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INTERESTING STUFF – 17 December 2016

TGB Blog Community Housekeeping


There is so much to distract us this December - well, me anyway. The holidays (even though I don't do much beyond Hannukah candles), too many rescheduled appointments due to weather recently and most of all the frightful events in Washington, D.C.

I mean Kanye West? Carly Fiorina? Rick Perry? Even Bill Gates has been seduced by *. God help us.

As behind in daily life as I am or feel (I don't know which), there is one issue that you, dear readers, can help with. In recent weeks, there has been a sizeable uptick in the number of TGB readers with dozens of new email subscribers, Facebook followers, LinkedIn connections, etc.

Certainly this is a good problem to have but it means that newcomers don't necessarily know some of the guidelines that old-timers are familiar with. So as I do once every year or so, here is a reminder of the rules of the road at Time Goes By.

Mostly, these involve the Comments section. I've worked hard over the 12-plus years of this blog to make it not just interesting but a safe place for old people and others interested in ageing to hang out.

With the help of people who take part in the conversation, the comment section is often a more compelling read than my posts and has become - without much help from me - a comfortable community where, metaphorically, we can sit around over a cup of tea and have good chat. Here are the customs and practices that help keep it that way:

• No ALL CAPS. On the internet and in email, writing in all caps is considered shouting. It is also difficult to read. So watch your capslock key except when you need to emphasize a word or short phrase.

• No long blocks of text. Leave a line space between short paragraphs. All that takes is hitting the "enter" key twice at the end of the last sentence in a paragraph. No one bothers to read long blocks of uninterrupted text. You put an effort into what you write so make it readable.

Remember – hit the "enter" key twice to make an empty space between paragraphs.

• No links. I spend a great deal of time removing links to retailers, advertisers, even web pornographers and general trolls who write comments they think sound real (they don't) and then link to their store or x-rated material.

I do not have time to check each and every link in the comments and, frankly, legitimate links are often broken anyway, leading nowhere or to 404 error pages.

So, no links. I no longer bother to check them, I just delete them along with the reference to them in the comment.

• No off-topic comments. When comments unrelated to the post's topic appear, it interrupts the conversation. One of the things that makes TGB comments so exceptional is that people respond to one another and it is not uncommon for some to return during the day and follow up again on other people's comments.

In doing this, you all help make the comments at this blog a richer, more compelling conversation than at many other blogs. I know that I learn from you who give me a lot of interesting ideas to think about.

• No personal attacks. If you disagree with what I have written or what a previous commenter has written, by all means let us know.

Explain why you disagree but keep your comment within the bounds of the ideas and thoughts and not a personal attack. You get no second chance at this. If it happens, you are permanently banned from commenting.

• No religious, ethnic, racist, gender, LGBTQ, etc. slurs. Ever. No second chances and no recourse.

• Your comment signature. A name and email address are required information on the comment form. You may use any name you want; it does not need to be your real name. But the email address must be real. It is used for confirmation purposes only and is never published.

The third information box on the comment form is labeled “Web Site URL.” You may insert the URL of your blog if you have one or your Facebook page or Pinterest, etc. Your name (whatever you use) will then become a link to that URL.

However, only personal blogs and pages are allowed. If you have a retail or commercial or product/service promotional website, you may not use that URL. There is already too much online advertising and TGB does not accept any form of advertising.

• How to comment. A lot of the email I get is from people who don't know how to comment. Invariably they read this blog via email and maybe Facebook. You cannot comment directly from those platforms. You must go to the blog post in your browser. To do that, just click the title of the story and it will open in your browser.

Scroll to the bottom of the story and click the word "Comments." The story will reopen with a form at the bottom of the comments that have already been posted. Write your comment, fill in the form as described above and click "Post." It will be published at the bottom of the comments.

• Contacting me. Above the banner at the top of every page here is a “Contact” link. It opens a form to send me a private email that is not published. Mostly, readers use it to send me suggestions for Saturday's Interesting Stuff post or other blog-related information.

For a long time I have tried to respond to every message and have mostly done that. But now, there are so many that I can no longer make that a goal and still have a life.

What will not change is that I read every email from you, dear readers, and when I use the information – in Interesting Stuff or a blog post – I do my best to give proper credit. Undoubtedly, I've screwed that up now and then but I don't think it's happened often.

So, there you are. These are the practices I follow at TGB. They - and you following the guidelines - have kept this blog vital and viable for more than a dozen years. I look forward not just to producing it – and I do enjoy that – but to finding out what you have to say about it every day.

I am so lucky to have discovered this project for my old age. Even better I had no idea when I began that it would give me the opportunity to meet and come to know so many interesting people. You make my day. Every day.



Good Morning! Happy Blogging in 2017!

"I am so lucky to have discovered this project.... You make my day."

Right back at ya, Ronni. We readers are the lucky ones. I have learned so much from your useful, informative, entertaining blog, and from the TGB community of readers. I'm especially grateful that you provide a forum for readers to comment without fear of vitriol from another's remarks.

This simply feels like a place where everyone respects one another. As * reminds us by example nearly daily, respect for one another is not always the rule.

Morning, Ronni,

I like the artwork you added today.

These days I struggle to find ways to keep much of * information out of sight and mind. Very possibly, he will be given wide swaths of media attention, who continue their obsession with him. So I read sparingly to keep informed.

Already * fulfilled a prophesy - as Eisenhower warned of a military-industrial coalition in this country, * has done that with his cabinet choices, though the industrial might change out to financial.

And an uptick in readers to your blog, who's surprised about that. It's easy to imagine the many, many people who find immediate interest and kinship when they seek out or stumble onto your site.

Thanks also for your strict rules and keeping out any trolls.

I, too, thank you for your vigilance in having and keeping strict rules for your comment section. And also for explaining to those who do it, why long blocks of text with no break is so annoying. That's my personal pet peeve.

Have a good holiday season, Ronni and thank you for keeping us all informed and entertained.

One of the high points in this year's blogging experience for me has been to meet you and your followers.

Thank you for your insights, ideas, musings, sharings, suggestions, and forthrightness...and for generously providing this forum for us.

Happy holidays after a year beset with political disappointments but personal joys.

I echo others' comments here about the quality of this blog and your diligence in keeping it informative, friendly and respectful. You've done an admirable job over the years and I look forward to continued education, enlightenment and entertainment from this site in 2017.

Bless your heart, Ronni. The community here is a special gem. These days, we all need more contact with sympathetic hearts, to keep hope alive.

So happy to hear about the increase in subscribers. Welcome to all newcomers! The posts are interesting and the comments are insightful and helpful.

Thank you for the reminder of this blog's sensible rules. I forgot one of them once and you were so kind to remind me without being snide.

TGB has become so much a part of my life that it's almost an addiction. Thanks to all of you and welcome to the new readers.

Very reasonable rules. They make reading your blog a very pleasant experience. Thank you for setting these limits.

I add my thanks Ronni, for your maintenance of this high quality blog. I look forward to our regular "chat over a cup of tea" with you and all who comment.

Best wishes for a happy Holiday!

Ronni, I'm 82 and for many years a regular reader of Time Goes By, as Darlene comments "it's almost an addiction." This morning I decided it was time for me to add my thank you for all the information and entertainment you share with us.

And to personally wish you Happy Holidays and to say how much I look forward to your blog posts in 2017 and many years to come.

Keep up the great work, Ronni. We all appreciate your efforts and the community you bring together.

What they all said!


To my intelligent, witty, honest, industrious, kind blog friend, Ronni: Thank you for all of the years of bemusement, education, entertainment, and kindness that you have provided me.

I believe that you had been blogging for a bit over one year when I was snared into your sphere of influence. That was a good day! Your life experiences have differed so much from mind that it is always thought-provoking to get your slant on life.

Thanks for the reminders in today's posting, happy holidays, and I hope that 2017 remains productive and rewarding for you.

"...from mine that it is...."

I read a comment by the real First Lady this morning. Something like "we have lost all hope" when explaining why the lach of holiday cheer found in so many groups lately.
With that I also want to thank you, Ronni, for all your work to help make our lives better ones. You are my primary resource when it comes to aging issues.
All of us owe you a huge rousing cheer of heartfelt THANKS!!

I join the chorus of "thank you's". There will not be much to cheer about in the next 4 years under the * administration. HRC's "basket of deplorables" seems like an increasingly accurate description when looking at his choice of cabinet members and advisers. What a perfect example of white male dominance with two token exceptions.

An aside: As I took a passing glance at *'s two older sons before turning off the TV (which is off a lot more these days), it struck me how totally "entitled" they seem in demeanor and appearance. Unfortunately, some of what I've read of their views on minorities and women tends to match their appearance. One of them reportedly favors appointing a hunting buddy as secretary of the interior. OMG!

The others have said it so well.
Thank you, Ronni, for all your work and the opportunity to get to know all the
readers you have gathered together to exchange information and friendship with.

If I have any complaint, it's that I'm on Eastern time and when I get up and on the
computer in the morning, I have to wait till you wake up to get my shot of Ronni.
So I check the news and get stuck with *.

Best wishes for all for 2017

Sensible request. Enjoy my read but admit I can't read all the comments. :-)

Yes, thank you, Ronnie!

Thank you for TGB and all the work you put into it. Because of your vigilance, I always read the comments and feel a part of the community you've established, even though I seldom comment.

Wishing you and all your readers the warmth and joy of the holiday season.

Thank you so much, Ronni, for making this refuge.

And thank you for posting your rules again. I admit I've forgotten the no-links rule once or twice, and I apologize for making extra work for you. Honest, it was always just something I thought people would find useful or informative -- many places where I comment pretty much require that you support what you say with a link to a reliable source, so it's become a habit -- but I totally get why you have that rule. New Year's Resolution: Don't forget again! >.<

May we all have a happy holiday season, and let's take as much joy as we can from little things.

I know many of you post useful or interesting links and I appreciate that. But far more people don't, and a lot who mean well screw up the link and as I wrote, it's just way too much time to check them all.

With glee at opposing *, let me say Happy Holidays to you.

A big merci from your friend in Montreal.

Your blog. Your rules.

It's minus 28C in our northern city.

Rabbit tracks across my back lawn.

Time for a hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Cheers and handshakes all around.

Thank you Ronni, I really enjoy TGB and Peter Tibbles' weekly music posts. Keep up the good work, 2017 will be a very interesting year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!!

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