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10 reasons people hate our blog. October 26, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, homesteading, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben loved the recent post by Nell Jean of Secrets of a Seed Scatterer, “Ten Reasons I Like Your Blogs.” They were eminently sensible reasons, and our friend Ben even learned something I didn’t know (people have background music on their blogs?!!). Read them for yourselves at http://seedscatterer.blogspot.com/.

Unfortunately, just as “Everybody Loves Raymond” presumably spawned “Everybody Hates Chris,” reading Nell Jean’s post instantly brought to mind the many reasons Nell Jean might hate our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, which in turn was a springboard to why everybody else might hate it, too. Making my infamous “Ben Picks Ten” lists as I often do, how could I resist playing on Nell Jean’s post to find the top 10 reasons people would hate our blog? Readers, feel free to contribute others, but keep it civil, please. And Nell Jean, thanks for inspiring a little fun over here. We appreciate it!

1. It always looks the same. One of the things Nell Jean mentioned in her post was how much she appreciated it if people changed the look of their blogs from time to time. We’ve noticed that a lot of the blogs we enjoy do change things every few months, maybe adding more seasonal photos to their head or changing their typeface and background color or even the total look. We, by contrast, will never change anything. Being Luddites and terminally tech-challenged, we can’t tell you how grateful we were to find a header design that actually looked almanac-like. Whew, what a lucky break! If you’re looking for change, you’re looking in the wrong place.

2. There are no photos. Not only do we not have music blaring in the background (well, we often do, but not here on the blog!), we have no photos. Not even one. Our blog is text-only. If you’re reading this and are surprised that anyone ever comes here, we are, too. We assumed when we began Poor Richard’s Almanac that nobody would ever drop by more than once, and then by accident. Being Luddites, we can’t take a decent photo to save our lives, much less post one. And please don’t ask us to learn! There’s a lot we still need to learn in life—Spanish, for example, and guitar, and pot-throwing, and decent watercoloring—and we still have many novels, poems, and songs to write. There are so many great garden photographers out there in the blogosphere that we don’t think our pictures would really add anything appreciable, anyway. But we always love seeing yours!

3. There are lots of us. In addition to the three regular blog contributors—our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders—we have frequent guest posts from OFB’s and Silence’s puppy Shiloh, our clueless cat Linus, and even the great Dr. Franklin himself. That’s a lot to keep track of. Who are these people, and what are they doing on this blog?!!

4. We tend to go on. Silence insists that I mention this, and is looking at me very pointedly while insisting on it. Some of our posts are in fact relatively concise, but, ahem, others aren’t. We say what we feel needs to be said in the amount of space we feel it needs to be said in, if that makes any sense. For those folks who truly have the fabled 5-second attention span, other options are only a click away.

5. We’re all over the place. It’s no accident that our blog is called Poor Richard’s Almanac. Besides paying tribute to the great Dr. Franklin, we wanted to create a blog that would let us talk about whatever we want, be it Sherlock Holmes or summer squash or Saag Paneer or successful pirates. We think blog creators need first and foremost to have fun with their blogs, whether they’re posting photos of what’s in bloom in their gardens or introducing readers to their favorite books, music, and movies. But as we understand it, some people don’t like blogs that cross topic lines. We know of at least one really wonderful blogger who basically stopped blogging because people criticized her for posting  about things that had nothing to do with gardening, even though her blog’s name should have signalled to all and sundry that she’d be posting about many things. Trust us, we are, have been, and will be, too.

6. Maybe folks don’t like our topics. What, people don’t want to read about Colonial or mediaeval or Renaissance habits or herbs or history or recipes? Nobody wants to know more about chess or marbles or numismatics or dinosaurs or archaeology? People aren’t interested in parrots or chickens or music or pets or Ben Franklin or pirates or movies or Anne Boleyn’s sixth finger or Amish friendship bread or… ?!!! Gee, what a shame.

7. Homesteading ain’t Hollywood. Reading headlines about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian (not to mention the innumerable other Kardashians) and Angelina Jolie while waiting in the grocery line, our friend Ben and Silence perceive the Grand Canyon of interest dividing folks who want to read about anything meaningful versus the life and times of the “celebutantes.” On the one hand are the millions of people who frequent celebrity gossip sites, buy celebrity-focused magazines, watch celebrity reality TV shows; on the other, a few thousand people trying to learn real skills and build real community and create real families. As our friend Ben sees it, for now, anyway, never the twain shall meet.

8. Silence is vegetarian. And she’s vegetarian because she doesn’t want to eat her fellow creatures. Silence often posts recipes, and of course, they too are vegetarian. But she’s not one of those holier-than-thou types who blasts away at anyone who isn’t exactly like her. In fact, she’s the only vegetarian contributor on Poor Richard’s Almanac, and somehow she manages to survive among the rest of us. Her philosophy is that it’s what you do for the greater good that matters, not how closely you adhere to what she’s doing. But we’ve noticed that vegetarianism is a real hot button, and can cause more furious justifications of “why we’re NOT vegetarians” than pretty much anything else. Cool it, folks. You’re not vegetarians, neither are our friend Ben or Richard Saunders. It’s fine. You’re doing something else for the good of our planet. Relax. We seriously doubt that the cow or goat or sheep or chicken or fish god is going to be waiting up there to slap you around.      

 9.  We’re organic. Oh, yes, we are that. No chemical fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides/fungicides and etc. on our property, thank you very much. We love the cycle of nature and beneficial insects and bees and monarch butterflies and toads and songbirds and earthworms, and would prefer not to be annihilating them and sterilizing the soil and our earth for our stupid, short-sighted purposes. We feel the same way about the greed that insists on patenting plants and the agribusiness mentality that keeps people from patronizing small family farms that sell, for example, raw milk. Oh, we are opinionated here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. And oh my, some people seem to hate firmly held opinions passionately expressed.  

10. We aren’t Poor Richard’s Almanack. We once received a furious comment from a student who’d been researching the famous almanac founded by our own hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin, and wasted at least a second of his very valuable time being directed here to us, presumably because he left off that all-important “k” at the end, rather than to Dr. Franklin’s famous work. Never in our collective lives have we been subjected to such a violent, virulent, and vulgar tirade. In the time it took the kid to type all this, he could have gone to and read several pages of the “real” almanac. Yikes. At least he didn’t leave off the “k” at the end of the word he used most often.

Okay, that’s it for us. Your turn to say what you love and hate about the blogs you read. Speak up, please. We may learn something!



1. Joy - October 26, 2009

Oh my …. Thank YOU for the GREAT laugh I had this morning all of you ‘people” !! .. No matter what you think your faults are, or reasons people may not like your blog .. I doubt you have a long list of blog haters ? LOL
You have a very long list of fans .. even if they forget to leave comments (oops !)
I laughed the most at your last reason .. husband must wonder what I do over here in the office of the family room .. other than fits of laughter ?
Joy : )

Yeah, that kid’s comment was something else, Joy! Maybe we should do a post about anger management…

2. Dave@TheHomeGarden - October 26, 2009

It’s funny that some of the reasons you list might be why people hate your blog are why I like your blog! Although a photo every now and then would be nice!

Thanks, Dave! And we agree that the occasional significant photo (our beloved golden retriever, Molly, or new puppy Shiloh, or goofy cat Linus, for example) would be nice. But until and unless we get around to mastering even the most basic photography, we’ll have to keep challenging ourselves to paint pictures with words!

3. Jen - October 26, 2009

I think that the varied list of topics is one of my favorite things about your blog. I never know what I’m gonna find here! But I always like it. (And for those who don’t, come back tomorrow – you’ll find something that interests you, for sure!)

Thanks, Jen! We never know what’s going to inspire us to write, either! But we certainly have tons of fun doing it.

4. Nell Jean - October 26, 2009

Remember the graph the professor always uses in Political Science to show how the Left eventually meets the right? No Photos moves right on around to Too Many Photos. You probably don’t need any. You’d get to enjoying them so much you’d want 35 on every post.

I do like your blog. It’s a lean machine. Your header is perfect.

As for vegetarianism, I’m okay with it, but those folk who are always complaining about deer should just eat them and solve a big problem. Farmer Danny and his son are going to hunt when harvest is over here and they will eat what they kill. Since the deer fed on Farmer Danny’s crops all summer he feels entitled.

Thanks, Nell Jean, and thanks again for being a good sport! Venison recipes are in fact the only meat-based recipes Silence has ever posted on PRA, after her brother was gifted with some venison and asked her what to do with it (see “Oh, deer! Venison recipes” and check out what she selected). We always think it’s a shame to see road-killed deer (a frequent sight up here in PA) and know that it’s illegal for anyone to harvest the carcass. And you’re right, certainly eating deer would be a good way to control their population and add to the larder!

5. fairegarden - October 26, 2009

We love your blog just the way it is. I predict there will be not one single comment saying that there is something they hate here, on your list or something new. How interesting to get that comment from the young potty mouthed researcher. I loved Nell Jean’s list as well.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Frances! “Interesting” is one way of describing that awful comment. What a lot of energy focused on pointless rage! Mercy.

6. Lzyjo - October 26, 2009

Sounds like 10 reasons to LOVE Poor Richard’s Almanac! One of the greatest things is that it doesn’t require pictures, the text stands up on it’s own. Another beautiful thing, we can all have our mental pictures of Hawk’s Haven, it’s greenhouse and gardens and the blogging triumvirate. I loved the varied content, after all gardening after to cook and clean and do all those other domestic chores, when we’re not gardening or blogging about it!

BTW, I read the other day that the average Dutch person eats like 1,200 animals in their life. I’m totally cool with saving them. Hua hua!

Thanks, Lzyjo!!! The most amazing stat we’ve read about meat-eating is that the men on the Lewis & Clark expedition received 9 pounds of meat every day. Nine POUNDS!!! And here we are agonizing about the bad stuff in a quarter-pounder…

7. Gail - October 26, 2009

LOL! Love this blog and all the characters/participants/authors/personalities and topics! It’s great fun. So much so that I occasionally hear ‘news’ items and hope I get to read your thoughts on them! So don’t be surprised if I send my top ten list of Poor Richard’s Almanac topics! gail

ps. Dal Makhani, Special Spring Dosa (vegetables in a dosa), Baingan Barta (eggplant) Basmati rice, assorted naan…and several dishes I forgot. Woodlands, Indian Vegetarian Cuisine~~

Ha! Please do send that top ten list, Gail!!! But stop making us hungry, we’re already thinking about lunch! Do you know the cookbook “Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India”? If not, you must buy it (used, hopefully!) from Amazon. It has the most deliciously photographed food I’ve ever seen in ANY cookbook. YUM!!!!

8. elephant's eye - October 26, 2009

I love that your recipes come without photos (food, is there food here?) Imagining, not image of, cooking Silence’s recipes. And the 11th reason to love Poor Richard is that Luddite parallel universe. Who is actually writing this blog? Are there really 3 people, or one with 3 hats?

I actually love reading recipes without photos and picturing them in my mind, too, Diana. I thought I was the only one! Though fabulous photos of Indian, Turkish, Greek, Moroccan, and Mediteranean food…. mmmm… The more gorgeous the ingredients, the more I like to look, maybe! And ah yes, that Luddite parallel universe! Somewhere up there, Ben Franklin is laughing!

9. Daphne Gould - October 27, 2009

As I was reading along I could see why some people wouldn’t like your blog (not me mind you but some people) especially with our culture and number 7, until I got to 8. I couldn’t fathom why an omnivore would not want to read a vegetarian’s blog when I read the title. Especially Silence who sometimes tells you what non vegetarian items you could add (like chicken broth). I suppose if all they ate was meat I could understand, but most of us are omnivores not carnivores. Except maybe Lewis and Clark. The thought of nine pounds of meat a day makes me kind of sick. I know that kind of exercise really makes you want to eat, but nine pounds of meat? It makes me want to be a vegetarian just thinking about it ;>

You’re right, Daphne, Silence does try to give non-veg options, including what meat dishes to serve if you want to make her recipes as sides rather than main dishes. I think that’s because she really loved eating meat back in the day and was very sad to give it up (from a taste perspective), rather than being one of those vegetarians who really never liked meat in the first place. She often advises me about which meat dishes look best when we go out to eat, and is never wrong! As for those 9 pounds of meat, I don’t think even the Big Texan steak house requires folks to eat that much to qualify for their free steak dinner. Yow!!!

10. Alan from Roberts Roost - October 27, 2009

I hate the no picture thing! I understand it, an I’m always impressed by your ability to capture the image and feel in words, but pictues show so much more, and it would be fun to SEE some glimpses of your world.

As for the Luddite, technophobic excuse…, you do things here that I can’t do (and would love to.) I suspect I use the wrong blogging platform, so it won’t work for me, but I LOVE the way you comment back on the comments that get posted.

Keep following your Bliss and to hell with the naysayers.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying, Alan! When I see pictures of your potager or Dave’s greenhouse or Daphne’s harvest or somebody’s recipe-in-progress, it kills me that we can’t post our own photos of OUR greenhouse or chicken coop or harvest or whatever. Maybe someday! Meanwhile, we do what we can do best: talk! As for our comments, WordPress has an “edit” feature for blog comments that makes it super-easy for us to respond to everyone’s comments. And since we love it when people comment, and love to let them know that we’ve read and appreciated their comments, this is a great feature for us!

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