A Change to My Schedule

I have several changes to my work schedule this week and I’ve driven someone to the airport twice over the last few days. That, however, is not the change I’m writing about.

The change in schedule comes from reverting back from an empty nest house to a house with a 19 year old living there. I had changed my habits for when I write, when I watch my alone shows and my reading to fit my new life of having multiple hours alone every night. I’m now back to coming home to someone already in the house.  This is not a bad thing. I like having my kid back at home for the summer. I will just have to adjust my life back to where it was before she went away to college.

I will have to try to write in the mornings before work again. I could write in the evening still, but I still feel weird writing with my family around. I don’t think they get the whole blog thing and I don’t want to have to tell them that I’m posting something on the blog. So, I will write during my alone times in the morning while the college kid is asleep.

I will struggle to find time to watch the shows I watch alone. I will have to watch in the morning or wait until she is at a friends house or asleep on the couch. We will have plenty of time to catch up on the shows we watch together. I have hours of TV on the DVR I’ve been saving to watch with her.

So, after today, my blog posts will go up in the mornings(or not at all if I sleep late) until such time that I am an empty nester again or until I get over writing when other people are around.


An Upward Trend or an Anomaly

I hit 1000 views in a month for the first time ever in April. I actually made it all the way to 1125 views. I know some blogs get more views than that in one day, but for a mediocre little blog like mine, it is a success. My WordAds earnings are still a fraction of the blog cost, but it also far exceeded any other time I’ve been doing this. I’m not really sure why the stats are up. I can’t tell if this is the start of an upward trend in my stats or if it was just an anomaly and will correct itself soon. It might be a combination. I can think of two things I did differently this month that might have helped.

  1. I wrote a little more regularly. I had several weeks where I posted every day. That is not the norm for me. I tend to have weeks where I only post three times with two of those being my regular posts on Friday(week in reading and viewing) and Sunday(What’s Good) with some random post somewhere else in the week. I don’t think this is a trend that will continue. I know weeks will come when I have nothing to say and weeks will come where I don’t have time to write. I have at least two weeks coming up where I will be out of town and likely not writing. I can’t count on this being a reason for an upward trend.
  2. I did more to publicize this month. I shared posts in blogging groups. I shared posts on Twitter and Facebook when they coincided with a topic. I commented more on other blogs. All of this will lead to more traffic. Since then, I have left one of the blogging groups because it didn’t seem like the right fit. I know only belong to one group, but it is a good group and we actually want to read each other’s posts. I will try to continue to share old posts if they are relevant and be better about getting my new posts out there. I really hate all of this, though. I feel weird pushing my posts. I keep thinking I will lose all of my followers if I post more than once. I will continue to try to be better about interacting with other blogs, but sometimes even if I like a post I don’t feel like I have anything to add to the conversation.

So, I guess it is yet to be seen if this is an upward trend or just a weird, one-time uptick that will self-correct.

I promise not to blog about blogging again any time soon.


Ask Me Stuff/Where To Find Me

As I posted this morning on my Facebook page I am going to attempt to do an “ask me anything” post later this week if I get enough questions for a post. So, use the comments to ask me questions. Personal questions, hypotheticals, true/false – ask me and if it’s not too personal and embarrassing I will answer them in a post later this week. Of course, there is a good chance no one cares enough to ask any questions and I will have to resort to either making up my own questions to fill a post. So, ask away!

I will use the rest of the space today to let you know where else you can find me in case I don’t bore you enough here.



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Tater Talks Blogging

I will begin this by saying that I am a nobody when it comes to blogging. I have no following. I feel like it is a success if I average 20 views a day. That is peanuts when it comes to blogging and I don’t see it ever changing. So, what I’m saying is that I’m the last person you should ever go to for blogging advice. Good news! I’m here to tell you to stop looking for blogging advice. I’ve been there. I’ve read posts about being a successful blogger. I’ve written a post about how to fail at blogging.  Guess what? I’m still lucky to get 20 views a day. I don’t think there is a formula for being a success if you want to maintain your individuality. I’ve seen so many different takes on how to be successful:

Don’t write too much. People will get tired of you and your posts will not be quality posts – Everyone was tired of me before I started blogging and my posts have never been quality posts.

Write every day or people will forget about you – I could write every day or stop writing and still be invisible.

Find a niche. Only write about one thing – I am not an expert on anything. I write whatever pops in my weird little brain.  A niche would be forced and artificial.

Post pictures, post videos, promote your old posts! Self-host! Learn how to maximize your random acronyms I can’t remember! That sounds exhausting.

In theory, I would love to have hundreds of views a day or more. In theory, I would love to be so popular that I could make money doing this. In real life, making money or even getting more views than I do is not something that will ever happen for me. I don’t have the skills nor the energy to get there.

I guess if there is a point to this post it is to relax, write what makes you happy and if you have the time do what you need to do to increase your numbers.

Tater Madlibs! (Kind of, Not Really)

I’ve hit another point where outside of my Friday “Week in Books, TV and Movies” and my Sunday “What’s Good in Tater Town” posts, I am blocked when it comes to new posts. I looked at blog post suggestions yesterday to come up with the bucket list post and now my mind is a vast empty space.

As I mentioned in a previous post it’s hard to be a blogger when you’re boring. Now that my vacation post is done and I’ve written about my decision regarding a job offer, there hasn’t been a lot worth writing about. My daughter is back in school this week, so my days are spent at work and then a few hours alone at night until my wife comes home and we watch TV or basketball and then go to bed. It’s not an exciting life.

So, once again, I ask you dear reader, what do you want me to write about? Any burning questions you have for Tater? Any topic you think I should consider? Advice? I can be Dear Abby for a post.

My 2018 in Blogging(So Far)

I decided to go ahead and post a Year in Blogging review tonight, mainly because I have nothing else I want to write about at the moment. I’ve had a pretty good year for me. It wold probably not be that impressive for other bloggers. Here are the details.

I have 7621 views from 4116 visitors. This has resulted in 2280 likes and 798 comments.

Most of my views come from WordPress Reader and Facebook with Twitter and The Bloggess also each resulting in triple digit views.

5415 views are from the US, 656 from the UK., 418 from India and 367 from Canada. Those are the only ones with above triple digits. There are a lot of random countries represented. I’m sure all of them were disappointed when they got here.

The following search terms were recorded as bringing people here:

friends boring strangers

hangover movie memes
the tater family bad influence
alan meme
read before commenting
 and then “unknown search terms”
My top five posts were as follows:
My Philly Adventure with 134 views
Exploring Career Options with 109 views
A Short Rant with 92 views
So, that’s my boring look at the numbers behind my year in blogging. Almost 2000 more views than last year. Maybe next year I can get close to 10,000.

Sunshine Blogger Award


So, this might be the first time the word sunshine has been used in any way in reference to me. Thank you to Rebecca at Rust Belt Girl for nominating me. I’m pretty sure she felt sorry for me. That has to be the only reason for this. You should click and read her stuff. She’s much better than me.

Also – I’m not going to do this the right way. I’m pretty sure every blog I read has probably done these things already and I don’t want to annoy them by making them feel they should do it again or thank me for anything. So, instead, I will answer Rebecca’s questions and I will leave links to blogs I enjoy and think you should read. If any of them want to answer the questions, they can answer Rebecca’s because I’m also lazy.

Way to ruin this thing, huh? I’m so good at the blogging stuff.

On to the questions.

If you could live in a book setting, where would that be?

This one is difficult because I read a lot of books filled with murder and I don’t generally think “I sure would like to live where people are being murdered” If that was the case, I would move to Baltimore. The fictional place I would like to live is from TV: Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls or a similar small town.

The best kept secret about your town or city?

I’m not sure I know the secret. It’s that good a secret! I think where I live is kind of boring. Maybe the yearly corn maze?  It’s a good one.

What do you hope 2019 holds for your blog?

I really don’t know. I’m toying with the idea of moving to a self-hosted blog, but I don’t know if it is the right move for me. I do dream of the day that one of my posts goes viral. My most views in a day is 204 when a Twitter celeb retweeted a post of mine. It would be nice if that happened again.

Are you a blogger who writes or a writer who blogs?

Neither? I’m not sure what a blogger who writes is. I know I’m definitely not a writer. I’m a rambler who blogs?

Your favorite singer/songwriter or band?

No shock for anyone who knows me. It is Bowling for Soup. The only band I go to see live every time they are in town. I’ve met all but one of them. My son has met all but one of them. A lot of my other favorite bands have opened for them or have some connection to them. I can’t wait until they are back in town and I can see them again.

Cake or pie?

I would like to live in a world where we can have cake AND pie, but if I had to choose I would choose cake. Chocolate cake. Anyone want to bake me a cake?

Favorite blogging or writing advice?

I don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve ever really paid much attention to writing advice. That probably explains why I’m so bad at it.

One thing you want your blog followers to know about you?

I’m just a common tater. Don’t expect great writing. Just rambling. Also, I pretend like I don’t really care all that much about stats and likes, but I really like view and likes. Please like me.

Which is better–a lotta likes or a few comments?

Hmm. Probably likes. I’m not good at commenting myself, so I appreciate a quick like. Plus, see above. Please like me.

Your favorite blog post of yours? Go ahead, brag it out!

I still think On Marches and Life is the best thing I’ve ever written. Maybe I should write while sleep deprived more often.

Your favorite image on your blog–either yours or credit someone else?

Two of my favorite pictures of my kids. I’m pretty sure my wife’s uncle Tony took them both.


And now a list of blogs I enjoy and you should read:

Bitchin in the Kitchen

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50

A Walk and a Lark

Boldly Going Forward Because I Can’t Find Reverse

Randomly Jess

I’m Sick and So Are You

Gin & Lemonade

A Girl and Her Passport

But I Smile Anyway

Kate Mahar Writes

Life In a Nutshell

There are many more. I will admit that I went through my reader and comments as a reminder and picked people from there. I’m sure I missed a lot of people I should have included, but it’s almost time for dinner, so I have to with what I’ve got.


My Top Viewed Posts Over The Past 365 Days

Today should have been the day I was able to write a decent post. I work 1-9. I had all morning. I was not in the right head space to write this morning. I got out of the house and got coffee and read my book for a while, but it didn’t help. So, instead, here are the five posts that have been viewed the most over the past 365 days.

My Philly Adventure 

Photos from my trip to Philadelphia for the Public Library Association Conference. Likely the most viewed because I shared it in the conference’s Facebook group. There is a video in there of me at the ax throwing fundraiser.

My Life As a Jailbrarian: Library Fight Club

A series I guess I have discontinued since I haven’t written one in a while in which I talked about my life working in a jail library. This one is about the fights in the library.

Please Read Before You Comment

In which I complain about people commenting on posts without reading the post first.

Photo Challenge: Cheeky

One of my posts in response to a now dead photo challenge.

A Short Rant

In which I complain about people complaining about books because they have words they don’t like in them.

Coming To This Space Next Week

I only have a few minutes this morning before I have to leave for work, so I will use it to write a short post warning my new followers about what is coming next week.

If you read my week in review posts, you know I watch a lot of TV. I’ve watched a lot f TV since I was a kid. I once completed a poetry assignment in high school by converting the TV Guide in to a poem. The Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview issue for me is like the toy catalogs for kids around Christmas. I really like TV.

I started doing a daily “What’s on TV Tonight” post at the start of the fall TV season a few years ago. I will post one every day until everything has premiered. I will go through the 4 major TV networks and list what is on. I might have a few listings from cable if I am aware of them. I won’t talk about streaming services. It is pretty much the big 4 because I still watch a lot of network TV. One new shows air I will give my impression of them. I wouldn’t call the reviews. I can’t write a decent full review.

So, there might be a few other posts mixed in, but for the next couple of weeks it will be mostly TV. Sunday would be a good day to unfollow me.

My Blogging Brain is Empty

Laptop is open. Glimpses of ideas pop in and out of my head. I write a title. I write a sentence. I delete the sentence, think for a minute, and delete the title.  I can’t seem to get past a general idea and form a coherent post.  Some ideas are just not great ideas. Here are some of my rejected ideas from this morning:

A post about the rain – using the word moist a lot because I know people don’t like it.

A post about how I enjoyed being in the city for a conference and wish I was in the city every day for work.

A “what I’ve done over the last few days post” – it would have been very boring.

A post about some current events, about which I have no expertise and when I thought about them had no idea where to go with the post.

Something funny – I’m nowhere near the proper head space to write funny right now.

A post about my good sports streak(Braves still in 1st, Ravens blow out win, Kentucky beats Florida for the first time in 32 years)

A post about what I didn’t post about – Here it is in all its terrible “glory”

Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and be ready to write something real….probably not.