Monday, March 06, 2006

Instructions for Commenting on Blogs (for the especially dense)

Hello readers in the blogosphere. I received the following request from a certain U.S. Marine who was trying to post some inane comments on my blog: "I tried to get on your blog again. It won't let me get to the place where I can write. I click on the "comments" button at the bottom. Is that right? What is the right way for me to get to the page where I can view entries, and add my own? Walk me through it step by step since I obviously can't figure it out on my own."

In response to his request, I sent the following directive. You must bear in mind that the Marine in question is a dear friend, and we exchange sarcastic jabs on a daily basis in email. Here is the "step by step" directive I sent him:

Accessing and Commenting on Internet Weblogs, often referred to as "Blogs"

1. At the back side or your computer (the side with vents and fans and various recepticles), locate an object that looks similar to a tail. This is the electric plug. Insert it carefully into an active 110 power outlet. If it is hard to insert, do not force, but turn the plug upside down and try again.

2. Locate the button or switch which turns the computer on ("turn on" here is used in its literal sense, not in some euphamistic way). Engage that button or switch.

3. Follow all prompts and sign-on screens until you are able to see what is called "the desktop." This is a figurative term. It does not refer to the top of your desk, but the "lauchpad" for your programs. Usually there will be a picture in the background and little pictures (called icons) which represent the various programs you may use.

4. Ensure that your computer is hooked up to the internet. If you are uncertain how to determine this, you may want to contact IT. (That is short for Information Technology, not a reference to Cousin IT from Addams Family).

5. Once you are certain that you are connected to the Internet, open your internet "Browser." (There was once a singer in Sha-Na-Na called Bowzer, but this is a Browser, notice the lowercase "r" in the word's second position). Some popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla Firefox, et al. (that is a Latin abbreviation for "and others").

6. Once your browser is open, locate the "address bar." This is not a "bar" like where people drink alcoholic beverages, but it is a line across the page (usually at the top) where you can type in the address of the internet page you are tyring to access. Once you locate that bar, place your "cursor" (not a person who uses foul language [though these are often found in bars as well], but a blinking vertical line that indicates where you will type) in that bar. You do this by moving your mouse to the address bar, and clicking the left mouse button (if you are right handed, this is the button beneath your index finger on the mouse. If you are left handed it will be beneath your "middle finger"-- the one you use when expressing your frustration with others). WARNING: It is assumed that the user is aware that the "mouse" is not a real animal, living or dead, but is a figurative name given to the small, palm-sized device that is used for moving the "arrow" around on the screen. If using a laptop, blackberry, PDA or Web-enabled mobile phone (or other electronic device), you may have to read the instructions for that device to learn how to move the cursor around.

7. Once you have placed the cursor in the address bar, begin to type the internet address. Your browser may already contain the beginning characters: http://

If those characters are not present, type them in this order: http://

Then type the address of the site you are looking for:;; or

If you desire to view and comment on internet weblogs, commonly called "blogs", access a blog like the one found at

After entering the "address" of the internet site, press enter or click "go".

8. Once the site "loads" (STAND DOWN AND DO NOT BE ALARMED: it is not loading a weapon, it is loading information onto the screen of your computer), "browse" the information on that page.

If you desire to comment on a blog after reading it, scroll (either by moving your mouse or using your arrow down key on the keyboard) down to the end of the article on which you wish to comment. Click the word "comments" with the left button on the mouse.

The next page that you see will have a large white square on the right hand side of the screen labeled, "leave your comment." Type your comment in that square, identify yourself (it is a violation of national security and the renewed patriot act to select "Anonymous"), and type in the characters in the "security image." This is to ensure that no al-Qaeda operatives are invading American cyberspace. WARNING: these characters are intentionally obscured. Your eyes might be funny or you may be drunk, but even if that were not true, these letters and numbers would still look funny. However, you should type the letters on your keyboard that most closely resemble the obscured characters on the screen. If necessary, decoder rings may be found in select boxes of Cracker Jacks. Odds of winning are 1 in 5,000. No purchase necessary.

After entering all the above information click the bright blue box labeled, "Publish Your Comment."

Then you are finished wth commenting on the blog.

If any of these instructions do not work, please contact IT. Again this is not Cousin IT, but the Information Technology department.

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