Category Archives: Blogging


Life being what it is, it seems that the vicissitudes have been more vicissitudinous than usual over the last few months.  I have let even my regular posts–music on Fridays and quotes on Sundays–fall by the wayside, let alone original posts of which I have many drafts.

Among the various things I’m going to try harder on in this new year (I refuse to say “resolutions” in this context, not wishing to jinx myself), blogging will be one.  As of this weekend, I’m starting back to the regular Friday and Sunday posts; and in the very near future, I hope to complete some of the many drafts I have and get them up.

Wish me luck!

This or That: Index

“This or that” is a pop-culture game in which you decide among two possibilities of things in which there is perceived to be a binary–i.e., a “this or that”–choice.  I have done some posts on the “this or that” theme, and lately I’ve had some ideas for others.  Therefore, I’ve decided to give “this or that” its own index.  Whichever alternative you prefer in each of the following posts, enjoy!

Plato or Aristotle?

Egypt or Mesopotamia?

Athens or Jerusalem?

Star Trek or Star Wars?

The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

Movies Will Be Closing

I just wanted to note an upcoming change here at the Chequer-Board of Nights and Days.  As you can see at the top of the screen (for now), one of the pages is labeled “movies”.  Some years ago, for some reason or other–I don’t remember why–I began posting movies to the site.  They were mostly B-movies, with a mixture of serious movies, comedies, documentaries, and made-for-TV content.  The number expanded to the point that I organized all of them on a single page so that visitors could browse the selection and watch what they wanted.

Alas, YouTube videos (which is what most of them were) are an ephemeral thing.  They’re always going up and down, and many of the videos I had posted–probably the majority–had become dead links.  I’ve been too lazy to do anything about it, but I’ve gotten back to active blogging lately, and I decided that I needed to clean out the underbrush.  Thus, I will eventually be deleting the “Movies” page.

Why “eventually”?  Well, counterintuitively, it’s actually almost as hard and time-consuming to get rid of all these posts as it was to put them up.  I could just delete the page, but that would leave up all the dead-link posts, and then I’d not have links by which to easily find them again.  Thus, I’m having to gradually go through, post by post; see if the link is dead or not; if the link isn’t dead, and if I want to save the content, then I need to save it at my YouTube channel, or download it with converter software; then I have to delete the blog page; and eventually, after doing all of that, I’ll delete the “Movies” page.  Whew!  I’ve deleted probably twenty or thirty items so far, but there’s quite a bit to go.

The whole concept was a noble attempt, and I hope some of you got some enjoyment out of it; but it just isn’t worth the effort to maintain (I’d have to be fixing links and adding and removing pages all the time), and I need to focus on other things.  The library remains open, however, and I’ve added a few items lately, so feel free to check it out at any time!


Updates and Coming Attractions

As with most things in life, the rhythms of blogging go in cycles.  Sometimes I am full of ideas and I have (or can make) the time to write about them.  Blogging then comes thick and furiously.  At other times, the muse is absent, the well is dry, and things go on hiatus for a longer or shorter period of time.  Such are the vicissitudes of life.  I sometimes think I should be doing more, but from my first forays into blogging I resolved not to beat myself up over regularity.  I have tried to do journals/diaries in the past, and it never worked out.  Blogging has turned out to be a fruitful outlet for my writing, and has gone on much longer than any attempt at journaling that I’ve ever attempted.  Thus, for everything there is a season–a time to write and a time not to write–and I’m OK with that.

The last couple of years have been relatively fallow, but in the last week I’ve started putting up posts again, and I have some ideas for posts to come in the near future.  No doubt I’ll go into fallow cycles again in the future, but for now I hope to be a bit more productive.  In line with that resolution, I’d like to discuss some of the plans for upcoming things I have, for those who are regular (or even new!) readers of the Chequer-Board.

First, I am currently working on a review of David Bentley Hart’s recent translation of the New Testament, and I hope to have it finished and up within the week.  I will cross-index it under “The Pretty Good Book“, “Universalism (What the Hell?!)“, and “Towards a Gnostic Orthodoxy“, for reasons that will be apparent when I post it.

Second, there are some recent developments on the polygenism front that I want to look at, as well as some new findings regarding animal cognition that I think ultimately tie in to that.  This, in turn, is relevant to any account of the Fall of Man; so I hope to resume work (at least intermittently) on “Legends of the Fall” (the end of which, alas, seems nowhere in sight).

Third, I think I’m essentially finished with my series on universalism (linked above).  I will put the review of Hart’s New Testament there, as I said.  I think I may have one or two short pieces to add, as well; and then I’ll add a wrap-up piece, while of course leaving open the possibility of future addenda, as they suggest themselves.

Fourth, in the slightly longer term, I’d like to continue my series on Star Trek:  The Motion Picture and “Religion, Role-playing, and Reality“.  I pretty much know where I want to go with those, and have had either the ideas or the beginnings of posts (or both) for continuing each series, but haven’t got around to it.  I hope to do so soon.

Fifth, in the somewhat longer term, I desperately need to fix the index for the “Daily Whitman” series.  As you can see by visiting the link, the index is incomplete and has been for some time.  For various reasons, it has proved to be a fiendishly difficult thing to do properly, unlike the relatively simple index for the “Rubá’í of the Day” series.  I have plenty of non-blogging stuff on my plate as it is, and given the complexity of fixing this table, this is something that may have to wait awhile; but it is on my “to-do” list.  Meanwhile, you can use the tags to reach individual installments of the “Daily Whitman” series.

Sixth, I may remove the “Movies” sub-page from the blog.  I used to post a lot of movies, documentaries, and shorts here, but the transient nature of YouTube being what it is, I have scads of dead links lying about.  I’m not sure that it’s worthwhile maintaining them; so I may delete the “Movies” page and/or the individual movie-containing posts.  I’m not sure yet, but we’ll see.

Seventh, and most nebulous, I intend eventually to resume posting series of poetry (probably Masters’s Spoon River Anthology or the haiku of Kobayashi Issa next).  I’d also like to revisit some of my other series, and, wonder of wonders, maybe even start some new ones, or even do some stand-alone posts.

Once more, life is as it is, vicissitudes and all, so I can’t be sure as to the exact schedule on which I’ll be able to do all this.  Keep your eyes out for news and update here, and as always, thank you very much for your continued support!


Farewell, My Fancy

Yesterday I completed publishing the entire Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.  It was a follow-up to my series publishing two different translations of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.  Back in November of last year I bogged down on blogging and temporarily abandoned daily updates of the blog.  I let the Daily Whitman series lapse, as well as the Friday music and the Sunday “Quote for the Week”.  Finally, a few weeks ago, I restarted everything.  I was closer to the end than I realized, and it seems like saying goodbye to an old friend to have Daily Whitman finally come to an end.

I will keep posting music on Fridays and quotes on Sundays.  I have a couple of possible contenders for daily poetry to post, but I haven’t made a decision yet.  I think it salutary to take a few days off and decide what I want to do, and then go from there.  In the meantime, I hope all of you who may be regular, semi-regular, or sporadic readers have enjoyed the Daily Whitman, and before it, the Rubá’í of the Day series.  Keep checking this space for poetry to come!

Back Into the Swing of Things


Regular readers may note that finally, after a considerable time off, I have restarted publishing Leaves of Grass in my “Daily Whitman” series.  I have also resumed posting music of various sorts on Fridays and a “Quote for the Week” on Sundays.  Hopefully this will keep me busy enough with the blog to inspire me to get back to more regular articles in some of the series, particularly “Legends of the Fall“.  In any case, enjoy!

Whither Hence?


I hate it when I run across an interesting blog and find it has not been updated in months, or even years.  I can’t speak for others as to whether my blog is interesting–though the traffic hasn’t been bad lately–but it has not been updated since November, with the exception of a brief note of its five-year anniversary in December.

Alas, life  has got in the way.  With no intention of whining, I have had many personal things, including health issues, that have had to take precedence.  These have caused me to slip out of regular posting; and slipping out of regular posting leads all too easily to no posting.  In any case, this post it to make it clear that I’m still around and do intend–when I don’t know–to resume at least some posting, within the parameters of some still-pressing concerns.

First, I will at some point resume the “Daily Whitman” series.  Instead of backdating it, I will probably just re-start it at whatever date it happens to be, and go from there.  The index has presented some thorny problems, and may have to be totally re-done; so I don’t expect I’ll have it updated for some time, even after I re-start posting the poems.

Second, I’m mostly satisfied with my series on universalism, but may post occasionally to it, as ideas occur or worthwhile exterior links crop up.

Third, I have a broad overview of what I want to do with my tent-pole “Legends of the Fall” series, which I still consider incomplete.  This will require several more posts–I don’t know how many–and I will try to get started back on them in the coming weeks, as I’m able to.  To me, this is the most important series on the blog, and the one I consider the linchpin; so if nothing else, I want to finish it.

Of the other series, I want to eventually resume the series on religion and role-playing, as I have some good ideas for it, and I want to finish the series on Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Beyond that, we’ll just see what happens.

Many thanks to all of you who follow, read, and (I hope) enjoy the blog, especially those who have kept coming during its hiatus.  That means a lot to me, and I appreciate it very much.  Keep coming–hopefully there will be new material soon!



According to WordPress, this is the fifth anniversary of blogging.  I’ve been taking a bit of break the last couple months, but hope to get back to work soon.  Thanks to all of you who have been readers and visitors, and I wish a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and great holiday season to all!


Cranking it Up

shop-force1Those who follow this blog regularly may have noticed I’d lapsed from regular updates.  I think I had gone since about this time in 2012 without missing a day, at least for the poems (first the “Rubá’í of the Day”, then the “Daily Whitman” series).  This April, for the first time since then, I missed a couple of days.  I caught up, then missed again, then let things lapse for a bit.

Sometimes a bit of a hiatus  is necessary.  Things have been hectic, and I’ve had other things that needed my attention.  Also, as someone who can be a bit obsessive-compulsive, I sometimes have to step back.  It’s been a bit of a vacation, and it was needed, I think.

Starting this week, I began the “Quote for the Week” series again; and I’m working to catch up to the present with the selections from Leaves of Grass.  Once I get there, I’m going to try to maintain the daily pace again, perhaps while working with better work strategies.  In short, I’ll try to figure out how (to follow the cliche) to work smarter, not harder, in getting things done.

It has been even longer since I’ve updated any of my other series, and I do have some essays I still want to get done.  However, I’m trying to do baby steps, so to speak.  I’ll get there, but it may take awhile.

Meanwhile, I appreciate your patience, readers, and hope you continue to fing things to enjoy here at the Chequer-Board!

Improved Indexing

1726A slight heads up to a small change I’m making that hopefully will make this blog a little more user-friendly.  I already have a page for the series indices (see above) and a bar with links to the indices to the lower right.  However, a visitor coming on a given post might not know what series (or sometimes what group of series, since some posts are in more than one series) that post belongs to.  Even worse, I will sometimes end a post by saying, “Next time we’ll discuss such-and-such.”  I mean, of course, the next time in that series.  However, many posts and weeks or months may intervene between the current post and the next in its series; and the casual reader would have no way of knowing where that next post is.  I know I’ve been frustrated by this on other blogs.

Therefore, I am beginning to go to each post that is part of a series, and linking to the series index at the bottom of the post.  At this point there will be, in italics, a sentence:  Part of the series X, where X is the name of the series and contains a hyperlink to the proper series index.  Thus, suppose a given post goes up in March and ends with a teaser of the next time, but the next in the series doesn’t go up until September.  Now all one will have to do is to click the link at the bottom to go to the series index; and from there, it will be easy enough to find the next installment in the series, if it’s been published yet.

Obviously, given the large numbers of series and posts I’ve got, this will take awhile.  Some posts, as I said, belong to multiple series and will thus need multiple links.  In this case, I’ll put the main series index link first, followed by any subsidiary or “nested” series.  I expect that it will take several weeks or months to get all posts indexed, so please be patient.  The final results, though, will be worth the efforts, and will make navigating around here substantially easier.  Meanwhile, enjoy the blog!