A decade is a long time

Today is the 10th anniversary of my blog.  My very first post (which isn’t very good) was written and published on Nov 7, 2008, just a few days after Obama won the presidential election and the world was bright and beautiful and full of hope.  Oh, how things have changed.

I’ve already mentioned that my 10th year online here has been…lackluster as far as posting goes, but I wanted to at least acknowledge this anniversary.  And here’s visual proof of why my posts have been so sparse.

The day we got home from the hospital:

One week old:

Two weeks old:

Three weeks old:

Four weeks old:

One month!

Five weeks old:

Six weeks old:

This doesn’t excuse the scarcity of posts for the whole of 2018, since he only arrived six weeks ago…except yeah, he kind of is the reason I went missing all year.

Blogs and books and bears – okay, no bears

My blogging muscle appears to have atrophied.  I don’t know if I just don’t have anything to say, or if I’m avoiding it because I’m a little single-minded lately and I don’t want to be repetitive, or if I just haven’t felt like it and when I think about it, I decide I’d rather be reading.

It’s a little of all three and a lot of the last one, which is kind of funny because I’ve also fallen into a book funk.  AND my book list broke because it got too big and I’m going to have to change the format of it, and I need a test version of my site so I can poke around and try things, and I haven’t gotten around to doing that, and maybe that’s also a little bit of why I’ve stayed away?

Anyway, the book funk.  The last book I read that I LOVED was 13 books ago.  Of the 12 since then, including the one I’m reading now, I liked six okay, really liked only one (The Trespasser by Tana French), thought two were meh but finished them anyway, and I gave up on three.

The books I gave up on:

  • Magic Bites, the first Kate Daniels book, by Ilona Andrews.  It’s urban fantasy, or maybe paranormal romance, or maybe both.  I like that genre (duh), but I just didn’t care about this one.  Couldn’t get into it.  There’s one series like this that I heard was really good starting with the second book, but I can’t remember if it was this one, and Twitter wasn’t able to help me when I asked.  So I gave it up.  There are lots of other books in the sea.
  • A Window Opens, by Elizabeth Egan.  Supposed to be in the vein of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which I LOVED, and Today Will Be Different, which I strongly disliked (both by Maria Semple).  This one fell into the strongly dislike category.  The main character and the overall situation should be relatable, but I just can’t with her character, her decisions, her choices.  So I quit halfway through.
  • The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware.  It’s a thriller, but I didn’t like the protagonist, and the whole thing felt weirdly paced and plotted.  I don’t think I made it a third of the way in.

Thankfully, the book I picked up after giving up on those last two IN A ROW was one of the Hugo nominees, and while it had a slow start, I ended up liking it just fine.  Now I’m reading one that I’m enjoying, but I don’t love – I don’t have that need to drop everything else so I can have more time to read.

I am confident that I can climb out of my book funk, though.  There’s a Tanya Huff trilogy I haven’t read yet staring at me from the shelf, and the Hugo Voter Packet should arrive soonish, which is SUPER exciting and which I’ll tell you all about when it gets here.

Seems plausible

It’s raining.  It’s lovely.  It’s a nice day, with real steady rain falling, dim lighting so I can have my twinkle lights on all day long, and the store had my favorite creamer in stock, so I can have coffee all day.  (I blend decaf and regular together – I can’t handle fully caffeinated coffee all day long.  I’d die of a cracked skull from bouncing off the ceiling.)

It’s pouring, and I can’t concentrate.

Like, how-is-there-that-much-water-up-in-the-sky kind of rain.

Let’s forget this whole water cycle thing – that’s too logical.  REALLY, my neighborhood is in a giant shower.  Some alien has decided it’s time to bathe and I can’t see it (the alien) because a) we’re all really really tiny compared to the giant alien in its giant shower, and b) we’re off to the side of the tub so we’re not in danger of getting stepped on.

Sure, this alien must be taking a really long, really cold shower (it’s been raining for hours), but hey, aliens aren’t like us.  Maybe it prefers cold water.  And the shower is going on for so long because it doesn’t happen all that frequently, and the alien has a lot of dirt to wash off.

That river that’s just a couple of blocks away?  Nah, that’s a trickle of water heading toward the alien’s giant shower drain.

And when the rain stops and the sun comes out, I’ll know that the alien has stepped out of the shower and opened the curtain again.

I should be working.

Minor technical note

Some of you have noticed that my cover photos have been changing.  Thank you for being observant.  🙂  Wordpress introduced a change a while back that lets me select a bunch of pictures to use as header photos, and then the software selects randomly among them.  Every time you visit or refresh the page, you’ll get a new picture.  Fun times.

When I first started doing it, it let me crop pictures so they wouldn’t take up as much room, but the cropping feature isn’t working anymore, and I’ve decided not to worry about it.  But that’s why some of the pictures are really big and some are narrow strips.

I’m also considering another theme change, but I’m very much in the “Hm. Maybe I should look at other themes” stage still.  I haven’t actually started looking.  Baby steps.

This is my way of helping others make a difference

I did a thing I haven’t told you about yet, but I can tell you about it now because it’s live.  It’s live and it’s out there and, like, real people can see it, and you know?  It’s pretty cool.

So.

At the first rally I went to at the courthouse, maybe five or six weeks ago, I met a woman who was taking email addresses for the local chapter of NOW.  They had just started up, didn’t even have their officers selected, and they were looking for members.  I went to the monthly meeting four weeks ago, and before I knew it, I had volunteered to be their tech person.

So.

In the last month, I have worked with the president of the chapter (the woman who was taking email addresses – more on her some other time) to create and manage the official website of the South Willamette Valley chapter of the National Organization for Women.

I really should just upload the official logo. Instead, this is a picture I took of a banner with the official logo. Please don’t let this affect your opinion of my technical skills.

I am the web master, I am a member of the PR team, and I am a member of the Budget and Finance committee (because, like Mom, I sometimes have a hard time saying no to things).

So.

The website is live as of today (www.swvnow.org), the March monthly meeting is tomorrow night (Monday), and the plan is to tell everyone about it then even though it still has a couple of placeholders.  Don’t tell me if you hate it, do tell me if something is wrong with it, and no, I’m not fishing for compliments.  In fact, let’s just stop talking about it.

Fixed!

Today, I fixed a website issue I hope you didn’t know was there.  A few weeks back, I noticed that if you try to get here, to www.inanechatter.net, via any search engine, you don’t get here.  By a wide margin.  Instead, you end up on some Russian pr0n site.  I hope this has never happened to any of you (I assume, if it had, that SOMEone would have said something to me) – oh, hold the phone.

(Searching my email.)

Well, crap.  Someone DID say something to me (although not about the pr0n issue, which might be why it didn’t register) back in December.  Hey, Tim and/or Beth – if you’re still out there, can you let me know if you’re still getting that message?

This redirect to pr0n thing didn’t happen to me all the time, and at first, I only noticed it on my phone, so I figured something was going on there, and I let it go.  The other day, I figured out it only happened when using a search engine, and I got it to happen on two different computers, so I knew I’d have to actually do something about it.

Anyway, today was the day I finally decided to try to fix it.  It only took three hours of searching Google and WordPress forums and trying to remember passwords to get into my GoDaddy hosting account and then changing database passwords and then bringing my whole site down because I didn’t put the new database password in a config file, so I had to ftp to my site’s files and fix it there –

I had to re-learn a ton of stuff about my website, and THEN I found two problems in two different files.  Both are fixed, so the weird text (about viagra) should be gone while the page is loading AND the redirect from search engines appears to be gone, and I AM A WIZARD.  I did this almost entirely BY MYSELF.  (I got John’s help when I was deleting a couple of rows out of my .htaccess file because Google was no help and I didn’t want to delete something actually important.)

I DID IT.

Wizard.

Yup, that's me.

Yup, that’s me.

Not all of my dreams are realistic

Met a kindred spirit at Barnes & Noble today (an employee,  naturally – we bonded over dragons).  Made me remember how much I think I would enjoy owning a bookstore.  Still not financially feasible (probably almost certainly), and it certainly doesn’t fit in with our medium-term plans, but I don’t want to forget about it completely.

Current dream: find that perfect town/city we want to live in forever, with the perfect house we want to live in forever, and discover a bookstore that does just well enough to live off of, with owners looking to retire and pass it on to people who will love it as much as they do.  That’s possible, right?

Spent the rest of the day updating my What I’ve Been Reading list.  I was over a year behind.  I’ve made it to August!  More tomorrow, since I have the day off.  Tomorrow ought to include grocery shopping, too.  I can manage both of those.  And a long run.  I didn’t run yesterday because I was recovering from Friday night with Jess.  I didn’t run today because of a combination of laziness and snow.  No accumulation, but snow is wet.  I don’t want to run in the wet.  Excuses, I know.  I’ll be better tomorrow!

Wordy

The other day I was talking to John about how I try to post something every day, and that while I like posting every day, I’m not crazy about the pressure I feel to do it (self-imposed though it is).  On the other hand, I’ve been pretty successful at it lately, and I’m not losing any hair over it.  I posted 28 days out of 30 last month – that’s not bad.  So then I checked my history.  In seven years, my lowest number of posts per month is 2 (happened twice – May 2014 and July 2013).  At the other end, in seven years, I’ve posted more than 30 times per month 11 times.  I posted the most times in a month in May and March 2010 (36 times each), but I think I have to give the win to February 2010 (35 posts) since it only had 28 days.

The most mind-boggling part of this exercise is the realization that I used to post more than once a day!  That hardly seems necessary.  I just don’t know when to shut up.

Ugh

Another shooting.  Have a picture of kittens instead.

kittensinmugs

Also, apparently I have titled posts “Ugh” two other times.  I am repetitive.  Sorry!  Also also, I upgraded WordPress today and finally installed JetPack, so now I have more stuff to play with.  I got a LOT of spam comments on old posts (a group from 2011 and a group from 2014) all day long, so I added a CAPTCHA that makes you do math.  You’ll have to let me know if it’s too hard for you.  :/  AND I added a Share button.  If it’s annoying, let me know that, too.

Have a puppy, too.

puppy_2-jpg

To Facebook or not to Facebook

I am considering setting up a Facebook account.  I had one a long time ago, but I canceled it after only a couple of years because I NEVER used it.  NEVER as in not once did I post a status.  I had a profile picture, and I friended people, but that’s about it.  Then they changed the privacy settings, and I figured I’d just get out.  And I think this was around 2007.  Maybe 2009.  Hey, it was 2010!  (Damn, I was kind of funny in 2010.  Wonder what happened?)  Now, with all the moving around, I’ve gotten a lot of requests (some outright demands) that I get on Facebook.

I’m considering it.

I still probably wouldn’t use it much.  I’m on Twitter (@zannah42), and as of today, I’m on Instagram (also zannah42 – is there a symbol for Instagram?), although that’s going to be a little-used account, I would imagine.  I don’t take many pictures.  And (most-used), I’m HERE.  What would I post on Facebook that I wouldn’t post here first (or possibly on Twitter)?  I don’t really see the point, but for people being able to track me down and connect, maybe it’s worth it.

But that raises another interesting question.  (Well, it’s interesting to me.)  Should I link to my blog on my Facebook page (assuming I set one up)?  I know that all you people know who I am in real life, but technically, I am anonymous here.  I’ve never used my full name, never my last name, never the last names of my family members.  I’ve never given out my address or posted a picture that included my house number or even mentioned the name of the town we owned that house in for nearly 10 years.  NOW I’m fine with saying we live in Annapolis (for now), but I’m still not using my full name or giving out my address.  Someone would have to work at it (not that hard, but it would take a little effort) to find out who I really am if they stumbled across me here accidentally.  I am not a public figure.  But Facebook is not anonymous. I would have to use my real name.  And if I post a link to my blog on a Facebook account with my information in it, then I will stop being anonymous here.

Then again, what does that really mean?  What do I post that anyone out there couldn’t read?  I don’t go into details about work.  Once in a while, I talk about finding another job, but who doesn’t?  Besides, I haven’t yet.  (I’m not even looking.)  I have plenty of good reasons to stick with the one I have.  Being afraid of getting fired because of something I write here is not how I want to live.  I don’t discuss huge personal details.  I don’t say bad things about other people (not that could get me in trouble with anyone I know, anyway).

Of course, if I don’t link to my blog on my as-of-yet-hypothetical Facebook page, will I feel compelled to update there, too?  [Thinks about it for 2 seconds.]  No.  That is not going to be a problem.  So then it will be a basically unused page, there for people to find me if they want to.  But if I link to my blog, then it will be an unused page with a link to my blog.  Why link to my blog?  To drive traffic here?  As if people will really come find me on Facebook (a big if, aside from the people who have been asking me about it) and then say, “Oh, I wonder what she’s really thinking?”  Not likely.  So…I have not come to any conclusions.  Help!

Back to practical matters (if I decide to do it): do I have to have a personal FB account?  Or can I set one up that’s for me and John?  (There is NO way he’s creating an account under his name.)  I think if I set up a Facebook page for us, I still have to have a personal account to manage it.  Google isn’t really helping me out here.

Missed already

I made a kinda-sorta-quasi-resolution to post every day for as long as I could this year.  I told John about it yesterday, thinking how cool it was that I’d made it 11 days in, and then I went back and looked at the little calendar widget that shows me the days I blogged.  Where was the link for Friday?  Wait – seriously?  I missed the 10th?  But I remember writing something…oh, there it is.  Safe and sound (and unfinished) over there in Drafts.  Damn.  And also whoops.

Now go look at some maps (via Reddit) while I figure out what I’m reading next.  For real.  They’re pretty fascinating maps.

Lucky Thirteen

You know what I missed this year?  My five-year blogoversary!  It was back in early November.  Oh, well.  You know what I didn’t miss (which is a good thing, as this one is much more important)?  Our 13th wedding anniversary!  We slept in a bit (sorely needed – Christmas week at the in-laws does not lend itself to much sleep), went out for a fancy (for us) brunch, came home and puttered a bit during the afternoon, went out to see a movie (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and went out for a fancy (for us) dinner (which was delicious).  Better?  Our menus were printed specially with “Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Zannah” for us.  So cool.  They rolled them up, tied them with a ribbon, and sent them home with us (along with mugs full of candy).  Nice place.  Happy Anniversary to us!

Lookit!

Check it out!  I updated my book list (for the first time in over 8 months).  I knew I could do something productive today.  And then I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the floor with Riley (while watching more Supernatural) because I miss Roxy and I can’t stand thinking that I’m not spending enough time with Riley while I can.

Me and Chas at the wedding

I just wrote a post about these pictures and the wedding my friend and I were at and how we danced our asses off, but for some reason it is now lost.  I am going to assume it’s because this is my tablet’s trial run. And my tablet keyboard’s trial run.  So somehow, when I clicked Save Draft, it did not do that.  Like, at all.  So, no story.  Just pictures.  Oh, this is the dress I linked to a few weeks ago.  Love it.

And this is my friend Chastity.

Is it me?

My site has been really weird the past two days.  I don’t know if it’s just on my end or if it’s affecting any of you, but loading takes forever, and half the time I get an error or get logged out.  I should have called GoDaddy today, but I was barely able to work today, let alone get anything else done.  (Hey, Mel, is Mercury in retrograde again or something?)  I’m not sure I’ll be able to publish this, actually (because of the technical problems I’m having, not because I’m in a funk).  Let’s try.

I was hacked!

GoDaddy thoroughly freaked me out today.  Within 12 hours (starting around 3am this morning), I got 5 emails, all the same, shouting about how some malicious files had been uploaded to my site last December and that if I didn’t take (some unspecified) action by this coming Monday, my account would be suspended.  I wasn’t convinced this was legitimate, since 5 emails in 12 hours with a quick deadline (especially since this apparently happened last December) seems a little…unlikely?  Suspicious?  So I went straight to the GoDaddy website and looked up their number.  It matched the number on the emails I was getting. I called.  Short answer is yes, it was legitimate (although I don’t have an answer about why they went all crazy starting at 3am this morning).  They removed the files (I don’t know what files, so I don’t know if it’s something I uploaded) and needed me to email them back stating that I understand the terms of service (or something like that).  And that is that.  I hope.  Oh, I had to change my password.  The guy started to give me a hard time about my password, saying it has to be secure, and I was like, dude, my password was totally secure.  Not a real word, capital letters, numbers, special characters – this is not my first rodeo.  I may not have worded it that way at the time.  But I should have.

So, hey.  If anyone got any weird emails from me or noticed anything out of the ordinary on the site, I apologize.

Truth in advertising

I’ve watched this video three times now and even though the title spells out very clearly what I’m about to see, it surprises me into laughter every time.

Love it.  Now please accept my apology for my absence lately.  Pretty please.  I’ve been studying.  Also, there’s this long weekend coming up during which I will not be blogging.  Like, at all.  But I’ll be back!

(By the way, the video came to me courtesy of The Daily What and was originally posted on Say OMG.)