Why “The Frog Blog”? Not sure. I guess I liked the sound of it. And I couldn’t think of anything better. There is an historical context, though: When my daughter Carolyn was but a wee lass, we used to vacation each year for a couple weeks at the Jersey Shore. Going “down the Shore,” is what we Jerseyans say when we refer to travelling to one of the many towns that lie like broken seashells along the 217 miles of ocean-lapped land from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

On the Seaside Heights Boardwalk there used to be an arcade game called Frog Bog, in which one would launch an ill-fated synthetic frog from a catapult, with the aid of a large rubber-headed mallet. The idea was to land said frog neatly on one of several plastic lily pads which were circling uniformly, though frantically, around the bog. It wasn’t as easy as it may sound: the frogs were ornery (as ornery as a synthetic frog can be anyway); the lily pads moved quite Frog, catapult and rubber-headed mallet.swiftly; and the catapult and mallet were, by turn, skittish and unwieldy. It took a strong, steady hand, a sharp eye, and the mental acumen of a college-level physics professor to land that pesky frog dead-center on one of those crazily careening lily pads.

My daughter became addicted to this game and would play it, more or less constantly, for the two weeks we were down the shore. Over time she became so good at it that she won virtually every time she played—to the extent that our basement and attic are, still today, choked full of stuffed animals of various sizes and numerous species. (“Of course we can’t throw any of them out,” my lovely wife Jan would say from time to time, when I would come upon a particular menagerie. “She won them, and will certainly want to pass them along to her children someday.”)

So welcome to The Frog Blog, where I will share my often pedestrian but hopefully occasionally insightful and momentarily amusing musings. I hope you will comment–both pro and con. And I promise I won’t hit you with a large rubber-headed mallet. Unless provoked, of course. –AJP


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