Monday, December 29, 2008

Hello World!

As it is the first program that any person working with computers eventually writes, it only seems fitting that I begin my "story" with a hello world statement... Hello world!

As I write this, the world is very caught up in the laboring gears of an economy destined--or so it would seem if you listen to "The End is Nigh" cries--for another Great Depression. It also seems that machine, dieseling relentlessly to a stall, is doing its best to catch us in it, like some chickens getting caught in the gears of an over-large government subsidized corn combine... just one of the anonymous flock going in... and less identifiable coming out the other end.

:: Mmm... a third ever sip ever(1) of absinthe... strangely soothing(2) ::

Where was I? Ah, yes. "As I write this" musings. This evening, I am spending it as I regularly do, sitting on the bed beside my snoozing wife thinking about the day ahead and inevitably reaching for the laptop that is seldom more than a few paces away. (Yes, yes, I am typing on said laptop this very moment... I am merely painting the picture, you see.)
:: A little taste of that absinthe... mmm... nice ::

Tonight, however, I was heartily prodded in the ribs by a particularly feisty muse who told me I should finally consider this "blogging" thing and share my thoughts, (mis)adventures, and observations with my family, friends, and the Internet's random passers-by. "Give them an idea of what's going on. You're horrible at keeping in touch with people and it may be a way to reach out. Besides, as you grow older, your community of friends is growing more scattered... like autumn leaves fallen from the tree and randomly picked up by a gusty breeze of change and dropped somewhere else. Sure, they have some faint tie to the tree they grew from, but a bit of chaos has intervened and stretched the tie a bit longer, a bit thinner." Let me come back to the feisty muse in a moment.

So tonight, I read to my son, from a book I read myself when I wasn't much older than he is now. "The Hobbit", and he's just barely turned five. I think he can handle it. The detail might be a bit much for him, but we read a couple of pages each night, then we talk about it briefly and he can ask any questions that are on his mind. Besides, I was about his age, maybe a little older, when I read this book in kindergarten. I distinctly remember putting "Island of the Blue Dolphins" back on the bookshelf of my elementary school's library, thinking it was too easy, and letting my eyes wander the spines of the books in front of me. It must have been that classic dust jacket that caught my eye.

I admit it. I was hooked on Tolkien back then. Once my parents bought me my first Dungeons & Dragons books two years later, I was hopelessly lost in the fantastic realms of someone's imagination, be it in a fiction novel, fiendish D&D dungeon, or some random musing that crossed my brain.

:: Aw... the last of the shot of absinthe. Is that what this stuff does? Muse juice?::

Anyway, I found it uplifting, to read "The Hobbit" to my son and escape the doldrums of this world with him to fascinating weavings of someone else's imagination. So far, so good. For both of us.

I also indulged the muse, creating this Blogger account, and doing my part to send some strengthening ties through the aether to those scattered leaves I don't often see or speak to. Or even to those who I do see every now and then. Perhaps even to those I have never met and will probably never meet if it wasn't for the world wide web.

Hello world!

(1) For those who know me, I'm not much of a "liquor" guy. More accurately, I'm a beer aficionado... beer connoisseur... beer snob. Whatever. I do enjoy the occasional red wine, port, or mead but, for the most part, it's ale for me. Especially the spiced holiday ales.

(2) Strangely soothing... It's hard to explain why I am getting pelted by this "flavor memory" of spending time with my late grandparents, but the flavor of absinthe is doing just that. I can picture myself, maybe as a boy of about thirteen or so, entering through the nutmeg-infused kitchen of their old Victorian farmhouse, walking through the dining room with the built-in china cabinets and big red glass candy dish, into the sitting room. I see them both, slightly reclined in their chairs, with their subtle, gentle smiles looking back at me. Soothing. Strangely soothing. What is has to do with absinthe, I could only guess. Since they didn't have much, if any alcohol in their house, I'd wager it has to do with my Grandma's use of spices in her cooking. Nutmeg was a big part of her cuisine. Her use of spices I have completely embraced, probably to the extreme... I use entirely too much, sometimes accidentally stumbling over the line into bitter, pungent and unpalatable dishes.