Sunday, September 30, 2007

And they said it wouldn't last

This blog is now in its third day and still going strong. Will it reach its third week, its third month, its third year? Nobody knows. I will say this about myself: I am by nature a procastinator. I tend to put things off, delay the inevitable, wait until the last minute. But this work style of mine always produced superior results in my particular workplace. Of course, it drove the bosses crazy. The pressure I created for myself all by myself seemed to give me just the right incentive to excel. Oh, and work fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours (I'm kidding, sort of). I retired from the daily grind seven years ago. My work was of the mental kind, not the physical kind, but I came home each day exhausted and the long commute didn't help. When I retired, I said to my wife, "I don't want to see a sunrise or a rush hour for at least six months." And pretty much, I didn't. I tend to have high highs and low lows. I've learned to control, or at least deal with, mood swings to a certain extent, but at one time my life, internally at least, was a little like a roller coaster. Did I just describe manic-depressive, which these days people call bipolar? And some might even call me obsessive-compulsive. Like my old work buddy who used to rearrange things on my desk just to see how long it would take me to put things back in order, at just the right angle, in parallel lines. Really.

So I'm elated that the blog is in its third day. I said above that nobody knows how long it will last. That's not true. God does. Jehovah God, Yahweh, YHWH, I am that I am, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha-Mashiach), and the Holy Spirit Who indwells me, the Paraclete, the One called alongside to help, the One who Jesus said is with you and shall be in you. The Triune God is from everlasting to everlasting and knows the end from the beginning; He knows exactly how long my blog will last.

So now some of you think I am a kook and some of you are quietly praising the Lord. And some of you not so quietly. I'll try not to make the blog all about me, me, me, though. After all, He must increase, but I must decrease.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A rose by any other name

In case you were wondering about the blogname, what rhymes with plague is my name, and no, my name isn't Greg or Craig or Meg, not that there would be anything wrong with that. My name is Robert. Robert Henry, in fact. But no one calls me that. Everyone calls me Bob, except friends from my childhood who still call me Bobby. I hate it when that happens. I guess in Spanish my name would be Roberto Enrico and in French it would be something like Ro-bair Anh-ree. But I digress. It's my surname, Brague, that rhymes with plague. I've been called Brahg (as in Prague, Czechoslovakia, or I guess that should be Czech Republic) and Brah-goo and Brah-gay and Brock (by people who must think the 'g' is a 'q'), Bruh-zhay, and even Buh-rah-guh. Whatever. The most common mispronunciation over the years, though, perhaps because I've lived most of my life in the southern part of the U.S., has been Bragg, as in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which I believe was named after the Confederate General, Braxton Bragg. Or maybe not.

So, anyway, I tried to devise a way to help people remember the correct pronunciation (well, MY family's pronunciation, at least, because I also learned that there is a river in France called La Brague that is probably pronounced Brahg, given what little I understand about European vowels -- you know, ah, ay, ee, oh, oo). I tried saying that my name "rhymes with ham and egg" but people began spelling it Bregg. I bet Sean Hannity (rhymes with sanity, inanity, manatee) has the same trouble with his first name; I bet he has to tell people that Sean doesn't rhyme with lean, mean, green machine, it rhymes with on the lawn at dawn I saw a fawn. Well, as Ronald Reagan said, there I go again. Digressing, I mean. Actually, he said, "There YOU go again," and he wasn't talking about digressing and he said it in 1980 to Jimmy Carter during a debate. I finally decided to tell people that my name "rhymes with plague" because not only does that give them a leg up on the correct spelling (a mnemonic device, as it were), I think it also conveys just the right level of irritation I have with needing to tell them in the first place.


Friday, September 28, 2007

And so it begins...

Today is Friday, September 28, 2007. I have finally decided to begin my very own blog, and not a minute too soon, either. At sixty-six-and-one-half years old, I may soon be entering the second half of my life. FYI, as they say, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at 13885.63, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 2701.50, the Standard & Poor 500 closed at 1526.75, the Amex closed at 2410.19, and the Russell 2000 closed at 805.45. A passage from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland comes to mind:

'What do you know about this business?' the King said to Alice.

'Nothing,' said Alice.

'Nothing whatever?' persisted the King.

'Nothing whatever,' said Alice.

'That's very important,' the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: 'Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course,' he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke.

'Unimportant, of course, I meant,' the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, 'important--unimportant--unimportant--important--' as if he were trying which word sounded best.

Some of the jury wrote it down 'important,' and some 'unimportant.' Alice could see this, as she was near enough to look over their slates; 'but it doesn't matter a bit,' she thought to herself.

As it happens, I know nothing about either the stock market or the world of blogging. Nothing whatever. However, may it please the court, some things are very important to me, and some things are very unimportant. It is my hope that you, the jury, will enjoy the journey on which we are about to embark. I'll try my best not to bore you along the way. I rest my case.

I will be laboring (<i>British,</i> labouring) under a handicap for the next couple of weeks (<i>British,</i> fortnight)

More about that below. First, though, I want to add an addendum (what else would you do with an addendum?) to my previous post about phone...