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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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I Don’t Remember any Vacation

A few weeks ago, I realized that my work anniversary was coming up soon, and I still had vacation time left. When I started at the store three years ago, that would have meant a decision between taking the time off and getting the extra money.

However, management has changed hands. Now you either use your vacation by your anniversary date or you lose it. There was no announcement of the change in policy, but it didn’t take many people losing the money for word to get around.

Studies have shown that vacations are good for productivity. I hope that the studies were referring to work productivity. Today is the last day of my vacation, and I honestly don’t remember how I spent most of the time.

I decided to take one of those vacations where you just stay around the house and relax. My husband was working and the kids had school, so I could just hang out.

Except for the newspapers everywhere. And the 10+ magazines laying around. And taking my son to his driving test. And picking up his “new” car. (It’s a ’72 VW Beetle, and it is SO cute!) And the meeting in Detroit. And needing to do church stuff.

And hundreds of e-mails. (I love you guys, but for some reason you never seem to write fewer posts just because I’m really busy. Gotta work on my telepathy.) Don’t tell me to read everything through my Reader. I rotate who comes by email because the Reader is full of other blogs that I look at occasionally. If I promised to read everything in my Reader, I would never look at much of anything.

So here I am on Sunday evening. I read a few of the magazines. I threw away some of the papers (after reading them). You can’t tell the difference. It still looks like we’re waiting to paper the walls with newsprint.

I caught up on all the Internet news services I follow. I’d forgotten just how depressing the news can be when you actually read the full stories. I may just go back to reading the headlines and celebrity gossip.

Could someone send me a note if ISIS makes it to Ankara or Ebola wipes out an entire nation? I don’t need to know if George Clooney and his new wife get pregnant with the world’s current cutest baby ever. Remember to mark it “Urgent”. I’m not sure how long it will take for the e-mailbox to overflow again.

I finished a book. Yay!!! That only leaves about hmmmm twenty-five or so to go. That does not include the ones on Kindle since I read those on breaks at work. I got caught up on the reading for my Monday night class.

If it sounds like I spent all my time on my rear, you are wrong. I also spent a couple of naps with the cats. They were amazingly friendly once they got over the trauma of me not getting up at 2:30a to feed them.

Kommando Kitty has learned that if I’m lying on the sofa using the laptop, she only has to try sending one email before I pick her up. She has also turned on Spotify a couple of times. (She has terrible taste in music.)

I did not get the yard ready for winter. I did not look for another job. I did not do one single thing that I will be able to tell people tomorrow when they ask what I did with my time off. And it’s great.

The really scary part is that I only really have trouble with my sinuses at work. At home, I am generally tissue-free unless there’s some kind of front coming through (you Michiganders out there know what I mean). But this morning I woke up with dry eyes and a semi-runny nose. The aching in my front sinuses is there too. MY BODY KNOWS IT’S GOING BACK TO WORK TOMORROW. And it’s not happy.

I see by the ads that some of the Halloween stuff is already on sale. Anybody in the market for a taco costume for your dog? How about some orange and brown chips for cookies. (I think they’re all chocolate, but it doesn’t come out and say that.)

The Christmas toys have been clogging up the back rooms for a while. The sooner you buy the Halloween stuff, the sooner we can all start complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. Time’s a-wasting.

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Peace in Our Time**

**A reference to World War One. Remember: I told you that one of the hazards of reading this blog was the possibility of learning something.

I wanted to remind you that this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. (Yes, we count the part before the U.S. entered.) Those of you with school-age children may want to be prepared for macaroni U-boats. I can also see a debate on the futility of trench warfare vs congressional debate. Maybe Congress could debate the futility of trench warfare. Would they see the irony?

Back to reality.This this post could have been subtitled “Technology Strikes Back Part, Part 2: Going Global.” Last week we lost all electronic connectivity.

That’s right. No Internet. No TV. No land-based telephone. If we wanted news, we had to read it. Which would have been a lot easier if the Internet had not caused the papers to either shut down or only print a few days a week.

As you may recall, I am not a huge user/lover of technology. When my husband came upstairs on Friday to tell me that Comcast was out, I don’t think I showed the proper level of distress. That really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. I’m the only one in the family who could have been home from work for three hours without noticing it.

My reaction was more along the lines of a sigh of relief. No Judge Judy (a family member’s secret addiction). No shouts of triumph at 2a because someone’s team had finally breached the wall and was attacking their arch-nemesis. No pieces of candy, marbles, flying pigs or whatever mesmerizing for hours. No more hour-by-hour updates of someone’s family (not mine) reunion.

Best of all, no solicitation calls at dinner-time. Admittedly we eat early (about 4p), but the timing is amazing. I’m told that non-profits were not impacted by the No Call rule. There seems to be some sort of team-tag going on. I will just get rid of one, when another one finds our number. Considering that it usually takes 3-4 repetitions of “I’ve told you not to call x times” before it gets through, I’m thinking that maybe my own pre-recorded response is the answer.

I probably could have been a little more sympathetic. My husband does use home email for work since the email at work is down for upgrade. I figure if they can use the excuse that their email server is down, so can he. He’s worried about a breakdown in communication. As if anything has been able to fix that problem since the beginning of time.

My son’s friends took pity on him and invited him to the modern equivalent of socializing: sitting in the same room and each person facing a screen instead of the other people. I had heard about it, but the first time it happened in our house it was a little unnerving. Back in the dark ages, if two or more people were in the same room and not talking they were either fighting or bored. Unless it was mixed male and female.

My daughter turned to cleaning her room. It was wonderful. She’s been promising to do it for some time. She’s going away to college in the fall. It’s going to be really nice to be able to leave the door open and not worry about losing the cats.

In a way, the timing was a little unfortunate. Edgar (my computer) and I had finally come to a meeting of the minds (so to speak). I realized what a sensitive personality he really is. And he realized that I could permanently disconnect his power source. We can generally get through an entire session without angst. It probably helps that my son taught me how to move around the screen rather than having the screen move around on me.

Nevertheless, I probably suffered disproportionately little. Even one of the cats was put out. She spends a lot of time with my husband while’s he’s on the computer. In his lap, not the keyboard (she’s a little non-technical too). No computer, no sitting, no warm-blooded furniture.

I guess we’ve all become creatures of the 21st century.

Update: It is now Wednesday afternoon (5.5 days later) and the connectivity has finally been restored (they did something in the backyard.) Maybe Comcast is right – their customer service couldn’t possibly be any worse after a merger with TimeWarner.