31 May 2012

Hero? Idiot? Or Ambulance Chaser?


Yesterday, I was watching Monday's episode of Dr. Phil (SHUSH! A woman needs her guilty pleasures!), and he had a segment on Richard Camp - an everyday man who took down a bank robber in March of 2010.

Initially hailed a hero, the community turned on him when he filed a negligence lawsuit against the bank, alleging the bank failed to provide a safe environment for its patrons when he entered the bank on the morning of March 5.

(This video is a little long, but does show what happened during the robbery)

He was on Dr. Phil, claiming he went from hero to victim when he filed the lawsuit. He insisted the bank had offered to pay his medical costs, then backed out of the offer. He was "forced" to file the lawsuit when the bank did not hold up their end of the deal.

Ummmm ...

First, why should the bank cover his medical costs when he chose his [idiotic] course of action? 

Camp claimed he knew what was going to happen if the bank robber climbed over the teller counter. Since he seems to be clairvoyant, it seems he should have known what was going to happen before he walked into the bank and could have avoided the entire situation.

Second, every news piece (from reputable news sources) that I've read on this story indicates Camp claims he was suing (the lawsuit has been dropped since the Dr. Phil Episode was filmed) for the sole purpose of recouping his medical costs - all $75K of them - yet Camp had insurance coverage that paid more than half of those costs. When I do the math on this one, it sure seems he is getting $40K + over his medical costs.

Here's my take on this. I think the guy was just trying to do the right thing (right defined by his moral compass). His only faults were not doing a mental risk assessment and failing to managing his impulse control.

His choice worked out far better than it should have (statistically) - the robber was taken down - and Camp was only shot in the leg.

Along comes an attorney who assumes the public will want to reward Camp for his hero status and encourages him to file a lawsuit (the attorney fee being 1/3 of what Camp gets).

Then it backfires

Because society only considers you a hero if you sacrifice with no expectation of compensation.

File a lawsuit?

You're just another money-grubbing dirt bag.

What do you think? Hero? Idiot? Or ambulance chaser?


28 May 2012

Memorial Day


No grandstanding. No controversy. No cries for peace. Just gratitude.


27 May 2012

Sunday Secret



24 May 2012

If It Were An Algebra Final I'd Get A B+


Only 17 days into this I'll post every day for 365 days bullshit goal and I've already missed 2 days!

The good news? It's been somewhat eye-opening. I've discovered that if I don't post before about 5:00PM, the chances of me getting a post up that day become slim to none ... leaning hard towards none.

The bad news? It was a goal that I really felt committed to, and yet I failed early on ... which means I wasn't as committed to the goal as I thought I was.

The best news? I'm allowing myself to fail - to be less than perfect *SHHHHHH! Don't even go there* - without beating myself up for it.

The overall purpose of the post every day for 365 days commitment was to get myself writing more ... honing my skills. Even if I miss a day (or 20), I'm still writing more than I was.

And that is good enough.

Sometimes good enough is ... well? Good enough!

(15/17) <-- More accurate format

22 May 2012

Behind The Secret


Soooo ... about Sunday's secret ...

I waited until late Sunday night to post it and did not promote it on my social media accounts because? Well, because I am disgusted with my behavior. Admitting publicly that I had done the very thing I've criticized other parents for doing was ... humiliating.

It's really easy to post something all Judgy-McJudgy like Get Off My Lawn. It's much more difficult to post something that sheds light on one of your major flaws - one that has been around a while - one that you would rather no one ever knew about you.

I published it because I needed to be held accountable for it, not only for Cam's benefit (because doing his homework does nothing more than bail him out - again), but for the benefit of Mike's and my relationship.

See? Mike wasn't very happy about my decision to do Cam's homework (understandably so) and because I have made a commitment to be transparent in this relationship (something I have never done in any relationship), I didn't hide from him what I was doing.

I knew that doing it was wrong. I knew that my justification for why I was doing it was wrong. There was simply nothing right about what I was doing, and Mike did not let me sneak by without expressing his disappointment and disdain for my choice.

I will not offer any justifications here. I will simply say that I want nothing more than to get my son through school because I am tired of parenting him. These 16 years have not been easy and I want my life back.

The problem is that it's not my turn to have my life back. I've got 2 more years of very hands-on parenting to do - hands-on parenting that should not will not include any more high school homework.


20 May 2012

Sunday Secret



19 May 2012

Saturday Share - GroceryBudget101

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I am one of those people who, if I won $5M playing Powerball? I'd still be shopping at Walmart and using coupons.

I don't do excess well. I don't like to waste anything, including food. I strive for efficiency.

Mike and I have been spending quite a bit on groceries each week. It is easily our biggest monthly expense (more than rent). Although we usually go in with a list based on a weekly menu, we also buy a lot of prepared foods.

I've been looking for ways to save money on our groceries. I'd really like to cut our grocery budget in half (that's pretty aggressive) but am trying to be sneaky and gradually make the change (*SHHHHHHH! Don't tell Mike!*).

While reading a (then free, now $3.49) Kindle download titled 2012 Family Guide to Groceries under $250 a Month, I stumbled on GroceryBudget101 - a website that includes forums, recipes, and a new $50 Weekly Menu posted each week.

Although I'm not quite ready to go all Food Nazi on my family, I am striving to try at least one, low-cost dinner dish each week.

What are your favorite ways to save on groceries?


18 May 2012

Get Off My Lawn!


*NOTE* I will preface this post with a proactive apology to Namaste and Sujomi who I am about to offend ... more than they want to be publicly offended ... which should be a deterrent for me but isn't.

Have you ever thought maybe you should rename your blog. I'm guessing "Get off my fucking lawn!" might already be taken, but if it wasn't?

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of graduation season. The season where, as parents, we formally acknowledge that our children are now legally responsible for themselves and we no longer have to stock the refrigerator for them ... 

Or, where we formally acknowledge that our children can color inside of the lines ... most of the time.

You silly parents! You can call it preschool (or elementary school or middle school) graduation, but by definition it is nothing more than a ceremony put together for parents so they can take pictures and post them on their facebook wall.

What’s next? Newborn caps and gowns for successful graduation from the womb?

Here's my issue with these faux graduations - they give a sense of importance to transitions that really should be assumed and expected from our kids.

When I was a kid (I can hear y'all cringing as you read that line) we just went to the next stage of school. There weren't any parties, faux commencement ceremonies, and no one made huge deal over something that should be expected - going to kindergarten, then middle school, then high school.  After high school? Well? Then you have reason to celebrate!

It just seems like we’re teaching kids our to expect a lot of fanfare for every little transition in their lives. And if that is what we are doing? We are setting them up for failure, because there won't be any party, nor gifts, when they are working at McDonald's and move from the french-fry station to the drive-through window.


17 May 2012

What's Your Cause?


Y'all know I spend a great deal of time over at Band Back Together, right? See that icon over there? The one to your left?? That's my proof that I'm with the band!

In addition to the editing I've been doing for quite some time, I've taken on Team Lead/Team Co-Lead duties for the BB2G tumblr Team and our new flickr Imaging Team, where we put together those barfy inspirational quotes that everyone seems to love, like this one (I can call this barfy because I put it together):

Each month we do this World Tour thing where we come up with a topic (usually aimed at self-improvement) and encourage people to submit posts on that topic. 

We were trying to come up with one for June and I decided I might find some inspiration if I googled "June National Months"

The list About.com provides included forty-four National celebrations for June. 


I'm leaving the links for a few of my favorites right here so y'all can explore what you should be celebrating in June. Now go get yourself a Papaya, a good magazine, and sit on the toilet to read!

16 May 2012

The Land Of Pretend


Guess what happens when you demand that a 17-year old girl pee-on-a-stick for you and explain that you'll need to contact her mother as you are concerned that she feels no urgency in this very serious situation?

Your son gets a text the next day saying, "There is blood. I think I'm having a miscarriage."

Good news, right?? 

Well ... yes ... *hesitates* ... and no ...

Based on all of the details of this 2-week long teen soap opera, the only logical conclusion is that Cam's girlfriend was never pregnant.

That conclusion begs the next question: Why??

Cam has been diligent in defending her. He refuses to believe that she might have been less than honest - with me and with him. 

I think I understand why he wants her to be telling the truth. I cannot imagine it would be easy for him to acknowledge that he was gullible and that someone he cares about has been lying to him, but why would she lie?

I happened upon this post titled Is Pretending to be Pregnant a Mental Illness?:
Why would a teenage girl want to put up with the scrutiny and criticism that comes along with being pregnant in high school? This is what I think:

1. Attention

Some of these young girls are starving for attention no matter if it’s positive or negative. Perhaps they see all the attention their peers or siblings got when they were pregnant and crave some of that same attention. I often see that their friends, while at times judgmental, often start bonding with the young girl in a nurturing way, something that she doesn’t get normally from them.

2. To Keep a Boy Interested

I think this may be the most common reason young girls pretend to be pregnant. I see it played out over and over again each year in the high school I work at. A relationship ends or is on the break of ending and all of a sudden the young girl blurts out she’s pregnant or thinks she’s pregnant. This usually sends the young man into a panic and even if he’s skeptical, he tends to at least try to stay on her good side until the pregnancy is confirmed or denied. Like a lot of young teens who pretend to be pregnant, these ladies may go through great lengths to convince their boyfriends (ex-boyfriend) that they are pregnant and often times in the process, continue to try to really get pregnant. These drastic attempts to keep a boy are seldom successful.

3. Biology

Evolutionary psychology may say that it is normal for young teens to pretend to be pregnant since it’s in their biology to want to conceive children. During my research it appears that pretending to be pregnant is to some extend normal, but I think what is abnormal is the way that some young adults go about pretending to be pregnant. Perhaps pretending to be pregnant to yourself is normal, while pretending to be pregnant and in effect lying to your friends/boyfriend is more on the abnormal end of the scale. However, if it is to some extend normal to pretend to be pregnant, can it ever go so far that it can be classified as a mental illness. To what extent does a young girl have to go to in order convince people she is pregnant, before she moves into the realm of psychopathology?
The post goes on to offer some diagnoses that might help in answering the "Why?" - Factitious Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder - but being that I am not a mental health professional, I'm not offering up any diagnosis.

Besides, my diagnosis would read more like, "Conniving, self-centered, attention whore."

All that I know is that I would prefer this young woman have nothing to do with my son. For whatever reason, she is clearly manipulative and dishonest ... and in a BIG way.


15 May 2012

Am I Mom Enough?


When Cam makes bad choices, it's all too easy for me to judge my parenting, especially when I've made so many mistakes along the way. 

When someone else points the finger at me ("She must be a crappy mother if her kid does that!"), I've already beat myself up for whatever failure they see. It's a little less painful to do the proactive beat down.

Logically, I know that free will (not to be confused with Free Willy) is alive and well in the teen brain, but that doesn't stop me from wondering if something I did 5, 7, or even 15 years ago is the cause of Cam's bad choices now.

Sprinkle that with a dash of Time Magazine's Are You Mom Enough and a few one-liners from Rick Santorum (i.e. "We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms" and single mothers are "simply breeding more criminals") and you begin brewing the self-loathing mom storm.

I gave birth knowing I would be a single mom.

I didn't breastfeed long enough.

I didn't provide a strong male father figure for him.

I gave him too much and required him to work too little.

I put him in (and kept him too long in) an emotionally and physically abusive environment.

I moved him to an area with no racial diversity.

I didn't teach him abstinence only.

It must be my fault!!!

I've been accused many times of being a smug, know-it-all, but when it comes to parenting (and a few other areas of my life), I have a nagging and overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. I fear that I'm just not a good enough parent and, no matter how hard I try, I will never get the parenting thing right. I worry constantly that I did a terrible thing to society by having a child and being a shitty parent. I often imagine how different Cam would be if he'd had a really good parent, or better yet, 2 great parents.

I feel that I let Cam down - that his life will be more difficult because of my inadequate and faulty parenting.

I am fairly certain that I am not mom enough, and outcomes like this offer me further proof of that belief.

No, I probably shouldn't beat myself up, but I am terrified that if I forgive myself, I'll make the same mistakes again.


14 May 2012

Behind The Secret

Soooo ... about yesterday's secret ...

Yes, it's true (I think). There are so many inconsistencies in this situation that occasionally I allow myself to entertain the idea that it's all one big teen drama event rather than something I actually have to deal with.

Except that I don't have the luxury of approaching this from an "I'm not sure" perspective because if I'm wrong, the consequences are life altering.

Here is what I do know
  • Late March/early April - Cam started dating a new girl
  • May 4th - Cam told me his GF is pregnant and that he might be the baby-daddy. Remember he-who-jumped-out-of-the-car? He was dating this girl before Cam and is the other possible baby-daddy. I talked to Cam and his GF and told them (her) they (she) had a decision to make. That I would support whatever decision was made and that if they (she) decided on abortion, I would cover the cost and provide transportation. I told them time was critical and they needed to make a decision by May 6th
  • May 8th - After hearing nothing, I asked them both what their (her) decision was. GF told me, "I don't want to kill it." I asked her if she had told her mom that she was pregnant. She assured me she had. I explained that I supported her decision, but there would be ZERO financial support from Cam or me until paternity was established
  • May 9th - I received a text from Cam (he was at school) telling me his GF had changed her mind - she now wanted to have an abortion. That night I spoke with them again, explained that she would need her insurance information and would need to make an appointment the next day as time was critical.
  • May 11th - Cam told me his GF was coming over at 11:30AM Saturday and they needed a ride to Planned Parenthood. After he decided he was going to spend the night at a friend's house, I learned that she still had not called for an appointment. I let Cam know that this was not a walk-in procedure, she needs to make an appointment. I also told Cam that I wanted her to take a pregnancy test at our house before I took her to Planned Parenthood. This request turned into a screaming match and Cam stating he would not let her take a pregnancy test at our house.
  • May 12th - Cam's GF did not show up until 12:30 and still had not made an appointment. I explained there was no possible way to have the abortion that day without an appointment.
  • May 13 - Cam told me that GF cannot make an appointment until she finds out what her mom's schedule is because she is grounded and cannot go anywhere after school. Confused, I suggested that maybe GF's mom is NOT aware of the pregnancy and I told him that if his GF did not make an appointment with Planned Parenthood on Monday, I was going to have to get her mom involved (Mike did some sleuthing on the internet and found the mom's name and phone number).
What I don't know
  • If the GF is actually pregnant. She told Cam she went to the doctor on May 3rd for a pregnancy test, but can't explain how she did that without transportation (her mother did not take her). This, in conjunction with the refusal to take a pregnancy test before going to Planned Parenthood have me wondering about her story
  • If GF's mom knows she's pregnant. GF insists she does, but I find it a bit odd that her being grounded supersedes her mom allowing her to go to Planned Parenthood to have an abortion
  • If Cam is even remotely a baby-daddy possibility. He-who-jumped-out-of-the-car (baby-daddy v2) was dating Cam's (now) GF in February/March/April. He is now in in-patient drug rehab. I find it convenient that Cam and his GF started dating as soon as he-who-jumped-out-of-the-car went to rehab, and the pregnancy was not confirmed until he was gone.
To say that I am STRESSED OUT about this situation is an understatement. It is not what I want for any 17-year old girl, my son, or anyone else (i.e. ME) involved. The chances of them being good parents, being able to support a child, and completing their education are slim to none, yet there seems to be no urgency on either of their parts to terminate the pregnancy while that is still an option.

I have procrastinated getting the other parents (GF's and baby-daddy v2) involved, mostly from a very selfish perspective. I am embarrassed and angry that my son got himself in this predicament. I don't want to be the parent everyone blames. I don't want my first contact with the GF's mother to be a phone call that starts out with, "Are you aware your daughter is saying she is pregnant?"

That said, my current plan of attack has been overwhelmingly unsuccessful (based on results).

I think it's time to put on the Depends big-girl panties, call the other parents, and force them to parent through this situation too.


13 May 2012

Sunday Secret



12 May 2012

Saturday Share - Zero Dollar Books


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Being the only child that I am, sharing is not high on my list of things I enjoy doing.

Information is power!

If I keep the good stuff to myself I can feel silently superior to you.


Okay ... okay ... I'll share, but I don't have to like it!

From this day forward, Saturday's will be dedicated to sharing. I might share a website I find useful, a blog I read regularly, or maybe even a recipe.

We'll see where this goes.


Although I don't anticipate ever owning an e-reader, I did recently jump into the (android) smart phone pool. I promptly downloaded the Amazon Kindle App (on my phone and my PC) figuring it might be a nice diversion during those times I get stuck somewhere that I don't want to be, for longer than I anticipate being there.

The problem? I'm cheap. I don't want to pay for e-books. And I'm LAZY. I don't want to spend hours searching for free books.


Zero Dollar Books - where they aggregate all of Amazon's best selling free eBooks in an easy to view format.

Additionally, Zero Dollar Books updates hourly to keep current with Amazon pricing, making a subscription via RSS Feed advantageous.

Where is your favorite place to find free eBooks?


11 May 2012

Much Ado About Nothing


As are most things these days, Obama's evolutionary thinking ("I think same sex couples should be able to get married", just in case you weren't paying attention ... to ANYTHING) has been beaten to death by social media. So? Why not join the crowd?

For some, the Obama Hope & Change alters have been brought out again. Others see this as little more than the media machine flinging glitter at Obama's performance record.

Look!! Shiny objects!! What unemployment rates?

Does it really matter what Obama's opinion is on gay marriage? Does it really matter what my opinion is on Jell-O? That's what I thought.

When all of the fake outrage and moral judgement is set aside, it seems that all most gay marriage advocates seem to want is the same rights, privileges and protections that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy once they jump the broomstick.

Yet the sticking point for many appears the be the use of that word "marriage" - a religious based ceremony that gives special governmental preference.

Wait a minute ... I hadn't thought of it that way. Why in the hell does the government give preferential treatment to ANY citizen based on their marital status?

And then?

And then I stumbled on Lauren Taylor's No celebration for this lesbian in the Washington Post OpEd section and she said EXACTLY what I was thinking:
Here’s the thing: I don’t think we (the country, the society) should be giving rights, privileges and protections to anyone — gay, straight, bisexual or other — based on their sexual or romantic relationships. I think most of the rights and privileges gay men and lesbians are seeking by pursuing marriage rights should be granted to human beings because they are human beings, whether or not they find one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with.

A few examples:

  • Everyone should be able to designate who they want to be able to visit them in the hospital. Everyone should be able to take leave to care for a sick loved one.
  • Everyone should have access to health insurance. If you’re self-employed, unemployed or work for a place that doesn’t provide health insurance, you shouldn’t need to have a romantic partner who has a job that provides health benefits to get coverage.
  • If a couple with a child splits, married or not, all parents should be eligible for visitation and responsible for child support.
  • Everyone who pays into Social Security should be able to list who is financially dependent on them and who should get benefits when they die. Our current system shortchanges any dependent who isn’t married to a wage earner.

Can I get an AMEN??

See? These rights, privileges and protections are not available to all citizens, or even all adult citizens. They are ONLY available to heterosexual couples who are married.

Being that marriage is archaic and irrelevant, why does its practice give anyone preferential treatment?

This really isn't about the sanctity of marriage being "compromised" by same-sex couples.

This is about our government treating all humans (single people, people in long-term relationships that choose not to get married, same-sex couples, etc.) with consistency - allowing us all the same rights, privileges and protections.

Isn't it??


10 May 2012

♫ Name That Tune ♫


Cam's final band/choir concert for the 2011-2012 school year was last night. Generally, I enjoy these. I suffered through four years of listening to what can only be described as unintelligible noise in the key of OMG!

High school performances are my reward for not insisting Cam give up music after the 5th grade.

Last night the performance theme was "Music In Motion". All groups who performed moved around the stage and through the aisles of the auditorium. It really was fun ... akin to an indoor marching band performance.

The choirs? Well?

They attempted a similar performance style, although limited it to setting themselves up in a different configuration on the stage prior to the start of each piece they sang.
I wish they had focused a bit more on a few of their soloists ... and by focused I mean told them they couldn't sing and selected a soloist who could sing.
What? It's petty to judge the quality of high school musicians? They did their best? Everyone should have the opportunity to stand out from the group and perform?

Not at the high school level, and probably not at the middle school level either (although I'm a bit more tolerant of it at the middle school level).

High school music - just like high school varsity sports - is competitive. There are a select few who are excellent performers, a big chunk that are average performers, and a handful who better rethink their plans of declaring music as their college major ... unless they want to live in their parent's basement permanently.
When I was their age (Yes! I am going there!) solos were put out for audition. Musicians auditioned for the solos. The BEST performer was given the solo. If you didn't get the solo you auditioned for, you worked harder so that you had a better performance the next time.

Apparently music did not remain unscathed in the "Everyone is a winner! Everyone gets a trophy!" generation, because one or two of those solos last night? 

Let's just say that I couldn't help but scrunch my face up in hopes that it would somehow block off my ability to hear.

I considered throwing my hands up over my ears but was afraid the people sitting behind me might have been the proud parents of the tone deaf kids.
What say you? At the high school level, should the best performer get the solo? Or should anyone who shows an interest be allowed the spotlight??


09 May 2012

Throw Momma from the Train


Or not, at least on Mother's Day. That is unless you are hoping your wife will have an affair (sometimes it makes the marriage easier).

If you are one who looks at skewed data from bad statistical pools and deems it fact, moms who feel neglected on Mother's Day are more likely to create a dating profile on Ashley Madison the day after Mother’s Day.

The day after Mother's Day is Ashley Madison's second busiest day of the year for new female memberships, right behind the day after the Valentine’s Day *GASP*

See?? Every kiss begins with Kay, and if it doesn't? Every affair begins with A(shley Madison).

Don't believe me? Here are a few statistics:

  • On a  typical Monday, Ashley Madison averages between 2500 and 3000 new female memberships.
  • In 2009, more than 24,000 new women signed up the day after Mother’s Day.
  • In 2010, there were 31,427 new post-Mother’s Day sign ups
  • 67% of those new female sign-ups identified themselves as stay-at-home-moms.
  • Over 2/3 of these stay-at-home-moms had been considering an affair before Mother’s Day.
Hey moms? I know Ashley Madison is tempting, but I've got a better idea!

Why don't you let your baby-daddy know what would make Mother's Day special for you? When he asks, "What would you like for Mother's Day?" don't respond with, "Nothing..." and then expect brunch reservations at your favorite restaurant.

You'd be surprised at how well honesty works in a marriage!


08 May 2012

Can I Be Awesome?


I am restless, or maybe I'm going through a midlife crisis (Is that ironic? I think it might be ... maybe ...).

Whatever the motivator, I've decided I want more. More satisfaction. More opportunities. More vodka!! I've also begrudgingly accepted the fact that the only way I am going to get more is if I do more.

Here's the rub (all of my male readers just got a little excited, didn't you?) ...

Although I'm clear that I want more, with the exception of VODKA, what I want more of is unquantifiable and a bit hazy. Hazy goals are not usually successful goals ... or at least that is what those S.M.A.R.T. (Doran's Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely acronym) people say.

What I know is that I am feeling compelled to start something, and that's what I'm going to do.

Beginning today, I will be putting something on this blog space every single day ... for the next 356 days. It will be original content (the actual media might vary) and/or commentary.

(*NOTE* I stole this idea after reading 366 Days, or How I Tricked Myself into Being Awesome on LifeHacker)

This sounds easy. Anyone can throw content up on a blog and call it a post. I want to put up meaningful content. By meaningful I mean meaningful to me, because this is all about me (as it usually is), but hopefully y'all will find it occasionally meaningful as well.

If you caught yesterday's post-from-a-smart-phone, that was in preparation for this project. If I am going to commit to daily content, I need to insure I've got the ability to post content even if I'm no where near a computer.

No excuses.

This will be fun, right?? RIGHT???


07 May 2012

This is a test

It is only a test

(trying to see how the blogger app for DROID works)

03 May 2012

I found them! I found them!


The blogs, that is!

There are more of you out there than I thought, and it appears I need to stalk some of your blogrolls.

Odd ... I used to do just that back in the early days, but for some reason haven't done it much at all lately.

I'm going to do a little "shout-out" to those of you who commented on my last post in a minute, but thought I'd comment a bit on a blog post I recently read titled Seven Reasons Why Blogs Fail (not from a blog I would regularly read, but I did find this post interesting) since I have run into so many of those as of late.

*NOTE* Numbered items are Paul T. McCain's - comments following the numbered items are mine.

(1) They offer little more than constant axe-grinding and carping on a particular subject.
I've been known to get stuck in this pattern, usually as a result of being stuck in life. I think it happens to all of us occasionally, but I agree - a blog that consistently bitches, whines, and moans? Gets removed from my reader.
(2) They lack focus and purpose.
There was an influx of these a few years back. Everyone decided they could be (and were) a writer. A bit of advice? Not everyone is. tumblr absorbed a lot of those.
(3) They indulge too much in playing to the crowd.

I lovingly call these troll bloggers. They are the people who write to intentionally create controversy. Personally? Depending on the subject matter? I like these blogs. No comments needed regarding my alleged participation in this type of blogging.
(4) They do not serve the niche they are trying to reach. 
I would change this to "They do not serve a niche". The successful blogs I read have a niche - the are aware of who their readers are and they continue to deliver what their readers want.
(5) They are not comfortable in “their own skin.” 
I see this most often with the stereotypical mommy-blogger. If you are going to write a personal blog, it's difficult to connect with your readers if you portray your life as one filled with glitter, kittens and perfect snowflake children ALL OF THE TIME. People know better, and they want you to acknowledge that you are human.
(6) They are insincere or desperate cries for attention.
I used to stumble on these a lot during the HNT days. "LOOK! I HAVE BOOBS (or a PENIS)! HERE THEY ARE (it is)!!" was the theme of many of "sex blogger" blogs. I'm pretty sure all of those people moved to tumblr too ...
 (7) They don’t have a plan for regular posting.
*snort* This is ... yeah ... this is HARD! Most of us who blog will never make a living at it (no matter how much we might want to) and this is the primary reason.

 What would you add to Paul T. McCain's list?


A special shout-out to the REAL bloggers who commented on my post last week (in order of when they commented):
Bilbo's Random Thought Collection (Bilbo)
Billions of Versions of Normal (Mike)
Nick's Bytes (Nick)
Namaste By Day (Gina)
Blue Eyed Bader (adult content)
Project 365 | A picture a day...and maybe more (don't let the name fool you - there is always a quote and a blog post attached to each of her photos - Sujomi)
I'm With Stupid (This might be one of those "troll blogs" I mentioned above - Jay and Matt)
Another Suburban Mom (Veronica)