Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Bumfuzzle means to confuse or fluster, but it's also the name of a blog.   Surprisingly, a blog that I started reading and read from beginning to end.  Curious because I usually read a sentence or two of someone's blog and then move on.  

Bumfuzzle.com is well written but not full of phrases that made me sit straight up in my chair and insist Ed must read too, nor did it have the drama or suspense of a good adventure story, although it was about a family's adventures.   I was captivated by Pat's writing and by the lives being lived by Pat, his wife, Ali, and their two children Ouest and Lowe, but I'm still trying to figure out why I'm fascinated.

This is us. I’m Pat and I do all the writing around here. And that’s Ali, she started dating me when she was sixteen and just couldn’t get enough; so eventually she married me, sailed around the world with me, raced across America with me, drove from Alaska to Argentina and all over Europe in a ’58 VW Bus with me, finally allowed me to impregnate her, drove to Mexico in a ’65 Porsche 356 with me, gave birth to our Mexican baby girl Ouest (pronounced West), moved onto another sailboat, got frisky with me, had a Mexican baby boy this time, named him Lowe (pronounced Low), sailed all over Mexico with me, sold that boat, and now drives all over the States with me in a ’66 Dodge Travco. We’ve got a pretty good life.

Little things pleased me, like Pat and his family have roots in the northwest.  But even more fun is they were enjoying the Whidbey Island Fair, a stone's throw from our home in Langley, as I was reading their blog.  Plus, they're traveling the States in a bus, as Ed and I are about to do too.  But those coincidences don't exactly explain my obsession.   Perhaps because they are a family of smiles and appeal and look at their darling bus.   Nope, that doesn't explain it either.  There are lots of appealing people writing blogs about interesting things that bore me in the first five minutes.

Lowe, Ali, Ouest and Pat with their cuter-than-imaginable RV.

Of additional amazement to me is that I not only read the blog Bumfuzzle but the book, Bumfuzzle.  The book is about Pat and Ali, before children, sailing around the world, and I don't even sail. Same  writer, same curiosity, same addiction -- I'm hooked and puzzled at the same time.   Did the appeal stop there?  No, indeed not.  I've now purchased Live on the Margin, co-authored by Pat, about both living on the margin and investing on the margin.   Investing?  This might be my first investing book ever.

What I'm going to do is reread the blog to see what Pat's writing techniques are.  Perhaps I can figure this out, although I must say, the paragraph above, written by Pat, is darn good.   Bumfuzzle is definitely true to its definition for me.  I am both confused and flustered by my obsession.


"Well, I'll be liter'ly bumfuzzled!" he exclaimed.  "Ef it ain't John Ericson!  I knowed yore company was in the fight last night, an' I thought o' you when I heerd the grape-shot-a- plinkin' out thar.   But hang me, ef you don't look sick ur half starved!  Sally, give 'im some'n't' eat.  They don't feed the rebs much.  Johnny, she's been a-pinin' fer you ever sence you enlisted, an 'last night durin' the fight she mighty nigh went distracted."
 ~ Will Nathaniel Harben, Northern Georgia Sketches

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