Sep 302015

Day 10 finds me at the Midtown Scholar updating everyone over a cup o’ Joe.  WARNING:  I am NOT photogenic.  Still, this is easier for me than typing away at a keyboard right now, so, tough tamales!  😉


Midtown Scholar Front Sep 30 2015

The Midtown Scholar – My Favorite Place!

Midtown Interior Sept 30 2015

The view from the coffee bar.


Sep 182015

Francis Bacon — ‘Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink,old friends to trust and old authors to read.’

I don’t even know if this accurate, as history can be as much plagiarism and guesswork as fact, but I still like it.  And it comes from a smart guy (he was Shakespeare, you know), so it brings the imprimatur of erudition.  In other words, it’s got a bit of that razzle-dazzle that wows others into thinking you’re actually smart yourself.  😉

More importantly, it brings to mind a quiet fall weekend in a secluded cabin in the woods.  You’re there, hanging out with your friends, reading a good book, and enjoying a few drinks, all while a fireplace is crackling and popping contentedly in the background.  It sounds like Heaven to me.  Now that I think about it, I really should look into putting something like that together for October.  Hmm…

Hey Bill, can you cover for me?

I’m classy, no?

Sep 152015

This writing challenge asks us to talk about where and how we write.  And with that, I give you my ‘happy place’ where the Muse pays me a visit.  That, or it’s just really damned comfortable and I’m really damned lazy.  Either way, here’s where most of my writing gets done

Sloth is definitely my favorite sin.

Sloth is definitely my favorite sin.

I used to think how super-cool and inspirational it would be to write at a coffee shop or some other public place.  But after trying it a few times, I had come to terms with the fact that all I wanted to do was drink coffee and people watch.  No, more often than not, I just wind up sitting or lying down on this thing and typing away.  The blue light is supposed to help with improving one’s mood.  We shall see.

Sep 112015

Day 5 asks us to center a post around a Twitter embed.  Sure thing!

Humor on Twitter’s something of an art form.  Fitting an a clever aside or a witty aphorism in 140 characters is quite a challenge.  Nihilist Arby’s rises to it brilliantly.

It can be ready as tragic or horrifying.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hilarious, too.  Personally, I find dark humor to be therapeutic.

We’re doomed.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about it.

Sep 102015

Okay, day 4 of this here challenge lies right in the ol’ wheelhouse, yessiree!

It all started about a year-and-a-half ago.  I got a ride from a coworker to a local garage to get my car picked up for some repairs needed for it to pass inspection.  It was on the way in that I saw this:

So perfect.

I love “Coming to America” as the next person raised in the 80s, but not as much as this guy.  And I’m willing to bet that it was a guy.  Honestly, I can’t see any woman putting that on her plate.  I could be wrong, but somehow I doubt it.

Shortly afterwards, I started this blog.  It was then that it suggested by the good folks at that a recurring feature is a good way to attract followers and build a “brand” for one’s blog.  All of this had merit, but, more than that, it meant that I would get to make snide, bitchy remarks about people’s vanity plates.  And oh Lord in Heaven has the Harrisburg area been obliging!  I’ve posted almost 150 of these pictures – three per post with very few exceptions – and I still keep coming across more.  A friend of mine recently pointed out the obvious in that we’re so close to the DMV that is makes it exceptionally easy for people to get these things (Harrisburg is Pennsylvania’s state capital).  Still, it’s remarkable in a way how strong everyone’s desire is to stand out.  I’m sure some clever soul could produce some riff on this being part of the Society of the Spectacle.  All I can really do is chuckle.  And, as snotty-nosed as I can get, I realize that I’ve got my little vanities as well.  But still, what else am I gonna with my time?  I’m too old to go out blowing cash on decadent pursuits every night.  I’ve neither the constitution nor the wallet for that.  No, instead I’m just sitting in the balcony, pointing and laughing for fun and entertainment.

Hardly a novel approach, I admit.

Hardly a novel approach, I admit.

And really, when you come across gems like these, how can you resist?


Some seem to want to hitch their wagon to a strong identity:


When Branding Goes Very, Very Wrong.

Some plates (unintentionally) cultivate an air of mystery:


Either this person owns a Brown Newfoundland dog or is proud of being born in Newfoundland. Considering the jokes that other Canadians make at the expense of "Newfies", I'm guessing the latter. Still, one never knows.

Either this person owns a Brown Newfoundland dog or is proud of being born in Newfoundland. Considering the jokes that other Canadians make at the expense of “Newfies”, I’m guessing the former. Still, one never knows.



And still others seem to beg your indulgence:

Ok, fine, I'll hear you out. But this had better be damned good - I'm on a clock, you know.

Ok, fine, I’ll hear you out. But this had better be damned good – I’m on a clock, you know.

Yup, Harrisburg and its surrounding area has vanity.  Lots and lots of vanity.  So, if you’re looking to score a few points with a quick anthropological or sociological study or just looking to kill time with a cheap, easy, and wholly legal hobby, it’s the place to be! Toodles, all!

Sep 082015

Ok, here we go, day 2 of this assignments wants us to make a list.  Fair enough.  Here’s a (subjective) list about what I’ve learned about depression:

  • Depression Lies – As Grant Morrison once said, we are not our emotions.  We may feel like crap at any moment, but we all need to take that feeling with a grain of salt.  That’s because depression lies.
  • You’re not alone – It’s a cliché’ but it’s also true.  There are more people than you think that wrestle with this illness.  If you doubt this, find a support group in your area and go to a meeting.  You’ll be surprised at the cross-section of people you meet.
  • Routines Help – Getting into a routine protects one from the tendency towards inertia that depression creates.  Having a regular schedule forces you to get up do something when you’d rather just sit there.  And when you just sit there, you start to think.  And then you begin to think the worst as often as not.  Structured activities and a timetable help to fight this.
  • Self-Care is not Self-Indulgence – There are times when you will want just sit back and relax and treat yourself.  Go right ahead and do it.  Being good to yourself is beneficial, even if that means breaking your routine a bit.  However…
  • Self-Care includes Self-Discipline – There are many times when you won’t want to do anything.  You won’t want to do routine tasks like cleaning your bathroom sink or exercising.  This is a trap.  You’ve got to do your best to push through that and do what needs to be done.
  • It’s not all or nothing – You’ll make mistakes along the way.  Sometimes you’ll fall behind in keeping up with a routine, sometimes you won’t cut yourself some slack when you need to, and sometimes you’ll believe the lies Depression is telling you.  This doesn’t mean you’ve failed.  It just means that you slipped a little.  The key is to realize that you’re not perfect and to forgive yourself and keep working.  This is because…
  • Battling Depression is a process, not a goal – There will be good days and there will be bad days, but what matters the most is to stick with what’s working for you regardless of how high or low you are at that particular moment.  I liken it to running – there are days when I feel as if I am gliding effortlessly and then there are days when I feel like I’m carrying a 50 pound weight behind me.  It’s like that with Depression: You shouldn’t decide to quit because you think you don’t need to work at it anymore or because you’ll feel like it’s just not working.  Either way, you have to keep trying.

And that is a list of what I think I’ve learned about depression.  Feel free to tell me what you think about it, however.  I could always you some good advice and/or insights.


Yup, I've been there.

Yup, I’ve been there.

Dec 082014

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “One at a Time.”

Wow, crap, this is tough!  I can’t even begi…, start.  Let me think.  How is this?

Brief words, strong and true.

I think I like to Tweet more.

That takes much less thought.

There, how was that?