Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Who left the gate open?


This is the first time in four and a half years of blogging that I woke up this morning without a post drafted, ready to publish. I post something every three days or so, and in all this time, often I have had two or three topics ready to fly. So, what of this presentation of emptiness? I dunno.

Give me a couple of minutes, I’ll come up with something. Either a topic to write about, or a reason I am without a topic.

Wait for it.

You could very legitimately ask, If I have nothing to say, why post anything?

OK there is something I’ve been wondering about lately.

Many of my favorite bloggers have enabled comment moderation. I wonder why? There was a short time I was getting spammed like crazy, so I added the word verification feature. That seemed to take care of it. No more spam.

When I publish a comment at a friend’s blog who has enabled comment moderation, off my words fly like a butterfly, never to be caught again. Sometimes when I really like something I wrote, I copy and paste it into a Word document first so I can look at it again while I wait for my friend to publish the comment to their blog. This is a good safety net, since I have written a long comment many times, only to have it gobbled by Internet interference. I might have spent fifteen minutes writing that comment, and pfft! Waiting for my comment to get published after blog author approval can take an hour, a few hours, a day, and sometimes a couple of days, depending on the blogger. I tell you one thing, it’s a way to get me to go back to that post, something I don’t always have time to do after posting a comment. A lot of the people who have this feature enabled also respond to comments, so that is a nice reward for the waiting and checking on my part.

Maybe requiring blog author approval of comments is one last ditch effort to have control over something. There isn’t much left in that category.

So enough maundering. Isn’t that a great word? That’s my new favorite word. It means to talk in a random, foolish, or meaningless way. I have a friend who taught me that word who is anything but random, foolish or meaningless.

All this gets me thinking about authorship, and authority.

In my English department there is an awful lot of plagiarism by students. Would you be surprised to hear that some reports show that up to 70% of college students admitted to plagiarizing at some point in their college career? And did you know that it’s considered plagiarism even if a student does it unknowingly?

OK, here’s my last wandering, lumbering, untethered donkey thought on this open-the-gate-and-let-the-animals-graze-freely blog post kind of day.

What is authority? After growing up in a home where parents ruled and kids weren’t consulted much, I am happy to report that at age 54, after much tugging and tucking, I am the author, and the authority, of my life.

It’s dark outside. A truck just drove by, I heard the sigh. It’s the 9th of November, 12:25AM. In a few hours I’ll get up and drink coffee, eat oatmeal, and get ready for work. I can’t stop the clock ticking, but I can decide what to wear, maybe a skirt and tights before it gets cold outside. The sun will rise, no matter what I do. I can’t find the picture I really want to load with this post. I must sort and file my photos. They’re out of control.

I'm not used to this free donkey wandering, but this felt kind of good. Now I'll wander over to the comment box and see if anything wild, random or unruly happens. Eee-haw!


Terresa said...

Ruth, I think this may be my favorite post of yours, ever, off the cuff, unedited you.

And this: "I am happy to report that at age 54, after much tugging and tucking, I am the author, and the authority, of my life."

I am living my way towards that, too, and glad to donkey wander with you any day. :)

PS: I don't believe in blog comment moderation, it's a pain in the *&%^%#@#$. It doubles the time it takes to comment on blogs, and when you're subbed to over 1,000, it really adds up. I did it once when I was getting some spam, but really, it's not necessary, I wish more bloggers understood that.

Margaret Bednar said...

I am really glad you brought this up! I KNOW you just wrote two to my blog because you must have thought it didn't post. Sorry!

Two reasons I comment moderate. The first is REALLY easy. I kind of fumbled my way into learning all this and didn't know how else to set this up. When you don't moderate the comments, do the comments still show up on the dashboard to let me know they arrived?

And, I am a little hesitant to give out my e-mail address. Maybe I shouldn't be. I have two, I could use the yahoo one for my blog friends if they need to speak privately to me. I have had three private comments that I didn't post. Not rude, just private.

Maybe I will try to set it up now without moderation - I know I prefer those that I too can reread what I wrote and clarify what I said if I need to.

So, off I go to try to de-moderate and post a yahoo e-mail address. What a good idea you had to "go with the flow" tonight.

Ginnie said...

All I could think was, "She's up THAT late???" So unusual for my sleepy-head sister who is a morning person. But look what has come of it. Winnie-the-Pooh having a great adventure with his donkey friend and having no clue where they might end up...except that the gate is open and who knows what might happen this fine day. "If you want to make a song more hummy, add a few tiddely poms."

Elisabeth said...

A wonderful meandering post, here Ruth and one that set my thoughts racing.

I remember a time when I was young, maybe fifteen or sixteen and boarding at a Catholic convent. In those days, the late sixties the nuns never mentioned plagiarism so I would take a pile of history books from the library and then transcribe whole paragraphs that seemed to fit neatly together to tell a story in response the the question my teacher had set.

Amazingly the nun gave me A+s for all my history essays and thought I was pretty good the subject. I was not. It never occurred to me at the time that what I was doing was wrong, lazy perhaps, but in my naive mind, not wrong. I had no authorship then.

I do now and I'm very careful about plagiarism.

I know what you mean about losing our comments for a time when moderation is in place but I moderate my blog to protect it from spam. It is one reason though why I try to respond to everyone's comment on my blog to show my appreciation for their efforts.

I enjoy the call and response nature of blogging and I do not mind a little wait, though sometimes it is hard when a long comment goes unacknowledged.

Even so there are so many other opportunities, I go for the overall sense of communication that comes about in this brave new world.

Claudia said...

Good morning, Ruth! I understand comment moderation because some of the "anonymous" commentators can be a pain in the neck. I don't use it, though. I feel absolutely free to delete foolish, aggressive or rude comments. It's my blog, after all...

I really want to get back to blogging this week. Lately I just seem to have no free time whatsover! Perhaps I'll have to wait until the kids are all grown up and have flown the nest before I can have a proper, regular blog.

Margaret Bednar said...

Question. I had gone to bed, but then go to worrying. What exactly is spam? Is it just annoying comments - and can't you "ban" certain addresses - like in facebook? Is spam something that can cause a virus in my computer? I just got a nice new Mac, and I don't want problems... Ok, goodnight. :P

Ruth said...

Terresa, well isn't that something! I will make note of this being your favorite. It tells me that perhaps I should loosen up a little more often.

I think you're maybe 20 years younger than I am, so living toward being your own authority now means you are precocious. :)

Well yes, having over a thousand followers, I imagine that comment thing is an extraordinary pain in the bootay. Maybe you and I can convince the others that the spam really ain't happenin'.

I think I've probably been learning some donkey wandering from you, and a few others. I'm a slow learner about some things, especially letting go control.

Word: blist

Ruth said...


When you don't moderate comments, you can just have the notification sent to your email address. No one knows your email address by adding it there on the comment settings page. BUT, when you log in to Blogger, and then leave comments at my blog, for instance, when I get the notification that Margaret has posted a comment (so nice), I can actually reply to that comment by email. So in that sense, yes, others would know your email address if they reply that way. I do know some people set up email accounts just for their blog. What's nice with Blogger and Google is that they interface. So if you set up a G-mail account (just type, and you can set one up easily), then you can use that log-in to log into your blogs too.

Thanks for playing around with me in the paddock today.

Ruth said...

Boots, these days I not only graze in my blogging, I graze in my sleeping too. I had been in bed two and a half hours already, then some sleep faerie came and opened the sleep gate, and sleep got out. So I came out here to see what would come to me on this most unusual occasion of blog deprivation.

I do love your wordy Poohs and all good tiddely poms. Would you be my mommy? Oh wait, you're my sister, m - u - c - h older sister, which is almost the same as being my mommy.


Ruth said...

Ms. Elisabeth. Greetings.

As one who transcribes whole texts of Rumi into my RUMI DAYS blog each day, I imagine you got something valuable out of copying those history texts. We could call what you did essay collage. That is a fun poetry writing exercise too.

I have to ask, Do you really have trouble with spam, with word verification? Once I set that up, I didn't have more trouble with it. Once in a blue moon something gets through, but that is easily deleted.

But what can I tell you? You have mastered the art of communication, and blog discourse, to such an elegant extent, that I think maybe you ought to set up blog lessons. :)

Thank you for your thoughtful response, Elisabeth.

Elisabeth said...

Ah but Ruth I did not ascribe authorship to the authors of the history books I used. Not like you.

You ascribe authorship to Rumi. You honour the author.

If I'd let my teacher know the true source of my words as a fifteen year old, I doubt she would have given me an A+.

Ruth said...

Hi, Claudia! Really, you get a lot of anonymous commenters who are rude? That stinks.

As you find your right pace for blogging, I get to be the recipient of what you post. It's OK if it isn't regular. I'll take what I can. Your girls are so precious, and what a time this is for you! I do like it when you show us what you share, there in your kitchen, once in a while.

Ruth said...

Margaret, you seem to have gotten it right at your blog. I hope you won't be getting any spam now. It really is harmless, I think, just annoying to get rid of it. I get these Chinese or Korean messages in a different script occasionally, but hardly ever.

Ruth said...

Elisabeth, well I wasn't excusing what you did exactly. ;-) But in your naïveté you may have absorbed something of value through writing out those passages.

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, interesting post. It had the quality of free conversation maybe after a glass of wine or two. Perhaps the early morning hour contributed to that. I was somewhat confused about plagarism but I have a friend who is a publisher and I watched my daughter work her way through college recently, writing an alarming number of papers, and it finally became clear to me. If you copy it word for word from one person, it's plagarism, but if you copy ideas from lots of people, it's RESEARCH! So, if I am right, it is just a matter of degree and skill at paraphrasing. Important distinction. So, unless someone lifts an entire paper off the internet and puts their name on it, I now view plagarism as a mostly a lack of imagination and not an impeachable character flaw.

Shari Sunday said...

Oh, after second thought, as Elizabeth pointed out, you also have to attribute the idea to the original author. Perhaps if I had finished that journalism degree I started way back when, I wouldn't have been so confused.

Shari Sunday said...

Well, I guess if you copy word for word from one person and name the source, it is a quote. I guess I am meandering myself this morning. Obviously, your post made me think today. :-)

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

I, too, like the word maundering, although when I use it I always view it as a combination of maudlin and wandering, although that etymology comes only from my personal dictionary. It is a treat to hear the meandering maundering outloud thinking of a dear blog friend as we do in this post. We need not always be as purposeful as a mule, and can untether the donkey and wander about a bit.

The whole blog moderation thing is an interesting topic. I only use it for older posts, to make sure I see the comment before it gets published. The only spam I get seems to be directed at older posts (and I don’t have much of a following yet in the spammer community). The new anti-spam filter that blogger has added seems effective, so I have removed the word verification, as it can be a nuisance and sometimes lead to lost comments.

J.G. said...

This is quite an interesting peek behind the curtain, Ruth.

I'm surprised to hear that anyone takes more care than I do with comments. I preview and edit quite a bit before posting, trying to get each word right. And sometimes think I am going overboard by being so careful.

I had my first experience with plagiarism this year--an incredibly blatant example. Now I dislike my tendency to be suspicious when a student writes anything good (but I realize such suspicion is necessary). So sad.

Ruth said...

Shari, you talked yourself through that nicely. :)

I think for college students it is tricky to know what is general knowledge and what is specific and must be attributed. Better to be safe and cite, I guess. We have a wonderful humanities librarian at our university library to whom I regularly trot my students over for lessons in library research and citation rules. There is so much available online about these things now, there really isn't an excuse. (I'm not speaking here to your "confusion" this morning, but to students who write papers "for a living" .... ) But the hammer does come down hard on plagiarism cases now. The word is getting out to students, and that's good.

George said...

Nice to have a little random walk down Ruth Street so early in the morning. When I started my blog, it seemed logical to use comment moderation and that seemed to be the approach being taken by the people whose blogs I was following initially. I never realized that this would prove to be an irritation for some people, so I will have to think about that.

I will say that it has been useful in filtering out unwelcome comments from time to time, not unwelcome because of a particular point of view, but unwelcome because they were trying to sell a product or service or because the commenter was anonymous and obviously incoherent. Frankly, I prefer that such comments never appear on my blog because I don't know how long they would remain there until I get the chance to come back and delete them.

Have a great day!

cathyswatercolors said...

HA! I will be back later I don't wnat to maunder but i want to tell you about my friend the dawdler!

Ruth said...

Hi, Lorenzo. Your maudlin comment got me wondering, and so I looked up on the etymology dictionary ( and here's what it says:

"to wander about aimlessly," c.1746, earlier "to mumble, grumble" (1620s), both senses probably from frequentative of maund "to beg" (1560s), from Fr. mendier "to beg," from L. mendicare (see mendicant). Related: Maundered; maundering.

So that begging and grumbling is perhaps what haunts the word a little for you in a maudlin way.

Thank you so much for saying that about the anti-spam filter, because I noticed that was new last night, but I didn't investigate. I have now removed my word verification too, because it really is painful to lose a comment that way.

willow said...

I enjoyed your donkey thoughts and especially the wonderful leafy image.

Two woolly socks down from me for word verification. It makes leaving comments extra tedious.

Susan said...

CUSS WORD, CUSS WORD, CUSS WORD!!! I had this really great comment written (which I didn't copy) and BAM! it disappeared! And of course I can't remember a word of it! I think Blogger is messing with us.

Anywhoooo, loved this little post, Ruthie! You know how I love the lighthearted, free-spirited, maundering you as much as I love the deep thinker you.

I loved Ginnie's quote from Winnie-the-Pooh. I'm going to start using that with the grandkids. :) I had a sistermommy, too. :)

p.s. where did the word veri go? I acutally kinda enjoy that.

ellen abbott said...

I don't get it either...comment moderation and word verification. I especially don't get it when a blog uses both! I don't use either. I really dislike the word verification. I guess the intent is as a spam filter but all you have to do is delete an offending comment. I was getting some spam for awhile posted as anonymous so I just don't allow anonymous comments though I have had legitimate anonymous comments. I may go back and allow them again. I also have comments routed to my email so I see every one that comes in even on an old post.

*jean* said...

oo maundering IS a great word...alas, i am a comment moderator...i like to know when someone comes to the door so i can answer it...and the spam bots leave the ugliest mess...still, thank you for always being patient and visiting anyway...i like you's like a secret at a sleepover...i'm on the edge of the photo abyss myself, next project on my list...hope you had a good day, ruth

Ruth said...

I just got spammed in an old post after removing word verification. So I've now put that back on. Sorry, ya'll.

The Bug said...

Ruth - I just added comment verification to posts over 14 days old & that did it for me. I have had a few comments to moderate, but then they stopped. Guess when you turn that on they figure it out & leave you alone.

Love this post! I had a similar one a while back where I wanted to post SOMETHING but there wasn't anything in my head. I think I ended up talking about my five senses & what was going on in that moment.

rauf said...

i am uncouth myself Ruth, my blog is a road side or a sidewalk shop for those who have time to walk. i am very uncomfortable in high society gathering where i have to behave myself and be what i am not. it is suffocating. i avoid going to such places.

yes i got it Ruth. suffocating. This is how i feel when i write comments where comment moderation is on. i can avoid. But there is something called blog etiquette. i have to reciprocate resikropate those who visit me. so i can't avoid commenting there.

i never had even word verification. Spam is garbage and i have to deal with it like normal garbage at home. i can't even think of enabling comment moderation because of the subjects i write. i can't pick and choose comments which appreciate or agree with me. In fact i welcome opposing comments or comments which don't agree with me and i welcome debates. they open my mind.

Friko said...

EeeAaa to you too.

For a waffle post you have an awful lot of comments. Too many for me to read although I love reading the comments on clever blogs, because they are often as clever and funny and informative and interesting as the original post. They also give me ideas on whom to visit for the first time.

I used to reply to all comments on my blog and then visit the commenter's own post. Since every one of my posts now seems to get noticed - even if I deliberately write something that is not everybody's cup of tea - I can no longer do that and I comment on comments only if a discussion seems appropriate. I mean, how many times can you say: 'thank you so much, you are very kind".

I had trouble getting here, your blog appeared, but no posts, a great big fat blank page stared me in the face. I am glad blogger has seen sense.

Considering that this is a waffle comment, it serves you right. A waffle comment in reply to a waffle post.

Only fair.

PS: So far I have had no reason to instal comment moderation, please continue to let me have your comments. I love the writing part but I also truly love the feedback from people like you.

PPS:I never flatter anyone.

Margaret Bednar said...

Another thought, I think the way you ( and now me) have the comments structured is more like a conversation. Making a few stops throughout the day to see what others think of a particularly interesting topic. I just posted an excerpt of a poem (of Will's) that I think you might enjoy.

Oliag said...

This is certainly a fun, free-range donkey kind of post!

I have comment moderation only for posts older than three days because I would miss comments on old posts...of course that was when I was posting more often than weekly:) I have to say I have never gotten any spam...and I don't need or want word verification.

Now can I use this open gate to vent my own pet blogging peeve? I'm talking about music...I generally listen to music of my choice on the computer while reading blogs and I'm always surprised when there is suddenly a cacacphony of mixed music...If I'm not listening to my own music I find it annoying that a song I may like starts over at the beginning every time I click on a link or comments...Yes, now I feel better!

rauf said...

No i am still not the author or have no absolute authority over my life Ruth. Ruby wants me to talk, sisters tell me to shut up. i can't do as i please. Though i still like to dash across the road sometimes but i remember the advise look bof ways always.

Homer narrated stories perhaps authored by some one else, those stories already existed.
for me plagiarism (i copied your spelling Ruth) is a sin or plagiarising oh deeah there's a red underline. in India, we plagiarise right left and centre.
oh lots of red underlines now.
Do you want to tell a story or express yourself. You can tell somebody's story in your style without altering the essence. This red underline is pretty good Ruth. i typed essense. got a red underline.
when you express yourself plagiarising is not forgiven. what is the spelling of plagiarising ? oh deeah too many red underlines here Ruth.

Vagabonde said...

I marvel at how you can write a post without a theme really, I could never do that. You write like - what do they call it? ‘ stream of consciousness ‘ ? that is also something I could not do in public – I would feel naked in a way. I think that people in the US are much more open about their feelings than in the country where I was brought up, also because of the way I was brought up. I was commenting on another blog how my father forbid me to have a boyfriend until I was 21… as I was commenting on how great it was that she met her husband as a “high school sweetheart” and I never had one.

I have a list of all the posts I’d like to write about, and it is a page long and keeps getting longer. I feel bad that I have not finished talking about Norway, Savannah or New York and I am going an another trip very soon – then I wanted to talk about my family and youth and I am still not past my parents’ first meeting….. I read many blogs so I cannot write posts that often. I also read as many blogs where I never comment. My daughter set my blog up and I am not very computer savvy so I left it the way she installed it. I like to get the comments to my email because often I get comments on very old posts and if I they posted automatically I would not know about these comments. Your posts are always very good. You work in an English department so I would think that you have many talents in that area which may facilitate your fluency with the language maybe. Being able to write beautiful poems like you do is a gift.

Char said...

i love the meandering really...i do it a lot. i think i've taken off the controls to allow the commenters the same freedom that i have - to speak as they think it.

too often i never think of coming back to see what was said.

Gwei Mui said...

Hmmm much food for thought. I can see on both sides of the marauding fence, so to speak! I've had my fair share of spam, extremely inappropriate anonymous commnets and plain and simple unacceptable comments which would frnakly be considered offensive on any level and I would not want these to be posted or to give a platform for such views.

Ruth said...

J.G., for me the comments represent the point of this exercise of blogging. On the one hand I have an outlet for creative expression. On the other I care a lot what people's responses are. And the inverse is true at your blogs. It is the human exchange that interests me in blogging, otherwise I might work harder at submitting and publishing what I write.

Yes, as a teacher/instructor, it must be disturbing and disappointing to wonder about everything students write, and especially to find out they have cut corners that way.

Thank you for taking care with your comments, J.G.

Ruth said...

Hi, George. I can imagine that for bloggers like Terresa and willow who have over a thousand followers, comment moderation would be cumbersome. For me, it is a pause that I sometimes don't want to wait through, because I am eager to keep the conversation going. At Transit Notes, you are very quick and faithful to post comments and responses. One thing I have noticed, not that this is a request for you to change anything, especially since you are trying to avoid those peddlars who want to take advantage of your beautiful space to advertise treks, as I say one thing I've noticed for myself at yours and at others' blogs is that I miss out on the initial comments of other commenters when I leave mine, if several of us comment before they've been published. This is a good thing in some ways, since I do like having my own response not suggested by someone else's. But I also like the discussion aspect. This of course can happen, and does happen at Transit Notes, when we go back and see what others have said, and what you have said in reply. Maybe I've just argued for your way of doing it, because it really does provide both of those aspects of a good discussion: free and open responses, and then follow-up discussion.

Thanks, George.

Ruth said...

Cathy, OK. Waiting . . .

Ruth said...

Hello, willow, I'm glad you liked the open and free paddock today, and my photo.

I am astonished how you manage to wend your way around the blogosphere with the entourage you have. I can certainly understand your wish not to have such housekeeping things slow down your visits.

Ruth said...

Susie aaaarrrrrggghhh!! I imagine your lost comment with all the wit and thoughtfulness of my dear friend, but I do wish I could read it.

Well, I get to read this from you. How did I ever get lucky enough to find you, someone who appreciates my gravitas and my levity.

How fun that you will take Pooh's and Bootsie's tiddley poms to your grandbabies. I had three sistermommies! I have some golden memories that Bootsie gave me as a child. A marvelous book called Edith Learns Her Lesson is one gift she gave me that lives on in my memory with great fondness.

I know what you mean about the word verification. It's fun when they are synchronous especially. But I am willing to lose that to prevent commenters losing comments sometimes.

Ruth said...

Hi, Ellen. I have my comments routed to email too.

I've changed my settings since writing this post, after some of the comments. I now have it set with no word verification, and comment moderation on posts older than 14 days. I'm curious whether the Blogger anti-spam measures Lorenzo mentioned have improved things for folks. Maybe the'll tell us one of these days (Blogger, I mean).

Ruth said...

Thank you, *jean*, you are very civilized about it, I like that. I guess I must be carrying on what my dad and mom started by never locking the door. :)

Watch out for that photo abyss! Mine is more like an avalanche ...

Ruth said...

Dana, thanks a lot, that is helpful. Lorenzo mentioned it too, but I didn't notice the specific button to tick for that until you sent me back.

That five senses meditation-contemplation is such a good thing to do, even apart from blogging.

Ruth said...

Ah, blog etiquette, rauf, something I learned from you. In fact you shaped my blog etiquette so early and effectively that I find I can't change it now, not that I want to. Because of you I respond to every comment, in its own box. And I visit every commenter, almost 100%. There are times when this rauf-etiquette takes its toll and wears me down. But I find if I do some minor adjustments to my outlook and take a Zen approach, just slow down and be, then I enjoy the process. This post has created a lot of long comment responses. I think that is interesting. What is it about letting myself out of the pen that has made people stay a little longer to chat? I'm giving that some thought, rauf. See, I listen. You taught me that important aspect of blogging.

Ruth said...

Friko, you set a good precedent. A good dose of honesty could really liven things up. I find it a relief, actually, when you or anyone presents an alternate view. I appreciate that you do not flatter, which makes any praise from you all the more valued. But I value criticisms as well and wish we could foster that sort of discourse more.

I always like "waffle" comments that go wherever a person feels led. It makes me feel that the visitor doesn't want to rush off. It makes me think they aren't worried about sounding any certain way, but just letting me know what has arrived in their mind or heart as a result of visiting. When people are comfortable in my little salon, that means the world to me. I think the main thing to communicate is that I am comfortable (as hostess), something that seems to have come across in this post and encouraged people to take a leisurely gander about the place.

Susan said...

p.s.s. I left a comment on your momma's villanelle post...finally.


Margaret Bednar said...

Reading some previous comments, people seem to think if they don't moderate, there is no way to know when comments are posted. If I indicate I want comments sent to my email, isn't that notification, or does that only apply to recent posts? Also if I am at my dashboard and select the comment tab under my blog title, it seems to list the comments...or is that only for recent posts. I do like the way I have it set up now, so thanks. Take a peak at my photography blog. I posted an excerpt from one of Will's poems from last year. I'm hoping he will let me publish the whole thing even though it is still a work in progress.

Dsole said...

wow... there's a long talk up here... And it's been quite a long time since my last visit to your blog. Now I find it really healthy, with a lot of friends and followers, that's great :)
I like your style... my english is badly to understand everything you say but I'm trying, and I'm improving my language skill with your post. i find them really interesting!
I've tried to read the poem to your mom, and now I'm going to listen to it.
keep being the author of your life! that's awesome

greetings from madrid

Jeanie said...

, there's a lot in this one, my dear! Moderation -- I feel exactly as you do. I had the spam thing happen too, and added in the word again. I don't even remember if it's still in there or not -- I should check. When it just gets in there I wonder -- will it ever show? Will they everknow what I thought?

And authority -- yes, good for you, being the authority of your own life! We should be; sometimes we're not.

Right now I feel everything in my world is on -- what? Auto pilot? Out of control? I'll feel better after I get through next week's show -- two nights and a half-day Saturday. Just flying around... hard to center. Sounds like you're there, too -- only you managed quite nicely!

Sarah Laurence said...

I always feel a little alarmed when my comment disappears too. On my blog, I have comment moderation only on posts that are more than 2 weeks old since those get spammed a lot.

My husband has also had problems with plagiarism and his students. The students are cheating themselves of an education.

Ramble on.

ds said...

Donkey?! NO--a thoroughbred, who clearly loves to be let loose...
Unfettered. Maundering. And because of Pooh, rootling. I love maundering and rootling. As words, as actions; mostly as your and other people's words and actions (because so much more interesting).
I put word verification on my blog as the result of spam (it's not big enough for spam, so why they bothered beats me) & just never took it off; comment moderation kicks in for older posts because otherwise I would never know if someone left a comment on an older post, and that seems unfair, as every comment deserves a response. It's nice to know that everyone here pretty much feels the same way. Which is the lovely thing about blogworld: the possibility of real interaction & not just writing into the void.
Okay, my train of thought has leapt the track & is somewhere out there with your donkey (odd image, sorry). Because it's nearly 1 am here & I need to get to sleep for the first time (hopefully only).
Oh, to be the author of one's own life!Not for a while yet...
Good night,er, morning, Ruth!

freefalling said...

I say - Embrace the emptiness!
An empty head every now and again is soooo peaceful.

( I enabled comment moderation for posts over 1 month old - coz SOME PERSON kept leaving spam stuff on old posts)

dirt clustit said...

You have seemed to become a little bit of a good trouble maker Ruthi!

So worth it today though as I will NEVER forget the word "the'll" because I have never heard or read (and sometimes it takes both simultaneously) anything so perfect.

I have to admit though that I have lost track of how many times I have been relieved that comment moderation is enabled on some blogs because I am of those who were born without common sense when it comes to commentings though I honestly do not mean for harm to be felt by my often unthought out words. Because the only way I write is to dump the thoughts down and although I know many times I do not make much sense I make less when I try to bridle them coherence.

and in defense of those who do moderate it may be because you never know when some idiot starts rambling on with something that has absolutely nothing to do with what the post was about like the meaning of purple when describing the moontains magesty.

(I think you should tell the reader when you have a moonstone under your tongue within 24 ours of publishing a post or writing a post that is later published as it may help people like me who do not know what the yok you are to a king about)

and I can tell when you are whistling when you type Ruthi and I fail to hear the humor of that sing.


Ruth said...

Hi, Margaret, sometimes I wish I could just sit and talk with ya'll all day.

Ruth said...

Oliag, it has been a long time since I've heard music playing on a blog when I open it. Isn't it surprising though? And how about those ads that start talking at you from a web site, and you wonder how someone got in your house without you noticing?

Ruth said...

rauf, somewhere all these plagiarism rules must be written down in a big heavy book. I know that copyright laws are interesting here. Nancy had to go to a copyright attorney and find out what she could protect as intellectual property.

Plagiarism with an S but plagiarizing with a Z, rauf. The Atlantic divides the S's and the Z's, and never the spellcheck shall meet! I am so gratified that you finally started spelling synch-ro-ni-zing with a Z instead of synch-ro-ni-sing . . . although your way has a sort of sing to it, doesn't it?

You are your own authority, I think, rauf. You decided to do what Ruby and your sisters tell you.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, I am amazed too. And I did feel vulnerable and naked doing it. Imagine my surprise and wonder that so many have left long and responsive comments? This process of my creating a stream of consciousness post and commenters liking it gets me thinking about how I write, and whether I might want to loosen up a little. Good old Walt Whitman opened this door for us Americans, into the "frontier" of freedom of speech in literature. He had to publish himself to do it, of course. It is something I prize as an American, at a time when there aren't many things I brandish for their Americanness. We do have incredible freedom, and it comes out in such ways. I think I have told you somewhere about my previous boss who goes to France very year with his French professor wife. He learned to "let the room receive him" when they enter Parisian restaurants, being quiet, not talking, and acknowledging that he is entering a space where people are already mingling and have created a certain energy in that space. It has profoundly influenced me when I enter any room where people are present. I think this is something Americans can and should learn.

I really love your personal style of blog posts, V. You inform to just the right degree, somehow knowing just what we want to know about a place or history, but never too much to bore. You share from your personal experience and point of view, honestly but without TMI (too much information) that would feel too raw. I think my favorite thing you do is to reflect on your experience as a French woman in the U.S. What a valuable thing for me it is! We all learn more about ourselves when we step out of our comfort areas and hear from outside perspectives.

Thank you for the very kind things you said to me. I so appreciate your presence here.

Ruth said...

Char, what you say clicks with me, and I realize that is what I felt too, without realizing it: that I want my readers to have the same freedom of expression. It's sort of what rauf was getting at too.

Yes, I forget to go back sometimes, to see a blogger's response to my comment. I'm certain I miss valuable connections by forgetting.

Ruth said...

Dear Gwei Mui, it disturbs me that you have had rude and extremely inappropriate comments. I wonder that anyone feels that freedom, although when you are anonymous, you can be bold, and hit and run. It's pretty cowardly and cruel. Of course we can just delete such things later, but I can understand your not wanting them to see the light of day.

Ruth said...

Susie Q and Margaret, yes, I get email notification for every comment. This is totally how I know someone has commented, at any post all the way back to 2006. It never occurred to me until reading comments here that anyone wouldn't have email notification. Obviously we can't keep scouring previous posts for new comments ...

I had only recently seen that comments tab at dashboard, and I haven't investigated it at all. Margaret, I will check out your new posts about your beautiful Will.

Ruth said...

Bienvenido, Dsole! It is a happy surprise to see you again after so long. Oh, your Momentos blog is simply stunning, and I hope you will keep posting more there. We must get reacquainted after our Daily Photo blogs, and my Flying. Those seem so very long ago, and I suppose they are, in blog years.

I wish I could speak Spanish to you, but your English is wonderful, so we will just keep doing our best to connect this way. I promise to try to learn some Spanish. Thank you for reading the posts, especially the poem, and for listening to the podcast. You can come here and practice your English any time. :)

You really made my day yesterday when I read your greeting, so wonderful!

Ruth said...

Oh, Jeanie, those PBS shows must be wild. They are lucky to have you, because you are a centered person, even if you don't feel that way during these flights of seeming chaos. I have been getting flooded at my end of campus too. I don't know what's going on with students, but they are coming to me by the dozen, and I am wearing thin. This is not supposed to happen until spring semester, when I'm mentally prepared for it!

We should have lunch soon, after your show ...

deb said...

oh, Ruth.
I just heart you so...
skimmed this,
can't wait to read the comments.

Ruth said...

Sarah, I am grateful to you and others for bringing that 14-day-old feature to my attention. I've enabled it.

There are swift and dire consequences for students who are caught plagiarizing, which is good. Usually if there is only one offense, they are given the consequences (a failing grade, for instance), and then another chance. They usually learn their lesson. It's the repeat offenders, after being caught, that really boggle my mind.

Thank you for your comment, and for your encouragement to ramble. :)

Ruth said...

DS, I don't want to imagine a world in which I didn't meet DS. Your presence here and at your Window have offered me something I don't really have with anyone else in the world. You have a tender-literary touch. You have a soft ear, a profound ear, and a beautiful voice. There is always such a listeningness about you, a receptivity. Your stance strikes me as poised for listening and observation, in humility and wonder.

Wish we could sit and chat about this authority thing, for I see you as having it in your own life. But we might have to talk face to face to really know what we mean when we say these things in a little box. You know?

And while you are going to bed right around when I get up sometimes, we still manage to only connect.

Bella Rum said...

This was quite entertaining. You should maunder more often.

I hope you know that I'm stealing that word and using it as my own. Of course, you can't really steal if someone gives something to you.

I read this to my husband and we laughed over our morning tea (we've given up coffee).

It's 6:32am and I've already learned a new word. I'm off to do much maundering now.

Claudia said...

Hi again!

Aren't the several plagiarism checkers available in the market used by academia?

I can't speak for others but long before the internet was at the tip of my fingers, I certainly plagiarised a bit, here and there, on my high school research papers...

BTW, I don't get a lot of anonymous comments. I do see them in some blogs I read and sometimes they make me feel uncomfortable and put me off from commenting. The only rude comment I ever got on my blog was from some guy on an iPhone who tried one of my recipes - admitting that he had never cooked before - and said that what had came out of the process was "food not fit for dogs". He was probably "cooking" with the iPhone in one hand. Called me a couple of not so nice names in the process. Promptly deleted the comment, I'm really not into this type of discussion.

Sorry for my lack of blog etiquette lately. Have been super busy. So busy that I just noticed today rauf's wonderful post on Goa. Lots of comments I still haven't answered in my blog :(

I'm the sort of gal who like to follow etiquette in most circumstances, so I feel a bit bad when I don't stick to it, even if it's the blogging kind.

Sorry for the long comment, Ruth!

Peter said...

A lot of different thoughts here! When it comes to comment moderation, I don't know. I don't want to be a censor! But, what I like is that there are comments back and forth, with comments to comments, like you do! Unfortunatley, for some reason, my days seem to be too busy right now to do the same thing on my blog. I think I must start doing it again.

Margaret Bednar said...

Here I am again, maundering back and forth on this blog. My 2 year old son has been sick, which accounts for my late night and repeated forays on the blog pages these days. (EPH's shoulder poem really hit home as mine has been buggery and slobbery lately) I've been holding him up and sitting by his side with a vomit pan. The only thing I can do these days is type while next to him. He does seem to be on the mend. Got to thinking about plagiarism and remembered reading Helen Keller's autobiography (my first play was seeing her life story - very captivating). Anyway, she did write a fictitious book once (maybe it was a magazine article) and got sued for "copying" the idea. She never wrote a story again because everything she learned was from "reading". She was never sure, after that, if they were truly her ideas or something tucked away she had read through her brail reading. This is rambling, but I am operating on very little sleep. If only everyone cared so much, respected the art of writing to such a degree...

Ruth said...

Letty ... OK!

Don't forget, I am a featherhead.

Ruth said...

Dusti, become? :)

Thank you for your your defense against rambling commenters. I know you are talking about someone especially close to yourself. :)

I'll have none of it! No expulsion of ramblers here!

Ruth said...

Deb, I ♥ you too. Yes, come back. There are some cool people here, drinking tea and chatting.

Ruth said...

Bella, nor is it stealing if the word is in the dictionary.

I hope you and hubby didn't spill or spit any tea!

Living large at 6:32am, living large.

Ruth said...

Claudia, I'm sure there are plagiarism checkers.

Now that story about the iPhone recipe abuser is just too much! Why waste your time, exactly. Bleh.

Don't you worry your pretty head about blog etiquette and me. (But I've heard from some of my friends who are pretty upset with you .... JUST KIDDING!) I'm sure rauf understands too. But I know I feel miserable if I miss one of his posts within a few hours of him posting something new, because they are so rare and precious these days.

Think of the Blog Without Obligation mantra and let all that concern float away on the tide. You're doing what you need to. The fact that I am deprived of your photographs and astute sense of the world and its arts need not trouble you.


Ruth said...

Bonjour, Peter! You have always had such a nice community of commenters at Peter's Paris, I wouldn't moderate either. I have noticed that you are very busy, but life happens, and you can't spread yourself too thin. Life shifts, and if it shifts you back to the way it was with you and the blogs, I'll be happy. But your peace and contentment is the main thing.

Ruth said...

Margaret, your poor little man, and you too. That sounds like a woeful time, but at least you're together, and he has such a wonderful mommy.

Thank you for the Helen Keller story, I had not heard that. It's true, isn't it, how many story lines are there in the world, and how many ways can they be extrapolated into new narratives without overlapping on previous ones? I hear about this a lot from Peter regarding music, of course, which really is interesting. There again, even if the musician didn't intentionally copy another piece of music, if the similarities are too close, he can be sued.

VioletSky said...

it has taken me FOREVER to read through all these comments. because, I do read them all - and have to go back to the original to get the references from some of your responses. yet, I have no patience for comment moderation AND word verification. I especially do not understand it with photoblogs - most people just gush over your photos, so why make us go through hoops?? I often wonder how many people come back to my blog to read the responses I leave? maybe I am wasting my time, trying to get a conversation going.

deb said...

I do feel in good company here. It's an honour really.

I will go in and add the 14 day verification thingy but that's it. I have all comments sent to email , treasure them. And I used to subscribe to the comments on other blogs so I could track if there was a response to me etc. But then of course my email acct filled too quickly and would shut down and I'd have to go back and delete delete. Now I do it only if I've asked a question, or I've commented on an old post and of course hope for some response.

Having said that , I now find that I am torn between feeling it is absolutely essential to comment on blogs and posting on my own. I feel guilty if I post and I know there are still many of my favourite blog loves I've yet to visit and or leave a comment. I'm still torn on this. I'm also starting to get more private emails and links and well, you know how it is.

And then I go and notice that someone has still not even read and posted the moderated comments they have received almost a week later and I think I just worry to much.

what to do.... I suppose it depends on why you blog. If it's a platform to launch a book.. a way to generate ad revenue.. a pseudo facebook sometimes post twice a day.. and on and on.

And the music thing.... big pet peeve. especially if they have posted a video and I have to scroll around and find the button to shut off one sound to hear the other. I often read in the wee hours and sometimes forget to make sure the sound is off and don't appreciate someone's soundtrack blaring.
wow... that was kind of nasty. sorry. talk about making me feel free with your freedom.

RD said...

Ruth, look at all the comments your wandering post generated! We can all relate--this is sometimes all our minds are capable of on those nights when the sleep thief sneaks in. I have woken up at 2 in the morning with some work-related issue on my mind and actually emailed people. The next morning I frantically check to see if I've said anything potentially embarrassing or disastrous. It's kind of like driving drunk! Friends don't let friend email (or blog) while half asleep! Love your post!