Friday, October 31, 2008

A blog on bloggin' and other things

• I’ve been doing this blog fairly steadily for six months now and seemed to have settled on a pattern of one every two or three days. Doing 15 a month as I did in June is a bit taxing, but doing fewer than 10 is too skimpy. I’m doing a round-up of items here on the last day of October because it’ll give me 13 for the month. I could do one a day if I did round-ups of little items, but that feels like cheating. I believe someone who considers themselves a writer should be able to dash off a 700-word or so essay every couple of days or so. And besides as you four or five regular readers of this blog know, I’ve got nothing better to do. I’m not kidding.

• I was operating the video cam the other day when it began malfunctioning. Last night the fancy remote for the big HDTV began acting funny. Today, the screen on the iBook I rely on to do most of my work went black (this is being written on my reliable back up iMac while I try and find salvation). But it’s a nasty string of difficulties that has me wondering if I’m in the midst of some sort of curse. I know that’s silly superstition, but just to be on the safe side, I’m not going to change the baby’s dirty diapers for another two months or so.

• Not that it matters to anyone but me, but I’m proud that I’ve done most of these blogs in less than an hour and usually in 30 minutes. Being able to write fast is a gift I’m proud to have. Of course, if I took maybe just a wee bit more time, it would make more sense and I’d be more successful, but I’d have less time to play with the kids and joke around. I have my priorities.

• Halloween is rapidly ascending my long list of least favorite holidays (the only three flawless holidays revolve around eating (Thanksgiving), drinking (St. Patrick’s Day) and joking (April Fool’s Day). I’ve never liked dressing up and never will again. Adults dressing up is another example of adults stealing a holiday from the kids. As for the kids, it’s gotten way too excessive. It’s become a veritable Mardi Gras of teeth-rotting redundancy. Just this week, we’ve had four Halloween celebrations that cut into my bar time and once more cast me in the uncomfortable yet familiar role of bad daddy. Let’s make this clear: Halloween should be for children under 14. It should be one night a year. That night should be on Halloween. And any father who would rather watch a World Series game with his buddies in the local tavern than go trick or treating for the third time isn’t being a bad guy. He’s just being a throwback good guy.

• I thought the Barack Obama infomercial was well crafted. If anyone is still sitting on the fence it should have swayed them to his side. But, really, if anyone is still sitting on the fence four days before this two-year election’s about to end, then partisans from both sides should be able to whip apples and rocks at them until we knock them off. If a McCain partisan knocks them onto the Obama side, the dithering victim’s vote goes to the Arizonan and vice versa.

• I’m eager for the election to come and go, not because of the robo-calls, the political commercials or because there’s always a possibility a shouting match will break out if I wind up in a political conversation with someone as stubborn as myself. No, I’m looking for it to end so I’ll stop rushing home to watch “The View” at 11 a.m. To my everlasting shame, I’ve been hooked ever since the gang started beating up on uptight conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck. She’s the most obnoxious TV personality since Kathy Lee Gifford. I’m still chagrined Regis never slammed her in the face with a grapefruit. I didn’t like Hasselbeck when she was on Survivor and I don’t like her now. Every time, she opens her mouth, I wish Jeff Probst would walk onto the stage, whack her with an immunity idol and say it was time for her to go, “The tribe has spoken. And they want you to shut the hell up."

• My wife is the bravest woman I know because I’ve seen her defiantly enjoy a glass of wine or two when we were out to dinner and she was heavy with child. She smiled through all the withering scowls of those who are convinced that even a sip of alcohol will scramble the newly formed brains of the fetus. I’d point out that most of our mothers drank and smoked to excess while pregnant with us, but I doubt that would strengthen my argument. But both our daughters turned out fine, and Val enjoyed the meal more. Now, there’s a few studies out that say pregnant woman drinking in moderation doesn’t hurt the child and may, in fact, help its development. Me, I drank like a fiend both times she was pregnant.

• It's come to my attention that some regular readers of this blog -- thanks to each of you! -- have never seen the home page the boys at Apollo Design in Latrobe came up with for me. It's great. Check it out at

• When people ask what it’s like to be working all by myself I tell them it’s like being all alone in a life raft miles from the nearest shore. The only thing worse is when technological problems come up. For me, that’s like being all alone in that life raft and hearing a sudden, urgent hiss. It really sucks and if you don’t find the leak, you’re sunk.

• Besides being a fast writer, another skill of which I’m excessively proud is my ability to know precisely when to quit.

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