Monday, July 24, 2017


Rumor has it that the body temperature of a healthy Cat is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As a creature who has a body temperature of around 98 degrees Fahrenheit and who might have been assigned to sleep with an eight week old Kitten to keep it from fighting with the other and much older household pet I am ready to state from my own experience that the body temperature of a Kitten is more like 201.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clearly the relationship that has grown over the generations between my own species and some members of the African Bush Cat began on a cold night when a Kitten ambled in a somewhat cocky and bossy manner into a Hunter Gatherer camp. An Enrico Firmi of those long ago days chose to use the Kitten as a hot water bottle rather than an addition to diet. Back then of course when Enrico happen to move while he was sleeping Kitten's certainly didn't grumble or wail in a "Wake the Dead" kind of way. All that happened much later, after it was far too late..

Sunday, July 23, 2017


I'd argue that Cute Factor is an arrangement of shapes, textures and movements onto which a person projects a set of emotions that illicit cooing of one kind or another.  There might be some for whom early childhood was so burdened by trauma that the sight of a Kitten might produce that set of reactions that could be thought of as Yuk Factor.

On an imagined continuum between Yuk and Cute the Wombat has always produced in me a mixed or floating reaction. Something to do with the relationship between a Wombat's ears and his or her eyes that suggest a smugness that calls to mind the Objectivism of Ayn Rand and the literature that emerges from the Birch Society's definitions of Freedom.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Additions to the Fold

Different sort of day in the domicile. There's a Kitten in the kitchen. As you can imagine both the Girl Cat and your correspondent are a state of some shock. There's been growling and some nervousness, maneuvering around, high stepping, the usual symptoms of interrupted routine. Currently the Girl Cat is in the outdoors, seeking solace under her Hosta leaves, and I am upstairs pondering the Big Question.

I remember once reading the pompous ass comments of a fellow pompous ass. He claimed that to truly understand the flow and mechanics of a psychological thriller a person would do well to acquire two Cats. For my part I'm doing my best to get my being around the idea of this exploration, and it's my hope that the Girl Cat will in due course arrive at a similar arrangement of custard pie thinking which might enable her to find her own perhaps more sensible solution to the current outbreak of cute factor.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Carl Jung had the idea of an inflated consciousness. It was egocentric to the point of being aware of nothing but its own existence. He added that it was incapable of learning from the past, unable to understand current events and was so hypnotized by itself it could not be reasoned with and as a result was doomed to self inflicted calamities. Jung's own explorations into personality persuaded him that balance within in the mind was a question of wholeness, a sense of being that was complete. And I suspect he never really was able to conclude that this would ever be possible in the more modern society.

Freud's understanding of ego had it as a somewhat confused organizing principle that rode the heaving waves of the subconscious in an often neurotic kind of way. In other words, ego is a long way from dominant in a personality and occasionally succumbs to hysteria or odd behaviors that are anti social and self destructive. In this area of exploring nuttiness, I'd suggest both men would share the idea that devout believers, whatever their set of beliefs might be and however impossible they might sound, benefit mentally, become more "whole" from accepting shared illusion rather than having to go to the effort of creating one of their own. In short if you want to be happy, try to avoid contact with reality.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


It was kind of like the School Prefects being called into the Headmaster's Office to get a jolly good dressing down. And it was kind of like the Headmaster happened to be under the influence of mind altering drugs. And yet the School Prefects instead of suggesting to the Headmaster that he get a grip, put away the mushrooms for a bit and maybe read a little history, pottered back to their Common Room feeling foolish and unworthy.  

If my boarding school analogy is even a little bit correct, it would seem to me that Gibbon now has his answer to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. What happens to civilizations is this. The commonwealth is sacrificed to the hubris, greed, ill discipline and ambition of a few truly stupid people. And here, to revert for a moment to my own Wombat Cuddling Theory of History always worth remembering that in the muscular year of 1906 Wombats were classified as Vermin.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The Girl Cat, the Internet Provider and your correspondent have a great deal in common. None of us like exertion of any kind during periods of rain, snow, gusty or chilly conditions and all three of us are adding heat to this list.

If you sweat, whether through paws or feet, as I do, this aversion to inclemency of outdoor conditions is perfectly understandable. But from an Internet Provider, an imagination begins to raise the specter of a malicious conspiracy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Never sure why anyone might imagine that a system of Health Care designed around Private Enterprise and the Insurance Market would be anything other than an expanding source of revenue for Health Providers, Insurance and Pharmaceutical Companies. Attempting to offer some sense of gentleness by blending regulations into this toxic mix is about as wishy-washy as a person can get. Which is why you have to admire the man who can stand like the Angel of Death at the door to the Doctor's office and say "If you can't afford a Rabies shot, you can't have it." It's what you call Honest.

On the other side of this is the argument that Private Enterprise sucks the big one around Healthcare and there should be no Angel of Death barring the way to the Doctor's Office. This argument offers Healthcare as a Right, paid for like the Ballot Box and the Army through a levy on the general population. A single, rather than multiple competing bodies would determine pricing for the products of Health Service providers. It's an ideological debate between two sides so best to forget all about ridiculous things like science, facts and figures. Call them "soft hearted, learned, civilized and reasonable people" on the one side, and whatever you want to on the other side. 

Monday, July 17, 2017


A time comes when Wombat Cuddling ceases to amuse and instead reveals a structural flaw in the tapestries of perception granted to our species by generations of evolution. For certain we are instinct driven, but there remains a part that strives to combine with a calling not wholly devoted to self and circuses and attempts instead to wonder at the possibilities. And for certain we do make things up, invent, explore. Then out pop the Wombat Cuddlers and before you know it, all attempts at reflection upon the realities go out the window. And we become like the Locust where we find solace in destruction and other acts of pomposity. It's the lesson in Heidegger's understanding of Being. Engrossed in our work we fail to look beyond, become a little like Sea Anemones the tentacles of which carry angry banners that read "Don't mess with my Zen" and we end up in deep do-do.

"What is Wombat Cuddling?" I hear the question loud and clear. Not a term that's easily defined, billions of words including the sacred texts have been penned on the subject. More recently it's a combination of shopping, Made in America Week, fake news, Madison Avenue, Time Magazine covers, the laying on of hands, Hollywood, water, air, food, cigarettes and Canning Tomato. All of them, and many others, that inspire a desire to find a completeness beyond which nothing much else matters. But, I'd argue, the signature mark of the Wombat Cuddling Fraternity is an inability to grasp the infinite nature of Being. It still happens when you're not here. It happened before you arrived. It doesn't stop and there are no solutions. In short, despite the rumors, none of us actually matter. What matters is the fact of existence. And without meaning to step on your Zen we Wombat Cuddlers are functionally unable to accept this. Depressing? Of course it is! And yet we continue.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


IMAO, in the new language means "In My Arrogant Opinion." Pretty much sums the position your correspondent takes on all subjects. The secret of course is to recall the wisdom of ages which all the way back to Zoroaster and up to us through the Greek via many an iteration to an utterance from a US Judge who was born to the name Billings Learned Hand and who died in 1961. No kidding. What he said was this "The spirit of Liberty is the spirit that's not too sure that it's right."

Then when we gather in isolated rooms around computer screens to wax caustic upon the big ideas our opinions meld into a competition for attention. It's theater, and from this drama we lose the real in the interest of impressing each other. The Irish Poet has it right. Yates: "The ceremony of innocence is drowned, the best lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity." Both Liberty and Freedom belong to innocence. The Second Coming; "what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born." Schrodinger's Cat for the Physicists, but here on earth TTTH gets a lawyerly perspective. Topical? I believe so.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


There's going to be yet another valiant effort by your correspondent to end an old and very favorite habit. I will of course be heroic, there'll be no tantrums, no throwing things, no wishing death upon anything or anyone that even looks cheerful and the last time I attempted to be heroic I had what I begin to believe was a psychosomatic reaction. I blew up like a balloon with an itchiness that has been described as Hives. A paltry and wholly inadequate description for an experience that lasted at least three days. It was all over the place, didn't sleep, became unbearable to live with, gave serious consideration to grave digging until finally I crawled into town to negotiate for a pack of cigarettes.

The thing about it was, as soon as I saw the OPEN sign flashing a welcome from the Tobacco Shed all balloon like symptoms evaporated, my mind was clear, I heard the angelic choir and I answered with a calm "Carton of Berley in Box, please." The question, what possible reason could there be to desert an old and faithful friend, a reliable comrade in time of stress who has been a provider of solace since something like 1965. The answer has a technical term, Chremato-Dento-Phobia, which is basically the common fear of wasting money on dentists. Yes indeed, the top teeth are shot, they're all coming out, the bottom teeth are more likely to be saved if I could give up cigarettes through the healing process. It'll be a Balancing Act which is a technical legal expression for those of us who may well have a Straight Jacket in their future.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Johnson Grass

Round the fields making war upon a truly noxious and unnaturally aggressive grass, followed by what might well have been forty eight hours of harvesting and canning assorted vegetables, no Tic or Spider bite but the feet smell like dead Buffalo, I could well have Lyme Disease and the rain missed us. "And your point" I hear the call. Well, the answer, and this may shock the assiduous reader, is Winter Projects. Frankly I yearn for the sprout of Winter Oats, the incredible aggravation of the Festive Season, and the complete absence of anything like a temperature over something like 52 Fahrenheit. January in the company of N scale would suit me fine at the moment.

Meanwhile to calm the soul a little, better to vent the spleen upon Colonel William Johnson, an Alabama Plantation owner who in 1840 planted a grass that has since gained the title of "Number six on the world's top ten worst weeds." How proud his off spring must be and no doubt all of them are waddling around sporting red caps with "Make America a Toxic Stew" emblazoned upon them. The sins of the Father, my big toe. Number one on the world's top ten list of worst weeds has the rather splendid name Purple Nutsedge. For some reason the very idea of the name Nutsedge gives me hope for the future. Mind you I felt the same way about the gracefully titled Water Hyacinth.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Catapult and Beer

Not so bad in the shade, bit of a breeze, clouds of the fluffy kind, but sadly it's far too hot in the sun for those of us born pink, blotchy and freckled. I've come to the conclusion that when it's too hot and humid in the sun Tomato become shy around blooming, they develop flower briefly and then like me they say "To Hell With This." Nor do Goldfinch really help, they get all excited among the shady trees, plot their course and as the evening arrives, the day settles toward supper time they mass for a feast of Tomato blooms. One solution is a small agile boy with a catapult.

There was a time during the early days of plotting a course through existence a young comrade who was very adept with a catapult was often called upon by his mother to guard her Millet and Sorghum. Most know what Sorghum looks like, a giant weed that could be invasive than anything wholesome. Millet is basically a tall grass that has a tousled head dress which produces billions of seeds each one looks like a tiny Pea. They don't need much rain, they grow fast and any creature that feeds on seeds is naturally attracted to them. Back then of course the Millet and Sorghum crop was primarily devoted to home brewed beers of varying qualities called Ajono. The polite would drink it through a straw.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Declining Standards

In the early, early days of the Second World War the USA chose to remain neutral. It had no popular desire to send soldiers to die in Europe. Congress was a little divided, and there were many who reckoned on a European war as good chance to provide profit to and employment in the US Armament Industries. Diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic went to work, and UK set up a department within it's Secret Service to do everything possible to persuade the USA to get involved in the war. A whole lot of very sinister stuff happened including the seduction of an Isolationist and popular elderly Politician by a very, very hot chic, and other dastardly acts.

And too, a document was forged by the Brits. It was a plan by the German High Command to invade Mexico, and proceed from there to conquer South America. This forged document was discovered by US Intelligence Services and it was given to President Roosevelt. US Intelligence insisted it was genuine, they'd stolen it from the German Embassy in Mexico City. Roosevelt fell for the forged document, and he used it in the way politicians do to support his argument that the US should chose sides in the European conflict. After Pearl Harbor, the Brits were persuaded to come clean, perhaps show off a little. They told the President that the German plan to invade South America was a total fiction. None of which should prevent us from at least hoping for a higher standard of behavior in the Political Class.

Monday, July 10, 2017


One of the rules around Pressure Canning is never to lose the spectacles. Best to keep them firmly strung around your neck, so you always know where they are. Some members of the Pressure Canning Community, or PC's as we call ourselves, probably have good vision, others could well have the kind of spectacle that remains on the nose without ever falling off. Nor am I prepared to believe that any member of the PC community would have so denied their basic instinct that they'd succumb to the vanity of Contact Lenses. Leave that sort of nonsense to ex runway models, airplane travellers bound for singles weekends, advertising executives and well past their prime Beatniks.

The reason never to lose the spectacles is the Pressure Dial on the Pressure Canner. If you can't see the little needle on the dial, don't know whether it's pointing at 10, 15 or 20 PSI the entire six hour exercise of picking, cleaning, dicing, blanching seven whole quarts of hot fill Beans ends as a panic stricken nightmare. On the other side of this argument is the idea that it takes anything like six hours to produce seven quarts of anything. Nor  does that six hours include, bed preparation, planting, weeding or the hours of man to pest combat with Stinkbug, Bean Beetle and the host of unmentionables some of whom could be Beneficial. Finally, having endured the experience of Pressure Canning seven whole quarts of Beans the best advice is not to seek relaxation and a sense of accomplishment by live-streaming anything like news programming on the technical device.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


"Carrots." And I say Carrots to remind what remains of me that if by some peculiar chance I find myself still upon the earth next spring, I'm to avoid planting so many of them and to make quite certain the ranks of Carrot seedlings are brutally thinned. I could of course use the word "Eugenics" as an aid to memory, but being a lily-livered liberal without the Maoist tendencies I cleave to the argument there is room in the tapestry even for those of us who fail to indicate when changing lanes on the highway. Which makes thinning innocent and dewy eyed Carrot seedlings so emotionally difficult I often leave it until it's far too late.

The answer is probably some sort of disguise, two personalities, one dainty the other a close cousin to the beast of Kapital. Each would dress accordingly. Floral hat, clean socks and after-shave for the one. Some kind of military jodhpur, black shirt and campaign medals for the other. This way I could chose who to be as the morning arrived. There'd be none of this fanning around and "oh dear, maybe tomorrow!" I'd just get right in there with the solider chants and rum. Soon now I'll have my chance to put this theory into practice. I have Great-great-great-grandmother Strawberry plants that need to be euthanized. It encourages the young, apparently. Oddly I have no problem at all ripping the heart out of Strawberry runners, the little bastards are all over the place.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Little Things

Many years ago in a land far away a callow youth wandered the green, pleasant, and often rain drenched land looking for something more than the shelter of paid work. Frankly he was tired of being sneered at for his lack of basic necessities, his cheerful demeanor, his happy-go-lucky attitude toward things like bathing and footwear, his total absence of anything like ambition around the slippery pole of achievement or around the equally ludicrous notion of "Getting Ahead." So what did he do? Well, I'll tell you. It was January and he got an indoor job with prospects and radiators at a clerk's desk in an accountant's office.

"You Jest!" I hear the cry. And I'd have to agree that it does sound strange that an accounting firm would agree to employ such a character but in the context of being sneered at by his often forceful peers many of whom were mortgage bound, it might be worth mentioning that a narrative is more like an Onion than it is like an Apple. It has layers under its skin, and unlike an Apple, Onions aren't sweet, unless there's something wrong with your taste buds. Soon enough our callow youth discovered that Accounting was neither Heaven nor Hell. The story was totally wrong. He was fired in April just in time to weed gardens, mow grass, hold his head up high and not have to worry about his finger nails being clean. It's a hard, some might call it anti-social, lesson, but well worth learning.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Great Game

As a person very determined to remain in his own bubble while on these pages I will forgo any kind of remark on international affairs. 

Instead I'm just going to say I have flue-like symptoms, I could well be developing sores, I definitely need a staircase elevator but I'd rather die than visit a Sandals Resort.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Peak Bean, I reckon. There's a whole bunch of varmints including one of those incredibly cocky Tree Frogs running rough shod through the foliage, so the remaining crops of Beans will become increasingly ravaged and this means your gardener will have to give up on the simplicity of freezing his Beans, hunt around for his notebook, reacquaint himself with the Pressure Cooker and proceed to Canning. The only positive is that a canned Bean will survive the power cuts that can kill off the frozen variety.

It's been a few years since I saw a Tree Frog in the Vegetable Garden. Seem to remember that Tree Frog also found sustenance in the Beans. Toads, of which there are two giants, tend to get grumpy and retreat at the approach of picking fingers or hose pipes, but not Tree Frogs. Tree Frogs have that sort of gallantry that suggest "I Dare You make me Leap at your throat." Which is fine. Vegetable Garden Toads of course have a problem when they get too big, thanks to the brilliance of my Rabbit Protection projects there's just no way a Big Toad can get out of the garden. I watched one try. I really should dig a pond or make some sort of door for them.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Onion Soup

Far too many Onions in our own little smug world of plenty. But the more creative member of the bond did succeed in contriving a system that very successfully dried the Garlic. The Kitchen now benefits from decorative braids, and they look splendid in that Coffee Book way. With the Onions, a theory from afar was to pull them before "June Rains" and by doing so they too would have their chance to dry to storable before the miseries of July. For one reason or other your routine bound gardener failed miserably to observe this simple rule, probably far too engrossed in his Compost Pile and the important work of edging. The Onions are what they call "On The Verge," a condition we're all familiar with since Nov 2016.

In time past a surfeit of Onions has meant a series of experiments around pots, pans, vinegar, curse words, herbs and spices. One year I boldly decided to go crazy, make Onion Soup.  Both the Artist and I are firmly in agreement that my Onion Soup was so awful it came second place in the category of horrible to my Wax Gourd Curry, which had a quality and texture so vile it really defies description. This year the Artist decided to take charge of the cutting board, there's a series of Onion Soup recipes that require a little Garlic, exotic cheese and cubes of toast. Tragically none of these recipes call for more than four cups of diced onion. I see pickling in my future. On the other hand there's my old faithful who at 93 degrees of Fahrenheit needs turning

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4

Nine of them. One of the problems at this time of year is being able to stay awake in the evening long enough for a moment in the outdoors that contains that sort of darkness which not only grants a full appreciation of exploding ordinance but also retains sufficient mental acuity to safely launch rockets without setting the barn or a neighbor's domicile or his field on fire. So it's a balancing act as much as it is an act of wanton vandalism.

The other problem is the Girl Cat. She spends much of the daylight waiting for the gloom that follows sunset so that she might pad around perfecting the craft of a serial killer and fireworks are the last thing she really needs during those moments which are precious for her. Probably best to put faith in the mystery of Karma, there's only so much padding around a creature can do without getting padded upon. It's a rich tapestry out there and sometimes dangerous.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Summer has arrived. 87 degrees Fahrenheit at 10.30 am. Humidity 72%. Did your gardener buckle? Yes he did! He decided to rediscover the short trousers which have been in hiding for a good six months. The knees are in shock.

For some parts of us there's something incredibly undignified about short trousers. It's almost as though all attempts at a civilizing impulse have come to an end. Let loose the passions, peel me a grape while I wallow in mud

Saturday, July 1, 2017


I recall being forced to witness an Eclipse sometime in the early 1960's. Thanks to modern freely available data I have determined the date and title of that Eclipse. The Annular Solar Eclipse of July 31st 1962. We schoolboys were instructed not to stare directly at the sun, instead we were to take our turn with a shard of clear glass the headmaster had managed to make smoky using a candle. By the time my turn came to look at the sun, the smokiness had gone from the glass, lost to the sweaty fingers of the older boys. Then by the time the headmaster had managed to re-smoke the glass the Annular Solar Eclipse of July 31st 1962 had moved either west to Tanzania or east toward Ethiopia.

An Annular Solar Eclipse is when the sun is at no time completely obscured by the moon. A Total Solar Eclipse is when the moon does indeed obscure the sun and causes some part of the earth to experience darkness in daytime. In August of this year a Total Eclipse will cross the USA. The north edge of the Total part of this Eclipse will pass sometime in the very early afternoon around sixty miles south of here. The question is, How interested am I in being underneath a Total Solar Eclipse?  The answer should be a loud "Yes!" But some of us more Saintly members of the community might pause a while before leaping to that answer. Is it really worth messing with the routine, to get in a motor vehicle travel miles in the midday?  Sadly I have fifty days to fret this problem.

Friday, June 30, 2017


 I'll admit to it. I have tweeted. Not recently, you understand. Immediately grasped how addictive it can be for an older person. Like mash potato and mayonnaise or ice cream, I imagine. Even today I get the regular email expressing concern around my apparent inability to grasp or explore the fantastic new features that constantly flow from the conniving minds behind Twitter.

My own view is this. Twitter should be regarded as a pusher, one of those individuals who hangs around street corners, wears expensive shoes, dreams of climbing the greasy pole to great wealth or fame, and pretends to look innocent. Twitter users should be subject to mandatory sentences of "Twenty Hours of hand grating Zucchini per Tweet."

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Your political activist missed a perfect opportunity for one of his characters to make a point about an advertiser on Sean Hannity's daily infomercial for the Radical Right, call Sean the President's Dachshund if you wish to. The advertiser in question is ancestry dot com. In this game I play the role of Hector, a get off my lawn, back to the stone age, elderly gentleman who has a flare for racist remarks, some of which are distasteful and many of which cannot be permitted in polite company. Hector also suffers from a visceral reaction to anyone who might not be a Republican voter, sadly we more liberal minded send ghost fingers down his spine, give him the creeps.

Following a heated dispute with a young college bound nephew, Hector, who had seen the ancestry dot com advert on Sean's nightly television program, decided to delve into his own origins. Imagine his feelings when the results of his genetic test for which he spent 99 hard earned dollars finally arrived through the US Mail. The results for Hector were of course all part of the Clinton Pelosi plot to turn western civilization over to cabal of Frenchmen and as a result Hector developed some very deep suspicions around Sean's other advertisers, one of which is the car maker called Subaru. The shame of it, there's one parked outside.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bush Beans

First harvest of a Bush Bean is most satisfying. Soft in a snappy way, delicate and unblemished. A person gets a sense of purpose, of putting food by. Then by about the second handful of Bush Beans a person begins to understand why picking Bush Beans really requires that agility of circus performer. Most of it is done bent double in full sun. At the end of the first row a person is ready to take a blood oath never to plant Bush Beans again, join the camaraderie of Pole Bean people, with their strings, and stones hanging from strings, and a plethora of contraptions designed to not fall over in gusty winds.

But there is one thing. Picking Bush Beans is very good for building the grit and determination often missing in a gardener's character. I put it right up there with jumping out of airplanes, climbing Mount Everest, and understanding how to do your own taxes. And if you think I'm exaggerating a little there's something else. One of the most central features of a gardener's anatomy is his or her back. Through the course of the non Bush Bean picking season, the back does indeed become idle, the muscles do the muscle equivalent of smoking cigarettes to keep from thinking too much and picking Bush Beans straightens them up. This means that by the end Bean season a person's back is about thirty years younger.

Monday, June 26, 2017


A person gets on in age, starts yelling things like "What does a Southerner know about Chard?"  It comes to all of us eventually, a desperate attempt to straighten the circle. "When I was your age I walked an hour to work!" It was five miles, give or take. So no wonder some of us have less sympathy for the current crop. Mind you I totally understand what it's like to be on the receiving end of a similar sense of disappointment from the gerontocracy.

The average age of US Senators is 61. There are 100 of them. 27 of them are over 70 years old. 8 of them are over 80 years old. Just 13 of them are under 50 years old. But in the end I'd like to mention a senator called Orin Hatch. He's 83 years old, he's been a senator for over 40 years, he's from Utah and he has seven children. His net worth is something like 5 million dollars. The 43 year old Junior Senator from Utah, a rosy cheeked young male called Mike Lee, has a net worth of 16 thousand dollars. Give him time, I guess.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


From tiny yellow eggs the young of Ladybirds emerge and as they find food they look increasingly bad tempered and crotchety. There's no other description for them. I have read that some have described this larval phase in the Ladybird as "alligator like." I don't see it myself, but they do have these little sometimes reddish spikes on a black segmented body with lots of legs and they do have a certain predatory aspect to their appearance that suggest a creature that enjoys hunting down live food or anything that looks as though it could be alive. Nor is there the remotest similarity of appearance between the adult Ladybird and the larva. The larva look like pests of the very worst kind, the sort of creature that inspire horror movies. The adult on the other hand looks charming, diligent and well behaved.

Then the larval Ladybird suddenly decides to turn into a sort of orangey yellow glob or pupa that can sometimes be seen under leaves. From this pupa the Ladybird emerges. He or she is yellow, the carapace is soft but quickly hardens, turns red with the traditional black spots. Currently in the vegetable garden there are many, many Ladybirds enduring their crotchety phase. Round here of course most adult Ladybirds find their way into and spend their winter in the room where I sleep. This can sometimes be a little awkward because in their wintering phase some of the more restless in their number can get all worked up around an electric light bulb. However I will make the claim that wintering with Ladybirds is infinitely preferable to wintering with Stinkbug.

Friday, June 23, 2017


My own evening meal was boiled Potato, boiled Chard, fried Oyster Mushroom, onion and garlic, garnished with Cherry Tomato. The Girl Cat enjoyed Special Diet something or other which was mashed with Trout and Catfish to cheer it up a little. Her desert was the ear of a young Rabbit and the head of a Shrew. For my desert I had white bread, the chunky kind, with some kind of well past sell by date chocolate spread. No doubt about it she and I live the life, we communicate through an empathy, or if you prefer I do as I am asked and I sulk in a noble sort of way when I have a point to make.

But beyond this place where I live there's all kinds of stuff happening. Most of it entirely beyond comprehension and all of it open to interpretation. Some of us might well have wasted the last forty odd years attempting to define civilization yet the recent occupation of government offices by brave people in wheel chairs pretty much sums the circumstance of politics as it appears in the current era. There will of course be a pompous ass call to remember Plato as we potter backwards into a future. But there might well be Christian Soldier work removing wheel chair ramps, jailing the sick, isolating the poor in exchange for supper or a bandage or maybe a washing machine.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

160 Fahrenheit

Anticipating a "Rain Event" as these things are increasingly called following some kind of brain freeze in the minds of those who spend most of their waking hours forecasting weather. "Blessed Release from Tribulation" works better for a gardener and gives him a chance to sit back, stare at the wall and contemplate the glory day of a Compost Pile that recently achieved a temperature of 156 degrees of Fahrenheit, which is getting on for 69 degrees Celsius. Sadly there is no recording or wire tap or digital representation or sacred testament to this truly incredible and huge milestone in the life of a Compost Pile devotee, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. 

There's a chance that not many people are interested in Compost Piles, so without wishing to sweat the details it is the case that should a Compost Pile achieve a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees Celsius good practice is to dived the pile and give it a jolly good watering. It seems cruel I know, but unlike you and I the tiny creatures that cause Compost Piles to heat have no access to scientific data and they will continue the heating process until life for them becomes untenable, in high heat they whither, become uncomfortable and apparently die. Mind you if these little creatures did have access to the data odds are they'd carry on regardless and invent air conditioning. Yes indeed, as an owner of Compost Pile Thermometer  I am like God. All I really need now is a shiny Red Pickup Truck with tinted windows, that can belch black smoke and has big fat wheels.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


To celebrate the Planet's Tilt, that irrational wobble which requires those of us who live north or south of the tropics to endure seasons, your correspondent risked death from heat exhaustion in order to complete "The Roof."  It was heroic, a few minor injuries, and I might walk with a limp for the remainder of my days, but these things are as nothing when compared to the sense of closure when that last self tapping screw bites into the metal and finds home in wood. It's guttering for water collection next. Thrilling, I know.

Getting off a scalding roof can be tricky for the more elderly roofer who might be feeling just a little dizzy and can't see very well because of the sweat in his eyes, but there's a sort of Jihadist fatalism that takes over when temperatures soar toward hellish regions, so just hold on and hope for the best. Then a person can hobble back to his kitchen, pop his head under a running faucet, and shiver a little. The entire process resolves the problem of purpose, no hard thinking is required and the reward is something like half a dozen of those Raspberry jam filled donuts which are always worth a trip into town even if they do make you belch deep fried dough for a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The Girl Cat is adept around slaughtering the cute little Bunny type Rabbits. There have been so many I've lost touch with the body count. I use the word slaughter loosely, the reality of the Bunny's death is probably more aptly described as some kind of agonizing medieval ritual. Sadly with the Artist away it's a ritual that occurs up the stairs in the room where I sleep, a hallowed ground in my view, rudely interrupted in the early hours by what I can only describe as the dying bleat of a lamb. But the Girl Cat seems to enjoy herself, regards it as an opportunity to toughen me up, get me ready for the front line at somewhere like Stalingrad. It's an exhausting experience for me.

Mind you, all very well the Girl Cat being cavalier and showing off her handling of the Bunny type Rabbit inside the domicile, it's when we confront the Big Rabbits outdoors that she looks to me for support. My presence gives her a sense of security, otherwise I suspect she's just a tad nervous, pretends not to care that there's a Giant of the Rabbit world nibbling the ornamentals not much more then ten feet away from her. I am of course a complete gentleman, I don't do things like sneer, or call her a sissy, some of those Big Rabbits are larger than she is, and they do look death before dishonor mean. Instead I politely suggest to her that we advance slowly in unison and when the Big Rabbit runs, we run after it. It's actually rather fun.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Five days of Day Lilly Weather. For those in doubt, Day Lilly Weather is on a par with big fluffy clouds that cast moving shadows across the land, a blue sky and just hint of a dry north breeze. Not something to sneer at even if it does send fungus to scatter spores, fill the air with a sneezing pox that seems to encourage invisible biting creatures that feed upon red blotchy gardeners. But I don't come here to moan and groan, I come here to boast and talk about how wonderful the gift of life can be when daunting projects come to that point when a person can say "It's time for roofing."

And here I'm uniquely qualified to say that accurate measuring, and some kind of orderly plan stands tall against ram-jam behaviors that include prayer, wishful-ness and hope. The most recent measurement suggest that I will have to reduce the length of the metal roofing panels by not just a tiny bit, but by 14 inches. Nor is cutting 16 metal roofing panels the equal of a day at the spar. It's noisy, it's dangerous, it aggravates the Girl Cat and there's always a chance of cutting the panels too short. It's the sort of thing that would defeat those lesser mortals who are unfamiliar with self recrimination, renting sack-cloth and howling at the moon.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Theory Part Three, Process

Once joined into a unity, it's the building of  "Nerves with Ganglia" that enable communication between the individual cells within a Slime Mold in more complex ways. To the question why would individual cells seek unity, the argument suggests it was a series of accidents that resulted in advantages around such things as food gathering and reproduction. The plan was and is survival in an incomprehensible environment. Have to wonder at the color of the Dog Vomit Slime Mold, bright yellow and fairly disgusting in texture, not something a gardener is anxious to find himself scrapping off the sole of his boot.

In time the Slime Mold may well develop ever more capacities each one of them acquired by accident and judged by each capacities contribution to Slime Mold success rather than its failure. And yet, even if the Slime Mold were to one day open a bank, it would still be a collection of cells, some more specialized than others. And all of those cells would contain memories of simpler times when objectives and purpose were more immediate, more obvious, well written into parts of the Slime Mold that despite the passing of generations linger in a less contemplative yet very determined way.  Interesting to consider, whence comes the Question Why. Or is it there already, lurking, primal and full of hope.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Theory Part Two, Slime Molds

My own understandings are often premised by the assumption that my mind is not capable of retaining large amounts of information. Nor am I one to be taken in by popularizing the work of experts in their field who following years of study will say something like Eukaryote in the same way I might say Banana Sandwich. This means my understanding of Slime Molds is slightly above Kindergarten level. All the same, I am the owner of sufficient hubris to insist that a Slime Mold is a bunch of single celled creatures, each capable of earning an independent living and who occasionally come together to form a unity able to produce behaviors that reflect muscles and nerves with ganglia, or brains.  Not Einstein Brains, but small "b" brains.

The Dog Vomit Slime Mold is bright yellow. Their community has spent many years in the vicinity of the Compost Piles where I live. A most peaceful part of the world, sometimes set to alarm by the more nomadic, it's home to the big Salamander, and that little blue tailed Lizard and rather than bore you with the details I'll say that sometime soon the Dog Vomit Slime Mold will gather to enter their conference, form shape, move around a little, produce their "nerves with ganglia" and there might even be a debate around the wisdom of choosing the color yellow as their symbol of fruiting, which when land dries they'll do over a period of several days. A reflection of what it is to be alive, you might say, but more likely the analogy of us people as Slime Molds falls foul of our own sense of being. There again we people can be sensitive to implied insults.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Theory Part One, Outrage

D Day in 1944, but in the world of Compost Piles there's a strong chance the new pile could over-heat. It's at 125F and rising. Luckily it's raining which somehow eases the tension. And I guess we all have our own relationships with the world of thermometers. A brief glimpse of the headlines suggests the UK is under siege, all doors are locked, streets are empty children blubbering as they prepare for a lifetime of therapy following Post Traumatic Stress, and indeed the foundations of liberty have themselves been challenged as an aberration to the new order of things by the Rabbit eyed Political Class. So who's winning?

My own understanding of towns like London and Manchester does not include an idea that people who live there are so far divorced from the Savannah they turn to rubber when a couple of nutcases run rough shod over the niceties.  Outrage certainly, but I've seen outrage following an Umpire's decision at the Marylebone Cricket Club. Manchester United has never actually achieved a victory on the football field without bribery and cheating and I say this as an angelic City supporter. But it's possible I suppose that this was a long time ago and fed as we all are by the diet of Madison Avenue and the shopping list of must haves we become lonely when it's our turn to visit the confessional or the voting booth in the hope of determining an honest savior. Going to talk about Slime Molds tomorrow.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Your correspondent has returned, he ran around, wagged his tail, checked the temperature of his Compost Pile which was 105F, greeted The Artist, admired the vegetables, looked around anxiously for those little things he might not have noticed. It was soothing, and in the category of civil I'd like to think he achieved at least a "plus" for effort in the eyes of others, which under all circumstances is a great deal better than an F.

The boast about leaving home for those extended periods of time that include not sleeping in your own bed is supposed to have something to do with broadening the mind by developing an understanding of the world beyond as a place of magic and wonder. Aware of my own negative and anti-facebook views in this area, I've decided the secret to travel is to pretend you're from a distant galaxy and you're merely a visitor to planet Earth. Lacks a sharing commitment? The answer yes..

Monday, May 29, 2017


Travel in the tealeaves. And by travel we're not just talking about braving the roads to a find a part in neighboring county, we're talking interstate travel, passport distances, the sort of stuff that requires inoculations and typhoid shots. Be gone a while, but unlike Oats I intend to return.

From here to the big road means going through the horsey-culture of Lexington, a hot bed of city drivers impatient for their next donut, then on though WVA toward that part of the world where the personalized number plate is a fashion statement and driving slow in the fast lane is a badge of honor.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bank Loans

Ah well! Probably no more than a brief interlude in the dialectic. A misunderstanding of some sort. Just no way a billionaire property developer would base the foreign policy of the USA around a debt to a state owned Russian bank.

Much more likely the party in question is a common or garden multi-millionaire and is just far too ashamed to admit that his boasting about his billionaire-hood is so much dribble. On the brighter side, last evening we didn't get baseball size hail were I live.

Friday, May 26, 2017


It's very easy. The modern Republican is no longer a conservative, he's gone radical, or rogue, and he believes that competition is the answer to complexity of Governing 360 odd million people. This new breed sees success as being measured by wealth, the less wealthy are less deserving because they're not good enough, they are weak, it's their fault, they shouldn't be permitted to gum up the works with sad excuses for laziness and should be allowed to disappear from the public square. It's backwards to an old theory in an attempt to deal with a world that's changing too quickly. It was the same during the early Industrial Revolution of Steam. Essentially the ideology is that survival of the fittest is the only solution to problems, a brutally uncomplicated discipline, but all the same, ideas, whatever their genesis, are acts of faith rather than anything that represents a rational appraisal of how societies might work tomorrow for the betterment of our world as we enter a daunting future.

Believers of all shapes who have power are often reduced to using the whip on others as they surround their thinking with deceits, lies and Orwellian language to disguise the nature of what they actually believe. What is a Christian, I wonder. The reason this new breed likes Trump is that his base of support have permitted A President to do away with the niceties which they define as a political correctness of intellectuals who have no real place in the real world of Alpha Males where violence, power and winning at all costs beats being a loser, or a nerd, or a precondition or gentle. In short Trump has punctured the veneer of civilized behavior and we are reaping the rewards. What happens next? Pre 1950's history suggests a good old fashioned war of some kind between Great Powers unites the myriad clans into a tribe so they might briefly bond, feel good about themselves, find purpose, something that Mutually Assured Destruction has kind of put an end to, so we just have to invent enemies, the more the merrier. Drugs, Islam, Jews, women, foreigners, poor countries and the list from the rogues is a rather pathetic commentary on one idea of progress.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Figs and fidget spinners

I have to take a break from on line discussions of all sorts, shapes and kinds. They get nowhere and tend to drag a person into a deep depression about the nature of the species he belongs to. Nor is it doing my spelling or grammar much good so I need to find another outlet for political activities, something useful like grasping the 2018 Budget.

The last straw was an unpleasant character  who called me "a lefty pinko FIGS" because I didn't know what a "fidget spinner" was during a conversation about whether banning "fidget spinners" in schools was obviously the first step toward socialism. Nor am I certain what a FIGS is, but proud to be one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Sometimes Geography is useful. There are the landforms, a cwm, a terminal moraine, rocks and stuff. And then there are maps, which country borders another, general regions such as the Middle East, there are hemispheres, tropical areas, sub-tropical areas, places that have winters, places that are or were ice-bound. All of this on a round orange shaped planet that spins.

Another area of concern is boys and girls holding hands when in certain foreign places. It's a well known fact that this sort of behavior is generally considered disgusting and entirely unnecessary, it's a sort of don't ask don't thing, like eating dog meat on a Thursday. But for holding hands on a red carpet at a foreign airport the consequences can be very dire indeed. 

Monday, May 22, 2017


For those who may be interested a Libtard is a derogatory term derived from a conjoining of the word Liberal and the word Retard. And while some might consider Libtard offensive and might wonder why a gentle flower like myself would be trolling the Alt-Right websites, my answer is that the exercise of doing so is close to entering the altered state produced by LSD, and yet the experience is addictive, kind of like when the school master in charge of Latin Detention loses control of the Detention Room.

To explain it, imagine yourself totally free to say absolutely anything that might enter your head, be liberated from the conventions that make society possible and have at it. Walk naked through the Bread Counter at a Grocery Store screaming obscenities at the unsliced loaves and the stranger thing is every one else is doing it. Then all of a sudden some poor fool attempts to do the right thing, give an adequate perspective on the nature of unsliced bread, say something like THSH and it's like a honey pot for the WTF's.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Social Democracy

May 21st 1871 was a Sunday. And on this day in 1871 the French Army marched into Paris where they basically spent the next five days rounding up and killing Parisians who had held elections and who had declare themselves a Social Democracy.

In those days Social Democracy was the idea that society should be arranged around the wishes of the many. All sorts of problems with that not least of which is the idea that Social Democracy is an evil plot to undermine "Democracy."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Local Gossp

For those interested the Compost Pile is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Ambient temperature in the shade is around 87 degrees Fahrenheit and the device that measures humidity must be broken because it only reads 60%.

Meanwhile Strawberries and Asparagus have done their stuff for this year, first harvest of Chard, Bush Beans are up, Potato are well into bloom, Spinach is bolting and it's only May 20th.  Last real sight of a genuine frost was sometime the end of March, I think.

Friday, May 19, 2017


While turning the Compost Pile this morning it occurred to me that I had fundamentalist tendencies. And as often happens when the mind deteriorates I began to realize that the word fundamentalist has a meaning beyond the militant evangelists who stand in opposition to liberal and secular values. I went on to remind myself that 'values' is one of those words that cause an allergic reaction in my being. By the time I was ready to plunge the Compost Thermometer into the heart of the Compost Pile I realized that I had a fundamental problem with the idea of Compost Pile Thermometer.

The thing about a Compost Pile Thermometer is that a gardener has to spend much of his day wondering what the temperature of his Compost Pile might be, and more worrying, whether he placed the thermometer into a hot or cold spot within his Compost File. In some ways a Compost Pile Thermometer is yet another example of an insidious technology that worms its way into a persons life and proceeds to dominate the thought processes. All very well suggesting that a person should moderate the passions, put for example a Compost Pile Thermometer into a more reasonable perspective, but we fundamentalists just don't seem to be able to that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Social Skills

Naturally the Girl Cat and I have had words between us, we've discussed all things great and small, we've had our disagreements respecting life style choices, eating habits, the electorate and it's quite a long list. Then there's been the occasional critical comment from me addressed to the cut grass which does insist upon growing in a rampant and entirely unnecessary manner.

As well there are subterranean members of the community here that can produce ultimate questions about the meaning of life and the purpose of being because they seem to have the answers. But not certain that I've spoken more than twenty words to a member of my own species in the past month, this means when The Artist returns tomorrow I might be a little garrulous around Compost Pile temperatures and Hoppy Bug.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Direct TV

Just like to drop a big hint to Direct TV, a company who spends at least a dollar a day sending mail to the end of the lane imploring me to subscribe. There are like ten thousand channels and for the first three weeks it's virtually free, apparently, and there's no commitment, until a subscriber decides to unsubscribe then all sorts of untoward and frankly despicable behaviors start to take shape.

Recent events have provided an opportunity for Direct TV to again provide their service to this lonely location. All they have to do is what Corporate America does best, bribe the political class to reach for their better angels and proceed to address the current Constitutional Crisis by impeaching the two year old masquerading as their president.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Always peaceful when the Girl Cat is asleep. A mind can relax, concentrate on the decline of what's humorously called western civilization, the end of democracy and go on a little about where to place blame which usually rests squarely upon the shoulders of an avaricious elite and the absurd popular admiration for the hubris of the illiterate billionaire class, facebook, twitter and the Daily Mail.

Then all of a sudden the Girl Cat is not to be found in her usual sleeping places. Clearly and very obviously she's been taken by a Coyote, snatched up by a Red Tail or fed to the young of some unspeakable creature who has been bribed by the mourning relatives of several dozen classes of rodent. Hours are spent hunting her down, tromping around, risking heat exposure, Tic bite and damage to the vocal folds, only to find her under my bed. It's incredibly thoughtless of her!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


There's no mystery. It would be more interesting if there was. Pretending otherwise is folly. Obedience has three parts. Doing what the spirit tells you. Conforming your will to the spirit. And conforming your intellect to the spirit. The problem isn't obedience, it's the spirit.

Franciscans would define spirit in accordance with their interpretation of the Christian message. Their obedience is a discipline devoted to an understanding of and devotion to a higher purpose. Here on earth it's the first part of obedience that becomes subject to a temptation to redefine higher purpose by the number of shares a tweet gets.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


A grave error to actually find a pirated You Tube live stream of a cable television news channel. It's kind of like living on the edge of the copyright statutes, cries out for a Parrot. But with a live stream news channel, a person gets to see the results of the work done by the busy men and women of that part of industry devoted to marketing. It just goes on and on, no end to the number of very well coiffured and unnaturally youthful looking girls and boys getting all excited about their incredibly depressing, and obviously soul destroying world view.

Mind you I did wake up this morning with a passionate desire to sample a dog food guaranteed to promote alertness in older dogs. I'm thinking seriously about investing $32 a week in a text messaging therapist. I'm fairly convinced that I'm sorely in need of several dozen medications and all over body suntan lotions. And there was something about a Billionaire visiting or returning from New Jersey in a mood to dismiss government employees who may or may not know something or other I didn't quite grasp because I was confused by what an American Standard Stand-In Bath might be.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


The motto of the FBI is "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." Not real subtle, a long way from the nuances of "shame on him who thinks evil of it" which might just as well be the motto of the Wombat Cuddlers at the other end of the Great Avenue. My own favorite "get off my lawn" could well work on those occasions when a neighboring ten year year old urban dweller walks the household pet for pocket money. But in the end "fortune favors the bold" seems to be the rather self serving survival strategy of our leaders.

The point being, and I can't comment or go into the specifics, it's very hush-hush, so I'm just going to say that Nostradamus was correct about Nixon and more than likely the current Vice President of the United States is the "moon faced one with dietary peculiarly unnatural restrictions" who according to the fourth part of 53rd quatrain will "usurp the thrown of the Golden Salamander" and everyone knows what that means. And if you don't believe me, it's all in the timeline.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Come to the conclusion that anyone running for public office, a supreme court judge, or someone already in public office such as a director of something like the FBI who uses folksy terms is rat or a fink and should be removed to safe place where they can play the banjo, eat chicken wings and get the heck out of our "Gee Willikers" whatever that might mean. Sad day when raising the eyebrows and saying something like "Gosh" makes you a born again Christian or an Abraham Lincoln.

On the much more positive side Frank Zappa and the Mother's of Invention have been reincarnated. A rejuvenating confluence in my mind, not to be taken too seriously from a person who doesn't leave home and gets his news from the internet. The first sighting was a brief glimpse of a discussion between Sally Yates and someone called Ted Cruise, it was like an Armadillo questioning an Angel. The second and more enduring sighting was on the Facebook, a band called Crystal Hart playing a burger joint in Virginia. Both sightings reminded me of "Hungry Freaks Daddy" and yeah, I'm a little preachy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

La Vie

Snurk factor, exacerbated a little by regular discovery of the corpses of rodents dotted around the domicile, some of which might have been there some time, and all of them introduced, usually during the early hours by you know who and just left for someone else to find. My own morning routine is no longer flatfooted, rather it's more of tiptoeing around, very good for the feet and posture, the Girl Cat has informed me in what I'm beginning to think could be a French Accent.

Naturally there will be purists who will look upon En Marche as a "quelque chose léger" but a little léger here and there is a great deal better than full blown retreat into some book that's been written before, a remake, a plagiarism, CliffsNotes to pass the exam and there'll be no passing grade this side of hell for any one us. What happened to the story that tomorrow should be exciting and new. Well I'll tell, that story has been taken from most of us and given to the zealots. Wasn't it always like this for you old people? I hear the call. The answer is Not Always.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Granted a gardener does occasionally complain about the weather, but May 6th 2017 is a Day that will most certainly Live in Weather Infamy! It's cold, it's wet and chance of Frost in the early hours of Sunday morning. It's enough to make anyone understand and fully appreciate the yearning for alternative facts!

Ma faute, je savais que cela se produirait, mais je me suis arrêté pour considérer le passé, je me demande si le 15 mai est la norme pour éteindre la tomate. Oui de la cause que j'ai fait! C'était une longue conversation entre les Asparagus et moi-même, pendant plusieurs semaines, pendant que Chard murmurait un peu sur les grimpeaux du monde végétal.. Elu Marche.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Lose-lose

The difference between rural and urban can be understood in the phrase "Town Air Makes You Free."  A New World Marxist analysis would use the phrase "The Liquidity of Modernity." Which is a sound-bite that attempts to summarize several beautifully written sentences in the Communist Manifesto. In short, rural life is slow paced, its rules are steadfast and stubborn, it's beliefs unchallenged which means that more in the world is certain. Urban life is fast paced, anything becomes possible, the rules that tie communities are there to be challenged which means that less in the world is certain, and I guess some might call it freedom.

When the two clash it's like an elderly Sloth meeting a juvenile Chimpanzee, the chances of mutual cooperation are remote. More recently in the USA Urban places tend to vote Democratic, rural places tend to vote Republican. In the middle are tracts of land that remain confused, they cling to the rural and earn their living in the urban. Call them three tribes, understand their allegiances as having a material genesis and you're well on your way to saying crack-pot things like "A rising tide lifts all boats."  The more accurate understanding is that if we people are boats most of us have holes in our hulls. The question is, Do We Care? The answer, Probably Not! But much more important than wise answers, is the fight, it bonds us to each other and always has done. Worth remembering, fights that obey rules are less destructive.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A win-win

Today, sometime this afternoon US Eastern Summer Time, the Republican Party (always worth remembering Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, so was Nixon who was all for removing health care from the clutches of Insurance Companies and funding a Health Care System through a single-payer) is going to make a decision that will result in a landslide victory for the Democratic party in the mid-term elections of 2018. Analogies include The Charge of the Light Brigade in the October of 1854, when frustrated men on horses charged cannon so that damn stupid poems could be crafted around the critical importance of doing very silly things. Or maybe Pyrrhus's victory, a first in many Pyrrhic victories where Pyrrhic is defined as a disastrous success.

Alternatively we can all become obsessed with the astonishing news that Prince Phillip, the 95 year old male consort of the current queen of England, is retiring. Or we can try to get our minds around the shocking news that Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have been bonking and have decided to formalize the arrangement through some kind of future religious ceremony. And if by chance you're looking for a little mystery, there's a suggestion that following the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, which took place in eastern part of what's now Turkey, the remnant of the defeated Roman army was captured, they somehow found their way to China where their descendants now have their glorious being as Yak farmers on the fringes of the Gobi Desert, a life style that would suit me fine.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ends Times

Yellow Chats in the Cedar and they are also partial to Strawberry, along with Thrashers, Field Sparrow Mockingbirds and Mouse. For those who keep track of these things, the Scary Compost Pile is cooling, and needs to be turned. The Compost Pile formerly known as Isis, is home to some kind of varmint, fortunately quite small, long tailed and reclusive. Otherwise it's one of those days when the weather is only soured by the certain knowledge that our political class are dangerous lunatics hell bent on recreating a fourth circle of hell here on earth. Mind you Dante's poem is one of those interpretative efforts best left to the scrabble players in the common rooms of men and women who hide like monks from paupers, their reality seen through chiffon, while humble gardeners tend their roses.

But it's like this. You got Limbo, pretty wishy-washy feeble place to be. Then you got Lust, a place you can still reckon on time teaching a lesson, broken hearts and forgiveness perhaps. Then you got Gluttony, where you can't help yourself, it's like over-feeding on the sacrifices of others. The fourth circle of hell is greed, a battle between the miserly and the profligate, here indulgence becomes a selfish appetite, it conjoins into an opposition that rages and feeds upon itself, becomes hungry for the conflict, sees proof in victory rather than good sense and tells lies when it loses. In some ways the fourth circle of hell is that moment when the button is pushed and after that you fall through the trapdoor into the nether regions of hell where you are definitely poked with sticks and made to spend eternity wishing you'd behaved otherwise and all you can do is gnash your teeth and wail, unless you're a billionaire who can pay someone under the counter to gnash and wail for you.  The good news, there's a preacher, Kenton Beshore, in California who predicts a Rapture in 2021, so we commoners have got that to look forward to.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

White Coats Please

My own personal opinions include the idea that Hillary Clinton should retire from politics, leave us all alone to blunder into the future without her focus group guidance, maybe she could take up gardening, or write stories for the New Yorker, or find some kind of hobby that does not require her to make speeches to public gatherings blaming the FBI, Wiki Leaks and the hourly paid for why it is she isn't President.

The other opinion I'd like to express has to do with the current occupant of the White House. He is in my view undergoing some sort of metamorphosis, and rather than emerging from the chrysalis phase as in any way presidential he'll end his reign as the First US President to be removed from office by men in white coats. Vice President Pence will then become President of these here United States and when that happens I'm going to blame William Jefferson Clinton, and if you want to know why "It's NOT the economy, stupid."

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day

Both the Girl Cat and I have declared an amnesty upon outdoor activities on this May Day. Far too windy for a working man and working girl to manage anything like banners that  castigate the bourgeoisie for their profligate ways and constant moaning, so instead we'll be indoor marching, or at least I will, the Girl Cat has found a sunny spot on the carpet. The banner naturally will boldly proclaim "Sui Generis is Ironic." Inspired, I agree, what it means I'm not sure, but prior to the amnesty this proletarian had managed to venture forth in the hunt for Beauregard Sweet Potato, and while returning from the adventure with 24 of the little beauties on the front seat, it occurred to me that I've never really understood what "Irony" or "Ironic" means.

Granted that some of us are possessed by allergic reactions to many of the words in the English Language, I can for example think of "Charades" as a moisture laden limp wristed activity practiced by the type of person who'd make reference to "Irony" at least four times a day, reserve Sunday for "Sui Generis." This allergy, which is probably categorized as a disability, does mean that some words are simply too painful to pursue an understanding of. And then there's the Latin in Sui Generis that really does bottle the phlegm as it reminds me of far too many pompous ass prigs for whom conformity becomes a badge of honor as it struts through the social fabric maintaining order and rounding up the remainder. The point about May Day is to challenge the imagination, think in new ways, understand each other through brotherhood, and despite rumor to the contrary none of us is unique. So Yes "Sui Generis is Ironic."

Sunday, April 30, 2017


The omens for an internet outage are shall we say "ominous." All the signs are there. High humidity, early July temperatures, intermittent hazy sunshine with the occasional chair rattling gust between sinister cloud formations, Summer Tanager yelling like a mental patient, and the Girl Cat is very much on edge. She wants to go outside, but can't actually make it through the door, it's a confusion in her over the question Why and it's a confusion I share, understand completely just how few days there are in the year when the outdoors hold any true appeal for those of us who don't have the good fortune to be members of the genus Fungi and have to show our faces every single day of the year.

But some of us have to go outside, not because we want to but because on the off chance that rain falls in the next two, three days, these conditions are perfect for warming the ground in preparation for seed germination. Okra, Beans and a whole bunch more Carrots which apparently are good companions to Tomato, it's a good theory even if it might be the kind of nut eater science currently running rampant through the corridors of power, that hothouse for Fruit Flies. And this time next week of course there could well be a frost and if not frost an outbreak of Cutworm, ravenous Vole, angry Doves or that sooty pox bloom that puffs something very close to Bubonic Plague. A lot to be said for indoor-outdoor carpeting or an attic above a second hand bookshop.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


In the year 1760 something, Edward Gibbon was stricken by a vision. He was watching barefoot Christian monks at evening prayer in what had once been the Temple of Jupiter in Rome. Nor was he a great believer in stuff like miracles, his quarrels had led him toward the more rational theology that always struggles to accept the idea of a Divine Mystery, so I guess seeing the monks at worship in a temple once dedicated to the Roman God of Thunder might have presented him with a sense that in our species worshipping the irrational had an eternal provenance.  His vision was to write a history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire on the understanding that he would attempt to answer the question why that empire declined.

I guess in almost every respect Gibbon's adventure was an "Arc Exploration." And here I don't mean Arc in the Noah sense, I mean Arc in the sense of lighting the fuse of a rocket, following into the air and back down to earth again and there where it lands finding what may or may not be a pot of gold. Gibbon's pot of gold, his answer to the question, was vague but his Arc was an account, in my view, of a long series of power hungry lunatics whose sole sense of purpose was to destroy rival egos in pursuit of self enrichment. It took a long time for the Roman Empire to divide and crumble into the history books, its artifacts worshipped, its administrative structures emulated, its language given the attributes of a Masonic handshake. On the bright side the Scary Compost Pile is 105 degrees of Fahrenheit and rising. That's what's called huge where I live.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

End Times

The last President is to be paid $400,000 to speak to the disgustingly wealthy. Think what you will, but I'm very certain the National Weather Service has also been taken over by a horsemen of the Apocalypse. It rained last night and there was no forecast for rain, or anything like rain. Always a chance the National Weather Service might have erred, but I doubt that. Much more likely there's a cabal of climate change deniers altering the numbers to please their masters in the hose pipe manufacturing industries.

No accident that yesterday there was a message on the answer phone from a purveyor of automatic irrigation equipment, easy payment plan and satisfaction guaranteed apparently. Then when I think back to the last visit to the Hardware Store it was devoid of hosepipe repair parts and those hosepipe repair parts they did stock were all half inch. Not a five eighth inch anywhere to be seen. We're all doomed to the lackeys of greed, all of them eager to sell their souls then boast about it in a Starbucks. Jesus will be turning in his grave and so will Saint Teresa....

Monday, April 24, 2017


Sautéed Golden Oyster Mushroom, Asparagus and Spinach over Potato mashed with fried onions, hot milk and butter. A little salt, a little pepper. Two shop bought sausages of unknown ingredients. Mustard Vinaigrette. A Little grated hard Italian cheese. Followed by a hot Bread Pudding with plumped dried grape crusted sugar top, and Cold Whole Milk.

One of the troubles with Oyster Mushrooms they suddenly come in torrents or bushels, they are not polite, they pour forth endlessly and a person can get to that point were he or she is reluctant to visit the Oyster Mushroom logs without first having some idea of the evening menu.  Fried to crispy Oyster Mushroom as a garnish in Oyster Mushroom, Garlic and Poached Egg soup. It just goes on, but this early year experience of harvest does remind the gardener not to plant more than one Summer Squash.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


A radical adventurer travelled an hour and half to make a case for Science on Earth Day. The A + B of existence and the importance of peer review prior to the word "Eureka." An acceptance of Pi. A solemn occasion, usually, but being people we prefer the victory and dance to the tunes of "I told you so" then soon enough fall flat on our own faces in mud. It's a recurring condition.

The A was map and a respectable shave, the B a parking space. The "Eureka" might have been achieved had our gallant and doddering adventurer dressed correctly for the Arctic chill, the damp rain and had he invested $10 in a Kleenwaste Pee-Wee Urine Bag, with free shipping. His peers, naturally enough, were all frightfully intelligent, most had umbrellas. "In Peer Review We Trust!" was a good one. My own antitheses "Science is Politics" never made it and probably just as well.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Our hero has been patiently waiting on a rainy day. Your writer of pulp has entered a period of reverie where the ideal and practical clash in the epic struggle so well expressed by the Psalms of David. Mind you to make any sense of them much better to repeal the ideal of a Christian God, replace it with the geometry of slopes. This way life has its presence here on earth, no comfort from the far away excuse of salvation.

One could think of it as a cosmic joke, but that would require some kind of everlasting observer. So where to join the entails of the Big Bang. One option is to join with the Angel of Greed take as much as we can before it's all gone, the other a sweet surrender into what remains in the hope that whatever comes next, life will proceed without our trivial understandings of it, the naming of parts, then that "which sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" in vain. Call it "Cheeky" if you wish to.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Given the current fashion for recusing oneself, I think it only right that I should recuse myself from the burden of even trying to believe anything a member of the political class might see fit to utter and join that throng of men and women who are really far too busy to do very much more to direct our future than express outrage on Face Book and when called upon to action find themselves otherwise engaged in vital bourgeois activities most of which are primarily a Pavlovian reaction to the Running Dogs, or Zou Gou, of Madison Avenue that have turned so many of us into Wombat Cuddlers for the rich and famous.

This of course does mean putting effort into novel expressions of outrage, and this morning while pinching off Asparagus Beetle from the progressively organic Asparagus bed I did have my opportunity to go all out bouffant liberal on a boy Thrasher who was cooing sweet nothings from the Otto Luyken Laurels and confusing the Bean and Lentil soup out of an unattached girl Mockingbird. A rather witty remark, I thought, about the departure of a Fox News Super Star and Health Insurance Companies. Nonetheless when it comes to the Groundhog in the Forsythia I'm just going to have to go neoliberal on him, plan to nail him to the barn wall as a decorative accent.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seasonal Adjustment

High Sweat-Factor in the outdoors and the kind of sun that makes thunder, shrivels the Lettuce, causes Spinach to bolt and encourages creatures that suck blood.

On the positive side the Coat of Many Pockets, a dastardly garment into which useful things disappear never to be seen again, is in summer storage where I hope it gets eaten by moths. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Discursive Prolix disrupts. Then there's the phrase, "finally he's presidential" and establishments in media and politics breath a sigh of relief. Their definition of "presidential" is reading a script and lobbing bombs on foreigners. Establishments approve of patterns, and it doesn't seem to matter what that pattern is.

Social Movements look toward new patterns, new ways and as a result actions and behaviors described by words like "discursive" "prolix" and "disrupt" are constructive in the process of determining the possibilities of new patterns. Otherwise A + B still equals C and always will, so why bother.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Social skills

One of the issues with being a shut-in is that when you get out and about in the social sphere you soon discover your skills in that area have deteriorated to the point of being almost non-existent and your use of language has progressed to that place on the continuum where others of your species usual politely assign the brain damaged.

On the positive side it's actually very good practice. It prepares a person for the end times, gives an understanding of how one might prepare for those final lucid moments. This way the final utterance might make just a little bit of sense to others and won't be dismissed as a rambling collection of misplaced words. Very important on the death bed not to raise eyebrows.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Augustine and the Soul

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Hippo being a town in what's now Algeria, was around when the Western Roman Empire still had clout in the Mediterranean. He taught rhetoric in various parts of the empire, and he had nothing good to say about any of his unruly and entitled students. He wasn't born to the Christian Faith, he didn't assume it, he converted and he finally found solace in the debates within the many Cathedrals of the early Christian Church.

Augustine said this about the soul: the timing of the of infusion of the soul into the fetus was a mystery known only to God. He reckoned also that the soul was a gift of god to humankind, it wasn't given to something like a pet Beagle. Close to his death, Vandals besieged Hippo. Soon after his death, Vandals lifted the siege, yet when they returned a couple of years later they breached the city defenses and they sacked the city but they left Augustine's library in tact.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time and Being

There are two sides to the argument. On the one side there are those who will say the experience of consciousness is not very useful in the task of indentifying what consciousness is, where it might lie and what it might be. On the other side there are those who basically say that what consciousness is, outside the experience of it, hasn't yet been discovered. And always worth while to remember that we in our species are primarily Tool Makers, which means that if we can get something or someone else to do it for us we will and in the process we stumble upon new things, with new possibilities, some of them useful.

By any measure consciousness, whether or not we know what it is, is useful. And the idea that our species has a monopoly on consciousness, is absurd. We have what we have, it's configured the way is in us and much as we might like to we can't do much about it. Same for a Cat, an Elephant or a Blue Green Algae. But there's one thing for certain, when you have to wait until around noon to realize that today is not Sunday, you begin to understand that consciousness might not be as bright eyed and perky as it's cracked up to be. It's ability to be useful is very dependant upon pretty much everything else that's contained within a self. Alternatively, the end times for me might be closer than I thought.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Roofing and roofs are a plot to drive a person toward selling his soul to the devil. Not a religious person in the traditional sense but I am beginning "to believe that evil exists." And roofs are a sure sign. They are a gateway to the kind of psychosis that makes a person want to become something like a President of the United States, or a fatwa issuing Mullah. All of it starts with roofs, next thing you're knocking off the heads of Bunny Rabbits and soon enough you're dropping bombs on children just because you feel like it.

Nor does it really help if the roofer is uneasy around a roof that requires anything like a ladder to reach. The other area in the course of daily life, I begin to realize, that also suggests "that evil exists" is the temptation to look for reasons to avoid any task, like roofing, that requires a ladder. Yes indeed, it's a slippery slope, too cold, too hot, the sun's shining, pollen, there's a breeze from the north, north west, nesting Wren, it'll disturb the Cat. Either way roofing has commenced, and some of us are feeling pretty damned heroic, yet another slippery slope.

Monday, April 10, 2017


The Girl Cat struggles with nerve when Turkey amble into her Empire. They are very big, and I have to agree with her, they do sometimes leave an observer with the impression they are capable of deranged and irrational behavior. It's something about the way they walk, the beady eye and the pecking that goes on.

The other thing about Turkey is that they can fly, and given the current impasse between the Girl Cat and our young boy Mockingbird who takes great pleasure from teasing her, it is possible she's wondering about why the ability to fly hasn't been granted to her. She, like me, can only dream about flying, so we have that in common which is nice.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Palm Sunday. Everyone was happy, as people tend to be around the idea of a savior. Certainly there were Palms, and in colder places believers use stuff like Willow and Yew and Bunny Rabbits delivering chocolate to represent hope in an eternal solution to the problem of being a person.

It was the establishment elites that chose to disabuse the good will and comradeship the Man on the Donkey had elicited as he rode into the Capital City. No doubt they had their reasons, the powerful have always lived in fairy tale castles when protecting their interests. It's just the way they are.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Reincarnation

"The world is weary of Statesmen who have been degraded into Politicians." It was Benjamin Disraeli, who'd "climbed the greasy pole" to become Prime Minister of Britain. And he reminded us, "damn your principles, sir! Stick to your party."

He also said, "There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable, for in politics there is no honor." The great man died in 1880 and was reincarnated a little over seventy years ago as Mitch McConnell.

Friday, April 7, 2017


 "Greed" is usually defined as "an excessive desire to posses more than one needs or deserves." Then there are those who will attach the word "Greed" to "competition."

If I was to say I am greedy for clean air, an end to hunger, a more perfect union and world peace I'd have to remind myself of the "deserve" part of the definition.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


There's a moment when an Academic looks at him or herself in the mirror and chooses to become engaged in the world beyond the Common Room. The reason it's risky is because this side of their wall we speak a different language, we cherish those parts of the story we live in and don't really care to be disillusioned, made to feel or be told that we are ignorant, stupid an ill informed. Our primary concern is the extent to which we can avoid damaging that part of ourselves that feels good, and deep down, none of us are very nice.

It's also the case that a great many Academics will be the first to admit that in the area of understanding they are engaged in a discipline the tools of which are designed to produce "Best Guesses." Sad day for all of us when influences on those "Best Guesses" become configured around the more baser instincts that all of us possess. So yes, I will be marching for science and will do so in the hope of encouraging them to step out of their closets and stop all this nonsense about Scientists being purer than the rest of us. My sign will read "It's A Political Protest. Do Try to Get Over Yourselves!"

Monday, April 3, 2017

Zombie Problem

The Zombie Problem is a philosophy of mind Problem. It's often explained this way. "An Octopus interacts with me but how will I ever know what an Octopus is thinking."

Not sure the Octopus was the correct choice of creature for this Problem. Pretty damn certain I know exactly what the Girl Cat's thinking. She wants me to stop what I'm doing and open the front door for her.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Never been under the illusion that politics is about anything other than power and money. Nor have I ever been under the illusion that Democracy is about anything much more than setting the rules for behavior amongst those unfortunates who have been called to politics. And too I have learned to understand cynicism as a variety of common sense, more politely they, or we, when we're in the right mood call ourselves skeptics as we pour cold water down the spines of enthusiasts.

A current obsession in my own little world is a sense that our leaders, the political class, have achieved an atrophy the nature of which follows from them having been possessed of power and money for far too long. The problem for me is that the new broom attempting to sweep them away has been fed by anger and a sense of lose, rather than anything remotely reasonable, and as a result we have entered that part of the dream world that turns to nightmare that feeds on division.  Not a big fan of competitive sports or the victory parade, and chest thumping has never been cute.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


This is why people go to bars, drink beer, listen to a duke box. Questions in anticipation of a Town Hall.

In a bar amongst comrades, a person can reach an understanding of what those questions should be.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Two Potato

End of March, a little rain brought out the Potato. The little darlings will probably need to be coddled against the late frosts, and this year when the dry comes there will be watering of their bed, which is always a fun game to play with hose pipes.

With respect to the other Potato I had a dream last night. Television network executives had gathered to address the declining ratings of a Reality Show. Their verdict was that Donald Trump should become a Bernie Sanders supporter. Ratings soared, advertisers flocked.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


We don't have the TV here. But we do have the internet. On a good day your political activist can catch a snippet or two of moving pictures on his technical device, and recently I actually saw Sean Spicer, the man in the White House who talks to and answers questions from the Washington Correspondents of a great many newspapers. One of the things he said was, and I'll have to paraphrase, was this: ".....We can't make people vote the way we want them to, this isn't a dictatorship...."  Classically enough the wind suddenly changed direction or a Lotus Leaf fell on a Lilly Pond in Kyoto, the snippet I was watching came to a screaming halt and that infuriating little whirly-gig popped onto the screen, started chasing its tail.

All the same I thought this a most peculiar thing for Sean Spicer to say, and familiar as I am with importance of context I assumed that I had missed the gist of the questions and answers. I mean it could have been a question like "Why aren't congress people voting the way you want them too?" Then I read that a man called Bannon, a White House back room boy, had proposed a black list of congress people who didn't vote the way the White House wanted them to. Of course, when you're on a black list, they find stuff out about you, try to make your life miserable, quote you out of context and so on. But the way I feel about the current administration, I'd vote for anyone on the White House blacklist.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cat Stuff

The Girl Cat has assisted greatly in the discouragement of Rabbit. There's no herding her of course, she pretty much does exactly what she wants, and she's very good at telling us exactly what she expects from us. In another environment this might be called "bossiness."

And it's the case also that having to observe some of her rules, such as keeping quite while she's feeding, can be a little onerous. A little like Queen Victoria she has a way of showing her displeasure, but unlike Queen Victoria she's incredible adorable.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Being constantly reminded of Zoroaster's Hymn. No way I can remember it with any degree of accuracy. His world more tribal than it was nation. Clans jealous of territory, raiding of herds, battle, injury, anger and sadness. It was like that back in his time, and if you think about it, not much has changed in the three odd thousand years since he walked the earth, but unlike for him, these days land is no longer endless, it doesn't stretch as wilderness for as far as the eye can see or a person can travel.

He argued for two sides of our being. The part that reacts sometimes foolishly and the part that pauses to think a while, consider the options, make judgments before tumbling flightless into the abyss. His advice was to be aware of these two sides, consider them, learn wisdom by understanding them. More recently neurologists who have mapped the mind would agree there at least two parts, but they call these parts something different, they're scientists not saints. Others have also wondered about the experience of Free Will.  Some think it is, some think it isn't, and some don't like it all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


In each of us there's a quest for adoration. In some, more so than others. In a few, this quest dominates, overwhelms and becomes an obsession.

In this quest for adoration too many of us forget that not one of us is either more or less important. Probably a dream.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Long trip tomorrow. Not exactly Trafalgar Square or the Miners Strikes in the 1970's. This one's about access to Healthcare, whether it's a right for us citizens or whether it's something only the wealthy should be able to afford.

The thing about the free market it's primarily designed around survival of the fittest to survive. Of course in the old days amongst the Inuit when a person became infirm they'd wander off to die alone rather than burden their tribe.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wake Up

It'll be summer before we know it. More experienced minds have suggested it's going to be a dry summer which can be good for Tomato, it's the cold damp spells in June that get them. But who knows.

No sign of a white feather in the barn yet, but nonetheless machines who had the good fortune to sleep through winter need to be woken. Have to watch my language around them, I'll start with a verse or two from Silent Night.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Potatoes planted. Two nice straight trenches, ready for Spring. And I think Saint Patrick appreciates the effort, the cold rain and the general all round sacrifice some of us have made to observe his Saint's Day. It's now raining that kind of rain that gives newly planted Potatoes a warm welcome.

Meanwhile the End Times are on course for sometime probably next year. There's a whole bunch of stuff that makes no sense at all, a sure sign there's an Apocalyptic Horseman sharpening his scythe. "Fake News" I don't know but not the time to sit around and yearn for a savior.