done hours earlier, called BlueHost, my web hosting company.

During a two-minute conversation, BlueHost guy concurred with Wordfence plug-in.

“Delete it!” he said. “We did a back up this morning should anything go wrong.”

“What could go wrong?” Stupid question.

So, I deleted the evil spam pingback, at which time, Wordfence and Google probably popped open a bottle of champagne and celebrated the neophyte’s success in the complex universe of techno nerd babble.

Oh, and I didn’t get any writing done until now.

What did I learn from this? You may ask. Don’t ever bring back a pingback once it’s fallen in the spam.

Got blog troubles?


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On the Blog Menu: Blank Footer, Not Frankfurter

Last week when my right footer disappeared, I thought my blog had been hacked. It turns out that my blog was hacked by me.

Yes, I accidentally deleted a footer text box from my blog and then couldn’t find the text widget in the layout. I think the problem was due to a photo gallery plug-in I had installed. I think it muscled its way into the template and took over the widget territory once run by law-abiding HTML.

Late 20th century plug-in

Power plugs

Power plugs (Photo credit: kewl)

After several days of searching the Interwebs for “missing footer text,” I finally found a comment at the WordPress Support site about a photo gallery plug-in that didn’t play well with other plug-ins.

So, I beamed back to the dashboard and deactivated the gallery plug-in. Presto! The text box reappeared along with my sanity. Now, I’m trying to remember what buttons I had installed under footer-4. I wonder if Google knows.

Oh, and can somebody please tell me how to get rid of that obnoxious Babylon search engine that lurks inside the PDFCreator toolbar. I deleted the toolbar, blocked Babylon under “Options,” checked to see if it was a Firefox addon (it wasn’t) and it still returns at every search like a weed. And you know how I feel about weeds.

I honestly don’t know how many hours I spend searching for shit I can’t find.

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Wireless Connection Lost! Patience Not Found!

Bond as Lady Angela in Patience, 1881

Bond as Lady Angela in Patience, 1881 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, after jettisoning from my desktop into cyberspace, Firefox bypassed Google, rerouting me to Internet purgatory, and the message, “Server not found!”

I responded with, “Goddamn it! You lost it again!”

To which Firefox said, referring to itself in third person, “Firefox can’t find the server at”

How could you without Google Maps? 

Ignoring my internal babble, Firefox continued. “Check the address for typing errors such as instead of”

I get it! I’m not an idiot!

“If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer’s network connection.”

I did. It’s not your fault! But, your condescending attitude
is pissing me off.

So, I unplugged and plugged the router several times and still just had two lousy blinking lights.

It was time to call Comcast.

My conversation with Miss Voice Prompt went something like —

“Welcome to Comcast. Encuentra in Español, diga nueve.”
Engrish, please.
“Dial the number where you are experiencing the problem.”
Because you know that I’m not using your crappy phone service.
“Dial 1 for high speed Internet, 2 for phone, and 3 for TV.”
Nothing for all of the above?
“If the last three digits of your phone number are 666, press 1.”
I press 1.
“Ah, I see you just made a payment for $150.”
I know. I'm a schmuck!
“An outage has been reported in your area.”
No shit!
“Our technicians are aware of the problem and currently working to resolve the problem.”
Meaning, they’re sitting on the asses drinking coffee.
“If you have any other questions, press 3.”
Why the fuck don’t I have service? No prompt for that?

Then, the insulting, sarcastic, knife thrust in the brain stem —

“Thank you for your patience.”

To which I replied, “Patience not found!”

Does your wireless service get you wired?

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The Turning Point at the Giant Fork in the Road

Day 28 Prompt: “The Turning Point.” Two more days left of 30 Days of Writing, hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese.  Please stop by the We Work for Cheese Emporium to link up or read other inmate posts.

The Giant Fork in the Road

“Ah, the turning point,” said Gladys GPS, “The proverbial fork in the road that has impaled many unsuspecting travelers before you. But you can avoid fork fate, and being skewered by giant cutlery, by following a three-pronged-approach to highway travel.

Dinner Fork in the Road


Prong 1 – A giant always has the right of way

When stopped at a colossal fork in the road, it is imperative to close any open sunroofs or convertible tops. Then, a giant can’t yank you out of the driver’s seat and stuff you in his goody bag.

Most giants travel the countryside, along stretches of deserted road, in search of people snacks for Soylent Green barbecues. A happy time for giants, when they get together with distant relatives from the Land of the Giants, as well as monolithic pets from popular “B” movies.

At giant gatherings, King Kong and Godzilla often enjoy playing fetch with 727s and tractor trailer trucks. In the distance, a human might hear a giant yell, “Fetch Zilla, fetch.”

Giant families congregate in condemned caverns where they swap recipes and body parts then hand out goody bags when it’s time to leave.

Prong 2 – Not a photo op

Never leave your car to take a picture of a fork in the road. Giants have an acute sense of smell. They can smell the blood of an Englishman with their “Fee-fi-fo-fum” sonar and also hear a pitchfork drop.

If you should reach a fork in the road, continue traveling left or right, depending upon your political affiliation. Giants don’t participate in the political process or vote since they can’t read the tiny print on the ballots. This agitates them. For that reason, it is advisable to avoid discussing politics with a giant, as he will crush you with his Goliath intellect and Parthenon sized shoes.

Prong 3 – Never climb a fork in the road

Besides the obvious downside of shimmying up a spike, once a giant spots a human wedged between two prongs, its salivary glands gush from the anticipation of a roadside snack or bob kabob. After all, one man’s misfortune is another gargantuan’s opportunity.

So, be street smart when you travel, and you won’t end up lost in the bile of a giant’s intestinal tract.

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Roast or Toast Another Blogger, Figuratively Speaking

On day 24, I’m forgoing the funny for a drizzle of sap.

Glasses of champagne await use to toast the ar...

Glasses of champagne await use to toast the arrival of my grandmother in her new apartment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to thank Nicky and Mike @ We Work for Cheese for hosting the 30-day blogging challenge.

I jumped in on day 17 and this morning, on day 24, I had a blogging epiphany.

Blogging is nothing like writing and all about relationships. Writing is secondary.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s essential to produce great content to draw in readers, but personal connections build community and that’s the key to happiness and enjoying life online.

Several months ago, I stopped visiting many of my favorite blogs, a victim of information overload.

Having poor time management skills didn’t help, thanks to one of the deficits of being ADD.  Add to the mix that I was working on a memoir, which I finished but am still revising, and kaboom! Blog meltdown. Perhaps, some of you saw the mushroom cloud.

I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained over the past seven plus days and will try to stick to a schedule going forward. Good luck with that!

The 30-Day Challenge helped me realize that blogging is nothing like writing and all about connecting with like-minded people, that cranking out well-crafted pieces is in itself a skill.

The Challenge has reignited my passion for blogging and reintroduced me to the blogging world. It has taught me that there’s room for both blogging and writing in my life and showed me that I could, indeed, publish a post a day, so far anyway.

There was that one repost the other day.

Most importantly, it reminded me how special it is to be part of an incredible community of bloggers. There are no words to express the feeling you get when you connect with people online.

Thank you, Nicky and Mike.

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Stiletto Heels or Insoles


"High Heel Shoe. Talon haut. Stiletto. Ta...

“High Heel Shoe. Talon haut. Stiletto. Talon aiguille” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never wear stiletto heels because I’m a klutz. Going stiletto would trip me up and put me in the ICU. That’s why I wear safe, low-to-the-ground, sensible shoes. If I trip, the possibility of suffering a concussion diminishes by three inches.

As a klutz, I’ve never been much of a shoe risk taker. Because, as every klutz knows, most days we face unprecedented dangers, from walls to dog gridlock and tripping over a shadow; furniture accidents are a constant threat.

My legs wear bruises like purple hearts. Whenever I undergo a physical, my doctor scrutinizes my legs.

I know she thinks, “Her husband beats her.” When in fact, tables and chairs beat me up, yes; smacked around by stationary objects.

I’m not proud of my tendency to lean left, at times I should lean right. But that’s not true of all the issues.

People who know me think I’m a klutz because my mind’s always traveling to exotic places, instead of conducting reconnaissance up ahead. I can’t blame my mind’s proclivity for spontaneous flight for my inability to walk a straight line. Unfortunately, alcohol is never a factor.

I would love to wear three-inch heel stilettos, open in front, with peek-a-boo toes. Then, I’d paint my toenails hot fuchsia pink and wiggle my digits at strangers I pass on the street.

A girl can dream while she’s awake, can’t she?

Sadly, I’m destined to a life with reclusive bland toes, toes that belong hidden below inside the dungeons in my shoes. It pains me to look at them when they’re in need of a trim. If only I could treat them to a pedicure. But taking my toes out would just traumatize a manicurist at a salon.

First, she’d shriek, and then her cheeks would turn a pasty white. While pointing at my feet, she’d scream, “Those aren’t toenails. They’re machetes! Someone call 911.”

That’s all I need – an APB out on my feet, with the warning, “They’re probably hiding out in a pair of Keds.” I hope government spending won’t be wasted on police work attributed to my feet.

I guess I should remove toe pampering from my bucket list.

Even with a toenail overhaul, I wouldn’t make it past the shoe server in a store. My slender, slightly bent Quasimodo toes always instill terror in the eyes of the beholder. One gander at my toes and the sales clerk would be on psychiatric leave.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always had an aversion to toe jam sandwiches.

Over the years, I’ve learned to accept my flat-heeled fate. I’ve already passed the other stages of footwear grief: denial, anger, bargaining. I’m okay with it though. Wearing stilettos will never be a rose-colored glassy-eyed delusion for me. I know that three-inch heels will never grace these cursed feet, along with the stylish glow of the sexy stiletto.

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Like There Was No Tomorrow End of Days Rap

I’m following Linda’s lead @ The Good, The Bad, The Worse and reposting my rapture rap for Day 22 of 30 days of Writing, the brainchild (or shock therapist) of the catering staff @ We Work for Cheese.

Written on MAY 21, 2011

Revised on JUNE 22, 2012

Rapping the Rapture

Image via Wikipedia


When I stepped outside to get some air,
I got the fire and brimstone in my hair
The sky was dark as midnight, as dirty as coal
Then, a swarm of Locusts flew up my nose
My sinuses throbbed, thought they might explode
I couldn’t find a tissue and that really blows

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Fighting my way through a crush of bugs
According to Anderson 360, they’re more to come
A gang of badass gangster six-legged thugs
Knocked me down to the ground face first in the mud
With my wrists stuck together with a pest strip rope
I can’t photograph the rapture on my new iPhone

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Before my cell phone dies, please help me, God,
Just one text message is all I want.
Got to post the rapture photos now to my blog
‘Cause the only cell service is in Hades or Prague
Once he dragged the world to a hotspot inside his domain,
Satan posted, “Now You’re Fucked!” to his Facebook page

I’m enraptured with the rapture, the end of days
Got a pile of bills I don’t have to pay
My credit cards melted in volcanic flames
But the fire’ll be doused in the tidal wave

Got the rapture
Got the rapture
Woosh! Tidal wave.
Still hot down under
Here after the end of days
That’s a rap.