Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not measuring up


met·rics
noun
1. the use or study of poetic meters; prosody.
2. a method of measuring something, or the results obtained from this. "the report provides various metrics at the class and method level"
I check my blog stats more regularly than I post on my blog. It's a bit like cutting open a chicken and staring at the entrails in hopes there will be some epiphany there. But all I see are chicken guts.

Now granted I rely on the stats Blogger.com provides for free. So I shouldn't look a guest chicken in the entrails. But Blogger tells me I have had 219 page views on Friday, but only 41 posts were visited. So am I to assume 178 visited and had no interest in actually reading anything.

I still suspect that many of the disappointed visitors didn't actually visit any pages were somehow lured from the slew of Russian sites shown in my traffic sources metrics. But according to Blogger, only 32 have come from those sites.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dream weaver


I've always been fascinated by dreams. I wish it were possible to actually record them (i.e. like a video, not write them down). Something tells me they would be binge watching worthy.

Or just meaningless crap.

My dreams seem to revolve around geographic locations out of my childhood. I'm often find myself at the house I grew up in. Occasionally it becomes a mutation of the first house I bought on my own. I lived there for about 18 years alone. I don't dream about any of the places I rented along the way.

The odd thing to me about dreaming about the house I grew up in is that it no longer exists. Even seeing photos of the interior of the house now sets off weird pangs of sadness and nostalgia. Because the only place I can see the place anymore is in old photographs or my dreams.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Sick and tired

I am not a person who is prone to sickness. This is not to say I never get sick, I just don't use a great deal of sick days.  For the past several years, the only time I've called in sick is to stay home with a sick child (who more often than not were just sick of school). But last week I missed two days of work because I was sicker than a proverbial dog. Not that I know why a dog is called out for being any sicker than any other animal.

But I digress...weakly...because I am still not feeling a 100 percent well.

I've made no secret that I was raised Christian Scientist and didn't go to doctors until I was in my early 20s. So for much of my formative years, being sick was severely frowned upon and met with very little sympathy and no OTC medicines.

I've gotten past not using OTC medicines (which are for the most part useless). But I haven't gotten over the guilt of being sick. And I avoid doctors like the plague.

Ironic statement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ghost stories


At dinner the other day, my son asked his sister whether she knew any ghost stories. She began reciting a number of stories she'd read in a book of ghost stories from her school library. It dawned on me as I sat their listening to her that I don't know any real ghost stories. I have never really experienced something that I could truly call an encounter with a ghost (though this is the second time I've pondered this in my blog...the first time was in a post called I ain't afraid of no ghosts back in 2005).

It isn't without trying. Before we were married, I used to take my wife on trips and stay at reportedly haunted hotels. We stayed at the Del Coronado in San Diego, the Queen Mary in Long Beach and Geiser Grand in Baker City, Oregon. We also stayed at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. All reported to be haunted places. But I didn't see nary a ghost or ghoul.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Unoriginal thought


I was listening to a TED podcast (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) the other day on original thought. The basic premise was that there really was no such thing. All of our art, music, literature, movies and inventions are derivative of things that others had already thought of. We, as a species, don't create. We tinker and add on to things.

This fits with my posts about Googling great ideas I've had only to discover three million other people have already had them. Apparently, the Big Bang (not the television series) was the only original thing that has ever happened in the universe.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I'm the king of the world!


All my blather about Trump wanting to be king conjured up these memories of the good ol' days of my blog when I had themed weeks of Photoshopping my face onto famous people's images. It was 2006 and I was giddy about the newness of blogging. It was in a post called It would be good to be a king that I first considered making myself a king.



Friday, April 01, 2016

The man who would be king


I can think of no conceivable reason for anyone to want to be President of the United States. Yet all of these people pump millions of dollars into campaigns trying to get nominated for a job that lasts four to eight years and basically opens up you and your family to constant scrutiny and criticism. Okay the salary and benefits amounts to about $600,000 a year. And you do get a $200,000 pension for the rest of your life. But is it worth it?

I don't think Trump is wanting the job for the money. And he certainly doesn't strike me as someone who wants to make a positive change in the world. So I can only conclude that he wants to be king. And the revolting peasants are rallying around him caught up in the demigod's rhetoric of hate and fear.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I'm going to read a book



And what book, you may well ask: Infinite Jest, the 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace. It is a 1,079 page novel that is said to be the "defining work of the 1990s" by people who say such things.

And why am I going to read this book? Because I just watch the movie, The End of the Tour last night. It is based on writer David Lipsky's memoir, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself which is basically the story of Lipsky's experience going on a book tour with Wallace in 1996 to write a story for Rolling Stone.

It's a great film, BTW.


Friday, March 25, 2016

The unbearable lightness of bean



Aging brings with it these unexpected thoughts about identity. It goes beyond asking "Who am I?" It's just that I feel like I am in a time warp and the world around me has passed me by.

When you age, the world around you speeds up. All of your points of reference seem to be in the past. Communicating with someone 20 or more years younger than me requires a great deal of energy and explanation. I begin to understand why my parents would often stare at me with a confused look when I'd talk to them growing up.

For a person in his late 50s, I like to think I'm more savvy than most about technology and social media. Maybe it is because I've been exposed to computers from the beginning. Not like current generations who've always had them. I watched them evolve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Prince of Ides


I survived the Ides of March without nary an attempted assassination by the Roman Senate. I toyed with ordering a Caesar salad at the local diner last night and saying, "Etu Flo," when it was served, but I decided not to tempt fate.

It is now March 16th, a day of no particular note other than it is one day before St. Patrick's Day. Yet I still feel the slight bit of anxiety I've alluded to that comes with every birthday. Part of it is likely due to the bulging spot that appeared on our basement ceiling on Sunday indicating something, somewhere was leaking. My wife poked it with a paint scrapper this morning and apparently a large chunk of the ceiling fell down.

So the Ides of March did bring a small disaster after all and Chicken Little has been vindicated. The sky...and my ceiling is falling.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Well Ides-ey Ho!

You can run, but you can't Ides.
--Time

Today is the Ides of March. Which is to say it is the middle of the month of March, the day Julius Ceasar was assassinated, two days before St. Patrick's Day and three days before my birthday.

I suppose that doesn't mean a lot to most people.  But if you follow the link above you'll see I've put a great deal of thought into it over the years. Because the hint of doom that the Ides of March carries with it taints my impending birthday like a worm hole on an apple you just bit into.

It's not like this is a milestone birthday (other than turning the same age as my year of birth minus one thousand years that I pointed out in a previous post). But 60 is on the horizon wagging it's wrinkled butt at me. Not a pretty picture I can tell you.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird


“Atticus said to Jem one day, "I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. "Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
 ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird is dead at 89. I watched the 1962 black and white movie based on the Pulizer Prize winning book the other night in her memory. It is a classic movie that I remember watching many times as a child. And it is still a great film.

Boo Radley is my favorite character. He is the mythical boogeyman of neighborhood children that lives in the run down spooky house and can only be seen in shadows and rumors. And then he turns out to be the hero and totally misunderstood.

He still has a few marbles missing from the game. But don't we all.