Showing Posts From: Ranting and Raving

27 Oct, 2015

Dear Blogging Experts

/ posted in: Ranting and Raving

It seems like at least once a week I read articles or tweets discussing the demise of blogging.  Lately I’ve heard that:

  • You have to write lists because people don’t read paragraphs.
  • No one reads book reviews
  • You have to monetize your blog
  • You have to make every post a Pinterest-ready how to with graphics.
  • You need to do x, y, and z to make sure that you are growing your followers.

It is crazy making.  If people are trying to follow all the advice that is out there, no wonder the average life span of a blog is about six months.

I admit there are times when I get distracted by the hype.  I start looking at posts about “I made $20 gabillion this month on my blog!” and wonder what I’m doing wrong.  Or I start reading about 5 Strategies to Increase Your Blog Followers and start to feel the pressure of needing to increase numbers.  But then I stand back and ask myself, “Why?”

I started blogging back in 2004.  I started because at the time I was married to a person who was not interested in any opinion I had.  I started blogging as an outlet for my thoughts.  It was an online journal.  If people found it and interacted with me that was a bonus, but it wasn’t and has never been the point.

If no one ever read what you wrote, would you still write?

If you can answer yes to that question, then you will probably stick around the blogging community.  If you aren’t receiving intrinsic rewards from the joy of the writing then probably any extrinsic rewards like stats or money isn’t going to be enough to keep you going.

For me blogging is not a money maker.  I’ve deliberately not monetized the blog except for Amazon links.  I don’t want that kind of pressure.  I’m fortunate in that I’m financially secure enough to be able to pay for my blog hosting fees and some giveaways without having to make the money up on the blog.  I’m not against people making money on their blogs but I find that whenever I think about it, it takes the joy out of the hobby.

I post book reviews because I want the opportunity to download the book and my thoughts about it out of my brain.  I write travel posts to highlight fun places to go.  I write discussion posts to vent.  I write less personal posts than I used to mainly because my life is pretty drama-free at the moment (Dear Universe, that is praise and not a complaint!).  I post less about quilting because I’m a slacker.  I don’t want to ever think, “If I post this, will it drop my numbers?”

This blog has never been particularly popular.  Maybe if I restructured it according to all the “rules” then it would be.  But it wouldn’t be me.  It would be me conforming to what the experts say I need to do and they aren’t the boss of me.  So I’ll be over here writing about whatever comes to mind knowing that those experts will probably be gone soon and a new crop will come along with different rules that I’m going to ignore too.

 

10 Aug, 2015

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cross?

/ posted in: FamilyRanting and RavingReligion

Recently some relatives of mine erected a cross on their property.  My reaction the first time I saw it was a disgusted sigh.  Soon after someone tried to cut it down.  Everyone is shocked — SHOCKED — I tell you.  They can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that.  I get it.  Here’s what I would have told them if I hadn’t minded having a confrontation around the firepit and if I thought that they could have comprehended it.

It isn’t that Christians are being persecuted.

It isn’t that people hate Jesus.

When I see that, it is huge waving neon sign to tell me that the people involved are ignorant.  Here’s why.

This isn’t a statement of their own piety even though they are practicing Christians.

  • A stranger approached them about putting it up on their property.  It wasn’t their idea.
  • If it was for the benefit of their faith, I would think that they would put it somewhere that they could see it.  There is a line of trees between their house and the cross.
  • It is angled so it isn’t square to the road as it passes by it, but so it is square in the line of sight as drivers come around a curve and over a hill.  This cross is meant to be seen best by people approaching in a car.  It is meant to confront strangers.
  • It is 15 freakin’ feet tall and painted white so you don’t miss it.

My second thought when I first saw it was, “Damn, that’s belligerent.”  They wouldn’t understand unless the people across the road put up a 15 foot tall pentagram or statue of Ganesh or the Koran.  They’d be the first people to be grumpy about people shoving things in their faces.

They can’t understand why everyone is so quick to take offense at things.  Sorry, but that was deliberately meant to confront people.  It was meant to offend so they could be up in arms about people getting offended. I don’t think all this went through my relatives’ heads but I’m fairly sure that is the agenda of some random person who knocks on doors of people with an empty field on a busy road.

With all that being said, I don’t think it was right to try to chop it down.  You should be able to do whatever fool thing you want on your own property.  I think of things like outrageously large crosses as being like Confederate flags on pickup trucks in the North.  It is nice that the idiots are labeling themselves as such so I don’t stumble upon them unaware.

One passage from the Bible always comes to my mind in situations like this.

“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

5”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7

Matthew 6: 1-7

If you aren’t Christian, what do you think when you see huge crosses?  If you are Christian, what do you think the purpose is?

25 Jun, 2015

How to Annoy Your Non-Christian Friends on Facebook

/ posted in: Ranting and RavingReligion

Have you not caused enough non-Christian eye rolling and sighing lately?  Is it the wrong time of year to pull out your War Against Christmas gifs?  Try these helpful suggestions.

Be Holier Than Everyone Else

To quote the great St. Weird Al of Yankovic’s epistle to the masses–Amish Paradise – “I know that I’m a million times as humble as thou art.”

Some of the most effective posts using this technique are ones that imply you are ashamed of Jesus of you don’t share this post immediately.  It couldn’t possibly be that you aren’t interested in passing along stupid memes.  It means that you are denying Christ just like it said would happen in the Bible!

Thank God for Random Things

“I just took my car to the garage and my favorite mechanic was there!  God is SO GOOD!”

Let’s get this straight. God rearranged the entire universe so you wouldn’t have to interact with someone new?  Why didn’t he just make your car not break in the first place? Maybe you should send a cookie basket to the person who actually schedules the mechanics at your garage.

Claim Miracles

Your husband is in the hospital with a whole list of ailments?  After you list them all, immediately add “I give God all the thanks for this diagnosis!!”

Really? Did a set of these drop down on the foot of his bed – miraculously avoiding breaking his toes of course.?

Of course the 10 Commandments were written in English, silly!

If this didn’t happen, maybe you should add some medical professionals to your cookie basket buying list.

Aggressively Search Out the Bright Side

Find a Facebook friend who is having a bad time.  It has to be a real bad time like sudden onset of debilitating chronic illness, not just a vague “Prayers please” post.  Now everytime this friend posts something sad about her life blow up her comments with cheer.

Lines to get you started:

“Our God is bigger than this.”

“God has such a great plan for you.”

“You will have such a great testimony after this.”

“It’s just a flesh wound!” Maybe that’s something else….

Be secure in the knowledge that you are turning the thoughts of the non-Christians reading this to God. They are probably thinking that these are some really heartless things to say to someone who is suffering and if you God is so big why doesn’t he just fix it.  That would get people’s attention. But, they are thinking about Christianity!


My problem is that because of my former life I can understand the sentiment behind the trite phrases that conservative Christians use.  I don’t think that they understand how stupid and sometimes cruel most of it sounds to non-Christians though.

04 Sep, 2014

The F-word

/ posted in: Ranting and Raving

Are you an outspoken blogger who loves talking equality, feminism, and women’s rights? Marielle and Kiersten started this link-up after noticing a lack of feminist bloggers in the community, or at least that we were able to find.  Once we started looking, we noticed they were everywhere, and wanted a way to bring them all together.  The F-Word is a monthly link-up to share your thoughts on Feminism, whether it be a story, an article, a list, or a lesson – we want to hear it!

Today’s optional topic is “What kind of sexism have you experienced in your everyday life?”

A lot of the things that I wanted to say were covered brilliantly by Katie here. Instead, I’m going to tell you a story.

A long, long time ago when I was applying to veterinary school, people realized that there was about to be a major demographic shift. More women were going to vet school then men. As men retired this meant that soon there were going to be more women than men in the profession. The sky was sure to fall!

I remember one Sunday when I was working and an older male vet decided to give me a lecture about how women were going to ruin the profession. His reason was that women only look on their jobs as a hobby because they have their husbands to support them. They will be able to undercut their male competitors because they don’t care if their businesses are profitable or not. This wasn’t a person whose opinion I respected on much of anything so I didn’t say much. I did wonder about one thing. He had employed two female veterinarians. Neither had a husband. How did they fit into his worldview? I didn’t have the nerve to ask.

It wasn’t just him though. Veterinary business magazines talked all the time about the demographic shift and what it was going to mean. Woman don’t want to work full time. They aren’t going to buy practices from retiring veterinarians. They are going to work a few years and then quit to have babies. And on and on and on….

Then around 2005 it happened. We took over. And nothing happened. Life went on as usual. Yes, more people work part time now but guess what? Men like that too. The old normal of 80 hour work weeks and being constantly on call doesn’t appeal to many people. Turns out that women can run a business too. Who’d have thunk?

  • People are getting used to seeing female doctors. I don’t get, “Look, Fluffy, you’re seeing a GIRL!” nearly as much as I did at the beginning of my career. But people still sometimes don’t realize that I’m the doctor.  I mean white coat, stethoscope, name tag, and saying my name aren’t enough of a clue for some people.
  • One time when I was working at that clinic in college, the female vet and I were trying to work on a dog that we could not get near.  As we stepped back to reassess the situation the (female) owner said, “Well, sweetie, why don’t you go ask the vet?”  I thought the vet’s head was going to spin around as she growled, “I AM THE VET!”
  • I used to work in an office with several doctors on staff at once. If I had one of the male doctors come in and consult on a case then I was done. The people would direct all questions to the male even though I was the one making the decisions. That didn’t happen if I was the one going to consult on their cases though.
  • But on the reverse side I’ve had people who won’t let men touch their animals or are super relieved when they see me because they think that men are too scary to examine animals.
  • I worked in an Amish community and never had any sexism with them.  Mennonites sometimes wouldn’t let female vets work on their animals though.
  • When I left that job a new male vet was hired to replace me at a higher salary than I had gotten specifically because he was a married man.

Overall it is getting better but we still have a way to go.

16 Nov, 2013

Rant of the Day

/ posted in: Ranting and Raving

I think I found a new website of crazy people to entertain me.

I found it through this article – Planned Parenthood wants preschoolers to know mechanics of sexual intercourse.  The article is full of all kinds of fun!

Selected bits for your enjoyment:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America has just announced a new insidious Internet presence referred to as “mobile interactive tools to help teens make healthy decisions.”

Well, we can’t have that can we?

By ‘mobile interactive tools,’ Planned Parenthood means it is on its website so that kids can access this stuff from their smart phones or their computers when their parents aren’t looking

Yep, that’s what mobile means – kids sneaking around doing who knows what.

Plannedparenthood.org advises parents that when a preschooler asks, “How do babies get in your tummy?” that parents answer in graphic detail, naming the anatomical parts of the body involved and the mechanics of sexual intercourse.

Want to know what the Planned Parenthood site actually says?

Q. How do babies get in your tummy?
A. When a woman has a baby in her tummy, it is called a pregnancy. Women have tiny eggs in a special part of their tummy. Men have very tiny seeds. Sometimes, when a man and a woman have sex together, the man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina. They can start a pregnancy if one of his seeds comes out his penis and joins with one of the eggs in her body. Do you have any other questions about that?

Ooooooh, graphic detail!

PPFA then suggests to parents that they respond to a little boy who asks why his private body parts are different from his mother’s by describing his outer genitalia and hers using anatomical names.

“This is some horrifying stuff,” Diller said.

No.  You know what is horrifying?  It is horrifying that people can’t use proper anatomical language for reproductive organs.  I’d love to give a list of proper anatomical terms to clients who ask me to look at their dog’s “down there.”  I want to say, “Her feet?”

I had a staff member once who refused to use anatomical terms because they were dirty.  She said this in response to me telling her it was inappropriate to write “cooch” in a medical record.

The Planned Parenthood website also features videos of very young children who were obviously coached to ask a series of questions that were well beyond what children their age would be thinking about normally or even aware of for the most part—even involving a little bitty girl shouting out really inappropriate questions. This little girl is three or four years old. And Planned Parenthood continues to exploit her.

Have these people met children?  They are completely inappropriate at this age.  They are generally completely inappropriate only in public and at the top of their freaking lungs.

I’m sure that the writers of this article just ran out of room before they had a chance to praise the Planned Parenthood pages about Keeping Teens Healthy by Setting  Boundaries and Helping Teens Delay Having Sex.  I’ll keep watching the site and let you know when they write an article about those pages.

I commented on the article but you have to have your comments approved and it site says that they give priority to pro-life comments.  I bet they do since there doesn’t appear to be any dissent.

 

 

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