User:Ortolan88

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Now, gone for good. See you later. Not. Some asshole just destroyed blues ballad and I don't have the energy to fight it. Tom Parmenter, once Ortolan88, but no more. Ortolan88 (talk) 17:25, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I just deleted my watchlist. The sorcerer's apprentice bit was killing me. I am falling way off in my interest in contributing to Wikipedia after 6000-plus edits because I don't like the current atmosphere very much. In addition to the usual trollery, there's the institutionalized trollery of arbitrarily stamping articles with downgrades and whines, and the absurd belief that anything that someone wrote in a book is superior to so-called "original research". Well, almost all of my 6000 contributions are original research by this definition and I take some pleasure in knowing that there's no way the Pecksniffs can find them all. I guess I just liked it better when there were only a couple of hundred real contributors and the self-appointed bureaucrats hadn't found it yet. Best of luck to you all, but it just isn't fun any more. I won't be doing anything much here, markup fixes, identifying 12-bar blues, but that's about it, except for looking stuff up and correcting the odd error here and there, using primarily original research. 17:56, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

PS -- I leave my user page as it was, for what it's worth, but I'm sure that wiki-rot has spoiled a lot of things I worked on.



After all, the cultivated person's first duty is to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopedia.--Umberto Eco

Note: After contributing to the Wikipedia with great enthusiasm for a year, I took a break starting 02:08 Mar 23, 2003 (UTC). Now I'm back. Ortolan88 19:05, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC) (Then I went away again for several months because I don't like getting angry, but now I'm back, mostly putting in commas and fixing italics, and following up on my favorite musicians.)

While I was away, I finally got my blog going, so visit me at Desperado blog. The blog is a continuation of Internet communications efforts I began in 1978.

It will be interesting to go through all these links to see what has survived more than a year of inattention on my part, but I'll tell you right now I'm putting the football stuff back in my hometown article.

There's an article about Wikipedia mentioning me in the Boston Globe West section September 28, 2006: "Answering Wikipedia's call to fill in the blanks" (free for now), but you'll have to go to the hard copy to see the pix.

I'm pretty happy with my contributions to these entries, many started by others, some where I put a few lines that please me for some reason, some substantially original. (I haven't gone back over this, but there has been some serious loss of content from some of these efforts over the years while I sulked in my tent.)

OUT of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again
On to the musical history of Macon, Georgia and West Memphis, Arkansas; more poetry, why lovely villages on plains are named Auburn; Whitehall, Michigan; Magoffin County, Kentucky, birthplace of Larry Flynt; Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Waltham, Massachusetts; Erick, Oklahoma, my prize catch so far; an entertaining enccounter with a GFDL absolutist (that is, troll, just as in the Hitler incident) in Talk:Oregon City, Oregon; Ferriday, Louisiana, three piano-playing fools from there; Florence, Alabama; Orange Park, Florida, where my father was born and his father went broke; Winslow, Arizona (guess what); Enterprise, Alabama and its boll weevil statue; Lithonia, Georgia, birthplace of Brenda Lee; Stone Mountain, Georgia, the next little town over, home of the as yet unarticled Stone Mountain; Del Rio, Texas, home of XERF; Canton, Mississippi; Bogalusa, Louisiana; Zanesville, Ohio, hometown of Zane Grey;

I try to keep my entries concise, but I'm a sucker for an illuminating anecdote. I've added this and that to hundreds of articles, frequently etymologies or unexpected aspects. I lurk in Talk pages where I have no particular right to be and try to speak up for the hapless reader. I also started a crusade to add one-liners, dates, and such to entries on what I call "naked lists", those dreary endless lists of unidentified people, places, or things that infest the Wikipedia. See List of novelists, for example, where most one-liners are by other folks. I got the idea from List of battles. See Talk:List of famous operas for a brief manifesto. See Talk:List of novelists to gauge how hopeless this crusade is against Yeatsian "passionate intensity". Sometimes I lose a little enthusiasm for this crusade, but I keep doing it. List of famous cemeteries has been fun.

I enjoy adding a little bit to an entry and then taunting someone else into doing the job right with provocative summary comments. I also like fixing links and adding links and sticking summaries in near the top of entries. I did all that with Julius Caesar which other people have vastly improved. I also like the three paragraphs on tactics that I added to Coup d'etat. I only put a few words in Uncle Tom, but someone wrote it after I almost, but not quite flatly, wrote that Louis Armstrong was not one. On the other hand, I managed to torpedo an ugly prejudiced article on white trash and turn it into something like an encyclopedia article. Following this dismal theme, I wrote yid while rival sects clashed on the talk page, and also contributed earlier to nigger as well as to some stuff about the First amendment in Jehovah's Witnesses and term of disparagement. I've also worked on blackface where I introduced the concept of audio blackface to an astounded talk page audience of one.

I think copra is a good example of an encyclopedia article as opposed to a dictionary definition. Castanets too.

I'm a writer by birth, trade, and inclination. I have been writing for publication since 1957 and have earned my living by my pen since 1962. I started as a police reporter and political reporter and newspaper rewrite man in Chicago. See City News Bureau of Chicago and Chicago's American for tales of those absurd, brave days. Since then I have worked as magazine writer, an academic ghostwriter at Washington University and Harvard, and technical writer for DEC, Symbolics, Apple, and Atria Software.

As a technical jack-of-all-trades, I developed numerous schemes for online and printed documentation as well as helping design user interfaces and a couple of markup languages. I also managed groups of tech writers, software engineers, training developers, and sysadmins. I have also written rock and roll songs and advertisements and an unpublished novel about Richard Nixon. I started the Desperado mailing list in 1978, one of the oldest mailing lists on the Internet. There was an article about it in Wired Magazine. I have just finished a book on language purism and English usage which I am flogging. I've been married more than 40 years and have two sons and three granddaughters.

Mail me: Parmenter

Post scriptum: After forgetting any number of boring AIM user names based on various pieces of my straight name and numerous three-digit numbers, I invented a nom de guerre that no one else would ever have. The ortolan is a bird the French eat whole with napkins over their heads to hold in the said-to-be wonderful aroma of the grease-gushing bird body, and 88 is in memory of Dr. John's boast after a particularly spectacular piano run, "dat's what dey call radiatin' on de eighty-eight".

Il ne faut jamais
faire les choses à moitié
Jacques Prevert, from a children's poem about a bird devoured whole by a cat.

Hi Ortolan88, I hope you stop by occasionally to see if anyone's written on your talk page. You might be interested to read Le Testament français (Dreams of My Russian Summers) by Andrei Makine, which discusses ortolan eating! Best wishes and sorry you left. It's really not so bad. You should come back. Oh! I forgot to mention that supposedly ortolans were the last meal of François Mitterand ([1]] [[User:Evangeline|Evangeline]). (talk) 07:41, 1 January 2010 (UTC)


This caught my eye: "Drinking Wine Ove Sprogøe"  :-D --SeanO 00:17, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)