Welcome to the Lodge!


  .. It has been a year now since the Head Rhino took over the complete accomplishment of this web page, and, pretty much as predicted, it has been a year in which he has accomplished very little else. Slow learner, but very thorough. --Let me explain a little more.

When I first got a computer it was an XT. (What young Americans call an 'antique,' their experience of life not including a memory of anything that happened more than three months ago: not their fault, mind you, they have been trained to forget quickly so that they will buy more junk and vote for junk candidates.) It took me about ten years to feel proficient enough in using it that I could actually write on it. --By 'write,' I don't mean string a few sentences together or assemble a manual for using a can opener; I mean write as in story or novel. I really like writing on a computer because I don't have to retype the whole 600 pages when I want to change something. I haven't found a spell checker yet with a vocabulary to match the average six year old, but as a tool the computer is excellent.

Meanwhile Jonathon (my son) and the rest of the world took great delight in pointing out the error of my ways for not 'upgrading' and getting new equipment.

I pointed out, again and again, that it had taken me ten years to get comfortable with what I had, and that it did (and does) do the job; but mere logic is powerless in the face of the commercial assault which the average computer user is drowned in daily. --The fact is, most people don't need a computer, they buy one because it is the current fashion; and if they do anything more useful than playing games (which always require an upgrade before you can play them) it is remarkable. The fact is, the real purpose of a computer in the current economy is to sell more computers; usually achieved by selling software (games) incompatible with what you have just purchased. Drugs are not nearly so addictive as commerce, and computers are the current commercial drug of choice.

Well, anyway, an upgrade which would allow me greater control in composing music turned out to be the carrot that led this donkey on, not to mention which I was tired of printing out my novels one page at a time on a daisy wheel printer; and the new printers won't work with an XT. So, Jonathon built me a 386 out of spare parts, and voila! I could compose more music, and I could print out without a back ache. Jonathon also built himself a 486 out of spare parts, and thus this website was born.

Being the conservative fellow that I am, I made sure the XT remained where it was. The fact is, the new software on the 386, with Windows, is impossible to use; at least, without ten years of study. So I continued serious writing on the XT, and took it over to the 386 for printout.

At that point everybody began telling me that the 386 was an antique, and that I needed upgrades.

Uh huh.

On a particularly unpleasant day I was ganged up on and beaten down emotionally for hours. Eventually one of the people telling me how stupid I was not to upgrade offered to go so far as buy me a new computer and set it up so that I could still write on my old software. The idea was that I would not have to waste ten years learning new software, but would have all the advantages of the new machine.

The guy actually convinced me that he could and would do it.

I fell for it, got my hopes up, and all that entails; and was once again treated to the emotional crap that comes from people who like to set you up only to drop you. When will I ever learn?

Meanwhile something was wrong with the 386. I spent as much time crying to Jonathon for help as I spent doing anything useful. Jonathon assured me the hard disc was faulty, and eventually replaced it. But by then he had moved out of the Lodge, and every cry for help was a big pain for him.

He had also left me with the website which he had so beautifully designed, and which could not be serviced by the 386, even if it had been working.

At that point my buddy David (Excalibear) gave me a Mac, so that I could do e-mail and handle the website.

But of course I had to learn to use the Mac, build a website, generate content, and... Well, you get the idea. That was a year ago. I am still learning. Now I have to call David for help as well as Jon.

I could still write on the XT, and during the year I have gone in many times, dusted it off, started to write a book review (to warm up) and been yanked away by one emergency or another. (If you read the archives of this site you will be able to see what kind of year it has been.) To put it bluntly, learning new computer skills is a sure way to keep from doing anything other than learning new computer skills. Its fun, its time-consuming, and it keeps you from accomplishing anything else.

Being a writer by nature and profession, I enjoy doing the website. I would enjoy it more if it generated income. But it is transient art rather than immortal prose, and... Well... In the long run it doesn't matter, I suppose. The market for immortal prose is pretty dead, what with all the editorial posts being filled by folks who graduated college with degrees in editing, but without ever having been exposed to any literature. Only those who would like to read my next novel or short story suffer.

So now I have three computers, I have a very large website, I am enjoying cyberspace, and I am accomplishing nothing much serious. Pretty much what I was afraid would happen. Pretty much what I told people would happen. They all laughed and said it would not be that way. But when I look at what I used to accomplish, and what they accomplish, I fear that I am very much right, and somewhat saddened by it.

If this introduction seems a little gloomy, well, I didn't intend to write it that way. But while I have been writing it the wood man came about the trees that have to come down in the yard (destroying a lot of stuff I have worked hard to achieve) the fence man came about replacing the fences thus destroyed, and somebody called me up to ask me just what it was that Oliver Twist said about wanting more.

I suppose I want more.

But if you explore this site as I hope you will, you will discover more. More than you will find on most sites, that much is certain. I am very content driven! You will also discover that a sense of humor gets you through when most things won't. You will discover that there are people still practicing the religion of Ancient Greece. You will discover the many stories and novels written by the members of my family, and some friends. You will discover what I have been reading, what kind of music I have been listening to, and those wonderful strange places (to which I have provided links) in cyberspace where most have not dared to go; or maybe just not wanted to attempt to go.

I suppose this site could be viewed as a kind of diary, chronicling my intellectual and spiritual explorations. I have been told it is a pretty cool site to visit, but I will let you make the judgment call. Not everything gets updated every month, but there are constant updates, sometimes one thing, sometimes another. It is really two websites, the one personal, the one for Thiasos Olympikos. At the top of the two menu pages you will find the date on which there was last an update for materials on that page.

I don't think you will find a rhinoceros centerfold anywhere else in cyberspace.

Not all pages have music. Those which do have, most usually, a single play through.

I just hope you will enjoy your visit, and come back often.

--The Head Rhino


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