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.

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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.

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?

Just Desserts, No Entrees

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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.