Home sweet home?

I really wish I could do a better job of keeping up with everyone in the blogosphere. I try to check in with technorati and truthlaidbear, but with dialup connections on the road, it's not easy. Not long ago I saw that Howard Owens, one my favorite bloggers, had found a piece I wrote about him when I was a mere fetus of a blogger, and he liked it. I wanted to thank him for his very kind words about me, but now technorati no longer shows it, truthlaidbear is completely dysfunctional, and Howard Owens' archives don't seem to work.

Then today I found something my blogfather Jeff said about me which he absolutely should not have said, because while it is very flattering, it is not true. Jeff, I am NOT "better" than you are! I violate every rule in the book, and my law school training ruined what little writing skill I might have had. They warned me about it at UC Berkeley's Department of Rhetoric, and they were absolutely right. Lawyers, of course, are taught to append nearly every sentiment, every thought, every jot, every tittle, with some variety or another of qualifying, limiting, obfuscating, complicating, aggravating, and ALL billable-by-the-hour modifiers -- in the interests of "clarification." What they are really doing is covering their own asses, while inviting more litigation, which in turn generates more billable time!


Jeff, writes with more clarity than almost anyone in the blogosphere, and his creativity is unmatched! He is a much better, much more accomplished blogger than I am, and I will say once again that I am very honored to have such a talented and generous blogfather.

Also, I was delighted to see Jeff put in a plug for another favorite blogger, Don Watkins! The latter went AWOL for an entire week, and while I am tickled pink to see that he's returned, the story and pictures of that debauched, drunken orgy have me deeply worried....

Jeff is highly intuitive, and somehow he knew that I was somewhere other than "home" -- or wherever I am normally supposed to be. Jeff is right, and an explanation is in order. Hence, this post will be personal in nature. (Uh oh!)

Let me start with a rationalization of personal blogging. I just found a cool new blog -- Viking Pundit (link from Blogcritics via Instapundit) -- which appeals to my ethnic pride as an American of Norwegian descent. His name's Eric Lindholm and he's been blogging for quite a while so I shouldn't call him new. But anyway, his advice (which I have seen before and try to practice) is to "avoid blogging on personal issues" which he deems "a lazy form of writing."

Fair enough. But I am feeling lazy! And then I was struck by the elements Lindholm saw as justifying an exception to his personal issues rule. Recalling his honeymoon in Egypt, he says it was marred by the following:

relentless begging;
innumerable incidents of gouging;
crass anti-Americanism;
other unmentionable incidents.
Egypt, you say?

Well, here I am in Berkeley, California, my home for three decades! Mr. Lindholm's list describes the place perfectly.

It might not be a honeymoon, but I am home at last! For how long, who knows?

My dog, Puff, is a 14 year old pit bull, and he has been away for four years. I left Rawlins, Wyoming on Saturday morning (after first fixing a radiator hose which burst in 100+ degree heat about 40 miles from Lusk, Wyoming -- a town with a web page but no radiator hoses!), and after fifteen hours of driving, pulled up in front of my place in Berkeley near midnight. Puff knew where he was immediately, and as soon as I opened the door he jumped out of the car, raced to the house, marked his corner, and shoved his head into the front door in an attempt to open it. When I let him in, he ran directly to his empty water bowl which was still sitting exactly where he had left it in that fateful September of 1999.

I snapped a picture of him sleeping contentedly on his favorite futon, and I hope it successfully feeds through.


How long I will stay is anyone's guess, but blogging here is a serious problem, because I am still stuck with an antiquated laptop with the s-l--o-w sucky-ass dialup modem. How spoiled I was by a DSL connection. You don't know what you have till you lose it.

Which I could say about leaving Berkeley. California is just so ... well, "EASY" is the only word which comes to mind. Sure, people make fun of the place, but the weather is idyllic, and for the most part people are tolerant, civilized, and "laid back." Having grown up on the East Coast and moved out here, I understand the thinking of both coasts -- often much to my dismay.

The West Coast is as different from the East Coast as either coast is from, say, Canada.

See how personal I am getting? I don't like this at all, and now I'm worried about who might be offended. East Coasters, West Coasters, Canadians?

What next? I mean, how personal do I have to get?

Do I have to bare my life entirely and admit to being "bicoastal?"



(Wouldn't want to be accused of flying a "false flag," now, would I?)

posted by Eric on 08.13.03 at 12:49 AM


I think regional culture is pretty interesting. I bet, though, that the Midwest is quite a bit more different that the East and Left... er, West Coasts are from each other.

Actually, some have accused Michiganders of being almost Canadian. Don't know about that, although there's quite a bit of (for lack of a better term) interbreeding (several Canadians five or six generations behind me on my family's tree, a Canadian friend of mine just married a Michigander last Saturday). I myself am going to college in Canada (19 days! Woohoo!) so there's a distinct possibility I'll be carrying on the tradition. Plus a Michigander accent is basically a Canadian one minus a few 'eh's and 'saury' for sorry (tho I say them a la Canada). And we're quite used to finding Canadian change in our pockets. At least here in Michigan CND change is legal up to 25 cents (I imagine that would go for the US as a whole, though I can't see trying to spend a nickel with a beaver on it in Alabama). OK so this was more of a blogpost than a comment. Sorry. Guess I'm trying to get you to post more :)

Tim the Michigander   ·  August 12, 2003 8:57 PM

Don't you worry about who you offend (unless it can get you sued, of course...) -- write whatever you please, we will still like your blog. :)

am   ·  August 13, 2003 10:36 AM

Thank you both for your kind words. I found myself quite spoiled by a fast Internet connection on the East Coast, and everything takes twice as long this way. No routine established quite yet, as there are so many distractions I'm not yet up to "normal" speed.

Eric   ·  August 13, 2003 10:00 PM

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