Question for fellow bloggers

So, in the past week or so I’ve gotten a surge of followers. Well, what for me is a surge — eleven — but here’s the thing . . . 

None of them are bloggers and they all have strange email names and they are all from @outlook.com.

By strange names I mean they could be names but if you try and guess how they might break up (first name, middle initial, surname or a combination of those) you get absolutely no hits in Google, and if it is a hit, it’s for acronyms of other stuff.

At first, I thought nothing of it as I occasionally get subscribers based just on an email address and no corresponding or associated blogs. But, these are all outlook emails and all have long names(?) that might be interpreted as from a foreign country (Slavic, Scandinavian, and for two of them, possibly Latin American) but not quite anything that’s immediately recognizable.  

I don’t want to post any of them here because they might be legitimate emails, but I’ll make a few up as an example:

palomaftjolves @ outlook.com

estevezgxmurielks @ outlook.com

salazarjxlilkatia @ outlook.com

I want to stress that I just made those up and it’s not anything I’ve seen (but I soon might). The names are all long and they are close to sounding legit except for these extra letters thrown in there. 

Some anonymizer programs let you come up with temporary emails you can use to register in places that you then don’t want to hear from again, but it’s not usually an outlook.com email; it’s their own servers address.  

So, am I the only one or have others experienced a similar uptick in subscriptions from outlook.com emails?

As far as I can tell, I’ve not had an increase in traffic (if anything, it’s been steadily dropping off) and I don’t have an increase in comments (if anything, they’ve been steadily dropping off) and none of the new followers have left any comments or “likes”.

I’m not overly concerned other than it seems strange and hence suspicious. I don’t know if this is part of some new kind of scam but if it is, I can’t figure out the play. 

It could be these are all from a given group of people who know each other (i.e. The Long and Strange Outlook Email Club or TLASOEC, for short) and are starting a cult following of my blog (hey, it could happen! . . . I’m a charismatic stable genius, don’t you know). 

I suspect it’s something else, and it has piqued my curiosity. 

If you’ve recently experienced something similar, let me know. 

If you are one of my new TLASOEC subscribers, let me know that you are real and truly enamored with my meager offerings. Or, leave me hanging, but I’ll stop worrying about it shortly, so strike while the iron is hot. 

And now, here’s the end product of me playing around with the first photo:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Other Stuff, Stuff | Tagged | 22 Comments

Bomb Scare

Some readers might know we live in Hawaiʻi. To most, Hawaiʻi seems like a paradise; a promise of idyllic life filled with skin products made from coconuts. 

That last part is true, but there’s a darker, dangerous, and, frankly, unsettling aspect to living here. 

Yes, I’m speaking about the infrastructure. There is no Natural Gas service here, so people who want to use gas for cooking (much better than using electricity, I can tell you) have tanks outside their buildings and these tanks are regularly serviced by Hawaiʻi Gas. 

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Posted in Musings Stuff, Opinion, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Inserting Photos and Links Into WordPress Blog Posts

Lately, I’ve seen a number of bloggers complaining about difficulties composing posts and inserting photos. Now, it could be that I’m magically immune to all that stuff, but I’m not a big believer in magic. I’ve had my shares of glitches when it comes to composing posts.

That said, 97.46% of the time, I experience little to no problems, or at least not the problems that people complain about. I attribute that fact in no small part to the process I use. 

Ergo, as my way of contributing to the mental well-being of the population in general and bloggers in particular, I thought I would explain the Disperser Process™® for composing and publishing posts that contain amazing photos accompanied by even more amazing writing. 

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Posted in Stuff | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

New Year Maintenance

In a previous post, I made a passing comment that although I had not written much fiction, I nonetheless had massive amounts of written words under my belt. 

Many of those words are from interactions with other bloggers, and when I say that, I don’t mean just on my blog. I mean, yes, lots of comments on my blog, but in 2017 I also tried to expand interaction beyond my blog. 

At the end of 2016, I was following around 60 bloggers. Mind you, of those, over half had either stopped blogging or were infrequent bloggers. By the end of 2017, the number was approaching 100. Of those forty new blogs, about half were “silent” follows. Meaning, I liked something on the blog (usually, photos or stuff about writing) and I would follow but had no plans to engage anyone (i.e. comment on posts). 

That means that in about 20 new blogs, I made the effort to engage the blog owner and their guests. 

At this point, I should remind people that if I’m following you, regardless whether you hear from me or not, I do read all the published blog posts but unless something really catches my attention, you won’t hear much from me. 

Let me also repeat this: if I follow you, I don’t expect you to follow me. In fact, I prefer if you don’t unless you plan on actually reading what I write.

Also, if you follow me, me following you is not an automatic thing. I gained a bit more than 200 followers last year (I’m somewhere near 1,300 followers) and a large percentage of those were businesses or new bloggers obviously trying to build a following. Asking me to follow you is a good way to ensure that I don’t. 

I should also remind people that I don’t typically follow anyone who’s heavily into spiritualism or religion or anything that might trigger my sensibilities and desire to debate about stuff. That’s not for my protection but rather just common courtesy; it’s not polite to crap on someone else’s playground. Were I to accidentally follow someone like that, I would try avoiding those topics once I figure out the lay of the land, but I might eventually unfollow them because it’s difficult for me to not respond to stuff. Unfollowing ensures that I won’t accidentally piss anyone off. Yes, it has happened. 

Side note: on the other hand, I welcome all manner of honest responses. I don’t much like dishonest commenting nor do I respond well to profanity or insults, but I can deal with those as well. 

Back to the point at hand . . . all that following and the associated commenting takes a lot of time. Frankly, I hadn’t paid much attention to it until I started adding up all the stuff I wrote. Here’s the thing . . . I can count on a few fingers the number of blogs where my interaction was reciprocated, let alone appreciated. Some of that I understand; it’s difficult inserting oneself into a conversation with strangers. But even beyond that, it seems there is a resistance to accepting new people. Perhaps it’s just me; I seem to have that effect on people. 

I have a core group of regulars (less than ten who are frequent commenters, and another half-dozen who drop by when they have the time) and I’m more than happy to converse with them be it on my blog or at their blogs. But, we’re all also fairly happy to engage newcomers.   

So where am I going with this? Well, unless you are in that rather small group, you’re likely to hear a lot less from me. 

This is not a threat or ransom or cry for attention. I want to concentrate on my interests and therefore I’ll put less effort on my social dealings. With that in mind, I’m back down to about 70 blogs that I follow of which many have not been active for a while (people have lives outside the Internet, apparently).

That said, if you are smart, have a good sense of humor, and want to establish a two-way communication, I’m always game, but it’s less likely that I will go out and find you . . . sorry.

If you do engage, past experience tells me few people hang around for the long-term. Don’t worry, I won’t feel bad and you shouldn’t either; life is too short for that.  

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Musings Stuff, Personal | Tagged | 20 Comments

Miscellaneous Samsung Note 8 Photos

This might end up being one of them there lengthy post. There are a lot of photos, so it might load slow. I suggest getting a cup of coffee and perhaps making a bathroom run while everything loads.  Just letting people know.

BUT . . . you can just go to the bottom and just look at the gallery of photos. I mean, you’ll miss all manner of demented . . . I mean . . . stable genius writing,  but it’s your dime; do whatever you want. 

So, the last post covered the use of the Note 8 in documenting my visit to the Place of Refuge. I also have a visit to a botanical garden that will be documented on a dedicated post. However, as Melisa would readily confirm, I’m likely to be walking along and see something that captures my attention and before she even realizes it, I’m stopped, phone in hand, taking photos. 

Well, this post honors those miscellaneous photos, the ones not tied together by a theme or cohesive narrative. 

It could be something like the mural on the side of the local KTA (a grocery supermarket). 

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Posted in Hawaii, Photography, Photography Stuff, Samsung Note 8, The Big Island | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

So, how’s my Note 8?

It’s fine, thank you. I don’t have any complaints and if pushed, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with something I’m not happy about. Blazing fast, lots of customization, handles pretty much anything I throw at it. However, readers of this blog are likely to only care — if they care at all — about one aspect of the Note 8 . . . the camera.  

Well, I’ve been taking odd photos here and there, and I aim to show those in the next few days. Today, I want to share stuff from the middle of December. Specifically, two movies from December 14, when I dropped in at the Pine Tree park beach area (a. k. a. Koanaiki Beach Park) and also stuff from my December 17th visit to the Place of Refuge ( a. k. a. Puʻuhouna o Hōnaunau NP)

Yes, slow motion is about to come your way . . . 

It was a very windy day. So windy, that it was difficult holding the phone steady because the gusts of wind were working hard at getting me to lose my balance and fall on the lava. The lava was also in on it, providing an uneven platform for me to stand on. That’s why — despite the guide lines on the screen — the horizon occasionally goes off horizontal. 

I also had my P900 with me, but those photos are for another post. Here’s the second video from the Note 8. 

I like the way the Note 8 lets me control which parts are shown in slow motion, lets me control the speed of the slow motion (normal speed, ½ speed, ¼ speed, ⅛ speed), and lets me make multiple versions from a single movie. 

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Posted in Hawaii, Hawaii, My YouTube, Photography, Photography Stuff, Samsung Note 8, The Big Island, YouTube Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

2017 Disperser Retrospective – Photography

Like with most of my activities, heading into 2017, I had no particular goal for my photography hobby. I can’t be bothered to go back and check, but since few readers also won’t bother, just take my word for it. Anyway, I can thus lay claim I’ve met all of my 2017 photography goals.

But, what did actually happen with my photography in 2017? Well, the big event was me buying the Nikon P900. 

The above is the very first P900 photo that I kept (#4). You can imagine how bad the first three were. The above is at full zoom (83x) and was taken prior to me reading anything or even looking at the manual.
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Posted in Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , | 12 Comments