Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fire Blogging

July wasn't a very productive month for blogging for the LumpenProf. My attention hasn't been online -- which isn't really a terrible thing. But I've started to miss my online exchanges, so it's time to start back again. August will be a much better month to blog, I think, if for no other reason than that I'll need the distraction from all the other reading and writing I ought to be doing to get ready for the school year.

This afternoon I'm burning a pile of lumber scraps in the front yard. Somehow, blogging on the front porch swing while drinking a beer and listening to the amazingly loud pops and cracks of some of the venerable, but sadly useless and rotting, American Chestnut boards on the bonfire seems like the thing to do.

I haven't really posted since I got tagged by the Combat Philosopher for the 8 things meme. Like the CP, I'm also somewhat ambivalent about these memes, since they seem to be the blog equivalent of chain letters. But since they are mostly harmless and innocuous chain letters, I'll play along. With one proviso. I hereby proclaim that I will accept any and all resulting bad karma for any of the folks I tag who do not wish to play. So, without further ado, here are eight lumpenfacts about the LumpenProf:

  1. I'm currently learning to play clawhammer banjo. It's strangely relaxing. Plus, I have a beautiful old Luscomb banjo from the 1890's that's nice to hold and plunk on.
  2. Another musical factoid, in college I once played guitar with a blues band that played in the bar where the bloody final shootout would be filmed for Robert Rodriguez' Desperado. As I recall, we set up right about where Antonio Banderas leaves the pile of dead bodies.
  3. I once shook hands with the father of the voice of Alvin the Chipmunk.
  4. I went to grad school with Mr. Limited, Inc. who is still the smartest man I know.
  5. I habitually read Catch-22. I don't know why.
  6. Sometimes, when I'm feeling happy, I brew beer. It's pretty good beer too.
  7. Wherever I am, but especially when I'm traveling, strangers stop me on the street to ask me directions. I used to think this happened to everyone. But evidently not. I must look either exceptionally knowledgeable, or exceptionally harmless. Or both.
  8. I can handle a snake whip.
Now I will pass on this dubious honor to the following eight bloggers: Limited, Inc., What in the hell, Wildly Parenthetical, Professor Zero, Genderquake, notes of a neophyte, I think and it is so, and Academic Cog. You are all cordially invited to post eight things about yourselves on your blogs and then tag eight more poor unsuspecting bloggers out there.


  1. LP,
    Thanks for playing. By the way, if you are learning to play Clawhammer Banjo, then you should give Mike West a listen. He is a very old friend of mine and an excellent banjo player. If you follow the links to his CDs, then you can listen to some samples.

    I also strongly recommend his lyrics too. Perhaps, under the circumstances, you should especially take a look at the words to Move Along.

    The Combat Philosopher

  2. Yay Banjo!

    I'm recording/producing an album for a guy and one of the things he does is play banjo; banjo is a hard instrument to play well, so have fun. I want to get one some day, though the accordion is pressing... well, atualkly getting a decent snare drum is really more pressing, but my wife has take up the accordion so I want better one. Anyhow, isn't it nice to have good old instruments?

    As much as I like to read your postings, just say no to the online,
    Lumpenproducer John Reeve

  3. Thanks for the Mike West link CP! I'm going to have to start augmenting my banjo music collection very soon I see.

  4. Yay Banjo! I'm glad to hear you're a banjo fan too John. Will we get to hear any samples or music videos from the album you're producing?

    I can also understand the conflict between wanting a banjo and wanting an accordion. Both are much maligned, but secretly hip instruments. In fact, one of my secret fantasies is to form a power(less)-trio composed of banjo, accordion, and bagpipes. I even have a band name all picked out, Dreadlicks. Perhaps one day the world will be ready for such music.

  5. Thanks for item no. 4, Mr. LP - although you forgot to add the saving "stupidest", as in 'stupidest smart guy." In practical matters, I have a pretty low level of cunning, comparable to that of a dying mollusk.

    Anyway, I think I've already done what this tag-meme wants me to do in various posts over the years.

    Believing in blog solidarity and party game challenges up to and including peyote twister, I'll try to come up with some list.

  6. I also think they're somewhat like chain letters, and I've been tagged for one like this before - here -

    And for this very one, here:

    Some of the answers to that one are kind of outdated / ephemeral / and I was p.o'd at the person who had tagged me at the time for other reasons. The essay on why I do not like the "meme" kicks ass, though.

    The best way to handle this one I've seen is to make it more specific - i.e. 8 things I like about Mexico City, 8 things I like about meditation, etc. - it's more interesting.

    Anyway, though, thanks for thinking of me and I *will* think about doing it again but I will have to think up some new stuff to say that
    isn't too ultra revealing. Let's see:

    1. I am strongly opposed to the 12 steps, as my recent blog entries show.
    2. My house is, more or less, a craftsman's cottage.
    3. I have several old friends who now have blogs. We are all anonymous and on line act as if we did not know each other IRL and did not talk on the phone more than on blogs - but we do.
    4. I have met in person four individuals I originally only knew through blogs. One was much weirder than their blog, two were more or less like their blogs, and one was much more interesting in person than on their blog.
    5. I like really big cities much more than the average person seems to do.
    6. I like yard work, hiking, and swimming.
    7. I am a rather good interior decorator (uh-oh, I think I've used that one before). OK, I hate automatic transmission, and like trains.
    8. I have a colleague with a blog. It isn't anonymous, that is how I know it is hers for sure. I didn't know she had it until she showed up commenting on mine. She does not realize my blog is mine. I am not planning to tell her, things are more fun this way.
    BONUS. There is a non-anonymous blogger I would like to meet in person. I am just waiting for the opportunity.