The Bloggies Insult My Intelligence

No doubt many of you have heard of the Bloggies, arguably the most prominent blogging award there is.  I say “prominent” and not “best” because I know a thing or two about the selection process that you may not fully appreciate.

Here’s the official publicized procedure: people fill out a web form nominating blogs in all sorts of categories.  Votes are tallied and then the organizer chooses 200 random voters to decide on the finalists from a list of the top vote-getters.  The voting form asks if you’re willing to be chosen when you submit your nominations, presumably to ensure that judges don’t complain about all the work.

Just look at that face!  You don't need to keep him from complaining...

Just look at that face! You don’t need to keep him from complaining.  (Image requires no attribution.)

This year, I served as one of the ever-so-deserving 200 on the judging panel.

The organizer sent me an extra-special link to my ballot about two weeks before the voting deadline but, since I rarely check the email account that’s attached to my blog, I did not see the message until two days before the ballot was due.

Now for some math.  Each judge reviews the semifinalists for ten categories (out of 30) and there are approximately 15-20 blogs per category.  I’d estimate that it took about half of the two days to load all those blogs.  And that’s just the home page for each one.  Also transpiring during those two days: sleep, job applications, cooking, eating, the occasional potty break, bathing, and enjoying the snowflakes outside my window.  That left me with enough time to click to a second page on most of the blogs I was evaluating.

As you can see, I focused on my judging duties in accordance with the sacred trust I was given.  Diligence is key.  It’s not like I ever promised to do a good job.

Of course, other issues did come up.  Take a look at the judging instructions:

Ten categories have been randomly selected for you. For each, select up to five weblogs (or six in the Weblog of the Year category). If you encounter blogs that aren’t eligible for their category, just skip them. If you encounter a broken link, try adding “www.” to the beginning of it. I encourage you to vote in all the categories available to you, but it isn’t required. If you don’t have time to complete the whole ballot now, you may submit a partial ballot and return later to complete it.

Um… I know this may be a stretch, but shouldn’t a blogging awards site be able to provide links that will open properly?

And come to think of it, is it too much to ask that semifinalists be pre-screened for basic eligibility before I’m asked to spend my time judging?  Or, maybe the semifinalists should have been double-checked to make sure they were actually blogs.  (Granted, some of those questionable websites may have contained blogs somewhere on them.  However, if I can’t immediately locate your blog, you lose.)

Nevertheless, I thought it would be exciting to review these best-of-the-best blogs and see if I could find anything worthwhile.  And so I checked the first category: Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog.  I must admit that I learned more about that region than I could have ever imagined possible.  For instance, at least three semifinalists had blogs focusing on culturally enlightening arguments against the existence of global warming.  I say “at least three” because two nominees were in Spanish (I think) and another refused to load.

I’m not spending my time trying to decipher a foreign language because it wasn’t in the job description.  If I can’t judge the writing quality, you lose.

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting.  Fortunately, judging wasn't one of them.  (Photo credit: tunnupus)

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting. Fortunately, judging wasn’t one of them. (Photo credit: tunnupus)

Of course, I didn’t get to delve so deeply into any of these blogs… at least to the extent that something called “depth” could be discerned.  I, like most other people, happen to have a life and it’s relatively easy to figure out which blogs are crap after a very brief perusal.  I’m not giving up my potty breaks so that I can look at an extra few posts.  I’m not even giving up my potty breaks so I can search the blog for a link to archives of posts that were published during the year the blogging award is for.  I stopped hunting once it became clear that many blogs did not include such links.

And remember, I’m not 1 of 200 who are judging these categories.  I’m one of 66 or 67.  (200 judges total, but each of us only judges 1/3 of the categories.)  My voice matters big time no matter how uninformed it might be.

Yay me.

Next up was “Best Designed Weblog” and, as some of you may know, I take a great interest in innovative blog design… even if my own blog’s design is on the divisive side.  I could select up to five blogs from among twenty choices.

I picked two.

Yes, only two.  A few were so seriously flawed that I can’t believe they became semifinalists on the basis of legitimate votes.  (On the other hand, I have an abiding belief that people are stupid… so maybe the votes were on the up-and-up.)  Other nominees were generic and, therefore, indistinguishable from the millions of other blogs out there.  Of course, I could have judged the blogs’ navigation but I really don’t think effective navigation is such an unusual or difficult thing that people deserve an award for doing it properly.

The person behind the Bloggies also decided to randomly assign me the “Entertainment” category as well as “Fashion or Beauty.”  I tend to think that blogs on these subjects are crap even when they’re well constructed.  So as not to hurt people’s feelings, I will not continue on that line of thought.

Okay, I lied.  If I hate your topic, you lose.  That may sound unfair but no criteria were given for the assessment of a blog’s quality.  I figured that my personal prejudices would work just fine.

The “Best Group or Community Weblog” category also focused on a special group of blogs.  I think it had more parenting blogs among the nominees than the “Best Parenting or Family Weblogs” category that I was also asked to judge.

I guess all it takes to become a semifinalist is for members of a topical blogging group to go vote for each other en masse.  Just a hypothesis…

And then there’s “Best Photography of a Weblog.”  Here’s the category’s definition:

Photoblogs and other weblogs with a focus on presenting photography.

Please note that the category name does not mean the same thing as the given definition; the category name implies that all blogs containing photography can be nominated regardless of the blog’s overall focus .  Nevertheless, I did find a couple of blogs among the nominees that deserve an award.  I saved a copy of my ballot so I could find these (and a few others from the remaining categories) again.

Yes, it took that long for me to think “hey, I’ll want to see some of these again.”

By the time I reached “Best New Weblog,” I wasn’t much in the mood to do the basic assessment of eligibility that the Bloggies’ administrator should have performed on all nominees before sending out the ballot.  It’s possible that I may have voted for a blog that wasn’t new last year.  I didn’t check.

The final two categories I judged were European blogs and blogs about politics.  Both had some keepers, especially the political category which had a good share of famous and commercial blogs whose writers surely couldn’t care less about the award.  I voted for a lot of those.

And then I must mention the blogs that were nominated for numerous categories.  Contrary to what you might believe, this thrilled me.  I thought a lot of these blogs were crap the first time I saw them, meaning that each repeat listing represented one less blog for me to look at.  Of course, I did return to those blogs when the category was design or photography or something I hadn’t considered as heavily in my original assessment… and that’s in spite of my suspicion that some of these bloggers may have found a way to stuff the ballot box.

Stuffing the ballot box wouldn’t be too difficult and I doubt the organizer (yes, it appears to be one person) is taking sufficient measures to prevent it.  If he isn’t reviewing the semifinalists’ eligibility, we can probably assume that the more time-consuming or technically savvy measures aren’t being pursued either.

Overall, I found the experience disappointing.  With the opportunity to cast up to 50 votes, I cast fewer than 25.  I follow a few blogs that outshine most of the semifinalists.

No explanation necessary, I assume.  (Image credit: Plognark)

No explanation necessary, I assume. (Image credit: Plognark)

And with that in mind, I would like to encourage all of you who were not nominated to disregard the disregarding of your work.  I can promise you that the awards do not reliably track quality and they may not even measure popularity all that well.  However, I’m sure they effectively predict an increase in traffic to the selected blogs; for that reason, I humbly request that everyone reading this post please nominate me for as many categories as possible next year.  I won’t even ask you to consider the possibility of opening some new free email accounts so you can nominate me multiple times.

And if you happen to be selected as a finalist, please don’t take offense at what I’ve written here.  I am a judge; you bow to me.  If you think I’m a looney or that I didn’t take the job seriously enough or that I have bad taste, I have news for you: the randomized selection of judges results in random judges and not necessarily qualified judges.  Be thankful that I’m literate above a seventh-grade level; you never know who else might have been judging your work.

Imagine the possibilities!  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Imagine the possibilities.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

And be thankful that I didn’t vote by just clicking on random blogs.


Temptation Insults My Intelligence

Even though I had decided not to do any more award acceptances, this one had way too much baggage entertainment value for me to skip it.

So here we go.  Ron Lewis has nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Before I get to the good stuff, I’ll deal with his question first:


If you inherited a lot of money or won the lottery and never had to worry about money or work again, how would that change your life, and what would you like to do that is different?


And my answer:


I would never worry about money or work again, and that’s what I would like to do differently.

But now the fun part:  Ron’s ex-wife also follows this blog.

I will behave myself.
I will behave myself.
I will behave myself.
I will behave myself.

I warned Ron and his ex that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do an award acceptance post, but both urged me to do an entertaining one.  They know I’m always happy to please my readers.


The following is a fictional representation.  Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

An insurance salesman and a menopausal pentagenarian walk into a bar.


Before the party started.  (Photo credit: Evan Munro)

Before the party started. (Photo credit: Evan Munro)


The women were all over the salesman because he’s built exactly like Brock Lesnar.  Or maybe they just needed insurance.  You never know.

On the other hand, the lady more closely resembles Weird Al Yankovic, but with a much better figure and no discernible facial hair… plus makeup and a vagina.  And since the average 20-something guy would grope anything that sports a pair of DD’s and some nice long hair, Madame Yankovic was getting plenty of positive attention too.

Our two protagonists had somehow remained friends even though they were divorced.  However, the divorce opened up a brand new can of worms that neither of them could have expected.  Madame Yankovic, clad in her favorite hot pink lamé body suit with “Abercrombie” printed across the butt, had always been popular with her sons’ friends… but now the sons were away at college.  The friends, however, were not and a couple of them frequented that very bar.

Upon seeing her, the two friends walked up to her and started making nice; her sons weren’t there to dissuade their friends from an attempted “conquest.”  And the friends knew they didn’t have to fear Mr. Lesnar anymore because of the divorce but they could have never predicted Madame Yankovic’s reaction to their advances.  You see, Madame Yankovic is an upstanding human being with no ethical weaknesses whatsoever.  Therefore, the emerging threat to her chastity inspired her to rush to the nearest church and take a few vows.

Sister Mary Alfred Yankovic is now the sexiest nun in California.  And, fortunately for her, the enemies of virtue would never think she’d consider life in a convent.  Her morals are permanently safe now.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lesnar is living it up with the ladies.  He remains comfortable and a little smug with the knowledge that he gets a lot more action than his religiously affiliated ex.  Plus, the nuns eagerly purchased insurance from him because he was so understanding of his ex-wife’s religious “enlightenment.”

So they all lived happily ever after.

Blogger’s notes:

I’m not spending my time nominating blogs for the Liebster Award because I need to wash my hair.  If you want an award, consider yourself nominated.  Or you can have this nifty award.

Also, be sure to come back to this post and check for new comments now and again.  Them lovebirds will surely entertain you with their witticisms.

The Same Old Blogging Awards Insult My Intelligence

Traditional blogging awards require the recipient to do a lot of work.  I’d like to change that; winning three awards at once entitles me to create something new and visionary.

(BTW: thank you to Sweetness6645 of That Montreal Girl.  She nominated me for the Best Moment Award, the Semper Fidelis Award, and the Reader Appreciation Award.)

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce the Bumblepuppies Award for Reciprocally Geometric Blogging.


Here are the rules:

By visiting my blog you have demonstrated good taste in blogging.  Therefore, your blog is obviously good too and you deserve an award.  No nomination is necessary.  Since you’re reading this, you win.  And you can accept the award without having to spend vast amounts of time notifying the people you would normally have to nominate… because you don’t have to nominate anyone.  They win the award by clicking on the post in which you accept it.

You no longer need to list a bunch of things your readers don’t know about you, but you do have to include a link to the blog where you won this award.  The whole Ponzi scheme aspect of blogging awards can’t be allowed to die.

However, I have added some new and exciting tasks to this award:

1- Because this is the Bumblepuppies Award, all winners must write a short poem (3-4 lines is enough) praising the author of for creating the award.  Additionally, winners must include a link to with the poem.

2- Winners must write two things that will insult their readers’ intelligence.  One sentence each is enough.

3- Winners must encourage their readers to accept the Bumblepuppies Award because it’s such good advertising.  That’s what all blog awards are for, right?

And don’t forget to pass along this list of rules.

Now go forth and generate free advertising by accepting the Bumblepuppies Award!  You won the award, you deserve the award, and you should revel in your awesomeness.

Here’s a smaller version of the award graphic in case you don’t want to use the huge one:


Ignoring Your Love Insults My Intelligence

Natasha of Natasha’s Memory Garden has nominated me for the WordPress Family Award.  That means it’s another exciting day of shameless self-promotion here at Bumblepuppies!

To celebrate, I’ve designed my own award logo:


Somehow, the traditional touchy-feely version didn’t quite do it for me.

And now it’s time for seven more things you don’t know about me.

1- I enjoyed teaching (which is how I could afford to get through grad school) but the one type of job I don’t apply for is teaching positions in my major.  I’m demonstrably competent and qualified to teach related subjects but I’ve had no luck on that front.

2- Even though I occasionally make jokes that imply otherwise, I have no fear of math.

3- I do not have a library card, probably because I don’t read the kind of stuff public libraries tend to offer.

4- Off the top of my head, I cannot name five movies that have been released over the past five years.  So… I’m not exactly a film buff.

5- Off the top of my head, I can name dozens of varieties of central- and eastern European pork products.

6- I also think turkey is tasty.  This is why I’ve never needed a cardiologist.  (Not that I could afford one anyway…)

7- I would love to try chocolate covered grasshoppers.  If you know of a shop in the U.S. that ships them, send me a link.  Seriously.

The 15 blogs I’m nominating will appear after a few more paragraphs.  Blogs that were nominated last time were not considered for this because everyone should have the opportunity to advertise my blog.

If you need help advertising me and weren’t nominated for this award, you can always tweet about me or like me on Facebook.  Facebook and Twitter may insult my intelligence but your expressions of love and admiration do not.  (On the other hand, the only things I send out on the blog’s token accounts are the automated notifications of new posts.  I don’t think I’ve logged into either since creating those accounts and connecting them to this blog.)

(A note to the nominees: you may use my award logo if you wish, even if you’re not dysfunctional.  Since it displays the “Bumblepuppies” name prominently, I would be more than happy to see it go viral.)

Balladeer’s Blog

Dad’s Political Cartoon Scrapbook 1939 to 1940

dental eggs


Games, Eh?

Homeward Bound

Is Everyone an Idiot but Me?

Kitchen Slattern





See! Travel Mag

Seven Years Late

Tabula Candida

The Shine On Award Insults My Intelligence

Oh boy!  I won, I won, I won!


It seems that Will over at Games, eh? has nominated me for a chain letter an award.   The Shine On Award, to be specific.

This is perfect for me because, as you can tell, I’m the warm and fuzzy type.  Maybe I’ll let my candelabra do the shining so I can have some fun with this thing.

Dog food

Is this my reward? (Photo credit: Marianne Birkholz)

So, without further ado, here are the seven things you don’t know about me that I’m required to share as part of this award:

1- I’ve got two legs from my hips to the ground and when I move them they walk around.  (Hey!  You shouldn’t assume…)

2- I like to wash my hands after I use the toilet.  (Again, don’t assume.)

3- I think mice are rather nice.  Especially when they’re scaring people.  The same goes for cockroaches and toddlers.

4- I have a Ph.D.  It is not from the University of Phoenix but thank you for asking.  Unlike most people with my level of education, becoming a professor doesn’t appeal to me.  I have to explain this in every single job interview, which would get old after a while if I weren’t always thankful that a potential employer didn’t immediately scrap my application because they think I’d rather be back in the ivory tower.  Job hunting insults my intelligence.

5- I have registered a second blog domain but I haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

6- I am technically a published author but I don’t think you’d want to read that work.  Completely different genre and also quite expensive…

7- I am bilingual.

And for the 15 blogs I’m nominating for the award, I’m providing two links.  The first is for the blog; the second is for a recent post (so they’ll get a pingback and know to write a similar acceptance speech in which they provide free advertising for my blog.  Free advertising is nothing to sneeze at.)

When picking the 15, I went with newer blogs and people who have never been Freshly Pressed (as far as I know).  Here they are:

Architectural Disaster LOL

Big Dog Diving

Chronicles of a Public Transit User

if all else fails…use a hammer

land of quo

The Laughing Housewife

List of X

Mean Green Math

Memories of a Time

Mumblings From Beyond

Pouring My Art Out

Rain Upon the Synaptic Desert

Sticky Tudaman


Why I didn’t blog today