Saturday, July 16, 2011


I have foregone a lot of photos tonight because this is a long post. 
It was obvious right from the time I climbed out of bed this morning that we were in for another hot one.  I knew the Bayfield Burrito Bums would have to be on the road early to run a few errands in Goderich so off me & the furry Kid went about 9. (yes, yes I know it's supposed to be 'the furry Kid & I')  Picked up some 15 amp fuses for the Motor Home, a power bar along with some groceries & a gas fill up led us right to McDonalds.  It was another lightning hit & run mission through the take-out line & we were soon southbound for home happily munching down our Burrito.  Well, little Cora was doing more happy munching than me of course, not being a big Burrito fan.

I am going to cut right to the chase tonight & address some of the issues over my last two blog posts.  Someone asked why I bothered to respond to Max's comment in regards to  'writing about myself so much.'  I felt Max did not have an accurate overview of my blog.   I tried to explain to him publicly that yes, there is a lot of me in the blog & here is why that is.  Other Blogger's will understand but for people not familiar with the Blogging concept I can see where wrong impressions can be gathered. 

In the same theme of not understanding the blog concept I soon received another Anonymous comment saying this,  "Have you ever heard the phrase ‘self praise is no praise’? You should try it sometime!  Thanks for the comment Mary.  It was the word 'Praise' that bothered me most about this one.  Praise is not one of the front line words in my vocabulary so to make sure I totally understood the meaning of the word I scrambled off to Google for an explanation.  I think to apply that Praise phrase to my Max explanation was incorrect, too heavy & over the top.  Mary, I just don't think you understood my explanation to Max.  Nothing to do with praise of myself as you & that phrase allude too.

The next comment I wish to address is this one....
Commenter says:  "It sounds to me like what you are saying is ‘I want to dish it out’ but ‘I can’t take it’. Very similar to ‘having my cake and eating it too’. Neither of these will work. If you can’t accept criticism, it’s pointless starting a new blog because the criticism’s will just be transferred here and as a previous commenter already stated you’ll be known as a hypocrite. Maybe you could just answer the question as to why you’re so angry?"    long time blog follower.
AL says:  Yes, long time blog follower, that is exactly what I was honest enough to say & I make no bones about my thin skin.  You are correct in what you say.  It is true that I can dish it out far better than I can take it.  No point in me trying to hide that.  If the truth be known I think most people are probably the same way but some hide it better while others wouldn't admit it if it fell on them.  You are right about it being pointless to start a second blog & put my name on it because the feedback would spill over into this blog.   That's why I have so far not done that or figured out a way to do that.  That frustration leads into the word 'anger.' you mentioned.  I won't pull any punches here either.  Dam right I'm angry, aren't you, aren't a whole lot of people on this planet right now.  If your not, you should be!!  I am not a member of the Ostrich society with my head stuck in the sand!!  To deny there is a lot of bad stuff going on in this world is a sure fire way to obtain a free Ostrich membership.  Dam right I'm angry when I see the gullibility, the deception, the lies, the thievery & sheer stupidity going on all around us daily.  It angers me what the religions of the world get away with, the treacherous governments of the world, the dictators, the greed, the senseless killings, the politics of starving countries, the totally out of control drug problems rampant everywhere, the ineptitude, the big company scams & on & on it goes.  The list is endless, unless of course one has their head stuck in the seemingly safe security of hard packed sand where their tiny world is wondrously wonderful, falsely secure & all ticky boo pretty & nice!!  What drug problem you ask....get your !!#%&*% head out of the sand!!!!  Dam right I'm angry & you should be too!!  Despite my anger I do thank you for your comment.  I feel it was justifiable constructive criticism.
I will attempt to address the following commenter's remarks paragraph by paragraph. 
Commenter says:  "I barely read your blog to be honest, and it is entirely as a result of the design. I would suggest going minimal. If you are using wordpress, there are many minimal themes. There is also which has nice cheap themes that are simple to implement."
AL says:  I know you are trying to be helpful here but I am satisfied with my blog at it's current Blogger home.  If the design bothers you that much I suggest you NOT read it in it's present design form.'   You may already be doing that with that RSS stuff or whatever which I don't really understand.  I designed my blog with the tools available at Blogger.  Maybe not as professional looking as a well designed website but I put my blog site together with the following reasons in mind.  First, there is more to my blog site than just words.  My site is a combination of photography, writing & my creative interest in color & design. (as limited as it may be)  I did not want my blog looking like a standard newspaper article with black printing on a white background.  One of my hobbies is photography & one of the best backgrounds for digital photos is a black background.  Photos on a white background do not carry the same punch.  I enjoy writing so in order to write on a black background I had to chose a color & so on & so on.  You may notice my printing is a tad larger than other blogs too & that is to make it easier to read for older tired eyes.  A fellow Blogger once described my site as something that looked like a Kindergarten project.  So be it.   It's my blog & shows that I at least have a creative imagination.  I am comfortable with Google's Blogger format, know my way around the neighborhood & prefer to make whatever changes I am able to make within that format................................
Commenter says: "I think the point I am trying to make is that you mentioned you wanted to change up the blog as a way to make it more interesting to you. I disagree with that. The look and feel of a blog is not really relevant in comparison to other more important aspects of the blog."
AL says:  I could not disagree with you more!!  Of course the look & feel of a blog is relevant.  I do not understand where you are coming from with a statement like that.  What more important aspects of the blog?  It is all important to me.  All of it!!  The writing, the photography, the design & yes, the Kindergarten colors too:)) 
Commenter says:   "What will make the blog interesting, and keep you interested in writing is the actual writing, and has very little to do with the design."
AL says:  Again, couldn't disagree with you more.  It's the combination of my writing, photography & travel hobbies that pull it altogether & make it interesting for not only me but others as well.  I don't base that on my own theory, I base that on the thousands of favorable & positive comments from readers of my blog over the years. (no Mary, I am not Praising myself here)  My blog does not stand on it's writing alone, nor it's photography.  It is a combined effort with each complimenting the other.
Commenter says:   "It sounds to me like you know this deep down inside, as you mentioned that you wanted to start a second blog and say what you really want to say. I suggest you do so. I also suggest you don't start a second one. I few things can result... One would be that people will read the "dirty" blog, realize they don't agree with you, and stop reading both. Others will read the "dirty" blog, decide they do agree with you, find the "clean" one, determine that is disingenuous or at the very least, that you are playing both sides and stop reading. In the end, you will maintain two blogs, which is a pain in the butt, lose readers because they don't respect you etc."
AL says:  I agree with you here & feel that your insight is right.  Just want to clear up the word, 'dirty' though.  Nothing to do with sex.
Commenter says:   "So far, I have subscribed to 50 RSS feeds, and to be honest, I am pretty tired of looking at pictures of flowers all the time. There is a pretty heavy slant on those who are overly religious, overly republican, and in general, not much like me." 
AL says:  I am not understanding your 'heavy slant' reasoning.  Are you referring to me or the people on my blog roll as being over religious.  You may get that feeling from some folks but you will definitely not get that feeling from me.   Your reference to overly Republican falls totally on deaf ears here.  I am not politically oriented whatsoever & I simply throw a single blanket over all politicians.  Republicans Reshmublicans!!  Democrats Kabooblymats!!  Liberals Schamiberlas & Conservatives Gablurbatives!!  All the same type of people, all cut from the same cloth, same deceptions, same lies, same, same, same regardless of who is in power.  When oh when will people ever wake up to that.  Nothing like politics or greed for money to bring out the absolute worst in otherwise good people!!  I know these statements won't win me any friends but think about it people.  Just stop & think about it!! 
Commenter says:   "So if you come out of the closet so to speak, you end up building a framework of content on your site that leads others to like minded blogs. It is a win win and I hope you go for it."
AL says:  Well dear commenter you just may have successfully, but temporarily, hauled me out of the closet a bit here alright & whether it results in a solid framework or a shaky house of cards remains to be seen.  I've got my money on the card house for now.
Commenter says:  "You can't please all the people all the time, but you certainly can gain the respect of all the people all the time if you staunchly stick to your own idea of what you care about."
AL says:  Let's hope that is the case & I do thank you for your 'constructive criticism.'
And now, to the last commenter.  This is a tough one to respond too but I do believe it needs a response.
Commenter says:  "One change I recommend you make to improve your mood is to remove the continuing references to your past dogs. You loved them, now they are gone and you need to move on. When you burn your hand in the flames it will only get better when you stop putting your hand back in the flames. Putting the rest of us through it will not help your blog readership. I for one can't help but respond by thinking oh my god he's got his dogs pictures in here again.
AL says:  First, I asked for constructive criticism & this is what this commenter has given me.  The commenter is simply stating what he thinks.  However, I feel this comment is a good example of how NOT to write a comment unless you are an insensitive person who doesn't care about how another person feels because if you did care you would not write something like this in the manner it is written.  It reminds me of a time in school years ago when the assignment may have been, 'write a paragraph to someone who has lost a couple members of the family telling them why you don't like them occasionally talking about or showing photos of them.'   Had this commenter's paragraph been handed in I would hope the teacher would have handed it right back with the instructions to rewrite it showing some understanding, compassion & caring.  None of that came across in the commenter's comment except for three words......"You loved them."  The commenter got his/her point across alright but it was not done in the sensitive manner it could have been done. No, I am not angry, but I am disappointed & I suppose if I really thought about it more, maybe I would feel sorry for this person's lack of feelings & understanding regarding the loss of our two beloved dogs.  Will I post more photos of Max & Checkers?  Darn right I will & you can count on it:))
Now, to sum up................. 
Some may wonder why I would take the time to respond to the above 'Anonymous' commenter's.  Well, they took the time to respond to me asking for constructive criticism & I didn't feel their comments dropped below my line of 'Sarcastic, Rude, Condescending or Demeaning.'  They had some good suggestions along with what I think were some misconceptions about me or my blog.  All's I did was try to answer them in a mature way that reflects how I feel.  Despite my elusive hermit like ways I do care what people think & I do care about what people say.  No Mary, I am not Praising myself here, just telling you what I think & how I feel.
I know this post is way over budget again but I do have a few more things to say before wrapping this all up & moving on.  I think this has been an interesting & rippling couple of blog days here in the otherwise placid waters of Blog Land.  Judging from mine & other people's posts & comments I feel we have stirred things up a bit, broached some thought provoking issues & expressed some ideas & concerns.  A few other bloggers have expressed their feelings on all this & it was interesting to read the comments on their posts.   I feel Donna K from TRAVELS IN THERAPY sums up her post very nicely on behalf of many Blogging folks out here in RV Blog Land.
Still lots more to say about all this but let's save that for another day, another time:))
GROANER'S CORNER:((  A few Hippopotamus Truths.............
What do you call an insincere hippo?
A hippocrite.
How can you get a hippo to do whatever you want?
Try hipponotism.

How do hippos commute?
In a hippopotabus.

What did the hippo get when he started exercising every day?

How do you vaccinate a hippo?
With a hippodermic needle.

Where should you bury a dead hippo?
In a hippocrypt.

What happens to hippos who get too cold?
They get hippothermia.

What do you call a hippo who thinks he's sick?
A hippochondriac.

Ok, ok, ok............that's enough of that!!
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right
now...... AL.


  1. Al, as with all blogs, yours belongs to you and no one else. You can write or post anything you wish and it matters not if anyone else likes it. We, the readers, have an option to read or not. I choose to read it. Your writing style keeps my interest. Your photography is exquisite - all of it.
    If you want to change your blog, do so, but only if you want to, not because of what anyone else say.

  2. Al, I have read your blog everyday but don't always read the comments. (too busy and tired with the garage sale going on). It's your blog, write whatever you want - post whatever pics you want - talk about your dogs - take pics of flowers - Don't worry, be happy! If someone doesn't like it and stops reading - another new reader will come on board. Life's too short to try to please everyone.

  3. Al, all you’ve really stirred up here is a hopeless conversation with a bunch of anonymous bozos. The rest of us here in blogland were, and are, chugging along nicely. You posted about how you’d maybe like to start another blog so you could really say what’s on your mind and also asked for suggestions. It seems like you’ve rejected them all but accepted all the favourable ones – that’s fine it’s your blog. I don’t think it’s moved anything ‘forward a notch’ at all as far as getting to know other bloggers any better. I sure don’t need anonymous comments for that – I’d rather communicate with my blogging friends directly.

    Debating anonymous bloggers is like wrestling in the mud with a pig. After a while, you get to realize that the pig likes it.

  4. I'm a Full Timer who loves your blog.

    Some people say obnoxious things in order to get attention, like the Kid who's always disrupting class and nobody is getting anything constructive done because they are always dealing with the "Drama" King.

    Ignore them, delete them and get on with a great blog that is always a good read.

    Don't worry yourself over some unhappy nobody who's sending out a rant of hate because their own life lacks meaning.

    They are uninformed. I have never read a self-serving or self glorifying entry you have written yet...

    I think you should talk about your passed Family Pets anytime you want. Some of us have been there and you're written memories bring our own personal happy memories to the surface to be fondly recalled again.

    Waste no further space to naysayers and know we real Road Nomads know where you are coming from and support you wholeheartedly.

  5. Al, I love your blog just the way it is. Tell the commenters to bugger off! If they don't like what they are seeing, they don't have to read it.

    Personally, I love your blog. I feel your pain when you talk about your dogs Checkers and Max.

    We lost our Portia 12 years ago and still miss her terribly. The pain eases, but the memories continue and that is good.

    Please keep writing as you do. We will continue to read, to laugh and to cry with you...

  6. You know I like your blog Al and agree with you on many things. I love that you still post pictures of Checkers and Max and I like your bird and flower photos and your writing style. But I do have to disagree with one thing you said tonight.

    I am not angry. I am concerned about things that are going on in this world but the sad truth is, there is very little I can do about it other than to vote. The political machinery that is entrenched in both our countries, is likely to be still chugging along long after both of us are on the wrong side of the grass.

    I choose to not expend any of my energy on anger. I choose to affect those around me in the most positive manner I can. I cannot change the world but I can perhaps change MY world by being the best person that I can be and perhaps being a good influence on those around me.

    I refuse to let the events of the world or those in power steal my joy. I am not an ostrich - I am aware but I do not watch the news on a regular basis, I do not take a local paper, and I rarely read Yahoo news. The news media cannot sell papers or ads with good news and so they focus on all the worst news they can find...and then slant it to make it seem even worse than reality. I spend my time enjoying this world and looking for all the good in it - and there is a mighty big helping of GOOD still out there. That is what I choose to focus on.

    P.S. I know this comment is too long so don't feel you have to post it if you don't want to. I won't be offended...honest!!

  7. I am not one of your registered followers, I am just another at in the race who would love to do what you and so many others are doing. But I can't so I travel with you and the rest of the bloggers out there. Just check your mirror sometime, you will see me curled up beside Mo.

    Ever heard the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? You are not here for ratings or public approval. You like writing the blog. The end result shows that so just keep doing what you have been doing until such time as you, and you alone, think it is time to change it. Wanna voice your opinion about things? Go ahead, it is your blog.

    Regarding your animals. Seeing pics of the critters just lets us know what and who you are. One of the good guys who gave them as much as they gave you. No shame in that.

    Calm down, fella. You are doing what you want and no-one has the right to tell you otherwise.


  8. Your blog. That's what it's all about. And please keep posting pictures of Checkers and Max. I miss them too.

  9. Love your blog.
    Love your dogs.
    Love your pics.
    Love your words.

    Keep it up!!!!

  10. Hey, cranky curmudgeon! Keep on doing what you do the way you want to do it. It's YOUR blog, and it comes from your heart.

  11. Al, I love your Blog! I love your pics! I don't have a Blog, but I love to read yours! I don't have a dog, but I really enjoy reading about yours - past and present! Of course, you want to write about the ones that are no longer with you - they were an important part of your family, and you miss them!

    I vote for you doing what you want to do in your Blog - after all it is YOUR Blog!!!!

    Thanks so much for providing such a great Blog!


  12. Al, I think many of us are struggling these days to remain positive and happy. Years past, dreams were always on the horizon and seemed attainable. Not so much now. You are right about a lot to be angry about. There is great change happening these days for better or worse. It is creating a lot of anxiety and fear. Maybe we need to talk about it.


  13. I will echo the comments of those who said if a person doesn't like the way you write or the content of your blog, simply quit reading it. I feel the same way about negative comments on my blog, and I really wish those who criticize would just quit reading.

    Keep on writing what and how you feel and those who understand and are interested in what you write about will keep reading it.

  14. For the readers out there that don't like your blog... stop reading it!

    I am personally looking forward to hearing how Max and Checkers became part of the Bunch in the first place. I know when you're ready, you'll share their story. Besides it's great therapy.

    Keep doing what your doing Al, and throw the trashy comments out into cyberspace where they belong.


  15. A little reminder that the only time "it's" has an apostrophe is when it is a contraction for the two words "it is", otherwise it's "its" :)


  16. holy dyna!..that was quite the post..good for you for voicing your opinion! thought on the matter?..if it ain't broke don't fix it..if you don't like it don't read it..if you don't have anything nice to say keep your dang comments to yourself!..I have always thought if you don't have anything nice to say..then keep quiet!!..and as for these anonoymous commenters..I still wonder if they had to sign in with their name would they say anything at all??..and besides if they are anonymous? they have a blog?..lets see their pictures and read their thoughts!!!!..
    I like Rick's anaology..the pigs in the mud..bloggers in the bear pit..same thing...

  17. We can never have enough flowers! And yours a wonderous!

  18. I read the comment about the doggie guys with complete disbelief. How in the heck could anyone write something like that? When you announced that Checkers had passed, I broke into tears, and I had never so much as patted her on the head, but I knew how much it meant to you! The bond with our pets is priceless, so post every picture you have of the doggies and I for one will remember them with all the fun that they afforded you and the rest of us out here in blogland!!!

  19. Al, I've never met you in person but based on your blog I bet we'd get along just fine. And Jed would like you, too. That's all that matters to me. You're you, and it comes through loud & clear in your blog. I agree with the comment above that you ought to just delete the obnoxious anonymous comments and move on. That's the beauty of blogging -- you control it.

  20. As Winston Churchill once said "Keep Calm and Carry on" [at least I think it was him!!] So Al, don't let people upset you, they are not worth it. I absolutely love your blog and all that is in it and especially love any reference to all your dogs. Some people will never know the love and devotion that they give us.
    I'm sorry I come up as anomymous, I don't have a blog and I don't want my email address to show to everyone. I don't know any other way to comment.
    Keep on blogging Al. I sure would miss my daily fix.
    If I click name/URL would my email show on my comment?

  21. Love your is yours and do it the way you want. You write everyday and I for one look forward to reading it everyday. Your pics are wonderful. I have been some of the places in Arizona where you camped. My wife and I lived two miles from the Mexican border near Palominas after we retired. I look forward to you getting back on the road although I enjoy seeing the pictures of your wonderful place in Canada. Keep up the good writing and pay the whiners no mind. By the way, "its or it's" write it anyway you want....I get what it means.

  22. Al, we are all thin skinned when it comes to some of the anonymous things that make it into our comments.I have to admit I am more zealous with the delete button than you. Also the comment from the obvious non dog lover was so insensitive as to defy belief, I am sure you have noticed I memorialize my lost doggies on more than one occasion whenever my mood see's fit, they gave so much love and loyalty and in the case of my one police dog her life. Keep up the good work and maybe someday Max & Checkers will say "Hey Pop I met a neat police dog up here from the USA she said you know her Dad". Be safe out there my friend. Sam & Donna..

  23. Geesh. If people don't like something why don't they just go elsewhere. No need to criticize anyone for their tastes, etc. Me, I enjoy your blog. Peace starts with the first words out of your mouth. Peace to all!!

  24. Al, I, too, have a black background and similar color scheme on my blog. I find it groovy that we share the same feeling about photos against a black background. Mine also has the color scheme of a Crayola box but, hey, it's my blog as yours is yours and I can darn well do what I want.

    That brings up a memory of touring Jacques Cousteau's Calypso when I was a budding wee teenage lassie. There was a sign hanging in the Captain's cabin which said, "This is my ship and I can do as I damn well please." Loved it then, love it now.

    So sail your ship where and how you please, Captain Al.

    The more I read, the more I hope someday you and yours and me and mine can share a campfire for an evening or two.

    Blog on, dude!

  25. I think it still boils down to the fact that it is "your" blog Al, and you will do it the way you want, regarding content, pictures, format etc... You have a very large following due to the fact most people enjoy reading your blog. They would not come back if they didn't like reading it. I have enjoyed reading your blog from the get go... and will continue to read it, as I enjoy it, learn from it, and am entertained from it. I understand you may want to change things from time to time... as the Nike Commercial says "Just Do IT".

  26. Hey Al if people don't like reading your blog they should read mine,that will make them sorry and love your's.

  27. Hey Al
    Great blog!! I read it daily and it is a bright spot to my day. Please don't change much if anything. I, like some others, do not have a blog site so I check the anon. box.
    Just one question, did you finish the story on the antique lamp? If so, I must have missed it.
    Please take care and keep up the great work.
    Don in Okla.
    PS More pictures especially of Motor Mouse!!

  28. 296 people can't be wrong. Keep up the good work. To heck with the complainers.
    'Restless will thou ever be until we find ourselves in thee" from St. Augustine.
    Judging from your writing you are seeking a higher plane...go ahead and explore. We'll listen.

  29. Although we have never registered officially as readers we have read your blog faithfully for over two years. I write a personal blog and a work one, and you can never please everyone. My suggestion to anyone who doesn't enjoy your blog is thatbthey stopmreading it. Yikes what a world:). Keep it up judgment way youbare!!!

  30. Hi Al, Loved your blog today. To the person that said to quit writing about the dogs is an insensitive boob! A good friend of mine just lost his wife in a rafting accident. I have encouraged him to write his feelings out on his blog as therapy. Just as you wrote out your feelings on Max and Checkers and continue to. Do they not understand that it is healing therapy? Selfish people they are. Keep up the good work Al, I look forward to reading your blog for a long long time.

  31. Whewie! We have often told you it's your blog. Everybody else (almost everybody else) seems to think so also. Go for it, make a change, don't make a change. We'll stick around, skip over anything that we don't want to read about, look at pictures of flowers and dogs and boats in the water or on land.

  32. Wow Al :)
    I for one love you design and layout, I read your blog daily because of the design is easy to follow, and I also like black background with white printing, and your pics :) what more can I say, I love them.
    We also lost 2 pets in March, and I very much miss them, I have not wanted to impose, but I am hoping that you will tell us what happened, of course when your ready, I know, I'm still having a hard time talking about mine.
    I know you don't read fiction, but I have a suggestion for you, it is written by Philip Caputo the book is crossers. Southern AZ a very well written book, with lots of real history.
    Thank you for your blog, I enjoy reading it daily, and tell Kelly Hi :)
    phxmtngirl (Joy)

  33. Obviously, one of your commenters has missed a lot in life by assuming that your pups were here, gone, and should be forgotten.

    What a sad existence for a person to miss the true joy of having us for best friends. (probably will annoy him that I'm a dog and I'm commenting) Our Lizzie will be forever in our hearts. (giggle)~ Jack