Just An Observation

Jerry's camera is in the shop this week, so I've got nothing for you today other than an observation I made a couple of days ago while I was at home sick with nothing to do other than surf the web and watch an unhealthy number of episodes of Downton Abbey.

I would like to begin this post with a few disclaimers:
  1. The opinions expressed here are just that: my opinions. It doesn't necessarily make them true.
  2. I'm aware of the shit storm that will possibly come my way by posting my opinions, but I am so stupid I'm posting them anyway.
  3. Did I mention I'm stupid?

Partypants Parties All the Way to the Bank?


"Everything is funny as long as it's happening to someone else." - Will Rogers

As I've said before on a number of occasions, I frequent the website Get Off My Internets (GOMI) on a regular basis. For those of you who don't know about this website, it posts articles usually snarking on bloggers. In turn, the readers, more often than not, rip the bloggers apart in the comments and forums. I didn't know about the existence of this website myself until they did an article on me a little over a year ago making fun of my poses in photos. I had absolutely no problem with them making fun of my poses. I mean, looking back those were some pretty jacked up poses. However, I did have a problem with the very personal attacks on my character and appearance over at GOMI and even on my own blog. Still, I was intrigued by this oftentimes very witty group of women, so I became a reader and put in my two cents from time to time. I should also mention that I put a link to my blog on my commenter user name because it was an option when making a comment, and I wasn't "scurred" to let people know who I was. Anyway, everything was all fine and dandy as long as I was in agreement with the GOMI community. The Anthroholic scandal came out, and I commented that the humor in the title "Anthroholic Issues an Anthropologie" was not lost on me. Everyone thought I was pretty cool for taking things so well, even their fearless leader who goes by the name of Partypants. Opinions of me changed pretty quickly, though, when I did not agree with the GOMI girls on a post. I was called all sorts of nasty names and then told I was an attention whore who was only commenting to get pageviews on my own blog. I took the link to my blog off and tried to comment a few times after this, but I was only met with more name calling and cute little gifs that said things like "You must not go here." and "No1curr." Realizing what I was dealing with, I stopped commenting, but I have continued to read articles on the website on a weekly basis. Jerry thinks I'm crazy for going there at all, and he's probably right, but I'm human, I do have a sense of humor, and as much as I hate to admit it, I find some of the things they talk about really funny (dead cat lady, anybody?). With that said, I don't agree with the majority of what they talk about over there, especially on the rare occasion when their venom is spewed my way, but I put on my big girl panties, take what enjoyment I can from the site, and leave the rest.

I was reading GOMI a couple of days ago, just like I've been doing for over a year now, and was struck by a series of what I perceived to be convenient coincidences. The most recent article on the site was written by the website administrator, Partypants, and was titled "Dooce Heating Crisis Sparks Rumors of Money Trouble." The article quoted a recent Dooce post where she was venting about the fact that it was colder than normal in her neck of the woods and that it was really putting a damper on her efforts to minimize her heating bill. Seems like a pretty innocent post to me and one that most of us can relate to this time of year. Even PP herself concluded, "it could be as simple as Dooce trying to minimize the wastefulness of heating the unused rooms in her mansion." Yes, in reality, it really could be, and probably is, that simple, but this is GOMI were talking about, not reality. Simple is never the answer on GOMI, because simple doesn't make for good material to rip another human being apart. Instead the majority of commenters decided to go with the other explanation PP provided: "one has to wonder if this is a sign that the Dooce media empire is winding down." Cue the Snarky McSnarkersons and clever gifs, because nothing is more entertaining than reveling in another person's potential downfall.

So far, this was shaping up to be a pretty typical GOMI post until PP felt the need to comment that up until recently she didn't have heat:
"Sandy blew out my bedroom windows, like out of the frames. They no longer stay in the frame and fall open multiple times during the day and night for no reason, and my bathroom window blew loose and the top window keeps dropping open. Not trying to be all ermagerdtragoedee, I’m sharing this information in order to say I am STILL better off than a LOT of people, and also, layers blankets socks. You just make fucking do because that’s what you HAVE to do when you are alive and human and trying to remain that way. It’s warming up to in the 40s now and that shit feels like a heat wave after the last two weeks. I feel incredibly lucky and am not at all inclined to make some big blog post about how I am getting by with a space heater and electric blanket and omgyallomg I don’t have heat."
Ok, fine, cry me a river, but then she comments again in the same thread about how she is terribly sorry for all the performance problems on the website recently but she is waiting for her next paycheck to come in so she can do a "server upgrade":
"Hey just a head’s up – my paycheck should come through in the next couple of days and I’ll do the server upgrade. Sorry for all the database errors and slow loading in the meantime, hams. I know it’s really annoying, please just ride it out a couple more days and I’ll be able to double the server again. Again, I am SO sorry, I know it’s irritating and I hope it doesn’t put you off the site. I’ve spent two days doing everything I can to optimize it for it’s current capacity, but it seems like every 3 months or so it needs to be upgraded. Yes I get the irony of whining that you need to wait till I get my paycheck on a post about dooce needing to budget. Feel free to tell me to turn my heat off."
Well, at least she got the irony. Meanwhile, I was starting to smell a rat. I knew of the database errors she was speaking of because I had been unable to get into the GOMI forums myself after several tries throughout the day. I would click on the forum link and immediately, without even thinking about it, a screen would come up and say "Database Error." Not one to be deterred easily I decided to try to get to the forums a different way. I went to GOMI's sister site, Shamepuff, and clicked on the forum link from there. Well, what do you know? The forums popped right up. I went back to GOMI and clicked on the forum link, and I got the dreaded "Database Error" screen again. Hmm...interesting...very interesting.

Back in the comments, readers were naturally wanting to know what they could do to help PP out financially after reading about her heating issues and server problems. A long time commenter wanted to know where she could find the donate button. Another commenter obliged with the exact location of this donate button. Of course, PP insisted that she didn't expect anyone to donate because it was her website and, therefore, her responsibility, blah, blah, blah... To steal a phrase from GOMI, "So brave."

By this time, my paranoid/conspiracy theory brain was in overdrive. So, let me get this straight: You've got a website administrator who does a post snarking on someone who was venting about heating bills. Then the author comments on her own post about how she has not been able to afford heat. Then the author comments on the same post that the website server is experiencing performance issues because she is waiting to get her next paycheck. Mysteriously, these performance issues are non-existent if you hit the server from a different website. Commenters offer to donate money to the administrator who insists she doesn't want donations but happens to have a donation button "just in case." Oh, and even I know where the damn donation link is but a commenter who frequents the site on a daily if not hourly basis doesn't have a clue and needs someone to point it out to her. OK.

Sounds like a pretty good scam to me. Just my opinion, but, hey, I'm an attention-loving, adulterous, bat shit crazy trainwreck of a whore, so what do I know?  If I am off base here maybe this post won't be a total loss. Maybe Miss PartyPants will manage to find some time out of her busy ham eating, Franzia drinking, snark inspiring schedule to come over to this little subpar blog and read what I've written here, and maybe, just maybe she will get a little taste of her own medicine. After all, making assumptions and false accusations is all fun and games until it happens to you.

*This is dedicated to anyone who has ever had a unkind word written about them by the lovely ladies of GOMI. Yes, even you, dead cat lady. Although, if you ever read this, can you please explain why you have a dead cat in your living room? Thanks!

Best. Gif. Ever.

CONVERSATION

27 comments:

  1. Good sleuthing!

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  2. Eh, what the hell. I'll connect my blog/twitter identity with my comment here, for honesty's sake. If you are active on GOMI you may have seen me around, since I am honest about my blog there, too. Although I try to stay out of the personal and/or body snark, since I personally think that crosses a line.



    I can answer your first thought, about how it gave you an error message, but then didn't with Shamepuff; the Error issue is really sporadic. Sometimes it'll refuse to load four times in a row, but will load the fifth. Sometimes it won't load for a half-hour, no matter what direction you come from. Trust me; I've had some really boring afternoons where I have tried everything just for the sake of seeing if something would work. It's just a strange issue that PP hasn't been able to get rid of.


    As for the rest... obviously, I sincerely disagree, and think you're maybe a wee bit overthinking things, here.


    Also... I have no idea where the donate button is. I was assuming people privately e-mailed her or something. Clearly I am not as much of an expert on GOMI as one should be after nearly a year of activity...

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    Replies
    1. Oops! Now that I've clicked on your link, I think I have you mixed up with "Franky." Sorry about that. What I said still stands, though, except the part about style. I can't tell much from your blog about your style, so I can't fairly weigh in on that. Cute pup, though!

      Delete
    2. Well I'm Franky and I honestly didn't know where the donate button was.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for coming here and clearing things up. I appreciate your honesty and cordiality.

    Yes, I'm familiar with you and have even visited your blog once. I happen to think you have great style. I don't have a problem with you, you're right, you don't body snark. I was just surprised that you were not familiar with the donation link given how much time you spend on there.

    You're right I am over thinking things, but that was precisely the point as that's what GOMI does on a daily basis.

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  4. My new year's resolution was to no longer read GOMI. While I enjoyed the snark, I agree that once you don't follow the (cat) pack you a shunned and mocked. Haters are gonna hate, and my motto for 2013 is to stay positive. :)

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  5. I didn't read the post or comments you are referring to, but I think you are mischaracterizing the nature /purpose of the post. It's not to "snark on" Dooce for not having enough $$ to pay her heat, but rather, to speculate as to whether the financial condition of her web empire will force her to get off the Internet. Which, as you know, is the hope of many and the true goal of GOMI (not Dooce, specifically), but any moron that is not worthy of inhabiting space on said Internet. Get it?

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  6. GOMI has its clever moments, but ultimately reading it makes me feel bummed out. For me, a lot of the GOMI blogs are SOMI! And it makes me wonder why people spend so much time picking apart blogs instead of just enjoying them or opting out, to spare themselves things they don't want to read. It's the same reason I opt out of bad TV.

    That said, I'm all for freedom of snark! And I appreciate there are GOMI folks who stay away from personal/body snark, because it stops being snark and starts being just plain mean.

    Thanks for your honesty and insight! :)

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  7. I replied yesterday from my Ipad, but it's not showing up, so I'm going to try this again from a computer.


    Thanks for coming here and clearing things up. I appreciate your honesty and cordiality.


    Yes, the server issues are strange. I've worked in IT for over 10 years, so I know a little bit about these things, and I found it very odd.


    You're right, I am over thinking things, but that was precisely the point as that's what GOMI does on a daily basis.


    I am surprised that you or anyone who spends a lot of time there was not familiar with the donation link, but stranger things have happened.

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  8. I too, have no problem with associating myself with GOMI. I've been a poster there for a long time and have made some really great friendships there. I also stay away from body/slut shaming and am not afraid to call someone else out on it if it's happening. I think most of the core hams at GOMI are intelligent, smart, and above all, honest. I would gladly donate to GOMI to keep talking to these women about the tons of issues discussed other than blogs. But I love the blog component too. Many bloggers I read either delete negative comments or disable them all together. GOMI provides a place for me to have a conversation about their blogs, and in some cases, to me these conversations aren't that different than the ones I would have with my girlfriends about celebrities in a magazine. If I think the conversation is going too far, I don't participate. Most of the other longtime hams are the same way.

    I am all about standing behind what I say and wouldn't mind revealing my full name if it weren't for crazies like this: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/04/13/i-hate-david-dellifield-the-one-from-ada-ohio/?utm_source=sidebar.

    I'm not saying GOMI is perfect, but what I am saying is it's so much more than a snark site. I have every intention of donating to keep it alive.

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  9. I feel exactly the way you do. I have a love/hate relationship with GOMI.

    I love it when GOMI gets the snark right. Those ladies can be so funny. The "Worst Fashion Blogging Pictures" thread in the forums is a perfect example of this except when it crosses over into personal/body snark. I also find a lot of the blogs SOMI. I've found several of my favorite blogs through GOMI.

    However, I hate it when it turns nasty which is much too often. You're right, it is depressing to see a bunch of people tearing one person down who can't even defend themselves. As a victim of their wrath, I have a soft spot for anyone who has to endure their vitriol.



    Thanks for reading and understand what I was trying to do here!

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  10. I completely understand where you are coming from. It's good to be able to talk about things with people of like minds. I'm glad you have been able to find that place in GOMI. I think it's very important to let people freely express their opinions as long as it doesn't turn nasty.


    The Anthroholic scandal is a great example of what happens when people aren't allowed to disagree or say anything negative at alI. This is why I was so surprised that I was shunned so quickly at GOMI just because I didn't agree with the majority and because of unfair assumptions that were made about me. And that's the problem I have with the site. It's one thing to joke about someone's silly poses, but it's another thing entirely to call that person an attention loving whore and many other very hurtful things without even trying to get to know them or understand them.


    None of us are perfect. I'm so much more than what I talk about on this blog. I am able to see the good in GOMI as well as the bad. It's a shame GOMI can't do the same.

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  11. Best of luck to you!


    I haven't been over there since I posted this, and I don't think I will for awhile. Honestly, I'm scared of the horrible things I might read about myself over there. I always think I'm prepared for the negativity and then their hurtful words hit me like a ton of bricks. Of course, they could just do what they've been doing and pretend I don't exist, which, even though they don't believe it, would be fine with me. It would be nice to have immunity from GOMI or to just be so low on their totem pole that I don't matter. That way I could be free to write my opinions and not have to deal with the hate.

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  12. I found it last night, after I made the comment and went looking for it... and also figured out why I hadn't seen it before.

    Even with my browser fully extended, the GOMI page requires some side-scrolling to for me to be able to see the edge on the right side... which I never do, since it's just ads. But it also means that the 'donate' button at the bottom is cut off. So that would explain that problem. I'd call it 'case closed' but I'm not sure this counts as a Sherlockian mystery.

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  13. Wow, who knew about GOMI? Not me and I am not going to check it out either. It sounds horrible. I just wanted to comment to say that I am sorry that you were treated badly by them. Things like that feel really bad, even if we don't know the people at all. Once my house was on apartment therapy and even though the good comments way outweighed the bad ones, the bad ones still stung a little bit. Do you ever go to perezhilton.com? He used to be very very snarky, but someone called him on it - some celeb but I forget who. They just said that with all the bullying problems that are happening, they felt that his website promoted that sort of thing. He has since changed his style and is a lot more positive. I always think that when people are mean to others they are just hurting themselves. Or rather, they do it because they are hurting. I suppose that is a little cliche but I think it is true. Anyway, I found your blog because you are a follower on my daughter's blog seeemilyshop.blogspot.com (did you see her current giveaway?). I like your blog. I went to college in NC. So beautiful there. Anyway - just wanted to say that you seem like a really good person and not deserving of mean girl stuff!!

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  14. The comments on my phone look different than on here, but just in case my first comment disappears...


    I'm Franky, and I honestly did not know where the donate button was. Alice did not ask me to act out a scene to get money.

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  15. It wouldn't surprise me Bonnie! I've always found the cries of "poor" difficult to swallow. I stopped reading GOMI long ago. I found the snark to be tiresome and I'd rather fill my life with positive and uplifting things, rather than get drawn down into criticism - no matter how "clever" it is, it is still nasty.

    Hope this is a great year for you Bonnie!

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  16. Hi, Emily's mom! Thanks for the support, and I agree 100% with everything you've said here.


    I found Emily through an outfit photo she submitted to Effortless Anthropologie. I fell in love with her outfit and the photo itself. I went to her blog and was surprised to see she only had a couple of followers. Her pictures were top notch, and she's got a great sense of style! Not to mention, she's gorgeous!

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  17. Well, it doesn't look like she'll be crying poor for the foreseeable future. I was having trouble sleeping last night, so I decided "what the hell" and checked out GOMI for the first time since I wrote this post.


    Wow! The GOMI community has donated at least $7000 to Partypants over the last several days. Apparently, a bigger blogger did a post on GOMI one day after mine (coincidence?) and then GOMI's biggest advertiser pulled out. Alice wrote a forum post saying that GOMI would be shutting down in 30 days because she could no longer afford to keep up that damned server.


    Gosh, I wonder how the rest of us out here on the Internets keep up our websites without nary a server, advertiser, or dollar in sight. I know I don't have millions of followers, but I still manage to have my own website where I express myself and chat with other like-minded people without a server of my own and without putting any money at all into this blog. Shutting down completely seems a bit dramatic, even for GOMI. I mean, all the faithful readers have stated that they don't mind waiting for their snark if they have to.


    Speaking of waiting, I was on GOMI at 1am last night and it was slow as shit. I'm pretty sure Alice stated that she has already thrown $4000 of the donated money into the server. Damn if I could tell it last night, in the middle of the fucking night no less. Maybe she has purchased the equipment and is waiting on it to be shipped. Hmm....sounds vaguely familiar...


    Anyway, it's a moot point because all the donators have stated that they don't care what she uses the money for. She could buy $7000 in Franzia, ham, and cat litter and they'd be thrilled to be a part of it. As long as they can get their hate on, it's all good.

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  18. I had a look too Bonnie!

    I also loved how she started out by saying maybe $1 for membership, then it quickly became $3 per month, then $5 per month if you went casual, rather than paying for an annual membership. Sure seems like money spinning to me!


    Whilst I have enjoyed the odd little snark over there, I certainly won't be paying money for it! I feel sorry for the "victims" more than anything. I even started reading KERF for a while (one of their most hated) and found her to be quite ordinary - not the smug bitch they made her out to be! Perhaps a little immature at times, and perhaps a little narrow minded also, but smug? Selfish? Certainly not the horror they had made her out to be! I don't think I'll be adding nut butter to my apple slices any time soon though...

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  19. Hi! Thanks for commenting and taking the time to write all this out. Wall-o-text comments don't scare me. You won't find any TL;DR comments from me.


    First off, I find it interesting that you say I'm only looking at a snapshot of a video. This is an argument us bloggers have used many times as to why GOMI's observations and conclusions about us are flat out wrong. I agree with you, you can't form a valid conclusion from one little snapshot. This was precisely the point of this post, to take a couple of little things, blow them completely out of proportion, and then trash someone's character based on the conclusions drawn by little to no facts.


    Secondly, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe there used to be a donate button at one time. I could have sworn seeing it, because I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Anyway, it's gone now and you're are right, there is only a little text link in the bottom right hand corner. However, I find it hard to believe that GOMI veterans were completely baffled as to where to find this elusive donation link and needed others to publicly point it out to them. I mean, we're talking about people who usually have no problem finding out where bloggers live, work, what color underwear they are wearing, etc.


    Thirdly, you're right, networking issues are volatile. I'm not even going to pretend that I can explain what happened. I just thought it was weird that my computer didn't even think about getting into the forum any time I tried it that day. Bam! Database Error. every. single. time. However, the first time I tried it from another website, I was in the forum in no time flat. Out of curiosity, I immediately tried it from the main site again. Database Error.


    Fourthly, I'm not privy to the whole "Federated Media" thing. I tried my best to ascertain what happened by reading comments on GOMI last night. I guess some big bloggers got together and pressured Federated Media into dropping GOMI as an advertiser; therefore, withdrawing the funds Alice(PP) uses to keep up the server. I'm not sure what this has to do with me other than I find it to be a pretty big coincidence that all this shit went down one day after my post. However, I read at GOMI that I'm just a pimple on the ass of other bloggers, so I can't imagine that any of those bloggers read my little post and were inspired by it.


    Fifthly, you're absolutely right. It's your money, you can do whatever you want with it.


    Again, thanks for taking the time to post this comment. You definitely have some valid arguments, and I agree with most of what you've said here even if I do have a different point of view on it.


    Thanks for the kind words! It's always nice to hear positive things. Best wishes!

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  20. Ok, you have a very well thought-out conspiracy theory here and I am not going to debate its validity. However, I would like to make a couple of points. 1. I have been in the IT industry for more than 10 years myself and I can vouch for the fact that the performance issues are really very,very unpredictable. It could be due to the way the site is configured, requests through Shamepuff might be getting routed through a different server which is not overloaded, or the error itself might be following some pattern which you are unable to detect. As a matter of fact, the site did give me an error a couple of times even when I went through Shamepuff, it is just that you may not have encountered it. 2. I am pasting a snapshot of how the site's footer looks to me in IE versus how it looks in chrome. The screen may not be very clear but hopefully you can see for yourself that the donate button is not visible in IE (version 9 is what I am using). 3. Most of the people on GOMI have already made it clear that they don't care what PP uses the donations for, as long as the site is active. So, what's the scam?

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  21. Wow! Screen shots and everything. Fancy!

    In response to your points:

    1. You are absolutely right about the unpredictability of website performance, but I just find it interesting that the myriad of other options out there to improve website performance haven't been tried, rather than throwing more money at a server every time there's a problem. This website alone offers 35 options: http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html
    I mean, I know GOMI gets over a million hits a month, but it's not like it's Amazon.com. Users aren't making purchases or other heavy requests. GOMI is basically a white page with black text with some shitty avatars thrown into the mix.

    2. Fine, I admit the donate button is hard to find and may be non-existent in some browsers, but why announce to the world over the Internet that you can't find it and need someone to point it out to you. Why not email PP privately and ask her the best way to send her some money? Isn't that what GOMI's main beef is with bloggers - that they have to put everything out on the Internet and can't do anything privately?

    3. You're right again. There is no scam. I wrote this post before any of this shit hit the fan, so I had no idea PP's adoring fans would shower her with money with no care in the world of what is done with it. Silly me! Reminds me of this quote:

    "Nothing brings people together more than mutual hatred." - Henry Rollins

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  22. "Gosh, I wonder how the rest of us out here on the Internets keep up our websites without nary a server, advertiser, or dollar in sight. I know I don't have millions of followers, but I still manage to have my own website where I express myself and chat with other like-minded people without a server of my own and without putting any money at all into this blog"

    You don't have a website. Blogspot has a website. You are using their service for your blog. Blogspot is free to delete your blog at any time. They can change the terms of use at any time. Many people find it advantageous to host their own websites because they are free to set their own terms (provided they are not breaking the law), among many other reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi there! This is my first time commenting on ANY Anthro blogger site. I'm an Anthro lover, and regularly check in with many product reviews in order to get a real word feel for fit and quality.


    I felt the need to pipe up here and now to point out an important difference between GOMI and sites like yours, Bonnie: It is so much easier to critique the work of others than to generate new and creative material. Regardless of whether I agree with your posts, you at least are trying to add something positive to the ongoing discussion. You are sharing something of yourself, making yourself vulnerable. It requires bravery.


    Sure, it's easy to belittle a fashion blog. And it can be fun and entertaining. But this kind of commentary speaks to a part of me that is not kind or generous -- to others OR to myself. When the joke is at someone else's expense, I also pay a cost. I become that much less likely to share my thoughts and/or be vulnerable. I cannot be the only person who feels this way.


    This is just a long winded way of saying keep it up because it is good to create. And please, please try to ignore the vocal few that feel the need to be negative.

    ReplyDelete

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