Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On the form, format, structure and taxonomy of blogs, blogging and bloggers upon the occasion of the second anniversary of Waking Ambrose

Nah, just messing with you. Here are two fables.

The Declamation

A great man stood elevated on the marble steps of a great building in a great city with a vast crowd before and beneath him. He raised his arms. "Brothers and Sisters," He cried out. "Now is the people's hour. Now is the time for us to honor one another as we do our celebrities, rulers and dignitaries. Now is the time, my friends, to see our neighbor in the same glow of dignity and find in our brother the same charismatic gravity we accord to the rich, the famous or the powerful!"

A little boy in the crowd turned aside from his affairs and looked up at the man who, realizing he had been noticed, ran behind a statue of a lion, dragging his broom.

Moral: Great leaders are revealed by distracted children and covered with lions.

The Pious Sparrow and The Marmot

On a warm and lazy summer day, a pious sparrow saw a marmot on the creekbank below. The marmot was prone with his head between his two front paws and the sparrow alit beside him. "Are you praying? Are you praying?" the holy bird asked over and over.

The marmot opened one eye at the chirping and answered her: "Indeed, I worship the great God, Morpheus." Satisfied, the sparrow took wing and said a Hosanna to blessed Zephyr. Nearby, the sparrow's cousin, crow, said a thanksgiving to Hades for the flesh of an itinerant rabbit who had been asking the favor of Saint Christopher at the moment the car struck.

Moral: Look both ways before prayer.

Big announcement: Old Mule and I want you and your blogging friends to gather together a year or so from now so we can eat meet you. For more information click here.

ANONYMITY, n. The laureate of every toast, a deputy Dionysus.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


IDOLATER, n. One who professes a religion which we do not believe, with a symbolism different from our own. A person who thinks more of an image on a pedastol than of an image on a coin.

2007 Update: A heretic who genuflects with the wrong side toward our feet.

Monday, February 26, 2007


IMMACULATE, adj. Not as yet spotted by the police.

2007 Update: Well-polished.

And happy birthday to Karma!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Confessions of an Ex-Shepherd

Episode 8 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic.

To hear the story, listen to the blind man.

This week, in The Prattler, "Spinal Tapdance."

To read the story, gather around Diogenes.

Friday, February 23, 2007


SUFFRAGE, n. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized. Refusal to do so has the bad name of "incivism." The incivilian, however, cannot be properly arraigned for his crime, for there is no legitimate accuser. If the accuser is himself guilty he has no standing in the court of opinion; if not, he profits by the crime, for A's abstention from voting gives greater weight to the vote of B. By female suffrage is meant the right of a woman to vote as some man tells her to. It is based on female responsibility, which is somewhat limited. The woman most eager to jump out of her petticoat to assert her rights is first to jump back into it when threatened with a switching for misusing them.

2007 Update: The transformation of a subject of government into an object of lies.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


SELF, n. The most important person in the universe. (See Us.)

2007 Update: Biographer, satirist, impressionist, audience.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

A Lenten Prayer

Now comes the time we honor
The savior's suff'ring turn
And so wear ashes on our face
As to ashes we return.

We ask employment for the sick,
Peace on Earth to follow,
A sinless life for our neighbor,
Though his virtue be yet hollow.

Refrain for forty days to judge us,
Our sinful souls set free.
Give us forbearance towards curmudgeons
And nearerness, LORD, to thee.

Let our sacrifice be enough
Let our devotion flower
Let us not neglect your enemies
But keep our faces dour.

Humbled, though we might have been,
Thou hast refilled our pride.
On Easter, when He rose again
We, too, set gravity aside.

HUMILITY, n. The virtue distinguishing the God-fearing Christian from the self-loving non-believer.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


SYMBOLIC, adj. Pertaining to symbols and the use and interpretation of symbols.
They say 'tis conscience feels compunction;
I hold that that's the stomach's function,
For of the sinner I have noted
That when he's sinned he's somewhat bloated,
Or ill some other ghastly fashion
Within that bowel of compassion.
True, I believe the only sinner
Is he that eats a shabby dinner.
You know how Adam with good reason,
For eating apples out of season,
Was "cursed." But that is all symbolic:
The truth is, Adam had the colic.
2007 Update: Poetic, obscure, non-binding.

Monday, February 19, 2007


SANITY, n. A state of mind which immediately precedes and follows murder.

2007 Update: A high tolerance for madness.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Wanderer Arrives

Episode 7 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Plan B.

To hear the story, start counting.

This week, in The Prattler, "A Tribulation in Tripe."

To read the story, gather around Diogenes.

Friday, February 16, 2007


FAULT, n. One of my offenses, as distinguished from one of yours, the latter being crimes.

2007 Update: The essential feature of California's geography, absent from her demography.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Felon, n. A person of greater enterprise than discretion, who in embracing an opportunity has formed an unfortunate attachment.

2007 Update: A member of the legal laity whose actions transgress traditional morality, such as a slaveholder in the 20th century, an abolitionist of the 19th or an employer in the 21st. A dayworker, dawnbat or nightsenator.

A Terrible Ogre Day to You All!

Those who logged on before 7:45 TLPST know that I had to be reminded of my own holiday, proving that even iconoclasts are stereotypical.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Two Poems

My Lonesome Lover

I made my wife of corpses' skin
And found true love deep within
She says just what I want to hear
When, breathlessly, she calls me near.

My love to her I represented
With wine of vintage less fermented
And flowers that would make her blush
If the ones she offers weren't so lush.

The road we travel, we travel often.
Me on my feet, her in her coffin.
Though the miles we cover aren't many,
She stays with me, my lucky penny.

And when my time on Earth has passed
And finally, I breathe my last.
I have no fear of what's in store.
Making love in her bed as mine before.

Come live with me and be my love,
Here on Earth and below, above.


There are two kinds of people I have known
One suffers misery, stoic alone.
And drinks at night a wine of soured fruit
And greets each dawn in turn, a howling brute.

The other kind fills our prosp'rous nation
With grinning kids, clubs and conversation.
And there, inside a bustling hectic house,
Afflict their misery on a spouse.

And you, who love true, despite the danger-
Happy Valentine's Day, matchless stranger!

Cupidity n. Prevenge.
Wedding Cake, n. A rich tort.

Happy Ogre Day Eve to all

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Friendless, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.

2007 Update: Without sin or stone.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Force, n.
"Force is but might," The teacher said-
"That definition's just."
The boy said naught but thought instead,
Remembering his pounded head:
"Force is not might but must!"
2007 Update: Along with poetry, beauty and law, one of four pillars upholding the temple of vanity, roofless.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Episode 6 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's reader.

To hear the story, listen for strumming.

This week, in The Prattler, "This, I believe."

To read the story, it's good to start with the bald guy.

Friday, February 09, 2007


ARISTOCRACY, n. Government by the best men. (In this sense the word is obsolete; so is that kind of government.) Fellows that wear downy hats and clean shirts — guilty of education and suspected of bank accounts.

2007 Update: Those whose vices are remembered by strangers, whose virtues are invented by lovers and whose triumphs are disapproved of by all. The recently deceased.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


ABDOMEN, n. The shrine enclosing the object of man's sincerest devotion.

2007 Update: The middle kingdom of man, north of Satisfactoras and south of Oratoria. With the subtopical clime and post-industrial economy, it would be abandoned but for the wall.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In which I come out of the closet.

Somehow, I never noticed the directory of conference attendees before. If I had, it still would never have occurred to me that anyone would actually read it. When I pre-registered for the conference I'm now home from, I found it funny they would ask for my title. Now, please understand a few things. The first is that the title "Executive Director" seems to fit people whose pomposity differs from my own. Besides that, the organizers of this particular conference know me. They've known me for years. They recognize me by name, by sight, by title and by growl. So when I filled in the Job Title line, I thought I was having a private joke between myself and whoever did the data entry. Between Monday and Tuesday I was asked at least a dozen times about my job description as listed in the conference directory. Some asked wryly how I like my new position, some asked with sincere curiosity, "What does a limericist do?"

It's true, my friends. I am a limericist. Here is the story of how I came to embrace my nature. I suppose each of the several loyal National Public Radio listeners has a favorite NPR show and mine is Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! For those who don't know, this is the NPR current events quiz show. It's much funner than it sounds. One of the weekly games is the Listener Limerick Challenge in which three limericks, based on the current events, are read to a caller with the last word omitted. If you can guess twice out of thrice what the last word was, you win a recorded message on your answering machine.

One week when I was listening I noticed that during the show's credits the host referred to "our Limericist." I marveled that our language is opulent enough to contain a noun for someone who writes limericks and that our economy is majestic and democratic enough to provide income to one. I felt something stir I hadn't known was there.

Now, friends, I enjoy Wait! Wait! enough that I look forward to listening all week and rarely miss a show, but the one weekly contest I never miss until the grave finds me, is Minka's Thursday Brain Teaser. One day, I was doing my morning blogging when I saw that Minka had posted a new brain teaser and there were no comments yet. But when I clicked the "comments" link, Indeterminacy had beaten me to the first comment. I decided that, I would take the time to, and I paraphrase Senator John Kerry here, become who I was.

n. A poet with hooves for feet.
There are many sizes of fame,
Many chances to claim your own name.
Each dignitary's
badge they are wearing
In meter and rhyme sounds the same.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


ABSENTEE, n. A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove himself from the sphere of exaction.

2007 Update: An individual whose expanding good-fortune, wealth, ease and notoriety greatly exceed their virtue and effort, even on the cusp of election to committee chair.

Monday, February 05, 2007


ARCHITECT, n. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.

2007 Update: An artist with two patrons, the industrialist seeking immortality and the archeologist seeking relics.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A King Arises

Episode 5 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's reader.

To hear the story, come to Tyre.

This week, in The Prattler, "A Surge in Stupid."

To read the story, climb into the box. Would I mislead you?

Friday, February 02, 2007


KEEP, v.t.
He willed away his whole estate,
And then in death he fell asleep,
Murmuring: "Well, at any rate,
My name unblemished I shall keep."
But when upon the tomb 'twas wrought
Whose was it?-for the dead keep naught.
Durang Gophel Arn

2007 Update: To collect, as boxes, and maintain, as shelving. To bury above ground and worship subconsciously. To retrieve and rethieve.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


KORAN, n. A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures.

2007 Update: A scripture the adherents to which call a message of peace from the divine but may confess advocates violence under extreme duress.

Greetings from the other side. This site is now on New Blogger, which seems to be weirder than old but at least I can say Rabbit! Rabbit! in color.