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Another game of tag. October 29, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, gardening, pets, wit and wisdom.
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Ratty of The Everyday Adventurer (http://everyday-adventurer.blogspot.com/) linked to our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, in a recent post, “In the Spirit of Tag.” Ratty had been tagged by WiseAcre of WiseAcre Gardens (http://wiseacre-gardens.com/). “Tag” in this case meant that the taggee was asked to reveal six things about him- or herself, then tag six other bloggers so they would do the same. And the beat goes on. Ratty, however, perhaps sensitive to the recent blogging backlash to these games of tag, merely linked to six favorite blogs rather than tagging them. Thank you, Ratty!

We here at Poor Richard’s understand that being “tagged” every five seconds could become tiresome, but we think the concept behind the tagging, encouraging bloggers to share information about themselves, is entirely valid. For example, we’d wondered why Ratty had chosen to call him- or herself this for months. Thanks to WiseAcre, now we know. Joy of Garden Joy 4 Me (http://gardenjoy4.blogspot.com/) was also tagged by WiseAcre, and though she’s been tagged bazillion times before, it was fun to read the new things she chose to share about herself.

It’s not just a question of new things, either. All of us who blog regularly attract new readers as we go along. And these readers don’t know the things our “old faithfuls” know about us. Even without tagging, our friend Ben thinks it would make sense to post a little “Who we are” or “Things you don’t know about us” fact sheet every quarter or so, since most of the time, the “About us” sections of our blogs are concise and to the point, leaving out many fun details. This gives us a chance to think about who we are—something we should all do from time to time regardless—as well as thinking of fun facts about ourselves that it might not have occurred to us to reveal. I feel sure that regular readers would forgive us for repeating things about ourselves they already know, and newbies would appreciate the update. Our friend Ben invites bloggers old and new to write a post about themselves and tell us things we might not know, whether they’ve been tagged or not.

In this spirit, we’ll try to come up with 6 things about ourselves that you may already know and, if not, may or may not want to know! Here goes:

1. Our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, was inspired by our blog mentor and hero, Benjamin Franklin, who published Poor Richard’s Almanack annually back in the 1700s to provide the colonists with wit, wisdom, and practical advice. Poor Richard’s Almanack was so successful that if a colonist owned only two publications, they would be the Bible and his copy of Poor Richard’s Almanack. We are humbly trying to follow in old Ben’s giant footsteps in the age of the internet.

2. The adventures of our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders here on Poor Richard’s Almanac are true. There’s so much real-life stuff to blog about that we don’t have the time or inclination to make stuff up.

3. The adventures of our pets are also real. Our friend Ben and Silence wish we could invite all of you to one of our holiday gatherings here at our rural cottage, Hawk’s Haven, located in the precise middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, to meet our faithful golden retriever, Molly, our brainless but beautiful cat Linus and his brilliant sister, Layla, our matriarch, the Maine coon cat, Athena, and our parrots, Plutarch the Parrot and Marcus Hookbill, not to mention our parakeet, Willow, and our fish, snails, and shrimp. And of course we’d like to introduce you to our outdoor cats, the baby, Marley, his uncle Simon, Danticat and Beau, Dixie, and Aloysius. And our six heritage chickens and bunny, Amy. Stop by anytime!

4. Urk. This one’s hard to admit. We know we should love everyone equally, but Silence and our friend Ben can’t help but play favorites among our many pets. We both love our dog Molly and she loves us. But among the many others in our household, our friend Ben has to admit to a special soft spot for our incredibly gorgeous and affectionate but not-too-bright (that’s putting it kindly) cat, Linus, while Silence, in her heart of hearts, has a deep, abiding affection for our bright and feisty bronze-winged pionus parrot, Marcus, who clearly returns her affection. But we really love them all, and our hearts of course go out to our motherless infant cat, Marley, with cold weather and his first winter coming on. Doubtless you’ll read more about what we’re doing about that in a future post.

5. If you know our blog, this is obvious, but if you don’t, this will help you figure out what the %$#@!! is going on: All of us write about topics that grab our attention, so you can see a post about anything from any of us at any time. But we also tend to divide up posts by our own personal interests. If you see a post about cooking or domestic arts, it’s likely to be by Silence. If it’s about history, numismatics, or backyard birds, it’s probably by Richard. Our friend Ben likes to write about gardening, nature, the arts, and whatever larger issues strike me. But we’re all perfectly willing and happy to rant about whatever strikes our fancy, and if it’s a humorous post, we’re pretty much all happy to take a turn. For all of us, blogging is fun, so humor plays a big part.

6. Gack! We’re already at our last point, and both Silence and Richard are ribbing our friend Ben mercilessly about going on and on (and on). So rather than state the obvious, OFB will attempt to think of something you all really don’t know about us. Uh… er… (desperately thinking) our friend Ben’s favorite author is Homer. Silence’s is Jane Austen. Richard’s is Ben Franklin (with all other Colonial and Federal authors a close second). All of us love Tolkien, Sherlock Holmes, and A Christmas Carol, and we also love reading Helen and Scott Nearing and books about Tasha Tudor.

We’re shutting this down now, since we each have so many favorite authors, we don’t even know where to start. Silence is pointing out to our friend Ben that alert readers may already know this about us.

So here’s another quick fact: Our friend Ben loves peonies, hollyhocks, columbines, basil, cilantro, sweet potatoes, okra, and potatoes best of all garden plants; Silence loves freesias, nasturtiums, baptisias, rosemary, thyme, onions, and tomatoes; and Richard loves hot peppers, garlic scapes, morning glories, marigolds, black-eyed Susans, beans, green onions, and arugula. All of us love bearded and Siberian iris, roses, Johnny-jump-ups, violets, and violas, clematis, chrysanthemums, hostas, coleus, cannas, bulbs, daylilies, ferns, hellebores, astilbes, heucheras, corn on the cob, melons, leeks, and virtually all fruits, veggies, and herbs. We’re not even going to go into the zillion other plants we adore. Suffice it to say that there are a few veggies and fruits that each of us don’t like (turnips, except for salad turnips; rutabagas; collard greens, beet greens, and turnip greens; mealy fruits like papaya). Maybe we’ll devote future posts to them and why we dislike them.

For now, however, let’s just say that’s enough about us. (Unless there’s something else you want to know!) What about you?



1. nancybond - October 29, 2008

This was so interesting, especially reading about how you named your blog. 🙂

Thanks, Nancy! This is why we think it’s important to post tag-like entries every now and then. It helps people figure out what the bleep you’re doing on your blog!

2. vegplotting - October 29, 2008

I’d wondered where your blogname had come from. Now I’m off to find out what Johnny Jump-Ups are!

They’re tiny wild violas with blooms the size of violets, VP! You must have them, you just must call them something else.

3. Joy - October 29, 2008

I did not know some of these things !
So this was a “good” thing as Martha would say .. and believe me I don’t quote her all that often .. I’m writing this as a wrestling match is in progress with Sophie and Emma … so if I sound distracted … I AM ! LOL
My most favorite Xmas movie happens to be the old black and white one of “The Christmas Carol”” with Astaire Sims .. please tell me that is your favorite too ? .. there is one older .. and American one from 1937 which is good fun .. but Alistaire is my favorite. Why I had to tell you this .. I have no idea .. hum … must be the “share” factor you invoked in me ?
I had no idea you had parrots .. how did I miss that ? .. and shrimp .. are they Ghost shrimp ? we had those and a crayfish at one point .. he was like a little blue lobster .. fascinating little fellow who escaped the fish tank … por little guy did himself in .. I still think of him though. BIG sigh
OK .. how is this happening ? .. I keep going on about myself .. what did you do in this post that made me do this ?????
Now I know a few more details about you all : ) Thanks !
PS …. and yes … I have been tagged a BIZILLION times … hahaha

Well, we don’t want to shock you, Joy, but our favorite versions of “A Christmas Carol” are the musical ones—“Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” and “Scrooge” (the Albert Finney version). But you’re right, the Alastair Sim version is a classic! Our shrimp are the ones called Amano shrimp because Takashi Amano first popularized their use as algae-eating shrimp in aquariums, and we also have some rainbow shrimp. We envy you your blue crawfish (RIP, poor little fellow)! Let’s hope the wrestling match has subsided and Emma and Sophie have called it a draw!

4. Ratty - October 29, 2008

Thanks for mentioning me. I really didn’t want to bother anyone. I’m still a little new to everything. You’ve made my week! As far as my identity, I always figured I’d give out a little at a time. And your post here was wonderful. So much info, I’ll have to read it twice. I hope I can do that someday. It makes me like this site even more, but I was hooked the first time I read your blog.

Thank YOU, Ratty! You made our week as well!

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