Do I Understand…?

blogging about blogging

MAK, with whom I traveled to Las Vegas, has an inquiring mind.

Do I understand that you have a couple of blogs ready to go at any given time and ongoing drafts?

Well, sort of. When we left for LV on Sunday, I had 41 blog posts scheduled. On Friday, I had 36, having written one while there. But many are specific to a particular date (two about the daughter for the 26th of September and October, one regarding my mom’s birthday, one for Veterans Day, one for the 25th anniversary of my appearance on JEOPARDY, posts for November 1 and 2).

So, while they’re ready to go, it’s not at “any given time.” The great thing about writing ahead is that sometimes I change them. Indeed, my November 1 and 2 posts generated a third one. Several sooner-than-later pieces (music, movie reviews, Ask Roger Anything answers) exist. Some I could post eventually. And about five that no one will see until I die so I can haunt you after I’m gone. 


I’ve learned that when I have an idea for a post to write for a specific date, such as November 11, I’d better write it right then, even if it’s September 17. Otherwise, I might forget that great idea. No, not the idea, but the approach.

I don’t publish in the order that I write. Also, I often switch the order, so something urgent to write about might bump a post already in the queue. I do that a LOT. As a result, most of the time, I have no idea what’s being posted on most days, which is a lot of fun.

I saw Barbenheimer on successive days, but I didn’t post reviews of them back-to-back. My working theory is that if someone doesn’t like one type of feature, maybe the next day will be more their cuppa.

The Ask Roger Anything and Sunday Stealing features serve the same function: generate ideas to write about, but my approach is quite different. For ARA, I’ll look up things, such as the law for ADA compliance. Conversely, Sunday Stealing is essentially free association. The former might take a couple of hours, while I can usually do the latter in half an hour.

The reason for the linkage is that there are too many things I could write about, but I don’t have time for that. I don’t always agree 100% with every POV, but they interest me in some way.  

Need a new shiny object.

I tend to write as fast as two-finger typing allows. While I might start a post on one day and finish it the next, posts that, for reasons of time, go on past that tend to make me cranky. The blog post I wrote in Vegas took four days, making me cranky because my brain wanted to go on to the next topic.

I once noted: My late blogger buddy Dustbury “noted that he and I have something in common: we are both magpies. As he put it: ‘The Eurasian magpie… is wicked smart, especially for a bird… I am not quite sure how ‘magpie’ became a descriptor for humans who flit from topic to topic unless it has to do with the bird’s tendency to be attracted to Shiny Things, but I’m pretty sure I fit that description, and I have several readers who seem to do likewise.’”

I seldom know what will land with the audience and what won’t. I was pretty sure Roger in a pink do-rag might resonate. But a piece I wrote in 2014 about Spaulding Krullers – think donuts – continues to generate comments in 2023.

I have – let’s see – 111 posts in drafts. The vast majority will NEVER see the light of day.

Here’s a bonus of writing it down. It’s a repository of my personal information. When DID I see that movie? What year did that cousin die? It was not the original motivation, but after nearly 18.5 years, I searched my blog at least twice a week.

Until it sucks

There is an article I came across, How To Know It’s Time To Quit Writing. “You don’t find any joy in it anymore – when you sit down to write, it feels like a struggle,  you have no motivation, and even when you do manage to get words out, you don’t get that rush of satisfaction like you used to.”

It still brings me joy most of the time. When it doesn’t, I’ll probably stop. And BTW, congrats on your second post in less than a month. As I told you, quoting the late Steve Gerber:  “There is only one characteristic that distinguishes writers from non-writers: writers write. (That’s why there’s no such thing as an “aspiring writer.” A writer can aspire to sell or publish, but only non-writers aspire to write.)”

Note about the photo taken from our car, my wife driving, on October 8, 2023, just north of Catskill, NY. Five minutes earlier, the rainbow was quite strong. This is Fading Rainbow from a Moving Car. I like it anyway.

Unexpected stuff, plus ARA

Deep Throat

One of the vagueries of blogging involves unexpected stuff, like this image from NASA.
I received this email on May 28: “As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe the boundaries for what we allow– and don’t allow– on Blogger. Your post titled “Antoinette” was flagged to us for review. This post was put behind a warning for readers because it contains sensitive content; the post is visible at Your blog
readers must acknowledge the warning before being able to read the
post/blog.” We apply warning messages to posts that contain sensitive content.
“If you are interested in having the status reviewed, please update the content to adhere to Blogger’s Community Guidelines. Once the content is updated, you may republish it at [URL]. This will trigger a review of the post.” For more information, please review the following resources: Terms of Service:
Blogger Community Guidelines:

Sincerely,The Blogger Team”

So I looked at the article, which was about the Tony Awards.  I assume the offending part is:  “My buddy Fred Hembeck has been extolling the wonderfulness of one Mark Evanier for some time, and Mark has a lot to say about the Tonys that I found interesting… He also writes about medical marijuana (6/6) and Deep Throat (6/3), topics covered recently on this page, and how the rich get richer, and the myth of the “death tax” (6/6), which I would have written about had I had something cogent to say.”
Could it be a passing reference to Deep Throat, which was not about the 1972 movie but about the guy who fed information to Woodward and Bernstein about Watergate?
After musing about this for three days, I decided to submit the piece for approval, unaltered. The response?
We have re-evaluated the post titled “Antoinette” against Community
Guidelines Upon review, the post has been reinstated. You may access the post at

Sincerely,The Blogger Team”

At some level, the situation is comical. There’s no THERE there. And it did not prevent you from seeing a blog post I wrote EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO.
Conversely, I’m troubled by the kneejerk reaction of some anonymous person, or bot, who decided that something I wrote was salacious/pornographic without even understanding the context of Deep Throat. It’s the dumbing down of America.
Another matter: A guy wrote, “I’m working on cleaning my website, and I need your help in removing a link from your site. Your site is probably perfectly legitimate, but I’m just trying to eliminate as many links as possible.

Here’s the page on your site with the link:

“Once you’ve removed the link(s), please send me a quick note so I can create a record of it. Thanks in advance! I hope to hear from you soon.”

This was one of my linkage posts, so sure. Whatever. It’s good to know my blog is “probably legitimate.”

I almost forgot: Ask Roger Anything!

The initial motivation for this post was to get you to Ask Roger Anything. I’m particularly looking for musically thematic pieces to write.

Now when I say Anything, maybe you should make sure that the questions don’t use the words ass (an animal) or bitch (an animal) or Uranus (a planet). God knows, I mean Allah knows, not that, I mean heaven knows SOMEONE will misconstrue my intent.

I’ll answer your questions in the next month or so. And I have received a few questions already. Please pose your questions in the blog’s comments section, email me at rogerogreen (AT) Gmail (DOT) com, or contact me on Facebook. Always look for the duck.  

This blog is old enough to vote

6,575 days in a row

This blog is old enough to vote. It’s Eighteen, and I like it!

In February, fillyjonk wrote: “It’s weird to think of how much stuff I’ve lived through in the time I have been writing this blog.” I realized how true that was.

Bloggers who get up and write a post or create one the night before are remarkable. I cannot do that anymore, though I wrote that way for the first three years when scheduling a post on the Blogger platform was not an option.  Now the idea makes me exhausted.

I try to write every day, but it won’t necessarily be posted soon. If there is something I know I want to say about Labor Day, I’ll write it, even if it’s July. If I don’t know what to write about, I create a music year post because I know that in October 2029, I will need a post about the #1 hits of 1999.

Also, I rearrange my posts like crazy. I wrote several blog posts in succession when I saw many movies.  But I didn’t want to post many reviews in a row. My working theory is that if whatever I post about today doesn’t strike your fancy, maybe tomorrow’s item will be more to your liking.

Also, some posts are time-sensitive, while others can be pushed back a day or a week. I have about a half dozen posts, which are evergreen. You may never see them unless I become seriously ill or injured.


Ultimately, I blog for two reasons. One, which I’ve stated several times, is that I don’t know what I think about many issues until I write about them. Sometimes, I change my mind, at least in part, or at least see another point of view.

Oddly, I don’t LIKE writing about divisive topics. Yet, I can’t NOT write about them sometimes. For instance, there have been four Presidents, and I penned something about all of them; unfortunately, there is too much about one in particular.

To my recollection, I never wrote about abortion before Roe was overturned. I never felt that I had to. And now I do.

I never want to write about race here. And I never cannot, mainly when it involves someone dying unjustly, such as here or here.

The other reason for blogging is about community.  When I started writing, I made electronic acquaintances with some folks on my friend Fred Hembeck’s link page.

My dedication to this enterprise prompted the Times Union to ask me to blog there from 2008 to 2021. I’ve kept in touch with some of those folks even after the TU killed the community blog.

I was involved with ABC Wednesday for over twelve years, even running it for five years.

Initially, I participated in Sunday Stealing as a quick way to write a post. I’ve found I like making and receiving comments from those folks.
How long?

I don’t know how long I’ll keep up this daily blogging routine. Part of it is dealing with the technological part. When Kelly was having functionality problems with his blog, it discouraged me. Occasionally I have technical difficulties, and I cannot fix them myself.

I hope that the site will survive me via the Internet Archive, “a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

The first five years of my blog are still available here. And my emergency backup is out there somewhere.

Happier Now Sunday Stealing

Hembeck, ADD, AmeriNZ, Forgotten Stars

happier nowThe Happier Now Sunday Stealing questions this week are all over the place.

What flavor Popsicle is the best?

I haven’t had Popsicles in years. But I remember that I favored grape, lime, cherry, and orange, in approximately that order.

Do you have a DVR feature with your cable?

Yes, and increasingly it’s the ONLY way I can watch television. It’s not only much faster – JEOPARDY! in 18 minutes – but I also get to avoid the plethora of advertisements for prescription drugs that are ubiquitous on American television. I’ve been told, and someone can correct me, that the ads are banned everywhere except in the US and New Zealand.

How many drawers does your dresser have?

Five. Or not nearly enough.

Is your closet a mess?

Actually, I have an armoire. After our daughter was born, the room with a large closet became her bedroom for a time. Now it’s my wife’s office. So no.

Have you ever solved a Rubik’s Cube?

No, but I haven’t tried in decades.

Describe your favorite pair of pajama pants:

They’re blue and have moose on them.

What color is your wallet?

The brown color of probably faux leather.

Do you find flea markets and thrift shops enjoyable?

Not really. The cost (of time)/benefit (the find) is too unbalanced. Sorry, Eddie.


Have you met amazing people online?

Yes. I could write a whole blog post on this topic. When I first started blogging in 2005, I followed my friend Fred Hembeck’s now-defunct but still extant blog. I met a slew of great folks there, including Lefty, Gordon, the aforementioned Eddie, and even Greg.

I discovered the late Dustbury, who died in 2019. So I know fillyjonk because I knew Charles Hill.

I stumbled upon Denise Nesbitt’s ABC Wednesday, which I participated in for about a decade. I met Leslie and many other fine folks.

The local newspaper, the Times Union, used to have a blog platform. I still follow folks such as Chuck Miller and J. Eric Smith, the latter of whom is no longer in the area.   

Then there are people for whom I have NO idea how I “met” them, such as  Arthur and Kelly.

This doesn’t count all of the people I’ve become reacquainted with, including Steve Bissette,  Alan David Doane, and a bunch of folks on Facebook.

Between the lines

Would you be happy if I colored a picture for you?

Only if it’s better than I would draw for myself, which is almost certainly going to be true.

What show do you think ‘made’ the 90’s?

Law and Order, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, NYPD Blue… I think I’m supposed to say Seinfeld or Friends.

Are you happier now than you were last year?

Yes, because 2021 was too COVIDy. An odd observation, I suppose, since I actually GOT COVID in August 2022. But I’ve gone to a few movies, attended plays, eaten at a few restaurants, and participated in the church choir in 2022.

What are you currently drinking?

Not alcohol, and that’s about calories, not any other consideration. Arnold Palmer.

Do you trust people easily?

Not especially. I don’t DISTRUST people out of hand, but when they’ve betrayed me, I always remember. I can forgive, but I seldom forget.

What are you looking forward to in the next three months?

My daughter will be home from her first semester of college.

17 years a blogger

why do I note three score and ten?

If you told me I’d still be blogging 17 years later, and daily at that, I would have thought you were daft. I’m not much for daily rituals. Yet here we are.

Let me tell you a reason I DON’T do this. I have no sense that I know all the answers. Sure, I might know a few things. And thanks to the collective wisdom of you all, I know more about topics I didn’t think about than I could have imagined.

Let’s talk about the blog itself. When I started blogging on Blogger/Blogspot, I didn’t use any pictures/graphics. It simply hadn’t occurred to me to do so. Then, when I tried, it just didn’t work. They recommended a product called Picasa which I NEVER got to work, ever. Finally, I trial and error-ed my way to posting pictures.

Then I moved my blog over to WordPress. I had my fits and starts, more than I care to remember, frankly. But when I moved to another host, it came with ideas about plugins I should use, such as Yoast. Yoast offers all sorts of suggestions about SEO such as internal links (I do when I can), sentence length, passive voice, et al. I DO add subheadings, as recommended because I figure it makes the content easier to read. But I’m not locked into taking in all of the ideas.

The blogger fail

Oh, I should tell you a dumb thing I did with my blog this year. WordPress periodically releases updates. On March 11, it released version 5.9.2. Somehow – don’t ask me how ’cause I dunno – instead of updating, I overrode my whole blog! My home page was a Welcome To Your New Blog message. Fortunately, my provider, DreamHost was able to reinstate the backup in a couple of hours.

The best thing I’ve learned to do on the blog is to write when the inspiration hits. If I know what I want to write about for Labor Day, and it’s the middle of June, I’ll write about it before the summer solstice. It’s better than ignoring it than struggling with coming up with something at the end of August.

There are certain things I know that I’ll write about: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Also, I created a list of people who turned 70 in 2022. Why 70? It’s the three score and ten in the Bible, I suppose. But it’s also at a point when their accomplishments are clear. And picking a standardized birthday is easier than trying to remember if/when I wrote about them. This is why it’s Joe Cocker on May 20, 2014, and Cher on May 20, 2016.

It doesn’t mean I HAVE to write about them. In April, Steven Seagal (actor, the 10th), EJ Dionne (I watched him on the McNeil/Lehrer Report, 23rd), Bill Belichick (New England Patriot coach, the 16th), and Larry Elder (ran for governor of California, the 27th) all turned 70. I realized I didn’t have 300 words to write about them, and I try to write 300 words every day except my birthday. Or I just didn’t feel like wasting my energy on them, such as Harvey Weinstein (March 19).

The tunes

Ultimately, I blog because it’s useful for me. It’s a public forum to actually goad me to think about things that are confusing, irritating, uncomfortable. More often than not, I discover something new about a topic I thought I had mastered. If you like it, that’s a bonus.

Oh, yeah, the musical selections. Both involve a 17-y.o. male and 16 y.o female. I picked Sixteen Going On Seventeen from The Sound of Music, not for the song itself, but because, as the story progresses, the narrative becomes largely untrue. (He’s) Seventeen from the Meet The Supremes album is really corny, especially the bridge, but I enjoy early Motown.

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