January 19, 2011



The last post on this blog may have puzzled some readers.

It was written by a cockroach named arnold who has taken up residence in my computer keyboard at work.

Normally, for computer bugs, I just run a Norton or Symantec scan, but I have decided to coexist peacefully with arnold.

I kind of like the little guy. Being a cockroach, he forces me to look at life from a different perspective, and sometimes that can be a good thing. He takes things a little more seriously than I do, and has little patience for my usual buffoonery.

Things around O Dock have gotten more hectic lately and I've had less time for blogging than I used to. Allowing arnold to guest blog has taken some of the pressure off me. arnold and I have never actually met, face to antennae. But I have enough confidence in him that I've sent him an e-mail asking if any of his friends might also be interested in guest blogging here. I'm not sure where that might lead.

I've been writing this blog for about a year and a half, now - long enough to take stock of just what the heck it is I'm doing. When I started, I had no idea what I would blog about. It's not like I go sailing every few days and could write about that. And I'm an expert on practically nothing in the world of sailing. Any sailing subject you can think of already has six bloggers writing about it who are better informed than I am.

Nevertheless (how often do you get to start a sentence with 'nevertheless' anymore?), I seem to have found a precarious niche in the sail blogging world, judging from the response to most posts. I will still try to fill that niche if I ever figure out exactly what it is.

But I will also keep trying new things, too. And considering my unstable mental state, those new things could turn out to be downright shocking.

Consider yourself warned.

Arnold took on quite a task for a cockroach in his last post, writing about a serious and potentially delicate subject.

Maybe some people were offended by a cockroach discussing such a subject. I guess you could see that as trivializing or demeaning the memory of a man who is respected more than most of this country's political leaders, and who managed to accomplish more than most of our presidents have. For me, arnold's unique perspective helped me to see a few things I might not have realized about a great man, so I let his post stand. I'm still responsible for everything that gets posted here.

At any rate, arnold has asked me to apologize to you if he stepped on some toes.

With six legs, it's a lot easier for him to step on toes.



  1. I respect the insect's perspective and suspect that if you inspect your keyboard you will detect the expected specks of food about which he talks.

  2. In our modern Wonderland where everything is on it's head, a thoughtful and introspective man feels he needs to apologize for sharing wisdom while many less thoughtful, inconsiderate people are free to harangue and insult with impunity.

  3. Michael, something I worry about a lot in writing for public consumption is that one man's attempt at wisdom can be another man's nonsense, or worse, another man's call to arms.

    I know that I sometimes regret writing words I thought were perhaps a bit cheeky but harmless, only to discover that they can be read in a spirit I never intended.

    It's easy to blame 'that butthead' who failed to appreciate my genius, but the fault is usually mine for failing to be clear enough.

    This writing business can be harder than it looks.

  4. Baydog, my keyboard has been neglected and infected (by me) and detected, inspected, and selected (by arnold).

    It's a regular Alice's Restaurant down there.

  5. A good man can speak from his heart. Damn the consequences. There is precious little wisdom shared today, no matter the medium.

  6. I agree with Michael, O Docker.

    Don't second guess yourself.

    O Dock is a wonderful pilgrimage, and we readers are delighted to travel in your company...

  7. Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
    And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
    And short and quyk, and ful of hy sentence;
    Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche,
    And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.

  8. And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.

  9. Thanks for the kind words, Geoffrey, Michael, and Mojo, but Geoffrey, we've got to get you a better spell checker.

  10. Arnold has a good head on his shou....um.. thorax. He reminds a bit of another typing cockroach of long ago - Archy. A descendant perhaps. (Cockroaches are so prolific, I would hate to try and construct a family tree for one.) Anyway, looking forward to more insect wisdom. Please keep him well fed.

  11. Can't afford to hire one. They want to charge by the word (plus benefits).

    Royalties dried up after the Enlightenment (Google)

  12. Who'e Arnold? Does he know Oprah? I'm confused. My wife told me to take my medicine.

  13. The thing about blogging about any form of sailing is that you're learning all the time, being humiliated frequently, and having your ass kicked now and again. If you can make peace with ego death (again and again and again) there's tons to yak about (and that's before bringing bugs into the mix!)

  14. Buff and I are huge fans of Arnold and his works and look forward to more of his unique perspective of life, sailing and the news industry!

  15. Puffin, I think I took up blogging because there wasn't enough humiliation in the rest of my life. And it has paid off handsomely.

    Thanks, JP. Maybe I should take off from work more just to give arnold some keyboard time.

    And Panda, arnold was indeed inspired to start typing by his great uncle, Archy. He does come from quite an extended family. There are his sisters and his cousins (whom he reckons by the dozens). His sisters and his cousins and his ants.

  16. Maybe I need an imaginary friend as guest blogger on my blog too.