Weekend Coffee Share: Three Forms of Madness


If we were having coffee, I’d be going “god bless! It’s been more than two weeks since I published a post, and three since I’ve joined the #WeekendCoffeeShare.


I’ve been thinking I have a time management problem for awhile now, and I probably do. But I understand time management and I do my best to manage the time I have productively. At this point, I’m viewing the time problem in the same way I view the financial problem.

I DON’T have a “money management” problem. I manage my money just fine. The problem is I have a prioritized list of expenses every month and a set income. It’s a simple operation.

  1. Rent and power always get paid first.
  2. Things like shoes, groceries, and medical have to come next.
  3. The rest gets paid out of whatever is left, and when I run out of money, well, I am out of money and have to let things ride.
  4. So, weird things happen to the lower-priorities. The trash bill tends to get paid three months at a time at the last minute. The cell phone and cable bills get paid just enough to keep from being turned off. Credit accounts are serviced as early as possible, and just enough to keep the accounts active. I’m doing some fairly subtle and creative things with a few revolving credit accounts just now.

This is no way to live, financially. And I think something similar is going on with my time at this point. I have a prioritized list of things I need to spend time on, and once I’m out of time, I’m just out of time until I get a weekend or a holiday or a legitimate day off to be free (those are few and far between.)

The problem is not that I am unaware of how time management works. The problem is that I have precious little time to manage.

So, here are some things I’ve been doing with my time lately, and some things I plan to do with it in the next little while.

Chess Madness

The grandson, who I talk about on the Internet from time to time, has developed an interest in Chess. He is also good at math and interested in any competition which can be constructed as a war game (I blame Southern Culture as the proximate cause for his love of battle, and finger Western Imperialism as the root cause of his fascination.)

Getty stock image.

Getty stock image.

We have a neighbor kid who is a few grades further along in school, loves to hang out at our house, and wants to get good enough to beat his older brother in chess. The neighbor kid has expressed a willingness to be mindful of the fact that he’s dealing with a 7-year-old and understands that being a good sport is a condition of me teaching him how chess works.

So we have three chess players of varying levels of skill willing to be kind and learn from one another. The two with the least experience are naturally good at the sorts of thinking that make for lifelong chess players, so of course I am going to give them as much time as I can afford.

What this means, as far as the time budget goes, is that sometimes I have to stop what I am doing, even if I’d rather be writing, and give the grandson 20 minutes for a chess game. Or stop for an hour and give the two boys three chess games to think about and learn from.

Because the chess gives us a reason to interact that builds useful skills and does not require an electronic device. And it gives us something in common to talk about. All kinds of reasons this is the #1 thing at the moment.

Doggie Madness

The doggies are second because they are living creatures who depend on me to feed them. I have a 3.5-month-old puppy I brought into my house willingly, and an older one who just sort of wandered up and stuck around because we fed him.

These are large breed dogs. the smaller one is not four months old, and she’s big enough to snag a pork chop off the kitchen counter if we turn our backs long enough.


They are not bad doggies, but they are not especially well-trained, either. They’re requiring a lot of attention, which means a lot of time. Because I am not going to have two half-grown dogs that weigh better than 80 lbs counter-surfing in my kitchen. I am also not going to beat them to make them behave.

So you can see why this is consuming a lot of resources, and hopefully why it is important to me.

Feminist Madness

I started a Feminist Friday Project along with my sister Diana and our friend Gretchen a couple of years ago now. Somehow, against all odds and with the help of many other bloggers, we’ve managed to keep it viable up to this very day. Here’s the official archive of posts so far.Feminism_free

Most of the bloggers who have contributed so far are still in, and we’re working up to a major announcement.

In fact, once I am done with this post, the next thing I am doing is working on the feminist project.

My list is way longer. I’ve caught up on my tv in the last few weeks, and also read a comics series which demands to be written about.

This is enough for today, but if you want clues as to where I am going, read Saga, then watch Orange is the New Black and Jessica Jones.

saga Cover

I’ve got things to say about all of that stuff. I will likely say it on multiple blogs and from a feminist perspective.

If you’ve not yet added your #WeekendCoffeeShare post to the linkup and shared it on Twitter at this late hour, you should do that stat.

Off to work for me now 😉

Jump Start Your Brain: Why Beth?

Just making a little front page adjustment here, and this is my favorite post so far from today’s #SundayBlogShare, so it gets the reblog 😉

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

JumpstartIt’s another snowy Saturday in Maine, Modern Philosophers.

I’ve taken to not checking the weather report on non-workdays because it’s just too bleak and depressing lately.  As a result, I was a little surprised to awaken and discover that Snow Miser had installed another wall to wall white carpet on my street.

The snow doesn’t really bother me when I don’t have to drive in it, though, and I’ll probably go for a walk to the library and take some pictures of the white stuff.  It does look pretty when it’s not wreaking havoc on my nerves.

What this snow definitely does, however, is frost over my brain.  I’m going to need a jump start to get it going today.  Anyone else need a similar jolt?  I’ve got 1000 volts of Deep Thoughts here to get the old gray matter humming again…

Any fans of The Walking Dead out there? …

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Liebster Award Nominations


Kerry at Aspernauts and Nicole Sloan both nominated me for the Liebster at Sourcerer Tuesday. Since Sourcerer passed 200 followers a few days before, Kerry agreed to allow me to pass on the nomination to the Writing Catalog. I am posting my acceptance here. I will only nominate 10 blogs, but I will answer Nicole’s 10 questions at Sourcerer later today.

Here are the rules:

  • Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
  • Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Here are my answers to Kerry’s questions:

1. What brought you to blogging? I blogged years ago and I love writing things and posting them online. I gave up because it was so difficult to find an audience. A few months ago my sister, several friends, and I started discussing a group blogging project, and once I saw that everyone else was serious about posting occasionally and reading one anothers’  stuff, I jumped back in.

2. What is your all time favourite kids’ TV programme? This is a tough one, because there are so many good ones. My favorite show when I was in the 8-10 range was Thundarr the Barbarian:

3. Which book have you reread more than any other? Probably Machiavelli’s The Prince. I read it and Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War every year.

4. What is your favourite song lyric or quote from either film or literature? Gandalf: “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” From The Fellowship of the Ring, ch.2.

5. How would you spend a perfect Sunday? Sleep in, then spend the afternoon at a baseball game and the evening with my wife.

6. Fantasy dinner party: you are the host and can invite any number of famous/inspirational individuals, living or deceased. Who’s on your list? This would be a huge party, so I am just going to name 10, five men and five women. Elmore Leonard, Levon Helm, President James Madison, Walton Goggins, Neil Gaiman, Mary Shelley, Coco Chanel, Helen Mirren, Flannery O’Connor, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

7. What are you serving at your fantasy dinner party? Crawfish with corn and potatoes boiled in with them and a selection of domestic, imported, and locally-brewed beers, and lemonade for those who don’t drink. Three or four choices of pie for dessert. My wife would have to co-host the party, of course.

8. If you had a time machine, where and when in history (including into the future) would you go? I would have to go and see what the world looks like in 3015.

9. What question do you wish I had asked you? Who is your favorite Shakespearean villain?

10. And how would you answer that question? Iago from Othello. He is the most frightening because he works almost entirely by subterfuge, and he refuses to explain his motive.

Now my 10 nominations, with the standard disclaimer that acceptance is always optional, and if you don’t do awards, know that I enjoy reading your blog and you have my warmest regards:

  1. Things Matter
  2. Wordgasm
  3. The Scribbler’s Quill
  4. Lazy Lady
  5. Outright Geekery
  6. All Things Tolkien
  7. A Tolkienist’s Perspective
  8. The Leather Library
  9. NOLA Feminizer
  10. Part Time Monster

I used the WordPress follower count from my reader for these, not the count you see on the follow widgets, because publicize includes social media, and if your experience is anything like mine and that of the 10 other bloggers I know personally, only a tiny fraction of your social media network is really following your blog.

Now my 10 questions for my nominees. I’ll make this as simple as possible. What work of art/artist/character in each of the following categories do you recommend as worthy of attention today? (Doesn’t have to be your absolute favorite.) I’ll even answer them myself.

  1. Novel or Long Poem, your choice – Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote.
  2. Non-Fiction Book – Jaron Lanier’s Who Owns the Future?
  3. Author or Actor, your choice. Terry Pratchett, especially his “Guards” series.
  4. Live-Action Film or Play, your choice – Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Never pass up a chance to see it on a stage.
  5. Animated Film or T.V. series, your choice – Reign: The Conqueror, a Japanese Anime about the career of Alexander the Great written by Hiroshi Aramata and directed by Yoshinori Kanemori. It ran on the Cartoon Network in 1999.
  6. Visual Art – I am fond of Minoan Sphixes. I wasn’t able to find one that’s free to post on a blog, but here are a couple of examples. I have seen one of those in real life. It literally took my breath away and made time stand still for a few minutes.
  7. Musical Genre – I like music that’s heavy with acoustic strings, so I recommend some outlaw country or folk.
  8. Band or Singer – Oddly enough, given my previous answer, I recommend really delving into the Metallica. Both YouTube and their albums are full of gems.
  9. Superhero – Daredevil, because he is one I really enjoyed back in the day, and people tell me the DD stories are awesome at the moment.
  10. Currently-running television series – The Showtime version of The Borgias.

And since I have you here, I am thinking of changing the name of this site to “Write Anything!” or “Rational Writer.” Does either of those strike you as an improvement, and which do you prefer?