Sunshine And Lollipops

sunshine2

In my 300 post, I mentioned, again, the fact that some of the long-established bloggers are disappearing, or cutting back on their volume of posting, due to life changes. I thought by now, that just about everybody had a blog, except perhaps, coots even older than me – and yet, new ones keep popping up.

One such new one is Cordelia’s Mom. She must be the youngest retiree ever. Such a lovely lady can’t possibly be almost as old as I am. I know she’s not as surly. Cordelia doesn’t have much to say, but her Mom is full of wit and wisdom. Click on the link above to go have a look for yourself.

Mom has been blogging for about six months. We often use the same tags on our posts, so I kept running into her, and began commenting. Perhaps intrigued by the lack of references to psychiatric treatment, she started visiting my site.

I received my first blog award when I had only published 14 posts, and didn’t really know what to do about it. Similarly, Cordelia’s Mom recently received two awards. One was the Sisterhood of The World Bloggers Award, welcoming her to the distaff side of writing and soul-baring. The other was The Sunshine Award.

Since I don’t qualify for the “Sisters” award, she kindly passed on a version of the Sunshine Award to me. To prove how well she knows me already, in her nomination post, she lists me as Grumpy Old Dude – Archon’s Den. She sent a big chunk of Sunshine my way. I’ll just have to reflect it on you as best I can.

This is my kind of award. Other than acknowledging receipt of it, there are no rules. It’s just a way of showing that other bloggers are aware of and appreciate you, and perhaps bring a few more readers to your site, by being part of an ever-widening circle of writers.

By begging and whining to the wife, but without actually tripping over my ego, I managed to get a copy of the Sunshine Award graphic installed at the top of this post, just to prove that I’m not hallucinating (again). I thank Cordelia’s Mom effusively for including me in her group of worthy recipients.

I don’t have to answer any questions, or make up new ones. I don’t have to reveal even more about myself, which is good. There’s only so much toilet paper on a roll. Once it’s empty, it’s empty.

My co-defendant buddy, Oscar the Grouch, tells me that I can take The Fifth – even though we don’t have it here in Canada – and not actually nominate anybody else for this award, to protect my persona. He and I are going to do some tequila shots, put a big platter of nachos out of our misery, and watch the Die Hard marathon. If anybody wants to make something out of that, just knock on the garbage can lid.

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Two Years, To The Day

Two years ago, on this day, I published my first blog.

That’s it!  That’s all I’ve got!  It’s not my birthday, thank Dr. Who.  It’s not a blog award.  It’s not my 100th, or 200th or 300th post, although that last one is peeking over the horizon.

 

Two years ago today, I wandered out onto the information superhighway, and flagged down the big bright blog-bus.  Led astray by an evil tank commander, who has sold his likeness, if not his soul, to HALO, and a devious daughter, trying to prematurely collect her inheritance, I began irritating random readers on a full-time basis.

I received a two-year, Happy Anniversary E-card from WordPress, one minute before I sat down to compose this post.

To an old guy, now headed for 70, two years is but the blink of an eye.  I’ve always been a planner. Five composters prove I plan years ahead.  I just wish I’d thought about starting this a little sooner.  The son used to visit chat-rooms, back before “blogging” became acceptable, but they didn’t attract me at the time.

I plan to be around the blogosphere for a while longer, so you’d better plan on keeping me company, educating and entertaining me.  I skip “Keeping Up With The Kardshians” but come back to The Real Lives Of WordPress Bloggers.

Two years!  It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s been some fun.  Thanx Guys!    😀

Archon

Woot Woot!!

Blog On

I have received another blog award.

  The Goldilocks Award

Actually, it’s the, “You Are A Winner” award, but I like to think of it as the Goldilocks Award because it suits me perfectly.  It’s not too big, or too small.  It’s not too involved or too easy.  Definitely not too hard.  This award requires me to do nothing, and if there’s one thing I am highly qualified to do, it’s nothing.  Finally, an award that fits me perfectly.

I’ve received a variety of blog awards from different people.  This is yet another from one of my favorite bloggers, Benzeknees.  Without actually doing any research, I’m pretty sure that she is the only one who has brightened my day this way more than once.  We may have to be careful that her husband and my wife don’t find out about this ongoing ego massage.

To say that some of us have not been Freshly Pressed is an understatement.  My posts are generally too wordy to achieve that.  This award is just a little pat on the head or the back to let you know that there are readers who appreciate what you publish.

I am not required to do anything with this award except appreciate it, and I certainly do.  It’s a little Nothing – Feel Good award, but it’s amazing how a thing that means so little, means so muchThanx Benze!!  😀

You can accept it or not.  You can display the graphic, as I have, or not.  Remember to stop back here after drinks, to pick up your copy, if you want one.  You need do no other thing, no answering questions, no revealing personal data.  I find that you are subtly expected to pass it on.  Other than a few honorable mentions in my first blog-award acceptance post, I have never strewn these awards like rose petals before a bride.

All that is about to change, ladies and gentlemen!  I am going to pass this award on to a few people whose efforts I have appreciated, with the added thought that I am definitely not the only one.  I worry, even now that I will offend some worthy recipient by forgetting, or not having enough time, energy or technical knowledge to include.

The envelope please – and the winners are….ah, you’re all winners.  Here, in no particular order – oh, wait, WordPress put them in alphabetical order, no favorites.

AFrankAngle  http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/

BrainRants  http://brainrants.wordpress.com/

H E Ellis  http://heellisgoa.com/

John Erickson  http://windycitywonderer.wordpress.com/

Hansi  http://hansishallucinations.wordpress.com/

KayJai  http://kayjai.com/

Lady Ryl  http://ladyryl.wordpress.com/

Linda  http://linda123ainslie.wordpress.com/

Madame Weebles  http://fearnoweebles.wordpress.com/

Sandy Like A Beach  http://sandylikeabeach.wordpress.com/

Shimoniac  http://shimoniac.wordpress.com/

SightsNBytes  http://sightsnbytes.wordpress.com/

Sparklebumps http://sparklebumpsthebookwhore.wordpress.com/

White Lady In The Hood  http://whiteladyinthehood.wordpress.com/

Okay, all you guys take a bow – and equal responsibility for making me what I am.  Then we’ll go for some refreshments.  I’ll provide the poutine, if Rants will spring for beer.

That’s Liebster, Not Bieber!

Liebster AwardI’m so ancient that some of my oldest friends were introduced to me by Pterodactyls.  Like the Dot.Com meltdowns, this blogosphere thing is relatively new to most of us.  There are a couple, like AFrankAngle, and Jim Wheeler, who have been at it for 4 and 5 years.  Most of the rest of us have only been polluting the interwebz for a couple of years, so it’s hard to have an old blog-friend.

As some of the brighter among you may have guessed, I have received yet another well-earned blog award.  One of my oldest followers gifted me with a Liebster.  This woman is determined.  She signed up to ride on my Tilt-A-Whirl shortly after I fell off the WordPress turnip wagon.  Then, through no fault of her own, she had to go into the Witness Protection Program.

She came roaring back, with a Groucho Marx disguise, a phoney gravatar, and the persona of, Pucker Up Buttercup, which she used to follow me again.  She couldn’t fool me though.  Her writing is too crisp, clear and informative, even when she is reporting from the other side of the battle of the sexes.  I bent over to pick up a nickel, (I’m not saying she threw it there.) and felt something slipping into my back pants pocket.  I was hoping that I was being molested, but the Liebster award is a lovely consolation prize.

As usual, there’s a bunch of silly rules, most, better observed by omission than commission.  There’s not even a rule that you must download and display a copy of the award on your acceptance post, but my ego needed to be shimmed up, so I grabbed one and slipped it in at the top.  I’m supposed to link back to my donor, to give you a chance to visit her site.  Two years of blogging, and I’ve finally figured out how to do that all by myself.  Next week the wife says she’ll teach me to open my own beer.

You must answer the ten Liebster questions put to you by your nominator.  I’ll get around to that, right after I list, and then ignore, the rest of the rules.  You are supposed to pick ten worthy recipients with fewer than 200 followers.  I’m depressed that I qualified.  You gals keep telling us, Size Matters.

I’m supposed to come up with ten new questions for my 10 nominees.  I can’t come up with ten lucid answers to the questions I’ve been asked!  Where am I gonna come up with ten new questions??  Wait!  That’s one – nine more??! Nah!!  So, I can’t think of any questions, and the terms of the day-parole pass don’t allow me on the internet long enough to find ten more gullible victims worthy recipients.  Ergo, I have no-one to notify of my nefarious plans.  Quickly, on to the Q & A.

Questions for my nominees:

1.   What’s the most important quality you look for in a friend?

A strong stomach, and the blind ability to overlook my failures and shortcomings.  My blog-friends see me like a reject Christmas tree, with the poor side turned towards the wall, and only the good part showing.

2.   What would your superhero name be?

Corporal Mediocre, because I’m not powerful enough to be a Captain.  Like Radar, in M.A.S.H., while everyone was oohing and aahing over the guy leaping tall buildings, I’d clean up the mess, and disappear before anyone knew I’d been there.

3.   Have you ever broken someone’s heart? If so, whose?

Not knowingly, or intentionally.  I did break a girl’s nose one time, but she shouldn’t have been standing so close to the door when she knew I was coming to pick her up.

4.   Is the pursuit or the capture better? Why?

Yes, and no….because, it depends on the target.  Sometimes it’s the thrill of the hunt, but, like a dog chasing a car, even if he caught it, he couldn’t drive it.  Other times, the goal is so valuable and worth-while, that the rigors of the chase are ignored in the pursuit of the fixated goal.  Sadly, sometimes we obtain exactly what we need and want, only to find that it isn’t.  Be careful what you wish for.

5.   What do you most wish you could do over?

With a view to “improving or changing” my current life?  Be born rich, instead of so damned handsome!  Actually, at my age, I’d like to do the whole damned thing over again.  I’d even put up with the dorky, slightly bullied childhood, for the chance to meet and get to know more people.  I can think of no specific life occurrence which was bad enough to need doing over.  Even if I could, the butterfly effect might ensure that the changed result would be even worse.  Let sleeping dogs lie, just don’t trip over them.

6.   Is it ever okay to put raisins in cookies? Why or why not?

Better to ask if it’s necessary to put cookie dough around these plump, juicy, tasty little nuggets.  No raisins in Oreos or Lemon Crisps, obviously, but Cowboy cookies, or brown sugar cookies, or oatmeal and raisin cookies (which, properly, should be raisin, and a bit of oatmeal, cookies) – Oh Yeah!  Some wino somewhere is sayin’, “I wish I had a couple of raisin cookies instead.”

7.   What’s the last compliment you were given?

I’m not sure if it was, “For a fat old fart, you don’t sweat much.” or, “You know, you’re not really as dumb as you look.”  At my age, I get complimented just for getting out of bed in the morning – well, afternoon usually.  Though five years younger than me, in the past couple of years, the wife’s physical deterioration has proceeded apace, while I, even pushing 70, remain a spry old guy.  As a way of thanking me for taking care of her, and just doing what needs to be done, the wife often compliments me.

8.   How important is the first kiss?

Oh so important!  It sets a tone.  Was it worth the wait?  Does it promise more, and even better to come?  Will the medication control the herpes?

9.   What’s the best name for a turtle, and why?

Bob – because – Bob!  What do you call a dog with no legs?  It doesn’t matter.  He’s not going to come when you call him.

10.  What do you wish people knew about you?

I’m as transparent as Swarovski crystal, and the Mississippi may have a bigger mouth.  I began this blog two years ago to get to know other bloggers, and for them to get to know me.  Any regular reader knows pretty much everything about me except my shoe size – just large enough to often insert in my mouth.  There was that one, “This has never happened to me before.” episode, but that’s not something I want people to know about.

That’s it folks.  Remember to wash your hands after reading the post, and please return soon, for another exciting episode of The Life and Times of Archon.

Two Centuries

It seems like only ten months ago when I reached my first 100 posts, and was worried that I was not coming up with new ideas, and wondered if I would ever reach the 200 mark.  So, here it is, ten months later, and with the enthusiastic support of some of my readers, I’ve reached the double century mark, and am wondering if I can come up with enough ideas to get to the third.  Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.  That’s a French phrase, meaning pull your thumb out, quit your whining, and get writing.

This is the third new century I’ve seen arrive.  I transitioned from the first half of the 20th century, into the first half of the 21st, and I’m using that fact to pump out the occasional “remember when” post.  I realized the other day that I am within a couple of months of my 69th birthday.  Damn! 69, that’s almost 70!

When I was younger, birthdays were just numbers.  I had a brother-in-law who went berserk when he turned 50, a month before I did.  Fifty is the same as thirty.  Sixty-five is the same as fifty, just with more aches.  But 70 is not the same as dead.  I am seeing my mortality a little clearer.  Thankfully, I was blessed with good genes.  My mother was 92 when she died.  My dad had had bronchitis for years and was 85 when he passed on.  With good diet, a little exercise, and the wife coddling me as I deserve, I should still be here irritating you for years.

Actually, I started this post when I had published number 180, and realized that I had another twenty tucked away in a Word file.  With this one, and at least one more rattling around in my empty head, I know I’ll clear two hundred; it’s just that some of the stats I plan to brag about may be a bit off.

My followers continue to accumulate, although nothing like my more talented and famous fellow-bloggers.  They also have passed a century mark.  Count is around 140, although, sadly, I believe two have died, and a couple more have disappeared from the blogging scene.

BrainRants survived a year in Afghanistan, and we survived a year on short rations of his wit and wisdom.  The world’s most famous commenter, John Erickson, built himself a blog cabin, although for medical reasons, he drifts in and out of regular posting.  H E Ellis has received some kind of significant promotion.  I think she’s going to end up being the governor of New Hampshire, or maybe Jodi Picoult’s publisher.  Too busy to publish regularly herself, she’s still full of great ideas and help for other bloggers.

At the risk of appearing the obsequious cur that I am, I would like to state that there is not a day when I do not acquire, from the blogs I read, some new piece of information or viewpoint, or opinion, or support, emotional or technical….except when I get distracted and don’t read your blogs for a couple of days….or a couple of weeks.  My brain finally thaws out, and I try to get caught up, usually causing information overload and a headache.  I lie quietly on the couch, and take two bowls of chilli, and soon I feel normal (?) again.

I’ve received six more blog-awards, first one from SightsNBytes, then one from Benzeknees, then four all at once from Benze, that blew down here on a Chinook.  I had great fun with the acknowledgement posts.  I was going to put all of the logos on my sidebar, but another blogger opined that it just looked messy, and detracted from the importance of the posts themselves.  I proudly put up the Rants’ Army badge just to warn potential trolls.  I know a guy with a handgun and a tank, and who eats a lot of beans.  Mess with me, and, one way or another buddy, you’re in big trouble.

The quality of my writing has improved a bit….right?  C’mon guys, work with me on this.  I have increased the amount of comedy I post, and have begun publishing book reviews.  Okay, two so far, and counting.  I have learned how to insert photos, and even videos into my posts.  I just bitch and whine until the wife puts her Kobo down, and comes and does it for me.  Hey, we all got our strengths.  That chilli ain’t gonna make itself.

I assume that you, my readers, are also enjoying the entertainment, amusement and self-improvement.  This stringing words and thoughts together can be quite addictive.  I’m focussed on number three hundred now.  You guys go ahead without me.  My right hip is a little stiff and sore today, but I’ll get there!

10 Q

tagged

to Benzeknees for sharing these four blog awards with me, and 10Q to the rest of you who have stopped around to read my silly posts.  Hands up, those of you who figured out where I was going with the strange titles.

This is the last acceptance speech, for the final (for now) award.  Keep those hands up!  Stop all that clapping!  This is the “I’ve Been Tagged Award.”  Benze tagged me, fair and square.  I hope this is for a writing award.  I’m too weak/tired/out-of-shape to be wrestling.

What book are you reading right now?

The old man with no attention span is reading three books at the moment, Wretched Earth by James Axler(?), Fire Ice by Clive Cussler, and Sinai Secret by Gregg Loomis.  I read a chapter of one, and then go blog, a chapter of the second and feed the cats and dog, and a chapter of the third, and help with supper.  Repeat, ad infinitum!

What mini-vacation (0-100 miles from your home) have you particularly enjoyed within the last year?

I took the wife and grandson to Detroit for a weekend last October, and the son to Detroit again just a couple of weeks ago.  The excuse was knife shows, but there was lots of other stuff to do and see.  I just finished posting about the most recent trip.

What is your favorite form of entertainment?

Old Mister No-attention-span flits from one diversion to another.  Reading and writing blogs has cut down on my book-reading a bit, but I still seem to average a book a week.  We watch 2/3 hours of TV on weeknights, Bones, Castle, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, NCIS-LA, Body of Proof, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, Poirot, Lewis, Dr. Who, Midsomer Murders, which is about to end its season and be replaced by Miss Marple.

Of what accomplishments are you the most proud?

My various deficiencies have prevented doing much that I am “Proud” of.  Getting through over fifty years of working with (barely) enough to retire on.  Almost 50 years of marriage to one woman.  Raised two intelligent and well-mannered kids, and am helping with a similar grandson.  I regard my blog-writing as prosaic, but receive the occasional accolade from some readers who should know.  That pleases me!  The wife insists that I tell you that I taught her how to tat (make lace).  It involved an eight-foot, heavy, black plastic telephone cord, and I had no idea what I was doing.

Who has been most influential in your life in the past year?

No one person, although I’d like to mention my first two followers, BrainRants and H E Ellis.  They, along with many other bloggers have greatly improved my quality of mental life.

If you were raising money for a favorite charity, where would you direct our checks?

On a small scale, I’d recommend the Archon Family Improvement Foundation.  Both the semi-handicapped wife and daughter could use some assistance with mobility, medical procedures, housing, transportation, in-home support.  A few thousand directed toward that might allow me to pay off my still-mortgaged house.  On the big scale, money could be directed to medical research, including stem-cells.  Our love of animals would ensure payments to Humane Society and SPCA.

If you weren’t doing the work or career you are in, what would you like to be doing?

I’ve worked long and hard to become retired, and I want to continue in that, hopefully healthy, mobile and reasonably pain-free.

If you could have named yourself, what would your name be and why?

Unlike many others, I am happy with my complete name.  It’s a good, solid, unpretentious, 1940s’ name.  I was to be “George John Smith” but the first-name-last, last-name-first form confused my mother, and I accidentally became “John George Smith.”  Still works!  In effect I have renamed myself by adopting the blogging cognomen of Archon.

What would you most like to tell your children, or important young person in your life but haven’t?

Something I haven’t told someone??  Not likely to happen!  You can’t get me to shut up.  I’m just full of unsolicited advice and opinions.  My youngest child is 42.  My grandson is 21.  The only thing I tell young people these days is, “Get off my damned lawn!”

How do you change your mood when you are grumpy?

Change my grumpy mood??  Whatever for?  I’m a carrier, like Typhoid Mary.  I spread it around.  I revel in it.  Everybody gets to share.  When someone or something bugs the shit out of me, that’s when I do my best thinking.  Then, out comes the blog, and another pissed-off post gets published.

What particular skill could you teach us on your blog?

My resources and abilities are severely limited.  I could let you talk to my highly creative and productive wife and daughter if you’d like.  I could demonstrate logical thought, concern for others, respect, even good English usage/composition ability, but, if you don’t already know these things by the time you read my blog, it is unlikely that I can teach, those who will not learn.

I would like to throw out another big Thank-You, especially to Benze, for honoring me with all these awards and giving me the chance to open my heart and mind.  I would also like to thank all who came here to read, and comment, and like, and support me, by putting up with my silliness.  The grumpy old dude will return soon.

 

9 Q

i-am-part-of-the-family-award

In her ongoing spree of blog-awards distribution, Benzeknees insisted that I also qualified for the “I Am A Part Of The WordPress Family Award”.  I am so glad that some family would take me in.  If it weren’t for the insurance to pay off the mortgage, I think the kids would do what Benze’s blog suggests.  “I got a dog for your Father.  Good trade Mom!”  I see no signs that this is anything like the Manson family, there’s a little drool here and there, but no blood, or the Wallenda Family.  I mean, I like heights, but that no-net thing is crazier than even I am.

THE RULES FOR THE AWARD ARE:

  1.  Display the award logo on your blog.
  2.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3.  Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
  4.  Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.

Okay, ta-dah!  See the shiny thing at the top of the page?  Number one rule tooken care of!  I am so proud of me!

Unless senility has caught up to me, I’ve linked to Benze’s site.  If you haven’t already, you should go have a look.  Being the mannerly, well-brought-up hick that I am, I’m also throwing in a great big Thank-You to her, for honoring me like this.

Oh-oh, number three and I’m in trouble!  I’m just not the chain-letter kind of guy. The buck stops here – because I’m too lazy to push it any farther.  Every blogger whose posts I read on a (semi)regular basis, has had a positive impact on my WordPress experience and family.  You guys, who are mostly girls, have provided me with friendship, guidance, support, training, education and humor.  I can only hope that, to the limits of my abilities, I have done the same for you.

Okay, no top ten Most-Wanted list to post.  Before I get all teary-eyed, maybe I can distract you with a bit of song and dance.  How about some Question and Answer??!  Maybe even I can discover something about the mysterious inner workings of The Archon.

Know-Me Blog Quiz

    1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
    2. What 5 things are on your To-Do list?
    3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
    4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire:
    5. Name some places you have lived:
    6. Name some bad habits you have:
    7. Name some jobs you have had:  
  1.  I was working my ass off, trying to get through the last of over a half a century of working my ass off.  I was just finding out that some already overpaid dickhead had over-extended and almost bankrupted the company, but was going to get a two-million dollar bonus for cutting costs by putting me and 400 friends out of work after I’d put in twenty years of faithful service, so that, at the age of 63, I could go looking for another, even more physical job.   Bitter much??!  Angostura’s got nothing on me.  (Run-on sentence care of Sandylikeabeach’s training.)
  2. Number two and number four have to be joined at the hip.  We’ve done many interesting and, for us, exciting things, but the decreased income of retirement puts restrictions on what is possible.  Travel would be high on the list.  A cruise or several, as long as the power stays on and the toilets flush.  I would like to see ancestral lands in Scotland.  Allergies and breathing problems deny air travel to the wife.  Maybe we could take a ship over.  If I had millions, I’d find a warm place in the south to at least winter in.  Actually getting to meet blog-friends sounds enjoyable.
  3. The snacks that I enjoy are the ones with the word “Snack” in them.  I have to watch my girlish figure, because we have too much, too many, snacks in the cupboard near the TV room.  Plain style chips have to be off-brands for the extra grease and salt.  I don’t care for rippled chips, even flavored ones, without dip.  Peanuts, smokehouse or candied almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds and cheese twists.  I’m not much into sweets, although we have plain dark chocolate, and dark chocolate with cherries, toffee bits or orange flavor.  Last year I got 12 Cadbury Easter Crème eggs.  This year the wife bought me 24.  I’m rationing them, one a week again, plus we have maple sugar candies from the Mennonites at the Farmers’ Market.
  4. See number two, above.  Also bigger, better TV, DVR, computer, tablet, and another Kobo, and somebody to build shelves for more books.
  5. I was born and raised, and lived my first 18 years in the small town of Southampton, Ontario.  I moved to the small city of Barrie, Ontario for about a year.  I came to the mid-size city of Kitchener, Ontario, and have been here about 48 years.
  6. Bad habits??!  I can’t afford bad habits!  If I were any less exciting, someone would have to water me twice a week.  I have never smoked, so I didn’t have to quit.  I can handle reality, so I don’t do drugs.  Medications maybe, but no drugs.  I’m not a total abstainer, but I’m down to a beer a month, and maybe some occasional Mead with some hot apple cider, or a Crème de Menthe after a large meal.  Lack of social drive, coupled with procrastination.
  7. If you link back to Archon’s Exciting Work Life, Jan. 27/13, you’ll get a whole sob story about my work life.  I’ll be posting another soon, about what I worked at before it became official.

Benzeknees has expressed an interest in my back-story.  Since she donated the award, I felt it was the least I could do.  If I’ve bored the rest of you, I apologize.