July 03, 2007


This is the sort of post Crabby would normally save for a weekend, because other than one sad little research citation, the whole thing is about blog "housekeeping," not health. But she wants to catch all her Beloved Readers before they scurry off to enjoy the long holiday weekend, leaving Crabby alone by herself in her Crab House, pretending she doesn't notice it needs dusting and vacuuming.


Crabby had planned to be discreet and low-key about the Recent Changes at Cranky Fitness around commenting. She did not want to get anyone who may still be lurking out there too riled up. But then she decided what the hell. Readers knew something was up.

So Crabby has decided to stop being all mysterious about it. It may in fact be a good time to set forth a few Blog Commenting Policies, just to prevent any future misunderstandings.

As Alert Readers may have noticed, the Comments, formerly unrestricted, are now being "moderated." Moderation just means that Crabby gets your Comments in her email and has to approve them before they are released for public consumption.

Moderation is annoying from both ends, but probably worse for Readers. Crabby at least gets to see her words in print as soon as she hits Publish, while you all have to wait and come back later.

And then what happens when you come back? Maybe Crabby is still off doing Crabbish things so you have to return yet again. (Or worse, you might decide Crabby's blog is just not worth the effort!) And then when you do return you find Crabby has released a whole bunch of comments at the same time, many of which appear before yours does. And maybe some of those comments say the exact same thing you did! But no one knows you thought of it first! Or whatever--you may not be nearly as neurotic as Crabby. But in any event, it's a pain.

We'll dump Moderation soon, but if necessary, it may return.

Basically, what happened was that a new visitor did not believe it was fair of Crabby to delete his comments, and so he vowed he would outlast her and keep putting them up over and over again until she relented and let him air his thoughts.

But Crabby didn't like his thoughts much, nor the way he expressed them. And Crabby was too lazy to keep deleting the same comments over and over, so instead she enabled moderation.

Crabby wants to be the first to point out that she was indeed being arbitrary and possibly unfair. If hers were the only blog in the world, it would be inexcusable for her to say "some people may speak and others may not."

But since there are something like 75 million blogs out there, Crabby isn't too worried about this sort of unfairness. Those who find Cranky Fitness an unfriendly forum can find plenty of other places to make their points. There is no First Amendment Right to air your thoughts on someone else's "publication," whether that publication be a small blog or Fox News or the front page of the New York Times.

That said, Crabby really does want to keep an open mind about allowing a variety of different points of view. She lets stuff slide in the Comments section sometimes that others might delete as offensive. But then every now and then a comment seems to "cross a line" and she deletes it. It is her blog and therefore her line. (And these sorts of comments have never been from regular visitors; only first timers with no previous connection to the blog).

So for clarification, Crabby reserves the right to be completely arbitrary about deleting comments. But as examples, here are some things she might delete:

1. Spam. (Which does not mean Reader Recommendations. Crabby loves these! She means things that appear out of nowhere and don't seem to have anything to do with health or fitness). If somehow she messes this up (which she may have actually done once before) and you're a regular reader and she mistakenly deletes you as spam, just come back and make it clear you're really Cranky Fitness fan and are not here trying to sell something.

2. Insults or threats directed at other Commenters or Crabby;

3. Graphic sexual discussions that seem to have little to do with topic at hand; (and sometimes our subjects are quite racy, so context is everything) and

4. General inappropriate weirdness of the sort that suggests that you are (a) mentally unbalanced; (b) intoxicated or (c) at the wrong blog.

(Note: there are some #4 type comments scattered about that Crabby let slide; if you're ever REALLY bored and decide to prowl around the archives some of them are quite amusing).

Does this all make sense?

And now it is time for Crabby to direct you to our Health Research Study for the day, a random and not particularly recent paper chosen only because it involves Housekeeping! Or at least the study of "structured tasks such as cleaning dishes and clothes." This thing is so pompous and pointless, that Crabby can't even bring herself to make fun of it!

It starts off: "As the prevalence of obesity has increased, so has sedentariness..." and doesn't get any better after that. She won't even tell you what it concludes. Crabby's hoping a brave reader or two will take a look here and report back to the class what they think of this ground-breaking research.

So, Crabby hopes you'll all be patient with Moderation just a bit longer until it is gone. We have some posts coming up in the following week that could be considered offensive or controversial, so Crabby may leave it on just a bit longer. Or she may take it off and put it back on again as needed. Either way, she hopes this will not keep you from Commenting on Commenting, or on anything else that occurs to you!


  1. Crabby,
    This is your blog and you must do what is right for you. Moderate as needed.
    In reference to a remark in yesterday's comment trail: cocoa is the seed and the fruit of Theobrama cacao so I think a good case can be made that chocolate is a fruit and therefore an important component of a healthy, fruit-based diet.

  2. Thanks leah!
    Cool--so chocolate is arguably a fruit! Dawn's Amazing Fruitivarian Eating Plan just got way more appealing. Now I've just got to figure out how a cheesburger is really a fruit...

  3. I am not bothered by the moderation at all. I don't have a blog but I do visit some that all comments are modded all the time for reasons that you stated. The 'net allows people to be as nasty as they wanna be without consequence.

    I love modern conveniences of the modern home. Dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers and all that. Doing them by hand can't possible expend that many cals to make much of a difference! I still do the dishes by hand only because the dishes are clean sooner that way :/ At any rate, nothing ground breaking here. Time could have been better spent in coercing fast food restaurants to post calorie counts on menu boards.

  4. Hi goinggone,
    Glad the moderation isn't bothering you--and I'm with you on both modern conveniences generally and the dish-washing exception. Perhaps because with our dishwasher, you have to have the dishes almost totally clean before you run it anyway--so it's easier to just stick 'em in a rack and be done with it. (And if you're really lazy like me, you just leave 'em in the rack until the next meal most of the time.)

  5. Oh yeah, and the fast food chain thing is really obnoxious! Thanks for the link, goinggone.

  6. Moderate away...we know you like us...:)

    I agree with the article (I feel like you're just catoring to my geeky scientist side with you rlast few posts - thanks!) and thought of this to be true for a long time...someone actually took the time to analyze it scientifically - the geek in me is giggling with glee :). It is good to see it in writing. Most people can be active enough that things like dishwashers and such won't have a lot of impact on their lives. But if you think about it, to me the largest impact on our lives in larger cities now you have to drive to get everywhere and so no "walking to the store" to get something or puttering in the yard and all that. I myself found that just ditching the elevator at work (the building is only 3 stories high) made a huge difference in my energy level. Even walking or riding my bike to work occasionally helps. When I think of how much my Mum did just to look after us and the house when I was little as opposed to now it is no wonder that we welcome things like vaccuums and such (Me? I'd die without my dishwasher)

    To me these "time" savors only are useful if you do something with the time and energy you save. Most people don't though - they sit and watch TV. It makes sense that as there is less work to do, if you aren't a naturally active person or make an effort to exercise the poundage will creep up ever so slowly. It frees up more time and energy for other things - perhaps we need to invest time and money in getting people more active and getting out and being more active and doing things for fun. It took that to make me a thinner fit person so I know it to be true.

  7. Hi Geosomin,
    Ah well, perhaps I was too harsh on our earnest scientific geeks and their attempts to quantify "progressive sedentariness."

    I guess the overall point just seemed kind of obvious, and the language so self-important, that I had to tease them a bit.

    I also wonder at this point if it's truly a question of not having the right information, or if it's more about motivation. Who doesn't understand that if you drive everywhere and sit on your butt all day and don't move you're going to have trouble maintaining a healthy weight? And would anyone who didn't understand that basic fact be perusing the pages of Obesity Research?

    But you're right, information is always good, and people really need to get up and move more--whether it's by running marathons or taking the stairs or scrubbing pots and pans!

  8. I'll be perfectly allright with comments moderation. After all, my own comments on several blogs systematically fall in the Spam category and get approved two days later only, so I'm kind of used to not see my stuff appear straight away after posting. ;)

    And re: the article, that's what I love about my city. Lots of conveniences are reachable by bike or simply walking. Actually, owning a car would be a huge problem for me. (And "time savers"? Not when you have to spend 2 h stuck in commute because the line isn't moving... :p)

  9. Thanks Kery!
    I do think that location has a huge impact on how much walking v. driving we do. And a lot of people, when choosing where to live, pick the location that will give them the biggest home (out in the 'burbs) but will also entail the most driving. I'd rather cram myself into a smaller space and walk (or bike) everywhere like you!

  10. Thanks for saving my life yesterday. I was all depressed and then I found a link to your site through some other site that I've totally forgotten, and it made me feel better! And I got up and put clothes on and cleaned the kitchen.

  11. Doesn't it suck that people are so bored and ignorant that they have nothing better to do?

    Moderate away, Ms. Mcslacker. I'll still come back and visit. ;)

  12. Darling, have no fear, you are so within your rights to moderate comments, and I shall never be offended (except of course when you moderate mine and then I shall be livid, livid I tell you!).

    And truly, I am a fan of the saying "Moderation in all things" (to which a friend added "including moderation" which I just love, and so have kept as part of the phrase). Point is: moderate away, young crabby, moderate away!

  13. Hi Anonymous!

    So I don't want to get all melodramatic, but by "saved your life" I'm hoping you were just speaking metaphorically? If you just meant it as a figure of speech, please forgive my getting all serious here for a second.

    Because if you're having a hard time and feeling depressed, please don't suffer alone. Please call a friend or family member or consider a local suicide hotline. Even if you're not suicidal, they can help you if with further resources if you feel a bit in crisis mode.

    And if you're in the US, I think there's a national one at 1-800-SUICIDE. You don't have to be totally desperate to call, and you wouldn't be bothering anyone, that's what they're there for.

    And if you just meant you were having a bad day, sorry to get off track like that. I hope it's getting better!

    And here's a web link but I can't remember how to html:


  14. Hi Lacy!

    Thanks! Yes, and I'm hoping that the normal Cranky Fitness postings are boring enough that those who don't actually like it here will find somewhere better to hang out.

    Adrienne, you're back!
    I love that "moderation in all things, including moderation!" Because moderation gets a bit boring at time. As long as one is immoderate only in moderation too! Okay, now my brain hurts.

  15. I know what you mean - span is like the worst. I really dislike the ones they try to sneak in - like going to an older post and leaving one word...like cool or nice - but their link is to some odd car sales thing or rolex watch knockoffs geeez don't folks have better things to do!

    Moderation won't stop me from coming by to see one of my "ladies in waiting" and reading one of favorite blogs!

    Lady Rose

  16. Thanks Lady Rose!
    Likewise, you are always on my list of "must visit" blogs, even though there are times I may be too lazy or rushed to comment.

  17. The way I see it, Crabby, is that your blog is like your living room. You have the right to say who stays and who doesn't and we should all be on our "visiting" manners and not burp too loudly.

  18. Thanks Dawn!

    And you've got one of the nicest living rooms around--where all the chairs are comfy and the hostess is gracious and snacks are always on offer!

    The crab shack is a little more ramshackle and the burping is fairly frequent. But face-biting (by anyone but Leah) is strictly prohibited and is cause for removal.

  19. Those are some freaky blue flourescent cleaning gloves!
    Well, Crabby, no one seems to mind the moderation...it does seem like it's more of a pain for you.
    I hate housework...and blog about weight loss. hmmm.

  20. katieo,
    Those gloves are pretty scary arent't they?

    I refuse to make any connection between my slacky housekeeping style and my need for exercise, and will continue to physically exert myself only in ways that don't keep anything clean.

    And yeah, everyone's been real nice about the moderation thing. I'll be glad when its off though.

    With the long weekend coming up I won't be watching quite as closely, so it's probably not a good time to take it off just yet, but I'll give it a try again before too long.

  21. Dude. We don't even own a dishwasher, but I seriously doubt my domestic activities are what keep me feeling fit. Unless, of course, you take into account impromptu funky style street dancing to Funky Cold Medina while vacuuming and cleaning the toilets. That has been known to get the sweat on..I hope that's not considered too mentally unbalanced to say. ;-)

  22. Oh Norabarnacle, I so wish I had a spy-cam that would let me see you do the funky-toilet-cleaning dance!

    But sorry, you have a long way to go in the mentally unbalanced sweepstakes. You're not even close to being a winner. But thanks for playing!

  23. I'm sure you will moderate in moderation, Crabby. We trust you. Meanwhile, at my house it's the paid housekeeper who gets whatever benefits that form of exertion bestows. Must be working -- she's skinny as a rail! Whilst I just had a blackbottom cupcake with my afternoon coffee. In the spirit of the subject at hand, I would like to recommend a source of intellectual exercise -- Marilynne Robinson's superb novel Housekeeping.

  24. All things in moderation--especially comments! *rimshot* ;D

  25. You have so many comments, Crabby! Your blog is more popular than ever. It seems that your plan of conquest is working out quite well. No one has responded to my add for evil minions yet, but I'll keep working on it.

    You have every right to moderate the comments on your blog, Crabby, and I'll keep coming back regardless. With so many people commenting, it seems even more necessary to do so.

    Housework? You're kidding me, right? I'm so lazy that I let my nine year old wash my dishes today (and he did a pretty good job, by the way). I don't have dishwasher; have to do it all by hand. I've got an old microwave that usually works but sometimes it can be a bit temperamental.

  26. It always amazes me that people think they have the right to leave whatever comment they like on someone's blog. I figure I'm stepping into your living room (or, as I prefer, your backyard next to your pool), and you have the right to tell me to can it if I say something stupid or irritating.

    As for the article, it is kind of nice to have the calorie expenditure difference quantitated, I guess. One thing that struck me was that the household tasks they looked at are traditionally considered "women's work." The walking to work could equally affect the traditional practices of men and women and children (if you include walking to "shops" and "school" with work "work"). So if their hypothesis that labor saving devices contribute to obesity is correct, I'd expect women to be disproportionately plumper than men or kids. I wonder if that's true. Anyway, I'm certainly not going to start washing my clothes by hand just for the exercise.

    (Oh and thanks very much to Leah for the info about chocolate being a fruit. That's happy news.)

  27. Hi Appleton,
    Very sensible plan: you hike up Nob Hill and enjoy your exercise and your cupcakes, and a nice woman cleans your house, earns cash and slenderizes. I thoroughly approve! And yes, Housekeeping was an excellent novel--and much better to be reading it than doing it!

    Good one, anonymous!

    Hi Michael,
    I'm SO lucky to have such clever, informative, and amusing commenters. By far the best stuff is down here, not up there!

    I think getting your son to do the dishes is an excellent idea. (I'm guessing he's quite a bit better at it at nine than he will be at fifteen.

    Thank you, and I hope the problem will not recur any time soon.

    Interesting analysis of the housekeeping data, and I don't know the answer to the male/female obesity question.

    I'm feeling really bad, though, that all I did was make fun of the poor study and link to it, when all you Smart Science people actually went there, read it, analyzed it, and got something out of it! I couldn't even get past their use of the word "sedentariness" in order to look much at the figures.

  28. First of all, it's your site. You get to make the freakin' rules.

    The dude still has his "freedom of speech". He just has to get his own complementary blogspot account to utilize them.

    As for the article, do we really need statistical evidence to prove that progress has made our asses fat???

    C'est la vie

    -- P

    P.S. I apologize for the use of the word "ass". I hope that it doesn't give your blog an "R".

  29. Thank you Penelope, you are as usual, most sensible!

    And please, yes, more Ass on Cranky Fitness! I am still trying very hard for that R rating.

  30. Lord everything about me suggests inappropriate weirdness and mental unbalance. I do not however drink (well, maybe one half beer a year).

    I so want to stay... Hmmm, I think that every great blogger needs one unstable blogger friend. That'll be me. Kay!

    BTW mod comments don't annoy me -- your email box must be very annoying though. Here let your new unstable friend add to that for ya.

  31. Nice try, Jennifer!

    Unique and expressive does not, in my mind, mean unbalanced!

    Crabby's got everyone here beat in terms of mental instability, but she doesn't have to delete her own comments because she owns the joint!

  32. Hi Depressed Anonymous,
    Thanks so much for writing again, that was very considerate!

    I have your last comment "on hold," because I didn't know if you would want me to publish or not--sometimes even being anonymous doesn't feel very private. But I'd also be happy to "release" it--just comment again and let me know. I'm afraid I may not be around much over the next couple of days but will check in occasionally.

    Thanks again and I wish you all the best!

  33. Moderation is a necessary function when a blog starts getting a lot of traffic. You might get a kick out of this certificate Moderator Certificate

    Keep up the good work, Crabby!

  34. Crabby, your blog is one of my favourite places to be. If my own blog generated as many comments as yours I'd be thrilled.

    My comments are moderated too, and you have every right to check on who pitches up on your doorstep and keep the chain in place if we appear too psychotic...

    Keep up the good work. You are responsible for so many good things.

  35. Hi Dawno and Cassie,
    Thanks so much for stopping by, and sorry I was off being Slacky for the holiday! Will be back to normal soon.

    And I love that Certificate!


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