Category Archives: Blogging

What am I doin here?

Glancing over the archives

Glancing back over the archives at Life in the Third Layer, I can see that I have been blogging — more or less — since 2003! That long ago I was already thinking about the possibility of retirement and having more time for reading, writing, and pursuing my own interests. A full-time job, let’s face it, takes a chunk of time out of your day.

I have been retired now for almost six weeks, and the schedule has changed but not quite settled. Most of my time so far has been dedicated to changing over the blog hosting and sorting out the tangle I find here on my computer. In the coming weeks I hope to get that task completed so that I am comfortable with the new environment and everything is working. I am considering ways of getting back those old web pages that you expect to see linked here — my puzzle page, the children and YA literature page, the papers, and the small schools project page. I still have the content, so those won’t disappear for long. Then it will be time to focus on new content and get something interesting up here for my friends to read on a regular basis!

I expect to be writing about education and politics, and why one of these activities generally has a negative impact on the other one. And between these two topics, you can’t stay away from writing about religion, at least about the effect of religion in education and politics. These topics will, I am sure, be foremost in what you might expect to find here. However, I won’t rule out the occasional photo of an interesting bug that is eating my vegetable garden. Life is after all complex and curious.

Pet rocks, etc.

Thudfactor is posting about pet rocks, and I have to agree with him that the Mike Huckabee Guitar Hero thread is dumber. After all, I have a couple of pet rocks.
I did not get rocks with papers of authenticity. I just picked up one or two that were hanging around, the same way I get pet cats. I only have 3 or 4 (rocks, that is), and they are mostly too small to serve any practical purpose like a paper weight or a door-stop. But they call to mind a time and place and have a sort of history. I think they are more authentically rocks without the papers, since having the pedigree behind them would make them sort of a “product.” My pet rocks are real rocks, picked out of a tide pool or some such place, and adopted.
I remember coming across Missouri in the early 70’s and seeing a display of rocks for sale. The enterprising natives had constructed shelves out of 1×12 lumber and cinder blocks and hand-lettered a sign, “Genuine Rocks from the Ozarks.” The rocks on the shelves were the same as the rocks on the ground, but those folks were doing a brisk business. I have a bit of jade from Jade Cove in California, and I picked up a small cobblestone left on the side after street repairs in Berlin.
I have a section of brick that John picked up when he was first learning the alphabet and kept with him for a while, calling it the “I rock.” Then there is the rock that Carl picked up on the golf course because it was shaped like a shoe. He carried it home and painted it to look like a shoe. It became part of the American Bicentennial art exhibit at Berlin?s Rathouse Templehof in 1976.
I somewhat regret that I do not have a genuine rock from the Ozarks.

More cuteness, no blogging


Originally uploaded by Thirdlayer

You aren’t supposed to blog when you have a new grandson. You are supposed to show off pictures!

Keeping my attention elsewhere

Glen’s storytelling performance, Fumbling With the Blues was fun too, and here is a trailer for the DVD:;affiliateId:100438;height:392;width:480;

Other reasons not to blog

Before I started playing with the baby to keep from blogging, I was distracting myself with C. Glen Williams and No Sleep ‘Til Minsky’s. Footage here is from the original performance on stage in the Bud Frank Theatre at East Tennessee State University:;affiliateId:0;height:392;width:480;

Fun with the baby

My inattention to my blog lately has come from several causes. Currently it is just that I am busy playing with the baby. Here is your chance to share in the fun! Jigsaw Puzzle

New Computer

So it has been a long time here clicking around Windows and running from the command line in DOS trying to get my old system back up, with very little success.
Now I am back on a Mac!

Nothing like a writing contest!

It is a short story contest with prizes including publication in an anthology, a real one, not one of those that just inserts your poem on page 39 and sells you a copy for $89.99 plus shipping. And if you are one of the top 10 that make it into the anghology, you will even get a free copy of the book and a discount on up to 20 more copies for your friends and cousins.
So turn off the war news, put away the Free Cell, and break out your metaphors and similes. You have to write your story of no more than 4,000 words about someone or something being exposed to the contents of those bins the airlines are having everyone dump their liquids and gels into. It is a little scary, if you remember why we are doing this in the first place. The alleged not charged — terrorists presumably had some idea of the effect of what they were planning to mix. We don’t think they planned it to be a good effect, but it was predictable. Who knows what will come out of the dump bin?
The rules and submission link are at, and the anthology name will be It Came From Airport Security.

Of course I am

A comment posted to my blog today by an association of real estate salespeople in a large Florida city (and promptly deleted by me) said simply “You are absolutely right.” Makes you appreciate good old honest straightforward commercial spam.

Don’t Like Spam

I like my blog, and it is great when friends (even those who do not agree) post comments. However, advertising spam is a pain. You have to be a real pest to do this kind of vandalism.
I am going to keep the only last two entries open to comments. If you want to comment on a previous entry, please use one of these two entries and let me know which of my posts you are commenting upon. Having fewer openings for spammers will reduce my time spent deleting.