Thursday, October 31, 2013


The howl outside puts a perspective upon 'tool making.'  I am informed by the National Weather Service, a person who this morning called himself 13, but who last night called himself JS, that sometime this afternoon "loose outdoor items such as yard decorations may be thrown around by the wind."  And that "trees might also be blown over."

Inevitably motorists are advised to be wary of high sided vehicles. And naturally enough "Trick or Treating" has been postponed by the city elders. No one wants a dressed up tot to be sucked into the vortex unless WK something or other is present to record the event. My own choice of outfit would have been beaked cap, bow tie, night shirt, sandals with socks. Of course last night The Artist and I ate all the treats, which is why I at least am belching like a Hippo this morning.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I'd like to find a word that yokes together what I'll  begin by thinking of  as "consumerism" and what I'll begin by thinking of as "tool making."  And I plan on achieving some sense of this conjoined meaning over the next several months, something I at least am excited about. As for "consumerism," I decided to confirm my own opinion by going to the copy of Chambers Dictionary, where, in the 1972 edition, the old fashioned understanding of "consume" still lingers.  "To destroy by wasting, to use up, to devour...." And on the definition goes into the direness, where it conjures images of a raging hell and people running around with shopping carts before a snow storm on Christmas Eve doing battle over a plastic wrapped Bunny Fro-Fro while clutching bottles of milk. Then, after Chambers waxes upon the word "consummate," which is a lovely way of saying "to perfect or finish," Chambers' authors go on to the word "consumption," without once mentioning the word I was looking for.  And  I wondered perhaps whether in the England of 1972, even  Chambers was too prudish to mention the word "consumerism."

So you can imagine how thoroughly depressed I became when I realized that to find some reference to "consumerism" outside of my own imagination, I'd have to go all the way to The Artist's regions within our shared territory and heave down her 1961 Webster's Unabridged.  Which has a weight feel of something like four tons, and has very, very small print.  In the old days of course we could all see much better and we were all much more competent around heavy weights. Over time, our eyes have grown idle from clicking buttons to enlarge the reading experience. We have learned to avoid the index, we've lost our attachment to alphabetical order. We rely upon hints and search routines within the plethora of technical devices that dominate our sense of well being, without ever noticing this leash placed upon our thinking. And too, now that the shovel is sleeping, Webster's Unabridged was I decided good exercise.  A thought process and activity that engaged a good hour of my day. But quiet clearly in 1961 the Americans were also too prudish for the word "consumerism." And I guess all this unnecessary work on my part was a reaction to news that one of  the Senators, Kentucky foolishly sent to Washington DC, has been accused of plagiarizing  from Wikipedia, where along with an Ayn Rand in Hollywood solipsism called something like "Me, Me, Me,  Get Me The Hell Off The Planet I Want To Be An Astronaut " you can also find a meaning of consumerism that suggests it is:   "The theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial."  But not my role to edit the whims of others.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lady Bird Roosting

Recent frost brought the Lady Birds home. There's a sky full of little travelling dots.  They gather around windows in a most determined manner. Each one of them looking for a keyboard to roost in.

I have several keyboards dotted around in the room where I sleep, and so long as Lady Birds behave themselves, don't fly around flapping against the light bulb, they are very welcome to spend their winter with me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scorpion Handling

I guess when the Scorpion stings himself it hurts. It's a sort of charmless moment to watch. Has a gracelessness to it, a miserliness that smells of uncertainty.  However that burden of owning a sting, and not knowing quite how to use it can produce relief in an observer, who might have wandered warily into a desert, his boots laced.

In a recent edition of the Arachnoculture E-zine there is an interesting article on Scorpion Husbandry. Their correspondent  recommends that handling of scorpions should not be attempted when tired, intoxicated, emotionally unstable or otherwise distracted. As well in their definition of "handling" they mean long handled forceps, heavy gloves and glass jars.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Prior to quite recently, before stenographers in The Congress were removed from the halls of power for the error of  contributing to discourse, debate concerning the nature of Humankind was relatively acceptable.

 My own view is that we are a result of living things that are able to change over time.  It's a godless view, until a person attempts a definition of godlessness.  Then of course it all starts to make a great deal of sense.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Chairman Mao was big on the idea of revolution as an easy substitute for rational thinking.  His thought was that every now and then a social structure needed to be given a jolly good shake up, to sieve out corruption and imbalance, renew purpose, return to the cure for original sin by worshipping Mao.  It was a lesson he took from the Long March, during which time he saw what he considered the best of people, driven by an ideal to sacrifice everything in pursuit of an imagined and apparently obvious perfection.

The Cultural Revolution, was two things for Mao. The first was an attempt to cleanse the people of impurities, the second an opportunity for Mao to regain control of the party, which had slipped from his grasp during the Great Leap Forward.  Revolution is an upside downing, or a rearrangement of power structures. When it is driven by a combination of personal ambition within the context of an idealism, the likes of you and I should remember Mao, his Red Guards and his Cultural Revolution. It was ten difficult years for the Chinese People, while their power hungry squabbled for no good reason. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Doing Nothing At All

I think it was Sigmund Freud who thought in terms of compensatory activities.  A person, he claimed, would do things as a "consequence of." Not necessarily because he or she wanted to. Which sometimes suggests that a pure mind and body would achieve harmony by remaining perfectly still. What in the wider society we call, "doing nothing at all."

 My own flaws are so huge, that I sometimes think my entire existence is a compensatory activity. And oddly enough, even though it is probably not healthy, I draw great comfort from the idea.  So as a reward I am going to spend the rest of the day "doing nothing at all."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


There is a sort of mood out there. Nor is it a comfortable mood.  It is a sense of being manipulated, taken for granted.  Frustrating. A pissed-offed-ness.  Another way of describing it would be to say, "we are being pecked to death by Ducks."

And interesting enough the Ducks that are doing the pecking are quite convinced they will never be roasted on spits, their bones laid politely on the compost pile. And I guess the other button hole to engage is, "Are we a democracy or some sort of awful television show."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blue Jays

I am wholly confused by the attitude of Blue Jays.  I suspect that the King of Blue Jays has fallen pray to an ennui that has interrupted his decision making process. He's probably old like me, and can hardly remember what happened last fall. But old or not, like me, he knows that last Fall, Blue Jays travelled either Westward or Eastward, and maybe sometimes a little Northward, or perhaps a little Southward.

He can also remember that whatever direction movement might have taken, it was an orderly movement. A streaming of Blue Jay across the sky.  A vapor trail of Blue Jay, if you prefer.  And too he can probably remember that during the course of streaming across the sky the Blue Jays called to each other in a somewhat wistful manner, while their more sedentary nut gathering comrades hopped around the cut grass.  Not so this year.  There is a great deal of hanging around in trees, and to my ear, the call is disgruntled.

Monday, October 14, 2013


When I think about it I am surrounded by SOPs. A great many of them unwritten yet imposed upon me by a desire for peace and quiet.  The equity in harmony.  Then when I am alone SOPs begin to drift badly.   "I'll just mash a potato, throw in some frozen chard and fry an egg."  "Not much point in shaving." "I'll go to the mail tomorrow." "Maybe the grass will need mowing in December."

I guess in the sunshine and warmth a Woolly Bear, can also be  lead astray.  His Standard Operating Procedure at this time in October should be to gallop around in a determined manner so that the likes of you and I might contemplate the quality of the coming winter. But I have seen a comrade. He was just lazing there on the walk, smiling at me. And compared to other Woolly Bears, who this year are mostly dark,  he was completely orange.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The 'V' Word

Someone has been gnawing on the Beauregard's.  Just a little patch, near where the Chard have done so well this year.  The possibility of  a Vegetarian Mole, crossed the mind, so I looked for tunnel. Probably about twenty minutes of painstaking excavation with trowel and pointy stick. But no positive sign of an actual tunnel. So I am thinking the 'V' word.

Interesting too, the stricken Beauregard's had dug themselves deep into some very unsavory looking earth.  I'd call it clay, and feel rather ashamed of myself for having missed it when I dug over the bed in the late winter. But back then I was gainfully employed in a Fulfillment Center, and I had  probably been made addled by the stress of fulfilling.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Milky Way

Wooly Bear season. And such a shame Onions don't harvest at the end of September, when the air begins to dry, the nights cooler, and dangerous blues in sky. All very well for the Peruvian Daffodils which can dry nicely upon their drying racks without falling pray to mank and must and rot and other summer blight.

The cooler nights are perfectly manageable. A walk about with the Milky Way up there, our Galaxy of spirals, and the host of stars. Have to feel a little sorry for Crickets and Frogs. And you can see Fireflies in the grass, no  longer even trying to fly. But I have made promises and will not harp on about the coming winter cold and ice and freezing and socks.

Friday, October 11, 2013


I think it was a British Prime Minister who once said, "When the United States has tried everything else it will do the right thing."

And I think it was a British politician who once said, "Damn your principles, sir! Stick to your party."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Harmony in the Mockingbird Community

There is an unexpected harmony in the Empire of Mockingbirds.  The occasional border dispute, the odd chase. And some excellent singing from the Cedar Mockingbird. It's a series of songs, much influence by Crow and by Yellow Chat and by Blue Jay, and I thought I heard a ringtone.

Yet, I have to wonder at this harmony.  I have to ask whether it might not be too peaceful out there.  But I decided that maybe, given the current state of the other political class, Mockingbirds have seen themselves in the mirror, and are more likely feeling ashamed of themselves.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Structure In Relationships.

Through the course of being present in the world, I  have been gainfully employed on a number of occasions.  I have for example stood upon a street corner and waited for an employer to point "You" at me through the window of his vehicle. A judgment on his part that of those gathered in the morning sun, I would suit his purpose.

But best not to let the prospect of a day's pay put too great a  scamper into your movements.  The rule book on earth suggests an amiable saunter, a smile and a shrug.  The ride to a day's pay is not winged chariot, the trumpet of angels at the gate to paradise.  Which I sometimes think is the error made by Christian thinkers. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Travelling with curled finger

So I mislaid the glasses in all the excitement. And I remembered how if a person curled a finger so as to create a pinhole, it could improve vision in at least one eye.  Not something possible to do while actually driving, so judging my speed of travel, time and progress was not easy. They are so picky about speed limits in the purple state of Virginia.

Then after about what I thought might have been Steeles Tavern, I reckoned it time to  glare at the instrument panel. But I could not remember which of the gauges on the well lit check engine light side of the instrument panel was gasoline. Either way, the curled finger pinhole technique works quite well for the more detailed work, so long as no one in a sunhat is staring at you.