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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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I've Lost My Schmidt, Plus an Apology

If you're experiencing any HTV-related technical difficulties, I extend my heartiest apologies.

Allow me to explain.

I've finally officially lost my ever-bloggin' mind.

Mamas, don't let your babies
grow up to be bloggers.

Do you know that feeling you get when you completely lack the technical computer skills to tackle a project with any hope of success, so instead of achieving your goal, you only succeed in having your mental resources completely sucked dry? And then, after several hours, the friction of the remaining few functioning brain cells rubbing together starts to make you feel feverish? And then the project just keeps sucking and sucking - and at that critical moment when you think you might have it figured out, when you think you might experience the sweet, glorious elation of being finished, your brain instead turns inside out, bursts into flame, and burns to the ground in a pile of rubble and ash?

And then on top of that, you work on the project until late in the night, until you're so beyond exhausted and stressed that it feels like Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked you in the eye sockets at least half a dozen times and then gently placed two medium-sized elephants inside your chest cavity?

That was me this weekend. That was me, when I discovered that Feedburner had lost all the precious, precious readers who subscribe to Hollow Tree Ventures via email and RSS.

I don't even know what RSS is (see "lack of technical skills," above). The best I can tell, it's like some magical genie who lives inside the innerweb, who knows who wants to read my blog and sends a copy of it to you wherever you said you wanted to read it. And by "wherever you want to read it" I mean as in your email or Google Reader, not as in Aruba. Not even the power of the RSS interweb genie can send you to Aruba.

It can send my blog there, though.

Which makes me wish I were my blog.

But I digress.

If you're a blogger, you can probably imagine the shock, the sheer raw tonnage of stress-induced adrenaline, that immediately flooded into my bloodstream. Maybe you even experienced it yourself, if you use Feedburner.

If you're not a blogger, the feeling can best be translated into the horror you might feel if, after endless months of wedding planning, you found a stack of 250 vellum-wrapped invitations, unmailed, in the bottom of your fiance's underwear drawer, the day before the wedding.

Yes. That  feeling. The ohgod I have to do something about this right now but I have no idea where to start  feeling.

But I wasn't going to let a total lack of computer skills slow me down. After I finished hyperventilating I sat down at the computer, cracked my knuckles, and Googled ohgod I have to do something about this right now but I have no idea where to start.  Thus began a two-day stint of frustration, some unabashed sobbing, and copious alcohol consumption. But . . .
I set up new, awesomer emails!
I got a new RSS service!
I have no idea if it works!
So what I'm saying is, it's entirely possible that no one is reading this because I broke my blog's RSS, whatever that is. It's equally likely that everyone who's subscribed just got upwards of fifteen copies of this post because now I'm sending it to them through eleventy different services.

I have no way of knowing until I hand this post over to the interweb genie, if I can even find her. And, unfortunately, I can't think about it anymore right now because I completely fried my brain just getting it to this stage of screwed-up-edness.

So please, if you're reading this, I'm begging you, let me know if it came to you the way you wanted it to, and only once, and whether it looked okay or if it was just a bunch of gobbledygook.

And if you used to read this, but now you aren't reading it because my new service didn't send you a copy, please stand by. I will attempt to contact you via mental telepathy, just as soon as I regain some of my cognitive function.

Follow the RSS feed!Either way, if you've subscribed to HTV via RSS (the fancy button seen here), you might want to click now and resubscribe. Your subscription might still be going through Feedburner, which (as it turns out) isn't quite completely broken yet, but it is going away (not just for me, for everyone) and when it does, you'll stop getting updates from your favorite bloggers. WHO KNOWS HOW YOU'LL SURVIVE without a semi-daily-ish dose of me and my stupidity?

To apologize for any inconvenience, I made you a present!

In my last post, there was a discussion in the comments about "leftover wine." I said, "Maybe I need to invent a brand of wine called Leftover Wine; then I could say I was just going to polish off the leftover wine and still drink a full bottle or two without sounding like I need an intervention."

Alertly, Marian at Just Keep Swimming emailed me to point out I could make a label you could use on any old wine bottle (thus saving me from opening my own winery) - she also mentioned these bottles (or the labels) would make great gifts!  So here you go:


Print that baby off, then just add glue (and a bottle of wine) and PRESTO - you're free to guzzle the whole thing.

After all, you're just drinking the leftover wine.

I know I plan to.


Thanks for hanging in there with me - if we're still on speaking terms and you're all finished clicking on the other stuff in this post, please click the banner below. That's all it takes to vote - just that one click - and I sure could use a sign there's still someone out there . . . out there . . . out there . . .
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45 comments:

  1. The good news is, whatever it is you did, it's worked, because I got my dose of happy.

    I love the wine lable. What a great idea!

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    1. Hooray! That's great news - thanks for letting me know! Use the wine label in good health. ;)

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  2. SO, here's the deal. If they didn't get this, they aren't stalking you hard enough. Like SOME people I know (clue: it's me), who might, let's say, show up at your door and request your draft versions of posts. That's love. Is an RSS feed something that cattle eat? I don't know. I'm not a real blogger, I just play one on the internet. *sigh* P.S. I love you.

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    1. P.S. I love you, too, which is why I print out the drafts of your posts and eat them on wheat bread with cheese. With a side of RSS feed.

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  3. I have no technical skills which is why a) I don't self-host and b) I am a peon blogger. But hearing stories like these reinforce the fact that a) I have no technical skills and b) I am a peon blogger. With that said, I stalk you on FB and Twitter, so you can NEVER GET RID OF ME.

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    1. No, *I* am the peon blogger, which you'd think would make things less stressful, but I can make anything stressful. It's a gift. Thank goodness you're stalking me - your presence in the (Internet) bushes outside my (Internet) window is so soothing. :)

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  4. That label is so much cooler than I could have imagined. You rock! Every one of my girl friends is getting one for Christmas - a label that is. What? You think I can afford the wine too?
    Those can also be printed on a self adhesive full sheet label and cut to fit the bottle.
    p.s. I too have no idea about RSS feeders so now of course I'm convinced I have this same problem and no one to tell me about it and no way to know how to fix it. I'm screwed, I'm sure.

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    1. Ha! I probably never would have noticed either, except some other gals were talking about it and I like to e-eavesdrop. Luckily it only LOOKED like a problem but still works (a fact they didn't announce until I was already on Hour 5 of "fixing" it), though I guess if Feedburner is going away I'd have to do it eventually anyway. I hope it doesn't affect you too!

      Glad the labels met with approval - YOU rock for the great idea! :)

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  5. Showed up just fine and only once on my google reader (thankfully!)

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    1. PEEFECT! Thanks a million for letting me know - the google reader was what I was most worried about, so that's a huge relief.:)

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  6. I'm so far from understanding what an RSS feed is that I don't even know what a SIM card is! Just that it has something to do with cell phones. I think. Another reason I don't blog. I haven't the froggiest idea how to do it!

    BTWs, I got here from FB and seriously, if someone isn't already stalking you on the facebook, who needs 'em? OK, maybe YOU do. Otherwise you wouldn't have the Rss thingie, right?

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! :) I try to stay away from anything with three capital letters (RSS, SIM, RIP) - in general, they're bad news.

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  7. the same thing happened to me at exactly the same time I switched my domain from the unwieldy url Http://inbedwithwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com to the only marginally more wieldy http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.com so naturally I thought it was my doing.

    after several hours of craptastic mucking about in realms I can't even begin to understand, I realized it was stinkin' Feedburner's fault and had nothing to do with anything I did. So maybe I have screwed it up even worse in my attempts to "fix" the problem.

    so, and this is pretty much the only salient point in this whole comment: It is not your fault. Do nothing and all will be well.

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    1. Still laughing at "only marginally more wieldy". :D I had trouble when I switched from .blogspot, too - then trouble again over the weekend, because apparently it left me with 2 RSS feeds, one from each site, and I had to try to move them both. Gah. I'm blaming everything on Feedburner from now on, up to and including stubbed toes and the hangover I'm about to have.

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  8. I asked you about leftover wine & the answer, "Maybe I need to invent a brand of wine called Leftover Wine; then I could say I was just going to polish off the leftover wine and still drink a full bottle or two without sounding like I need an intervention." was MUCH better than I hoped for! You came in fine on Blogger--& just once!!

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    1. You made such a good point - as if anybody actually has leftover wine! :) Thanks so much for the report from Blogger; I'm starting to wonder if there's a chance I did this right!?!

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  9. I FB stalk you because my emails are kind of erratic or I get them a day or two late, and I ain't waitin to read your stories, chica! I'm sorry for your stressed-outedness, but judging from the pictures of the thuper therious Miss Maddie if Chuck Norris tried to roundhouse kick you, she'd be the baby that says 'I don't think so, that's MY job'

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    1. Hey, whatever makes it easier for you to stalk me, I'm just grateful for the stalking. :) Isn't that pic hilarious? She just sat down and started imitating me, all businesslike - though I like to believe I don't bang on the keyboard that much when I'm typing with just my index fingers.

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    2. The stuff the baby wrote was pretty good, too. Better than most of the garbage on the internet.

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  10. Feedburner shows 0 for me too but it's still working. I want to switch but I also have no idea what to do and I'm terrified I'll mess it up!! Which one did you use?

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    1. I was terrified, too - but all the sources say Feedburner is being phased out, so I figured I might as well dive in . . .

      I used MailChimp for the emails, which was time consuming to set up but should result in some much cooler emails with my logo and other fun stuff. Then I used FeedBlitz for the RSS which was REALLY time consuming (and scary) but they have a free instruction file you can download which is GREAT and you just follow along and do all the steps. I used two different services because it was cheaper that way for me as a small blog, but people with more subscribers probably used something different (I've heard talk about Feedity). Good luck!

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  11. I am continually impressed with your ability to tackle a project you know nothing about and show it what's up. You're awesome.

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    1. Thanks, honey - and thanks for not laughing when I came downstairs with steam coming out of my ears and loudly announced, "If this works, I might be the greatest mind of our time." To be honest, that still feels kind of true. Computers are hard.

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  12. reading you AOK from my Google Reader.

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    1. Awesome! Thanks a ton for letting me know. :)

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  13. No glitches on my end, thank goodness. What would I do w/o your blog??

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    1. You're too sweet. :) Thanks for the update - I can't believe there's even a possibility I did this right!

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  14. I got your post via email this morning and while it looked different, it showed up. Crap! Feedburner is phasing out??? I saw that I suddenly had zero subscribers and thought, wow, I must have really written something offensive. Then I saw that they were having technical difficulties and everyone had zero. Great. Guess I'm off to mailchimp. Thanks for the heads up and for making it funny.

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    1. Yeah, way to go, Feedburner - a lot of bloggers lost years off their lives with that scare. But yes, they closed their blog and twitter account, and (from what I hear) stopped all customer support, so it looks like they're phasing it out for sure. Yay! Humph.

      Good luck with mailchimp - it took a while to set up my email format, but that's just because you can customize it so many ways, which is actually pretty cool. Easy for me to say, of course, since I'm finished. :)

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  15. I subscribe via RSS (and like you I have no idea what this is, or how it works - just that it does) and I got mine just fine. :)

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    1. Fantastic! Thanks for clicking through to comment (and for subscribing). :)

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  16. I subscribed via RSS, and mine arrived to my mailbox just dandy. Looked great too :)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear it! Makes me feel like it was worth it to burn up all those brain cells. Thanks!

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  17. Fuck I'm stroking out here.
    Seriously.
    Fix mine.
    Please.

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    1. Sister, I'm right there with you! I thought I was going to have to hire a team of computer geeks and then skip town when they sent the bill. I'm still waiting to find out which part of it I broke, but promise, it's only intimidating and time consuming - it's not as hard as I was afraid it would be. ;)

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  18. I subscribe through your RSS feed & it goes to my Google reader & all worked out fine here although I don't know how any of this works or how any of these things know each other or where anything will show up. I also have a WordPress reader & subscribe to blogs through that, but I have no idea where the hell my WordPress reader is. I do, however, know what an RSS is (b/c I'm smart like that). RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. Like that? Don't you feel all smart and techie now? Sadly, that's all I can help you with. Definitions. You wanna know a definition, you come to me. Or a dictionary. Whichever.

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    1. Real Simple, my ass! You're way better than a dictionary though, Funny Motha - my dictionary hardly ever makes me laugh. Unless I'm high.

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  19. It came in fine via my blogger or google connect or whatever it is reader. I also think I noticed it announced during the Sunday Night NFL football game so your technical skills must be much better than you're letting on. Or I was drinking.

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    1. Well, I might have accidentally hacked the NFL mainframe while I was working on my RSS. Or else they were just that desperate to find something other than the officials to talk about.

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  20. I lost all my email feed friends when I added the join google plus badge, most figured it out and joined the Facebook Page

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    1. Noooooo! Oh, that must've been a terrible day! I'm glad they found you again, though. :)

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  21. You still showed up in my google reader, so I'm happy. I followed by way of clicking the "join this site" button. don't think that's RSS feed, but I'm as clueless as you are. :-)

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    1. However the internet genie did it, I'm grateful you're still here. :)

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