posting online ain't the same as being in print

REGARD­ING POST­ING ONLNE, in re­sponse to hav­ing the of­fi­cial Elvis Pres­ley web­site at Grace­land pick­ing up one of my articles—which I trum­peted loudly to fam­ily and friends via Face­book and email—my friend Stephanie Locke posted a nice com­ment on my A Touch Of Gold site: "Good to see Umphred back in print." In­stead of sim­ply ac­cept­ing the com­ment, I re­sponded with, "Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t con­sider be­ing pub­lished on­line as be­ing in print. In fact, I don’t even think the word pub­lish should be used for on­line ar­ti­cles. I think I’ll write a short piece on the topic and… Con­tinue Read­ing post­ing on­line ain't the same as be­ing in print

some (piss) poor writing about hillary's "role" in the attack on benghazi

THE LAST WORD ANY­ONE would use to de­scribe me is "conservative"—at least not re­gard­ing most is­sues re­lated to pol­i­tics. But there's more to life than pol­i­tics: I re­main old-fashioned on the is­sue of pre­scrip­tive ver­sus de­scrip­tive dic­tio­nar­ies (strongly be­liev­ing in the for­mer) and the mis­use of the des­ig­nated hit­ter in ma­jor league base­ball (not at all what you think). And I am adamantly con­ser­v­a­tive about the cor­rect use of gram­mar and punc­tu­a­tion and op­posed to piss poor writ­ing in all sizes and shapes. Oh, and I still think vanilla malt shakes are yummy! 1 Nonethe­less, I have sub­scrip­tions to sev­eral po­lit­i­cally rightwinged newslet­ters, which… Con­tinue Read­ing some (piss) poor writ­ing about hillary's "role" in the at­tack on beng­hazi

pangur bán and the nameless monk

EVERY­BODY KNOWS WHAT A CO­IN­CI­DENCE IS: "The oc­cur­rence of events that hap­pen at the same time by ac­ci­dent but seem to have some connection"—at least ac­cord­ing to Merriam-Webster. But of course it's not that sim­ple: 'real' co­in­ci­dences not only catch our at­ten­tion, they res­onate with us. Real co­in­ci­dences seem to 'mean some­thing,' even if that mean­ing is just be­yond our ken. Also, co­in­ci­dences seem to be unique—they feel spe­cial. They feel woowoowy. They feel like God/Grommett or the Universe/Void are try­ing to call us out of our revery and pay at­ten­tion! They feel like they've never hap­pened be­fore . . . "Though… Con­tinue Read­ing pan­gur bán and the name­less monk

philosophical mutts and zen master cats

GUARDIANS OF BE­ING is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Eck­hart Tolle (words) and Patrick Mc­Don­nell (pic­tures). I have en­thused over it since its pub­li­ca­tion in 2009, and have rec­om­mended it to every­one! The book de­scribes beau­ti­fully and play­fully how philo­soph­i­cal mutts and zen mas­ter cats help in ground­ing hu­man beings—call us out of our rever­ies, our wor­ries, and our self-absorption, and plant our feet back on the ground of the here and now. 1 "This won­der­fully unique col­lab­o­ra­tion brings to­gether two mas­ters of their fields, join­ing orig­i­nal words by spir­i­tual teacher Eck­hart Tolle with de­light­ful il­lus­tra­tions by Patrick Mc­Don­nell, the cre­ator of the ac­claimed comic strip… Con­tinue Read­ing philo­soph­i­cal mutts and zen mas­ter cats

the slaughter of our wolves (a little less action, a little more conversation)

SOME­WHERE TO THE EAST­WARD A WOLF HOWLED; lightly, ques­tion­ingly. I knew the voice, for I had heard it many times be­fore. It was George, sound­ing the waste­land for an echo from the miss­ing mem­bers of his fam­ily. But for me it was a voice which spoke of the lost world which once was ours be­fore we chose the alien role; a world which I had glimpsed and al­most en­tered, only to be ex­cluded, at the end, by my own self.” 1 The quote above is from Far­ley Mowatt's 1963 book Never Cry Wolf, a fic­tion­al­ized ac­count of his ex­pe­ri­ences… Con­tinue Read­ing the slaugh­ter of our wolves (a lit­tle less ac­tion, a lit­tle more con­ver­sa­tion)

on those pesky dashes as punctuation marks

USE OF THE DASH FOR PUNC­TU­A­TION is a lost art in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can Eng­lish (AmE) and British Eng­lish (BrE) for many writ­ers and ap­par­ently many type­set­ters. It's a shame, as a well-placed dash or ten can ease the flow of read­ing and there­fore lead to in­creased un­der­stand­ing and plea­sure. Here I ad­dress the way that I—who use the dash with a near promis­cu­ous dis­re­gard for the consequences—use both the 'en' and the 'em' dash in my work. 1 This could prove en­light­en­ing to both of my reg­u­lar read­ers here at Neal Umphred Dot Com. First though, there are three things… Con­tinue Read­ing on those pesky dashes as punc­tu­a­tion marks

art spiegelman's very strange comic strip

I SAW THE ADS FOR WITZEND in late 1966 or early '67, prob­a­bly in the Rocket's Blast Comics Col­lec­tor. RBCC was the first fanzine that I bought in the '60s; it was an adzine that fea­tured ar­ti­cles on comics and ads from deal­ers and col­lec­tors of­fer­ing stuff for sale. I sent my dol­lar bill off to some strange ad­dress in New York and ea­gerly awaited an en­tire pub­li­ca­tion by my fav­er­avest artist, Wally Wood. 1 I waited for months and what I fi­nally re­ceived was Witzend 2 with a note of apol­ogy from Woody in the mail­ing en­velope. The… Con­tinue Read­ing art spiegelman's very strange comic strip