Wednesday, November 30, 2011


      I'll call this Goose Grass, but more likely it has other names, and even more likely the name Goose Grass belongs in the minds of many to some other plant.  Either way, it enjoys the cool, seems to relish a little frost, and it has an intense and shallow root system that can only be dealt with when ground is dry, but not too dry.

      I of course cling to the theory that during the short days with their interludes of intense cold, sogginess and other frightfulness, garden beds need roots that at least appear to be trying.  This keeps the soil from sulking, enables it to maintain a rapport with purpose, and gives a gardener his chance to think about Dandelions or maybe a Snowdrop.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011


 
      My own view of the competitive spirit is Darwinian.  A struggle to secure increasing  resource for a particular arrangement of genes. And it's interesting to find in my own species, the greater the access to resource a particular arrangement of genes has, the fewer offspring  this arrangement of genes appears inclined to produce.  Which I do not believe is something that can yet be said for Hoppy Bugs and Bean Beetle, who at this moment are wisely at rest and absent the hurly-burly maybe open to suggestion.
 
     In my own species there are exceptions to theory, and from these exceptions lessons are learned.  Generally those of my own kind who are both resource rich and still bountiful through progeny, adhere to a belief system that promotes male dominance.  So this winter, when I walk through the sodden but hallowed ground I call the Vegetable Garden, I will again be pamphleteering and issuing summons. 


Monday, November 28, 2011


  
      I'll blame mental depletion for yesterday's failure.  It all happened so quickly.  The auditor asked questions, I answered them first by shrugging in that "who really gives a damn" way.  And then I noticed the clipboard and realized I was being subjected to that form of testing where the answer "who really gives a damn"  is abjectly incorrect.

      Nor was it one of those "multiple choice dog ate homework" situations.  Two of the questions permitted a degree of rambling, which is a good area for me so I was able to wax around until I saw encouragement in the face of my charming inquisitor. The other two questions were very specific, and required that part of memory that retains numbers.  

    All the same, it is a deficient mail order retailing associate who cannot recall the title of the shift he belongs to.

    Afterwards I found myself  debating the nature of  the competitive spirit.  I could see the importance of team, I could see the necessary disciplining of team and how critical to team it was that we all strive to out shine each other in the matter of team-ness.  It's a process that promulgates and directs our ambitions and our goals, when suddenly we find ourselves lumped together and also able to communicate.  So of course the one word answer becomes a symbol of perfection, a something we should all aspire to, a point at the end of the line.

     Sometime in the afternoon, I again  felt the tap of ungodliness upon my shoulder.  I guess the debate had deteriorated into an emotional confusion because I had made the stupid mistake of examining the word 'point' and it's relationship with an infinite line while tidying a bin full of  little fluffy toys with big eyes that were made in China and which were well labeled as 'lead Free.'  

    "Who fires who" sounds like a question, but actually for those of us in mail order retail, it's an answer.




Saturday, November 26, 2011


      Difficult to make sense at this time of the evening, and very much the case that those of us in retail mail order have been tested through the long hours of daylight. Probably by this time next week, it'll be dark when I get home, but evening light, not long ago, was gentle in a way that  soothes.  Pretty too.

 
     Have to remember the little Turkey I saw fly in the early part of July.  When I drove up the lane, or maybe down the lane, toward the domicile, it must have been that time just before Turkey go to roost, and I wonder if the one I saw was preparing for his or her first winter.




Friday, November 25, 2011



        A little frost followed by sunshine, which means  wide open sky and tension in the Mockingbird community.  This morning, however, Meadowlarks forayed.  They came in force which is always frustrating for Mockingbirds, because Meadowlarks are inclined to think Mockingbirds more entertaining than fierce.  I can see Larks out there in the Hickory Tree, just where the borderland is,  and I believe they are teasing.

        A Blue Jay, on the other hand, reacts quite well to head on assault, and if a Mockingbird is lucky a Blue Jay will set up an alarm that brings Blue Jays from all around to check out the excitement and it's fun for everybody, including the Meadowlarks who sit in their tall tree and watch.  But sometimes Blue Jays mistake Chicken Hawks for Mockingbirds, and when that happens somebody with blue feathers suddenly dies.


Thursday, November 24, 2011



        Of the many salutations and other offerings from social networks and even more personal exchanges the one I chose to grade as first class on this fourth Thursday in November is "Good Luck."

        During the tenser moments, there is always  respite to be had from knowing the first Official Canadian Thanksgiving was observed April 15th 1872.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011


     I will say, aggression emerges when resource is scarce.  And I will say that scarcity is a perception before it is the reality of hunger and cold.  Then, when a definition of scarcity contains an idea of no color TV, it appears that scarcity also contains an expectation.


     Some would argue that a gentler angst would fail to account for an idea of plenty.  It's money people want, they'll say, and lots of it. And to the question why? we'll mostly answer, because that's what makes us feel good.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


 
       The word "Class" here in the United States, is mostly reserved for who sits where on airliners, the quality of cigarettes, a classification for eggs, rather than the relationship between a socio-economic status and its degree of access to Royalty.   

        Here, if we try to use the word "Class" outside the expression "Middle Class" in the context of society, discussion is reduced to invertebrate meandering around alternatives to the expressions "Upper Class" and "Lower Class." It's a meandering that produces ideas which even Goebbels might have thought too transparent for public consumption. "Job Creators," for example.
  
       Oddly we approve of the word "class room."  Which belongs to the "High School,"  or the "Middle School".  A place where lessons are learned and diploma's earned.  Stranger still is the idea of "First Grade."  First Graders are the least literate of those in the school system, they fall just above kindergarten and a life time below their upper classmen, the "second grade".

       But I do understand how it sounds to be informed that the  "Upper Class" need to be worshipped as Royalty otherwise they sulk, take their toys and go elsewhere.  "Good riddance," perhaps.
 


Monday, November 21, 2011


      This Friday is Black Friday followed by the more exotic Cyber Monday. These are technical terms used in various branches of the retail trade.  If Monday goes black, profit will be made.  There might even be trumpets and jumping around, and that sense of  "aren't we successful" which is so necessary to another year of pretty much doing exactly the same thing all over again.

 
      Always have been moved to find a definition of "honest profit."  I think probably the idea has been well researched, experiments conducted and so on, but an expectation of precision from language lost its charm sometime in the years preceding the second world war when Russell read Wittgenstein's Tractacus.   Perhaps there is a hopeful amongst Occupy, busy again with definitions.  Meanwhile the best I can do is "buy one get one free."




Sunday, November 20, 2011



         Of the many chores in mail order retail, bin tidying summarizes the almost complete pointlessness of human existence.

         I imagine back in the day those charged with arranging then rearranging rocks for Pharaoh's pyramid thought the same thing.



Saturday, November 19, 2011


       The Artist battled more wind and leaves.  Bold of her to make the attempt.  This year we tried to think of leaves as a resource, and attacked them with rakes, but next year I think they'll be chopped up with the mowing machine.

        I remember digging for leaf mould in woodlands just south of Oxford in the United Kingdom.  It was good stuff.  But there it was, generations of it, and it could be got with a shovel.  Here in Kentucky it's harder to find.



Friday, November 18, 2011



        Somewhere in the great works is the expression: "to lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness."  Here I may sound tinged and improperly socialized, but it's the news from the giant collider that has turned my mind toward chance.  For the second time the speed limit of light may have been broken.  Which is terribly exciting for those of us fans who may only half understand.

        It all starts of course when a mind cleaves to certainty.   The odds are that certainty is incorrect, but at the same time with out certainty I'd never trust the floor beside my bed.  We walk the tight rope, all of us. Men and women who have witnessed our planet from space ships tell us so. And yet here on earth we either believe or need evidence and it's too easy to forget that here on earth our own rules are man made.



Thursday, November 17, 2011



         Pitch black by six o'clock here last night.  Poor creatures across the river in central time saw it pitch black by five o'clock in the late afternoon.  Heavy cloud, and inches of icy rain, and gusty wind and a suggestion of frost, could even have been snowing.  So this morning it was a surprise to see a new Asparagus spear, easily eighteen inches from her crown.  And it's a worry.
  
        Raspberry in that corner of the Vegetable Garden too have shrugged off these colder nights and occasional hard frost.  Handfuls are still gathered amongst glee and jumping around. The Artistic, naturally have enthusiasm, they seek the vibrant and happy, they look on the bright side.  And recently there were two of them here, setting no good example I suspect.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011



        There is a Carolina Wren dominating the front porch.  Thank God it's a girl and I think this because I have yet to hear her sing. Around sunrise she'll be there, a little near sighted I guess or sleepy, because she takes little notice of me, except maybe a nod and a 'mind your own business.'  And I have noticed the cigarette spider has gone.  All that's left is web.

         This morning while I waited for her, I caught sight of  a Wren in the Privet.  It too was a Carolina Wren, but it was a boy and I know this because when she chased him toward the Lilac he sounded on the edge of emotional damage, which is not the sort of noise a person needs to hear at that time of day.




Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 
      That thing which is me, is a property of matter.  Easy enough to say and bound to produce the glass eye, the suspicious nod and a polite excuse that puts attention in more practical places.
    
       I will say most believe the thing that is me has its presence on some other plain, and soon enough when the shades fall, when the experiment is over, this other plain will be revealed to me, and I will feel foolish.
  
       I could say the thing that is me has not yet been discovered.  It is if you like an alien. And when it is discovered there will be an anxiety in the social similar to that anxiety predicted to occur should Alpha Centaurians appear on the horizon in space ships. 

       Cynics might point out that fortunately in my species the social contains a political process, which no matter the circumstance has the sole function of constructing and maintaining illusions.  Which means we'll adapt.



Monday, November 14, 2011



 
       There are two members of the Thrush Family where I live.  The Wood Thrush and the Hermit Thrush.  Both belong to a genre of bird that prefer not to be seen.  Through most of the finer weather I heard often from down the slope a particular sound that flummoxed me, which is an easy enough thing to do.

       I did think about Thrushes, I listened hard, dragging brain cells to attention in an attempt to concentrate upon sound.  And always the sound was gone from my mind by the time I reached a technical device where bird songs are collected in a neat and orderly manner.
 
       It was an unusual sound, primarily because of the range of noises, some of which were gentle and pleasing   And I felt horribly obliged to find this bird's name on the roster.  I'd sit on the front porch listening.  In the morning and then in the evening, I'd cock the head, nod wisely so I might appear usefully engaged and knowledgeable. 

      Of his contributions to the way we live and think, Aristotle's statement that "all science is either practical, poetical or theoretical" is a prelude to categories of understanding that still dominate.  It's a necessary division, I guess, and at the same time rather sad.

 


Sunday, November 13, 2011



        It's this sort of bright light at night that leads to tossing and turning, and general disgruntlement.  Inspired The Ancients, and as I understand it caused some of our ancestors to conclude the moon was a Frog.
  
        Have to wonder what  baffling series of ideas were first explored. But I have found that when the full moon is bright in the room where I sleep, thinking of it as a Frog reduces aggression toward it.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


      Some of us are a little wiped out from ten hours of gainful employment in the mail order side of retail.  Or to put it another way, I have seen one too many stocking stuffers.   All of which will probably last five and half minutes, before being consigned to the land fill.

      And there I was cursing the babbage machine, my BF2's were in the wrong place, my taper became irritated, behaved indecently, spewed forth miles of tape and I was rescued be a young man who could have been fourteen and a half..  But on the good side stocking stuffers generally fit into A1's.

  

Friday, November 11, 2011


       Difficult to be around Poppy Day without venturing toward political statements, or using the word profiteer.  At the end of the First World War, German soldiers began to lose their fighting spirit, they'd sabotage the trains taking them to the front line.  And male citizens suspected of disaffection were also sent to the front line. The power and the glory, I guess.
  
       Interesting thing during the blitz.  Winston Churchill while touring the damage received a two fingered 'F... Off' from a citizen. He thought it a V for Victory.  It is the case, more often than not, those with much power are more easily deluded than those with much less.  "Yes," they look in the mirror, "I can win."  And afterwards we all remember the dead.



Thursday, November 10, 2011


    
       The Summer Tanager is long gone.  He's probably somewhere on the borderlands between the United States and Mexico.  It's shrubs and dust there, the occasional tree, pasture or range, there'll be tongue tied Texans, and Rancheros with lassos, and amongst the still blooming he'll find bees to eat, otherwise it's trash cans where in the stickiness and mank he'll find wasps to eat.

       It's just my preference, but I believe that if I was a Summer Tanager I would reckon on Wasps being fair game.  They'd be prickly and bad tempered and beady eyed, and I'd gobble them up without a second thought.  Eating Bees, although they too can sting, would always be an emotional challenge, especially on the colder morning when they are slow and far from home and have dew on their wings.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011




        Keynes heartily approved of individual decision.  He saw nothing but inefficiencies from committee or from government.  He managed what these days is called a hedge fund, where any decision is risk management.  His wealth came from inheritance. And as an economist he wanted to keep things that way.  So it is hard to grasp why it is the right wing of the political spectrum has so suddenly made an enemy of him.


       Have to suspect they never read his General Theory.  Instead they prefer the message of Frederick Von Hayek, for whom the future was all about morality and proper thinking which could be simply maintained by surrender to market forces.  I can hear the Hayek song, loud and clear.  I can hear Keynes still trying to save the market from itself.   As well, I can see Marx smiling from his grave.  And it's a little depressing to know not much has changed since the 1817 Luddite march on Nottingham.





Tuesday, November 8, 2011


        I'd like to think that a Blue Jay flying with nut in beak, is on his way to useful work.  I'd like to think his mind contains a terrain map upon which he marks an X each time he hides a nut.  Then at night he goes to his perch where he spends the darkness dreaming of plenty, his imagination riotous with X's that give him accomplishment, satisfaction and the knowledge that he is safe for a while.  As well I'd like to think the Blue Jay very engaged in burying Maple leaves is about that same task.

       Blue Jays I have decided are sociable.  They like to impress each other, as my own species likes to.  And often when society is engaged, fantasies become real, and reason is given a dunce cap.  And why? Because it's the  dream world produces the extraordinary X, that goes on into the generations to became fashionable practice and structure.  Shoes, socks, shaving, job creators and deodorant.  Here, too,  it's tempting to answer the question: "Why is that Blue Jay trying to bury a Maple leaf?"



Monday, November 7, 2011



       My own preference would be for an utterance which summed existence in a concise manner.  So far geometry is as close as I can get.  And to further my ambition it is necessary for my mind to accept that time does not lend itself to shape.  Certainly I do not see time as a river, or something with a beginning and an end, and I suspect the reason for this is a reluctance to succumb to that failure of imagination described as 'causation'.
       Why, I should ask, am I allergic to 'causation.'  I could blame teachers of mathematics for the the word 'intransigence' written upon my soul.  I could blame circles, but to do so, might mean admitting that I find them pointless.  And the infinite line, I have concluded, is better understood as a place of timelessness.   There is however one thing for certain, musing upon such matters, while gainfully employed in a production line, results in a criticism.




Sunday, November 6, 2011


         Glorious Monday, tomorrow.   Mostly sunny with a high of sixty seven forecast, and some of us can pretend it is Saturday, which makes tonight Friday night.  And this means I can stay up late and moan about the quality of television programming.

         It's moments like this a person wishes he lived by a main road.  Somewhere that has a bedroom situated perfectly for commuter head lights to glance against the curtains.  Lie there through the seven o'clock hour feeling fortunate.  Perverse, I guess.



Saturday, November 5, 2011



      Guy Fawkes day.  Walk me down the aisle with Satan.  He can have my soul for three more hours in bed.  It's a shocking thing, I know,  but four o'clock in the morning actually exists.

      Stranger still, management appears more cheerful at that time of day.  They have the big smiles and the jolly ho-ho.  Otherwise it wasn't so bad.