“Buzzing and Blooming.”

Kind of a goofy name for a blog, huh?  Actually it’s a distortion of a quote by William James.   He was talking about how a young baby probably experiences life.  The actual quote is ” The baby, assailèd by eyes, ears, nose, skin, and entrails at once, feels it all as one great blooming, buzzing confusion.”

Well that’s a little bit what the world has always felt like to me.  Not literally buzzing and blooming, but the world really is a pretty hard place to pin down with any kind of certainty.  Anyway, I like the phrase, so there it is.

The first name this blog had was The Constant Reader.  I liked that name too because it fits me.  But it felt way too stogy and constipated and so I finally changed it.

However, it’s true.   I have been a compulsive book reader all of my life.   If there has been one constant in my life it has been my life-long habit of reading every time I get a chance.  Or even half a chance.

And in the same vein,  the domain name of this blog is Watching the Canary in the Cage.  The idea behind the Canary Cage is my hope, almost certainly doomed, that if I read enough I may finally figure out what life is really all about and additionally, that if there is some bad stuff coming down the pike, maybe all my reading may give me some kind of forewarning.  Like I said, a pretty silly idea.   But again, there it is.

My career has been pretty scattered.  I was a college English teacher for six years.

Then I was the owner, with my wife, of a handcrafted pottery business for twenty-five years.  That turned into a small-business with ten to fifteen employees that we sold  in 1995.

After that I was a landscape photographer for another twenty years.  I shot mostly landscape photographs of American wilderness, national parks and whatever I thought was beautiful.

So, I spent a lot of years traveling from national park to national park, from scenic overlook to scenic overlook and from one art show to the next.   This was probably the happiest time of my life; I loved being a landscape photographer.   Here is my photography website and here is my photography blog.

Now-a-days I’m retired and spend most of my time reading, writing, biking and drinking coffee with friends.

As Kurt Vonnegut always said whenever anyone or anything died in one of his novels, “So it goes.”  My philosophy exactly.

Fred Hanselmann
July, 2017


That’s me on the right.  I’m biking in the Tetons with my friend Bob.