Five words or less

Michael Barrish:


I am alone


Mark Pilgrim:


I am blessed.




Never tell me the odds.


Jonathon Delacour:


Life is a beautiful dream.


Shannon Campbell


I reap what I sow.


Steve Himmer


How did I get here?




I have what I need.


Frank Paynter:


I continue to grow.


Euan Semple:


What I am is enough.


Dorothea Sala


I’ll get by.


Will Raleigh:


False risk is almost enough.


Stavros the WC


Somewhere there’s a place I belong.


Robert Brown


A work in progress.


And my own story, the story that Michael Barrish says …we try all of our lives to prove is true and that can be summarized in five words or less?



I am a writer.



And so the tapestry unfolds, woven from words which come simply and gracefully across the screen from each writer. Whatever the tapestry is called, though, one thing is certain: it sure as heck isn’t named “meme”.

Just Shelley

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Well a bit of good news and a bit of other news: which do you want first? Okay, the good news it it.

I had an email from an editor at a major publishing company (not O’Reilly) about using excerpts from one of my online articles for their 2003 edition Social Studies text book. If this works out, this will be the first time I’ve had any of my non-computer related material incorporated into a book.

This email not only put a smile on my face, it drew forth a giggle. There, you heard it here: The Bird giggles.

If you’re interested, you can access the article online. It’s called Remembering Mount St. Helen’s. It recounts my experiences living in Yakima when Mount St. Helen’s blew up. You’ll find that it’s smaller than many of my weblog posts.

Now, on to the other news. As I hinted in the last post, I am closing down the Burningbird weblog. I may only shut down until I find a job. Or I may shut down for a few months, take a nice break, come back refreshed.

Regardless of the period of time, I did want to say that these weblog pages are going to be pulled in about a week. I’m in the process of looking for a job, and a search in Google on my name brings up these pages. Unfortunately, some of the things I’ve written about could potentially impact on me finding work. I know that free speech is guaranteed in this country, but let’s get real — if some HR person doesn’t like what I write, they won’t call about a job. I have to be practical.

When the pages are pulled my handy dandy RDF content management system will kick in and you’ll get a nice page saying something to the effect that I’m molting and I’ll be back when I’ve risen from the ashes.

In the meantime, I’ll miss you all. I once told someone that you can’t feel warmth through the wires, but that was a lie — you can.


Daily at the “Daily Summit”

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading David Steven’s frequent World Summit postings at the Daily Summit. Not only is he pointing out pertinent and relevant information of interest (to all of of us), he’s also providing an insider look into the proceedings that one misses with mainstream news reports.

Favorite line today, from recounted comments from NGOs:


“You have to be careful whether you catch him before or after a demonstration. He has a metabolism that thrives on tear-gas.”


Humor aside, hearing about the champagne and caviar lifestyle lived by the delagates who are meeting to, among other things, work out plans to prevent starvation around the world is sadly, and terribly, ironic.

Weblogging Writing

Trying something new

I’m trying something new: as I finish each book on my recommended and want-to read list, I’m attempting to incorporate a little of the author’s unique style into a few of my weblog postings. With this, I hope to get a better understanding of what I liked or didn’t like about each book.

For instance, I tried to use just a little of Sebald’s wonderful stream of conciousness effect from “The Rings of Saturn” in the posting The Three Boys.

Of course, I don’t have Sebald’s amazing ability in this regard, and I can’t possibly match his own unique genius. However, I’m hoping that this effort will allow me to explore the richness of each author’s writing in a more personal way, as well as to experience a little personal growth in my own writing. Trying on new suits to test the feel, as it were


Jamie and the Reality Test

Regardless of the motives, I think that Jamie Lee Curtis’ recent photo shoot was terrific. She’s showing that in the battle with gravity, gravity ultimately wins. She also shows that it’s time to blow the hell out of our fixation on having perfect bodies.

It’s easy to feel beautiful when the world looks at you in approval because you fit the perfect mold of what is “beautiful”. What a kick to dress sexy, post for provocative photos, flaunt the bod when it’s all there. But what happens when it isn’t all there?

Being beautiful should be based on something more than just our hair color, tight butt, or ripe, ruby red lips. And being fit should be something we do for ourselves, to feel healthy, and to stay active. We shouldn’t have to be fit, or skinny, or have plastic surgery, or dress in certain ways just to meet some vapid person’s approval.

I remember when I was much younger, and much more callow, how I would look at older women and think to myself, look at that hair, those breasts, that stomach. Now I look at my own hair, my own breasts, and my less than firm and ripply belly and send a silent and heartfelt apology to every woman I ever maligned in my jejune thoughts.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment I need to keep with the treadmill over at the gym. And when I’m finished with my nice, brisk walk, I’m going to indulge in a nice, luscious, calorie laden mocha Tim Tam to go with my coffee.