how the hell did I end up here?

CHINESE CHESS PIECES? If you looked at the chess board at the top of this page and thought, “How the hell did I end up here?”—don’t worry, everything’s just fine. When I started this blog in 2013, I knew little of what I was doing: that includes what content I wanted to post and how to make the content easy to read and attractive enough to make you want to read!

Many of my early posts had three glaring problems:

  They were in a small, san serif typeface that was difficult to read.
  They had no images or illustrations whatsoever.
  They were silly pieces written to fill up space. 

Perhaps the biggest problem was that I didn’t know how to upload images to the internet, or download photos from the internet. For this reason, I was unable to replace the default image at the top of the home page that came with WordPress.

Even though I had three blogs, they all had the same photo at the top: a chessboard with ancient Chinese pieces.

The only thing that differentiated Neal Umphred Dot Com (about this and that and lots of politics) from Rather Rare Records (about collecting records and the music on them) and Elvis – A Touch Of Gold (about Presley’s records and movies) was the color of the border at the top of each page!


This photo of a chess game in the making was the image that graced the top of all three of my websites—and probably hundreds of thousands of other WordPress websites around the world wide web.

I changed a few things

I don’t know why anyone would have wanted to read all the way through any of my essays or articles. So, I changed a few things:

  I deleted dozens of old posts as irrelevant or even embarrassing.
  I wrote this post that you are reading.
  I linked all those irrelevant posts to this one.

That’s why you’re reading this post titled “How The Hell Did I End Up Here?” instead of the post whose title attracted your attention in the first place!


For a while, I used this piece of artwork by my then 3-year-old daughter Ananda as the header image for this site. Eventually I found the photo of the gorgeous upside-down kitten that graces the top of this site’s home page.

A few choices

So, I am going to try to keep you here by providing you with links to a few choices and hope one looks inviting:

•  This is a link to my home page.
•  This is a link to my blog archive page.
  This is a link to my most widely read post.
  This is a link to my favorite post.

Finally, I’m a Virgo who likes long walks at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who tries to live by this adage: It ain’t what you know that gets you in trouble—it’s what you know that just aint so . . .

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Time to get that something off your mind ...

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