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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We are leaving

At least for a while.  Not forever, but we need to escape some habits.  We think...  We hope to see you all again someday.  Things are just not going right...

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Comment Failures

TBT here:  We are having trouble commenting on blogs.  Yes, I have mentioned it before, but it seems to be getting even worse.

I am getting to my wit's end about this.

In this past week, I have tried both Firefox and Safari.  That doesn't seem to help.  I have been ruthlessly cleaning my computer of old files (some small some large).  I have gone through and uninstalled old and unused applications.  I have used 2 different software programs that search for viruses, malware, and advertisement-oriented commercial cookies.  I defragmented the disk.  I searched for unauthorized incoming and outgoing traffic while I wasn't actively using the computer.

I am not having the slightest problem with the computer otherwise.  As far as I can tell, my Mac computer is operating perfectly.

Meanwhile, I have noticed that my number of comments (though not visitors) to Mark's Mews is dropping.  A year or 2 ago, I was getting 30 comments and 80 visitors per day.  It went to 20 comments and 30 visitors.  Lately, it is 10 comments and 20 visitors.

This could of course be for many reasons.  Fewer people visiting blogs, we are getting boring, or (what concerns me most) many of YOU are also not getting comments through and are not recognized as visiting.

I'm not sure what to do.  I have about 70 blogs on my reading list.  I try to visit everyone at least once a week (about a 1/3 every other day).  Tonight, of the first 10 I visited (and I always comment), only 2 comments showed up when I checked back an hour later.  And it wasn't that they were blogs that are moderated in real time (I moderate too, but only for comments 3 days or older).  And I get email acknowledgement of comments to be moderated.  And even THEN, I have been checking my blogger dashboard for comments waiting for moderation or considered spam.

The only thing I can think of to do next is to hook up my Windows 10 computer to the internet (it is currently a stand alone computer for "safe" use).  But that would mean updating 2 year's worth of software, buying anti-virus software (not currently needed since it is offline in all ways), and creating new bookmarks (since I wouldn't want to copy ANYTHING from the Mac "just in case").

So my questions are:

How many of you are having the same general problems with commenting?

Have you found a way to fix it?

Is it different on a Mac or a Windows?

What browser works best for you?

How would you feel if I emailed you (being unable to reliably leave comments directly)?

If we can't fix our commenting problems, would you still visit us?

Is the blogging world falling apart (is the comment-failure problem widespread or just me or a few of us).

There used to be streaming chat.  That faded away.  Then there were discussion boards (still working fine).  Blogs worked great until a couple years ago.

I'm never been on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and with the complaints I see, don't want to be.

So, anything anyone can suggest based on current experiences would sure be appreciated.

  ........................

I just learned something.  If you have "embedded" as a choice in your comment settings, it may be causing problems for visitors using a Mac.

Here's how you find out:

Go to your Settings selection and look for something like "Posts and Comments".

Under "Comments" you will see "Comments Location".  Next to that is a box with several choices like "embedded, full page, popup window, and hide".  If you have "embedded", I think that is what is stopping Apple Mac users!

If you change that setting to "popup window", I think that will fix things for we Mac users.

You can also look at the 2 settings below that; "Who Can Comment?" and "Comment Moderation".

The first is anyone, google accounts, and only members of this blog.  I suspect the last is a bad choice.  The first allows EVERYONE (and you might want to be careful).  The "google account" means most of us.  A friend set up a google account just to comment on blogs and so far as we can tell, means little beyond on that even if you don't like Google.

"Comment Moderation" decides how old a comment has to be before it requires you to personally allow the comment to be posted automatically.  I have my setting on 7 days.  That means comments from friends on old posts aren't likely to get ignored, but some of those scammers who post ads on really old posts get detected (usually).

I hate to ask friends to struggle through changes in their settings, but I think it is their settings that are keeping my posts from showing.  I THINK it is the "embedded" setting that is causing the problem.  It DOES seem to me that "embedded" comments (where the comments show immediately below the post) are the ones I have troubles with AND that the "pop up" comment windows always seem to work.

And only because Mac and Windows don't get along well.

SO, if anyone tries that, let me know and I will send a test comment to assure "Pop Up Windows" works.  It COULD solve a problem many of us have had AND it could result in more comments and visitors...

Hoping for good news...

Mark




Saturday, October 06, 2018

Silly Saturday

MARLEY:   I used ta love napping unner the chair tent, so TBT set up another one on the old chair.  I havent used it yet.

But the chair is between our trees.  And I was up high on a tree and decided ta jump down in the tent...
It looked more solid than it is!  In fact, I almost bounced off the chair when the tent collapsed onto the cusion.  Silly me!

Friday, October 05, 2018

Flashback Friday

AYLA:  Seven years ago this week, I was watching over my 2 younger fursibs.  It was a peaceful time...
Then Marley decided ta move up one level and Iza took HIS spot.  They seemed all calm, so I decided ta take a nap myself.
 It was good ta all be tagether family-like.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Garden Tour Thursday

IZA:  Well, it isnt so much of a "tour" today, since most of my our flowers look about the same as last time.  But there was a PROJECT I would like ta show.  TBT found all these pansies in 12-packs at Lowe's and decided he wanted a large plot of them fer "Winter-watching" and some fer pots on the deck.

So he bought 5 packs of those and brought them out yesserday ta plant them.  Which OF COURSE requires my help.  Iffen I dont get him started right, nothing will go well.

So I made sure he had his radio on (music keeps him soothed).
And I checked the flowers to make sure they smelled healthy.  They did...
This is what the spot looked like "before".  Corn grew there (badly) and weeds grew after he pulled the corn up.
But after pulling all the weeds and digging up the soil, it looked real nice. 

I'll let TBT describe the rest cuz I got bored and he took out some equipment I dont like ta be around.

TBT:  Thank you Iza, you got me started well!  OK, so I used a small electric tiller to loosen the soil about 6" deep.  Those things do really well in bare ground.  Avoid grass and vines and long roots though; those wrap around the blades and take a lot of work to remove. 

But it was nice soft fluffy soil afterwards.  I even pit down a piece of old plywood to spread my weight as I planted.
I had diagrammed a plan that had yellow and purple pansies around the outside and red ones in my middle.  I'm a bit geometric...  Because the spot was angled, I had rows of 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5.

I even made a 1"x2" board (the the picture above) a few years ago with markings on each side to show 6", 9", 12" and 16" spacings.  But look carefully at the back row; I planted 10 instead of 9 plants.  I only realized that at the 2nd row and didn't feel like re-doing them.  It threw the pattern off slightly, but I'm pretty sure the Gardening Gods won't hurl lightening at me in punishment.  It just means that there are 2 yellow pansies extra close.

The labels said to space them 8-10" apart; I spaced them 12".  Well, it is rich soil so they will grow larger, and I like to see individual plants rather than a carpet of them.  The center of the planting is red pansies.  The results were good.
There is a reason I got better grades in school in Geometry than Algebra...  Anyway, now that they are in the good soil, they should grow quickly.  I'll scratch in some slow-release organic fertilizer soon and then put folded newspaper between the plants and cover it with bark mulch to keep the weeds down.  I sure don't want to have to weed the bed in January!

Iza and I hope to show you lots of new flowers from there in a few weeks...

Now I'll return the post back to Iza...

IZA:  OK, now that we have seen all the new flowers, lets have SNACKS!  I picked them out this time.  We have some chopped Bacon, some Chickie shreds, and NIP!  TBT is going to harvest most of our stems to dry in the basement in a couple weeks (ta get us through the Winter), so we are enjoying the last of the fresh stuff while we can.

Thanks so much fer coming on the Garden Tour!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Womancat Wensday

IZA:  I love any box anywhere.  So when TBT dropped a box in the basement, I hopped right in...
I wasn't happy, though, when I saw Ayla up on the ladder (staring at me), so I turned on my lasers to warn her not to pounce.  
And the lasers werked of course.  She hopped down and went upstairs.  I have the best lasers in the house. 

Im still not sure why TBT, Marley, and Ayla laff when they see me in my favorite boxes though...

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Twofer Tuesday

MARLEY:  Iza and I share TBTs lap more and more often recently.  Ya do things and ya get more used ta them, ya know? 
TBT says we are crushing his knees.  Its 24 pounds with both of us.  But that's HIS problem.  Quite frankly, if Ayla joined us with her 6.2 pounds extra, *I* would be pleased.

He did come up with a slight help.  He rolled up a towel and stuck it unner his knee to help balance our (very appropriate) weights.  Hey, whatever keeps him from moving while we are enjoying the lap is fine with us.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Mancat Monday

MARLEY:  I like sleeping in the drawer lately.  But it was a bit of a squeeze getting in all comfy last night!  TBT claimed the laundry was a bit damp so he needed the drawers open.

In itself, that dint bother me.  But I DID have ta push my way in a bit. 
Actually, I wasnt there when he went to bed.  But he woke up later (missing my presence near him in the bed no doubt) and looked around afore spying where I was.  He said it was OK ta be in there, so I stayed.
I would have gotten out iffen he had asked.  Im a good mancat...  But Im glad he said staying was OK.  I stayed there all night. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Easy Like Sunday

AYLA:  We are having wonderful weather today, so we are having an Easy Sunday outside.
Except for Iza, who wont get off her heaty mat inside...

Friday, September 28, 2018

Flashback Friday

IZA:  Our flashback today is from this date in 2012.   TBTs Dad was here with us then.  Ayla and Marley were a bit cautious around him, but I went right up to him the first day he arrived.  I used ta sit on the arm of his chair and purr loudly, which amused him.
And whenever he got up, I would keep his chair warm for him til he came back.  He was always sure ta compliment me on my soft floofy tummy, too.  I liked him.
Sadly, he had to move away a year later and then crossed his own Bridge after that...

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Garden Tour Thursday

IZA:  Lots to show today, some bad, but mostly good.

TBT found this unusual mum at Walmart.  Top view...
Our cat-level view...
 The volunteer marigolds are growing well...
And these are all volunteers too.
The BEST volunteers!   There are hummingbirds around them all the time.  Except of course when TBT or we are out there close,
The Venus Fly Traps are thriving, with lots of unlucky flies...
 The Autumn Joy Sedum are beginning to color-up.
The little pond is looking very good.  I told TBT to clean it in Spring and he did.  There are frogs and goldfish in there.
The a\Asters are blooming, but with all the rain, they are floppy.  TBT will put a a string between poles to lift them.
The butterfly meadow just utterly failed.  We pulled the dead plants out, but vines are growing.  TBT will have to pull them out.  My paws aren't strong enough.
The meadow flowerbed isn't looking good either.  But I think we can overseed in late Winter and try again.
The Mums in the garden beds are doing well.  
 There are red and yelow ones too.  They need a sunnier spot for next year.  I'll let TBT know where that is is by resting in the sunniest spots this week.

Now, lets all go sit in the enclosed garden area.  TBT has left the door open for us.

Toaday, we are having treats.  We have 6 different packets of them and TBT has brought out pates of them, some just one kind and some plates mixed all up.  So we can choose.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Toesie Tuesday

IZA:  A bit differnt from my usual toesie pictures.  TBT is constantly amazed at the odd positions I can be comfy in on his lap.  Well, Im a cat and he's not...


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Easy Like Sunday

MARLEY:  Oh YAY!  TBT opened up a drawer as we collecting to go to sleep.  An because that drawer was a bit thin of comfy undershirts, he put the bathroom mat on top (it fits perfectly).  I claimed it immediately!
I DO know ta cover my eyes though.  A cat in a drawer is a flashy-magnet...
I stayed there ALL night.  Time for a morning stretch (I know what it LOOKS like, but that was the start of a stretch).
See?  I was purrfectly happy ta sit there!
OK, it DID give me ideas (and I HAD been there ALL NIGHT), so I ran down ta the litterboxes.  None of us would do THAT in a drawer.  Iffen somekitty did, we doubt we would ever see one open again...

But waking up so comfy and rested made this a Very Easy Like Sunday!

BTW, Happy Fall to Northern cats and Happy Spring to Southern ones...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Silly Saturday

AYLA:  TBT saw me getting ready ta jump down from the top of the shoe rack.  He had the camera in hand.  The camera was on.  He had it pointed along where I would jump through...
Both he and the camera are TOO SLOW!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Flashback Friday

Today we have this date in 2011.  It was a rare time when we were all in the same spot. 
And the otto-man doesnt have much room for 3!
Ayla was in a mood for grooming.
Marley was just over a year old then, and acting like a kitten forced to endure Mom's cleaning habits...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Womancat Wensday On Thursday About Mancat Monday On Tuesday

IZA:  The other evening, I suddenly noticed Marley nappin in one of MY spots!  I thought maybe I should go over and tell him to move.
 But I WAS on TBTs lap.  And Ayla was watchin ta see if I left it.
I guess I'll let him stay...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Meow Like A Pirate Day

Cap'n "Mousiedeath" Marley here:  We be sailin the refurbished 'Cat Tree' sloop this season, headin fer fair winds after the hurriwinds be spent.  We be 'spectin a lot of ships leavin the ports now.

We trade in Nip.  Meaning ya "trade" us yer Nip and we wont shave yer scurvy heads.  We got electric razors an we dont be shy 'bout using them!  An ye'll give us yer mousies too iffen ya dont want yer ears bit!  An mebbe shave yer tails too...

I gaze forward seekin fer a flag on the horizon.  First Mate Ayla cats the Poop Deck  (an she better not up there, cuz me precious cabin is directly below).  Crewmate  Iza is scouring the belowdecks, cuz she tried a mutiny ta other day.  Iffen we be not so short of paws, she'd been leashed ta the mast overnight, I be settled fer spritzin her several times an makin her keep her paws wet in soapy water fer a day.
We be figured a trick ta lure the Nip-Mercantcats close.  We hoist the distress flag and have our sails a-painted like they bein ripped an all from storm an set a bit flappy.  THAT gets the lubbers close.  So when they be close an all concerned-like, Ayla tightens the sails and we be on them like a shark smellin Stinkey Goodness in their wake!

The looks on their faces is t'nough make yer sides split as we toss our fancy iron claws ta be catchin their gun'els and pull them close as wrestlin krakens!  We hit their decks as puffed up as Meowlaween cats and they all fall on their sides...

So be warned iffen ya see us comin. 

Our shipsong:   (To the tune of 'Sixteen Tons' by Tennessee Ernie Ford)

If ya see us coming, better sail away.
If ya dont, yer gonna have a very bad day.
Our left claws are sharp, and the right ones are sharper,
If ya dare ta fight, you'll end up damper.

We got a big full sink aboard our ship.
We'll make ya throw yerself into it!
You'll stay there all day til ya bark like a dog,
And ya wont get kibbles nor no Nip-grog!

An when we let ya out, we'll set ya free 
On a island with mousies bigger than thee.
If ya scuppers get off, it will stay in yer head
Ta think of the crew of the 'Cat-tree' with dread!



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mancat Monday On Tuesday

MARLEY:  I noticed that none of us had been nappin on the plant stand shelfs.  So I decided to spend some time there.

A bit alert at first...
 Then head down on paws and asleep.
A little rearrangement later...
And finally some thoughtful gazing out into the night...