Mobile WordPress Posting

With my forthcoming trip to Gatlinburg, TN next week, I thought I would take a look at downloading the WordPress app for my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for posting on the go. So I visited the Google Play Store, downloaded it and linked it to my WordPress blog at http://muxxy.co.uk – with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse connected, I am now writing this post.

If you have followed my blog these past few weeks, you will know that I have started using the awesome WordPress plugin from @steempress-io to be able to write posts on my personal blog, then have it reposted to Steem.

There are several reasons why I decided to do this: firstly, although I am a dab hand at markdown now, the post editor in WordPress is much more feature rich than that on Steemit or Busy. I don’t have to constantly check that I have formatted the various codes etc properly. I click and it’s done.

Next, the world wide readership of WordPress blogs is way in excess of the number of readers on the Steem blockchain. As a creator, I want as many people to see what I write and design as possible. Although I love the Steem community, retention is quite low here and even getting a ‘normie’ to read a Steem blog can present a challenge.

Navigating the history of your own Steem blog can present a challenge: what if you only want to see posts from a certain category, one that only uses certain tags for example? On a WordPress blog this is very simple. Not so much with Steem blogs.

I also like to be an individual and be able to present my content in whatever way I want, and to have the option to share it to other platforms. Did you know that Facebook and Reddit for example do their best to hide Steem links? Not cool.

Finally, @steempress-io have been delegated an incredible 1 million Steem to upvote worthy blogs that use their plugin and I am happy to say that I have been whitelisted to receive said votes.

A lot of @thewritersblock members have jumped on board with this plugin as they already have a WordPress blog. Others have seen its benefits and have purchased domain names – for those that don’t know, the free WordPress blogs do not allow the user to install plugins, instead they either have to upgrade to the WordPress business plan, which isn’t cheap, or host their own at a third party host.

With many of our members deciding to go this route, I have purchased a hosting plan that allows me to have as many domains on it as I wish. Anyone who has purchased a domain name can have their WordPress blog hosted with my host at https://www.dreamhost.com for a very reasonable $25 a year, paid in the equivalent in Steem or SBD. If you are interested, get in touch with me on Discord. My username is Muxxy#8276 and I can be found on PALnet and The Writers’ Block.

So, with luck, a fair wind, and technology allowing, as I press publish on WordPress, this post should shortly appear on my Steem blog. This will be very handy when traveling to The States next week.

Of Dialects and Dwarves

I have been fascinated by dialects and accents ever since a young age. I am originally from Birmingham, England, where I’m known as a Brummy / Brummie, so derived from Brummagem, one of the variants of the name Birmingham throughout history. Ozzy Osbourne is perhaps the most famous Brummie and still retains his original accent. I also spent some years of my youth living in a small village in Italy, its local dialect widely different from general Italian.

Although Birmingham is at the heart of the region known as the West Midlands, non-locals often mistakenly refer to all Midlands accents and dialects as Brummie. To the west of Birmingham lies a region called the Black Country. Some think the name originally came from its heavy industrialization during the 1800’s with foundries, coal mines, glassworks, brickworks and steel mills heavily polluting the local area with soot and smoke. Others think the origin of the name refers to a 30ft thick coal seam that ran close to the surface across the area.

Source

Incidentally, one of the local forges and chain makers, Hingley & Sons in Netherton, made the anchors for both the legendary Titanic and its sister ship the Lusitania.

Source

Most towns and villages have their own particular variation of the Black Country dialect, rooted in archaic early modern English and Middle English, even going so far as to still use the words ‘thou’, ‘thee’ and ‘thy’. Brummies call Black Country folk ‘Yam Yams’, so-called due to the phrase ‘Yow am’ – meaning ‘You are’. Brummies bristle at being called ‘Yam Yams’, and Black Country people hate being referred to as Brummies.

Derelict old houses, factories, and foundries are still being replaced to this day, but the Black Country Museum, in Dudley – or Duddlay in local speak – retains many examples of old architecture from around the region.

Source

The Black Country flag, shown below, was designed based upon a quote from Elihu Burrit, who was an American consul in the 1860s. In referring to the Black Country, he described it as ‘black by day and red by night’ – the black of the pollution and the red of the glowing furnaces and steelworks. The chain alludes to the famous chain works, the white cone in the center a brick cone chimney from a glass works.

Source

Some Black Country Phrases

Ar – Yes
Ay – Haven’t
Ayt – Eat
Backerds – Backwards
Bai – Am not, as in ‘I bai gooin’ – ‘I’m not going’
Bist – Are, as in ‘How bist?’ – ‘How are you?’
Bisn’t – Aren’t, the opposite of bist
Bonce – Head
Bonk – Bank or small hill
Bostin – Very good or great as in ‘We ‘ad a bostin time’ – ‘We had a great time’
Caggy or Caghanded – Left-handed or clumsy
Cag-mag – Bad or rotting meat
Catlick – Quick wash
Chuffed – Pleased or happy
Clarnet – Idiot / fool
Clammed – Hungry
Cocka / Cocker – Mate / Friend
Coot – Coat
Darecent – Dare not
Donny – hand
Fairce – Face
Fun – Found
Fust – First
Gamgee – Cotton wool
Gob – Mouth or spit
Ivver-ovver – Hesitate
Jack squalin’ time – Early morning or very late night
Joobus – Dubious / Suspicious
Kaylied – Drunk
Lamp / Lampin’ – To beat / hit
Lezzer – Meadow
Loff – Laugh
Mon – Man
Nairun – None / not one
Nuss – Nurse
Ockerd – Awkward
Odge – As in ‘Odge up’ – ‘Move up’
‘Ommer – Hammer
Ooman – Woman
Opple – Apple
Oss – Horse
Ow – How
Owamya – How are you?
Pail – Beat as in ‘Gave ‘im a pailin’
Riffy – Dirty
‘Safta – This afternoon
Sate – Seat
Shek – Shake
Sanp – Food taken to work for lunch
Spake – Speak
Suck or Swaites – Sweets / Candy
Swilker – Splash or Spill
Taters – Potatoes
Tek – Take
Twethree – A few /Several
Thaten – That one
Thissen – This one
Thrape – Thrash / Beat
Tranklements – Bits and Pieces / Small Possessions
Tunky – Fat pig
Wammel – Mongrel dog
Wench – Girl
Wik – Week
Woa – Won’t
Yow – You

So, why the dialects and dwarves in the title? Yesterday in The Writers’ Block, I was having a conversation with @damianjayclay about various accents around England – he’s also English and recognizes my (I think at least) soft Brummie accent. He sounds much like the Southern softy he is – sorry Damian, love you really.

Damian suggested a story title, The Dwarves Under the Bonk. If you read the list above you’ll already know that bonk isn’t an adult activity in this context, but a bank or small hill. This set my brain into gear thinking up a story whereby the title characters speak with a Black Country accent and dialect.

While I think it would work, I would have to be careful not to overwhelm the reader with too many words that they can’t understand. Sure, I could use a glossary, like the list above, but really, who wants to have to keep referring to one? Often I have read fantasy books with a glossary and rarely consulted it. I need to have the characters speak in a common tongue with just enough dialect thrown in. Having another character act as a translator would be tedious.

I’ll leave you this video of comedians speaking about the Black Country dialects and accents.

Steem Wars Episode 4: Calamity Abounds

The trouble with being a Time Lord is that you don’t need a good memory: if you want to recollect something, you just travel back in time. Despite having a spare brain, Dr. Muxx rarely used both to full capacity.

Little did he suspect that when he powered up his old creation, the AI system called Muxxybot, that he would hold a grudge for two and a half millennia and plot not only humanity’s downfall but the subjugation of the entire universe. Still, it was nice to have company again, even one with homicidal tendencies.


Princess KatLe’a – @katrina-ariel – pulled the Maverick Dawn into a mounting maneuver and docked suggestively with Captain Trickle’s Dronefly, before being informed of Dr. Muxx’s mission for the crew. Finally, somebody from the Dronefly crew is attempting to follow orders…


Meanwhile, in a lavatory far, far away, Bounty Hunter Kaber Tauss – @dbzfan4awhile took care of his morning ablutions before attending to an attack on The Darth’s vessel. Overrun by small ‘pink light saber’ wielding cat-like creatures, they soon dispatched their foes. Self-satisfaction quickly dissipated however as their ship was captured by a giant green pickle belonging to the Dill-Lick empire.


Princess KatLe’a proved to be the most dependable of the Dronefly crew by actually getting to her mission, a meeting with a Xirpaq delegation on Whoopass 5. A giant disco ball-shaped space station welcomed the Maverick Dawn, it’s landing bay decorated with shag carpet on the walls and floors. Parties in full swing, the Princess soon discovered she would have to get down to ‘business’.


The ship’s computer, R2-BEX2 – @bex-dk announced the crew’s arrival in the ZZzzzzzqqww quadrant. The lack of precise coordinates from the Good Doctor confounded their search for the elusive sale. Jay unhelpfully offered to write a sonnet.


UndiesLord Nevertiger – @negativer – took out his frustrations on a toaster bot. Distracted, he failed to notice the approach of breastmobiles packed with mustachio’d hipsters on their way to do battle in the nearby city. That plan, however, was misplaced as the city promptly, and without due consideration to all involved, exploded.


Also on planet three of the Quadrangular Quadrant, Sixty-Wine – @caleblailmusik – joined Galactlactator Tingle – @tanglebranch – who naturally ordered everyone about. Byepeex and Juavez-7 were to go pants shopping. Sixty-Wine was to procure a lab technician, while the Galacpotato herself would search for the missing Negatator.


Princess KatLe’a couldn’t have been more on the ball if she sat on a ball stuffed full of balls. Determined to make this compilation post, she prepared for erotic disco combat with a rather tall, buff, and well sculpted Xirpaq.


Join us next week as these thrilling (?) stories continue. Will Captain Trickle ever get off her ass? Will Negavader lighten up? Just who is the mysterious Lain Dakota and will he ever write anything? Will Muxxybot blow a fuse? Why are all the bots in these stories psychotic? Will Dr. Muxx give it all up as a bad job and retire back into history? Find out none of these answers next week!


Until next week, may the Steem be with you.
* * *
Will YOU answer the call? Steem Wars is a community-wide event to encourage writing, mutual support, and blockchain interactions. Who knows, perhaps a friendship or two might form. Anybody can take part, form crews or go it solo. Not a writer? No problem. Artists and poets depicting Steem Wars stories are welcome to join in too. Visit The Writers’ Block Discord server and ask for access to Steem Wars. And above all, remember to have fun! There are no rules, any sci-fi franchise can be ‘appropriated’ and mashed up, although please make them parodies rather than fan fiction. See the original proposal for Steem Wars here.

@jonknight has compiled all Steem Wars stories on steemshelves.com HERE for your reading pleasure.

Diary of a Homicidal Steem Bot

Once upon a time, July last year to be slightly more precise, Muxxy wanted to get one over on @swelker101 – henceforth referred to as Shane. You see, Shane had created a little Steem bot that would give out little upvotes he referred to as Shane hugs from the @msp-shanehug bot. People would delegate to the bot and its voting power would slowly increase, adding a little happiness to the rewards on Steemians’ posts.

Never one to let someone else’s idea go to waste, Muxxy decided to copy improve on the premise and set forth plans to bring Muxxybot into the world. For minutes he tinkered with the same code Shane did to create his bot. Bored, he gave up on the idea.

Instead, what he devised was a human curation team that worked in the background, finding little gems of posts from minnows which Muxxybot would then compile into regular posts, upvoting the authors and giving them further exposure. Like the hugbot previously mentioned, Muxxy would call for delegations to improve Muxxybot’s voting power to better reward these worthy authors.

Muxxy was totally oblivious to the wrong connotations that another bot to the network would bring, to the detriment of the project. Many Steemians were firmly anti-bots and here he was pronouncing a new one! Ignorant of the fact, he ploughed on with his creation.

Muxxybot would have a personality, something Muxxy could sink himself into when producing the curation posts. This bot was to be very anti-human – a sad twist on the anti-bot feelings permeating the Steem ecosystem. Muxxybot was to be so full of sarcasm as to make readers pass by his posts. The exact opposite happened. Humans are strange, as Muxxybot would say.

Muxxy relished writing these posts, he enjoyed getting into the Muxxybot character and turning his snark on. He treated it as a release from being nice to everyone. The writing style was obviously different, written in code…

...*... something like this ...*...

To seal the deal, Muxxy contacted an awesome artist called @overkillcoin who designed the graphic at the top of this post. Although not looking as evil as Muxxy might have wished, he was very happy with the design.

Next, Muxxy turned it up to eleven: not only was Muxxybot to hate humans, but he would use his curation efforts as a means to somehow destroying humanity, slowly growing in strength from delegations and rewards on the posts. The readers appeared to lap this up.

But then Muxxy had a change of mind. By now he had a solid crew of upwards of twenty curators, bringing in worthy shareable posts. Where he began curating general posts three days a week, Muxxybot began curating poetry only on a Tuesday, fiction on a Thursday and, in an effort to help the French community, French language posts on a Saturday. Three days suddenly turned into six.

Although Muxxybot tolerated his curators – which he called minions – he had little desire to see their efforts rewarded. His master however thought differently. What he decided to do was to split the SBD earned from the curation posts equally among the curators that featured in that post.

Muxxybot didn’t like this change as it interfered with his plans for human domination, less of the power of the account being used to boost his evil. I’d like to say that Muxxybot got out of control, something akin to Skynet in the Terminator series of films, wreaking havoc and destroying entire populations. The truth is less impressive.

A few months ago there was a dearth of suitable content to share. The Muxxybot minions struggled to find curatable content. We dropped down the number of days we posted to account for this.  It helped little. On top of this, Muxxy became extremely busy being a moderator at @minnowsupport, a curator for @OCD and running his own writers’ community, @thewritersblock.  Despite a lot of support and help from @bex-dk and @tinypaleokitchen, who took over posting the curation posts a few days a week, the project looked like it was dying.

Last month Muxxy announced that Muxxybot was to shut down. He was genuinely moved as he wrote the last post by Muxxybot, as were some of the minions. As hinted in his last communique, Muxxybot’s memory modules were transferred to The Writers’ Block Discord server where he still lives on, welcoming newcomers to the welcome-center in his usual sarcastic and brash manner. He eats dropped links and tells off the human perpetrators.

Huge thanks to @jasonbu for capturing the essence of Muxxybot in our Discord bot.

It’s good to know Muxxybot hasn’t forgotten his roots…

I don’t usually write about myself in the third person, but this has been fun. Ten months living as a maniacal human-hating bot was very enjoyable. I was and am still sad that the operation had to shut down when it did, but I am forever thankful to the curators that helped make the project so much fun.

Will Muxxybot ever return? Who knows. Currently, I am far too busy to even consider it, but maybe one day – when I have enough SP to throw at the account. As much as I enjoyed being a sadistic bot, I enjoyed helping out minnows in what small way I could, and that was the real fun behind the Muxxybot project.

Virtual Mortality Part 4

Bleak. Empty. Terrifying. A deafening silence. Neither hot nor cold. No cues for his senses to latch onto and they screamed for input.

How long have I been here? Where is here? At least I have you, parrot. Did I ever give you a name? No, not Polly. Something more–piratey. Hey look, Polly–Lena. Hello Lena, have you met Polly? Lena? Why are you green? Your eyes, Lena! No!

The apparition morphed into Commander Chameleon. He came closer. No, he’s growing–or I am shrinking? The giant’s form changed. It had the body of a man and the smiling head of a crocodile. I’ve seen this before, but where? Something familiar. The goliath started to chuckle. The sound echoed infinitely across the void. Gabe tried to muffle the din with his hands. If anything, the laugh grew louder. Bent double, clutching at his ears. Gabe screamed…

“Finished?”

He looked up at–Sobek! That’s it.

“Finally click did it?”

How can he be reading my thoughts? Unless–

“Yes, that’s right, Gabe.” At that Captain Zain vanished, replaced by a standard amorphic avatar. “I am one of the gods. Did you really think you could slip in undetected and play around on my server? And for what? A Lost One? They are lost for a reason, you know that.”

Don’t think of her, don’t think of her.

“Lena? Oh we know about her, don’t you worry. Right now her data feed has you heroically flying around the universe. She has no idea. But–you can’t be fretting about her now. You know she is out of our reach. Ah, wait! Another, is it?”

Change the subject. “So what’s it to be? Threats? Violence? Those don’t work on me. Go ahead. I’m waiting.”

“Oh Gabe, if only you knew what we can do. Nothing so barbaric. I could, however, just leave you here with your pretty parrot. How does that sound?”

Here, alone? I’ll go mad.

“That’s right.”

“Get out of my head!”

Sobek chuckled once more. No echo this time, thankfully. “I don’t care who you came to find. As you see, your mission was a failure. Whoever she is, she is lost. I–need something from you.”

Interesting. “Whatever it is, I am not interested.”

“Your thoughts deceive you. But, as I am a good sport, I shall stop reading your mind.”

A previously unfelt presence shifted and tore its way loose with a shock that coursed through his brain. Nausea, nearly blacking out. Swallow it down, fight it.

“Come on, that wasn’t so bad. There. Your mind is your own. Play nice now Gabe.”

“OK,” he gasped, “let’s have it.”

“Another has one of your Lost Ones. It’s quite simple. I want him.”

“I thought you lot were a big happy club of tyrants. What makes this one unique? And why can’t you just get him?”

Sobek paced back and forth, each giant stride stretching half a mile.

“You really don’t understand us. Yes, we have the same objective, but there is a hierarchy. My associate has more power, more miners, and greater influence. This Lost One would tip the balance in my favor.”

“So it’s a power play. This one must have been worth the effort to trap me here.”

“You have no idea. He can crunch numbers like ten ordinary miners. I want him, and you will get him for me.”

“What’s to stop me from unplugging this Lost One when I find him?”

“We are not gods for nothing. Take a look behind you.”

Gabe spun around and watched a silent feed of Swelker flipping buttons and shouting commands to Henry. There, on the bridge, was Captain Zain, deftly avoiding the Alpha ship, and maneuvering through the asteroid field.

“Your friend. I have been keeping an eye on him for quite some time. I knew you’d show up sooner or later. All I have to do is snap my fingers, and he will be lost too. He will be passed from god to god, you will have no chance of ever finding him.”

I have no choice, I can’t lose Swelker too. “Alright,” he said finally. “Give me the details.”

“I’m sorry Gabe, but this will sting a little.”

Before he could process it, Sobek shrank to normal size, grabbed either side of Gabe’s head and squeezed. An agony like no other, his thoughts not his own. Places and people he had never seen before crashed into his mind. Armies, war, death, destruction, and, finally, a mushroom cloud, thousands of wailing cries dying on the nuclear wind.

He jolted out of his seat, and fell to the floor of the bridge, shaking.

“Gabe! What’s wrong?”

Good old Swelker, it’s good to see you. “Get–just get us out of here.”

“Aye aye, Captain.”

Swelk took the controls, punched in a target, and The Marauder hummed, creaked, and rattled as the hyperdrive charged.

Lena, are you there?

Gabe! What’s wrong? You seem–different.

Oh, thank God. Tears welled in his eyes. Get me out. Now.

 

Originally posted on Steemit – where you earn to blog.

© 2017 GMuxx