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.


It’s Hard to Be a Blogger When You’re Boring

I recently posted that I have trouble coming up with blogging ideas and asked for ideas. I was having trouble with a topic for my post this morning and thought I might use one of the ideas my friend Sara Leigh suggested. I started thinking about the things I would do when I retire(or quit my job now). I had ideas of what those things would be and I still might do that post soon, but I will warn you that it was pretty boring. I might become the world’s most boring retiree. It fits, though, since I am a very boring person.

Being a boring person makes it hard to not be a boring blogger. I read other blogs and a lot of them can find an anecdote from an ordinary day and make it in to an interesting post. Jenny Lawson is the best at this. I’m not trying to be Jenny Lawson, but it would be nice to be able to take more from every day life and make it an interesting post. This is hard for me as the following is my typical day and why they wouldn’t make a good post:

Wake up, read the paper, watch the news, write a boring blog post – I’m already in the process of boring you with a post about writing boring blog posts.

Go to work – I try not to talk about work online for a variety of reasons. Coworkers read this blog. I don’t people to think this blog is in any way associated with my place of work. It isn’t. This blog is representative of the common tater from Tater World Headquarters.

Come home, eat dinner, read/watch TV – Boring, boring, boring. I do get a Friday post out of what I watch and read, so I guess that counts as something I do that generates a blog post.

Weekends I do yard work, laundry, cleaning, attend church. Nothing that generally gives me a good story for the blog.

I used to do more commentary on current events and things I see on the Today Show. Maybe I can do more of that moving forward.

Maybe I can try to do more interesting things. Maybe I can use my upcoming time alone to craft better posts that would make the mundane seem interesting.

Blogging is hard for a common tater.

Tater Takes Requests

I’ve been going through writing ideas in my head and then rejecting them.

There was an article about Elvis in the Post this morning and I just watched the HBO Elvis documentaries. I thought about an Elvis post, but didn’t think I had a full post of material. I will say that if I had to choose to only listen to Elvis or the Beatles forever, I would choose Elvis.

I thought about a full music post, but rejected that one for reasons unknown to even me. I share new songs from my favorite bands n Facebook, but I’m pretty sure no one ever listens to them. I’m not sure anyone wants another music post from me. I will say that I have been spending more time on Prime Country on Sirius while driving these days.  I listened to quite a bit of country as a kid and then again in the 90’s(because I didn’t like the new “pop” music).

Nothing else has struck me as something I feel the need to write about.  No one needs another whiny post from me.

So, you get this “I don’t know what to write” posts.

Now, the reason for the title – What would you like me to write about? Any topic ideas? Stories from my life? Requests that I give up and stop trying?

Facebook: Keeping You Safe From Tater Since 2018

I know that being on Facebook isn’t cool anymore, but I’m still there(because I’m not cool) and get more interaction there than any other social media site. I share my blog posts on Facebook and routinely share articles and news I think my friends will enjoy. This week, I seem to have been caught up in Facebook’s crackdown on fake and spam accounts.

I am an Atlanta Braves fan living outside Baltimore. When the Orioles traded two players to Atlanta, making that now five former Orioles on my team, I shared the article I saw on Twitter to Facebook. An hour or so later I had a notification telling me that Facebook had removed the post because it looked like spam. I clicked the “this isn’t spam” thing, complained about it, and it was restored. It was a minor annoyance and means nothing in the general scheme of things. I complained(because that’s what I do) and I moved on with life. It is annoying, though, that the majority of my feed these days are people sharing quizzes, “what would you look like as the opposite sex” things, articles from dubious sites, etc and they somehow all make it through the screening process. I recently shared a Snopes article after multiple people shared a prayer request that has been floating around since 2010 and is not even an accurate account of the original incident. That seems OK to Facebook.  But an accurate article about a baseball trade” THIS SHALL NOT STAND! Ok, maybe I am still a little bitter.

Yesterday, I noticed a blog post didn’t share to Facebook and then I received an email from WordPress telling me that Facebook no longer allows WordPress to share posts to a personal profile. I can share it to a page(and now this will post to my Tater page) or I can share it manually to my profile. I just can’t have it share automatically to my personal profile unless I make it a page instead. So, it can still be there, I just have to use one extra step to get it there. I guess they think if I’m a Russian agent trying to topple our democracy that one extra step will thwart me.

“I have to post this article that will destroy America manually? That will take another 30 seconds. Damn you Facebook! America lives to see another day!”

On the plus side, Facebook seems determined to save my friends from my Tater posts. I’m sure they all slept better last night.