88E9710D-C9FE-441B-9EE2-654E0009B2DESandmanJazz was awarded the coveted The Original Outstanding Blogger Award and was kind enough to nominate me, along with five other bloggers for this award. This is actually my second TOOBA nomination, so thank you SandmanJazz.

The rules for this award are:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. Here is the link.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

I’m not going to create seven unique questions. Nor am I going to nominate ten other bloggers. But I will answer the questions SandmanJazz posed. Here goes.

1. What is your position on school uniforms?

I believe that school uniforms should be positioned on the outside of the body just over underwear.

2. Do you prefer paper books or a Kindle, and why?

I prefer the Kindle app on my iPhone because I can essentially carry a full library of books with me on my iPhone at all times. I’ve found that way more convenient than lugging my bookshelves with me wherever I go.

3. If you were if charge of your country, what would be your first act in office? (Resignation is not an option)

Arrest Donald Trump and Bill Barr, reinstate all of Obama’s environmental laws that Trump rescinded, tear down Trump’s wall, return all detained migrant children to their parents, remove all federal court justices nominated by Donald Trump and approved by the Senate under Mitch McConnell since Donald Trump took office, and rescind all pardons and clemency orders issued by Donald Trump.

4. Who would you get to play you in a film of your life and why?

This is a tough one. I would need at least three actors, one to play the young Fandango, one to play the prime of my life Fandango, and one to play the old, senior citizen Fandango. I think the young Fandango might be Haley Joel Osment from the movie “The Sixth Sense.” Not because I see dead people, though. I just liked that movie and his role in it. The prime of my life Fandango might be played by Paul Newman because he was handsome (like me?), had amazing blue eyes (like me!), and was a great actor (unlike me, although at one time I thought I wanted to be a great actor). As far as the old Fandango, I’d probably go with Wilford Brimley. Not because I look or am anything like him, but because, you know, like Oatmeal, it’s the right thing to do.FFD5684E-CC22-4A8E-A80E-2A09CECBB5D6

5. Do think it is a good or bad idea for a writer to use a pen name for different genres/styles of book?

I use a pen name for my blog, so I think it’s a fine idea.

6. Do you enjoy spicy food?

Mildly spicy. If food is very spicy, it makes the top of my head sweat.

7. What would you want your Epitaph to say?


If any of you want to take a shot at these same questions, go for it.

Holy Barnabas!

656DCFC8-F002-4A5E-B7BD-6FAE62D8DB73Sadje, over at Keep It Alive, was kind enough to gift me with the Barnabas Award, an award that is given to those bloggers who encourage and inspire their readers.

As a recipient of this award, I’m supposed to:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and share their blog.
  • Think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire you and nominate them.
  • List five things about yourself.
  • Ask your nominees five questions.

I will thank Sadje — thank you, Sadje. I will also reveal five things about myself. I will also answer Sadje’s five questions. But I will not nominate five bloggers. Instead, I will nominate any and all bloggers and encourage them to participate, which I hope will inspire them to do so.

Okay, ready, set, go:

Five things about me:

  1. I blog anonymously
  2. I am male
  3. I am a baby boomer
  4. I am retired
  5. I am amazing

And now for my answers to Sadje’s questions:

How important it is to reinforce self belief in oneself and others?

I am of the opinion that we each should believe in ourselves, and that must come from within, not from anyone else. It’s not my role to reinforce self-belief in others.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

Right now, I’m inspired by the potential impeachment of Donald Trump, which is becoming more and more likely on a daily basis.

How can we inspire our young generation to do the right thing for our planet?

Simple. Stop telling them that climate change is a hoax, is not real, and that the future of our planet — and their futures — is not at stake. Tell them to listen to what 97% of climate scientists say about climate change instead of listening to know-nothing climate change deniers (i.e., conservative Republicans).

What do you think about teaching moral and ethical values to our children in schools?

I think it’s fine to make kids in school aware of what it means to behave ethically and responsibly. As to teaching morals, though, that’s a different story. The teaching of morals generally has a religious aspect to it, and I think it’s a parent’s role, not a school’s role  — at least not a public school’s role — to teach their children moral values.

What is more important in life, intelligence or hard work?

I would say that this shouldn’t be an “or” question, as both are important. Some people are very intelligent and work very hard. Others can be very intelligent and lazy as shit. And some people might not be that intelligent, but work very hard. And then there are those, like Donald Trump, who are dumb as shit and don’t work very hard.

So has this post inspired and encouraged you, or what?

Lost Nomination

Visualization of poof sound with big fluffy cloudA kind blogger nominated me this morning for some blog award, but it went right to my spam folder and I accidentally permanently deleted it while cleaning out my spam. Poof, it’s gone.

If it was you, and you still think, after I deleted your nomination, that I deserve it, please resend your nomination.

Sorry about that.

Five Questions

B9EA338B-FCE7-46B9-B463-B26ECE73F00BSo Marilyn, over at one of my favorite blogs, Serendipity, was nominated for a blog award. The Mystery Blogger Award, I think. Anyway, she wrote a post about it and in that post she asked five interesting questions and suggested to any of her followers who are so inclined to answer her questions. And I thought, “why not.”

Here are her five questions and my five answers.

1. Why did you begin blogging? What got you started? What keeps you doing it?

I actually started my first blog in 2005 and have been blogging on and off ever since. I started because I enjoy expressing myself in writing. I started this blog last May after a nearly three year hiatus. I had retired at the end of 2016 and my wife told me that my hanging around the house all day with nothing to do was driving her nuts. So she suggested that I start a new blog to occupy my time and to get me out of her hair.

2. What — if anything — do you hope to gain from blogging? If you think you are going to get rich, I might not stop laughing until sometime next week.

I don’t have any particular blogging goals in mind (other than to keep me busy and out of my wife’s hair). Sure, it would be nice if someone wanted to throw wheelbarrows full of money in my direction so that I’d keep on blogging, but the odds of that happening are even lower than the odds of my winning the Powerball lottery. And yet, I still buy a pick-six ticket twice a week.

3. What do you do in the blog world that makes you feel the most proud?

I am especially proud when I go back and read some of my older posts and see that I don’t have any typos, misspellings, or grammar and/or punctuation errors.  

4. What makes you follow a blog?

I enjoy following bloggers who consistently post informative, entertaining, witty, well-reasoned, well-written, and provocative posts. I also enjoy creative and imaginative flash fiction posts.

5. Do you regard the people you meet online as real (not-virtual) friends?

This is a most interesting question. I blog anonymously. I have no interest whatsoever in meeting other bloggers face-to-face in the real world. On the other hand, behind every blog is a real person. When you read what others are saying, thinking, feeling, and doing on a regular basis, and when you interact through comments, it’s nearly impossible not to forge some kind of bond. While I would be unlikely to invite the people I meet online over to my house for drinks and dinner, I do enjoy and cherish the community of bloggers I have met here. However, unlike non-virtual friends, bloggers sometime just stop blogging. They suddenly disappear and when that happens, I find that I miss them and their absence saddens me. I’m not sure if this answers Marilyn’s question, but I’d like to think that there’s something very real going on here. 

It’s an Honor to be Nominated


Cheryl over at The Bag Lady decided to include me in her list of recipients she chose to pass on the Sunshine Blogger Award. I’m honored, of course, although given the political nature of many of my posts lately, I’m not sure I’ve offered much in the way of sunshine into anyone’s life.

As with most things in life, there are rules. For this “award,” they are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate new bloggers to receive the award and compose new questions for them to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post or on your blog.

Here are the questions Cheryl asked:

Why did you start blogging?

One of the reasons I started this blog is because I’m retired, which affords me the discretionary time to write that I didn’t have when I was working full time. I now have time on my hands to exercise my writing skills, such as they are. I have opinions and I like to express myself. And I tend to be able to do so better in writing than verbally. So blogging is the perfect medium for me to use to share my observations, express my opinions, exercise my mind, and demonstrate my creativity.

What’s your favorite type of blog to read?

I enjoy reading posts that demonstrate wit, imagination, and intelligence. I also like reading posts from bloggers who know how to tell compelling stories.

What did you first expect from starting a blog and is it any different at the present time?

My initial expectations for this blog were to post, as my tag line says, “random musings on life, society, and politics.” I didn’t expect that I’d be posting as much flash fiction in response to prompts as I have been. But I really enjoy using my imagination to come up with stories triggered from pictures and words. That’s been a lot of fun.

Okay, I’ve now complied with rules 1, 2, and 4. But when it comes to rule #3, I have a problem. There are simply too many worthy bloggers who bring a little bit of sunshine into my life each day to come up with a select few to nominate for this award. So, I am officially declaring each and every one of you who is reading this post — and you know who you are — to be a nominee for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Should you choose to accept this nomination, be sure to follow the rules, including, if you wish to, answering the same three questions I was asked by Cheryl:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What’s your favorite type of blog to read?
  3. What did you first expect from starting a blog and is it any different at the present time?