11 March 2016
SETI League
PriUPS Project



This "Me" blogitem appeared ten years ago today.  It was my first ever, and marked the beginning of a long adventure of public scribbling.  In my blog's first few years I accumulated several thousand enthusiastic millireaders and a few thousand more episodic ones.  Who knows how many unintentional ones who were drawn to one of my hundreds of musings by a random inquiry to Google, Bing, Chrome, or the others.  As you can see by clicking on Index (which should really be "table of contents") at the left, my blogging has been quite sporadic in recent years.  Not due to lack of enthusiasm, not due to subject-matter exhaustion, but simply due to conflicting "priorities."  There's too much to do!  And it's getting worse.

Nonetheless, I can't let this tenth anniversary pass by without at least some recognition, so I decided to update "Me."  updates are in a shade somewhere between unforeseeable fuchsia and, in this bizarre election year, political plum.

Q:  What's your name?
:  Richard Factor
U:  Unsurprisingly, no change

Q:  Why "RIKLblog?"
:  RIKL is an old nickname, a combination of my name (Richard, frequently shortened to "Rick", and WA2IKL, my ham call letters for the past almost-50 years).  It's pronounced "Rickel" but spelled Rikl.
U:  The number of people who still call me RIKL, has diminished somewhat but not yet drastically.  It's The System.

Q:  Why a blog?  Yours is number 37,030,119, by the way.
:  I like that number!  And who knows, I may find something of interest to say.
U:  I'm declaring success on this one.  Out of thousands of "pages," surely something must be of interest.  To someone, somewhere.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself.
:  I'm 60, tall, reasonably robust, live in suburban Northern New Jersey, and can see my toes.
U:  The first OMG of this update.  In ten years I've gone from 60 to 70!  Predictable, I guess, but OMG nonetheless.  I'm a "senior citizen."  The government is sending checks to me!  And I no longer live in Northern New Jersey, but rather in Sedona, Arizona, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I (and my still-visible toes) continue to answer to "robust."

Q:  Do you like music?
:  Yes.  Music is very important to me.
U:  No change

Q:  Books?
:  Yes.  I like science, science fiction, spy books, and humor.  In the latter categories, I'm especially keen on the SF classics such as Heinlein, Asimov and Vance, unaccountably thrill to both LeCarre and Clancy, and guffaw to Dave Barry and P.J. O'Rourke.
U:  Sadly Vance is no longer with us, nor is Clancy, although in the latter case it's hard to be sure since his posthumous output occupies half a shelf in my library.  Perhaps he's in league with Jimi Hendrix.

Q:  What's your favorite color?
:  Blue
U:  No change

Q:  Favorite Beverage?  Food?
:  Ice water, chocolate.
:  No change.  Here in the Arizona desert ice water is quite the necessity.

Q:  This blog is going to be a long-term and time-consuming effort.  Do you like to write?  Do you have literary pretensions?
:  Not especially; I prefer having written.  I do enjoy words and I like to neologize.
U:  I may have literary pretensions.  Occasionally people tell me some of this body of blog is publishable, and I've received the occasional (small) check in payment for items that were reprinted elsewhere.  If I had a day job, I wouldn't quit.

Q:  Oh?  Do you do crosswords?
:  Not for myself, although I am pressed into service on occasion.  I'm reliable with science and geography, pretty good with unknown musical groups, fair at dead politicians and long-resolved crises, and absolutely hopeless with actors and pop culture.
:  Along the same lines, and despite my general pooh-poohing of television, I try to compete on Jeopardy.  What talent I have has unaccountably remained unrecognized, despite my forceful blurtation when I know an answer.  I'm still absolutely hopeless with actors and pop culture, but someone on the Jeopardy staff is partial to elements, especially the noble gases.  I often ace that category.

Q:  Irony or sarcasm?
:  Irony.  I also like the occasional zeugma.
:  Nothing in the past decade, and especially in the past six months, has dissuaded me.

Q:  Does this blog have a subject or theme or even any point?
:  I think it will, although it's a bit soon to predict.  Ask me again in a month or so.  I often find myself disagreeing with conventional wisdom and with both (or all) sides of many arguments.  Perhaps I'll reflect on these issues.  I have the usual collection of ideas for saving the world and might enjoy having them ignored by a much wider group than just my friends.  And of course there are always updates on my science projects, such as the host website for this blog, www.PriUPS.com.
:  Was I ever wrong on this one!  No subject, no theme, and hardly any point.  Even the "evil airline scum" softkey isn't getting much of a workout.

Q:  Why should we pay attention to you?  Are you an expert on anything?
:  Like everyone, I have my areas of knowledge.  I'm pretty good with electronics and some physics.  I'm terrible with squishy human stuff.  Also, like everyone,  this lack of expertise won't prevent me from declaiming on subjects about which I know nothing.
:  I have developed new and surprising expertise in the preparation and delivery of tea.  It wasn't the challenge I expected it to be.

Q:  Such as politics?
:  No.  I'm unlikely to be political in any partisan sense.  I don't identify with any party.  If someone threatened to chop down my antennas, I might agree to be a Libertarian until I could wrest the ax from him.
U:  And I might not.  I was disappointed in the putative Libertarian candidate this "election cycle."  Sigh.

Q:  Well, this nascent blog sounds like it will be fun!
:  I sure hope so.  My blog hero, Andy Tobias, has been doing this five days a week for about a decade, long before anyone knew it was a "blog."  I've just gotten through my first day.  Wish me luck.
:  Andy is still at it, exhorting us almost every day about his political hobbyhorse, albeit with good and gentle humor.  He remains an exemplar of devotion to whose diligence I can only aspire. 

Q:  Good luck. 
U:  Thanks!

Q:  Surely there's more!  Any further personal news since 2006?
:  Absolutely!  Quite a bit, and much of it "life changing."  But I'm running low on fuchsia phosphor and I have to update my Chemical of the Day.  I just had a sodium lauryl sulfate sighting an hour ago.

Richard Factor

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