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one month in

February 13, 2011

It was one month ago today that my step-son Nathan pushed “Publish” on

my first post and I became a blogger.  I felt quite tentative about it all, but

that didn’t stop Jude, Nathan and me from  hoisting a toast to the venture.

I feel less tentative now, although the maintenance of the blog still befuddles

me.  I’m not a technical person.  Learning the nuts and bolts of it can be an

excruciatingly slow process of trial and error.

Conversely, I love the actual writing, the telling of a story with words and

photos.  Yesterday’s post, for example, was a blast from start to finish:

visiting with neighbours, walking home in brisk weather, sharing that

with you.

The joy of blogging for me is that it harmonizes so many aspects of my

life.  I have quite a bit of journalism experience that helps me with or-

ganizing thoughts, self-editing and headline writing.  My background

in social work and psych care informs my worldview.  Our choice to

settle here created optimum conditions to start the blog.  And the

many photos I’ve taken here help to illustrate my posts.

Spanning all of this is my bent sense of humour.  It started twisting in

the 50’s when I discovered “Mad” magazine.  It got more distorted by

Jonathan Winters and Bob Newhart on TV.  Long before they starred

in sitcoms, they were doing guest spots and specials.  Winters had a

character named Maude Frickert, a sweet granny lady who spoke

lustily of her subscription to “Spankers’ Monthly”.  Newhart gained

fame for his phone calls to folks like Abraham Lincoln and the Wright

Brothers.  As Lincoln’s press agent, Newhart gave Abe tips on how to

punch up the Gettysburg Address.

In the 60’s I found Max Shulman’s writings, then “The Many Loves

of Dobie Gillis”, a TV show based on them.  “That Was the Week That

Was” and “Laugh-In” popularized social satire on primetime.  Zap

Comix redefined comic books, Paul Krassner’s “The Realist” redefined

magazines, and Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters redefined public


Stand -up comedian Lenny Bruce told it like it was and still is.  I needed

all those folks to cushion me during and after my Vietnam service in

the Marines.  I came back to an America I didn’t recognize.  Woody

Allen and the Firesign Theater helped my readjustment immensely.


The 70’s gave us Richard Pryor, the funniest man ever, who showed an

alchemist’s skill by changing personal tragedy into comedic gold.  It also

yielded “Saturday Night Live” and the unintentional hilarity of the disco

subculture.  Worst fashion ever.


The Onion, Stewart/Colbert, “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy” and “Robot

Chicken” influence me these days.  But all these voices listed reverberate

in my head yet.  I hope, in our first 31 days together, that you’ve enjoyed

what has come out of that head and down to the keyboard.  Please let me

know what you like and don’t like about the blog.


Happy anniversary.

  1. February 13, 2011 12:35 pm

    I am so glad you started blogging as you have a wealth of experiences to call upon. I have been doing this since 2004 and find I have exhausted most of my material. I find myself just jotting down silly parts of my daily life.

    It’s fun to see someone still new and excited about posting their next blog. I remember the feeling. Carry on.

    • February 13, 2011 1:12 pm

      The prime purpose of my blog is to let folks know about our community, which is working toward self-sustainability. There’s a winter lull in activity, but when you start swapping seeds and ideas, you know spring is near. I’ve been filling in the gap with background and personal stories until we all get busier. I’ve struggled some days for topics, but I’m still building up my writing muscle. Thanks for the encouragement, Joan.

  2. Diane permalink
    February 13, 2011 3:33 pm

    I think we may differ on some of our politics but I find where you live and how you live a dream come true. As a child I wanted to run away to the Amish but you’ve done them one better 🙂

    • February 13, 2011 4:45 pm

      I admire a lot of Amish social structure and they’d be welcome here, but they’d never stop blushing. Ours is a “live and let live”group. We vary in political and religious views, but have yet to find an issue that can’t be resolved
      with a potluck and refreshing beverages.

  3. Bella permalink
    February 13, 2011 3:54 pm

    Being a city dweller I find it interesting to “see” how you are living in your almost commune setting. I’m glad you started blogging and look forward every day to read your words.

    • February 13, 2011 4:47 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Bella. I hope I have good words for you to read every day.

  4. beanie permalink
    February 13, 2011 4:04 pm

    I have wanted to live off the grid too, but not any more. I love the “city life” with one exception… I don’t like busses. So there. Anyway, Carol Burnett and her group, and Rowan and Martin (on Laugh-In) were staples of my TV diet in my youth. I didn’t watch much TV in the 50’s, but 60’s TV was a blast! Bob Newhart still is my favorite, and Bill Daly’s Howard Borden was a perfect comedy partner for Bob Hartley. IN the 70s I watched Monty Python’s Flying Circus and anything produced by Mel Brooks. It wasn’t until much later that I realized Get Smart was produced by him, too. There was a short-lived sit com called When Things Were Rotten that I loved. Apparently I was the only one! There seemed to be many more PG rated shows than there are now. The sexual jokes were way more subtle, and kids never got the joke. Now things are pretty blatant, and I must say I prefer the former. I get a kick out of watching the old shows!

    • February 13, 2011 4:57 pm

      Ye Zeus, beanie! How could I have omitted Mel Brooks and the Pythons? Mel and the Circus both made movies that had me almost literally falling out of my seat from laughing. I had never heard of Monty Python until attending a midnight showing of “Holy Grail” that was packed with impaired people. In a few minutes I was entranced by coconut shell hoofbeats and sentinels arguing about the carrying capabilities of swallows. My son and his friends could do whole sections of Python flicks. Thanks for the memory jolt. Remember: every sperm is sacred.

  5. February 13, 2011 5:30 pm

    I’m so glad you’re blogging, Allen. I’ve been wondering what you two were up to, way up there. Now I’m finding out! And I like it! For you two. Me, I need pavement, constant internet access and a coffee shop on every other block!

    • February 13, 2011 7:26 pm

      Thanks, Coach, and thanks for your continuing support. Be sure to catch tomorrow’s post. It’s about Jude’s “something different”.

  6. February 13, 2011 7:28 pm

    If it wasn’t for the fact that I once lived in Kitsap County and had FAR too much dampness for about three years, I’d join your neighborhood quite happily, but I guess I’ll better better off staying here where the weather is a bit warmer.

    And yes, I think the warp-age started with MAD Magazine, (I once had my copy taken from me at school…I think the teacher kept it for himself) through Bill Cosby, the Smother’s Brothers, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, Monty Python (As witness my referring to this current year as the Year of the Caerbannog Bunny), National Lampoon and various and sundry other comedians.

    Add to that being the youngest of 5, with VERY warped siblings leading the way, and it’s no wonder I’m twitching a wee bit!

    Happy Anniversary, here’s to a grand start and many more years of writing!

    • February 14, 2011 8:42 am

      When I started reading “Mad”, the superb Bob and Ray were regular contributors. I still use two of their catchphrases: “hang by your thumbs” and “write if you get work”. And kudos to George and Lilly. Carlin let me know that there was a bigger world out there and it was funny. When he spoke of the U-shaped rag on the plumbing under his family’s kitchen sink, I learned that other mothers were like mine. Tomlin gave us a line for all time and all times: “no matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up”. Thank you for hanging with me this first month, Rosie, and happy Valentines’ Day.

  7. beanie permalink
    February 14, 2011 12:16 pm

    I should never have thrown out my collection of Mad magazines… I started buying them when I was about 12….

    • February 15, 2011 8:16 am

      Imagine what their value would be now, beanie. I threw mine out, too. Did you ever read “Help!” magazine? It published sporadically in the early 60’s and gave early career boosts to the likes of Gloria Steinem, Robert Crumb, Woody Allen, John Cleese and Terry Gilliam.

  8. February 19, 2011 10:34 am

    What I like about your blog:
    1. photos of your friends, neighbours and family and your slice-of-life characterizations of the people you know
    2. photos taken inside your house. i don’t know why. mayhap it gives me the best sense of where you are when you’re writing. or where we’d have coffee if i visited.
    3. excellent writing.
    4. you’re funny
    5. daily posting; it gives a “this is my real life” flow

    What I don’t like about your blog:
    5. ah i finally thought of something: pictures of machinery! do nothing for me. but i’m going to tell my hubby scott to check out your blog (he’s not a blog reader) as his interests extend to how things work, are built, repaired, maintained, etc.

    • February 19, 2011 11:16 am

      Kate, I really appreciate that feedback. As to your dislikes of the blog, I think I’ve resolved 1 through 4. Number 5 won’t dominate my posts, but I think they help illustrate what we’re trying to accomplish on the farm and in our community. And I think you’ll like the ancient Oldsmobile when it’s full of sunflowers. Be sure to check out the blog changes later on today, including the addition of two super talents to my blogroll.

      • February 19, 2011 11:53 pm

        “Inventive and charming!”
        You’re my favourite.

      • February 20, 2011 9:30 am

        Kate, please! I’m a married man.

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