Rules of Engagement or Man, I Miss This Place

I certainly have great affection for Richard Armitage, which is still a bit weird to me. Not because it’s weird to have great fondness for someone well-known who you don’t know. I’ve had several celebrities whom I think of fondly. Jack Lemmon was the first one. He did so many wonderful pieces. I remember the first time I saw Some Like It Hot. I was smitten with Jack Lemmon. I think I was about 11 years old at the time. I was a fan for life. But I have to confess, I never stared dreamily at Jack Lemmon’s eyes. It wasn’t that kind of relationship. You know what I’m sayin’.

But back to Richard Armitage and this place which can still have me examining my navel. I used to wish that weren’t so, that I could just move on and not wonder how and why I’m even here. But I don’t do that any longer. I’m here (maybe not as much recently), and I’m fine with the continual examination of why I’m here. The day I stop asking myself what’s motivating me or what’s motivating others is the day I don’t want to be around. Motivation is huge to me. Yep, that’s right, I do wonder what drives people. It’s an obsession with me. I admit it! Why do people (including myself) do what they do? I have had that question in my mind since I was old enough to remember anything. My parents used to complain about my incessant questions about everything but most of all my wondering aloud continually at why someone did something or didn’t do something.

SO has said on more than one occasion that I question everything that moves, and if it doesn’t, I kick it until it does. He’s right. I know he’s right, but is that so wrong? SO’s answer was that I needed to be writing about it instead of talking about it. I resisted that because hey, I’m a math person. I’m a techie. I’m a bean counter type. We don’t write. That was the goofy thinking that infested my head. I was also raised by a writer. She won awards for it, and she didn’t think I could write (or so I thought), and therefore, I didn’t think I could write. I was encouraged to do math, because she wasn’t that great in math and was elated that I was.

But there’s something about being a writer that I’ve discovered. It took me a while to figure it out because I was so entrenched in my stupid slot of STEM person. And it’s this — if you’re a writer, you cannot help it. You are going to write. You are going to delve and ponder and discuss. You cannot help it. It’s who you are. You are driven to do this no matter that you adamantly refused to ever, ever, ever associate the word writer with yourself.

So where was Richard Armitage in all of that? He’s the catalyst, man. SO was a little concerned about my Richard Armitage obsession until he realized Richard Armitage was instrumental in getting me to write. And man, am I writing. I’ve been writing and writing and at some point I stopped calling it a memoir for my kids. Oh, I am still writing for that reason as well, but I’ve gone way beyond that. I now want to publish something dammit. We’ll see if I can pull it off, but that’s my goal. And it’s my goal because I am a storyteller. I’ve been doing that for years. When I worked for a large corporation and traveled around to speak to customers or employees, one of my greatest strengths was not just my technical knowledge, but that I could engage the audience with my storytelling. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how technical someone may be. If they can’t talk, they won’t be heard. Truth be told I used to want to think my success at that company was due to my great technical ability. That wasn’t the case. Oh, I do have good skills (not great but good). I’m also a realist and know it was my ability to communicate that allowed me to move up so quickly. That simple. I just got confused with all the technical stuff. But I’ve figured it out now. It was my engagement with the audience and my ability to convince someone to follow what I was saying that made me successful.

Maybe I can do that with fiction. No, scratch that. I plan to do that with fiction.

Bold words? Certainly, but then the timid are the ones who are not in the arena, and the arena (whatever it may be) is where you find the fun.

Should I write a letter to Richard? Nah, I’ll save it for another day. I’m crunched for time this morning.

How ’bout a picture:

Phew. A great screencap of Richard. I snagged this from Twitter, but it’s from Larygo.tumblr. Whoever that is, you, or whoever, did a great job enhancing it. Thank you!

Photo of Jack Lemmon from the movie “Some Like It Hot”, directed by Billy Wilder. Jack Lemmon as ‘Daphne’. Initial theatrical release March 29, 1959. Screen capture. © 1959 Ashton Productions. Credit: © 1959 Ashton Prod. / Flickr / Courtesy Pikturz. Image intended only for use to help promote the film, in an editorial, non-commercial context.

The Adventures of Twitter Listing

Don’t say that title several times quickly. Phew!


It’s been awhile since I’ve done a public service post about the art of Richard Armitage watching and in particular navigating RA Universe on Twitter. This one is because some of you have been wondering how you can follow a Twitter account and your follow is invisible. Oh, you’re not wondering that? I guess this post is for those who are. :D And, I also realize there are many of you who already know how to do this. Obviously, this post is not for you either, but if you have something to add, please do.

On my RAFrenzy account I have a list called RAProjects, and on that list I have people and entities who are involved with Richard Armitage or are potentially involved with him. It’s a fascinating list but private ’cause well, I’m not sure if it’s fun to reveal or say everything you know as soon as you know it.

But enough about that.

Before I begin, please note that all screencaps can be enlarged by clicking them.

Listing someone in native Twitter on desktop (as opposed to using a Twitter client such as Hootsuite):

twitter listing 1
Click on the cog next to the follow button, and then you’ll see that drop down menu where you select ‘Add or remove from lists.’

Next you will see a screen something like this:

twitter listing 2

Next you will see a screen like this:

twitter listing 3

Be sure to click on ‘Private’ before you save it.

Here it is in the iOS app:


Once you click on ‘Add/remove from lists,’ you will see this screen where you merely click on the list you want and hit ‘Done’:


If you don’t have a list made, then you can do so this way:


When you select ‘Lists’, you will see this screen where you click on the plus to add a list:


Be sure to turn on ‘Private’ before you click ‘Save’:


For android users, it’s similar, but here are some instructions if you’re not comfortable.

FYI: my most fascinating list is one that is not even related to Richard Armitage. It’s prosaically named ‘Interesting,’ and I have had more fun and pleasure from that list than anything I’ve done on Twitter. Made some friends from it as well, and they eventually became
mutual follows. I think almost none of them knew who Richard Armitage was. But they do now. LOL!

Yes, you can bet your sweet ass that Richard Armitage has some accounts privately listed, and if he doesn’t:


If you aren’t using private lists, you should be.

That is all.

A crazy fan

Screencaps courtesy of my 14 year old who can wield a mean photo editor. :D

A Worthy Read

Richard Armitage as John ProctorServetus goes to The Crucible. I am jealous. I’m also not surprised she’s done this. I would do it too if I could!

I wish her every joy of the experience.

Many of you already know about her going, but some of you are new and may not be familiar or very familiar with her. Let me introduce you. She is a fellow RA blogger and one I have read off and on for years. Many of the posts I’ve read are fantastic. This is generally what I’ve thought of them.

And now she is going to let us all in on The Crucible, and I am going to sit back and take it all in, and especially when I consider there may be no Crucible in New York.

This is where I started reading although there may be other posts which should be read before this one. I leave you to ferret that out for yourselves.

#9 Email Correspondence

This is part of my series of posts counting down to and through the Thanksgiving holidays and expressing my thankfulness for something I’ve received, experienced or participated in.


Email is still such a wonder despite its existence to the general public for more than a couple of decades. I Know I have never gotten over the thrill of being able to converse with anyone from anywhere. And may I never. It is such a joy to be the recipient of someone sharing their thoughts and their feelings and their experiences. If there is one thing I could pinpoint as the most rewarding in being a blogger, it would be that correspondence.

I knew on some level this dynamic occurred with bloggers, but I don’t think it was more than a fleeting thought to me until I started blogging and received notes. This morning I got a note from someone who is a kindred spirit, and this happens quite frequently and is probably the most encouraging aspect of blogging. Not so much to continue blogging but to know that the initial decision I made to publish my thoughts about the madness of being a fan was a good one. Good in that it’s facilitated so many fulfilling relationships for me personally. I can never express my thanks enough for knowing all of you. It’s also good to know I’m not really insane. Unless of course we’re all insane. LOL!

And certainly there are people who send me notes which are criticisms, and I also consider those beneficial. It doesn’t matter what’s said, I love to hear from people. (Gee, I’m sounding like an extravert. :D) And maybe there are criticisms I need to hear. It’s a hard thing for anyone to take criticism, but I’m learning to listen more and more no matter if I initially like what’s being said or not. I do think about what someone takes the time to tell me personally.

The only thing that’s a real pain is all the junk mail. Currently, I have 22,000+ unread notes in the rafrenzy mailbox, and I’m fairly certain most of it is junk. Yep, you read that right. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but hey, I’ve been a little busy the last year. Yes, I’m steadily cleaning it all away!

And occasionally, I miss some personal notes in all that junk, and I did recently. I received a note from someone earlier in the month, and this person had emailed me almost a year and a half ago as well, but I didn’t see that one either. I was mortified when I realized I had ignored not one but two notes from this person — or at least that must be what they’re thinking.

To this reader, if you’re still there: I did not ignore you! I was asleep at the wheel. Reply coming!

I’m going to use this experience as a spur to finish cleaning that mail backlog, because who knows what other lovely notes I may find! :D

And for those who may be interested, most of the personal correspondence I engage in has nothing to do with people being upset by another. And I’m thankful for that being the case.

note: email is actually passe’ to the younger generation, and there is talk that email as we know it may go away one day soon. But until it does, I plan to enjoy it to the fullest.

Not That Richard Armitage — RA on Politics Part II

Disclaimer: I was not offended by Richard Armitage’s interview. His political views are exactly what I would expect from most Brits. And this post is in response to the numerous questions I’ve received about why? why? why? are some people offended?

I’ve had quite a few notes from people asking me what specifically were the problems others had with Richard Armitage’s most recent interview. Further, the gist of what I’m getting from those who don’t understand why some became offended is they see that all he did was express his political views and how can that be offensive to anyone?

This post is an attempt to convey what was offensive to some, and please note these assessments below are mostly an amalgam of what has been said to me privately. Also, no one who has contacted me to express their negative opinion about Richard’s interview was offended by his having views. In fact, all of them have said they respect his right to express his views, but respecting his right to speak does not mean agreeing with the views nor being blind to what they saw as “his painting us with a broad negative brush.” By ‘us’ it was meant those who consider themselves Republicans.

From the article:

“I’ve only just returned yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to enjoy it yet, but it is something I’m prepared to enjoy. I do feel saddened that it is thus, and also that the Republicans are trying to destabilize Obamacare–I think that’s a real shame. I think it’s something to really fight for and I don’t know why they’re doing it, really. But then I come from England where we’ve had a national health service since the Second World War and I think it’s so important. I take it for granted.”


Roughly half the country is Republican, and Richard called them by name and thereby made this personally against them with remarks strongly implying they are just trying to make trouble and don’t really think health care for people is important or want to fight for what’s right and helpful. It seems Republican readers found it hard to conclude much else from his quote in the above paragraph.

More from the article:

With half of the government throwing a temper tantrum over the Affordable Care Act, it seemed unlikely that the US would ever have national health care to take for granted. From the moment Republicans won the House in 2010 they’d been pushing farther and farther to the right, trying to rescind everything from voting to women’s rights–often in the name of religion.

“I think it gets very, very complicated when religion and politics get tangled up together,” Richard acknowledged, nodding, “And I know for sure in England we do try to keep religion and politics very, very separate. I think it’s important when you’re campaigning on personalities that those personalities–for example, the President of the United States–has a faith. I think that’s important in terms of their character, but when it gets entwined into politics I think it gets very, very complicated. And it doesn’t function well.”

True enough, especially for the US. “You can’t [have religion in politics] because you’re talking about a multi-faith society.And that’s what the whole of the Constitution is built on–those differences.”


In fairness, it appears the reporter and not Richard characterizes the Republicans as spoiled children in the first paragraph. Richard’s comments about separation of religion from government were not offensive as most who contacted me agree, but the placement of his remarks behind the reporter’s make it look as if he could be throwing in with her stereotyping of Republicans as religious controllers.


The UK has never had their government simply close in quite the same way as ours did, which Richard attributed to debate. “We elect a government, I mean, I don’t vote in the US but you elect a government to solve the differences. As much as we in England were opposed to a coalition government, or surprised by it, or shocked by it, in a way it sort of is functioning rather beautifully. There just is always debate, but there’s always a decision,“ Then Richard paused and his eyes widened, almost apologetically. “Oh God, how’ve we got onto politics? I’m an actor, nobody cares about what my politics are.”

I assured him that Moves Magazine cared about his politics and we considered the UK too civilized to have their own government follow American practice in shutting down. “You’d think that,” he said, “but you look at what happened with the Poll Tax riots back in the ‘80s …the closer it gets to our home, the closer it gets to the pound that’s in your pocket, the more uncivilized we become as a nation.”


Most who contacted me appreciated his attempt at humility and thought his comments in the second paragraph were trying to make a concession that any nation can be uncivilized and the UK is not immune either.

As for the comments on gun control, most didn’t take that personally even if they disagreed with him, and many agreed there is too much violence in entertainment.

But what was most commented on about the article was its contradictory stance of praising debate while making statements which essentially thwart it — namely stereotyping and somewhat demonizing one party in the U.S. As one person put it to me, “It’s hard to discuss something with someone who has decided you are insensitive or selfish or both and keeps throwing it in your face.”

My take on the contradictory stance is it’s certainly present. It’s also true that some people from both parties do this. Keyword there is ‘some’ since there are some reasonable people in both parties as well as the hate mongering people found in both parties.

So the Earth did not move. Nor did the world come to an end. :D But for Richard Armitage, if he had talked about being for nationalized health care, gun control, etc. and explained why without making things personal, I don’t think there would have been much offense taken if any.

My hope is if he keeps expressing political views, that he does so without targeting a group. Having watched him now for several years, I want to think he did it inadvertently because he didn’t realize referring to Republicans was not limited to politicians.


I still say you were drunk. :D

A crazy fan

I ask one thing from those of you who have similar views to Richard. Please put yourself in the shoes of those who felt he was in some ways denigrating them. Replace the word Republican with the word Democrat and change the issues Richard is supporting to something you don’t support and see if you would still feel so magnanimous.

Further notes from Frenz. I have now read quite a few articles at NY Moves and enjoyed them, but it’s hard not to see that this site needs work of the technical kind. I looked at it under the covers, and there is so much they could be doing to help themselves. I would love to get hold of it, but of course don’t think they would want my help after my criticism and parody of them. LOL! Whatever my stance on the RA article, it’s a shame an outfit like this does not have a better site.

Last note: new tag ‘not that Richard’

#11 Cooked Turkey and Its Lovely Jpeg

I’m counting down to Thanksgiving with a series of posts recounting things I am thankful for having received or experienced or participated in.

Cooked turkey-jpg. I have thought about it probably a 100 times, which is 99 more than I had initially planned. It was going to be a throwaway photo* for a piece on the TSA’s search policy change that occurred just before Thanksgiving 2010. Little did I know cooked turkey-jpg was destined for more.

Before the piece had been published a few days, it shot up to number one in the Google rankings for images with the search string ‘cooked turkey.’ When this happened, my initial response was to howl with laughter at the possible message to my anonymous blogging and wait for the one-day wonder to pass. I figured it had a lot to do with the popularity of the TSA discussion and my publishing on Thanksgiving, but surely the image would not remain so high over time.

Fast forward a year, and the capitalism piece surged again, and cooked turkey-jpg led the way, and when I looked on Google, it was still ranked number one. Once again I found myself laughing about the absurdity of this particular site having a page ranked so high due to ‘cooked turkey,’ and I had to write about the phenomenon. As I wrote, ever in my mind was the knowledge I had lifted the prohibition on the search engines indexing the site not long before the piece had been published, but then put it back in place not long after. It had me wondering if all I had heard about WordPress being an SEO (search engine optimization) monster was true as it’s no mean feat to have a page with a number one ranking on common search terms. Somehow I had achieved that holy grail but still wasn’t sure how. I did wonder if Google thought I was a food site. And I wrote about that as well.

By the beginning of 2012, I really was curious as to the intricacies of SEO. Oh, some of it I knew. I read a lot of technical publications and sites and have for years. It’s hard not to pick up some of that knowledge, but I really wanted to know the fine points, so I started doing my homework and also playing around under the covers on a self-hosted site as well some other sites. Unreal! Seriously, WordPress is fantastic for its SEO abilities, and yes, that’s including the major changes which Google made in 2012. No, I’m not getting into all of that. Suffice to say that I have come to the conclusion that WordPress is indeed powerful with respect to SEO if it’s leveraged correctly.

Now for the part that makes me so very thankful. With the knowledge I’ve gained, I have been able to use it to consult with businesses. I provide other services as well, but it’s wonderful to be able to speak to SEO in a knowledgeable fashion. I’m not sure I would have done as much research if not for cooked turkey-jpg. And I am not saying I’m the most knowledgeable about this subject. Ohmygosh, no way would I say that, but I have learned enough to help some businesses and to know there is a lot of bogus information out on the web and some charlatans as well. Some of them look legitimate. I hate that. I really do. It’s painful to run across someone in business who has been gulled by that, and especially when they’re paying for something that not only doesn’t work to improve SEO but can hurt it.

The other thing I’m so immensely thankful for is having a business that helps others succeed. I really do enjoy that. Maybe it’s the frustrated teacher in me, but I have enjoyed doing that since I started in tech over 30 years ago. I also love puzzles, and now I get to do both all the time and a lot of times while I’m in my pajamas.

note: I’m putting the Richard Armitage tag on this because he’s in part responsible, and if cooked turkey-jpg hits bottom on rank after this, I don’t care. It’s served its purpose.

*the cooked turkey photo is a public domain photo and not even a good one; yeah, it’s lousy. :D

Zombie Apocalypse Overcomes Regional Restrictions, Or I Want My TV Now!

A pivotal event is about to happen, and it comes none too soon. In fact, it’s several years late, but I’ll take it and hopefully it will lead to some relief of the frustration I vented earlier about the slow distribution of shows to other countries than their origin, and how this facilitated piracy, but it didn’t have to be that way. The Walking Dead wil be making global distribution of the new season within 24 hours of its release in the U.S.

“The Walking Dead” wakes up and fights piracy by releasing global versions earlier

jason-profileBy Jason Lynch

Jason Lynch is the former television editor at People magazine.

In the coming days, zombies are going to take over the world. Again.

On Sunday, the horror series The Walking Dead kicks off its fourth season on AMC, and its premiere episode is packed with stomach-churning gore, nail-biting suspense and of course, zombies galore. It’s a brutal, bloody show that is seemingly not for everyone—except that everyone seems to be watching. In March, the third season finale drew its largest audience ever, with 12.4 million viewers tuning in, and if the show’s viewing trends continue, Sunday’s ratings should be even higher.

But US audiences won’t be the only ones getting their zombie fix. Within 24 hours of its US premiere, international viewers in more than 125 different countries will be able to watch as well... read the rest here

Yippee! No, I’m not a watcher of The Walking Dead, but this is huge! May other producers be so overcome that they follow suit like lemmings. Are you hearing this, BBC?

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? For years we’ve been watching shows from other countries shortly after their release.” Yeah, I know, but you weren’t accessing them through legal means, and if you were, it was usually with quite a delay in watching, and many shows were not dubbed into other languages. So this is new, and more important a sign that the networks are waking up to the fact that not only do viewers not want to wait for their tv, but they won’t!*

*Last year a new show called Touch had a simultaneous global release, so The Walking Dead is not breaking entirely new ground but rather will receive more attention for this phenomenon, and that’s a good thing!

Note: I’m debating about putting the Richard Armitage tag on this one. I’m not entirely sure that he’s going back to tv, but he’s the one who got me interested in watching tv again, and I have wondered why HBO Game of Thrones is following me when I have never written about that show. Interesting. Yeah, this is getting the tag. :D

On a related note: if you’re smart, and I assume all of you who read this blog are smart :D, and you like to invest in the stock market, I hope you are doing research on the revolution about to happen with Google TV and Apple TV. Many of you folks in Kansas City know what I’m talkin’ about.

Okay, I feel another tangent coming on, so I’ll stop that line of thought.