Was It Something I Said?

When Will the Music Industry Bottom Out? In About Four Years - Alan Cross

Virtually everyone, even squirrels and birds, knows more about computers and social media than I do. So maybe someone out there, it could be you, can explain what’s happened to this blog and what I can do about it.

For ten or eleven years I had steady growth and progress. I’m not doing anything differently, but 2022 was a bad year here, lost several thousand views, and January 2023 is treating me to 2015-type numbers. Half of what it used to be. If this was a business, I’d be up the creek.

My wife’s position is that WordPress has gummed up the works and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.

It’s weird. I study the stats and can’t tell where the problem is. The regular readers are here. The regular features are getting viewed. But somehow the total is coming out a hundred short a day.

WordPress says nope, nothin’ wrong here.

Advice, anyone? Always remembering that even the simplest computer thingy is a major challenge for me.

Totally Out of Gas

749 Iguana Branch Relaxing Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Write your blog! Go to the pharmacy! Write your Newswithviews! Finished? Good–now get busy on your book!

Man, I don’t think that I can do that…

I am exceedingly tired. Oh, to be sixty again. They tell me Behold! (Bell Mountain No. 14) is at the printer’s now but being held up by “supply chain issues.” It’s not like there’s any urgency about finishing Ozias, Prince in Peril; but I would like to get it done and have some time off before I start writing the next book.

I’m so tempted to let go this afternoon and have another cigar.

Christmas Tree, Bye-Bye

How to keep your Christmas tree alive through the holidays

*Sigh* I have to take down our Christmas tree today, it’s getting dried-out. Lug all the boxes out of the closet, pack the ornaments, stuff the boxes back into the closet, haul the tree out to the curb… and somehow get all my writing done while I’m at it. I wish we had a picture of our tree. We don’t know if we can get the hi-tech camera to work at all.

I can only pray, O Lord, that you bless this Christmas past and give it power to work for good all year long, right up to next Christmas.

Without your blessing we wouldn’t last two days.

Should I Do Nooze This Week?

So Cute when asleep : r/Hedgehog

I’m tired! This has been a rough year–not many people can honestly say it hasn’t. The country’s a mess, Democrats are ruining it, the rest of the world’s no better off, and to me all the nooze stories are starting to sound like the same damnfool story endlessly repeated.

I don’t want to let go of Christmas. We need Christmas! Here I am, ready to post your Christmas carol requests. I’ve extended the carol contest to New Year’s.

I admit I’m afraid to see what happens to my viewership if I let a few days go by without doing any nooze. Oh, if there’s an article that forces me to write it, I’ll write it. I know what my job is. But if we could find things more edifying to talk about… well, that would be nice.

Maybe some book and movie reviews. I don’t know. What do you think?

When the Best Part of My Life Started

The Islanders restaurant – Lee Duigon

I think our order wasn’t quite this ambitious…

Today is the 46th anniversary of our first date, Patty and me… the day my own life changed altogether for the better. Thank you for that, O God!

I was the managing editor of The Bayshore Independent. She was the bookkeeper. On Dec. 26, 1976, we went to dinner at The Islanders Restaurant in Matawan (they advertised with us–and really, it was a great restaurant: Steve Wong really made it into something special)–followed by a movie (The Voyage of the Damned, bit of a downer)… and then lots and lots more dates. “Don’t you let this one get away!” my mother chode me. Well, I had no intention to.

The Bayshore Independent is gone, The Islanders is gone, most of the movie theaters are gone… but we’re still here. Praise the Lord.

O, Christmas Tree!

Amazon.com: Tabletop Mini Christmas Tree, 20" Small Xmas Trees with Lights,  Battery Operated Pre-lit Artificial Trees for Table Top Decorations with  Balls Ornaments, Tree Topper, for Desk Room Indoor Home Decor :

Just to let you know, we got our tree decorated today–although I’m just totally exhausted (I had to vacuum, too, and dust the stairs) and Patty says I don’t look like I’ll make it to suppertime. But we’re having duck, so I’ll remain conscious for that.

Our tree is much smaller than what we usually have, and it wasn’t possible to use all the ornaments and I didn’t even put on Grandpa’s string of lights. I just wanted to be sure to use most of our family heirlooms. Just didn’t have the energy to do more.

Uh… got to clean the litter boxes now. I wouldn’t want our cat to face used litter. Not on Christmas Eve.

‘O, Tannenbaum’ (I’m Tired!)

My mother and my aunts used to sing this carol in German, because that’s how they learned it from their mother, and she from hers. And I break into tears when I hear it, because it brings them back to me.

Speaking of Christmas trees, I’ll still tired from yesterday. We have this nice little tree and I wanted to set it up in the living room so I could trim it today. Ah–but it doesn’t fit in the bucket, the stem’s too long. I’ll have to saw four or five inches off it. Which I must do outdoors–where it’s freezing cold and raining. Well, how long can it take, just to saw off a little bit?

Answer: If you’ve only got a rip saw, designed only for sawing with the grain, it’s going to take you a freakin’ long time! Wrong tool for the job, but the only tool I had. Eventually I sawed through it enough to knock off the rest with my hand. I’d’ve gotten an A in Shop for that, if you overlooked the fact that I used the wrong tool.

Brought it back in and set it up, and now it fit… and in just another minute or two, Robbie was camped out on the blanket under it. That sort of made it worthwhile.

Suppertime. Chinese food tonight. Plus Christmas present for the lady who runs the restaurant. One little problem, though: by now it’s so blisteringly cold, my car doors are frozen shut. Ditto Patty’s car. If I want our supper, I’ll have to walk. It’s only half a dozen blocks or so, but the wind practically took my face off.

So today we’ll vacuum up a bit, and I’ll decorate the tree, and we’ll listen to Christmas carols while we do it, and there’s duck for supper.

May the Lord bless your Christmas–as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us, every one.”

P.S.–Just wonderin’: why are the Vienna Boys Choir wearing sailor suits? Not much call for a navy in Vienna, one would think.

Yes, I’m Back

robbie picture

Two and a half hours at the vet’s this morning, first thing. That’s where I’ve been.

The bad news is, Robbie has a number of serious health problems all laying siege to her at once. Her whole life has been one damned thing after another. The good news is, she’s fought them off, year after year, and is still here.

Rather than put her through all kinds of major treatments, when she doesn’t seem to be particularly uncomfortable, we’re just going to rely on prayer and care. At her age (almost 17) she doesn’t need invasive tests and surgeries. Let her nap under the Christmas tree, when we put it up.

I wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble, these past three days; only when someone in your family suddenly keels over, you’re supposed to do something about it.

Anyway, she’s back where she belongs.

What a Rotten Evening

robbie picture

We were just about to sit down to dinner last evening when Robbie gave a loud cry, wobbled a few steps, and then fell over. Rush visit to the emergency vet!

To get there I had to drive the old Lincoln Highway in the dark of night. I find it VERY had to see when all the cars in the oncoming waterfall of traffic have their high-beams on. Of course the animal hospital is on the other side of the road, so I can’t see it. If I try to slow down for a better look, someone will be up my tailpipe. “We are going to get killed,” I thought. And meanwhile I can’t find this place.

I had to travel almost to Rahway before I could find a chance to get onto the other side of the road and start my search over. I prayed hard… and in another two minutes or so, there it was.

By now Robbie had pretty much recovered and the doctor couldn’t find anything visibly wrong with her. So tomorrow it’s back to her regular doctor whom she only saw last week. Her blood work etc. was okay then, nothing wrong. But cats aren’t supposed to fall over when they walk. Maybe it’s an inner ear infection: I don’t think anybody checked for that.

Coming home was easier because I was able to get off the highway and go the back way. I do not understand why everybody is driving these crowded, busy roads with their high-beams on. I find it rather nerve-wracking to be unable to see while I drive.

Supper was two hours late. Robbie seems all right now. But it’s back to her regular vet tomorrow to make sure.

We’ll go during the daytime.

How Will We Ever Get All This Stuff Done?

Our Trees - Hidden Pond Tree Farm

We have entered Christmas week–that one week of the year that features the most stuff to do and the least amount of time in which to do it.

Spruce up the apartment, wrap presents; buy a tree, trim the tree; buy Christmas dinner; buy the presents you weren’t able to buy earlier; oh–and keep working! 

Huge snowstorm rumored to be on its way. That means beaucoup rain. There will be a panic in the Stop & Shop.

We need a highly-skilled cadre of elves.