This morning I received a message from the illustrious Strannyi, whom I’m sure you must know as a writer, grammarian, and expert on zombie tribbles. She has graciously nominated me for the Liebster Award! Before anyone starts sending me frankincense and myrrh, let me elaborate on what this is. The Liebster Award is something for which bloggers nominate other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. There’s no actual award in the end, but being nominated is really nice recognition from other bloggers who like your work.

The origin of the Liebster Award is uncertain, but the earliest mention that anyone can find is a German blog in December 2010. We don’t know exactly how it started. But heck, nobody really knows why we blow out birthday candles, and we let the kids do it anyway.

Here are the rules. First I answer 11 questions that my nominator gave me. Then I nominate 5 – 11 blogs that I follow and think are really cool. Then I list 11 questions that these nominated bloggers will answer should they choose to participate. (No blood, no foul if they choose not to.) Then I convince my wife to take me to an expensive steak house to celebrate. So, with thanks again to Strannyi, here are my answers to her questions.

1. What was your first thought upon seeing that you had to answer eleven questions?

I’d better answer fast, I have chapters to write.

2. Why is the sky blue?

I’ll let my friend Dougal answer for me:

3. Do you think that there is a habitable planet orbiting Gliese 581?

Hell, I don’t even know if there’s a habitable motel in Lubbock.

4. Can you read Greek?

No, but I wish I could. My classical education has been lacking.

5. For how long have you been blogging?

About two years.

6. Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

I think they’re out there somewhere. Probability, man.

7. How many roads must a man walk down?

None. We have the internet now.

8. Come up with four more questions and answer them.

Strannyi, you sneaky hound! Making me do extra work…

9. How many pets do you have, and why?

I have five cats. The reason I have five cats is that the sixth one died.

10. What do you miss most about the pre-digital age?

The big desk telephones. They sounded great, and you could put a big knot on somebody’s head with one.

11. Why can’t we have universal peace?

I’ll let Dougal answer this one too:

Okay, here are the blogs I’m nominating. I can’t be sure that they all have less than 200 followers. Some may have more. Some may have a lot more. I’m nominating them anyway, so there.

Marvelous Mo’ and Me:

Melanie Crutchfield:

Yet Another Prostate Cancer Blog:

My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours:

Always Never Quite Right:

And finally, here are the questions for my nominees:

1. How many computers, smart phones, and tablets are within 10 feet of you right now?

2. What’s the best advice you ever got?

3. What kind of cake do you like for your birthday?

4. What’s your dream car, and why?

5. What fictional character would you like to be?

6. What’s a good excuse if you come home really late and your spouse is waiting up?

7. What’s your favorite film, and why?

8. Does the Loch Ness Monster really exist?

9. What’s the secret of a successful relationship?

10. Who taught you to ride a bicycle?

11. Are we there yet?

That’s it. Thanks again to Strannyi for the nomination, and I’m extremely honored.

And just for fun, here’s one of my sister’s painting that’s currently for sale. If you’re interested, please comment and I’ll let her know. Buy it now. Before you eat or go to bathroom.