As Kathleen blogged yesterday, we’re weathering a week of rain here in southern New Hampshire. Although I haven’t (yet) fallen prey to the mopey blues that often accompany gray days, rainy weather is anathema for digital photographers. I shot this run-of-the-mill picture of orange construction webbing during a non-rainy moment several days ago: a softer version of my recent chainlink fetish. Now that I’m scraping the bottom of my Recent Photos barrel, I might have to start posting pictures of my refrigerator, feet, or more trips to the grocery store.

Those of you who are longtime readers of Hoarded Ordinaries might remember the gray January day when I was trashed by a troll. Although I wasn’t swayed by “Jute’s” negative judgment of my blog–any person, after all, who questions the health of my sex life based on a cursory glance at my picture is scraping the bottom of the Intellectual barrel–a bunch of readers poured out of the woodwork to defend this Drab Little Woman, which was incredibly sweet: an unforeseen Silver Lining behind “Jutes” gray cloud.

You might be interested to know that “Jute’s” blog went silent a handful of days after s/he judged my site: I guess trashing other people’s ideas is more demanding than the effort it takes to maintain an original blog. Some of us are in blogging for the long haul, and some of us aren’t. “Jute” managed to keep it up (and I have to believe s/he’s a HE, and his pronouncements about my sex life might indicate some difficulties he has in that regard) for a whopping two months. I doubt many mourned his blog’s passing, there already being ample judgment in the world without someone having to devote a blog to it.

I say all of this by way of introduction to a site that is the direct antithesis of the trashing troll. Have you encountered the Complimenting Commenter? CC (whose gender is a Mystery) travels around the blogosphere leaving anonymous compliments on other’s blogs. When CC visited my site about a month ago, I naturally returned the favor and found that folks who had been complimented were encouraged to forth and compliment in turn: an ever-lengthening chain of link-love.

Today it seems that CC has been burned by the blogosphere’s latest self-appointed critic. To those who argue that compliments from a person who says only good things are empty praise, I’d counter that finding something positive to say about people you encounter is much more difficult than finding flaws. I believe CC and his/her compliments are genuine, and I think the world needs more Rays of Sunshine to brighten gray days. Call me sappy, but I don’t mind being on the “side” (if we must choose) of someone who makes it his/her business to find the good in people and their blogs. Life’s too short to focus on flaws: why not accentuate the positive?

And so to celebrate the Art of Complimenting, I’m declaring today official Compliment a Stranger Day. Go pick a blog from my sidebar, or visit a blog you haven’t read in a while, and leave a positive comment. Smile at your doorman, tell the busdriver she looks lovely, or pick a daisy for your neighbor. It doesn’t matter what you say; what matters is that your comment is genuine. Surely everyone has something good about them you can notice and note? I bet your day will be a touch more sunny if you do.