Comment-provocateur John Erickson recently published a post about how Depression could derail him from his normal social circles, and send him off into extended bouts of abstruse research. While our so-called minds don’t chase quite the same shiny objects, I appreciate his problem, because much the same can happen to me.
A typical recent day
I opened my stats page. Someone had mined my archives and accessed my Trips With Mom And Dad post, from Feb. 18/12. I clicked on it to remind myself of the contents and comments. This was the 14th post I had published, and was the one where I was given my very first blog-award. Candice Coghill, for whom I recently published a requiem post, had given me a Versatile Blogger award.
I reread all the comments. Hers included two links, one to her acceptance-speech post, and the other to the Versatile website. I nostalgically reread her post. Mine had been the first comment, though, that far back, I didn’t have a good grasp of blog protocol, and hadn’t “liked” it. Even though it means nothing to anyone but me, I corrected my oversight.
The Versatile logo apparently has worn off my old post, and I went to the site with the vague idea of lifting and re-applying it. There are almost a hundred comments, over about three years, from people who have received the award. Some wanted tech help. Some seemed to think they must declare the receipt of their award. Others did so with the intent to create some interest and drive readers to their site.
I picked one, not quite at random, a young female who mentioned the “seven facts about me.” Snoopy is not just Charlie Brown’s dog. She’s half Filipina, and half Irish-American. She started out looking like her Dad, but has vitiligo, Michael Jackson’s “drinking bleach” disease, and now is whiter than her Mom.
I “liked” her post, and thought about leaving a long explanatory comment, but didn’t like the idea of an international restraining order. Finally, the concept of a blog-theme broke through the mental clouds, and I was off to Dictionary.Com to check the meaning of abstruse. Might as well look up abjure while I’m there – and a couple of others.
Crossword puzzle clue/solution, singer Alma Gluck, turns up fairly regularly, and the name Gluckstein came up recently. Let’s use the German translation program to get an idea what those names mean. Gluck could be printed in English as G’luck because, aside from fortune and favor, it means good luck. Stein means stone, so Gluckstein means good luck stone, a magic amulet, or charm.
I could almost see Google beckoning to me. Exactly who, what, and when was Alma Gluck?? She was a Romanian-Jew named Rebecca Feinsohn, who came to America around the beginning of the 20th Century. She had a beautiful soprano voice and wanted to get into the entertainment business. Since, at that time, Jews weren’t openly tolerated, she became the German, Alma Gluck.
Feinsohn translates as “fine son”, but “fine” used to mean small or delicate, like fine thread, or fine-grit sandpaper. Was the progenitor of this surname small and delicate, or was he the A-one son we might think him today?
In the meantime, this Jewess, from a third of the planet away, became well-known for singing American folksongs like Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, and Swanee River with her husband, entertainer Efrem Zimbalist, not Junior, the original. Now I know, who had no imagination.
I was down and up the stairs a half-dozen times. I had to, to wear off all the food I stuff in my face. It’s a good thing you didn’t see the platter of nachos I made myself for lunch. I made and served lunch in bed to the wife, who’s still getting over her nasal surgery. I fed and watered and medicated the cats, and let the dog out and in, each time returning to find out more about the German language, and a woman I’ve only met in newspaper crossword puzzles.
Yesterday’s crossword wanted “Kon-Tiki material” in 5. Since I thought it was constructed of bundles of bulrush-like plants, I put in “reeds.” I had to back out and work around to “balsa.” Dictionary.Com has a crossword solver program, so I entered the clue. Sure enough, there’s balsa, at the top, with a 90% likelihood. The 6/7 other possibilities, in rapidly descending order are….interesting. I copy them and put them in a Word file for a later post.
While I’m over at Google, looking up Alma’s skirt, I plug in Kon-Tiki, and, sure enough, there’s a picture of Heyerdahl’s balsa raft. Or maybe that’s a photo of a couple of political refugees, on their way to Miami, from Cuba.
I finally heaved my bulk out of the computer chair, and headed downstairs to think about preparing supper. (I fried up some onions and made up some boxed perogies, in case you care.) Hot Damn! It’s almost five PM! I haven’t read anybody’s blog! I haven’t read or responded to comments on my site! I haven’t even read today’s paper, and I’m obsessing about composing this post.
I know I told you that I’d respect you, and call you in the morning but, ….if I haven’t shown up at your site for a couple of days, or a couple of weeks, I still love you. It’s just that I’m lost in thought, since I have no mental GPS. I’m probably wandering around in a forest of thoughts, that I can’t see for the trees, trying to entice my intellect back to reality with a virtual ice cream cone. That explains why I also have a fat head.
I envy your life. I will also caution you against taking your stats and such anything beyond “mild interest.” Most of my 3000+ followers (a term) are web-bots or blog-bots. Feel good, Archon… you’re creating an honest and relevant product that is appreciated by us (real people).
I imagine that, compared to mine, your life is somewhat more complicated, especially since last Monday. I have a few follow-bots of my own. My “mild interest” in my stats is usually not about who, or how many. Having a small, but growing, cadre, led by you, my American Idol, is quite enough.
My people-watching, psychological curiosity is piqued by search-terms, and which old posts are mined. A Penny, Lira, Peso, Etc, is still getting a couple of hits every day.
Despite worrying, at 200 posts, about coming up with new topics, unlike long-running Jim Wheeler, so far, I have not run out. I can’t help feeling like the general, of whom was said, “His men would follow him anywhere, if only from morbid curiosity.” 😉
Hey Old Dude… this does sound familiar… you sit down to do one thing and three hours later you haven’t got to it, in fact you’ve forgotten all about the original reason you went to sit down… do this all the time… get up to make a cuppa, and by the time I’ve reached the bottom of the stairs, I’ve remembered something I wanted to write on my blog, will do a U turn cause if I don’t write it now it will be lost forever…
It’s a good thing I’m retired and, apart from the wife’s medical appointments, have lots of time to lose. It’s usually the computer, internet/blogging, but as easily could be an e-book on Kobo, my new electronic mesmerizer.
With no short-term memory, I’ve leapt from the supper table, to rush upstairs and tap a thought (?) into a Word note-file. “Plus ca change,” or do you need to speak/read any French? 😕
Love reading your blog it always makes me smile. As for lost thoughts, I was searching for the sugar bowl, at last I found it in the fridge, by now my tea was cold and I was feeling very old.
Take away as many smiles as you wish. I’ll try to ensure the site is always fully stocked.
Having just turned 69, and with our 46th anniversary looming on the horizon, The Better Two-Thirds and I must be a bit older than you and Rob. I think we did the sugar things just as much when we were younger, we only notice it (and worry) more, as we get older.
Does your corner of the Dark Continent have a microwave oven to reheat cold tea? 😀
Thanks I will be watching. Being married for 46 years is such an achievement, well done my friend. As for reheating my cold tea, Mmmm! Oh no! I forgot about the microwave. By the way Rob and I are also in our sixties,and today is our 40th anniversary.
Hearty congratulations! It’s my son’s 42nd birthday as well, so I might even remember, this time next year.
Both Rants and Bulldog say good thoughts. You do well here, so embrace Geezerhood.
I’m right behind Drum Major, Jim Wheeler, waving the banner. 🙂
Here’s a person to add to the club … Hansi is a hoot!
I’ve seen Hansi’s comments on your site, but have always been too preoccupied/distracted to follow up good intentions. Must go have a look. I’ll mention your name. Is there a secret handshake? 😐
Well, I gotta say, your train of thought takes many more sidings than mine. It’s a lot harder for me to be – SQUIRREL! ……. distracted from a single line of … of … what the heck were we talking about again? And why is my browser open the website for 20th century naval guns? 😉 (Seriously – if you want to see where I hang out when I’m not blogging, check out http://www.navweaps.com. Betcha Jim would LOVE that site! 😀 )
You’re a little more organized in your disorganization….SILVER gum wrapper. We’ve already got Rants, with a 120 MM and a prorogued Congress, is it wise to let Jim loose with any of these? Oh well, he can’t hit either Fresno or Kitchener from Joplin. 😆 Those “super-cannon” barrels never got shipped to Saddam. Are they still in The States? 😕
Not sure. I think they were scrapped, just don’t remember where. Besides, I believe in mobile artillery, makes it harder for the target to shoot back accurately. Though if you ever want a good laugh about an unusual way of hiding a pair of 8″ guns, google “French Submarine Surcouf”. And you thought the Germans could get creative….
I’m in the same boat Archon – get a little bit behind in my reading due to spotty wifi & next thing I know I have over 300 emails to go through. I’m finally caught up with you today! If your wife is at home recuperating, I’m assuming her surgery went well.
The surgery itself went well, although the anesthetist told her recovery-room nurse to keep an eye on her, because he’d had a bit of a problem with her. She’s spent most of the week in bed, weak, hot-flashy, and what little she eats tastes off. Probably the body ridding itself of the last of the anesthetic. 🙂
OOOOH! AM I A FOLLOW-BOT??!! Cause I kinda always wanted to be a follow-bot…or a socialite. Take your pick. I like your blog, Archon. That’s why I show up for dinner….are you gonna eat that? I hope Mrs. is doing better…
If those are my only choices, I guess it’s FOLLOW-BOT! That little fucketa-fucketa problem you have would keep you from socialite-ing with anybody but Donald Trump.
Yes, I’m going to eat that….with your gravy on it if you’re not careful. Did you bring extra cod tongue? Remember, tomorrow night at Ted’s.
Yes, the Mrs. is doing better….than what, we’re not sure. 😉
Yeah, I always was bothered by my stats, especially since my most popular post was about getting fired, but then I think, “hey, Archin shows up here all the time, so its ok.”
My most popular was a silly little throwaway thank-you piece for a blog award. It’s not about the theme, it’s about the style and intensity. You’ve got it backward. Your stuff is more than just OK, and that’s why Archon shows up all the time….although, I may have to elbow PMAO. 😉