facebook “virus” warning

Thought I’d warn you of an odd occurrence that took place. At times the internet can be an ominous place for those of us not particularly adept at seeing the predators who lurk nearby.

It’s been my habit to feed blog posts to viewers of Facebook, Stumbleupon and Twitter. Having done so dozens of times, the process has become a ritual. Click here. Click there. Presto! My posts are out in the blogosphere. With one particular post, published within the last hour or so, I went through the usual process of feeding it to Facebook. What appeared before I clicked “share,” differed from the norm. Where I usually see my gravatar, followed by a few opening words of the post, and perhaps a picture that accompanied it, there was simply a line that began with “http://——.” I don’t want to reprint it here, for obvious reasons.

Thinking it was a Facebook “gliche,” I clicked “share,” and thought no more about it. Thankfully, I have several guardian angels hovering over me, one being my brother Ed, a technical wiz. He emailed me advising that I warn Facebook friends not to open the post with the “http://—” line as it was probably a virus. Calling upon my archangel hubby for assistance, we perused my Facebook page and found the offending intruder. Deleting it immediately, I posted a note for Facebook friends to see, advising that they DON’T open “hugmamma” posts which differ from the normal visual pattern, as described above.

I’m repeating the warning here in my blog for Facebook readers, as well as for those of you who blog and might come across such an oddity on your own. 

All we can do is be very wary of persons intent upon interfering with others’ lives. That they should try to do good instead, is something for which we can only hope, and pray. But we must not let them deter us from what gives us pleasure, especially as we try to do the same for others.

It’s a lesson we can learn from the recent Tucson shooting victims, including Gabrielle Giffords and Christina Taylor Green. They along with countless others before them, may have been victims of senseless acts, but time and again, we have shown resilience in rallying to move forward, unwilling to let the underbelly of mankind win. So…

i’ll keep blogging…you keep reading…huge hugs…hugmamma.

“george, who would be king”

Enjoyed another great night at the movies with close friends Sylvia and Jim. She and I were particularly keen to see “The King’s Speech.” Sylvia was a subject during the rule of George VI and was, therefore, very excited to see the film’s portrayal of England’s beloved monarch and his queen. Revisiting her homeland by way of the vivid photography was an added bonus. I’m a devoted fan of Colin Firth who acted the part of the king. But I too wanted to see what George VI was really like, the man beneath the crown. I’d heard of his speech impediment, but wanted to learn more about it, and how such an introvert as he, dealt with the problem. Our spouses were on the fence about the film, but decided to accompany us. They were both very happy they did.

Colin Firth did not disappoint, nor did Geoffrey Rush as the king’s speech therapist, Lionel Lough. Firth’s handling of the king’s prominent stutter was excruciatingly realistic. It pained me to watch him struggle to speak. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the dilemma to form words and emit them naturally were so physically apparent. Firth’s eyes bulged and teared, beads of sweat sprung up on his forehead and beneath his squinting eyes. He seemed unable to breathe at times, the words sticking in his throat. I felt his dizziness, his nausea. I wanted to collapse alongside him, under the weight to speak publicly as the people’s sovereign, especially when he announced that England was joining the war against Hitler.

A great actor, but not necessarily a favorite of mine, Geoffrey Rush acted the role of Mr. Lough with eloquence and restraint. If you’re not well acquainted with Rush, you might remember him as Johnny Depp’s nemesis in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Barbossa, captain of the haunted ship, the “Black Pearl.” In this role and others previous, Rush seems verbose, wordy. In “The King’s Speech,” he spoke in reaction to Firth. The part of therapist was to encourage the king to speak, a lot.

As the story unfolded, it was apparent that Lough’s value to King George VI transcended the professional. Lough became mentor, confessor, friend, and “family” to the king. They remained so, for the rest of their lives. As is so like me, I shed silent tears here and there.

How sad that George VI’s difficult childhood contributed to his stuttering. How sad that his brother abdicated with little thought to the burden he was placing upon George, who would be king. But how wonderful that he had his wife and daughters, and Lionel Lough to love and support him throughout his reign. And, of course, the overwhelming love of a grateful people.

a beautiful and touching “fairytale,” deserving of an “oscar” for all involved…hugmamma.

10,000 viewings, you can do it!

Forgot to add to my previous post, concerning my challenge to have had published a grand total of 365 posts by the end of next month , and way shy of my one-year anniversary, that it would be phenomenal to have my achievement coincide with 10,000 viewings of my blog. That might be a tall order, but I’m counting on your help, needless to say. I’ll write another 94 posts by the end of February, or sooner, and you just sit back,read, and enjoy. I’m not sure whose job will be easier, hopefully yours.

So I challenge you, dear readers, to keep on reading! Don’t stop, even when you’ve had enough. 

and we’ll both come out on top…yeahhhh US!…hugmamma.

downside of “tweeting,” “stumbling” and “facebooking”

In an effort to attract readers to my blog, I’ve spread the word on Twitter, Stumbleupon and Facebook. Wordpress.com makes doing so very easy. They provide “buttons” which when clicked, take me to those sites where I can share my posts. First, I “stumbled,” then I “facebooked,” and more recently, I “tweeted.” Traffic increased, in each case, sizeable at first. Then those who liked my writing continued to return, while the browsers went in search of “greener pastures,” more to their liking, whatever that was. But an in-between category of visitors to my blog has surfaced, and they can be a nuisance.

It may be that “tweeting” brought many more of these folks to my blog. Fortunately WordPress.com spams all comments left by these readers. I mention this in case you decide to start a blog, and would appreciate this information beforehand. Many of the comments left for me to read and approve, make little sense relative to what I’ve written in a post. Furthermore, they seem scripted. Many times several of the comments read like duplicates, with a word modified here and there. They also contain information directing readers to their websites. These have included dog grooming, financial loans, stock purchases, drug purchasing, exercise regimens. Like me, they are attempting to attract readers, but they do so by latching onto the efforts of others.  But, hey, ours is a capitalistic society, so I guess if people can think it, they can try it. None of them further my blog’s message, so their comments are being “returned to sender.”

Fortunately WordPress.com provides their bloggers with a way to empty out all the spams with one click. Thank you WordPress!  Credit should also be given to my family who advised me that these kinds of comments are self-serving. So I wish all who are trying to sell something, good luck doing it “on your own dime.”

 for my spam “button,” huge hugs…hugmamma.

wordpress.com, working for me

Having blogged on 2 sites prior to WordPress.com, I find that this site is the most user-friendly. Being technologically challenged, I thought I might have given up before now, frustrated that I wasn’t reaching an audience with whom to share my journey. Two months later, I’m still blogging, and you’re still reading, with many more having joined us. There were moments of doubt, but my passion for writing kept me going, as did several handfuls of viewers who said my words meant something to them. Their sentiments went a long way in “stroking my ego,” something we all need to maintain our motivation, and grow our self-confidence. Thanks to them and now, many more like them, I continue to share life experiences which might help those in need of compassion, validation, consolation, laughs and perhaps, hope. None of us are going it alone; we’re all striving, to live our best lives. I’m not Oprah, but I am one voice trying to make a difference, one person at a time. 

WordPress.com has been an ally in my efforts to share my writing. While I’m not one of the famous bloggers on this site, I still feel my voice is welcome. I’m certain I have far less traffic than the Wall Street Journal’s blog, but I’m grateful for the readership I have. It’s more than I would have imagined. Once I established its  look, purpose, technical details, and alerted friends and family to my blog, I began composing my posts.

Along the way I made new discoveries about WordPress.com, some intentional, others accidental. Since I’m anal about details, I always figured my way in, and around, obstacles. When I succeeded, I cheered my own efforts. When I ran into a “wall,” I turned to my husband for help. His assistance was limited however, because I was more familiar with the inner workings of WordPress.com than he. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d know something more about the computer than my husband. Feels kind of good, except when I’m really stuck. The great thing is that I’ve always been able to resolve a problem by consulting WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson, or search through the site’s extended inventory of helpful information, or email the support staff.

When I’m blogging the last thing I want to encounter are technical “hiccups.” On Oprah.com I would lose what I’d written from time to time. Because of this I’d first type my draft on Microsoft Word, then copied and pasted it onto my blog site. WordPress.com automatically saves my writing as I’m typing. I’ve published 124 posts, not having lost one in the process. While comments are encouraged, WordPress.com moderators will hold off publishing ones which might be “spams,” letting me decide whether or not they are. This gives me a sense of security, which was a definite plus on Oprah.com. But while both sites had that in common, over time I felt Oprah.com’s moderators were sometimes too involved in whether or not something was or wasn’t allowed. That aside, I might have remained on the site if it hadn’t morphed away from personal blogs, in its transition to Oprah’s new venture, OWN TV.

Crafting the look of my blog was fun, especially personalizing the header with my own photograph. As I became more comfortable with my new “home,” I found inserting photos and YouTube videos relatively easy, thanks to WordPress.com instructions, and my own dogged determination. Growing readership is always a challenge, but this site also assists by “threading” posts throughout their system, as well as offering various other aids, one of which is “stumbleupon” which has garnered additional readers for which I’m very grateful. Early on I took advantage of a link to “Facebook,” which also quickly bore fruit. While typing away contentedly, WordPress.com continually informs me of further services that can enhance my blog experience.

The one disadvantage to WordPress.com is the inability to sell items. Since I dabble in antiques, collectibles, folk art, and crafts, I might look elsewhere to satisfy my retailing inclination. While this feature is available on Blogger.com, the first site on which I blogged, its “no holds barred” attitude about privacy is somewhat discouraging. I understand it’s going through changes to make it more competitive with other sites, so I’ll keep my eyes and ears open. Meanwhile, I’m happy where I am.

wordpress.com, working for me…hugmamma.

another milestone, “mahalo” (thanks)

Not even 2 months since I began blogging on July 17, views are already at 2014. I owe a sizeable thanks to readers who visited from “stumbleupon.” Feeding my posts to that site garnered more than 300 views in 2 days. That certainly caught me by surprise. Visits have returned to normal, now that the “lookers” have left for “greener pastures.” And so while I appreciate their contribution to the spike in my blog, I’m forever grateful for my constant readers, which now include some “stumbleupon” regulars.

Once I return to my own computer, I plan to once again embellish my posts with favorite photos, and perhaps some other tidbits to spice things up a smidge. But for those of you who have religiously followed me, you know that the heart of my blog will always be my passion for writing. Gimmicks are good, but they’ll never be a mainstay for me. Rather than look for greener pastures, I prefer growing and grooming my own lawn.

A celebratory thanks to you who have remained on the receiving end of my blog. Without you my journey wouldn’t be as much fun. So I raise my sour apple martini in toasting your good taste. ha,ha. Actually, I sip to your continued good health, prosperity, compassion, positive energy and to always living life large…in the moment.  

hugs for readers, friends…hugmamma.