Dramatis Personae

A number of unexpected characters have inexplicably waddled through this blog over its time. For those of you who are visually-inclined, here is the Cast of Characters in abbreviated form. Some were memorable, some not so much. Some were just fodder.

Enjoy, please.
Gregor

Gregor

Gregor's Lawnmower

 Gregor’s Lawnmower

Gregor's BackyardGregor’s Back Yard

ButomewButomew

AlbartomewAlbartomew

BufordBuford

Jack the YakJack the Yak

SartomewSartomew

Comrade PussComrade Puss

AmarcordThe Author as a Young Man

Mr. BillMr. Bill

The MerovingianThe Muse

PopePapa

NixonPlumber in Chief

PublisherOur Beloved Publishers

Chupacabra Myth courtest of NatGeoThe History Channel

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INTJ Holiday House Rules

HolidaysA few house rules for the holiday season. This house, at least. It’s an annual tradition around these parts.

If you’re an introvert, especially of the INTJ variety, you might want to give it some thought.

No drama under any circumstances. If you must have drama, save it for some other holiday or, better still, your birthday.

Animals are welcome.

Gifts are for kids. No, you’re not a kid. If you want to give him or her a gift, do it on a day when they’re not expecting to receive one. At first, you’ll be considered a curmudgeon, but it will pass.

Be with the people you love, not the people who are obligatory holiday visitors.

Family is how you define it.

If you don’t eat too much, you’re probably not having a good time. If you drink too much, you’ll soon have a rough time.

If you bring an attitude you get the back door. Scrooge is always watching.

Try to listen rather than talk. There are already enough talkers and they really roll it all out on holidays.

If you have a boss, avoid him or her on the holiday. The results of these holiday encounters are rarely beneficial to either party.

If you don’t have a boss, don’t be one on this holiday.

Remember the cook. Visit the kitchen, briefly. It’s the heart of the home.

No platitudes, please.

If you play a game, make sure that no one loses. There must always be a reward for last place.

Did I mention animals? They enjoy the holidays and bring us all cheer.

To all of you who have visited, have a wonderful, happy and safe holiday season.

Why Don’t Blogs Die?

Blog of the day once again

Not everything dies. Most things do, I guess. I suppose even a rock dies, although it might take some time. But, it seems to me that blogs never die. They go on forever, suspended in the timeless clutches of the infinite Internet. This troubles me, a bit. It just doesn’t seem natural, not in accordance with the ordained order of the universe.

It’s creepy.

Since I’ve been a writer my entire life, I’m naturally drawn to the blogs of other writers or blogs that discuss their work. For whatever reason, I was surfing with one thought in mind: Why are so many writers considered eccentric? A strange search, yes, but not so uncommon. It was something that caught my interest for the moment. I’ve been accused of eccentricity, often by my literary agent as well as family luminaries.

While drifting around the Internet, I stumbled across a post entitled, Are All Good Writers Eccentric? The title was enough to get me reading. However, what I read took me off in an entirely different direction. I was left wondering why blog posts don’t have a shelf-life, a discreet period of time after which they die and are forever forgotten. Where is the self-destruct button, just in case? Some posts, some blogs, just shouldn’t go on forever, despite our wonderful, powerful technology. They should succumb to the more natural course.

This post didn’t answer my original question about eccentric writers. Rather, it gave me yet another reason to really be sure about what I publish, in any form.

Here is the post, which is short. I’ve left it unedited:

I think that all real writers are eccentrics and loners even when they have familys. Not all bloggers are writers some fill there pages with pictures of there friends and family or places they have been. Some are clever with the graphics that melt out hearts to look at and make us want to go back to look again. I would like to combine graphic art and my poetry but at the moment this will have to do. But waiting in the wings is some one i know who does magical graphics who as told me when i am ready i can download some of her magic onto my pages and how proud i would be to do that hopefully in the near future. Thanks mary. To work together with some one like Mary to add the beauty that she creates to my pages of poetry would make for a magical site i would be proud of. 

To be a writer you need a good imagination you just have to look at jk Rowlings, pages full of exciting things nothing dull, always some thing new and exciting, C.S Lewis and Narnia another wonderful example of a great imagination with a spiritual lift to it. Catharine Cookson my favourite author of adult stories writes from real life, earthy deeply involved stories of life in the north of england.

So, you tell me. Are good writers eccentric?

Gregor Does Blog Barfing, Again

GregorGregor likes to reinvent himself. His keepers tell him this is the best way to overcome his failed lobotomy.

A while back, Gregor started barfing on blogs. See Gregor Barfs on Your Blog for the details. Since then, Gregor has had a few moments of lucidity. He wants to fill in the details for you.

Gregor has a 5 point scale for blog reading. A blog with 0 points gets passed over. A blog with 5 points gets a comment. It’s also possible to gather bonus points, but it’s rare. This system keeps blog reading simple, and Gregor likes simple.

Here’s how it works:

0 Points. Gregor encounters a bad title and a boring opening sentence. He moves on and takes no notice.

1 Point. The title is a grabber. It’s unique and captures his interest. Unfortunately, the opening sentence or two tumbles down the boring hole. Gregor moves on.

2 Points. Good title, interesting opening lines. Gregor pushes the button and looks for gold. The first paragraph is a fail. Maybe it’s poorly written, maybe it just bores him. Gregor can bore easily when not on his meds. Anyway, Gregor closes the window and goes back to trolling.

3 Points. Gregor gets halfway through the post and his mind begins to wander. Is it Gregor? Is it the writer? Hard to say. Gregor loses interest and looks elsewhere.

4 Points. Gregor gets through the entire post. He is happy. It’s a good read, interesting, fun, whatever. Gregor will come back to this blog from time to time. He hits the LIKE button. Gregor never hits the LIKE button unless he has read the entire post. He wants to be fair to the writer.

5 Points. Gregor is hooked. He hits the LIKE button and adds a comment. Maybe it’s just a short, one-liner. Maybe longer. Gregor wants the writer to know that he or she did a really good job. It’s hard to please Gregor so he chooses carefully.

Bonus Points. Gregor is blown away by the post and goes on to read a few others. LIKE is not enough. A comment is not enough. Gregor hits the FOLLOW button and looks forward to the next post. Gregor celebrates.

Gregor lives here.

Blog Spam Swamp Gas

@gnat SMS Spam? I got it.

Blog spam (swamp gas) is entertaining, so long as you don’t take it seriously. You’ve got to love the literacy of it all.

Here are a few gems with my intended retorts. All those annoying links have been removed and sent to doo-doo land, along with my fantasy replies. I was on a rebound flash-back while reading the spam and just had to say something.

Let’s keep it to just a few. Too much of this stuff gets really boring.

Spam: This is a message to the admin. Your website is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. I discovered this page via Google but it was difficult to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your traffic to your website:(spam-o-link). I managed to get over 10,000 visitors per month using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic than you have now. Hope this helps. Take care.

Reply: So, how come your spam-o-link site isn’t on the first 300 pages that Google showed me? Take care.

Spam: It is common inside developed countries such as the look into the prove that there much like online enough to stop paying it (spam-o-link). Decades earlier, if one acquired a three to percent idea, it was a fantastic tip.

Reply: Urg. Forget “developed countries.” You need an introduction to English if you’re going to try to communicate in English. Decades earlier? Huh? You should be congratulated, though, for achieving your own three percent literacy quotient.

Spam: I was reading this article and find it very informative. I admired the writer’s effort as he beautifully selects the most appropriate words for his post. The choice of his words has made this article unique and interesting. While reading this article I was feeling that I can completely understand the theme of this article and writer has written exclusively for me or for my school of thought.

Reply: Wow! Well, I have to admit that I wrote the post just for you and you only. Sadly, I lost your email address. Now, lose my blog address.

Spam: Greatly lucrative! Therefore… I nevermore search what I ask for. Much far more ideas and much even more nonconformity… a comment, I will actually do this.

Reply: Suchforth happy to please you and will far look to your vanishment.

Spam: This knowledge requires toady up to definition and is intended primarily for use by way of salubrity regard workers and facilities/organizations providing haleness care including pharmacies, hospitals, long-term heed facilities, community-based health regard care providers and pre-hospital pinch services.

Reply: Huh?

Spam: I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.

Reply: Thank the Spam Gods you found someone else.

Gregor’s Worry List

GregorGregor worries.

Neither his shock therapy treatments nor his shrink can give Gregor any peace. He continues to be troubled and wants to share his burden.

Chupacabras. Gregor is afraid of them. He was told that the chupacabra was invented by Al Gore, right around the time he fathered the Internet. Then, Gregor was told they were manufactured by one of Dick Cheney’s secret companies. Both stories can’t be true. Worst of all, Gregor saw a picture of one, once. Now, he worries all the time. What if a chupacabra comes sneaking around after midnight? Who could he call for help? Is there a chupacabra hotline? Or, should he just call the History Channel and get it over with? He’s written to Al and Dick. They just ignored him.

Toasters. Endless worries for Gregor. They start smoking sometimes and Gregor doesn’t like smoke in his house. Once, a toaster tried to eat his iPad. This was a critical time for Gregor. He didn’t know how to punish his toaster. Would you? Gregor fears that his iPad and his toaster may try to breed someday. Is that how chupacabras are made?

Politicians. Gregor just learned that politicians and pollution are different things. He thought they were the same. Now, Gregor’s worries that they may combine forces and invade his mind. He’s read about mind-control experiments. He knows about remote viewing because it happens to him all the time. But, what if politicians start remote viewing Gregor and try to control his mind? Will the bandages on his head protect him? Should he try a tin-foil hat? Others have suggested it.

Velveeta Cheese

Velveeta. Gregor can’t find it anywhere these days. What happened? Did Dick Cheney eat it all? Did Al Gore put it on the national doo-doo list? Is it illegal? Gregor never tried to smoke it. He just wanted it around as comfort food.

White bread. Gregor knows there is a plot going on, somewhere. All the bread he sees these days is 47 grain, weird colors, infested with fruity knobs, emblazoned with strange crusts, all kinds of bizarre stuff. Gregor wants his white bread back. Without it, he’s paranoid.

Free air at gas stations. Where did it go? How come it isn’t free anymore, if you can even find it? Gregor doesn’t know how to save air, so where’s he going to go for refills? Gregor is always broke. No one wants to lend him any air. He thinks this is downright un-American.

Anchovies from Sicily packed in salt at the Sa...

Anchovies. Gregor is aware that this tasty treat has disappeared. Why? How come you can’t get an anchovy pizza anymore? No anchovy pie. Did Al Gore interfere somehow? Did Dick Cheney banish them? Does anyone do anchovies anymore?

Dirty Martinis. Gregor is afraid of dirt but he likes dirty martinis. He wonders where the dirt comes from? Who cleans the dirt? Is it the dirt that makes his head hurt after a few martinis? Gregor sees faces in the olives, just like the faces on the Moon. Who are those people? How come they all look like Al Gore? Why can’t he get Velveeta with his martini?

Alien Abductions. Gregor has been abducted, many times. He used to be afraid but, these days, he looks forward to it. All those little gray guys have bandages on their heads, just like Gregor. They never use toasters and they give him all the white bread he can eat. All Gregor has to do is lie very still and chew the bread. The little guys take care of everything else. They told Gregor that they all worked for Dick Cheney back in the day.

Shrinks. Gregor doesn’t like his shrink any more. His shrink is always winking and wincing at him. Gregor doesn’t know what that means. Gregor babbles and the shrink just nods his head and winks. Sometimes he seems to be asleep. Gregor is concerned that his shrink is channeling Dick Cheney behind his back. His shrink also keeps a chupacabra somewhere in a back room. Gregor hears it grunting and moving around back there.

The future. Gregor wonders about the future. He can’t reach out and touch it. He desperately wants to know the future, just like Al Gore, Dick Cheney and his shrink. They all know what’s coming. How come this doesn’t work for Gregor? Is there a secret society that refuses to admit Gregor? Is it because of his lobotomy? Is Gregor the victim of prejudice or, worse, a world-wide conspiracy? Gregor wrote to the Skull and Bones Society but nobody replied. He tried the local Masonic Hall but it was closed. He plans on trying the Rosicrucians next.

Coat of the Vatican Secret Archives

The Vatican. This is the sum of all fears for Gregor. He understands that all knowledge is buried in the secret archives. He’s heard that both Al and Dick got to visit and page through all the interesting stuff. Gregor knows there is a file on him down there, down deep in the catacombs. How come he can’t get in there and see it for himself? Why doesn’t the Freedom of Information Act work on the Vatican? Gregor keeps writing but nothing comes back to him. Gregor doesn’t trust the Vatican. Would you?

Gregor lives here.

Myers Briggs, My INTJ Wants a Refund!

Español: Tipo Myers-Briggs INTJ

A curse upon these houses: Carl Jung, Myers & Briggs, and my INTJ persona. Why do you torture me so?

You would think that being an INTJ, belonging to only 2% of the population, would feel pretty good, comfortably special. Think again. Think in terms of the Occupy Movement. Do you want to be in the 99%? I do. But, no. I’m stuck in the 2% and I owe it all to Jung and the Myers & Briggs conspiracy. Well, right back at ya, INTJ style!

Forget the specific qualities of an INTJ, or any other “psychological type.” Just take a look at the company they keep. Geez. It’s the “birds of a feather” argument gone sideways. Mostly.

I suppose there are a few groovy INTJs running loose on the world. But, there are some real losers in this group. I’ll try to give you a short, semi-balanced list.

Bobby Fischer. Yep, world chess champion, for a time. Also, a complete wacko who went so far off the deep end that he was lost forever. If it wasn’t for the good-hearted people of Iceland, Fischer would have lived out his last years on the Moon. Not for me, Bobby.

Mark Zuckerberg. Need I say more? Never push the LIKE button for this guy. If you do, he’ll probably sue you.

Dr. Isaac Asimov, head-and-shoulders portrait,...

Issac Asimov. Someone very cool, right? Someone we can all love, eh? Got to groove with one of his best INTJ quotes: Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. Woops. Well, maybe that was just a little lapse. Let’s try again: The only people I ever met whose intellects surpassed my own were Carl Sagan and Marvin Minsky. Urg. Let’s move on.

John Nash. Ever see the movie, A Beautiful Mind? It made him look like a pretty nice guy. Just a little uncorked, but brilliant. There’s much more to the story. Do a little checking.

Stephen Hawking. OK, this sounds good. Hard to argue with this guy. However, he may have shot a bit high with his goals, like many INTJs. Here’s what he said: My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe. Try this one: Philosophy is dead. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge. No problems with confidence, INTJ style. Humility still works in the real world.

Jane Austen. Obligatory. For me, boring.

Ted Kaczynski. Best known to us as the Unabomber. Man, this is nuts! How did he ever get into the 2% club? Someone must have given him a hall pass. No dinner invites for this creep.

Vladimir Lenin. He lived by his own words: Trust is good. Control is better. Just not my kind of guy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was pretty good as the Terminator. When he got into politics he terminated himself because he couldn’t keep his waffle in the holster. Is this the best an INTJ can do?

Jodie Foster. Finally! Two thumbs up. If you don’t like Jodie Foster you need to go back home and re-take the Myers & Briggs test.

Chevy Chase. Yep, another winner, along with his INTJ friend, Dan Akroyd.

Lance Armstrong. Yikes! Back to the bottom of the barrel. Sorry about that.

A portrait of the Bohemian writer Franz Kafka ...

Franz Kafka. A little strange but captivating. Much more to my taste than that other INTJ, Ayn Rand. Well, on second thought, I guess they had a lot in common.

Stanley Kubrick. Right up there with Jodie Foster. If you don’t like Kubrick, you don’t deserve your Myers & Briggs test results.

Hannibal Lecter. I have no flippin’ idea how this guy made it onto everyone’s INTJ list, but he did. What can I say? At least his mask was pretty fun.

This is a good place to put the whole thing back into the trusty hands of the 99%.