Doctor, it hurts when I do that

It’s been an interesting week in blogging.  I need to follow that advice.

I thought it was just me that noticed and that I had damage control kick in.  But, once again, I was wrong.

The first inclination that other noticed was a message from @DavidFifeVP asking me where the message went and could I send the link to him again.  Then, last night at dinner, my daughter asked “Has your blog been screwy this week?”  I read your posts and it seems like I get an announcement that a new one is up but I can’t get to it.

Both of them are right.

Last weekend, I had given a presentation using Google Slides so it was only appropriate that I use Google Chrome as the browser to deliver things.  No problem there, and it worked like a champ.

I’m not one to turn my computer off so it just went to sleep and when I got home, opened the lid and away I went. 

As per my normal routine, I started a new blog post in ScribeFire and posted it to WordPress for publication the next morning at 5:00am like I normally do.  After it was posted, Brian Aspinall had sent me a link that I wanted to include so I logged into WordPress on the web and made the change and saved it.  I happened to glance at the screen where normally, you’d find a “Scheduled” button and saw “Updated” instead.  That was bizarre.  Maybe there was a change and I didn’t get the memo.  My next step is then normally to preview and proofread and then I noticed that the title of the post had changed to one that I had used in the past “It’s the Little Things”.  Now, that’s tres bizarre.

I flipped over to Hootsuite to see that the post had been announced to the world.  Wow.  Next step was to undelete the Twitter message and then I needed to also go to Facebook and delete the announcement there because the robots had done their work faithfully!  I updated the title of the post and made sure to change the date and time to the next day and updated.  Darned if the same thing didn’t happen again.  Now I’m starting to wonder about my sanity.  I do what every sane person does.  Repeat the process and click harder.  Same thing.

I open Firefox and repeat the process – do you know how hard it is to type with your fingers crossed – and everything worked well.  It’s all scheduled to go as planned.  Sadly, those who subscribe to my blog probably got a couple of bogus notifications of a new post.  I’m here to say I’m sorry.

The next day, I did my posting routine like normal and happened to be at my Windows computer with Chrome open and I noticed a spelling mistake.  I fixed it and republished and holy deja vue.  Fortunately, I had my Firefox backup scheme thought through and fixed things.

So, what does a good computing citizen do now?  Of course, I retrace my steps.  What had happened since the last time that I didn’t have a problem?

Actually, it turned out a few things.  Chrome updates itself automatically as it does with its extensions.  So, it could be there.  But then, I’d also had been doing my diligence with the HeartBleed situation.  I had gone and changed the passwords as I was notified by LastPass, including LastPass itself.  Check this, trace that, have another coffee, try this, it was like trying to find something in the dark.  Oh, and I had bought a new mouse and installed a new driver under Windows.

The good news was that Firefox needed updating on my Macintosh and the beta channel is now shipping with the new user interface. 

But, I’m no clearer to figuring out this particular puzzle.  Because it was replicated on both Macintosh and Window using exactly the same tools, I have a feeling that it may well be an issue with a tool or program that I’ve installed and that time will allow for an upgrade. 

It’s not the end of the world but I thought that I owed you who where the unfortunate recipients of bad notices an explanation.

And, just a heads up…I upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04LTS yesterday so look out!



  1. Hi Doug,

    While I can’t shed any specific insight into what caused your problem, I can confirm that I experienced the effects of it at my end.

    As a subscriber to your blog, I received several email notifications related to the publication of two different posts with the same name. It was also notable at the time that one of them was published earlier than your usual 5 AM scheduled time.

    Given that you had quoted one of my posts in yours, I also noticed not one but multiple pingbacks as you linked to my blog. However, when I went to review them prior to approving them, I found that the URLs that they included were no longer valid.

    So yes, something was going on, but I can confirm that it’s not been a long-standing concern, and trust that it was just an anomaly.

    I typically only publish from within the WordPress web interface, but I have noticed from time to time differences in behavior based on the web browser I am using.

    I have also noticed that some mobile web browsers can be miserable for use in providing comments, as I’ve had entire comments be lost because a page somehow automatically refreshes during the writing. I’ve not paid close enough attention to be able to identify the offending browser and/or blogging platform, but it is disconcerting.

    The other editing platform that I use periodically is the iOS WordPress app. It can be a quick and effective way to approve comments and provide replies, but periodically I have run into issues when it has been automatically updated on the device, and I need to reenter credentials.

    While multiple browsers and multiple editors on multiple devices are a convenience luxury, and certainly part of the continual search for the ideal blogging and commenting platform, in all likelihood, the more variables we throw into the mix, the more idiosyncrasies we need to deal with.

    At any rate, your scheduled 5 AM daily post continues with a admirable regularity, and forms an ongoing part of my morning ritual.

    Keep on blogging!



  2. Oh, and my other Groucho Marx favorite (or maybe it was Henny Youngman, or Milton Berle) that goes along hand in hand with that one is

    Patient: (gesturing to shoulder level) “Doctor, Doctor, ever since the accident i’ve only been able to raise my arm THIS high.”

    Doctor: “How high could you raise it BEFORE the accident?”

    Patient: (gesturing with arm fully raised overhead) “THIS high!”



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