14

WordPress, I am Really Disappointed in You

Dear WordPress

I thought we were friends, maybe a little more. We’ve been together for more than a year now. You’ve introduced me to a lot of people, most of them friendly and kind. (Although there was that one guy who seemed to get stranger and stranger the more he posted.) You helped me improve my writing and gave me an outlet for my strange humor. You never judged.

But one day, you stopped sending me emails from the people I was following. I waited, but still nothing from you. After a few days, I sent an email to your help desk. No response. Obviously I didn’t mean as much to you as you do to me. I checked my blog list. No, I hadn’t inadvertently turned off the notifications of everybody.

Finally, I realized that I would have to look outside our relationship. I posted to the forum. They answered within a couple of hours. The writer gave me a link to see whether or not I had blocked the emails. It said I had.

WordPress, I don’t even know how to get to that screen. Obviously, we are having serious communication problems. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve you trying to cut me off from every one. I visit you almost every day. I give you posts. I check out a lot of other sites.

Speaking of other sites, what’s up with the ones you are suggesting for me? I know I am following a wide variety of sites, but your choices seem a little strange. I really don’t think you understand me at all.

For instance, the ones that are “followed by the people I follow”. The people I follow are talented. If I’m following three good poets, which one of them is responsible for you sending me to a blog that wouldn’t make the cut for discount greeting cards?

And why don’t I see those sites when I look at the posts I receive? Are you trying to create trouble between me and the people I follow? Are you trying to tell me that those people have talent, but no taste? Or do you have bloggers you want me to support? Are there kickbacks involved?

What about those humor sites you send me to? I would guess there are several hundred thousand humor blogs that are actually funny. Do all of my contacts have that many unfunny friends they are supporting? Are all of the good blogs written in Danish?

And the sites where I have “liked” something previously. Am I the only one who “likes” a post, but really isn’t that fond of the general content of a blog? Maybe after a few weeks of me still not following, you could get the hint and take it off my “suggested” list? Obviously I have been there and am still not following.

What is the idea behind sites that are similar to sites you follow? I actively follow (have the posts come to my email) blogs on poetry, photography, humor, history, travel, philosophy, animals, and life stories. I passively follow (occasionally looking at the Reader) several more of the same type. Why do you send me cooking sites? Or gardening?

The final group I get are “Freshly Pressed”. They seem to be a hodgepodge of blogs that may or may not be related to my interests. Are you trying to get more followers for your favorite “Freshly Pressed”? Do you assume that since you like them, I will like them?

I have tried typing in tags to find something I might like. Strangely enough, “hedgehogs” and “bears” took me to a list of sites that actually use that tag. When I typed in “humor”, I did not get a list of sites. I got sent to the list of topics I could choose from. One of which was humor. When I clicked “humor” there, I got a list of blogs that used the category humor. There are no blogs that use the tag “humor”?

I tried “Recommended”. No matter which topic I picked, there were so many choices it would have taken a day (or more) to get through them all. Who is recommending them all? Do they get to stay on there forever? Have you been introduced to the concept of “sub-topic”?

WordPress, I think you are playing favorites. You won’t tell me how blogs get put on certain lists or get awards, but you want me to trust your judgment. Judgment that doesn’t seem to understand me at all.

I was obviously wrong about you. I thought you cared. Now I see I’m only a file to you, nothing more. But get a clue – if you keep suggesting things that I might like and I don’t, I may just stop trusting you.

Sincerely

Cat9984

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3

Wrapped Up in Red Tape

I love my HMO. I really do. I have a great network. It’s easy to get an appointment. If I’m sick I can get in the same day. I like the doctors. Generally speaking, even getting a referral is easy. However….

A couple of weeks ago, I called to get a referral to a chiropractor and a psychiatrist. The woman was very nice, asked me why I needed the referrals and said they should be sent out in a couple of days. She told me to make the initial appointment with the chiropractor for consultation and x-rays. They are always covered.

I wanted to see the chiropractor because my neck has started clicking. Checking the Internet I found out that it could be nothing or it could be the beginning of degenerative arthritis in my neck (apparently nothing between annoying and wanting a neck replacement). The blog people said that they highly recommended a chiropractor because several people had gone to MD’s and were misdiagnosed. Of course I believed the blog people. Having become one, I know that my opinion is now worth much more than it was back in June before I started writing. I did not check to see how many of the blog people were chiropractors. However, I had asked the Physician’s Assistant at my PCP’s office about the clicking and she had no clue.

I made the appointment with the chiropractor for the next week. Of course, they would not do the x-rays without the referral, but what could go wrong? It was only supposed to take a couple of days. The day of the appointment, I called the office to make sure they have the referral. Guess what? She still wanted me to come in for the consult; I could make the second appointment at that time. I declined; there is something wrong. What if I really like this guy and can’t go back? I wanted to make the decision about a second date; not the insurance company.

I called the referral people. Where did I get the name of the chiropractor? Off your website. Oh, that’s odd. The computer won’t allow the referral. I’ll look into it. Hoped it’s that nothing option; I start to get tense. What if the website was wrong? Where do I find another guy? I picked this guy because he was close and hoped for the best. I don’t know anyone who has a chiropractor out here. I hate when this stuff goes sideways – I’ve rationalized my selection and don’t want to change it although there was no real reason I made it in the first place. (Feeling more and more like dating.)

On Monday I got a call from the “real” referral lady. Apparently the person I had been speaking with with the “fill-in” referral lady. She said that there had been an error. My chiropractor is on the list and the referral had been processed, backdated to October 1. October 1? Ours is not to question why.

So now I can make the appointment. But first, I have to get healthy. I have some sort of throat virus and have been off work. That means I have to get a release from my doctor saying I was actually sick and when I am able to go back to work. More red tape.

Why would anyone fake needing to see a doctor? My neck feels worse than it did when I started. And about that psychiatry referral….

7

Write What?

I have noticed that several bloggers have written that the only way to get good at writing is to write everyday, regardless of other commitments. In fact, Ned over at Ned’s Blog went so far as to say that those of us who do not should be spanked (http://nedhickson.com/2013/11/01/regular-writing-can-shape-your-literary-thighs/). While I think this advice has more to do with Ned’s personal preferences than serious advice, the underlying advice is sound. Fortunately, a few others were a little more specific. For example, the Dysfunctional Literate talks about writing on a variety of topics (http://dysfunctionalliteracy.com/2013/10/13/5-rules-for-writing-every-day/).

What no one tells me, though, is what to write about if I really don’t have anything interesting going on in my life. Looking around, I see that some people do short stories/novellas. Since most of my (limited) spare time is spent with literature (yes,that stuff you hated reading in high school) and magazines such as National Geographic and Smithsonian, I am going to guess that my tastes in reading/writing are probably not the key to gaining more readers.

There seem to be a lot of advice columns out there. I could probably do that if I really knew anything about anything. My brain is more like Trivial Pursuit –  lots of cool facts without a lot to tie them together. I guess that hasn’t really hurt some of the people I have seen in the newspapers.

There are a lot of cooking blogs. Unfortunately, most of my cooking comes from looking around the kitchen and seeing what we have. I don’t know what it will taste like until I’m done. When I’m done, I have no way to recreate it because I didn’t measure anything and don’t really remember what I put in. I worry that there might be some kind of legal issue if I accidentally poison a stranger (no, it hasn’t happened at home).

I could write about my family. Only problem is that the humans would quit speaking to me and the cats can’t be counted on to be amusing. I could write poetry, but it really stinks. I could make fun of current events, but most of them succeed just fine doing it themselves. Same for politics. I could write about travel, except I don’t go anywhere. I don’t do photography. I draw a little, but how many plant drawings would people want to look at?

I TOLD you I was boring. Now that I think about it – maybe that has some potential.