Thursday, September 20, 2018

The I Problem

Very determined to wait until the last couple of days of this month. Otherwise it's little more than a feast to fatten Stinkbug and all who challenge patience as we all prepare for the short days. Probably means there'll be no actual crop of Turnip because chances are the year will avoid a warm, sunny fall and go directly to the Valhalla of winter projects, which gives the body five months to atrophy in plenty of time for March ailments, pulled muscles, broken backs and other such near death experiences. Oddly this time ten years ago I thought I had aged, but I am very confident that this year of 2018 I have indeed age.

And quite frankly I'm rather going off old people. There are far too many of us in charge of our destiny and all of us seem to labor under the illusion we are entirely indispensible. A short sightedness that puts the kybosh on any idea that old people are a depository of wisdom. Finally, on this humid and somehow depressing day I'd like to address the concept of legacy. I'd argue there's a preoccupation with legacy which dominates cultures that obsessively pursue the myth of individualism. It's a cost to our species. When the I and the Me becomes sacred it's a burden on a harmony that includes Stinkbugs. Maybe tomorrow I'll plant Turnips.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

36 BC

On pontificating Sunday always worth thanking the Almighty for the Gutter Press and bringing in the Romans. One of whom, an Historian called Titus Livy, made the suggestion that his people were so gone to the dogs they could no longer live with their sins nor could they live with the cure to their sins. During his time upon earth Roman Senators finally lost their Republic, their passionate dialogues, their dutifully elected Tribunes were all replaced by a series of often very ruthless and usually totally uncouth Emperors who claimed to be related to God or at least on God's guest list. Happy days for Rome were gone, replaced by smash and grab, endless hunts for personal glory, and here we're talking the early September of the year 36 BC, a sea battle that determined the end of an intermittent hundred year long civil war between the idea of a Roman Republic and the impulse toward Roman Tyranny. Depressing I know, it really sucks, and even back then there was money in politics.

My own advice to anyone who might be interested in Roman history is to start around 700BC, fun with wolves, the seven hills city, the ridiculous quarrel between Romulus and Remus. Then enjoy the process that slowly produced the Roman Republic until you come across the name Tiberius Gracchus, it's around 150BC. At that moment you stop your exploration and instead of troubling with the next 2100 odd years you go directly to around the September of 2016AD, where yet again we might begin to find an understanding of what Livy meant with his suggestion that his people could no longer live with their sins nor the cure to their sins. Mind you, not sure that Livy used the word sin, he probably used the word vice, which back then had more to do with things like greed, selfishness, dumb ignorance than anything to do with achieving some kind of pleasant or unpleasant endlessness after death. Nonetheless we remember Livy and we forget Gracchus at our peril.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Machines and Stuff

Ancient machine-wise the tally is two partial successes and one abject failure. The successes run around and rumble but they do so not as lithe young creatures more like terminally ill Gazelle waiting for the Lion and Hyena, which is analogous to my own course through daily life. I do rather envy the two partial successes their absence of the same ghosts that haunt me. They are stoicism personified which is probably why I find myself giving them an admiring pat when I am near them.

The abject failure has been subject to scavenging. Two very fine wheels, a perfectly good mowing deck and a couple of ornamental bits and bobs that just look very neat even if they'll never again belong to sweat, dust and sun. There's a thing called an Intake Valve which has all the qualities of something that can never by consigned to County Amnesty. A single cylinder engine has two of them. They're kind of like the valves of a heart which open and close as the engine runs, allowing fuel into the Cylinder Head and noxious gases out. They'd make fine earrings if you had sturdy ear lobes and a good long neck.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday

A most unsuccessful day, both hot and disorderly with two pointless trips to town!!! One of those days when your correspondent should've just gone back to bed and waited there until the following sunrise.  It's as well I don't have the nuclear codes, otherwise who knows what might have happened.

Yesterday was Thursday, I thought it was Wednesday. Today isn't Thursday it's Friday. Almost missed the Trash Collection, and basically it's been downhill ever since. And let's all hold the sauce a while, of course today could have been a lot worse. I could have drowned in the Pimlico Sound.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Natural Aversions

It's a long way from "Service Above Self" yet news of the East Coast hurricane immediately turned my own thoughts to grass raking and Compost Piles. Certainly I felt far from noble, mealy minded, a republican in waiting so to speak, but I have maintained an opinion that late season grass cuttings make good compost, and hurricanes are late season events. Trouble with the wretched month of September is a person can easily forget that winter is soon. In the morning he pops himself into his shorts, waddles downstairs wondering why it's hot as Hades and still dark.

 On the brighter side it's been a prolific year for Turkey. And here I mean the two legs and feathers kind, not the two legs and red tie kind. It's difficult to move around in the outdoors without upsetting a posse, and like the red tie kind the feathered kind do have that supercilious moment, a "let's not talk to him" minute or two before rapidly departing nose first into the air. Me, I wish they wouldn't treat me like a pariah. No reason we all can't go about our business, nod politely, instead of this fuss and bother. Mind you I do understand that my own species, is not held in high regard by Turkey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Two Left

"Two left" is very different to "There are two left." "Two left" could mean that two have up and left, or it could mean there are two remaining. And when it comes to moments of intense stress, such as Monarch Butterflies emerging from their chrysalis and taking to flight, it becomes critical to harmony that a messenger leaves no doubt in the mind of the message receiver. Otherwise confusion reigns and people get blamed.

It was Bertrand Russell, conscience objector, hero of the common man, he wasn't big on God or wedding vows and he was the author of the classic History of Western Philosophy, who briefly encouraged others to seek logic in language. It was later in his life that he came to a conclusion that language was basically without logic so better to pursue an understanding of Precision in Language. Henceforth when around creatures and things that may or may not have left I will endeavor to remember Bertrand Russell.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Memory and Potlatch

"In Croatian the word Dragan translates as Precious." Possible this is entirely made up, but through the course of a person's time upon earth there are things that stick in the mind, and won't go away, which is something of a blow for those of us who'd prefer to stock the memory with useful information like their own zip code, telephone number, and street address instead of wasting space with pointless and possibly incorrect bits of information.

It's the case also that a Potlatch of Vestry of Monnow, a shredding if you prefer, does leave a writer of pulp with appalling memory rather lost for names as he re-climbs the hill toward Pen-y-Fal. Dragan makes a nice name if you know it translates as Precious. He's a poorly behaved son, engaged in smuggling cigarettes from Albania to the socialist republics. Some years ago a good living was to be had in Albania from counterfeiting Winston and Marlboro cigarettes.