Blurried Musings (a Kafkaesquí blog joint)
"If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing."    Kingsley Amis
June 21, 2002
Temporary Corrective Lenses

This is a full stop. Well, for now. Let me explain:

My regular readers (all three of them!) may have noticed some technical problems over the past few weeks with this Weblog, blog, whatever. First there was a loss to Blurried Musing's customized look, thanks to problems even beyond my many skills to hack it back to shape. Damn Blogger... Anyway, I figured out how to trick it into redressing itself. (The real problem persists in the background though. Apologies to those sites I link to who felt slighted by their temporary absence.)

Second was an issue pretty much my own working, namely the huge gap between when any one Blurried Musing post was set up and when I finally got around to publishing it for public gawking. Also tricked that one into performing again, though the conjuring was more a psychological kind of magic. I won't explain.

There is a third and fourth issue to all this (relating to the first paragraph), having to do with my powers of endurance for getting out an article a day, and how real life can step in to exert it's own threatening demands. Again, or perhaps finally, let me explain:

That little element, the inventive art (i.e. creativity), which even when poorly executed (hereabouts that could be frequent to always), is important to the site's existence. However, it's not a process that lends itself well to the rigid dictates of a timetable requiring a new, hopefully novel piece out of me each day. It can handily manage my work ethic, but forever refuses to punch the time clock. So it was a hazard, if only recently, in the composition of these daily missives. Then reality ran in, as it tends to do in full stampeding fashion, and in its own crafty way gave me the excuse to pull back without actually admitting defeat. What I'm saying is, forces greater than my own came a knocking and demanded my full and abided attention.

I'm still not explaining myself, am I? OK, let's try something simple: I'm moving. I'm leaving my present rental residence at the end of this month, and shifting my stuff and myself a bit to the left and up on the map. This means several things, not the least of which is having to rely on family for help; but that's another post altogether. For Blurried Musings it means the ongoing linguistic tag-match is on hiatus. Not finished, but dropped on a shelf with the last read page dog-eared, just so I know where we left off.

When I pick up Blurried Musings again it shouldn't be too far into July. Just don't expect a return to the daily punts handled here in the past. That was an experiment with no planned end date, but I think the wearying sings of strain show I've long passed it. Continuing with a target of a post a day will only lessen my interest in keeping this site active, something I'd rather avoid. Also, a less stringent posting schedule should let me drudge up longer and more fine-tuned works, as well as research an idea or two I'd like to tinker with here but never found time to bother over. Tinkering can really take over my life when I let it, so I have to spoon it out in small doses.

Besides, I need to start expanding my creative juices into activities that pay off in financial dividends, instead of just the personal flag waving Blurried Musings provides. Money is a luxury I can't afford to pass up -- for long, that is.

June 20, 2002
Static Cat

Static Cat - Issue #5

June 19, 2002
Things I'd Hate to Learn At This Point In My Life
  • Nobody reads lists.

  • The answer to every multiple choice question I've ever had was B.

  • The Earth actually is flat.

  • Every business proposal I've ever made is a type of Ponzi scheme.

  • Preferred spelling is email, not e-mail.

  • All during 1997 I had an uncanny ability to predict the lottery.

  • Those who ignore history? Turns out they don't repeat it.

  • Regardless of what the Beatles sang, all you need is soup.

  • My skills can be mimicked by a Capuchin monkey.

  • There's a cure for bad judgement, but it only immunizes against it.

  • They were always laughing at me, never with me.

  • I'm now living my salad days.

June 18, 2002
A Conversation With Orley

O: "Good morning Kaf. Enjoying your coffee?"

K: "Not too bad. They cleaned the pot yesterday. Second time this millennium, I believe."

O: "So, Death came to see me last night."

K: "What?"

O: "Sorry. Want me to get a towel for that spill?"

K: "No, I got it. What did you just say?"

O: "About Death? He came to see me."

K: "Really. Is it true what they say about death and taxes?"

O: "I didn't think to ask."

K: "You're telling me that Death stopped by your place for a visit? The Grim Reaper? The Rider on a Pale Horse? The Great Leveller?"

O: "Don't go on that way. I meant exactly who you think I did."

K: "And don't you find that just a bit..."

O: "The possibility that I dreamt him crossed my mind, but I'm quite sure he made an appearance. Certain things stand out in ways no dream does. Besides, I was already awake when he showed. And after he left I couldn't get to sleep. I tossed and turned all night."

K: "Would be the case for nearly everyone. So what did... Death look like?"

O: "I couldn't tell you. I can't depict his physical manifestation with words. His likeness seems to leave me whenever I attempt to recall it. Even my use of the pronoun "he" isn't meant to be descriptive; just employing it for simplicity's sake."

K: "Never mind then. What exactly did he come to see you for?"

O: "Well, it wasn't a professional call."

K: "Obviously."

O: "He was there just to talk. He doesn't get much of a chance for conversation while on duty. He used that phrase: "on duty." Seems odd now that I think about it."

K: "I'd assume he'd have ample opportunity to talk with his... customers."

O: "You would. Apparently they're tight-lipped in his presence. They -- I should say we -- are fairly preoccupied. Conversing on what's happening in the political world is far from our minds."

K: "That makes sense. So that's what he wanted to chat about? Politics?"

O: "No, that was just an example. In actuality he spent most of time quizzing me on the human condition."

K: "The human condition?"

O: "I thought it a strange topic as well."

K: "Wouldn't he pretty much be the final expert on that?"

O: "When you see something mainly from one end, your knowledge of it becomes one-sided. I gather he was looking for an insider's perspective."

K: "Yours."

O: "Well, I did try to answer him in a generic fashion, as more a member of the human race than as just myself. I considered my part in the discussion a chance to put forward our point of view. I got the feeling while we talked that we're not well accounted for in the universal equation. I was rather disappointed by that."

K: "But it seems about right."

O: "Not that he knew nothing about us. He was fascinated by our drive to accomplish things. He kept referring to how the vast number of us are so goal-oriented. He seemed amused by that."

K: "Amused as in "that's interesting", or more "what a bunch of buffoons"?"

O: "I couldn't say. I tried to steer the conversation towards what might be considered futile endeavors for us, you know such if prayer has real value, or if any religious belief system presented an accurate portrayal of things as they really are. I couldn't corner him on any of it. And he had little to say as to my arguments for better representation. Though he didn't come right out and tell me, I realized he's fairly low on the corporate ladder, if you understand my meaning."

K: "So Death is little more than a supernal cleaning lady."

O: "I don't know if I'd put it that way."

K: "But any negotiations for new business opportunities would not go through him, right?"

O: "Well, that's what I picked up on. He said he wasn't really a big picture guy, which I took to mean he's left out of those decisions altogether."

K: "What appears to be our most likely advocate on that side has no power whatsoever. It's customer support all over again."

O: "Excuse me?"

K: "Nothing. So what else did Death have to say on the subject?"

O: "That's when he said his goodbyes and left."

K: "I see. And how exactly did he leave?"

O: "Through the door, of course."

K: "Yeah. That's what they're for."

June 17, 2002
A Fantastic Lack of Conviction

I find there's two distinctly different ways to handle problems in ones life, during the day to day... well, handling of them. The first is to go straight at anything like a gangbuster, full of determination, zeal, and with an absolute certainty you'll know what's right and what's wrong in any matter, and how best to take care of either, or both. The second is a much simpler method; it's really not much more than a way of taking things on with little faith in the outcome, all the while dealing with them without greatly taxing ones self.

(There is a third, requiring of the person a full analysis of an issue, reliance on others for input of various opinions and experiences, a detailed risk management assessment of the situation, full development and proposal of several options for facilitation towards a resolution, and then implementation of one of those options chosen after a cautious and lengthy process of evaluation and review. However, few people I'm aware of handle common life events this way, and as far as I know only educators and government officials prefer it in the work environment)

Having lived through both perspectives, I find a slightly greater affinity to the latter of these two problem solving world views. Some of you may think of it as a loafer's philosophy, or perhaps a strategy aimed specifically at avoiding problem solving altogether and dedicated to the goal of finding ways to slip though life's cracks without having to think much about anything. However, I see it as quite the opposite.

Allow me to expound.

Sometimes the best tool for the job is the dedicated one. If you need to pound a nail, then a hammer is what you're going to want to pick up. Life, though, rarely makes it clear at the outset exactly what tool you're going to need for a particular task. Now you might say that here's an excellent example of the benefit in having a tool chest, as it allows one to carry around an assortment of tools, and hence be prepared for any contingency. That only means to me that you missed the mark on my analogy. It's the very rare individual who can be the tool chest. Most of us are merely a single tool (seriously), or can provide at most a few functions. We can prepare for the requirements of the hammer, and perhaps the chisel as well, but if a nut and bolt are thrown in our way, we're screwed. Even in large operations there's often a lack of one or another precision piece.

Then there's that second mind set I mentioned, which here is represented by the general purpose tool. The Swiss Army Knife of people, you could say. Just name it by an old handle: jack of all trades. It may not be something one can wield with a great deal of dexterity and speed, but it allows a lot of leeway in accomplishing repairs. As a fuzzy tool it doesn't have to focus on one thing or dedicate itself to being the best at any specific activity. It can sit idle, biding its time with make work, awaiting the point when a looser, more freeform attack is called for. And it will always come calling. You of the first and single-minded order, feel free to smirk and belittle what little serious talents it has. Even I do at times (though I sometimes consider myself one). But when a cross-section of disciplines is demanded, it'll be the first out of the pocket.

There's nothing like being a master of nothing when it comes to getting things done.

June 16, 2002
From the Desk of God

Dear Kaf,

I assume you do not mind Me calling you Kaf. Not that I am concerned with being presumptuous; that is something I have always been able to get away with.

You may find this strange, but I do not take the time to write much anymore. It seems most of you down there are not all that interested in reading a message from your Creator these days. And to be honest, those who are tend not to be of the sort I am inclined to start up a regular correspondence with.

I know what you are now asking: why this short letter to you, of all people? It is because I am a bit concerned with the direction you have gone with several of the postings on your little Web site, Blurried Musings. Specifically, those which make mention of myself or the religious denominations that, as you would waggishly put it, fall under my jurisdiction.

A recent example is the one dated June 9th, which claims to be a short addendum slip written by Myself and discovered in a copy of the Holy Bible. Now I can take a joke, or at least I have learned how to, but I fail to see it here. Perhaps I do not understand what you are attempting with writings like this. Not that I find your work to be hateful, but for a fervent atheist you seem far too overjoyed to play with such deistically-inclined prosaic conceits.

Is the arena of godlessness your philosophy clings to devoid of targets to take aim at? Perhaps you are just searching for fodder of a sort within the familiarity of your former spiritual upbringing. I will not lay claim to know for sure, as I do not work the mind-reading act on those who never ask it of me.

This is not a request for you to stop using topics of a religious nature in your Blurried Musings material. This I leave entirely up to you -- My vengeance has always been overplayed in the press. However, take a moment to think about where I am coming from. You do not see Me working in a lot of stuff about unbelievers these days, now do you? (Avoid the archaic standard of demanding My responsibility over the acts of followers.)

In any case, we all have our crosses to bear. Try to keep yours light.

Peace be with you,


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