Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Retrospective

One perennial disruption to the routine of a Couch Potato, is this tradition at the end of the year amongst the news entertainment industry to take on a retrospective. And invariably there is some kind of top ten list which includes a cat with duck story, a cancerous child story, a pregnant woman rescued from shark story. And you can see glee in red noses, and the "Oh Dear" of a realizing nightmare that must be the lot of some unfortunate whose role it is to find something to talk about through the seven days of rampant consumption.

In a moment of anguish, brought on by the failure of the UPS to perform miracles, I found myself fully embracing the dilemma of a retrospective by giving consideration to my own year.  A first question for my own product was "how entertaining?"   I realize that it's a parameter which more often than not does not enter the work I do, at least not by design, or preordination, or focus group.  Then I asked "Entertainment" the question "what is it you do?"  The reply "I engage the endocrine system," fell rather well to my ears. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Single Axon

Any word with the idea 'neuron' contained within it, must for some minds, necessarily reflect a nucleated cell body with one or more dendrites and a single axon. These structures are 'impulse conducting cells' not found in plants. And so, for some minds "neurology of plants" is just so much nonsense, because plants don't have 'neurons.'  In response to this old farted-ness, those proposing a new paradigm for an understanding of living things have come up with the word "signaling" as a surrogate for 'impulse conducting neurons.' And I have an aversion to the word 'signaling,'  so I'll be unable to support its use.

And there are some who might suggest my aversion to the word 'signaling' results from a little bit of a sulk in me that follows a  rejection of my own alternative to both 'signaling' and 'neuron' which remains 'disseminating meaning from the slope.'  The letter itself was quite polite. It thanked me for my support, suggested I navigate to the 'donate' page, which my judges assured me was adequately secured by the most trustworthy of algorithms.  It then wished me a "Happy New Year."  All of which I thought rather quaint.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

There is a developing  argument in the other world - which is a place where I have come to think 'professional' means 'tenure is two weeks in Cancun and BMW rental' - that indeed perhaps "The Secret Life of Plants" might not have been so much geriatric mumbo-jumbo.  The  neurology of  things that live, the 1973 best selling thesis claimed, might reach beyond creatures whose children we people think cuddly.  And sure you can hook up the Aspidistra to a lie detector and watch it squirm while your Mega Mouth Juicer does it's work on your half pound of carrots. And if you are completely insane you can pipe what the puerile call classical music through the electric to your Crucifers in the belief you are offering them a calm.  My own choice in this area would be The Ramones or The Clash or Cherubino singing to a voluptuous Susanna, or an Ankole drummer getting his spear ready to dance, a  dust and heat, I yearn for.

Then, if you are like me, you can enter the world of the universal where you can collect cold Potato Rocks, call them cousins and tell them about the geometry of slopes in places that are random.  Which can be lonely, because through the years far from bonding with my clan, I have developed allergies to nut eaters and their mostly transparent commercial enterprises, that too often include the word 'angel' and the word 'spiritual' in preparation for a crash course with the devil on marketing, followed by a visit to  heaven's representative on earth, or the bank manager. Nor am I prone to fall for Goethe's Poet, "What genuine is, posterity will cherish." I'll tell that dreamer too that I don't give a rat for "words that are fitly mated."  And yes there is a disconnect in me that more often than not is resolved by a well cut double trench and that cruel and unusual punishment I have learned to call "Compost."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Piranha Filled Waters

Always necessary to prepare the mind before entering the world of seed catalogues.  They are not something you can just jump into.  Rather they are Piranha filled waters, what Dante might have called the third circle of hell, where gluttons wallow in slush. Have to think that Calvin's approach to preparing for seed catalogues would be to write a sensible and well reasoned list.  But Calvin owned an extraordinarily mind that held within it an idea of reward after death, and most likely within that precept lies the ability to be disciplined.  Me, I become like a clown on a pogo stick when around lists, and I guess this puts me in the ninth circle of hell, where in the ice lake Judas might ask me to describe my offence.  "I didn't follow me seed catalogue list." And I might gain some warmth by watching him sneer at me.

Then there is the other side.  The dumbass obedience to history. Without Blue Lakes and Roma I begin to feel unsettled, as though something was missing, the edge of a precipice.  Which is I guess why last year I procured sufficient Blue Lake and Roma to see me through the remainder of my days, if only the weevils would leave them alone.  And it's all very well yarning on about the importance of some kind of Heritage Bean, or Corn, or Tomato so frail it succumbs to bloat at the first drop of dew.  And I'm a person who likes to see lines in his garden, so that sort of willy-nilly popping things here and there puts me in a mood to think seriously about the inadequacy of entropy as my approach to developing  a better attitude toward  the social, which of course is the reason for hell in the first place.  Yes indeed, you can't just jump into the seed catalogues.  Better to let them all just sit there on the passenger seat, stewing until February, so that prayers might be said, offerings made, chocolate eaten.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Blow Up Snake

So we got the six foot blow up snake.  It's design comes with a ninety day if not satisfied guarantee, which no longer applies because it has already once put the fear of god into me. It was on the carpet downstairs, sunning itself.  You're supposed to  peg it into the ground amongst fruiting bodies, to avoid it being taken by a breeze, but apparently if it stays put, it'll discourage pesky behavior from the closer and equally delicate neighbors.  

Between us, The Artist and I have come to agreement that we'll wait until the new season is well on it's way toward bloom, before being tempted to introduce the snake and its guarantee to the outdoors.  Late March if we are lucky.  It's the Mockingbird's reaction we are both anxious to see.  Then we'll float it on the pond for the Frogs to have fun with.  Meanwhile  the snake is tethered to a rocking chair, and staring out the window in fierce anticipation.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Entropy

I'd like to call it "managerialization."  Which isn't a word I made up, because I have seen it written in conjunction with the word  "managerialism."   Essentially, the assumption is that disparate human enterprises have more similarities than they have dissimilarities. 

Repeating Patterns are observed, documented,  improved upon and make up an arena of human thinking devoted to the business of business, what others have called the creation of surplus, or wealth.  And all I can say is thank god for the straight line of entropy and a still wind on an empty moor. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Northern Harrier

A Northern Harrier dominates the western field. He's there in a graceful way, but you understand he frightens the Mockingbird and so a Northern Harrier can never be my friend.  I believe last Springtime he lingered on into something like the middle of May. We wondered for a while whether he would nest, which he does on the ground, in the denser clumps of Thorn and Honeysuckle.

They say that amongst Hawks, the Northern Harrier is Owl-like in his hunting habits.  He drifts this way and that, low to the ground, looking and listening, flipping sideways at the unsuspecting. In my world at least, he's welcome to the odd Cardinal, he's permitted all the Vole he can eat, but not Meadow Larks or Mockingbird.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Neurotic Circling

Always get that sense of relief when I can put in my mind an idea that daytime is lengthening.  Whether this sense of relief is a self imposed neurosis, a badgering of mind against the indignity of having to wear more socks in order to deal with cold, a longing to eat Banana straight off the Banana tree, or whether this sense of relief is an attunement to some kind of magnet that pulls and pushes at me, a lay line deep in the earths crust, a spiritual connection to a great beyond, I have no clue because I try hard to refrain from indulging a megalomaniacal  impulse.

 I do know that the idea of circles really pisses me off.  The looking up in wonder, the chanting, the pleading.  All of it no more than a creepiness, that to my mind is primarily designed to inculcate a prejudice that persuades the disparate to adhere to a manipulating oneness.  This oneness is then raised into the air as a true thing, around which to submit. Without which, the argument goes, there'd be chaos. I of course will be going to hell, where, when I am not wailing, I can happily gnash what remains of my teeth.  Nonetheless I heard a Wren pretending this warm morning was springtime, and she is so much wiser than I.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice

12:11 is a few moments away, and some of us are grateful.  My own thought is to match wits with the idea of infinity and understand it as nothing much more than a word.  Put it in the perspective of other words.  Think of it as a meaning, devised by a device called my brain.  Try to understand this device as a limited thing that spins to the mood of what I will call a chemical factory.  Backward in time I will go to my friends the blue green algae, because they too spin to mood, collapse sometimes into spores, sleep on endlessly until mood reawakens them to joy.

 And yeah! I am released from the strictures of Calvin's Commentaries, where joy is an apparent perfection for the thing that is me when all mood is gone, there is no spin.  And here, I must report to the great unknown that I met a man who gave up physics to find better purpose in imagination.  Which is a somewhere out there, far beyond reality, unrestrained by words or mathematics, it lies just this side of insanity. And sometimes that impossible place is magnificent to ponder, but cruel to travel through as I can attest. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Calvin's Version

I have spent much more time than is healthy reading Calvin's Commentaries. I had them all downloaded from the religious nut libraries that dot the internet. Bedtime reading during travel I had concluded. A slow relax through long sentences and precise words, one can expect from a Frenchman born in 1509 and translated by  "The Calvin Translation Society." But I just can't get away from the idea that Translation should be the work of one person.

 So I find myself picturing a society at the work of  such sentences as "Woe upon Nebo! for it is laid waste."  And I ask myself,  is that what Calvin in his version of the scripture actually meant when he sat down with his quill to think?  But, as translated, Calvin's Version Jeremiah 26: "Make him drunk, for against Jehovah hath he magnified him-self; And roll himself shall Moab in his own vomit; And he also shall be a derision." Can only be the work of a single mind.  Incidentally,  "Nebo," I am told, is a Babylonian word for God, which sadly doesn't quite cut it as an expletive.  But "May you roll in your own vomit," certainly does it for me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Various Offenses

One thing is for certain, today does not feel like Saturday. It feels more like one of those endless Sunday afternoons, when as a schoolboy, enduring what in those days was considered an education, we were required to wander around aimlessly in the fresh air for at least two hours on a Sunday afternoon, before being permitted to re-enter the house.  Nor did it matter what the weather thought it was doing.  And it was those Sunday winter afternoons that developed in me an appetite for beer, cigarette smoke, bar rooms and rambling conversations.  All of which were activities considered ill-omens by the teaching staff.

  One of those Sundays, a fellow scholar reported me to the authority. I forget which Sunday afternoon activity he accused me of.  And here you should understand the institution I belonged to, was one which regarded walking with hands in pockets, or unbuttoned jacket while not in the sixth form, a really quite serious offense, which if repeated often enough, could result in the whip, as I had discovered.  So you might imagine my trepidation while awaiting the verdict.  But I wasn't whipped or damaged in any way shape or form.  As a punishment I was asked to go to bed a quarter of an hour early for three days, because when I was at school the act of reporting misconduct was called "being a sniveling little shit" by the teaching staff.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rock Bottom Creek

In the duopoly where I live, the responsibility for operating the ancient heavy machinery belongs to The Artist.  My own role is that of tinkerer, moral support, water carrying and offering unnecessary opinions. Today, for reasons I am uncertain of, roles were reversed.  And I should explain that where I live there are some cruel slopes, sharp turns, and entirely possible for a day dreaming heavy machinery operator to suddenly find themselves thousands of yards away in a rock bottom creek, where cries for help will never, ever be heard.

 Proud of my burden, some very fine looking dark soil for the compost pile that I'd gleaned from an attempt to level the road in anticipation of either five inches of rain, several feet of snow and sleet, or inches of ice, I lost concentration and attempted  a gear change while going up a hill.   The machine, which The Artist calls her Little Red Hen, became obviously distressed and decided to suddenly start going backwards, at very high speed. And it is actually true that just before a person cries for help they are subject to visions, some of which are not in the least soothing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Esau

Calvin tells me that the prophet Obadiah, decided that  the entail of Esau who were living quite comfortable lives of plunder and pillage in the land between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, were "hated by God."  They were an awful people, Obadiah prophesized, and would soon be visited by the sort of hardships and torments the chosen clans of Jacob's Israel  were experiencing.  Calvin calls the entail of Esau, The  Idumeans.  Others have called them The Edomites.

 Edom in Assyrian  means red, I've been told. And I have to suspect that Esau, described as a "ruddy and  hairy man, who was born red all over," might not have suffered from my own red blotchy condition, but he might have actually had red hair.  Which for some reason or other changes my view of Esau, who for a long time has been in my mind, as a sort of last vestige of hunter gatherer, well able to look out for himself, unallied to the strictures of the village, the city, office work and on into the nightmare of traffic jams and synchronized swimming. An heroic figure, marrying Hittites, giving his dad venison when things got tight, doing  battle with agriculture.  And Esau might also have been a twin, a little snippet of information, that I have always tried very hard to dismiss. Nor will I be tempted  to piss off whatever the equivalent might be to Robert Allan Zimmerman's French Croatian community.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Big Plastic Bag as Travelling Companion

 I have on occasion attempted to diligently pack assorted suitcases a good  two and half hours prior to travel.  I have tried to  argue that were I to begin a journey with a structure in place, then at least at some future time I would be able to find things, like the toothbrush, hairbrush, the odious shaving things, foot powder and matching socks. But I realize the inspiration behind this diligence has more to do with the laws of entropy, than it has to do with anything like foresight on my part, because at the end of my trip the entire content of assorted suitcases, is all just dumped together in a big plastic leaf bag, which can easily be slung over the shoulder. And it's all very well considering structure as the solution, and it's possible that there are people in this world, who when they pack suitcases, are able to remember what went where, without desperate rummaging about followed by the conviction that "I must have forgotten to bring it."

 A system, I guess it would be called, and there could be a suitcase that has labeled, or color coded, or voice activated compartments dictating suitcase function. "Suitcase as fascist," I'll call it.  However,  laws of entropy declare that the very nature of time, is a passing from a high entropy to a low entropy state, a condition which at my age one becomes increasingly aware of.  But which in physics is why in the distant future the universe will be empty of stars to warm it and time will have completely stopped. Oddly enough I don't find this remotely depressing, because it gives me my reason to altogether eschew the folly of suitcase packing, and start out from the beginning with a low entropy structure slung over the shoulder. Inevitably there will be those in the hotel lobby, or elsewhere, who might disdain the implications of big black plastic leaf bag as travelling companion.   "Everything's going to cool down," I'll quote the beatniks, and I'll reserve a special "BFD" for those pompous ass suitcases that are trotted around on wheels by the mobile phone addicted in shiny shoes.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Calvin's View

If ever I make it to the pearly gate, I'll have stern words for The Good Angel.  I'll tell him that when he handed me my soul, he should have included a more comprehensible instruction manual.

 The current manual drives me to distraction, and I am forced sometimes to reach for the commentaries. All of which have clearly been written by a loose association of Bad Angels, some of them guitar playing, and really far too cheerful, except for Calvin who is so incredibly dour he must be on the right track.