Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Thanks to all who have welcomed me as a blogger. I would like to express special appreciation to Cowtown Pattie who helped me get the second installment of the story of my "Seduction" published, after a glitch (that means I messed something up) prevented me from doing so. She herded me Texas style, into the right pen, helping with so much more. Actually, now I'm supposed to know how to create links in my posts, but I'm too tired and it's too late at night to risk messing up everything with what would be my first independent effort to provide a link in my post. Please don't tell her, 'cause she really did teach me well, it's just me. So, I'll just say, visit her at http://www.texastrifles.blogspot.com. I think you'll enjoy yourself.

CONFESSION is good for the soul, I'm told. With that in mind I will now tell you that I didn't really intend to start that blog or publish that first post when I did, the day of PhoneCon. I began creation of a blog with a different title, from the one I have now, in early October. I typed a very very very long post which I saved as a draft. The night before PhoneCon I decided to work on my blog since there were numerous technical term choices I had yet to consider. Quite frankly I didn't understand some of the terms. so accepted what was already marked.

I then thought I would like to see my written piece on my new blog. I expected to be able to preview on the actual blog what I had written a couple of weeks earlier and saved as that now edited draft. I had already concluded the piece was much too long, needing to be divided into parts. But I still hadn't established what I might want on my blog's sidebars, what information to mention about me, background color, and other possible features.

The time had come to preview this blog. I'm sure no one has ever done this except me, but I clicked on the wrong instruction. The full impact of the fact my blog was actually "out there" hit me full force. I then discovered after my blog was in the blogosphere, my original research on the name I had selected had been inadequate. I won't go into all the details regarding unearthing that bit of knowledge. Let me just say, there are more blogs out there with that name than I want to think about.

I was furious this blog and piece were published; even more furious that so many other blogs existed with the same name. I stayed up much too late, into the wee hours, when I had a busy day ahead of me, perusing the Blogger site and helps, but I could not figure out how to get the blog off the Internet, change the post, even locate an email address, much less a phone number, to which I could ask a human being how to accomplish these things. The "help" section was useless to me. I tried it, but couldn't find anything remotely close to my problem. I needed help ... NOW!

I even sent irate emails to Blogger at email addresses I just pulled out of the blue, like at Google, asking them to remove the blog and cancel my affiliation with Blogger. Of course, my emails were instantly returned to me as undeliverable. I wasn't surprised, but that did little for my disposition. There was more I did in anger, but I won't even talk about that, except to say, I did not inflict violence on any animate creatures, or inanimate objects. I did not turn to vices to assuage my frustration...but it was tempting!

I then concluded I must create a new blog, a new name, edit my piece and post it immediately before anyone found the other one. By that time it was PhoneCon Day! So, I did all that, having learned to not make the same mistake again. I felt quite proud when my new blog, with a new name (which many others may be using, too, but I don't care) appeared in the blogosphere. I did it all myself! But...my blog's appearance was missing so much I had expected it to have before I took up part time residence in the blogosphere with all of those other really classy looking blogs listing so many links and much information on the sidebars, even pictures, and more.

I managed to get a few hours sleep before phoning in to PhoneCon. My morale was boosted when my self-installed Skype audio system worked perfectly. As bloggers and readers phoned in on the special number, the comradery of the experience was palpable with warmth and good humor, even when serious topics sometimes were discussed. In this etheral atmosphere I spontaneously announced that I had a confession to make; that I had started a blog.

Of course, that's not the end of the story, but rather just the beginning. The next night when I confidently expected to post Part II of my blog, there was a glitch, but I've already hit the highlights on that topic at the beginning of this piece.

In time, I have come to adopt a philosophical accepting attitude that this blog with all its warts is now mine. I hope to gradually turn the appearance into more than what is here. I hadn't had the courage to tell any bloggers about this, but finally confessed to a few who offered to help me. At this point, I figure if somebody accidentally finds that first blog out there, then so be it. If not, this is my secret ... and yours.

Friday, October 27, 2006


As I begin the final part of my blogger seduction story, to recap,I had evolved from being a skeptic of personal encounters between people who only knew each other through blogging, to an individual willing to consider the possibility of such a meeting, possibly with others present, and/or in an open public setting.

During those months preceding my change in point of view, my understanding and experiences were influenced by gradually increasing interaction with a few bloggers. On occasion they, and other readers, provided favorable supportive comments in response to my increasing written contributions. In a select few instances I exchanged offline emails with some of the bloggers. If I had any doubt about their authenticity, which by then I did not, some of them have since been pictured or written about elsewhere on the Internet, in print publications including the New York Times, AARP magazine, Le Monde, The Guardian, other.

Some of my other experiences included, unexpectedly being asked to write a guest post or piece on the blog that had so captured my attention in the beginning. At the time of that request I thought the blogger making it surely had questionable judgement, then concluded when I agreed to do so, that I must truly be crazy.

Another time, I was contacted by a business newspaper reporter in a large U.S. city, in a state other than my own, asking if they could get a quote from me, based on a comment I'd made on a blog, for a series the newspaper was going to publish. I did not seek out blogs of prominent individuals, nor did I avoid commenting on any I encountered, no matter what the individual's stature, if the piece/views that were written stimulated my interest.

While experiences such as these can be positive and reinforcing of the view that what I say, perhaps, how I say it, is welcomed and valued by some others, they are incidental activities associated with a much broader purpose in having a blog, from my perspective now.

I would be remiss if I did not say the act of writing that guest post for another blogger, with subsequent frequent and repeated encouragement by additional bloggers to continue writing was the catalyst that unleashed the writing I now undertake.

Subject matter may range from the mundane to the serious, from the personal to issues affecting our country and the world. Ageism, all those other discriminatory "isms" will not be welcome here. I'll need a good dose of humor from time to time. I likely won't be able to get along without referring to a little music, especially some jazz. Even if I make this blog writing journey alone without readers or receiving comments, I won't be lonely.

Writing for this blog will be an experiment for me in which I expect to learn about myself along the way. I plan to have fun, pleasure, and joy from this venture. I will welcome any and all who want to come along for the ride, or just visit from time to time. You may well read in the time ahead on this blog, thoughts on a variety of different topics, encompassing variously, a view of yesterday, today and tomorrow -- the past, present and future.


Continuing the story of my seduction ...

After visiting a number of blogs written by bloggers of various ages, on this first foray into the blogosphere, I happened on a blog that quite caught my attention. Strung across the top of the blog, beginning on the left hand side of the page, I saw a smiling pretty little girl. She seemed to gradually age and mature before my very eyes as I followed the changing picture sequence all the way to the right side of the page.

I noticed then, a caption that read, "What it's really like to get older." Later I learned all those pictures I saw at the top of the page were of the woman writer of that blog. At that time I wasn't particularly interested in who she was or much about her. I was interested in what she had to say, so I simply began to read some of what was written on that blog. I liked what I read and, her "post," as I learned a piece is called, was well-written for my taste. I noticed most others apparently agreed, had written comments of approval at the end of the piece, also expressing their views on the topic that day, along with any of those few who had disagreeing views.

In the weeks and months ahead, I returned to the blogosphere, visiting numerous blogs, but often I found myself going to that one particular blog as my last stop for the night before going to bed. From time to time I visited other blogs, not only in the United States but in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Scotland, Japan, France to name just a few countries.

Many of the new blogs I visited were simply links and recommendations made by bloggers I read and enjoyed, whose judgement I was beginning to trust and respect.

During this period I was only reading blogs. I later learned readers only, such as myself, are sometimes referred to as "lurkers." At first, I thought this term had negative connotations only, which it can in some instances, but since I knew my motives were honorable, I ultimately, did not mind being referred to as a "lurker."

Having established what I believed to be legitimate real people associated with these blogs I was repeatedly visiting, I found myself, one day, wanting to make a comment on a topic. The topic had to do with whether or not some bloggers would ever want to meet each other in person. I decided to type my first comment, but to use a web name, which I proceeded to do with some trepidation. I was mindful that when writing on the Internet, the admonition is to never say anything you wouldn't mind having printed on the front page of the New York Times. I don't know what I thought might happen, but, of course, nothing did.

My view was very skeptical of the idea of ever meeting in person someone with whom I had only online contact, and I said so. Many months later, I had completely evolved on that subject to a view that under certain circumstances, with select people, I would look forward to such a meeting, possibly with others present, and/or in an open public setting.

Continued to the Final Part IV.


SALUTE to PhoneCon...

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed PhoneCon Tues., 10/24 (courtesy of Ronni Bennett at "Time Goes By.) Matching voices with the writers of blogs I've been visiting was just a wonderful experience. I was equally delighted that a number of PhoneCon visitors were people just like me, or like I was, who didn't have a blog. We touched on some interesting topics, and had a lot of laughs. Just for the record, I surely do hope RB at TGB schedules more of these in the future.

My blog premiering that same day was quite coincidental, due to this novices foul-ups, not planned, but will save that story for another time. By way of redeeming myself as not totally technically incompetent, let me just say how very much I enjoyed the PhoneCon experience using my self-installed Skype (yeah, I'm bragging that this not-so-tech person made it all work.) Anyone knowing how easy it is to install Skype won't be impressed. For anyone else, I say, if Joared can do it, so can they.


Continuing my blogosphere experience -- so, what did I find on my first visit to that web address which had so intrigued me? I found a list of names, male, female, sometimes just first names, or other strange-looking names, which I recognized as being "web names" (not necessarily real names.) Just as the article had said, by each name was that person's date of birth, or at least, the year they said they were born. These were all people with blogs. These were bloggers.

I decided to select someone with the year of my birth, but there was no one listed. So, I began randomly visiting a blog of someone whose birth year was listed as being in close proximity to my own. Then, I ventured to blogs of those older than I, was amazed to find several including an 80+ yr old lady. Wow! She was writing of some interesting experiences; seemed to be leading quite a busy and active life. I soon discovered another delightful 80+ lady blogger whose way with words in her stories, had me laughing, as did several male bloggers on their blogs.

In time to come I visited blogs of young women my daughter's age, and blogs of young men my son's age. I read of the joy, happiness, sadness and angst in the daily lives of these young people. Many described physically active lives in exercise, sport, their work as well as sometimes busy, sometimes bored days and nights. Relationships with others figured prominently in what was written. The gist of a few could be similar to this, someone was mad at somebody else and the writer knew it wasn't because of what she said, but did they know that? Or, he wrote that he guessed he had said something he shouldn't have said, or hadn't said something he should have said -- he wasn't sure which -- but his girlfriend/wife was mad at him, so what to do? I remembered when I was that age, but all of that is best left for other discussion. Part III to be continued.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The story of my seduction began innocently enough. I know what you're thinking, that old cliche', "That's what they all say." I was simply reading the newspaper one day and came across a small UP article in the top right hand corner of a page close to the back, which caught my eye. I read the article, becoming increasingly intrigued. I noticed an Internet web address to the place they had described. Seemed harmless to me to clip that article right out of the paper - just in case I might want to visit that address later. So, clip it I did.

"Later" came much sooner than I thought. Before the day had ended, my curiosity led me to my computer keyboard where I typed in the address. I had made my first foray, but not my last, by any means, into the mysterious, some even had said dangerous, environs of the blogosphere. I had reasoned that life is filled with risks -- that somehow, I felt better equipped to deal with the Internet risks than some dangers I could encounter late at night on a darkened street in my real world.

Stories had it that real bogeymen habited the blogosphere; that one must always be on guard against those who misrepresented themselves. Why, Jane could be Jim, and Bob might even be Mary. As if that wasn't danger enough, there was the risk the pictures of a handsome distinguished looking gentleman of a certain age, or the ravishing young beauty might well be photos taken of them 20 or 30 years earlier than their actual age. Even those of so-called average appearance (whatever that means) might be predators. Heaven forbid, the pictures might not even be of them at all!

But I felt confident that I would learn to be able to discern the reliable sources in the blogosphere from those "others," if I should ever encounter any. I was certain I could avoid being taken in by the wiley machinations of those reportedly waiting to accost me. However, I did keep encountering a rather large cadre of bloggers who are "writers." I'm not sure if I should be wary of them or not. But I'm getting ahead of myself, since it wasn't until later that I realized how many writers there were.
Continued in Part II.