Skip to content


I just wanted to take a minute to welcome folks who for some reason have been dropping by Ratlands.  I’m not sure why (other than a couple of links from some folks who have significant traffic a month or so ago) but traffic to this site is double the usual rate over the last couple of months.  Now, that’s not an avalanche and I’m in no danger of being charged for overuse of bandwidth or anything, but a lot of new folks have dropped by.

Just to make it a little less confusing, I thought I would post a short Ratlands Lexicon and some answers to questions.

I blog under a pseudonym because I work in a correctional facility for a governmental entity in Kansas.  I’ve never said anything disrespectful of either, but I still try to maintain plausible deniability.  And, since I regularly violate Robert Heinlein’s advice regarding writing¹ and since I am acutely aware that nothing on the internet ever goes away, I find it prudent to be cziltang.

I’ve been doing this since 2003 in various places.  In that time, only one person has inquired as to whether or not “cziltang” was related to “Ringworld”.  In Larry Niven’s Ringworld, a cziltang brone was a device that allowed objects (specifically people in pressure suits) to pass through the material of the ring.  I’d love to be able to say I chose “cziltang” as some sort of metaphor for penetrating the political and social dross to get to that which is pure below, but the truth is that I just remembered the phrase and thought it sounded cool² when I was looking for a “nom de blog”.

The name “Ratlands” may or may not have been inspired by something Hunter S. Thompson wrote.  I remember it that way, but I haven’t been able to find the passage and have since ceased to care.

The Head Rat is my wife.  Yes, she knows I call her that.  No, she isn’t all that happy about it.  Yes, she reads Ratlands.

Rat Jr. is my daughter.  She flew the nest last year and is off making a life for herself in Idaho.  As you can see from the comments, she also reads Ratlands and is my number 1 commenter.  I’m still blown away by the fact that my 20-something daughter remains interested in what I have to say.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by.

1- “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

2- Pretty much the same way the guys in Big Head Todd and the Monsters needed a name on the spur of the moment and got what they got… (I heard an interview with Todd Park Mohr one time where he mentioned sometimes they wish the name hadn’t stuck)

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Rat jr.No Gravatar | April 24, 2009 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    LOL, I like that Mom is Head Rat, seems to fit well enough in the hierarchy of our family… most of the time.

    As for your comment about your 20 something daughter still being interested in what you have to say, don’t you remember conversations of ‘You’re dad, you’re supposed to know everything?!’ Don’t let that inflate your ego now, you’re still a grumpy old dwarf that peaked entirely too soon. However, as much as you and mom can be hounding pains in my ass, I know you guys won’t lie to me and answer me on everything honestly, which is more than I can say for most of the people I know and you guys don’t gloss over anything. As annoying as that can be, it doesn’t go unappreciated.

    Oh and the meeting with the new apartment management company went rather well after we got a few things cleared up. I’m going to apply for the open position of apartment manger since they still don’t have it filled for my complex. If they’ll train me, I’ll do my best. One of the first things I want to do get all the little rodents who litter the lawns and make them clean up their mess or ground all of them from the playground. Humph!

  2. cziltangNo Gravatar | April 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Sounds to me like I prepped you for an early start on becoming your own grumpy bastard…

Ratlands is using WP-Gravatar