Weaning is hard to do

In 2004, shortly after I agreed to become secretary of La Pétanque Marinière, I created a website called Au Cochonnet Marin.
The name “Cochonnet Marin” by the way is a play with words.
In French, the word “cochonnet” means piglet and “marin” means sailor.
Cochonnet Marin therefore means “Sailing Piglet”.

“Cochonnet” is also what the little wooden jack used in pétanque is called, and “marin” also stands for Marin County.
So Cochonnet Marin can also signify “Marin Jack”.
Clever, aren’t I?

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When I created this website, my intent was to provide a focal point for all the club members and for all who were interested by the game of pétanque.
In the beginning, I wrote mainly about “boules” and the club activities.
I wanted to be informative, fun, and at the same time independent.
But I also wanted to have full control of the of the website’s contents and give free rein to my imagination.
I think that I did this.

I resigned from the Board of Directors of La Pétanque Marinière at the end of December 2011.

Due to software problems and limitations, I also decided to change the format and the content of the website.
One of the primary reasons for doing this was that I wanted my site to have archival content. I wanted my readers to be able to retrieve, read, print and forward previously published articles, something that they could not achieve with my original format.
And since there is more to life than pétanque (what am I saying?), I also wanted to deal with subjects other than pétanque. And I have done so.

This blog has been on line since August 2012.
It has gone through a few changes since its launch and it will continue to evolve.
The architecture might look different but the goal is still to inform and to entertain.
I will therefore continue to write and regularly publish my opinionated little pieces.

The main change (and this is what this article is all about) is the fact that from now on I will not send you a reminder (link) each time I publish a new story.

Starting today, I am passing the baton to you. It is going to be up to you to proactively seek my site and discover what’s new.

I hope that you will remain a faithful reader and let your friends know about my blog.

Thank you.


PS: If you want to automatically receive a new article through email, SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG(on the right bottom of my home page). Enter your e-mail address and click “subscribe”.


I am a bad American

I am coming clean. I confess. I am a bad American!
I don’t give a flying fart about football and its Super Bullish Extravaganza!
In the McCarthy era I would have been blacklisted and investigated for anti-American activities.
In Iran, the Revolutionary Guards would have stoned me to death.
In the Middle Ages I would have been burnt at the stake.
Repent you heathen ruffian, they would have said, and before surrendering your soul to the Devil, acknowledge the infallibility of the Football League!

But I cannot help it. Football doesn’t turn me on.
I don’t understand or share the collective hysteria sweeping the country.
I don’t get any satisfaction in watching overweight players bumping heads. Pompom girls I could watch, but tattooed gladiators, no thanks.

I guess that some people like viewing football because it allows them to live vicariously through their heroes. They can very well imagine tackling their boss and leaving him on the field with some serious concussion.
This is satisfying!

These last few days I have been unable to tune in to any TV channel without being verbally assaulted by over-enthusiastic reporters.
They are everywhere interviewing players, parents, priests, pets…
They give breathless accounts of the quarterbacks’ most inner thoughts, what they ate for breakfast and what they think of global warming.

The country even temporarily forgot about Kardashian’s baby! Can you imagine… relegating Kardashian’s moneymaking enterprises to the news back burners!
That is truly un-American!

And, like at the St Patrick, everybody feels obligated to wear their favorite team’s colors. Even helpless babies are strapped in gaudy uniforms.
If I am not mistaken, I think that this could qualify as child abuse…

And then there will be the inevitable riots after the game.
Winning or losing, some punks will release their pent-up emotions by kicking garbage cans and smashing windows. The police expect it and don’t mind the overtime.

No, personally I refuse to subscribe to this mass hysteria.
Tomorrow I will probably find solace by munching on some homemade cookies while watching reruns of the Andy Griffith Show.

This is as American as can be!



Carpe Diem

Seize the day, for the future is always fraught with uncertainty.

I heard today of the totally unexpected passing of Christine McNamee (Claudie Chourré’s daughter) and it led me to pause and reflect upon the capriciousness of life.

261-carpe-diem-2-sw---1We tend to avoid thinking about death, but we all know that down the line awaits the ultimate stop sign.
We are inclined to procrastinate, to push back at a latter date a few things to which we only gave a passing thought.
It is a mistake.

We should avoid postponing, especially when it comes to the affairs of the heart.
I often said that friends are more precious than gold and I mean it.
Without chums to share the vicissitudes of life our existence would not have much meaning, but we often fail to show our appreciation.

We should cherish friends and family while we can, for the Grim Reaper comes often unannounced and doesn’t allow for late amends.

So, strive to be kind and generous, in thoughts and in deeds.
Forget and forgive perceived offenses. You will sleep better and it is good karma.

Go to the restaurant, take that trip, invite your friends for no reasons, and you will have no regrets when the time comes to take the inevitable leap to The Great Beyond.