No, no, not that Summer [Donna Summer, in case you're unaware]!!!
Yes, that Summer [the season, not the Queen of Disco]. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, our warm-weather bacchanals are almost over. We're already having nighttime lows of around 50 degrees F here in Western New York State, and it's just a matter of time before the daytime highs drop below that. Of course, our loss is the Southern Hemisphere's gain, as South America, Africa, Oceania, and the other parts of the world below the Equator get their "Seasons In The Sun".
Hopefully, you got more out of your summer [or will get more, if you're a proud Southern Hemispherer] than I did. For some reason, I didn't get much of anywhere or do much of anything. Now, The Woman I Love got out to Oklahoma for a conference, but Yours Truly got no farther than outside our local casino, to see Joan Jett in a free show [pretty good, by the bye. Of course, that was just last weekend...].
Let's see now; any big trends from the Summer just ending? America - a land sick of politics [these elections seem to have peaked too early, unless Candidate "A" or Candidate "B" self-destructs in some truly spectacular manner. We can only hope]. Big Summer Song: Sweet Home Alaba-no, Werewolves Of Lon - no, it's really All Summer Long - Kid Rock's heavy-handed homage to the above songs, as well as an admission that K-Rock's adolescence wasn't really any more interesting than yours or mine. Except that he got some. Olympic Athlete That Those Who Prefer The Male Anatomy Would Most Like To Get Some From; Michael Phelps, in a walk-over [that swimmer's physique is an acquired taste, but a joy forever. Or so I'm told...].
Then again, even those who actually did stuff this Summer are pikers, compared to the brave folk of Finland, where everything is a Summer festival. (Poor, sad Denmark, settling for the "Kicking Vanilla Ice Cream" championship! Now, a "Kicking Vanilla Ice" competition, that would bring in the crowds!)
Is there a moral to all this? Well, there's still time to get out and enjoy what's left of Summer [or to plan ahead if, once again, you're in the Southern Hemisphere]. And, since Winter is the longest-lasting season around here [some years, it seems like forever], there's plenty of time to fill your dance card [I've actually been invited to review a marital aid. You can't imagine my anticipation...]. Anyway, get out of the house, and get some fresh air, whydoncha?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Posted by Mike Riley at 12:52 AM
Friday, August 22, 2008
Okay. I've taken a few days to relax [what the Hell was that noise? Is someone out there?]. I've taken as many deep breaths as I can without bringing on [where's that flash of light from?] dizziness.I've even kept away from all those [who is that out there?] "conspiracy theory" blogs. Despite my paranoid theories to the contrary, Blogger does not seem to be targeting my blog for its dreaded editing spiders [For several minutes at a time now, I even believe that they don't have editing spiders]. I still don't know what caused the "masking" of passages in this blog [see previous post for all the paranoiac ramblings], but, based on the sane [-sounding] words of reassurance [especially from Deb, who probably would be censored if anyone I know would], Blogger does not censor, nor does it edit [That asserted, I would love to know what happened. If anyone from Google is reading this, first, I bow down to our earthly masters and, two, what is that all about, anyway?].
Like many disillusioned blog-meisters, I've re-done my site [more changes to come, I suspect], did some preliminary sniffing at a WordPress site [I don't know enough xhtml to switch], then decided to throw in the towel and make peace with Blogger. It may be an uneasy peace on both sides, but awkward rest is better than no rest at all.
On a totally unrelated matter; what is the big deal about women table-tennis players? I'm referring to a campaign by the International Association that oversees the sport, trying to get its top stars to dress, shall we say, more sexily [as a healthy, card-carrying male, of course the prospect is appealing. But shouldn't that be up to the individual players to decide for themselves?]. The Powers That Be in table tennis, seeing the skirts worn in traditional tennis and, in recent years, badminton [not to mention the uniforms of choice in beach volleyball], decided that tarting up their women players will bring a few more male viewers into the tent. Except for the fact that the plan will probably work, as a man I'd be insulted! Let it be noted, though: during one of the women's track events this past week, one of the runners was from the Muslim nation of Bahrain. She wore a traditional track suit, of course - over a white-colored garment that covered her entire body except for her head and feet. I don't remember where she finished [not in the top 3], but I remember the outfit, both as a reflection of her religious beliefs, and as distinctive track garb. Maybe table tennis should go for the "mystery" factor; cover 'em up, and let your fans fantasise all they want!
Posted by Mike Riley at 2:11 AM
Monday, August 18, 2008
Readers and Friends-
First of all, my sincere apologies for what happened to last weekend's scheduled contest. The topic announcement [previous post] had some series issues, which I will address shortly. Possible participants may have been driven away by the confusing nature of the post as published. Others, who may have somehow pieced out the meaning, may have considered the topic "Why I ride side-saddle" beneath contempt [actually, it came from a 50's American TV show with a similar concept]. At any rate, there were no entries. No entries - no prize.Sorry. Please understand that none of this was my intention.
Since this happened, I've been trying to figure out what went wrong. Here's what I've come up with so far:
-the contest was poorly conceived. Very possible. It certainly wasn't set up like most contests of late. There was no required series of things to do to acquire "points". But there was a reason for that. I wanted a contest that didn't require you to do things you really didn't want to do. Hey, I'd love it if you subscribe to this feed. But only if you're really interested in reading it, and don't want to miss any posts. Otherwise, it's just "invited spam" and, quite frankly, who needs it? Is it really possible that people prefer jumping through hoops to doing a bit of creative writing? Another question I've been mulling over. The jury is still out on that one.
-it was poorly publicised. Again, very possible. One thing that requiring contestants to blog about the contest does is to spread the word quickly. And certainly anyone could have written about it if they so chose. But it was not a requirement, and, looking back, I don't think I'd make it one even now.
-did running a contest on my blog violate some arcane Blogger regulation? Uncertain, but I doubt it. I don't know anyone who carefully reads every word of the Blogger rules before creating a blog. I know I didn't. If that is the case, my bad. Again, sorry.
That's what I've got so far. I'm sure there are other factors that may occur to me, as I replay the events in my mind. But there is one element that I didn't have total control over that may have contributed to this fiasco; the incomplete nature of the topic announcement post. Here, I frankly have no idea. I sent it as a "scheduled post", only to discover that, in its published form, certain portions were masked [that is, some of the post appears invisible. If you want to read it, just mouse over the blank sections while holding down the left mouse button]. This happened to me once before, a couple of years ago. You can look into the matter at: http://aftermidnightpage.blogspot.com/search/label/%22censored%22%20entry. To be very honest, I'm still not exactly sure what happened there. And, while I'll admit that parts of that post [not the masked parts, oddly enough] touched on sensitive issues of different religions, I've yet to figure out how a contest announcement fits into such categories.
Blogger has said on more than one occasion that it does not censor posts. Okay, why were these posts "edited"? There is probably somewhere to go to get a clarification, but I've yet to figure out where. I tried Blogger Help Group, but the only answer there says it was probably "Satan". Now, I do believe in the existence of that being. But I also believe his plate is a bit too full to worry about blog contests [unless he's running an EC scam on the side].
So, now what? I don't know. Right about now, I don't know if I want to bother with any of this. Maybe I should move from Blogger. I just don't know. But I did feel you deserved an explanation. I'm sure I'll be back. I just don't know when...
-Perplexed, a.k.a. Mike Riley
Posted by Mike Riley at 11:55 PM
Friday, August 15, 2008
Posted by Mike Riley at 11:59 PM
Monday, August 11, 2008
Posted by Mike Riley at 3:25 AM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Ya know, I've got to learn more about contests before trying to run one! First, I have to remember to put the announcement at the beginning of the post, not the end [is it possible that My Fellow Bloggers don't read all of an entry when they reach the site? Or, even worse, is this another of those "We did read it, Mike; we just don't give a rat's ass" moments?]. Anyway, let's try this again, this time with special effects:
[Re-] ANNOUNCING THE FIRST [here anyway] IRON BLOGGER COMPETITION!
The format is deceptively simple: at Midnight [US Eastern Daylight Time], August 15th, a topic will be posted at this site. It may be serious or frivolous [but remember, this is classified as a "humor" blog]. All entrants will have until Midnight [US Eastern Daylight Time] on August 18th to post a 250-word [maximum; no minimum] essay on the Mystery Topic. They should be posted as "Comments" to the topic announcement post. Art or photos may be included, if you feel they will help your cause. And what are we playing for, Johnny Olsen?
ONE THOUSAND ENTRECARD CREDITS!
[I mean, the contest is open to any blogger, but, since the prize is EC credits, non-EC'ers may not be as interested. I can understand that...] The winner will also receive the as-yet-to-be-designed:
IRON BLOGGER CHAMPION BADGE!
Back to you, Mike!
Thanks, Johnny! I am always amazed at how cheaply dead announcers work. Some of you may be wondering why this contest, now [I know I am]. Well, it's Summer [in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway], it's hot, and I'M BORED! When you're bored, weird ideas run in and out of your head, and, well, this one made as much sense as any other one. By the way, you're not obliged to blog about this contest, link back to this post, or subscribe to this blog to win. But, if you can at least tell your friends about it, I'd appreciate it. Now, the fine print:
1. / THE "IRON BLOGGER COMPETITION" WILL TAKE PLACE THE WEEKEND OF AUGUST 15TH, 2008. THE COMPETITION TOPIC WILL BE POSTED ON AUGUST 15TH, AT 12 MIDNIGHT [US EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME]. ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED IMMEDIATELY FROM THE POSTING TIME, UNTIL MIDNIGHT [US EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME] AUGUST 18TH. ALL ENTRIES RECEIVED AFTER THAT TIME ARE DISQUALIFIED.
2. / ENTRIES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED AS "COMMENTS" TO THE TOPIC ANNOUNCEMENT POST.
3. / ENTRIES MAY CONTAIN NO MORE THAN 250 WORDS; ENTRIES LONGER THAN 250 WORDS ARE DISQUALIFIED. ARTWORK AND PHOTOS MAY BE SUBMITTED AS PART OF THE ENTRY, BUT DO NOT COUNT TOWARDS THE WORD TOTAL.
4. / EACH ENTRY SHOULD INCLUDE, EITHER AT THE BEGINNING OR END, AN E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR USE OF CONTACTING THE WINNER. IF AN ENTRANT WISHES, S/HE MAY CREATE A "JUNK MAIL" ADDRESS FOR NOTIFICATION PURPOSES. LORD KNOWS, THERE ARE ENOUGH SITES OUT THERE THAT OFFER E-MAIL.
5. / AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE JUDGE [MIKE RILEY], FURTHER PRIZES MAY BE AWARDED. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL TAKE PLACE.
6. / ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON WILL BE ACCEPTED.
7. / ALL DECISIONS OF THE JUDGE ARE FINAL. THE "NO CRYBABY" RULE IS IN EFFECT. AFTER ALL, PEOPLE, IT'S NOT LIKE THERE'S MONEY ON THE LINE!
8. / THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR.
9. / GOOD LUCK TO ALL.
Posted by Mike Riley at 3:02 AM