Let's see now. Mickey's big hand is on the 11 and his little hand on the 5, so it must be ... ahhhhh ... three years since I joined Open Salon. More or less. I think it was today, anyway.
Someone (it's Scarlett Sumac's fault) called me out recently for not writing any more. And someone (it's Scarlett Sumac's fault) suggested it would be interesting to know if I had any OS insights after three years.
I'm not really qualified to have OS insights, or indeed, to comment on the changes that have taken place here. For such an analysis, you'd need one of the Beta Babies, those who were here before the doors were thrown open to odious parvenus and lowlifes like me. Many of the old originals are gone now -- most of them in disgust, if their flounces were anything to go by. Well, sic transit and all that.
I do have some thoughts, memories and reflections, though, as well as some answers to questions I've been asked over time.
In The Beginning: My first iteration used the avatar you see at the top. I had no idea what I was getting into, or whether this was even a legitimate website. So I paranoically registered using a free e-mail service address, which, although real, is loaded with misleading information. The avatar is my old denim riding jacket (with Triumph wings on the back), helmet, goggles and half-gloves. The jacket doesn't fit any more -- time must have shrunk it.
Why a Pseudonym: As I mentioned, at first I had no idea whether this was a legitimate site, but since then, I've found that writing under a nom de plume has liberated me from the mental strictures and shackles imposed by my erstwhile career. Without my real name on something, I am free to reinvent my style and choose my subject matter.
Why Boanerges1: That's down to my lifelong admiration of T.E. Lawrence, who called his succession of Brough Superior motorcycles Boanerges. Also, since I'd used it elsewhere on the Internet, it was easy for me to remember. A name originally given to the disciples James and John, Boanerges means Sons of Thunder. Anyone like me who's ever heard -- and loved -- the sound that comes from a thundering, classic Brit twin or single will know how appropriate that name is. The numeral "1" was tacked on because OS wouldn't allow it any other way, for some reason.
The Tiny Perfect Redhead: All you need to know is addressed in what I wrote about our only travelling vacation. "Seeing Red (With Editor's Notes)" was originally a response to the legendary Will Someone Feed the Cat's open call for posts with a colour in the title. I wish Cat was still on here, but the TPR is just a room away in real life. It's been more than 30 years since I got very lucky, and I wouldn't change a minute of it. And, yes, we got married on Armistice Day.
Monte Canfield: My first OS Friend, and the one who persuaded me a couple of weeks later to write something instead of disappearing as I was planning to do. Monte isn't around here any more, and I miss his gentle wit and wisdom. Besides, he's even more of a high-mileage motorcyclist than I am ... and I used to ride a lot back in the day. I wish he'd come back.
My OS Friends: Old habits die hard. You'll always be Friends to me (whatever OS now decrees). Each of you was chosen deliberately because you made me laugh or think, and, in a couple of memorable instances, brought me close to tears. Each of you was asked if you'd mind being on my list; each of you kindly said yes. Some are gone, alas, and I miss every one of those unique voices. But I thank you all, from Monte to the latest, Frank Michels.
That Damned Cat: He (It?) gets special mention because we're both head-cases and because I pretty much share an enlistment date with his familiar, Tinkerertink69, whose semi-demented, sleep-deprived, psychotic-break overnight ramblings from the IT bowels of a casino made me howl. He is Open Salon's very own BOFH (Bastard Operator From Hell), and he's a one-off. Have a Free Beer, Tink.
OS Dust-ups: I nearly quit again when I got sucked into a dust-up here about six weeks after I joined. Not because I got flamed and was all broken up about it -- I'd been done over by international experts on the now defunct Guardian Universal Talk site, among other places -- but because I'd thought OS was somehow different. In the end, I wrote "On Illegitimate Rodents" about how I'd miss you rat bastards if I left. Since then, I've stayed away from dust-ups ... with one notable exception.
With the Best of Intentions: I've written a fair amount about military history on this blog, particularly the exploits of the Canadian Corps in both world wars. However, I was chagrined -- horrified, even -- to learn that many assumed I was a veteran. I'm not, although I most assuredly wouldn't be ashamed if I was. I never had to make the terrible choice of whether to volunteer or not, and I'm glad for that. I'd have been a terrible soldier.
Good Times: The two most memorable weekends I've had on OS were (1) the vain attempt to rewrite the outcome of the War of 1812 and (2) the Revolt of the Pirate Wimmin. In the former, the so-called "Shock and Thaw" campaign launched against Canada from somewhere in the U.S. Midwest was repulsed by highly irregular combat forces under the command of the Generalissimost; in the latter, the Most High Admiral put her distaff buccaneers firmly in control of the OS feeds and ordered them to run amok, which they did. In both cases, the cannons follied and blundered and the virtual blood ran freely. It was great fun.
Seasons Change: I thought I was done with motorcycles when I sold my last Brit bikes, even taking down the banner the brilliant RicTresa had so thoughtfully produced for me. I was considering an entire name change, since it marked a milestone for me personally, but someone (it's Scarlett Sumac's fault) wondered how anyone would know it was me afterward. So I just modified the persona by adding "Redux".
Boanerges Rides Again: Last August, I couldn't stand it any longer and bought another motorcycle, this time a medium-weight Kawasaki. Surgery on my thumb and wretched weather kept me from piling up a lot of mileage, but, despite the fact it doesn't sound like my old Triumphs (and doesn't leak oil or vibrate like a tuning fork, either), it's been great recovering my semi-dormant riding skills -- and having the wind in my face once more. Oh yes: Ric? The banner is back, and thanks again.
is better than all the riding animals on Earth,
because of its logical extension of our faculties,
and the hint, the provocations, to excess conferred
by its honeyed untiring smoothness... ."