The Award goes to..

I’ve been lax about writing anything on the blog lately, but I’ll just have to blame this persistent cold that everyone in the house has had since Thanksgiving.  It’s exhausting taking care of a 3 year old who has  a hacking cough when you have one yourself.  I usually blog at the end of the day, but lately I’ve just been flopping into bed myself within five minutes of when Mr. C goes to sleep.  So that’s my excuse for taking two weeks to  write this post about having The Leibster Award passed onto me by Janine of Shambolic Living .    And I’ll also apologize in advance if I happen to ramble incoherently in this post.   It’s just due to this crazy cold that just…. won’t… go …away!

First, a thank you to Janine.    I can’t remember how I found Janine’s blog, but I read each post as it arrives in my inbox.  I’ve learned a lot about blogging from her site, and we’ve exchanged some advice on the technical aspects of self hosting as well.  I only wish I could be as humorous as she is!

So here’s what I have to do a part of the awards process:

  • Answer the 11 questions asked of me
  • Post 11 random things about myself
  • Nominate 11 more up and coming bloggers – they are supposed to have less than 200 followers.
  • Notify them and link them back to this post.
  • Create 11 new questions for these bloggers to answer.
  • Tag backs are not allowed.

Random Things About Me:

1 – My Boston accent is the source of much amusement for Ms. J.  (I gotta go pahhk the cahhh!)

2 –  I actually do like being a Stay At Home Dad – most of the time anyway.

3 – There are more than 1,200 photos waiting to be downloaded on my iPhone.

4 – I’m a snob, (Ms. J says “no, you’re “discerning”)  but I’m cheap (“frugal”), so I don’t actually buy much of anything.

5 – My Christmas list includes just one thing; a garden rake from Sneeboer. That’s a garden tool company in Holland.   I doubt anyone is going to get that, oh well.

6 – I love children’s books, so a lot of the books on Mr. C’s list are actually for me.

7 – I’m hoping my car will last for another 100K miles.  11 years and 200K so far.  See, I’m cheap.

8 –  OK, there’s another thing on my Christmas list, Stroopwafels!  (Also from Holland.)

9 –  2 ounces of Pimm’s, 1 ounce of Plymouth Gin, 5 ounces of Tonic Water, 1 slice of lime.

10 – I think I want to go to Holland.  Belgium would be nice to, throw in France and you have a nice long vacation!

11 – Ms. J tells me that I’m a good cook.

Janine’s questions for me are:

1 Why Blog ?

- I started blogging for two reasons.  One,  to keep from going completely insane from a lack of adult interaction since I was spending the vast majority of my time with my then 2 year old son all day.   Whew!  Mission accomplished, I don’t think I am insane yet!

Two, to try to learn something new.  J reads a lot of blogs and always has new stories about the bloggers she follows.  So she encouraged me to start one of my own.  I think her motivation was to try to avoid the pending insanity, but also to get me to learn about something new.  I had never read any blogs, never heard of WordPress, barely did anything on social media besides put up two pictures a year on Facebook.  It took a few months, but her persistence paid off and after about a month I finally figured out how to set up a self hosted blog.   Now I’m trying to do more of this social media stuff, and have finally set up a Twitter account.  Whoo hoo!  Go me!

2 – What is the best part of the blogging experience?

When I started the blog, I was actually more interested in the technical aspects of it; where to host it, what kind of software to use, how to set up the various add ons, that kind of thing.  But once I did all that I didn’t really think that people would actually want to “follow” the blog. So it is very gratifying when someone does decide to write a comment, or even follow the blog.  I’ve also been able to meet a variety of people, all over the world, who I would never have been able to talk to otherwise.

3 – How do you find the blogging community ?

Good question, I’m not sure if I’m doing a good job at that.  The good thing about WordPress is that they help bloggers find like minded people with their own internal search engines, where you can enter the tag words  or categories you’re interested in and find those bloggers writing about what you like.  Since I’m self hosting, I’m not getting that exposure, so I have to go out there and try to get it other ways, hence the new Twitter account.  I do tend to blog late at night, after putting Mr. C to bed, when I’m half awake anyway, so it’s been a slow process!

4 – Bloke’s night out – where would you go!

(Janine is in Australia, so that’s where the “bloke” is from!)

Pre-baby, I would often see foreign language movies with a friend of mine at  The Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then have lunch at Mr. Bartley’s.  Mr. Bartley’s has the best burgers in the world.  No, I don’t care what you say, the place you go to is not as good.  These are  better.  Cheeseburger, fries, giant chocolate shake.  I can’t have dinner after that, too full.  And yes, I did say ‘lunch’, we’re both cheap, so we would see the less expensive matinee show and then have lunch.

5 – Favorite place in the world ?

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

There’s a convergence of a variety of cultures in Santa Fe, which means the food is incredible since there’s so much competition!  The scenery isn’t too bad either.

6 Top three people you would like to invite over for dinner?

Frederik Pohl, John McPhee, and Werner Herzog.

Frederik Pohl is a Science-Fiction author who has been active since the late 1930′s.  I’m sure he would have some great stories!  He also has his own blog too: The Way The Future Blogs.   I wonder if I’ll still be blogging at 93 years old ?

John McPhee is also a writer, though of non-fiction.  He can make any subject interesting, tennis, lacrosse, long distance truck driving, the Swiss Army, Russian art, Alaska, he even has a series of books on Geology.  Anyone who can make a book on Geology as interesting as he did deserves a Pulitzer, which he did win.

When I see a Werner Herzog film, I also try to then get the DVD and listen to the commentary track.  His films, especially his documentaries, are focused on people who have an obsession.  I’d recommend ‘Little Dieter Needs to Fly’.

If such a dinner actually happened, I wonder if Herzog would then make a movie about Pohl, McPhee would write a book about German documentary films, and Pohl would write a blog post about the dinner itself.

7 – Last Book You Read ?

‘A New Lease on Life’ by Georges Simenon.  Hmmm, I’m seeing a pattern here, Simenon is someone else who wrote about people who were obsessed.  I read one or two Simenon’s a year.  At that rate, I’ll never run out since he wrote something like 200 books.

8 – What’s your fashion style?

I’m frequently the recipient of a 3 year old’s projectiles, wether it’s food, or anything else he might come across.  Since he has a cold now, he’s wiped his nose on my sleeve several times. Why my sleeve ?  So he wouldn’t get his sleeve dirty.  Most of my shirts have some kind of stain on them now.  So my fashion style is whatever I find in the bureau that is somewhat clean that day.

I haven’t bought any clothes in the past three years either, so I’m getting a little raggy too.  And to add to that, I’ve lost about 40 pounds since Mr. C was born, so If I had to describe it in  three words it would be “Ill-fitting, Crusty, and Threadbare”.

9 – If you could swap places with anyone in the world who would it be? Why ?

I went with the “serious answer” for the dinner invite question above, so I’ll go with the not so serious route here and say Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer  of The Walkmen.  Answering the style question above reminded me what a snappy dresser he is.    He makes it look so easy.


10 – You’ve won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would do ?

Buy some new clothes, and then we’d move to Santa Fe.


11 Are you a cat person or a dog person ?

I’m a dog person living in a house filled with cats.  I’m convinced that the cats know that I’m a dog person too.  This must explain why they try to smother me every night by sitting on my head.


And now, to the passing of the torch.    In Janine’s post about the award, she pointed out that 93% of bloggers in Australia are women.  I wonder if that’s true in the US too ?   Maybe we’re just not as social as women ?   So that’s the excuse I’ll use when the WordPress Police come to take away my award, because I’m supposed to send this out to 11 other bloggers.   11!   I’m trying to send this on to other bloggers who I think may not have received a lot of these award things, so I’m just going to pass it on to three others.  Check them all out, all of interest and worthy of your blogging time:



Kaggy’s Bookish Ramblings



And the 11 questions for these three to answer:  (1 is a duplicate of Janine’s list, another award violation!)

1 – Why do you blog ?

2 – Do you tell your family and friends about your blog ?

3 – What are your plans for 2013 ?

4 – Has your taste in music changed over the years ?

5 – If you had to choose between being invisible or being able to fly which would you choose ?

6 – If you were an animal which animal would you be ?

7 – Do you collect anything ?

8 – If you had a time machine, which time in history would you like to go to ?

9 – Would you travel to a country where you do not speak the language ?

10 – What’s your favorite tree ?

11 – What was the last movie you saw ?


Ok, anyone still reading ?    1,700 words so far.  Whew…

I’ll leave you with this video of Werner Herzog reading one of my favorite children’s books.  (It’s not really Herzog, but it is very funny.)




The Award goes to.. — 15 Comments

  1. Hi Peter!!!
    First, Congratulations!!! Not only for your nomination, but for the nice way you have solved it!!! I have learned so many things about you reading your answers…
    Second, thanks SO much for thinking about my blog!!! I am honored!!! I will try to answer to everything during this week (if the elements are not against me again!!!) :)
    Take a lot of care…There are many wild viruses out there!!!

    • Thanks very much!

      It took me about two weeks to do my post after Janine forwarded me the award, so there’s no rush!

      I should have also let you know that you can pull that ‘award’ off the post too, to display it on your own post. It’s only a jpeg file o you should be able to just copy it and save it to your desktop.

  2. John McPhee- brillant!
    I’ve read a few of his books and I think you are right he would be a fascinating dinner guest!
    Also about shot my Diet Coke out my nose when I got to “ill fitting, crusty and threadbare” if that counts as a fashion style I’ll have to admit that it applies to me as well! :)

    • Good! I’m going for the soda out the nose effect, thanks! Maybe I should come up with a new clothing line, call it something cool like ICT for Ill-fitting, crusty, threadbare!

      I don’t think I can think of a McPhee book that I haven’t liked.

  3. Wow! I feel so honored. Thank you. I will be happy to complete the questionnaire when I get home. We are traveling in the car right now. I hope tomorrow will be ok. ~Debi

    • Also, I should let you know that you should be able to make a copy of the ‘award’ artwork to display on your own post if you want to. It’s just a jpeg file, so you should be able to make a copy to your desktop and then dowload it to your post.

    • I had no idea how long it would take to complete the list of new questions! Some of them are actually questions I used to ask job applicants at a former job. You can learn a lot about someone by asking them ‘What kind of animal would you be?’.