Friday, February 28, 2014

He Sitteth

Inevitably a mind waiting for the warm weather becomes a little obsessed by something like, "He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages."  A reaffirmation that Psalms is the place to go when a February begins to drag into one of the longest months of the year.  Granted the King James Version is basically all about the words, which makes it one of the finer launch pads for imagination. And so much better than more recent translations, which are so prim and proper in their determination to dictate a precision to what might actually be meant by a gathering of words, rather than a glorious ramble across hills and mountains, down into valleys where there might even be streams.  And I guess there is an argument which could suggest that the King James Version is a great deal more lasting than for example an electric train set, with stations and points and level crossings and the hours and hours of play, followed by a deep and enduring need to acquire more track and new locomotives.

"He sitteth" of course has it's own glory. A wholesale of wonder that puts a couch or a rocking chair to shame.  "Sitteth" in my mind is a contemplation, and nothing to do with breakfast or watching the television or looking at the almost complete lack of emails this side of those which tell me I am almost to late to part with money.  In the early hours I prefer to think of myself as engaged in some form of "sitteth" rather than just staring at the wall and wondering when it might be possible to count my toes.  But last night, drained and exhausted from having made it past the eight o'clock hour, I came to the conclusion about the "lurking places of the village."  I think our correspondent from all those years ago was describing what today might be called a "back alley" and I think he or she was referring to the more sinister association a back alley has in the minds of the better adjusted. And it's in the back alley that the better adjusted do un-nice things, lest anyone see them and cause them shame.  Otherwise, why "sitteth there."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Lurking Places of the Villages.

One of the more traditional activities when winter persists is to venture into the life of a Saint or into an interpretation of the scriptures, a word that comes from Latin where it meant something like "the act of writing." In the more dour mood, my preference is to go to the honesty of the Psalms and listen to the moaning and groaning of an earlier incarnation of the current aristocratic class, who several thousand years ago were also desperate to get some sort of approval.  But back then we didn't have the television that employed a paid professional, instead we had something like a suppurating sore that bloated and lead to a slow and painful death.

  "He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages."  Which is just lovely, and something I too would like to do, because it sounds warm, shady and peaceful.  But then, "He," goes on to "secretly murder the innocent." Which is a little bleak and mysterious, because you have to ask why back in those days, did "He" murder the innocent "secretly." And I guess in a sense the last sentence of verse eight, Psalm Ten,  kind of explains it. "His eyes are privily set against the poor." And here 'privily'  also comes from  a Latin word, where it meant something like "not in public."  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Proving The Existence Of Evil

With respect to "Me" easy enough to determine whether something is good. I either like it, or I don't like it, or I don't know whether I like it or not, or I have the sense that I might like it at sometime in the future, or I might have liked it in the past but no longer like it.  Or I might have to like it, because the alternatives to it  are considerably less likeable. Granted, much of whether something is good depends upon who I am with, what I am doing, what I want, and so on. And this is because I am vain and temporal, subject to whim, greed, the approval of others, and on it goes into the point where I can easily be persuaded that in all of the universe there is no such thing as Good and Bad. Merely a series of possibilities, most of which are inevitable and better to embrace them, otherwise it becomes about "Values" and generally "Values" lead to blood in the streets, because for some reason blood in the streets is sometimes more comforting than going to the effort and pain and anguish of compromise.

In the wide tapestry I am no more than  grain of sand, so what I think doesn't actually matter in the least. Which probably is the mainspring behind the intensity I feel when confronted by the pompous bloody a-holes who will insist upon telling me that this or that thing  is "good" or "not good."  I don't want to know whether something is good or bad, I want to know why it is good or bad, because for one reason or another I live under the delusion that I'd rather make up my own mind about this or that, and I am capable of understanding. Which I am well aware is a failing grade  in "Value" terms.  However, when I go deeper into my feelings in this area, I begin to suspect that "Good" and "Bad" has more to do with a censorship that preserves the trades of the elite and their capacity to preserve their own myth, than it has to do with just about anything else.  All the same, I'm pretty damn certain, a Mail Order Fulfillment Center is a democratization of the written word, as well a the portal to hell that proves the existence of evil.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Easy enough to lay down the law, but concrete edging is not easily achieved. It's not something a person can whip up in an afternoon. I need cement and some kind of aggregate. And here I'll have you know that useful things like cement and some kind of aggregate are not available through the mail order with free shipping, from one of those soul destroying exemplars of what the future will look like. Such things turn the smile on the cardboard box upside down, apparently. But the bastards will sell you a book about Fairies or Mastodons  for ninety nine cents, in exchange for the first born.

 I really don't like middlemen.  They sit around, that constant sneer of calculation between their ears, and I could go on but I won't because it's a little too soon in the day to become embroiled in an imaginary and heart pounding argument with forces over which I have no control, and which if I am not careful will lead to phrases like "Blessed Release."  So I guess the concrete edging is all about the hoo-ha and shaving that's associated with actually going into town, because once that's over and done with, concrete edging is quite fun to make so long as the hose pipe behaves itself, and the hammer agrees to emerge from seclusion and it doesn't freeze or rain too hard.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gravel Paths and Edging

Next time I lay down a gravel path, I will make very certain the path is absolutely essential to the survival of our species, rather than some random whim of the moment. I'll do this, because taking up a gravel path to reveal something that has a potential for tilth is grueling.  For years I laboured under the illusion that all stones float on earth. In fact, amongst stones there are two classes. The kind that float and the kind that burrow.

Next time I consider the dimension of a bed, I will make very certain the bed is at least four foot wide and sensibly edged. All very well looking around for bits and pieces and pretending you're being organic, or running off to the hardware store for long straight bits of wood.  The only sensible edging is the hell of mixing and pouring concrete. Then when everything is set in stone, there is bugger all you can do about it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bumping Off Primrose

I'm having a terrible a job bumping off Primrose. And I think I know where the problem lies. It's deep down there in the dark heart of structure, in the interstices of devils and angels. It's a call  for shape, the slope of narrative that bounces lines off circles. Primrose is an 'ooh-la-la'  forcing lines to go against their nature, spiral toward that inevitable and pathetic end that is round and dot-shaped. And I just hate being told what to do, particularly so when that voice is actually in my own head. It yells "entropy" at me and sometimes it yells "physics not geometry" and sometimes it sneers "you're an idiot." Sometimes it's the sad shrug of, "This is the way things are, so pull yourself together, get with the program."  And too, I have heard the voice utter the brutal words, "Cancun might not be hell on Earth."  And I'd agree, this last is  so shattering a sound it might have been drawn by a pair of compasses.

 However The Rabbit of Usk is not about circles, it's more about straight lines, and I already have ghosts aplenty that haunt and drive minds to such a happy distraction I have no doubt about their "structure-less-ness," or "solidarity," or as the truly insipid might argue, "incomprehensibleness."  So if I can't bump Primrose off very soon it'll be kind of like saying, "the principle object of the past five or six winters has been to achieve absolutely nothing." And I am beginning to think that the only way I might be able to bump off Primrose is through some form of acceptance. And here I have identified a number of words and phrases associated with having fallen into this hole of despair. A few of the more obvious ones that I must be wary of using are - "Enjoy" "Have A Nice Day" "Thank You So Much"  Either way, right or wrong, I'm trying hard to achieve a grisly, wanton and completely unnecessary end for Primrose in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fatwa and Stuff

Last night wasn't so cold that a person had to wear shoes to smoke his cigarette. He could walk around in his socks, and found himself listening to Owl and a peculiar noise that could have been Fox or something dying. Sky was clear, and a stare into the stars produced in me a momentary sense of awe that allowed me to briefly make sense of the cleric who had arrived at a conclusion which made it against God's will for Muslims to sign up for a one way trip to the planet Mars.  The Fatwa was quite clear about it, and the response from Mars was equally pragmatic. Going on and on about the voyaging tradition of Islam, the magnificence of the Universe and the wonders of God's sometimes eccentric plan for us. So apparently if you are a Muslim, you are allowed to train for a one way mission to Mars, and you're allowed to get all excited about it, but you're not actually allowed to get on a space craft that might end up going to Mars.

Then I must have been taken by some form of madness because I decided that of late I have been remarkably negative and overly pompous, so in order to refresh my relationship with the positive I would do well to spend seven days and seven nights living as the Ancestors might have done. Out there in the wilderness, at the end of the field, where Coyote have babies, and where a little bit of sun brings up a damp breeze from the river that can sometimes smell like rotting Fish, or Beaver, or maybe Coypu or more likely the spores of Black Mold.  I pictured a bivouac, a glitter from a camp fire. I muddled a little bit over whether the Ancestors had Instant Coffee. I collected dry wood and leaves and sneaked in a Bic lighter, a flash light for emergencies, a blanket or two, and by the time I'd made the list, I reckoned I'd have to take the truck as space craft, otherwise I might get cold or bitten by something. And I think it sufficient to say that this morning I woke up with an even clearer understanding of the Fatwa against actually going to Mars.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ants and Floatation Devices

There are a three very different ways of describing this. 1) Ants build flotation devices to escape flooding and protect the vulnerable queen. 2) Ant rafts use buoyant babies as a floatation device in floods.  3) Ants use their babies as 'floaties' during floods.

Not a great big fan of  anyone who might use their child as floatation device.  But I am prepared to become quite vehement in objecting to any kind of multiplication from the mind that come up with description number three.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Internets

I have over time learned that odds are not much will have changed beyond the end of the lane. But, being without an internet connection for thirty six hours reminds me how the internet has so wormed its way into my being,  that I have to ask, "has it fundamentally changed me."  Or at least, "has it become so much a part of my understanding that without it, I become restless and engulfed by an ennui that mostly takes the form of staring at a little red light and asking various deities what it is that I might have done to so offend them, and please not to force me to wear a funny hat and cheer at an organized sporting event?"  And here,  I am a person who can remember the hiss of Tilley lamp, the gathering of muscle to give a kerosene refrigerator a damn good shake so it might better recall its function, and these thing, not because I was born prior to Edison or Tesla, rather due to accident of birth. 

I am also one of those who might have marched with Ned Ludd in support of  hand craft and against mechanization. I am not even certain I like tractors, because I suspect they are cheating or cowardly.  Pretty certain too I would have registered some sort of objection to the Acts of Enclosure, because I have absolutely nothing good to say about the Duchess of Southerland, and still sometimes find myself allergic to the sight of Sheep. And  too, I consider the usurpation of traditional lands by timber interests in such places as Borneo and the Amazon to be an act of barbarism.  I also have a problem with a television interview, the back drop to which was a night time cityscape in North Carolina or somewhere, which was ablaze with the electric light, and everyone warm and smug and well fed in their moaning about coal spills which are poisoning the water table and earth quakes that may have been caused by fracking that damaged either a Wal-Mart or a Prison in Oklahoma. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Comment Sections

Through the short days I have offered opinions in comment sections so as to counter a criticism often leveled at me, which is that I "don't play well with others."  And I think the word is 'moderation' from 'moderate' which means, 'being within reasonable limits' or 'medium or average quality' or 'opposed to extreme or radical views.'  In another way and with respect to comment sections, it is a sieve through which a remark needs to pass before entering the arena of worthiness.   And I can understand completely why a 'moderator' is required because through the short days I have spent a considerable number of hours reading comment sections. And sometimes I have been persuaded to raise the question "who will moderate the moderator" because a great majority of comments, it seems to me, do little to assuage the view that our species is quite determined to achieve a nirvana through some process of "mutual strangulation" or "trampling each other to death at the Best Buy," rather than anything remotely to do with "fitness."

And here, I would like to discuss the phrase "Communism is based on a lie."  And I really would like to ask those who assert this to explain with a degree of precision, why it is they think this.  Sadly I already know at least parts of the answer to the question. It's not complicated or long winded, it requires no 'F' word or 'C' word or 'L' word.  You don't have to reach for the rarely used keys, you don't have to use 'caps lock,' unless you are retarded and don't actually know why 'communism is based on a lie.'  But instead you heard the phrase somewhere, liked it's sound, allowed it to permeate  then fill the empty spaces so that it might become a comforting utterance in the same why I draw inspiration from the patty-cake  of "Your flag boy and my flag boy, sitting by the fire."  Anyway I think it enough to say that through the course of the past couple of months I have been 'moderated' out of good number of comment sections. I could try to think of it as exile, but more likely it could very well be that I am indeed an FCL.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Boots, Lard and Distances.

If you walk around the loop twice, it's about one mile and a half. If you've got on your romper wear, five layers of tee-shirt, wooly jumper, two jackets and a wooly hat, the 'feels like' distance is about five miles. Then at this time of year, I'd estimate the frozen ground and boots adds about ten pounds to the ten pounds of winter lard, and these pounds mean you are carrying about twenty pounds more than necessary. So once around the loop is probably the equivalent to twice around the loop.

So I am going to argue that in feels like distance I walked about seven miles today and in actual distance I walked around two miles, if you count climbing the stairs, and the pacing around wondering whether to go for a walk, or wait until after the rain, or just hold on until the first of March because it's been an unusually cold season and probably there will not be much outside to do until maybe April, which is plenty of time to get ready to say hello to the the shovel.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dogfish and Lobotomy

Quite certain I am not the only person to have noticed the word "over-achiever" being bandied around in "weather forecaster as entertainer" circles.  And I do hope the fine men and women of the National Weather Service are never tempted by these sort of undignified,  subjective and totally inane uses of language by the so desperately cheerful they are clearly making the most of the medical weed now that pot growers don't have to tell lies to get bank accounts.  It either is or it isn't. And pretending that somehow a storm outwitted the model is a downhill to insanity and we might as well all just give up on any pretense and watch Mega Shredders or Honey Boo Boo and then drink ourselves to death. Then when it comes to naming Winter Storms, again one bumps up against the jaundice of the corporate enterprise and their tragic algorithms that appear to define us as lobotomized Dogfish.

Some of us don't actually like little matching jackets and rulers in snow drifts, and standing at traffic intersections, and always the driving around for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Such things do not make us feel confident, to the contrary we begin to think goosestep, blind obedience and synchronized swimming. And if you have to give a Winter Storm a name, call it something like Pol Pot, or Joseph Goebbels, or Joseph Stalin, or Genghis Khan or Adolf Hitler, or Winston bloody Churchill,  for god's sake. Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, all of them perfectly good and sensible names when put beside Pax or Quintus or Leon or Cleon or Dion. Far better from mathematics, mathematics should come, so why can't a storm be give numbers instead of language. Yes indeed we are all deeply screwed and it's no wonder so high a percentage of us still reckon the Sun goes around the Earth and Darwin an agent of the devil, because it's a perfectly reasonable reaction to the god-dam weather channel... And if I go on, I might have to lie down, which would be wrong, because I have looked out the window and I believe I can see sunshine.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Privet Berries and Mockingbirds

The Close Mockingbird has his cough.  He sits on the Privet, spluttering, and this is not a throat clearing splutter, this is a whole body splutter that rattles. And I bleed for him in the foul weather he has recently endured. His feathers so puffed, I can hardly see his legs.  His head suddenly little. There was a time when I believed his cough a quality of some kind of infectious pox forced upon him by Sparrow, many of whom will go milky eyed as winter enters mid February and everyone starts getting worked up because sap is rising.

 More recently, I have come to a conclusion that his cough is a reaction  to a scarcity of food that forces him to eat the berries of Privet.  Down yonder all the Privet berries are gone, but the Close Mockingbird's  Privet bush has a plenty, which he has defended against even the curious.  He is not remotely interested in me, which does mean I am able to get near to him, and his eyes look fine, his feathers in excellent condition. I have from time to time thought about cultivating maggots for him to eat, but there has always been a somewhat vociferous reaction to this suggestion from shoe wearing members of our community..

Friday, February 14, 2014


Some years it is possible to over winter an August planting of Chard. They'll stick there through the cold days, tolerate an occasional something dreadful from Michigan or Canada, then about April fools day, you might get a gathering of green leaves that are up there with the most delicious thing a person could put in their mouth this side of  maybe a Mushroom eaten in August. It's that green in springtime that a body hungers for.  It's a hunger that cannot be assuaged by frying up Potato or loosing your mind while passing the butcher and coming home with five pounds of pork sausage. The trouble is any kind of Corporate Greens through winter are an egregious surrender to the almighty, so they never will taste like anything much better than a rice cake, which is why some of us spend many of the longer days chasing down bits of unassigned wood for a fuel with which to par boil greens so they can be frozen in electric freezers that themselves depend upon coalfields to function, and cost us about twenty dollars a month to run.  It's a cruel and emotional cycle, that really does encourage the concept of hibernation as the only proper solution to the ordeal of the shorter days.

Nor do our masters have anything positive to add to the problem of what to do about greens in the winter, their engagement it seems to me, is to tie a majority of us to a work bench so that we might spend our waking hours doing nothing in this world that we actually might want to do. And anyone who opposes this scheme is either undermining god's will or engaged in some form of theft. And here I begin to think that it might be far better for me had I lived in the Pyramid building era of the Egyptians because there as workman, I could have tromped around with my rock pulling rope, under warm sun and a rainless sky in the world that preceded this absurd notion of individual will and responsibility, and I might have been content to worship a thousand different gods, my footprint so small, I'd be eaten up by Mosquito, or because of some minor infringement I'd be tossed into the air for Nile Crocodile to swallow, so that a young Pharaoh might clap his hands.  Greens are not easy to comprehend, until one has spent a good many years trying to grow Chard in such a way as to allow this regal plant to give of it's best, in a world bent upon par boiling it, then freezing it so that coal miners might find paid work taking the tops of mountains.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Of Spinach there are three kinds. The one that has a prickly seed. The one that has a less prickly seed. And the one that is a cross between prickly and less prickly. Quite why I think of them this way, and which one is which, I do not remember, but in my mind Spinach has become all about bolting. And one secret is to plant your spring Spinach some time in December, so they can be big and strong around the middle of March. But this particular secret is so secret, the part of the brain which keeps secrets thought it best not to say anything until a couple of days ago, causing an ennui not cured by the gentle reminder that ground has been pretty much frozen since December, and any little warm spells which might have encouraged hope, have been very quickly throttled by the sort of plunging temperatures that spit on all hardy annuals which are remotely precocious, even if they do come from Persia.

 There is of course the option of covering the Spinach bed with straw or some other light mulch, but generally when you do that the winter turns mild and damp. Which means that all you have really succeeded in doing is creating a habitat for the horrible children of Hoppy Bug and other such citizens of a tapestry that include the sorts of pox that end up on your Tomato causing them to explode the night before you decide to pick them. And when all these things are resolved, the odds are ambient temperatures have exceeded 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the days have lengthened and really there is not a damn thing you can do about bolting Spinach except pull it all up, and if you make the mistake of trying to cook it, you end up with about five tablespoons for the freezer.  Spinach, however, is one of the earlier of fresh green things to eat from a garden, which is one reason to persevere.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


 Only about four weeks to prepare for Potato. The Co-op round here  as a rule has two varieties.  Kennebec, an irritating name for a white Potato even if it does have a few knobbles, and Red Pontiac, which is smooth and kind of OK with a bit of pepper. You can get them for around fifty cents a pound, and they come in a nice big paper bag, which really does feel wholesome. And best not to be obnoxious when discussing Potato with the Co-op, because the men and women who work there have the wonderful advantage of not having been sent to the "have a nice day" finishing school and they know more about Potato than I do, so if they don't stock it, it means that either it doesn't work or that it doesn't grow well in this part of the world.  Oddly, The Grocery Store also sells seed Potato, and they will have exotics with how to plant directions, they come in ornamental packaging  and they cost about five times as much as the Co-op Potato. And generally you find Grocery Store Seed Potato between the bread and the birthday cake aisle. The point is that last year we had a truly wonderful Red Potato, and I don't believe it was a Pontiac Red from the Co-op, so it either came from the Grocery Store or the Hardware Store, and I just can't remember what the Potato  was called.

I do remember it was a more knobbley Red Potato. The kind that doesn't take well to peeling, which means probably that it's an older variety of Potato that some how has persisted despite the years and years of breeding Potato so that they can be just about tasteless but easily peeled by a mechanical peeler, then frozen for the deep fryer, then made to taste like bacon, or cheese.  Kind of like if it was possible to grow chickens that were square, had no legs, no head, no bones and no feathers, the bastards would probably do it, because it is so important to over feed that population of people who can already afford to eat. And here I begin to feel an antagonism toward profit making entities of every shape and form,  not helped by the total usurpation of the Olympic Ideal by the short sighted cretins that run our world and the creeps that slither around them desperate for commercial endorsements. None of which really directs the mind toward a useful contemplation that might identify last years wonderful Red Potato, but as they say, what is a person without a passion.  I do remember some while ago planting a Potato called Viking Purple. This too was a very fine Potato, and grew well in a dry year. So when I do pluck up the courage to go into town to hunt for Seed Potato, I won't be completely gormless, and I won't go all knees up for any kind of Potato with Adirondack or Sampler Pack or bloody Russet in their name. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Half Longs

My own sense of Carrot is currently confused.  So much depends upon what the summer does, because Carrot are picky germinators, their seeds easily gobbled up by soil dwellers.  And best not to get lulled into false expectation by the propaganda leaflets, especially those which are  printed upon re-cycled paper, with some old bearded fool sucking a straw dispensing ye olde cute. Trust me, this character has the ring worm, his feet smell worse than mine and frankly his choice of hat suggests to me that he might be prone to diddling little boys when he's not stealing grocery bags from little old men.  And you have to ask who in their right mind comes up with these sort of seed marketing strategies,  or might there indeed be an increasingly deranged percentage of people for whom the narrative has become totally divorced.  In which case I weep for the world, as the phrase "blessed release" is inked onto the margin because we are all doomed.

Last year, early Carrot were a disaster. I blame the exotic seed that so tempted The Artist, and which I have to admit took my imagination even though my role in the field is to retain some semblance of control with the word 'No' while maintaining the stubborn chin of a cynic. It was some kind of purple Carrot, which in itself is interesting because all those years ago when Carrot were first cultivated for their root by Persians and Afghans, Carrots were indeed purple.  But I should have guessed that if you can pretty much count the number of Carrot seeds in a newly opened packet of Carrot seeds, then someone somewhere is laughing at you, and if they happen not to be, then there is something seriously wrong with them. Fall Carrot last year were excellent. They went in early August, they were Carrot colored and the two year old seed came from the Co-op. They were called Danvers Half Longs. And how I remember that I have no idea.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Sunchokes are Jerusalem Artichoke.  Quite why they are called Jerusalem Artichoke, I have no idea.  And when a body reaches a certain age the issue of flatulence becomes about as relevant as whether a person eats with a knife and fork and plate or a wooden spoon and bowl. There is, I am told, a part of a Sunchoke tuber that cannot be digested by the gastric juice, so it is moved further along the digestive tract where it is attacked by ravenous bacteria who in the course of their feeding produce a gas which one way or another has to find a relief valve. And here it is the youthful and retentive who after consuming Sunchoke might have to endure a moment or two of stomach pain. Otherwise Sunchoke are very delicious with butter, a little salt and pepper.

Then there is the question of where to plant Sunchoke. The problem is that Sunchoke is an invasive weed. One of those domineering plants, like Creeping Grass, that's all about territory and empire, and sending out roots on exploratory missions into the parts where the polite mind their own business so as to concentrate on their Beans, or their Tomato. And to further the Sunchoke imperative, Sunchoke grow tall and bushy, reaching up to nine feet, and this enables them to shade out the late lettuce, do away with the Carrot crop and probably there is horrible taunting of Potato. Then if you want a good fat happy tuber from a Sunchoke, their mothers have to be regularly lifted and replanted in replenished soil, otherwise they put most of their effort into marching bands, Olympic parades and all the ho-ha of  making life miserable for others..

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sluggards and Nut Eating

On the other side of "Nut Eating" is a concealed notion of privilege that suggests in part that surplus is put to use by men and women inspired to transcend the earthly plain, not so much by squandering the resource in an equivalent to Cancun but rather to enable them to spend their hours in a primal contemplation the peasants who feed and cloth them would be right to consider an idleness. Which is why, for me at least, there is a distinction between "Pretend Nut Eating" and "Real Nut Eating."  Nor is this an easy distinction to detail because I am rife with opinion and delicate around the great minds most of whom did little more than lift a pen in the course of their time on earth.  Which is kind of why I am drawn to the Christian prophet, who if the rumors are true earned his daily meal as a carpenter, before being called by the sales and marketing department of the great unknown.

In my own little world I too am sometimes tempted to wander into the darker side of "Nut Eating." I toss and turn between words judgmental in their sentence construction and cruel.  I add and then guiltily subtract gadgets to user friendly templates and answer 'yes' to the question 'are you sure you want to quit?' I try hard to grasp the meaning of a meta tag, which incidentally as far as I can tell does indeed have something to with the 'master idea' of a metanarrative somewhere out there, but sadly it's a narrative I so heartily disapprove of  I find myself blushing each time I see the word 'tag.'  Then when I am reduced to reading the psalms of David for solace, I know I am listening to the voice of a political mind concerned that the great unknown has no answer to offer him. Which is why I often "consider the ant" because very possibly I am indeed a post modern sluggard. However, I have long realized it is easier for me to stop thinking about electric train sets in the middle of March or April, when exercise becomes something more than just walking around staring at stuff and wondering how Mockingbirds stay warm.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rudolph Steiner

I have to say that having read a little bit around the Theosophy of Steiner, I do not share his view that us people are the archetypal form of the unspecified form, from which all animals came.  And because I am an impatient person I'll explain what he means by saying that he reckoned that because he could identify the X in us, but not necessarily in the Baboon, and because it would be dumb of him to deny the reasoning of Darwin, it was necessary for him to go back through the ancestors to a point where all animals had the X, and we, the assumption goes, are closer to the unspecified form than anyone else. This way, things like creation myths and natural science play a large role in reaching back to that point in the past to better understand the unspecified form, and thereby better understand the complete mystery of what exactly it is we think we are doing here and now.

And if you are still confused by my impatience, the Theosophy of people like Steiner is now days sometimes referred to as Western New Age. An amalgam of East and West which in my own little world I call 'Nut Eating,' not because I dismiss it or judge it, but because it sets the pattern for a moral motion in my mind that allows me to smile, and think about the possibility of visiting the tattoo parlor, roll up my sleeve and say "I'd like 'nut eater' prefaced by 'ye olde'."  As well, the question might have arisen, "what the hell do you mean by X?"  The answer is basically two fold. The first part suggests that the question has been asked for such a long time that any answer is probably wrong, and adherents to wrong answers are more often than not being sold something.  The second part suggests that X is what we are not but would like to be. Me, I'm thinking seriously about entering that edge of hell, the limbo of Seed Catalogues, so please don't expect much sense from me.  

Friday, February 7, 2014


Always takes a month or two to get the hang of a new keyboard. The first week or so is spent wondering why keyboards fall so quickly when under my care, and why the new one is so bad at spelling. I'll describe it as a shyness, because the old keyboard is off to the side sulking, and each time I look at it I feel guilty of something, and I know the old keyboard is sneering at the new keyboard, because it too remembers what it was like to be the new keyboard.  Then as I look around I am very aware that in the room where I sleep I have four keyboards all of them bereft of the letters I,O,H,L,B,N,M and pretty much all of the punctuation marks except colons and semi-colons. But they do make for wonderful hatching zones for the tiny young of Wolf Spiders, which I guess is why Lady Bird might be so attracted to them.

It is possible of course there is something I do, or some fluid excreted from my fingers, or a kind of allergic reaction on the part of keyboards to my finger nails, which do sometimes need cleaning, and possibly I should wash the grit off my hands after travail in the great outdoors.  It is also possible that somewhere in the missing letters the great beyond is attempting to send me a coded message. Some kind of anagram. And I would pursue this last possibility if it were not for the fact that anagrams, like charades, puns, baroque madrigals, limericks and the music of Sting are up there with the expression 'just saying' on my list of dislikes. The new keyboard, it might be worth noting, has no tether or cord of any kind,  and it has an instruction booklet that must have been written for Martians, and if ever you find yourself in this predicament your best bet is to calm down, try to accept that the universe will never be still and instruction booklets, both ancient and modern, are not actually meant to be understood.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


The I that is me occasionally sees a reflection of the thing that is me. And on occasion the result of this meeting results in hot water, soap and a razor blade.

There might once have been a time when hot water, soap and a razor blade improved the relationship the I that is me has with the thing that is me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Record Keeping

The motions of a diaphragm to usefully record sound were not available in 1860 for the Huxley Wilberforce Debate. Nor was there a stenographer busy with his or her pen.  So there is no reliable record of what actually transpired. However there are snippets, that I at least find interesting. Huxley had the nickname "Darwin's Bulldog."  Which I think explains itself. Wilberforce had the nickname "Soapy Sam." A nickname given him by Benjamin Disraeli, a two time conservative prime minister of Victoria's Empire, who thought Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous." Unctuous means 'oily'.  Oleaginous can also mean 'oily.' Saponaceous means 'like soap.'  And in those days, before the tyranny of recording devices, public figures were much more inclined to speak from the heart.

During the debate on Origin of Species, it is claimed, Wilberforce asked Huxley something like, "Which was the Ape? Your great, great grandmother or your great, great grandfather."  So clearly passions were running high, and I picture the audience at the gathering of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, rapidly choosing sides. Thomas Huxley, who in cartoons is always portrayed as a man with a very large head and who's photograph does make him look like a very angry sort of person, rose to the occasion and he answered the Bishop with something like, "I'd not be ashamed to have an ape for an ancestor. But I would be ashamed to be connected to a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth."  And I guess now days to get that sort of raw wonderfulness you have to be something like a minimum wage waiter with a camera at a private fundraiser. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Food Listening as Buzz-kill

These are not yet the Potato Rains, too cold with ice on the ground and Saint Patrick's 17th of March still 41 days from now.  So perhaps more immediate, there's opposition to my theory, "Food Listening as Origin of Language."  I'd argue this opposition stems from assumptions about our species which arrive through the shy Quail inside, still considering the sound of seed sprouting as a food source and wondering where to put the semi colon, or comma.  Maybe a hyphen and brackets.  An ampersand. The chapter heading Genesis.

However I think it sufficient to say in response to critics of  my theory that I agree with only that part if their argument which suggests I am in deficit 'brain-cell-wise.'  And here it's probably most useful to fly into the past. The year 1860, Huxley and Wilberforce debate Darwin's Origin of Species.  A theater that'll repeat sometime this evening,  when the protagonists will be a science guy and former comedian, up against a religious nut and curator of a state funded museum.  And with respect to  "Food Listening as origin of Language" I see my theory bridging the divide.  Call it a deficit of brain cells, or a buzz-kill,  if you wish to.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lady Bird Angst

"Go to the ant thy sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Not even this invocation from Proverbs has persuaded the Lady Bird on the table in the room where I sleep from mooning around on the mouse pad. Which is that flat surface a mouse requires if it is to sensibly move a curser around a computer screen.  And I guess the mouse itself might look rather like a very large Lady Bird relative who has to be tethered for its own safety. But I do not believe this is the  reason for such stubbornness from this particular Lady Bird. She will simply not be persuaded to move along, and even when I succeed in puffing mightily at her, next thing I know she has returned to her spot, which as it happens is precisely where my little finger taps the Morse Code during moments of what some might call reverie but which you and I know better.

She is red and without spots. Which I think is unusual in her species. And I have to admit that many of her sisters have succumbed to this or that hardship afflicting lady Birds who chose to hibernate amongst people. There has been a random act by vacuum cleaner, for which I blame my own impatience, my own ludicrous territorial impulse and my developing allergy to Dust Bunnies.  A total over reaction on my part that followed a frivolity amongst the hibernators that required them to occasionally fly around the bedside light and then attempt nighttime cuddling in the warmth of the blankets under which I sleep. I have of course been racked by guilt and tormented by visions of Hoppy Bug hordes, even  though I was very careful to empty the vacuum canister in what I hope will be a more Lady Bird friendly environment.  I guess my best option now is to find another mouse pad and mouse, leave her to her own interpretations of whatever it is she thinks she is doing.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Punctuation and Food Listening

I'll call it the 'hope syndrome.'  And I'll think of it as an unnatural optimism confronting reality, what others might prefer to think of as the subjective because the subject at least has an opposite, and I'll go on to describe the 'hope syndrome' as an utterance from the endocrine system.  Long before the Marsupial, back when we were a little smaller than a Field Mouse, our diet insect and the occasional fiddlehead  from Fern, which we'd gather in the dark of night otherwise a Dinosaur might step on us, the 'hope syndrome' first came to us as sound.  We could hear our daily meal, before ever we could see it.

Ever since there has been a whispering in us mammals, and sadly for my own particular species that whispering has so dominated it became our language of choice.  All the pretty words, beautiful to contemplate, like the touch of a feather or a good mutton stew. There has been the odd attempt to presume harmony or logic in  words, especially those that are written, and I guess this passion still  haunts a few cathedrals of learning, but  how very much easier it all might have been had the Dinosaur never have come into existence and instead of mumbling around in the dark our ancestors could have developed their endocrine system in the full light of day, on top of a mountain perhaps. And I think my point is, to combat the 'hope syndrome'  a very good start,  would be to completely do away with punctuation.  Or at least recognize that much of each one of us is still listening for its food.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

God as Job Creator

One argument suggests that mind is not much more than a device which makes signs and symbols that represent information from senses about reality. These signs and symbols are how mind interprets or represents reality and on occasion that representation of reality is hyper. Which means, that the sign or symbol is probably less to do with what might be real than it is to do with a sign or a symbol. The obvious example is the dollar bill, which is actually a bit of paper difficult to forge, but if you take it to a shop you are able to exchange it for a lollipop. And if for some reason you couldn't,  the world as our signs and symbols have persuaded us to live it, would come to an end, and Cockroach would take our place.
Then you read how the gigantically wealthy are all pissed off because they are not receiving the worship they deserve as job creators, or god, or whatever, and they start worrying about being rounded up and poked with sticks. Then when you stop laughing, you begin to realize their pissed-off-ness is yet another example of a hyper reality run amok, accompanied by the sort of paranoid delusion of grandeur that inspired the gated community. And I can almost guarantee you that amongst the gigantically wealthy who worry about commoners poking them with sticks you will find mother's boy bottoms which don't like being told they are no more special than any one else.