The Worst Word In the World

The word “blog”, once standing in for “web log”, must be among the ugliest in the English language. The onomotopoeic associations are purely regurgitory, the English words it most closely resembles are all at least unpleasant in their associations: “glob”, or possibly “flog” or “bog”. It’s a dull, heavy, splat of a word. It lacks all of the charm and grace a word can lack. I know it won’t happen, but imagine a world in which the word “blog” did not exist.

There, isn’t that a happier place?

So, taking a cue from José Saramago, I will refer to the contents of this virtual space as a “journal”, or a “notebook”. It is not, and will never be, a “blog”.

What it will be, and has been for some time, is out of date. That’s what we call life happening. There are a few posts happening, but the only thing currently being kept current is the “books read” list. That’s always pretty much up to date. (10/25/2010)

Recent posts:

Reviews of some recent shows – Leonard CohenSteve Earle

Books: The Last Templar(Raymond Khoury) – The Ascent of Money(Niall Ferguson) – Philipp Blom’s The Vertigo Years (Philipp Blom)
What’s in this journal? Like most such creations, by whatever name, it’s whatever I hapen to think to put up. I’m reasonably happy with the concert reviews I’m writing for the Boston Music Spotlight (qv) so I’m posting those. I’ve been translating, for my own use, Saramago’s online journal (qv) and I’ve begun to post the results – you’ll find them under the “From Saramago’s Notebook” category. Thoughts, of course, are welcome – would you read them? By posting these, am I violating the authorial rights of a writer I respect very highly, or facilitating his project of communicating his thoughts, freely offered in two languages, by rendering them in a third? Does anybody care?
(24 May: Evidently, some people do find their way to the Saramago entries. But I have no idea who they are or what they’re getting from them…)

I’d originally planned to post something about the books I was reading, but that’s gotten lost, lately. You can see what I’m reading, though, under the “Reading List” pages.


Most of the entries I’ve made are indexed for your convenience. This is probably the easiest way to navigate this site. You may also, if you like, jump back and forth in a chronological fashion, or click on one of the categories listed to your right. On my list of things to figure out is a way to fashion some internal navigation without having to hard-code a link back to the index on every page. Yeah, I’m lazy. I’ll spend hours of productive thinking trying to figure out a way to save minutes of mindless drudgery: I think this is Larry Wall’s definition of a successful Perl hacker…

Here’s a navigation hint: click on the bar with my name on it, it’ll take you back to this page. That’s the best I can offer right now.


I can be reached directly by sending a message to an address consisting of my first name, followed by my last name, joined or separated, however you view the matter, by a period, at the email service provided by the people who can’t spell 10^100 correctly and want to rule the world. If you are a spam-bot trolling for addresses, and you can assemble my email address from this, you may want to contact some AI researchers to schedule a Turing test.

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