Rock Liebster

I happily report that this blog has been nominated for The Liebster Blog Award by Horse Bits.  I was expecting a focus on ritualistic hazing, drinking and debauchery, followed by debauchery and drinking.  But in reading John’s intro paragraph, I am corrected that the intent is for the little folk (blogs with fewer than 200 followers) to answer eleven questions of the nominator’s choosing.  I am obliged to come up with my own list of eleven questions and “pay them forward” to the Liebster nominees.

For the little guys and gals. We’re #13,521,874!  Woooooooo!  

And the insights John wishes revealed:

  • What are your three favorite movies and what about each got them on this list?

This is a really difficult question to answer because there’s no “of” in the sentence.  My entertainment preferences are mood-driven, and thus often fickle.  Trying to limit it to three is difficult.  I need to qualify the question: Movies that were awe-inspiring the first time (but have no interest in seeing again)?  Movies I’d watch over again?  Weird stuff I got because Netflix’s Machine Learning algorithms wanted to throw something different at me?

In the interest of completeness and adherence to the spirit of the question, let’s take one from each category.  I’ll let you guess which is which.

District 9 – it was visually jarring and kept my attention throughout.  I was exhausted when it was all over.

The Matrix.  Visually stunning, surreal and offering (what were then) novelties like bullet-time.   It’s the kind of movie I’m glad would never have a sequel because it would suck.  Oh.

Trois coleurs: Bleu, Blanc, Rouge.   As Ebert says, they’re the anti-tragedy, anti-comedy, and anti-romance.  All just wonderful movies.  I’ve been hoping to finding Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue and the implied ten hours to watch them.

  • Of the visual arts, are you more a fan of painting, photography, or sculpture? Why? If you have a favorite artist, list their name.

Body painting.  But if you’re considering socially-accepted art that might be on display in a museum, then sculpture.   For self-participation, photography.  Sometimes of sculptures and statues seen during travels.

Museum-style paintings are very hit-or-miss for me.  I love the framed prints of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (John Singer Sargent) and Impression soleil (Monet) hanging on my walls.  I would not turn down an offer of free framed prints of Monet’s other works.  But as for other popular paintings like The Scream or The Mona Lisa – I don’t get them.   (Leonardo’s drawings, however, are fantastic.)  And a lot of the stuff from the early Renaissance period… hey, it’s late, we need to go look at sculptures now.

  • If you had to give up one sense (sight, smell, hearing, taste – let’s keep touch) which would it be and why?

Taste.   It would help me resist potato chips, helping in my passive weight loss goals.

  • Purple, 42, or the Roman Legion? (Don’t think about it – just answer.)

Roman Legion.

  • You win an expense-paid 3-week vacation to an isolated retreat up in the mountains on the shore of a pristine lake. What books do you take and why?

A collection of Audubon books to identify the local plants, fungi and critters.   Because, let’s be honest, I am just not going to be able to stay cooped up indoors all day.  Specific titles on my to-read list:

The Sun Also Rises – I really enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea, but oddly, haven’t explored Hemingway’s other works.  I only know of him from the Michael Palin book.

Anathem – Neil Stephenson.  Kiri says this is a great book.  I’ve been discouraged by its mass and have been leery of allocating time to tackle it.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, because John posted a review.  (You might also find the less popular Black Boy, by Richard Wright, interesting.)  I have more interest in revisiting the classics now that I’m not being forced to read them.

  • Shampoo and conditioner? Or shampoo and conditioner in one? (If you use more than 2 hair care products, leave your answer blank.)

Shampoo. My hair is short/thinning enough that I need only one.

  • Why do you blog? (I reserve the right to start using your answer if it’s better than my own.)

For the conversation with erudite women and men.

(Nearly) Ten years ago, I got into blogging with some other folks at’s personalization team.  It remained a fun & creative outlet for posting recipes or opinions about cycling events, and the software (at the time, Movable Type) was a lot easier than editing manual web pages.

I had a lot of fun posting on random things I learned but that took a lot of time away from other things I wanted to do.  (Now if I could earn a living that way…)

For a variety of reasons, ranging from “other real life priorities” to “do I really want to be asked about this by a potential employer” to “everybody’s on Facebook,” I’ve been tapering back on the public posts.

  • What non-human, non-plant living creature would you rid the world of? And why?

Mosquitos – doing so would let me enjoy my expense-paid 3-week vacation to the isolated retreat up in the mountains on the shore of a lake much more.   Runner up: the wasps that keep trying to burrow into my master bedroom.

  • Sunrise or sunset?


  • Music. How frequently do you listen? To whom? And via what media? List 3 musicians you’re listening to right now.

I listen a few times a week, rarely just for the sake of listening, but more commonly while I’m doing something else like commuting or degaussing after an animated meeting.  Three musicians I’m listening to right now:

Dog Days of SummerFlorence + The Machine. She has amazing vocal range on this song.
The World is What You make It, Paul Brady.
ShambalaThree Dog Night.

Media: mp3, because I’m fracking tired of re-buying the same songs because the delivery format (vinyl, cassette, CD) has changed or broke.  It also supports distribution for this model.

  • This quiz goes to eleven. Is the internet really making us stupid?

No, but the Internet is an amplifier.   For every exciting online education opportunity and utter hilarity that make me giddy, there is an equal and opposite stupidity that would exist regardless of the Tubes.


That is the end of the questions, so it’s my turn to bestow Liebster Awards to a few elite bloggers:

Those who don’t have current blogs (that I’m aware of), whom I’d be interested in the answers: Steve, Lisa, Brian, Scout.

And the insights I would enjoy them to revealing:
  1. What are you bringing to the Liebster Award pot-luck?
  2. Tell me about something nice that’s happened to you recently?
  3. What inspires you to write?
  4. What’s the coolest thing you’ve discovered online?
  5. Have you coined any words?  Can you give a couple of examples?
  6. Describe your ideal weather.
  7. I’m making bagels – what would you like on yours?
  8. What art form do you enjoy creating the most?
  9. What three books would you recommend to someone who just won an all-expense-paid 3-week vacation to the isolated retreat up in the mountains on the shore of a lake?  Why?
  10. What question should I have posed?
  11. Any further questions for me?

Pencils down.  Thank you and congratulations!

5 thoughts on “Rock Liebster”

  1. Great answers, Jim. It wasn’t until District 9 was almost over that I realized the lead actor was the same guy who played Murdoch in the A-Team movie. Is it worth pointing out that you like Impression Sunrise (which indeed is awesome) and sunsets?

    Do you hate people who answer questions not intended for them? Plain bagel plus cream cheese. Cinnamon raisin bagel plus butter. As for words, a zipple is just a tiny amount.

  2. Caramel slice (using this recipe). Although I am tempted to bring spam, spam, bacon and spam.

    I bought a new camera body recently; there were supply-chain issues, and I could have been waiting months for stock to arrive in the country. Rather than have me wait, the manager of the camera section “de-kitted” the camera body from a body+lens kit they had in stock. So even though she won’t be reading this, a big thank you to Sue from JB!

    I canz write?

    The trouble with the coolest thing on-line is that you always find something cooler… that said, this is the coolest thing I’ve found so far 🙂

    Definitely, between the ages of 3 and 6. I don’t think any of them caught on outside my immediate family, who like to trot some out on occasion. All were mispronouciations of existing words, eg “shardle” for “shoulder”.

    A sunny day in late spring/early summer, with the temperature in the mid-20s (celcius) and the relative humidity around 20%.

    Avocado, please.

    Photographs, when I’m able to give them the time and attention they deserve. I’m quite fond of drawing as well, something more in keeping with the demands of a five-year-old, who likes to take daddy’s drawings and then run away with them (metaphorically) with her own pencils.

    I’d suggest making a list of all the books you’ve got lying around the house meaning to read, find the three you’d least object to loosing, and taking those with you. You’re not likely to get more than half-way through the first one anyway 🙂

    What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    Which do you mean, and African or European swallow?

  3. Anathem! Anathem! Anathem! 🙂

    And good god, it’s the chain letter reinvented for the new millennium! 🙂 Well, at least it’s more on the carrot side than the stick side. I’m honored to be included in your list! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to answer soon. First I have an Alice in Wonderland essay to write, violin practice, and library school homework. Back to the salt mines… 🙂

Comments are closed.