Sunday, January 30, 2005

On naming blogs and parakeets

My thanks to those who have signed on to my new blog. As I write this, there are five contributors listed, and I hope more will be added to the list in coming days.

The name I chose for this blog means "My Dear Friends." That I would pick an Italian name for it was pretty much a foregone conclusion, and the only other name I seriously considered was "Convivio," which means "Banquet." "Convivio" happens also to be the title of a treatise written by Dante, and would have been a good name as well, although I like the one I chose just fine. And so, the name of this blog is and shall remain "I miei cari amici." (I might have considered "La Vita Nuova," but alas, there is already a blog with that name. It bills itself as "a discussion of all things Dante." I've added a couple of comments to it, and I am hoping the administrator will take note of this and invite me to become a full-fledged member.)

Speaking of names, some of you may know about the parakeet we acquired back in September. It showed up in our former bishop's backyard one day, and his wife called and asked if we were interested in providing it a home. I was not a party to the conversation, but Sheila later relayed the request to me. Of course, I said; we already had two cockatiels, so one more bird would fit in just fine. Although I have at times felt like Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, and although we have all had to learn how to tune out the constant chirping and squawking of three noisy birds whenever we watch TV, I have never regretted the decision. The worst problem we have had was trying to come up with a suitable name for the newcomer. At first we thought of Rosina, after the heroine of "The Barber of Seville," but the name never stuck, and for the next three months we had a very lively and loud parakeet with no name. Finally, I came up with a name that caught on once and for all -- Elbie. Her full name is Elbie Jaye, in honor of the nation's 36th President, although in point of fact, Elbie's actual political views are a bit unclear to me. So far, however, she appears to have registered no objection to the name.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Starting out

Naturally, I wanted to start this blog with some appropriate quote by Dante. "L'acqua ch'io prendo gia' mai non si corse" (Paradiso II:7) came to mind, but I suppose it doesn't really fit, because a number of people got involved in blogging long before I did, so these waters have indeed been traversed before. For the moment, though, I can't think of a better quote. But I'll post this anyway, invite some friends to join the site, and then we'll see what, if anything, develops.

I want to express appreciation to my friend Barney Madsen, who introduced me to blogging about a month ago and quickly got me hooked on it. This is a splendid outlet for my natural desire to reflect, muse, write, and occasionally pontificate, and may in fact be the closest I ever come to being a published writer. Requirements for membership in this blog are minimal: they are simply that all participants be relatives or friends of mine (including acquaintances I may pick up in the future, through the Internet or otherwise); and that there be no postings of a vulgar, off-color, or inflammatory nature. (Instructions on how to post website links, articles, and the like should appear in the dashboard; if not, I'll tell you how via e-mail.) Also, please do not post any private messages on the blog, as whatever appears here is intended to be for the group. (I have invited about 30 people to participate, and will add more names as time passes and I update a few e-mail addresses.) Any messages of a personal or private nature should be sent to me at my e-mail address, which all of you should already have. I figure this is a good way for the important people in my life to get to know each other as well -- to socialize, as it were, in cyberspace. Within the framework I have outlined, there is no restriction on subject matter, so you may share whatever you wish with the group. (Views expressed in future posts by anyone other than myself will therefore not necessary reflect my own.) Although the site is mine and I am the sole administrator, it is not really about me as an individual; rather, I am simply the one link each of you has in common.

So with that, welcome aboard, and I hope this turns out to be an enjoyable and edifying experience for one and all.