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Okay, so I moved my blog from WordPress hosting to my own local server because it didn’t seem to make sense to pay $50 a year for a blog I hadn’t updated since 2016. So now I guess I should update it?

The French are at it again. For those who don’t know, the French language has a bunch of fuddy-duddy custodians who hate the idea of loanwords coming in from other languages, so whenever you get a new word like “computer,” they have to make sure that French people don’t just call it “le computer” but instead use a real French word, “l’ordinateur.” That hatred of the British runs deep, I guess.

At any rate, the latest uproar is over online gaming. Apparently, you can’t call it e-sports (even though “sport” is a French word), you have to call it “jeu video de competition.” You can’t be a streamer, you have to be “un joueur-animateur en direct.” You can’t be playing Doom Eternal on a “cloud gaming” service, it has to be a “jeu video de nuage.”

Predictably, the younger generation thinks this is ridiculous. Which it is, but there’s a simple solution: L’Académie Française should pick French versions that are actually good instead of long, unwieldy phrases. If “sport” is a French word, why not call e-sports “sports en ligne” (online sports)? That at least flows better. Instead of turning cloud gaming into “videogame of cloud,” call it “nuage-jeux” or portmanteau it into “nuajeux” (literally “cloud games”).

We say “streamer” or “streaming” in English because saying “live video shower of gameplay” is ridiculously overworded, and “stream” is a handy metaphor for stuff (in this case video) flowing from one place to another. So I don’t want to be “un joueur-animateur en direct,” but I’d be happy to be “un fleuveur” or “un couranteur.” You catch more flies with honey than with up-turned noses.

Uncomfortably numb

This is a difficult post to write.

Oh, not difficult mentally; I know what I want to say. It’s not anything I’m embarrassed about, or can’t find the words for. It’s all things I’ve been thinking about for a while now.
No, it’s just physically hard for me to type these days. They’re right when they say you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, and it wasn’t one of the things I ever worried about (or even thought about) while they were treating me for cancer last year.

Continue reading Uncomfortably numb

I’ve grown accustomed to your hair

Since I can’t seem to manage to update this blog with anything new, here’s a post from one of the old blogs from a few years ago…

My father, like many men, began losing his hair in his 40s, and, like many men, covered his expanding bald spot with a toupée for many years. His father lost his hair at a much earlier age, and chose to remain coverless. Each year, large groups of men have to deal with the loss of what many consider to be an essential part of their appearance.

They deal with it in a variety of ways. Some choose the combover. Others shave off what remains of their hair, to make the loss seem intentional. Still others, like my father, invest in a professionally crafted hairpiece, custom fitted and colored to blend naturally with their remaining hair. Indeed, many people never realized my father was balding at all.

I mention this because I had to take my car to the mechanic so they could tighten the belt they had replaced the other day, which was slipping. While in the waiting area, I noticed another patron who was waiting for his car as well. He appeared to be in his early 50s, and was wearing a wig.

Note that I did not call it a toupée, or a hairpiece, because these terms imply that the article is crafted to resemble the wearer’s actual hair. This was more of a helmet, a fur hat crafted from a pelt of the finest plastic $2.50 can buy. I’m sure the color was a reasonable facsimile of a color the gentleman’s hair was at one time, but it clearly bore no resemblance to the tufts sticking out around the edges. The real shocker came when he got up to move around, and I noticed that there was, where the crown should be, a bald spot.

A bald spot. On a wig.

Now, I can understand that this may be all he can afford, but please. Can he honestly think that this is somehow improving his appearance? Is he longing to recapture the days when he was merely balding? All I could think was, if I ever get to the stage where my scalp is exposed to the wind, and I attempt to cover it with a mangy polyester piece of roadkill, I can only hope someone puts me out of my misery.

Why, as a pup, I myself…

Took Sean to Wal-Mart to get some groceries, and afterward we had lunch in the McDonalds there. As we were finishing, a little old lady came over and said, “I just wanted to say I was enjoying watching how you were taking care of him, so gentle and kind. Most parents aren’t that nice with their kids.” I really had to restrain myself to keep from saying, “Yes, I try to be careful with them because if you bruise them or scratch them up, it reduces their resale value.”

The enamel chick

So apparently the default for WordPress is to moderate comments from people you haven’t approved before. Well, that’s turned off for now. Anyway, I’ve already gotten a request to explain the blog’s name, “A Chicken Helmet,” which I probably should have done in the first place. Several years ago, I plugged my name into an anagram generator, and it came up with quite a few interesting ones. My favorite, “the elk mechanic,” got turned into usernames, email addresses, etc. and has pretty much become my online identity. There were also quite a few related to chickens (the lame chicken, the chicken meal, the male chicken), and I’m not sure what exactly that says about me. But one of them was “a chicken helmet,” which struck me as an excellent name for a blog. Or a name for a blog, at least.

A-blogging we will go

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve thought, “Gee, I wish I had a blog to write about X.” And then I’ve thought, “Wait, I do have a couple blogs, I could post to one of them.” But then I’ve thought, “I haven’t posted to them in a long, LONG time. I should just start a new blog.”

Of course, all this thinking, coupled with life being its typical busy craziness, means that it’s taken this long just to get to the point where the blog is set up and I have a couple minutes to post something to it. And this isn’t even anything more than saying, “Yes, I’ve started another blog I’ll never have the time or enthusiasm to update.” Ah, well, I’ll tackle actually posting something real tomorrow, provided I can remember some of those things I wanted a blog for.