The loneliest number?
Sometimes being single gets old. The tragedy for some lonely is they told the world, “I want to be alone! Go away!” And the world shrugged, listened and did. But the lonely often hope someone sees them enough, and loves them enough, to cross the barrier. (Regrettably, sometimes those who do are drawn for the wrong reasons or are predatory — the lonely can be easy prey.)
This post is a buffer flush of things I’ve written over many years in those moments when the silence and emptiness marked itself. They go back, in some cases, decades. More recently, though, I’ve found the secret to my own happiness and don’t suffer from these feels much anymore!
And I’ve realized (and embraced) that I was always a hermit at heart.
20 Comments | tags: loneliness, poetry | posted in Life, Sunday Sermons, Writing
It’s hard to believe I haven’t yet posted about the Robert Burns (1759-1796) poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785”. Written, obviously, in 1785. It’s one of my favorites, and as with some of my other favorites, due in part to one line, the immortal words: “The best-laid schemes of mice and men; Go oft awry.”
And don’t they indeed. God (or fate or chance or whathaveyou) laughs at our puny plans.
It’s a short poem, and I don’t have all that much to say about it, so I’ll also tell you about an interesting bug in the new WordPress Jetpack app that lets you game your own stats.
6 Comments | tags: Jetpack app, Robert Burns, To A Mouse, WordPress | posted in Quotes, Writing
Still fighting Blog Blah and looking for low hanging fruit to get me back in the habit. Hoping a year-end clearance mode clears the cobwebs. (All ideas and notions 75% off! Everything must go!)
For a while now, I’ve “been meaning to do” a post listing favorite quotes, quips, sayings, and bumper stickers. Pithy idea capsules that clearly and evocatively express singular human experiences. We often gather favorites along the way. Of course, as always, tastes vary.
Here are some of my enduring favorites.
17 Comments | posted in Quotes, Writing
One: OTOH, holy cheeseburger with onion rings, it’s this blog’s Eleven Year Anniversary. Not to mention, just last week, the nine-year anniversary of retiring from the rat race. Perhaps it’s because Summer Solstice has passed (and now the light is dying), or maybe that my mom would have been 98 (the day after Tau Day), but I find myself more reflective and thoughtful at this mid-year turning than I do, despite the influence of Janus, at New Year’s.
Other: OTOH, I’m steeped in ennui and have never felt less like writing a blog post. The question is whether the pressure of the anniversary overcomes the desire to putter, read, or nap. I’m writing this (and presumably you’re reading it), so it looks like the day won over the mood.
So… Happy Something day. Here’s a standard disgruntled anniversary ramble…
27 Comments | tags: Anniversary, blog, blog blah, blogger, blogging, July 4 | posted in Life, Writing
That’s weird to me. I’m from the 1950s and can measure my life in scores of years (three-and-mumble). I was an avid science fiction reader by the 1960s, so recall an era where we wondered if the year 1984, let alone 2001, would be anything like the famous book.
As it turned out, in both cases: No. Respectively fortunate and unfortunate. The future turned out less extreme (but no less “interesting”). Both demonstrate the difficulty of prediction, a problem science fiction illustrates more often than not.
That said, the other face of Janus looks forward…
56 Comments | tags: 2022, Alastair Reynolds, blog, blogger, blogging, James Webb Space Telescope, Janus, JWST, words | posted in Life, Writing
The post’s title has more the sense of Ali vs Foreman than of Coke vs Pepsi. True, both are contests, but the the latter is a selection — the former is a fight. This post is about a major problem some posts created using the Classic Editor have when displayed in the WordPress Reader.
Specifically, breaks between paragraphs are lost. In some cases an entire post becomes one long paragraph. The only breaks come from the various HTML block elements that force paragraph breaks. (Things like horizontal rules, large images, or tables.)
Here I’ll explain what’s going on and how to get your paragraphs back.
35 Comments | tags: blog, blogging, Classic Editor, WordPress, WordPress Reader | posted in Rant, Writing
Here’s a blast from the past, a re-post (of a re-post) of a post I wrote many years ago on another platform. (Long, long ago on a blog far, far away.) Creative writing isn’t really my thing, but I don’t hate how this turned out. I originally posted it here in 2011, and re-cycled it in 2012, 2013, and 2014. I meant to do it every year but forgot. Since it’s been a while, I thought I’d give it another go.
The original writing exercise was to write a short piece from the point of view of a pumpkin. The exercise was given to us just before Halloween. (Same guy who gave us an exercise to write a piece from the point of view of our car.)
Most writers took the tack that pumpkins suffered horribly at this time of year. Naturally, I took a different tack, and so I give you…
10 Comments | tags: dirt, Gourdian, gourds, humor, Jack-O-Lantern, kiss a Gourdian, orange, pumpkins, re-post, vines | posted in Writing
“Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!”
Attention All Readers: Later this month (or maybe even sometime next) I’m doing a purge of Followers that, as far as I can tell, have never been seen since they followed this blog.
I’m keeping anyone I recognize from recent or past conversations (or repeat Likes), either on this blog or elsewhere. (Obviously I’ll keep my lurking IRL friends; y’all are safe from the Purging Angel.)
Point is, if you’ve been silently lurking, and don’t want to get purged, now would be a good time to make your presence known!
9 Comments | tags: blog, blogger, blogging | posted in Writing
So, ten years. Over a thousand posts (1,142). Over a million words (1,381,652). Many different topics, from science fiction to science physics — those two representing both a key duality and a crucial commonality in my worldview.
What they have in common is the science — a fundamental aspect of my life almost from day one (My first two words were “star” and “light” — a prescience that both amazes and amuses me.) The duality is between fiction and physics — more generally between art and the aforementioned science. While this aspect goes back only to high school, it has become just as fundamental. The Yin-Yang of physics and humanity.
Throw in a love of books, TV shows, and movies, plus a fascination with mathematics, computers, and human consciousness, and this blog has had a lot of ground to cover. Arguably too much.
23 Comments | tags: Anniversary, blog, blog blah, blogger, blogging, July 4 | posted in Life, Writing
Shakespeare talked about the ages of man, and it’s well known that age seems to revert us to our youth. The last handful of years that’s been true for me with regard to mystery authors. For the first time in many decades I’m reading (or rather re-reading) Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey), Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe), and others from my past.
This month I’ve been enjoying Agatha Christie and her Hercule Poirot novels. I got into them after finishing a collection of 51 short stories starring her famous Belgian detective (with his “egg-shaped head” and giant mustaches). Reading those put me in the mood to revisit the novels.
And I must say I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them!
32 Comments | tags: Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, murder mysteries, mystery books | posted in Books, Mystery Monday, Writing