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.

 

8 Q

 

wonderful-team-member-readership-award

 

The second blog award that Benzeknees was spewing in the wind, like radiation from the Fukishima reactor, was the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.  This is a relatively new award, begun by Managua Gunn on August 29, 2012.  His reason for creating the award is, “That is a part of blogging, just as listening is a part of speaking.” or something like that.  I wasn’t really paying much attention.

The Rules

Display the logo on your page.

Already done!  Not only am I a shiny objects magpie, I’m a cheap-ass Scottish magpie.  Something pretty?  And I get it for nothing??  That’s going up at the top.

Finish the sentence: A great reader is….

A great reader is….probably at someone else’s site.  The drivel I put out is like topical analgesic.  After a hard day at the office, or trying to finish a novel, you roll around in my hot-spa prose, and rub it on like A-535.  It smells almost as good and will probably allow you to go to sleep in minutes.  There are no hidden nuggets of social significance, and that big bubble was just marsh-gas!  Yeah, marsh-gas.

Nominate 14 readers, readers I truly value.

I truly value all my readers – and my likers – and my commenters.  Like you, I rub them on like A-535, and they let me go to sleep quickly and happily, with a nice warm feeling, although the wife often complains about that swamp-gas smell.  All the good candidates have already been taken, and I’m too lazy and selfabsorbed busy with my writing to locate others.

Notify your nominees by means of comments or pingbacks.

Well, you’ve already seen what happened in the way of nominees.  I am not the world’s best team-player.  I’m not even sure I’m authorised to accept an award with the word “Team” in it.  I’m a rugged individualist, damn it.  Who in Hell is authorised to authorise me to do anything?  And would I listen if they did?

Even though I don’t always play nice with others, I do appreciate the occasional bit of adulation, and the chance to get further off my rocker than usual.  Many thanks, in particular to Benzeknees, for forcing me to face this little exercise in composition, and to the rest of you who continue to read the rants and rambles of the grumpy old dude.  You drive my stats, and my spirits, up.  Excelsior!

7 Q

best-moment-awardBenzeknees has been busy successfully completing the A To Z In April challenge.  During that time, she’s accumulated four different blog awards.  Now that she’s done, it’s time to inflict pass these on to other deserving bloggers.  Benze is a very intelligent writer.  Well, she’d have to be.  She lives in the Edmonton, Alberta section of the Great White North.

All the residents of Edmonton are so smart that they pushed up a big pile of mountains between them and the dope-smoking, tree-hugging, granola-crunching, Birkenstock sandal-wearing residents of the Canadian left-coast, to keep them from leaking back east.

Not knowing what else to do with these awards, she kindly offered me one copy of each of them….at a reduced rate.  The first one she dumped on me graciously passed on, was the Best Moment Award, seen above.  The rules are that the rules must be reposted with your acceptance speech, which can be written or video recorded.  Winners have the privilege of naming the next group of awardees.  The repost should include a new set of awardees and the current winner should inform them of the good news.

The good news is that I don’t know any bloggers who give good acceptance speeches, so I’m not tossing this one into the manure spreader.  I know a great burrito and re-fried beans maker, a spinner, and a couple of IT techs, but no great speechmakers.  If you want a copy of this award, you’re going to have to pull it from my cold dead….no, wait a minute, that’s the NRA.  I met a couple of them in Detroit at the gun show.  I told one guy I didn’t want to join, and he pulled a gun on me.  I explained that I was Canadian.  He apologised and gave me a picture of his wife, wearing nothing but a Mossberg shotgun.

This award seems to be given for making a great acceptance speech for being given this award.  That seems to be circular logic to me, but then, I’m often seen wandering around in circles, speechifying and orating and gesticulating, and other stuff that could get me arrested if anybody reported it.

I am pleased though, that Benze thinks enough of my writing ability to forward this opportunity to have a little fun at my own expense.

To make a great acceptance speech I am to show gratitude and thank those who have helped me reach this point.  I have effusively thanked Benze. (Not effusive enough??!  I’ll get out the leaf-blower.)  I’ll be busy with that for a minute, the rest of you guys each just take one out of petty cash.

I should use humor to keep you entertained and smiling.  I see most of you smiling.  At me, or with me, I’m not sure.  Dying is easy.  Humor is tough!

Inspiration!  I should make my story touch your lives.  Generally, I’m the only one people refer to as touched.  Even if I only serve as a negative example.  This is a tough job, which should only be performed by trained professionals.  Kids, do not attempt this at home.

The last rule is that I’m supposed to display the award badge on my blog/website.  Being the magpie, interested in shiny things, that I am, I’ve already taken care of that.  I guess all that’s left for me is to shut up and go away, and I certainly know how to shut up.  This is me, shutting up.  One time I shut up so much, I almost starved to death….wouldn’t tell my parents I was hungry….could somebody open the door please?

Happy 100

This is my one-hundredth post.  To some of the bloggers I follow, that would be ho-hum.  The way they pump posts out, that could have been accomplished in a couple of months.  It has taken me ten months to get this far.  I started slow, then tapered off.

I knew I wasn’t ever going to set the world on fire literately.  In fact, when I started, I wondered if I would attract any readers other than the few bloggers I had been bedevilling with comments on their posts.  Like other aspects of my life, I later found that I was doing the right things by instinct, to attract readers and followers.  Seldom able to keep my mouth shut, or my fingers still, I went further and further afield and made comments on a variety of blogs.  I later read from WordPress, that this is a good way to attract followers.  I’ve never actually been told to mind my own business, although there have been a couple of curt and dismissive responses.

I try not to antagonise anyone on their home turf, even when I disagree with them.  That’s not a problem with my core group.  For as much as we are all different, it is intriguing, how much we are the same.

I sit safely in the *average* slot, as far as bloggers go.  I visit other sites which have only a couple of followers and often several consecutive posts, before anyone makes a comment.  I’m not a Byronic Man, a BrainRants or a Madame Weebles, with hundreds, or thousands of followers, and a comment thread like a papyrus scroll.  I have managed to acquire almost 60 followers, a small cloud of *likes* on each post, and intelligent, insightful and supportive comments from a nice bunch of folks.  More ho-hum, but I’m closing in on 4000 hits.

I only post every two to four days, so my normal daily readership runs from ten to forty.  My best day was 71 hits, and that was for a little throw-away acceptance speech for a blog award.  I’m not worried by it, but I am perplexed that, after ten months on the WordPress scene, I recently had two days, just over a week apart, when no-one came to visit.  I’ve had onesies and twosies, but I really got lonely a couple of times.  I had to go bug some other bloggers.

Bloggers disappear from the scene all the time.  I’m sure some of them are like me; they have a limited number of things they wish to post about and just run out of ideas.  My wife recently commented that the number of letters-to-the-editor I submit has dropped.  Of course, six to eight op/ed pieces a year don’t add much when the blog count hits a hundred.  I still write down potential post themes when one penetrates my thick skull.  I know I’ll get to my anniversary blog, but may have to space my posts out a bit more.

I’m not a rabid numerologist.  I get a kick out of catching my digital watch at 3:33:33, or 11:11:11, or 12:34:56, but I’m enough of a realist to know that blog number 100 really is no more special than number 99 or 101.  It is a small milestone that I am happy to have reached, with the support of my select little cadre of readers and followers.

I’m typing one-handed right now.  No!  Not because I’ve been viewing porn.  I think I pulled a muscle in my shoulder, patting myself on the back for getting this far.  I’ve had four blog awards thrust upon me, but that’s like contracting mono.  There are so many awards drifting around at any one time, you’d have to be a blog-virgin not to get at least one, but it is nice to know that I am noticed and appreciated.

I just visited aFrankangle’s blog, and was treated to a large dose of reality.  It was tempered with a small platter of pleasure.  I got to Frank’s site just in time to see his 1000th post.  I have got soooo far to go.  Frank also revealed that my grumpy American curmudgeon counterpart, the much respected, and until now, blogless, John Erickson, slipped and has finally fallen into the blog pool.  It’s thyme to visit the sage of Ohio at www.windycitywonderer.wordpress.com.

To all who have tolerated me, taught me, led me, and even encouraged me, I give again, a huge thank-you.  Since I have to live so much inside my head, it is pleasant to have such nice neighbors.

I Would Appreciate It….

….if you would read this blog….and comment on it….and tell your friends about it.  Hello??!  Is anybody out there?  Is this mike keyboard on?

Every blogger appreciates getting comments and feedback from their posts.  We all want to know that we’ve reached someone, gave them some new information, or a new way of looking at something.  Clicking *like* tells them that we’ve read the post, and felt it was good/interesting/worthy, but, stopping to make a comment tells a blogger that we’ve been more intimately involved with their thoughts.  Whether it’s just a little throwaway joke, or a deeply philosophical review of a complex subject, writers like to know that they’ve affected someone.  The more comments they get, the more connected they feel to their readers, and the happier they are.

There’s a new spate of blog awards making the rounds.  One of my newer Best Blog Buddies, Nicole, over at www.nmnphx.wordpress.com, despite being busier than usual, both at work, and just with life in general, has had four different blog awards lobbed at her in the last week.  After reserving one free minute to take a deep breath, she has managed to deal with all of them.  As usual, the terms of all of them are that, if you receive it, you must scatter copies of it, like flower petals in the wind.

She and I have been making free with comments on each other’s posts.  I have appreciated seeing her bright words below my prosaic posts.  Apparently she has felt much the same about my inane pigeon droppings responses.  So much so in fact, that she has deemed me worthy of the prestigious Reader Appreciation Award.  This award is bestowed upon blog visitors who are regular and reasonably intelligent commenters.  Well, I got one out of the two nailed.  I’m working to be sure I have my brain in motion, before I engage my mouth.

At least all I have to do for this award is appreciate it.  None of this telling you seven, or ten, or the square root of 144 things about myself.  I’ve already listed so much stuff about me that even I’m surprised.  Aside from blogging, the last new thing that happened to me is still carved into the cave wall.  I am supposed to pass this award on to five to ten visitors to my blog who make me feel good by regularly commenting.  Five to ten sounds like a prison sentence, and I’ve already got my five hardened criminals blog-friends picked out and will notify them as I post this.  If the following folks don’t feel any sillier than I do, feel free to mosey on over to the Archon’s Corral and pick up a pretty little picture to hang on your blog wall.

I want everyone to know that I really appreciate the comments, the following, and the support of;

The delightful, and only slightly profane, KayJai at www.kayjai.wordpress.com

Ted, the IT genius, hiding behind a rock at www.sightsnbytes.wordpress.com

Repairing a wall with one hand as she holds a loaded Glock in the other, it’s http://whiteladyinthehood.wordpress.com

The gently opinionated neighborhood axe-murderess Madame Weebles at www.fearnoweebles.wordpress.com

And Canada’s native son from the land of the midnight sun, www.theharemsmaster.wordpress.com

There are a few more that I could mention, but I’m too damned lazy right now.  There’s more exciting Olympics to get back to.  If you feel your name should have been included but don’t see it, please don’t be offended.  These blog awards come around more often than door-to-door driveway sealers.  The next time I get swatted with one, I’ll list some different names.  BrainRants comes to mind, but his comments have fallen off a bit because he’s busy saving the world from power-point presentations.  After he gets back I’ll see if I can find a logo that features a tank, or at least an M9 Beretta handgun.

How you please yourself or your significant other, in the privacy of your own home is your own business, but if you want to please a bunch of bloggers, wash your hands and leave a few nice comments.  We’d all appreciate it.

Just Desserts, No Entrees

onelovelyblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

The universe is not fair, but it works out in my favor, so I’m happy about it.  I’ve been a bad, bad, bad, bad boy, and I got a reward.  I’ve been lurking in bloggers’ back yards.  I’ve been peeking in website windows.  The RockStar made Sparklebumps take down the 82 inch closed-circuit flat-screen she had mounted outside.  The Hobbler, who’s NotHobblingNow, threw an all-girls party last week.  They kept the drapes tightly closed, but the window was open a bit.  You should have heard what those women had to say.

I went over to TheDatingBitch’s place to watch her circus act.  Her Mom and Stepdad got knocked off their motorcycle by a semi, and were in hospital.  Within the next week, her followers had lobbed four blog awards at her, and she was juggling all of this like a trouper.  As I was skulking my way back to my den, I found, at the entrance, one of her awards.  I tried to return it to her, but she insisted that I keep it, so I took the One Lovely Blog award in, and hung it from a root sticking out of the cave wall.

She was so nice and understanding, I’ve vowed to give up my evil ways, and only use the Power of the Award for good.  I humbly thank her for this honor, and the fact that she can afford to have someone make me disappear so smoothly that even my mother wouldn’t question it, plays no part in my sudden good manners.

I think (occasionally) that I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself.  That’s difficult.  I’m so boring that even I haven’t paid any attention.  This will be a surprise to even me.

What is a favorite childhood memory?  All of them!  The unfearing freedom to roam the reaches of my small town, from dawn until dusk.  Climbing trees, building forts, tanning and swimming at the beach.  I was not impressed when adulthood arrived, accompanied by jobs, taxes, bills and social responsibility.

What is a real fear I have?  Nothing I would describe as a fear.  I’ve handled snakes.  They’re dry.  I don’t want to handle earthworms because they’re damp and slimy.  I used to swim in rivers and out into Lake Huron.  It’s just as well that what little swimming I do now is in clear, shallow pools.  Unlike SteadilySkippingStones, I have no worry about sharks….but there is a bit of that unreasonable concern about what is underneath me.

How would I describe myself?  If you’ve read my previous post about management training, the answer is Honest.  If not then, maybe methodical…. or steadfast.

What is my style?  Guys have style?  Comfortably casual!  I smiled and waved to Queen Elizabeth, wearing blue jeans and a tee shirt.  Motorcycle boots, black Levis and a polo shirt are a step up from that.  Are we talking about lifestyle?  More comfortably casual, with some tactfully straightforward thrown in for good measure, although I’ve been known to shove a shopping cart up the butt of the inconsiderate asshole who *forgets* it.  Then it’s more straightforward, and less tactful.

What countries have I lived in?  With my financial situation, it’s all I can do to Live, in Canada.  I visited Quebec for about an hour one afternoon and was not impressed with it, and drove back.  Once the kids were grown, I had chances to visit the eastern section of the USA.  I drove to Florida three times with my brother, and the wife and I have been as far as Charleston, SC, three times.  Not exactly a world traveller, but the trips have been enjoyable and educational.

What is my favorite breakfast food?  Unlike my parents and brother, I’ve never been a morning person.  The earlier I have to get up, the longer I have to wait before feeding.  The first couple of days after we were married, the wife dutifully got up and made me bacon and eggs, as she had for her brother.  I dutifully ate them and then threw them up before leaving for work.  If the first meal of the day is *breakfast*, occasionally, after I fall out of bed around noon, I’ve been known to have spoon-size shredded wheat.  Milk and a bit of sugar, but not those frosted ones.

What are some of my hobbies?  Definitely reading!  I’m starting to do more of that on-line but still manage to complete about a book a week.  I don’t *collect* books, but I’ve never let go of a sci-fi book once I’ve owned it.  I have fifty-five years worth, about a thousand.  I have a motley assortment of various types of knives, most of which have been given to me.  I have one handmade knife, like an overgrown scalpel, on the hippo-tooth ivory handle of which, I had two different gryphons scrimshawed.

I’m supposed to inflict….afflict….pass this award on to a bunch of other deserving bloggers but, like the tesseract in the Thor movie, that might be something I could get into, but not out of.  I mentioned SkippingStones and NotHobbling, above, and will contact them.  Also, Savor’s back, yet again, this time as SavortheDivorce.  If When you visit, watch out for her left hook, she holds the wine in her right.  She could use some support and sympathetic company.

New bloggers pop up, and old reliable ones sometimes just quietly disappear.  I don’t know what might cause me to stop blogging but, while I’m here, I’ve met a Bunch of the nicest people I’ll never meet.

One Lovely Blog

Apparently there is another infectious round of chain-letter awards circulating on the blogosphere.  Ted over at SightsandBytes  http://sightsnbytes.wordpress.com/ afflicted me with….graciously passed on to me, the One Lovely Blog Award.  I often see these awards being given to relatively new bloggers.  I got my first when I had produced only fourteen posts.  I’m up to fifty now – a seasoned old hand.  I can only hope that they are given to newbies who show a scintilla of talent, as an incentive to keep them writing and improving.  That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.  I humbly thank Ted for prodding the arthritic old bear to bang on the keyboard more creatively.

Having completed the onerous job of displaying basic good manners, my next task is to list seven pieces of information about myself, to instill a little interest, and prevent injuries when readers doze off and slump onto the keyboard.

  1.  I rode 7 motorcycles over 20 years, totalling two of them with little more than bruises.  The last one, I fell over sideways at 3 MPH.  The bike could easily have been repaired, but I got a bionic shoulder and a busted wallet.
  2. We have four beautiful Bengal cats, and a dumb wheaten/schnauzer/poodle dog.  The dog is at the bottom of the pecking order.  There are so many cat toys strewn over the floors that it looks like we’re babysitting a bunch of three-year olds.
  3. After years of rotating shifts, now that I’m retired, I sleep at 4AM and rise at noon.  I hate morning TV but can find late-night movies or go blogging.
  4. I used to be outdoorsy when I was younger, but allergies seem to be getting worse.  We installed central air conditioning and a high-efficiency furnace with an electronic precipitator filter and stay inside as much as possible.
  5. If you read my blog about scratch-cooking, you know that I’m at least a bit of a cook.  Like Ted, I’m not much of a recipe follower.  It’s hard to screw up chilli.  If the dish requires precision, like a cake where one extra drop of milk makes a difference, I let the wife show off her talents.
  6. I prefer to deal with problems broad-spectrum.  I get as much information as I can and make and change decisions as the situation demands, rather than be saddled with an inflexible manual.
  7. I hate making out lists, especially about myself, so I’m glad that this is the last item.

I haven’t set up a blogroll yet, although I now read quite a number of interesting, entertaining and informative blogs.  I also feel that these blog awards can get out of hand and try to stop them before Marvin the Martian says, “Where’s the Ka-boom?  There should have been an Earth-shattering Ka-boom!”  If I’ve commented on your site, be assured that I feel that you are interesting enough to deserve this award as much or more than I do.  If you’d like one, feel free to belly up to the all-you-can-write blog buffet and drop one on your Chinet plate, to display on your very own site.

This blogging thing just keeps getting better and better.  Thank-you to all the kind, friendly, inspiring bloggers who have shared their lives and experiences, and shown me the way.  I will continue to try to earn your respect, and pass it on to those who come behind us.