Friday, July 23, 2010



The overnight rains dropped our temps a bit but I think all the extra moisture in the air really ramped up the humidity again.  Painted one side of the utility trailer panels this morning but I have a feeling they will be a long time drying.  Cleaning windows is not one of my favorite things but with a spare squirt of energy & some half hearted enthusiasm I at least managed to get our living room windows done today.



The morning's rain gave me an excuse to make a Jeep run & check for any water leaks in case we had not installed the hard top correctly a few days ago.  Everything checked out dry so I chalked that up as an extra bonus for the day.



A fair few bloggers seemed to come down with haircuts this past week or so & this morning I was no exception.

DSC_0004-4                    DSC_0002

ORDERS FROM HEADQUARTERS came down this morning saying if I did not get a haircut I would not be allowed to leave the house without a bag on my head.  I tried on the bag.........& then I got the haircut!!  That scared me so bad I figured I had better trim my beard up as well.......................!!

This coming September will mark my third year of blogging & in these past 3 years I have developed some thoughts, ideas & opinions about what I think makes some blogs more readable than others.  I am going to go out on a limb here & offer some do's & don'ts as I see it.  Most important is to remember these are only my thoughts & my thoughts alone.  You may agree with some of them or you may not & there is nothing personal here.  Everyone sees things differently & I am certainly no expert on blogging but here goes my thoughts anyway.

- Do not put music on your blog.  It is annoying!!  If you insist on music then offer it as an option.  Put a button at the top of your blog which people can click on if they really want to hear your most favorite song of all times.   Some people put in a video option but the key word there is 'option.'  Do not make it a default video that people have to sit through.  Same thing with 'Slide Shows.'  Remember, there are still a lot of internet folks out here with slow internet speeds plus all the Air Card people with their 5 Gig limits.  That audio visual stuff just totally chews up download times & bandwidth.

- Don't load your site with aggravating advertising, regardless of how much you think you need the .49 cents a month extra income.  If I click on a site that is loaded with stationary or pop up advertising I immediately pop right out of there & I do not return.  I have seen blogs so full of advertising that it was hard to find the actual post itself.

- Try not to fall into the rut of starting your blog off everyday with the same words & morning routines you used the day before or the day before that, or......  Be creative.  You do not have to start your blog from the very beginning moments of awakening.  The blog does not have to have a standard beginning or ending.  Again, be creative & think outside the box.  Start each day from a different perspective.  In any book, that first paragraph can make or break the reader's interest in the rest of the story!!  I had to drop a blog last summer because after about 3 months I could not get past the first paragraph anymore because of basically the same routine every morning.  Nice people I'm sure but after awhile I just referred to it as, 'the coffee blog' & moved on.

- Stay away from all that glitz, glamour & glitter stuff.  Dancing bears, frolicking flamingos, Las Vegas billboard lights, reams of happy faces & flying Brazilian billboards proclaiming that you, 'Have A Nice Day!!'

- Some bloggers promote their blog sites by encouraging people to leave comments or join their Followers lists.  Nothing wrong with that of course & we all look forward to comments & Followers but it's just not in my nature to do that despite my 'Followers' list being dead in the water for the past couple months.

- Do not ramble on with long drawn out blogs like I do.  Make them shorter & keep them interesting.  And yes, I know my blog photos are too big.

- Write your post in short paragraphs & avoid running your whole blog into one long rambling hard to read blonk.  I used to do that until a reader straightened me out.

- Try to vary your blog topics every day & avoid getting tunneled into the same project, mood or subject matter over & over.  In other words, keep people guessing about what your next post is going to be about.   Make tomorrow's post different from today's.

- A step by step, blow by blow description of a button factory tour can get pretty dry pretty quick.  Add a link to the button factory & let the reader click on that if he wants' to know how many colored buttons are sewn backwards onto a checkerboard jelly bean shirt on assembly line B.

- Remember to add your thoughts, feelings, & opinions about what you are seeing & doing when traveling.  Not just, "well, then we went to Bill's Bargain Mart & I got a fly swatter & then we drove to Ambercrombieville & Hank got an ice cream cone with birdseed sprinkles on it & then we decided it was time to go home so we went home & George drove the car but not too fast because we met Sally & Mike and Wally & Rita and Bert and Ernie and Dorothy & Jim and Rosie & Rufus and, and, and, and, etc. etc. etc!!  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:((  Be creative & use your imagination.  Throw in some humor, add some feelings.  Again, get yourself outside the box & push some boundaries. 

- Don't do as I have done in the past by poo pooing certain areas of the country or States just because they are not in MY area of interest.  Be understanding & considerate of other people's choice of RV vehicles or style of RVing.  Because you don't agree with or care for things does not mean you have to put it in your blog.  Some things are best left un-said.  Trust me on this one folks.....I know what I am talking about:))

- If you must take a fellow blogger to task over something, do it in a private email & not in your blog.

- Be creative with your comments on other people's blogs.  Make them original, personal & heartfelt.

- Don't write a few lines, publish it & then come back a few hours later & do the same thing.  This is a supposedly clever method used by some to keep people coming back again & again clicking on their site maybe 5 or 6 times a day & that way increasing the numbers & advertising revenues on that particular blog.  Again, probably nothing wrong with that except to me it is putting the advertising dollars first instead of the readers.  Not in my nature to do that.

- Keep your blog printing font size on the large side.  Not everyone has eagle eye vision anymore.  And don't let your font color bleed into your background color making it nearly invisible.

- And remember, our blogs are mainly geared to the RV Lifestyle & related matters.  They are not a platform for political or religious views & bellowing!!  If you want to do that, start up a second blog & target those particular markets accordingly.....and good luck!!

Well, there you have it, I am all thought out for another day.  Just wanted to share a few opinions on blogging with the hopes I may have said something here that may help someone.  At least get people thinking.  More likely enough fodder to get myself into trouble again though.  Oh well, just remember, there are no hard & fast rules for bloggers......just opinions................................ Toodles:)) 


GROANER'S CORNER:((  Just heard about an 83 year old woman who talked herself out of a speeding ticket by telling the young police officer that she had to get there before she forgot where she was going.
Makes perfectly good sense to me.....


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.




AL'S SMUG MUG PHOTO GALLERY (a work in progress)

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. Those hedge trimmers look very similar to the ones I used on my hair....My suggestion...keep them will oiled! Great bog, Al...I think I have been offending many people, but that's just how I am...I really take to heart the paragraphs that are waaaay too long...I tend to do that too. Thanks for the pointers....I will, of course, probably continue to do just the opposite...I am a crazy lady, and have no excuse for that...Hey to Kelly...she has a "keeper" in you!!!

  2. I've been following your blog for some time now. It is one of a very few that I look forward to reading daily. Yours photos are beautiful, your commentary insightful and your "Groaner's Corner" always humorous. Today's post was particularly good regarding your 'thoughts and ideas' on blogging. I must admit that I "try out" many blogs and usually cancel most for just the reasons you put forth. Thanks for doing so and doing it well.

  3. This was an interesting post today, Al. I have to admit I am guilty of a couple of your "don'ts" but have tried to improve (posts too long for one thing). One of the biggest issues to me that you wrote about was the begging for Followers I sometimes see out there. I figure if people want to Follow my blog...fine, they can Follow. If they don't...they won't! Maybe I should try to make my font size bigger - that's a good idea you have.

    Thanks for the opinions. Opinions are always interesting to read.

  4. I really love the picture of the jeep on the beach looking towards Detroit. And I think I prefer the hardtop to the softtop, but then if I had both and tried them both out, I might feel differently.

    Good post tonight, and you put into words some things I feel very strongly about. One is about the music. I am one of those people with a 5GB limit, and I often do other things with my bandwidth, so the blogs with musical accompaniment are the first to go.

  5. Way to go on the blogger guidelines...although I do plead guilty on the long posts one. LOL! I just have a hard time writing short blogs, even when I swear that is what I am going to do.

  6. Great post with some mighty good thoughts. Sold my hedge trimmers in a yard sale, so I can't grow my beard now.
    I like your pics so don't make them smaller.
    Take care and be safe!

    Mike & Gerri

  7. Well, Al, I once again find myself pretty much in agreement with all of your "suggestions and opinions" tonight! Maybe after I sleep on it, I just might be able to muster up a few strong objections!!

    Probably not though, I think what you've said is good advice for all of us to review once in a while and make sure we don't fall into bad blogging habits!

    Starting off a blog the same way everyday is one issue that I'm glad you mentioned. If the purpose of a blog is to highlight an event, a place, an idea etc., then say it right away and talk about it - don't bury it 5 paragraphs down. Hmmm, that's good advice, I better remember that myself!!

  8. Some great ideas Al! Quite thought provoking. Looks like I will be changing my blog some because of your insightful suggestions.

    One thing I used to do was the music but got rid of that pretty fast because of the reasons you stated. It was annoying to most folks...

    Now to change things up and get away from that repetition thing...

    Great post!

  9. Hey Al, good suggestions and guidelines for blogging! I may have done one or two of those - but not music!! I've never seen a blog with music attached - I think that would get pretty annoying very quickly. I hadn't thought about trying to make my font size bigger - but I think my posts may sometimes be on the long side - wouldn't that make it worse?? LOL At least I'm not guilty of trying to get people to follow my blog (well, except for my mother - does that count?) ;)

  10. Great suggestions on the blogs, Al. My pet peeve is the post that goes on and on with no paragraph breaks. When I have to follow along with my finger to the screen, I know I won't be reading that blog for long!

    But... "And remember, our blogs are mainly geared to the RV Lifestyle & related matters. They are not a platform for political or religious views & bellowing!! If you want to do that, start up a second blog & target those particular markets accordingly.....and good luck!!"

    Hey, my blog is for whatever I want to say! I don't tend to bellow much, but I reserve my right to do so. Or complain about certain parts of the country. :) I write to express myself. If only 10 readers like what I have to say (or zero - but I know I'll always have my family!), so be it. This isn't a job and I have no one to please but myself. (No advertising on my blog, you'll notice.)

    As always, it is fun to read your opinions, even when misguided. Tee-hee, as Rosanna says!

  11. Good suggestions, Al. I'm basically in agreement with all of them -- especially regarding the music! I find blogs that I enjoy reading (typically lots of pictures that tell more of the story than words do), and try to "copy" that style. I'm still working on keeping my blog interesting! Thanks for the insights!

  12. Right on with the blogging guidelines, Al. I think (hope) I subscribe to all of them. I also find tedious those blog posts with dozens of photos of relatives; I'll click out pretty quickly from that. Why not put those in an album and link to it?

  13. You're the man again, Al! WHile we consider ourselves Christians, we don't like the preaching we see all too often in blogs. A little bit of thanksfulness for God's blessings is welcome, but the preaching isn't. We'll skip those. Music? That's a killer. It's fun to see a lot of good pictures, but they don't have to be GREAT pictures - just explanatory. I too often don't have enough (or sometimes ANY)pictures, and I gotta do better there. THanks for posting your suggestions - they are all good ones.

  14. Great post today Al and I love your hair trimmer-what a hoot. The blog suggestions are great and I am glad you don't follow them totally yourself - I would miss the occasional rant and the big photos. I agree with keeping our rv blogs on subject but I don't mind personal opinions political or otherwise as long as the tone isn't one that insists I agree with them or get off the planet. Since we are fairly new bloggers they are great guidelines to consider.

    What i appreciate the most about you Al is keep us all thinking and for us old folks we need a lot of mental stimulation. (at least I do)

  15. OK, so I read your post and comments, and then read it again and took notes so I wouldn't forget. :) Here are my "opinions".

    First, thanks for the reminder about the first paragraph making or breaking the post. I need to work on that. Then, I like your big pictures. That way I don't have to squint to see what it is.

    And finally, I'd like to add a suggestion that folks don't give a daily blow by blow description of their golf game. Who cares how you did on the second hole, or the third, or the .....


  16. Well Al, I haven't been keeping up my blog lately for various reasons which I will post on my own blog, but I do visit my favorite fellow blogger's pages, as I really enjoy reading theirs (ALL the different varieties of blogs). You really rattled my cage with this one Al. I actually read this one last night, but it made me too angry to I'm here now...and I'm still angry. My first thought is, who died and made you the "King of the Bloggers"?! I know, you said it's just your here's mine...
    Blogging should be about creativity and freedom of expression. It should be a relaxing and fun endeavor, even if writing about something sad.
    People should write about anything they feel like writing about, whether they are RV-ers or not! Just because some of us RV, doesn't mean that the rest of the world stops! Politics and religion affect/effect every human being on this planet, whether we like it or, you can hide your head in the sand, but eventually some of those issues WILL bite you on the ass.
    I enjoy reading all kinds of blogs, from the ones who start every blog with their first cup of coffee and a bagel, to the bizarre art-poetry-music and other subject matter, to the anti-war rants, and stories about amputees at Walter Reed, and the guy who puts bicycles back together and repurposes other items. If someone has music playing on their page, I just click the pause button on their player (if I'm not in the mood to listen...sometimes, I am) or mute my speakers...if I enjoy their posts. I understand about the 5gig limits, I've used it myself sometimes when on the road. SO? Just don't try to read everything during those times...catch up on those posts when back home. People will understand. As for print size and a few other things, Rick makes some good points on his blog in regards to your post. You've mentioned a number of times how nice it is to read comments on your posts from fellow bloggers..that is so true. I have been very bad about that for a few months now, no excuse. My beef with you on that is that I have never once received a comment from you (or some of the other "circle of RV-ers" here, they know who they are) even though I have left comments on yours (and theirs). I guess that means that my blog falls into one of your "undesirable" categories. So be it. I still enjoy reading all of yours (even when I wholeheartedly disagree with you sometimes).
    - Mary Ann

  17. Good post. Love the picture of the Jeep on the beach.

  18. Hi Al.
    It sure looks like your shirt sleeve got in a tangle with your beard trimmer!

    I look forward to reading your blog, and seeing your beautiful pictures.

    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  19. Hi Al,

    I read your blog entry about the do's and don'ts this morning after seeing a link to it in Randy Warner's blog. As a fellow blogger, I was curious to see what sage advice you had.

    Lots of it was excellent, especially the item about the long paragraphs (one of my pet peeves). Plenty of other good tips about embedding things that play automatically which annoy or clog up the bandwidth. I'm neutral on the matter of type size, layouts and color and number of pictures. All that stuff can go either way. And since you had a lot of reader comments, I didn't think there was any need for me to be repetitive.

    But your post ruminated around in my head all day while I was out and about and by the time I got home I decided I needed to add my 2 cents worth.

    What I take issue with are your comments about subject matter. I think you crossed a line and I feel compelled to call you out on it. Forgive me for being direct, but who are you to dictate what other bloggers should write about? I find the people who write ad nauseum about their errands or chores or dog walks uninteresting too. So if that's all they do, I stop reading them. Likewise, people who rant a lot or preach too much.

    Many of us bloggers have a diverse readership. Just because we are RVers doesn't mean all our readers are. And just because we are RVers, doesn't mean that's all we ourselves are interested in. That would be pretty one dimensional. And I don't think we need to create separate blogs for every topic or interest in our lives.

    Remember, you as a reader are free to read or not read. And you as a blogger are free to blog about anything you want, as am I. My blog is not your blog and yours is not mine.

    I don't want to sound mean, but I had to get that off my chest. I've never met you, so probably have less right to give you a hard time. And many of my RV friends know you and follow your blog, as I am often asked if I follow "The Bayfield Bunch" blog. Maybe some day our paths will cross and we can compare notes.

  20. Don't think the bag idea is gonna make it, so the haircut was necessary. Loved your trimming razor LOL Were you honestly thinking nobody looks at your pictures and you were testing us???

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  21. Wow! THAT was fun! Laurie mentioned this post and I wandered over to see what the hoopla was all about and get some tips.

    Echoing some other here: great tips, if you are writing for others. I, like Laurie, would blog if no one ever read it. It's my diary, so yeah, some of my paragraphs are way too long. I have three official followers but dozens of friends and family who read, so I will pay attention and think about those paragraphs!

    Plus, it was fun to find you again and catch up

  22. I'm in agreement with the thoughts and comments of Laurie and Odel as well as In The Wind Adventures of William and Mary Ann.
    My web site was originally created in a periodic letter or journal format that I shared with friends and relatives.
    I recently went full time living in a RV and changed over to a blog format. That does not now make my web site a RV blog. I can and will continue to talk about those same things that I have always talked about.
    Some of them being rants, some will be political rants some will be about the weather and some will be RV travel.
    With that rant off my chest I will say that the remainder of your blogging opinions are well founded.