Posts Tagged ‘Facebook


Check your “Other” folder on Facebook — it may be the laugh you need!

I, like everybody else on the planet, have found things to complain about with each successive Facebook upgrade over the last few years. One of the worst things to happen, though, was when the site began to cherry-pick your private messages, declaring some of them as “other” and putting them in a separate folder labeled as such. Granted, a lot of the “other” messages were spam or nuisances, but just as many of them were not. People soon found themselves missing out on invitations, events, and other messages simply because they didn’t know there was another folder their communications may be filtering into.

While this filter isn’t quite as bad as it used to be, it’s still a tad frustrating, and it’s still really easy to forget that it’s there. Earlier this evening, while looking at a message, I saw the “other” tab in its usual place — hidden at the top of the page and shadowed, where you’ll never notice it if you aren’t looking for it — with a note that I had 28 unread messages there.

Even though I knew most of the messages would be junk or so far out of date as to be useless, I checked anyway on the off-chance that something that I legitimately need to know about had been shunted off to that folder. And sure enough, there was junk, junk, garbage, and the occasional invite to some sort of online “event” from a writer or publisher I follow, all of which were long passed. But there was one message that perplexed me. It was from a legitimate Facebook user, not a spambot, not a corporate page, with a message that made no sense:

Facebook Guy

I must admit, this was perplexing. I don’t know this person. I don’t know who he is or what I may have said to irritate him on July 12, 2011, to invite this message. But maybe I can do a little Sherlock Holmes-style deductive reasoning and suss out what sparked this…

  • This person was specifically targeting my occupation. Evidently, being a teacher is not a “real job.”
  • On the other hand, this person doesn’t appear to have a good relationship with education in general.
  • Am I, in fact, “too fat to”? I really don’t think so. Sure, I’ve lost some weight lately (and feeling much better, thank you), but 2011 was before I started that particular program. I may have, in fact, been “too fat to” at the time.
  • “go be the loser you are…” I get that. Most people are, in fact, what they are, often to their detriment.
  • “in your box of a house.” Well, this is certainly closer to being correctly written than “so your so your’re not poor anymore.” But a “box” of a house? defines “box” as “A container, case, or receptacle, usually rectangular, of wood, metal, cardboard, etc., and often with a lid or removable cover.” Hmm. I suppose one could make an argument for calling a house a “box” if you consider things like doors and windows a “removable cover,” but by that definition, aren’t all houses boxes? All buildings of any kind, in fact?

Regardless, I seem to have offended somebody, and that’s not something I ever intentionally do. I like to think I’m an easygoing guy, someone who doesn’t stir the pot or cause trouble, and if someone had a reasonable quarrel with me, I’d like to address it. After all, not everybody is the master of language and grammar that I am, including some genuinely good people who may usually be calm, rational and warm human beings. If this person is among that demographic, it would be worthwhile to see what hatchet, if any, needs burying.

Then I saw the guy’s Facebook profile picture.

Facebook Guy 2Yeah, I think I’m good.


Something to talk about…

I find myself in something of a blogging quandary. At the moment, I don’t really have much to talk about. That doesn’t mean nothing is going on, it’s just that the stuff that’s happening doesn’t exactly require a day-to-day update. With Story Structure done (for the time being), November is turning out to be pretty quiet for me on the pop culture front. I am writing, in fact I’m probably further along with this year’s National Novel Writing Month project than I’ve ever been before a week into November. But I’ve got nothing to say about that except, “I wrote a few more thousand words today. Coming along well.” Let’s face it, that’s not satisfying for either of us.

Could I write about the preponderance of Christmas decorations, commercials, and special episodes of Wheel of Fortune that are already being thrust upon the American citizen, even though it’s a whopping three weeks before Thanksgiving. But honestly, the only thing more ubiquitous than Christmas decorations at this early stage of the season is people complaining about Christmas decorations at this early stage of the season. I don’t want to be just another voice in the crowd here.

I suppose I could remind you that I’ve got two novels, one short story and one anthology for sale as e-Books on all devices, and that the novels are also both available in print, and that you can find the links to these reminders over on the righthand column of this very webpage, but I’ve said that sort of thing a lot lately. I could also humbly request that those of you who have partaken of my writing in any way could be of enormous assistance to me if you would be so good as to write reviews of the books on any of those websites where you purchased them, that doing so helps to raise the profile of the books when people are browsing sites like, and that could be very good for me. I could even mention that Blake M. Petit the Writer now as a Facebook Page devoted to his projects, and that’s where you could go to find previews, images of characters from the OPH universe who haven’t turned up yet, and chat with me and other fans of Siegel City. I could tell you that. But isn’t that kind of pedantic of me?

So sorry, friends. Guess there’ll be no blog post tonight.


In case you hadn’t heard…

Well, it’s back to reality for me. Erin is home and as great at last week was, I’ve got a thousand things I’ve fallen behind on that need me to step up and get back to work. So while I do still owe you guys the traditional photoblog and post about our visit, that will probably wait until tomorrow.

Today, before I dive back into the other things I’m still working on, I thought I would throw out a newish plug for a newish version of Other People’s Heroes. Last year, before the book came to the Kindle or the Createspace store, before there was any way to sit down and read it except shelling out for a used copy, there was still a way to experience the story. Listen to it. I sat down beginning last summer and recorded an audio version of the book, which I released (more or less) weekly in a podcast form. But that was never intended to be the “permanent” edition of the audiobook, if for no other reason than I didn’t do the sharpest job on editing out flubbed lines.

But earlier this summer, I went in and cleaned up the audio and presented the new version of the audiobook to the good folks at, the site that also released my Christmas novella A Long November as an audiobook. After just a little tweaking, the book was accepted and added to their slate, so beginning on July 13 you’ll be able to download the audio version of A Long November. You can download all of the chapters at once, or you can set up your podcast software (such as iTunes) to download an episode at a time with whatever frequency you want.

Oh yes — and it’s free.

You’ll get the entire unabridged text of the novel (not the two bonus short stories, though) for absolutely nothing beginning this Wednesday! So tell your friends, spread the word, and if you’ve got a Facebook account (I know ya do), you can even attend the launch “event”! (You don’t actually have to go anywhere, don’t worry.) Just go to the Other People’s Heroes launch page at Facebook and say you’re attending! And tell your friends!


Today’s important developments:

1. I called the DMV to get word that they did, in fact, receive a fax informing them that the car I drove in 2005 was totaled, which is why I stopped paying for the insurance, so could they please let me renew my driver’s license now?

2. My honors class sang “Happy birthday” to me when I walked in the room. I was so touched I didn’t even mention anything about the RIAA or copyright infringement. It was really very sweet.

3. I raced to the DMV to get my license renewed before they closed. The otherwise very nice woman there temporarily had lost the fax. You see, this is the culmination of a three week ordeal that began with my attempt to renew my license before school started again. I was told there was an insurance block due to the failure to pay insurance on a car that no longer existed, as it was totaled in 2005 by someone who doesn’t know what a “YIELD” sign is. So I had to get proof it was totaled from an insurance company my State Farm rep had never heard of before. Then I attempted to clear this up with that “statement of loss” they sent me, only to be told that she forgot to include the VIN number. Then I tried again, only to be told she gave me the WRONG VIN number. Then came today. So the very nice woman looked for the latest fax while I wondered if I snapped and started assaulting people with the driver’s license camera, would it make it to CNN? Then she found it and renewed my license, so I let her live.

4. I attended the first night of the last class I need to get my full teaching certification.

5. I was made aware of a new website that I’m sure will be highly awesome, The Anonymous Teacher. I’m sure you can guess what this is all about.

6. I got home to find nearly 100 Facebook posts waiting for me. I swear, before the computer age, no one EVER got wished a happy birthday this often.

7. I combined assorted monetary and gift card donations related to today’s date and finally, finally ordered that Amazon Kindle I’ve been harping about for months. No doubt once I actually have it in my hands, I’ll start harping on a whole different level.

8. My grandmother called and sang Happy Birthday to me. It wouldn’t be today if she didn’t.

May 2023

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