Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Welcome to Mystifying Oracle 

Over the past few years the phemomenon of web-logging has grown to immense proportion. Much of it is pure time-killing junk, people telling us what they ate and how they have nothing to say today, but posted anyway. Then you get something useful like blogs from Iraq that gave the world insight into unreported happenings when the war started. Mere mortals who don't even pay for their blog-hosting are able to spread stories that capture the world's attention, leaving huge news conglomerates in the dust. And I hear that on Fridays we can all post pictures of our cats. That's the kind of potential that made me say, I gotta get in on that sweet blogging action!
The main reason is, I've always wanted to keep some sort of journal. I figure that when I'm old, it would be nice to have some writings of mine so I could remind myself what was going on years ago. I know I'll need this, because I already need it now. Just the other day I was telling my mate Jill about the time I went with my pals Bubba and Grady onto Let's Make A Deal, wearing a gorilla suit. Jill then pointed out to me that wasn't a memory from my interesting past, but in fact an old episode of Sanford and Son that I had co-opted as personal history. As she went on to talk about the British tv show Steptoe and Son that Redd Foxx's show was based upon, I began thinking about the age old quandries of memory and perception, and how I could take steps to keep myself consistent. I had started a journal when I was 30, and it failed miserably. Entries became yearly, and then not even that frequent. I write painfully slow, so I was never eager to try to update it. But if I'm typing my hands become blurs. They'd be even faster if we'd abandon the QWERTY order to keyboards, that's a holdover from keeping typewriter keys from locking up. I should be able to manage a couple of entries a week, especially if I think readers will check in.
I'll try to keep it interesting, and leave out things that are overly blogged like politics. I'll restrain myself from referring you to the latest Onion triumph, no matter how funny I think it is. And I'll never talk about something I ate unless it was exceptional, and I can explain how you can make it. In fact, I make a lot of things of all kinds, and I'll try to share those processes here. I'll also talk dirt about people in the comic book industry, for what that's worth.

Hey Parker, what gives with the name and the Ouija Board up there? Does this site make use of the Supernatural?

No, hypothetical questioner, this site uses cascading style sheets like most blogs. The William Fuld Talking Board you see up top is actually the lap board I use for drawing on when I'm not at my desk. It's not an affectation to seem interesting; I had the board out as a Halloween prop a couple of years ago and grabbed it when I needed a surface to draw against. It's the perfect size for comics pages, so I kept using it. This style of board, produced by Parker Bros. (yeah, never heard that one growing up) has the term "Mystifying Oracle" on it, and I love that name. I found a well-documented history of Ouija boards at the Museum of Talking Boards, go check it out. You can find out how Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper got their band names from Ouija-ing, and do a little Ouija online, which is almost as spooky as the real thing. Not that I can remember, I haven't actually played this board since I was a kid (and we've already established how reliable my memory is) and the planchette has been lost for years. I do hold out hope that at times when I fall asleep on the couch with the board in my lap that spirits might move my hand and pencil and finish my pages while I rest, but so far it hasn't happened. They're too busy at someone else's house moving glassware ten inches.

So welcome to my blog. I'll try to make future ramblings more concise than this one. I'm not sure if I'll add Comments later or not, but you can write me if you have any. Thanks for coming by. I mean, come back later, the spirits are busy...


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