My life is now such that I don’t have the time to do long-form, thoughtful blogging. When I have time to think about big ideas expressed in well-chosen words, it’s as editor at Friends Journal. I have a rather long commute but it’s broken up with transfers, I often have to stand and I usually don’t have a laptop on me. What I do have is a smart phone, which I use to keep up with Quaker blogs, listen to podcasts and take pictures.
Despite this, I can usually write a few paragraphs at a time. Kept at steadily those could amass into blog posts. But the finishing-up effort is hard. I have a 2/3rds completed post lavishing high praise for +Jon Watts’s new album sitting on my phone but haven’t had the chance to finish, polish and publish. So what if I serialized these? Write a few paragraphs at a time, invite commentary, perhaps even alter things in a bit of crowd-sourcing?
Any feedback I’d get would help keep up my enthusiasm for the topic. This informal post-as-chat was actually the dominant early model for blogs, one that fell away as they became more visible. It’d be nice to get back to that. The medium seems obvious to me: Google+, which allows for extended informal posts. So I’ll try that. These will be beta thoughts-on-electron. If they seem to gell together, I might then polish and publish to QuakerRanter.org, but no promises. This is mostly a way to get some raw ideas out there.
On Tuesday, Dec 28 my lovely wife Julie gave birth to our third son. After some dithering back and forth (we’re methodical about baby names) we picked Gregory. Everyone is happy and healthy. Vital stats: 20 inches, 7 pounds 9 oz. The brothers are adjusting well, though Theo’s first response to my phone call telling him it was a boy was “oh no, another one of those.”
That’s 5yo Francis (aka “little big brother”) and 7yo Theo (“big big brother”) meeting their new sibling at the hospital. More pics in the Gregory! and Gregory in the Hospital sets on Flickr.
As you can see, we’ve basically bred triplets spaced over three years apart. As further evidence, here’s Theo and Francis in their first pics (links to their announcement posts):
As I mentioned, we’re methodical about names. When we were faced with Baby #2 I put together the “Fallen Baby Names Chart”–classic names that had fallen out of trendy use. It’s based on the current ranking of the top names of 1900. “Gregory” doesn’t appear on our chart because it was almost unused until a sudden appearance in the mid-1940s (see chart, right). Yes, that would be the time when a handsome young actor named Gregory Peck became famous. It peaked in 1962, the year of Peck’s Academy Award for To Kill a Mockingbird and has been dropping rapidly ever since. Last year less than one in a thousand newborn boys were Gregory’s. While we recognize Peck’s influence in the name’s Twentieth Century popularity, Julie is thinking more of Gregory of Nyssa [edited, I originally linked to another early Gregory]. Peck’s parents were Catholic (paternal relatives helped lead the Irish Easter Rising) and were presumably thinking of the Catholic saint when they gave him Gregory for a middle name (he dropped his first name Eldred for the movies).
The most excellent Peggy Senger Parsons of Oregon’s Freedom Friends Church emailed me today saying she and the equally excellent Marge Abbott will be co-leading a workshop at the Philadelphia area Pendle Hill Retreat Center from 3/27–29. These two were crossing theological boundaries and pioneering the Convergent Friend ethos long before Blogs, Twitter & Facebook. The workshop is called “Are we still a dangerous people?” and as rocking as that sounds, I’d be willing to listen to these two read the Salem, Oregon phone book for a weekend. If you have a pillow stuffed with some extra cash ($200 for commuters) then you should definitely try to make it (unfortunately I don’t have a lumpy pillowcase and can’t afford to take another three days off).
Peggy wrote that she wants to make herself “available for the Saturday afternoon free time for a conversation with any Friends who want to drop in and crash the party.” That sounds good to me! If I can rearrange some childcare schedules, I’ll try to make that. That would be Saturday the 28th from 1:00–3:30pm.