Tag Archive: blogs


There are times when I’d like to comment on a post and I can’t.

I’m not talking about blogs where the author has turned off comments because he or she doesn’t want to be bothered. Nor am I talking about books and magazines where you have to be a subscriber to comment. (I do feel rather annoyed that the New Scientist will not recognize that to save paper and storage space I have an iPod subscription.) I’m talking about blog entries that ask for comments, such as some on Six Sentence Sunday and Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday, and don’t allow me to comment.

I suspect that in many cases the author of the blog has no idea that people who want to make comments cannot make them. If by any chance mine’s in that class, for goodness sake contact me at sbowling at mosquitonet dot com and I’ll try to figure out how to fix it.

So far, with my WordPress blog, most of my problems have been with captchas and with Blogspot blogs.

Most captchas are only an annoyance to me, though they may make commenting impossible for those with visual or aural handicaps. Usually I can get one by at least the second try, though I have run into a few lately that three tries (after which I quit) were not successful. One type has separated distorted letters, and I can never figure out whether and where to put spaces. Other times I am sure I have gotten it right (3 times!) and the thing keeps coming back with “you didn’t get it, try again.” But the worst are the ones that won’t even accept my identity.

Many Blogspot blogs have a “select profile” button that in some cases gives you a choice of Google Account, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad or OpenID. The only one I’m familiar with is WordPress, but when I try it, it just gives back my entry without forwarding it to the site. I’ve heard this is because the blogger in question has enabled captcha, and there is a bug in the captcha code for blogspot.

There are other blogspot blogs, with what looks like the same “select profile” button, but the button gives you three additional choices: AIM, Name/URL or Anonymous. These I can comment on with no problem, putting my WordPress blog in as the URL. I have no idea, though, of how the blogspot bloggers set up their sites to use one or the other “select profile” buttons, or a third option that simply gives radio buttons.

I don’t think I use captcha. WordPress asks me to moderate all comments before they appear, and has a built-in spam filter (akismet.) Some of the spam is clearly machine-generated. But of course I don’t see the blog as readers see it, so if I’m wrong, please let me know.

7 x 7 Link Award

I’ve received another blog award, this time from Liz Shaw, who blogs writing prompts at The Writing Reader. All of these awards have an exponential expansion built in, and this one, the 7 x 7 link award, would swamp the world if everyone followed all of the rules.

I’ll play along for the publicity, and I’m no end chuffed that Liz likes my Friday posts of Jarn’s Journal (background of my science fiction universe) but I’m also pointing out the rate at which this could grow. In 13 iterations, the number of blogs awarded would theoretically exceed the population of the Earth, including newborn infants and those who have never seen a computer. If I award this to anyone who has already received it, let it die there and do not pass it on.

Rules are you answer seven questions about your own blog, and then give the award to seven others.

The questions? Identify the posts that most nearly fit the following. With close to 500 posts to choose from, why do I find this so difficult?

1. Most Beautiful Post. Beautiful how? Design? Content? Writing? I finally chose a poem I wrote, “Love Song.”

2. Most Popular Post. This one’s tough. My greatest number of visitors was the first time I turned the post over to the Summer Arts Festival, but I think that’s because so many people commented with their assignments! My most popular recent posts have been the Six Sentence Sundays, and the most popular page is the She Writes Bloggers.

3. Most Controversial Post. Well, I had a couple I thought might be controversial: “Love and Lust,” for instance, or “Psi and Morality.” No comments on either.

4. Most Helpful Post. I’ve had two series I hope are helpful, one on Horse Color Genetics and the other on Planet Building. I’ve linked here to the indexes of both series on my author site.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful Post. Just looking at my current stats, I’d have to say “Ice Sculpture: Ice and Sun.” It was posted last spring, and got 19 views this week.

6. Most Underrated Post. My Geophysical Christmas Carols, especially the Twelve Days of Christmas.

7. Most Pride-Worthy Post. Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe – Oh, The Four Horsemen. Besides, it’s timely, what with the world’s population reaching 7 billion.

Naming other’s blogs is even harder, but here are a few I enjoy:

1. Ink and Snow. This is a cartoon blog, done by Jamie Smith, whose cartoons used to be in our daily paper before he moved to Maine.

2. Marlene Dotterer. I met Marlene through SheWrites, and enjoy both her blog and her book.

3. Darian Wilk at Crazy Lady with a Pen. Lots of different subjects, but I like this blog.

4. Maureen E. Doallas, Writing Without Paper. Art, Poetry, sharing interesting links.

5. Carol Apple at Carol’s Notes. Focus on literature.

6. Nancy Hinchcliff, A Memorable Time of My Life. Lots of useful stuff for writers.

7. Lisa Ann Chickos, Kicked, Cornered, Bitten and Chased. Writer and animal trainer, with some wonderful posts about her experiences with animals.

Have a look at all of these. And don’t forget to comment.

I Have Awards!

My blog’s been awarded! Twice, both on Monday, with my Monday blog already up and Tuesday and Wednesday queued. So I’m posting about the awards today. I’ll get them on the sidebar later in the day.

Both awards require that you thank the donor by putting a link back to their blog, pass the award on to 5 other bloggers (more about that below) and copy the badge from their site to yours. So thank you Marlene Dotterer for the Liebster (given to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers which is a lot more than I have) and Cat von Hassel-Davies for the Versatile Blogger Award.

The versatile blogger award also requires you to state 7 random things about yourself. I actually did 10 a few weeks ago, when I was “tagged” by Samanthia Stacia, but I think I can come up with 7 more.

1. I’m addicted to Shanghai (on my iPad) and Sudoku (on my iPhone.) So far I’m firmly resisting Angry Birds. I like birds, but I prefer them in a good mood.

2. I get along with horses and dogs better than with people. (I like cats, but they make me sneeze.)

3. I have a Harvard degree in physics, from the first year that we Cliffies were awarded Harvard diplomas, well after classes went co-ed,  but before the Harvard-Radcliffe dorms went co-ed. (I believe I was one of four women majoring in physics that year, 1963.)

4. Although I have no professional background in genetics, I’ve followed it as a hobby since high school and have an extensive genetics site on the web that’s been up since the late 20th century. (It actually Googles #1 on “canine coat color genetics. At least it did yesterday.)

5. I went on to get an advanced degree in atmospheric science, taught and researched it for years at the Geophysical Institute, and I follow the political debate on climate change closely. It is a scientific debate only on the details; it’s happening!

6. Although I’ve been writing non-fiction (professional papers and popular science) for years, I started writing science fiction only shortly before I retired. (Prior to that, I wrote fiction only in my head.)

No, they don’t look crowded now, but those are 2″ pots and many will mature 2′ tall.

7. I always have more house plants than I have room for. And yes, the ones I ordered from Logee’s have arrived. I’m going to give them a little time before I repot them.

Now I should point out that honors of this sort have a way of multiplying that is – well, exponential, in the strictest mathematical sense. I happen to think it’s a good way of publicizing blogs (if I can find five that aren’t displaying the award already) so I’m playing along, but if everyone who got either of these awards passed it to five others, the number awarded would rapidly exceed the population of the Earth. (Shortly after 15 passages, to be exact.) So if I pass either of these awards to anyone who already has received that award, don’t feel you have to add to the chain.  What it actually looks like is this, where “generation” is the number of times the award had been passed on if each recipient actually passed it on to 5 others:

Generation number
1 1
2 5
3 25
4 125
5 625
6 3,125
7 15,625
8 78,125
9 390,625
10 1,953,125
11 9,765,625
12 48,828,125
13 244,140,625
14 1,220,703,125
15 6,103,515,625
16 30,517,578,125
17 152,587,890,625
18 762,939,453,125
19 3,814,697,265,625
20 19,073,486,328,125
21 95,367,431,640,625
22 476,837,158,203,125
23 2,384,185,791,015,620
24 11,920,928,955,078,100
25 59,604,644,775,390,600
26 298,023,223,876,953,000
27 1,490,116,119,384,770,000
28 7,450,580,596,923,830,000
29 37,252,902,984,619,100,000
30 186,264,514,923,096,000,000

That said, here are my picks:

For the Liebster:

1000th Monkey She’s a fantasy writer whose blog proudly proclaims she uses a Mac. (So do I.)

Lauri Owen Lauri’s an Alaskan lawyer and a fantasy writer, with two fantasy books in print about an alternate Alaska, with shapeshifters and magicians.

Laurel Kriegler, a South African living in the UK (and who hosts Science fiction and fantasy Saturday each week. My posts for this are on Fridays because I’m almost halfway around the world from her.)

Pippa Jay, another science fiction writer from the UK. Yes, I’m trying to spread this around.

The Writing Reader, a blog by Liz Shaw that provides writing prompts and has just announced a new contest.

For the Versatile Blogger Award:

Since Cat gave me the Versatile Blogger Award in part for my different-topic-every-day-of-the-week format, my first honoree is the person who taught me that format, the well-known mystery writer Dana Stabenow.

Then there’s Romancing the Thrill Quill. It’s based on writing, but goes into all the things that so often get in the way. Like collapsing chairs.

Traveling Through and Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams already have versatile blogger awards, so I’ll count them for half each.

Mattie’s Pillow is an interesting blend of horses, dancing, gardening, writing and art. Posts aren’t numerous, but worth looking at.

Nexus is another blog worth looking at, with a wonderful array of photographs.

I hope you enjoy all of the blogs above. Now if I can just figure out how to get those graphics…

(Turned out to be my new OS (Snow Leopard) which reset the mouse so it thought it had only one button. It takes the right button to copy.)

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