A Fireside Chat

With Miss Madison out of the office tonight on a well-deserved break from me, Mr. Skipah has moved the writing studio outside.  She’s off to Cincinnati to wish death on some dude named Earl with Miss Madison Jr. and I’m burning crap in the fire pit that would get me a nonstop eye roll from her.  That’s right:  plastic, Styrofoam, stuffed animals, real animals, a full gas can, anything that will actually combust is going in the fire pit tonight!  The Madison, Indiana area recycling center is going to be a tad short on collections tomorrow because I’m out of kindling and it rained here today!  My carbon “footprint” after tonight might approach Bigfoot levels.

When she informed she was going to the ‘Nati, at first I thought maybe it was to score me some Reds tickets.  Then I remembered that they are worse than getting a root canal……with no novacaine!  Maybe if she finds the time, she will hit the Cincinnati Zoo and get the scoop on Harambe’s death.  Since I’m a blogger and it’s in rule 13.2 paragraph D of the Blogger Bible, I thought I better weigh in on this topic for a sec.

Show me the perfect parent, and I’ll show you my tattoo that says, “I Love My Ex Wife.”  The whole situation sucks, but toddlers do some crazy stuff!  I hate that the stunt double from Congo got waxed, but, really, let’s lose our collective minds over an animal taking one in the head over a kid getting potentially maimed?  I don’t blame the zoo or the parents, and I personally think the zoo made the right call.  I’m a good 120 credit hours short of a degree in zoology so I’ll let the experts decide what was the right thing to do in that situation.  People blaming the mom, get a freaking grip!  Toddlers are amazing creatures.  Myself at that age somehow managed to climb on top of the fridge—where there is a will there is a way!  It didn’t exactly sound like falling in the gorilla pit was akin to escaping Alcatraz, but it was the first incident ever at that exhibit.  In an unrelated note, aerosol cans make a loud boom when you throw them in the fire.

Facebook and Twitter trolls, go piss off Trump and Sanders supporters, and leave that family alone!  Full disclosure, at first I was completely in the “dumb” parents camp but then remembered the time my daughter was hitchhiking on the interstate.  By the way, I’m now burning a mattress and unused fireworks.  I’m eyeballing my neighbors old set of Goodyear’s also.  Awaiting a visit from the local police department at any time to explain why the trees are on fire.

With Mr. Skipah enjoying the throngs of a bachelor night, instead of looking up strippers with spice rack names (if only Ginger would have returned my call), he decided he should post some meaningful, heartfelt advice to all his loyal denizens.  That would be my mom, my therapist, and a couple of my high school buddies who are still trying to get a demo album out for RCA.  For those of you keeping track, I haven’t seen smoke this thick and black since I toured a Chinese coal factory.

I’m not one to do “blog” advice and tips and tricks, but again the blogger bible says it’s mandatory I offer some form of service to all the new guy and gals on the bloggy block.  So here are some pointers from Mr. Skipah, take them at your own risk or you may end up in court one day explaining what a hashtag means!

Skipah’s Blogging Tips:

  1. Social media is your friend, enemy, and a job that illegal immigrants wouldn’t want. The pay sucks, and the time and effort are about as stressful as going through a divorce.  That being said, it’s more addicting than Diet Dr. Pepper and crucial if you want to grow your blog.  You aren’t going to be God’s gift to bloggy world in one week.  Master each outlet of social media one at a time.  Don’t be like this guy and open an account on every freaking social media outlet and not have a clue what any of it is, you hear me Tumblr!  Facebook has de-nutted most bloggers unless they want to come off their purse, but it is still the easiest way to get your feet wet in bloggy world via social media.
  2. Unlike high dollar lawyers in my area, learn what in the hell hashtags are. They are cheesy and stupid, but if you have a niche it will get you traffic on days when you feel like sitting by a fire and testing the melting point of aluminum.  Here is a beginner’s manifest for hashtags also say congrats on her recent engagement.
  3. Back to social media, link your blog to your Gravatar profile. If you don’t know what a Gravatar profile is, then maybe you aren’t cut out for blogging or you are cool with your small circle of friends.  Also, if you are going to offer share buttons on your site link them to your blog!  I know this hilarious Yoga gal that has missed out on approximately 2300 page hits a day because she hasn’t linked her Twitter feed to her blog.
  4. Speaking of page hits, don’t freak out on traffic if you go viral, mini viral, or just have a good run, and then a day later the local nursing home is the only people reading your stuff…. welcome to blogger world, Lady Gaga’s wardrobe choice is more predictable than the internet.
  5. If you can afford it, please go self-hosted! Why?  Because you get the amazing power of Google Analytics to watch over your digital child.  You can show your friends and family how cool you are every time a red dot shows up in some exotic locale like Butte, Montana.  Then there is the trending game known as “tracking down the stalker,” if you have to deal with these nuisances on your website.  Once you pinpoint them down, your web host will be able to offer up their IP address and Analytics will tell you what kind of device they are on, browser version, and will even inform you the screen resolution of whatever device they are on!  Google is evil, but necessary if you are a blogger.  Block the IP address and voila, stalker problem is gone!
  6. Choosing a web host is key. I’ve had zero issues with Web Hosting Hub, and they have fixed any issue I’ve ever had pronto.  I haven’t been compensated for mentioning them, but I have heard way too many horror stories of crappy web hosts, so I thought I would give them a shout.
  7. I have many more tips to offer, but no more for tonight. Why, because you need to keep your posts in the 1200 words and under category.  Unless you are John Steinbeck or a 1980’s version of Eddie Murphy hilarious, your reader will move on.  Attention spans online are akin to a gnat these days.  We all start out writing s, but if you want to stay in the game, keep it under 1200!

About it for now, fellow blogger, I’ve got more advice for you than Dr. Phil staging another therapy session, but you will just have to wait until next time (see what I did there…foreshadowing).  Going to be quiet for a few days on the Skipahsphere, more Kentucky Triangle road trips and, believe it or not, a few folks want to pay me for my take on Father’s Day this month.  One more piece of advice, new blogger, if you stick with it long enough and hit a niche……YOU GET PAID from time to time to write.  Now I’m done, just came across some plutonium in Miss Madison’s closet; Go big or go home when it comes to a casual evening around the fire pit!

Send Skipah Sailing!


  1. No small children were harmed 🙂

  2. Lol! Miss M goes away and you go all Buddha on us! 😉 Hope you made good use of your time. Good start with helping your peeps here!

  3. I was sending smoke signals, could you read them? It said “Make it stop raining!”

  4. I’m on the edge of 40 myself, I remember the note passing days!

  5. I’m positive I shouldn’t be left alone with fire :). Yep she saw the premiere of their tour this week.

  6. Let me guess…Ms. Madison had the same tickets I have for later…Dixie Chicks? lol I’m not sure you should be left alone with fire…

  7. Hashtags back in my day were referred to as Pound signs. Hate their new name and uses! We played tic-tac-toe one pound signs drawn on a piece of paper or chalk board. Passing notes was our way of communicating in class back then! You make me feel so old! Am only 41 for Christ’s sake.

  8. Geez, I think I saw the black smoke here in Minnesota! Now, I know it was you sending smoke signals. Lol Agree, that toddlers can be little escape wizards. My son, not even 2, had shimmied the chain link fence in our backyard to be found two yards down. I was mowing our yard at the time and never saw him do it. I felt like a horrible mother! But, those little tykes can be quick and sneaky. The zoo story will quickly be forgotten and soon it will something else that the trolls can feed on. Have a good weekend and keep the fire to a low roar!

  9. Thanks Hannah! #Thanksforreading

  10. Great tips! Especially about hashtags.

    Ps. You made me laugh out loud about a tattoo that says I love my ex wife.

  11. Really? You have to get permission to use your own personal fireplace? We get advisories here in the summer if it drought like (not an issue so far this year) but generally it’s free game for outdoor fires or using your fireplace. Obviously, we aren’t allowed to burn tires LOL, maybe that why everybody here is more up to date on the latest allergy medications than current event! You have a fantastic weekend yourself.

  12. Are we talking zippo’s or just the cheap plastic ones?

  13. Having lived in CalifornI-AY most of my life, I can’t even imagine burning anything. In the cold winter months (yes it can get cold in my area) we have to check a website before we can burn in our own fireplaces…air quality and all. The whole gorilla story is sad all the way around. A little like the Yellow stone baby moose that was innocently placed in the back of a minivan to “help” it. Too many cartoons depicting wild animals as clever, talking creatures and not the unpredictable and potentially dangerous beasts they are. Enjoy your weekend!!

  14. I love fire pits, throw a few lighters in for me! Great tips too!

  15. I’ll be holding a S’mores gathering this weekend. Your are here by cordially invited!

  16. Love this post and agree!! And agree that smores would be much better 🙂

  17. See we agree on more and more things everyday. I’m not sure we need to be having s’mores over this fire. I think my lungs are starting to bleed from inhaling this stuff.

  18. You better hope I was kidding LOL.

  19. Nice. I’m glad we had this fireside chat. Can we have s’mores now?

    I agree with you about toddlers, gorillas, and the zoo’s decision, too. Step away from the plutonium! 🙂

  20. I like the crazy fire pit, probably you were kidding about so many parts thrown into the fire. Ha ha ha!
    I think your advice is wonderful about so many aspects of blogging. Take it easy and have fun “batching it!” 🙂

Tell Skipah all about it!