Monday, September 18, 2017

Back To Work

Schools are reopening here in Miami-Dade County.  The roads are cleared and only one of the 350+ facilities is without power — an elementary school — so the students are being sent to a high school until power is restored.

And now we have another hurricane in the Atlantic.

I am still without internet at home so the abbreviated schedule here will continue.  Thanks for your patience.  I miss you, too.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Tall Pike Place With Cream

AT&T is still off-line at the house so I have no landline and no internet.  Cable is back but TiVo can’t update without the internet, so I’ve been doing a lot of writing, reading, and I saw “Hidden Figures” on HBO (highly recommended).

AT&T is not yet giving me any idea of when they will get to my neighborhood or street or house,  so I have decamped to the local beanery, aka Starbucks at US 1 and SW 148th Street in Pinecrest.  I am not the only one here who came for the WiFi.

I have been told to report back to work tomorrow (Monday), so I will be posting from there — when I’m off-duty, of course — and I hope that sometime in the next week I’ll get the phone line back.  Until then, I’ll see you when I can.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Had It Easy

First, thank you for your good thoughts and wishes.  As CLWill noted via my texts, I made it through the storm with barely a scratch on the house and some judicious tree-trimming by Irma.  I got power back yesterday (Wednesday) around noon and the house is cooling off and the moisture is being removed.

But what I went through is nothing compared to what many endured and suffered both here in Florida and through the Caribbean.  I have friends in the Keys who lost not only their home but their livelihood.  The last I heard from them is that they evacuated to South Carolina and will not be returning because they have nothing to return to.  The strain and sorrow is permanent for them.

I can count my blessings and be grateful that all I lost were frozen foods and I can mutter about the inconvenience of no power for 78 hours and no internet or cable still.  But at least I have a place to sleep and a place to wait for the service to be restored and familiar surroundings and friends to thank for providing me with a place to be during the storm.

If you are so inclined, please find a way to help out the people who really suffered during this time both here and abroad.  Listings of resources such as reliable charities can be found everywhere on the internet.

I will try to resume blogging on a regular schedule once the little “Broadband” light on my router at home turns from flashing red to steady green.  Until then, I’ll be on limited schedule.

Thanks again.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Something I Ate

Either I ate something or caught it — a co-worker had the same complaint — but I spent the last weekend with what they used to call “distress of the lower tract,” known to parents of small children and camp counselors as “the trots.”  (I suppose you could call it the in-home edition of “Game of Thrones.”)

I made it through work yesterday thanks to Pepto-Bismol, but it’s still lingering and better to be safe than sorry, I’m taking the day off.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Technical Difficulties

First the server crashed mid-posting, now I can’t post what I want and I can’t delete what I don’t want.

We’ll figure it out and get back to you.

Update – 5:44 a.m. EDT: At 3:00 a.m. EDT, the server that handles this blog (and several other sites I’m familiar with) went off-line as I was writing the “Georgia 6 Results” post.  This happens on occasion, and nothing to worry about; give it time and it will come back.  But this time when it did, I couldn’t edit a post that was in draft, and all I got was an empty page.  When I tried to delete it, it wouldn’t go away, and then when I refreshed, the entire contents of the blog — all 28,000+ posts — was gone.  Template, yes, but content… [poof].

I sent controlled-panic messages to the crack tech support team (my brother) and left for work.  By the time I got to the office, everything was back.  So anyway…

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Little Night Music

Sorry this is so late but we had an hour delay out of Tulsa, so I had to switch to a later flight, and that one had an hour delay coming out of Dallas, so instead of getting home at 9:00 p.m. as planned, I basically just got home. So tomorrow may be another day without much blogging.


Did you know that Kansas has an official video?  Well, if they can have an official state theatre festival, then anything’s possible.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring Break

I’m off next week for spring break, but I’m getting an early start so this will be it pretty much for today, and next week I’ll be on the vacation schedule.

Actually, the next two weeks are going to be a bit abbreviated as far as regular blogging goes.  I’ll be back for a short while after break, then off again on April 19 for my annual trip to the William Inge Theatre Festival.  This will be my 25th trip to Independence, Kansas, and again this year I’m presenting a paper at the scholars conference and having a short play presented in the New Play Lab.  So lots to do here on the scholar/playwright side of my life before I go.

As usual, I’ll be checking in and perhaps posting if I feel like it.  Trust me, you’ll manage without me.  Just don’t trash the joint.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2016

It’s time for the annual look at the best posts of bloggers as chosen by the bloggers themselves. In the words of Lance Mannion:

Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows…

One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

My submission was my recent musing on now that Trump has actually started naming his cabinet, then what?

There’s a lot of good writing included in the roundup, so I suggest that you take your time and look through them.

A big hat-tip to Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar for doing the work to bring it all together.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Card

I don’t go on Winter Break until Thursday but I’m going on the holiday schedule today because … well, I was going to say that I have a lot to do — and I do — but after the last couple of days of heartbreaking news from home and abroad, I’m more in the mood to put up soothing and happy pictures and music than dig into the manure pile.

Not to worry; I’ll still be posting but on the light and variable schedule that I usually follow this time of year, including the usual Christmas posts and year-end wrap-up.

Meanwhile, here’s Sam and Santa taken at the Twin Peaks Mall in Longmont, Colorado in December 1989 when Sam was almost a year old.  I have no idea who the Santa is.  Maybe he’s the real one.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Help Me Choose

It’s that time of year when people compile lists of the best things of the year.  Yeah, this year has sucked out loud for the best of anything, but indulge me in helping to choose my selection for the annual Jon Swift Memorial Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves.  Samples of examples are to be found here.

I have one or two in mind but if you’ve got a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.  Drop your suggestions in the comments by Friday, December 23.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Same Here

John Cole at Balloon Juice and I are on the same page.

…I just can’t keep up with the news. I quit watching cable tv and honestly have not even TUNED to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or even any of the broadcast news shows or Sunday programs since the election, and have basically just been reading newspapers and websites. And it’s impossible to keep up with what Trump is doing because 95% of the stuff that comes out of his campaign is just pure bullshit.

My drive to and from work has been to the serious jazz on WDNA in Miami and at the office I’m streaming classical music from Interlochen Public Radio out of northern Michigan.  (I used to stream CBC Radio 2 but they went commercial and so the stream is blocked in the U.S.)  I have a full TiVo schedule of good and guilty-pleasure TV (“NCIS” to “Timeless” to “Mom”) and a subscription to Netflix which has me catching up with the goings-on in the Bartlet administration and the history of the British royal family.

But like John and a lot of my fellow pixel-chasing wretches in the Blogosphere, I read newspapers and websites, not all left-wing and not always political commentary.  I’ve kept up with my creative writing by submitting to both local and national playwriting opportunities.  With the holidays — all of them — practically at our throats, it’s time to plan for my trip to visit my parents over the Christmas weekend and help others plan their celebrations as well as think about what to do while school is out.

I’m not going to completely ignore the impending Trump apocalypse.  But I’m not going to rise to the clickbait, either.  So a half-term governor of Alaska is being considered for a cabinet post.  Yes, that calls for both horrified mirth and rafter-shaking rage, but like a loud fart at a cocktail party you just have to endure the shame and hope that the damage is slight.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Serious Jazz

I’m taking the rest of the week off, at least in terms of reporting and commenting on the election and its aftermath.  I think we all need a break, and if you are in need of a fix, there are plenty of other sites that can bring you up to date on the postmortem of Deplorable 2016.

I was planning on doing this even if Hillary Clinton had won.  One of the things I reminded myself of when I was looking back over the thirteen years that I’ve been doing this is that I said I would write about things other than politics: theatre, cars, writing, backyard nature, and other stuff that came to me while I was avoiding bumping into the furniture.  So that’s what I’ll be writing about.

I also need to catch up on some sleep, so until next week I’ll be on my vacation-type schedule.  I will, though, continue to post A Little Night Music.  That’s a tonic, not a burden.

And speaking of music, I’m listening to WIAA, Interlochen Public Radio’s classical feed at the office, and I’ve changed the default setting in my car radio to 88.9 FM WDNA Public Radio — your source for serious jazz here in Miami — and will be listening to that to and from work instead of NPR.  Give them a listen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thirteen Years Of Bark Bark Woof Woof

Thirteen years ago today I sat down at my little Toshiba laptop, signed into Blogger, and wrote this:

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Here Goes…

sambiggerWelcome to Bark Bark Woof Woof, a blog dedicated to my take on life, the universe and everything with my unique sense of dry amusement. The title comes from a guy I once worked for who said “bark bark woof woof” instead of “et cetera, et cetera,” and in memory of my dog, Sam, who was my best friend for 13 years.

I’m moderate-to-liberal gay man with a long background in theatre studies (BFA, University of Miami; MFA, University of Minnesota; PhD, University of Colorado), specifically in playwriting and dramatic literature. I also write novels and short stories. I live in Miami, Florida and work for the public school system. Other interests include antique cars (station wagons and Mustangs) and weightlifting. (Gee, this is beginning to sound like a personal ad, but hey, I’m single, early 50’s, of Welsh ancestry, in good shape, have a decent income, don’t drink or smoke. Drop me a line.)

I welcome your comments, and look forward to those contributions to enrich this blog – I sure can’t carry it alone.

So here we are, thirteen years, three residences, two Mustangs, two presidents, four presidential campaigns, and over 25,000 posts later, and I’m still getting up every morning and writing every post.  In fact, in all these years, only two posts were written by people other than me and they did it because I was incommunicado because of hurricanes (thank you, CLW and Brian).

But not a day has gone by that I haven’t come up with something to post.  Sometimes it’s passionate, sometimes it’s silly or snarky or just for the fun of it.  I’ve shared good times — having a play go to New York — and I’ve shared some tough times.  There have been very few things I haven’t covered in the last thirteen years, and the only test I have for choosing what to write about is will it be worth sharing with the people who read this.

I’ve made a lot of friends, forged new pathways of self-discovery, learned so much, and been touched by people I only know through nicknames and pixels.  There are so many people I want to thank for being here and being there for me.  As I said at the outset, I couldn’t do this without you, dear reader, and I hope that in these years I’ve enlightened you, provoked you, maybe even pissed you off on occasion.  The one thing I hope I haven’t done is bore you.

So with that said, I’ll ask what I always ask:  What’s next?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

…Down to the River

It’s been a long time since I made an addition to the blogroll, but I’m all too happy to share this new one: …Down to the River.

It is written by a friend I’ve known for over thirty years through my work at camp in Colorado and a shared love of teaching, good blues, and baseball.  I hope you’ll get acquainted with his world, enjoy it, and share it.