Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sweet Potato

In the grand scheme it's of no importance but entirely possible I'm not a kitten person. She's vicious, demanding, manipulative, she could well be struggling with some sort of mental anomaly, she's clearly an insomniac, she has no sense of self preservation, and if it moves she has strong desire to leap upon it and torture it or tickle it to death. Sweet Potatoes have vines that travel and rustle when they're pulled up before the Potatoes are dug, so I guess Sweet Potato harvesting and the Sweet Potato Harvester become kind of like Valhalla for a kitten.

 The other thing about the Vegetable Garden is that despite diligence on my part patches of Cat-Nip persist. The Kitten has a nose for hunting down these patches of Cat-Nip and in a very sneaky way chewing on them when I'm not looking.  In short today's physical activity was something of a nightmare, and there's one more row of Sweet Potato to dig. I'm now locked in my room, and have no intention of responding to the pathetic mewing and scrabbling that's going on outside my door.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cockle Burrs

 One of the consequences of surplus was the development of methods that rearranged our ability to define our world. They were posited as cures, but some might be inclined to think of them as languages, the language of Science, Math, Physics and so on. And here you'd have to think that the language of Art has a more distant place, more closely related to the flow and often random connections between words and sentences that make expressions of both hope and misery, as well as outreach toward wonder, purpose and other magical substances. Much of it spinning around varied attempts to identify the "thing that is me." The thing that exists in the experience of it and nowhere else. An answerless question, ripe for imagination, as well as containing an emptiness that some find difficult. Much easier to think you know than not to know, turn to loudness and bombast for solace when challenged rather than bursting into tears.

I can however, take it for granted that the twenty third Pope John who in his Journal of a Soul, sixty eight years of his diary, on many occasions and in many different ways claimed "I do not Belong to myself" had a better handle on "the thing that is me" by finding a solution to it. Wasn't easy for him as he climbed from priest, to papal legate and all the way up to the title of Pope. Sounds like a twelve step program, but through long years during which there was whole bunch of very unholy things going on it gave him serenity despite moments of temptation. And it's funny how an allegiance, whether you're religious, an atheist or a bit of both, whether you worship yourself in the language of math, or art or wealth or food or mass murder or whatever you can think of, will always demand this giving-ness that requires a person to think in terms of "I do not Belong to myself."  In this way our being is more like cockle burrs than we'd like to think. And here the idea that we are "sticky stuff" fills me with a certain confidence around the possibilities for the longevity of our species..

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Golden Calf

When Charlton Heston came down from his break on the mountain he had with him a few basic yet central notes on how his people might effectively organize themselves. Naturally, in a perfectly normal way the boys and girls were enjoying their freedom from servitude to the whips of Pharaoh, for whom they'd made vast quantities of bricks and were probably looking around for an easier and less arduous lifestyle. And some of them might even have been experimenting with new ways of doing things, might even have been thinking about the two day work week, instead of this 24/7 nonsense. Charlton Heston, for his part, had had a more interesting origin, by some extraordinary fluke he'd been raised in such a way that instead of learning how to make bricks he'd spent his young adulthood doing things like learning how to be a Prince and at the same time wondering about the extent to which he had a genetic claim to the title of Prince. Then when the waters parted and he found himself the leader of a rabble, it must have been stressful especially because he had no paramilitary police force. Fortunately the Sinai is a fairly barren and unpopulated part of the world and without some sort of cooperating set of principles even the most libertarian minded realize that survival is almost impossible, and this particularly so for a people who where accustomed to the conveniences and dubious benefits of regular work that required them to not think too hard, or concern themselves with whether the work they were doing made any sense.

One of the things on Charlton Heston's list was the idea that stability did depend upon not coveting your neighbors stuff, whether it be his Ox, his bank account, his manservant or his fashionable tennis shoes. And amongst the other probably less important Shalt Not's there was an injunction against stealing, manna was fair game I guess, killing each other was quite wrong and so on. The point about coveting was that it meant, according to Charlton Heston, the emotions of envy were an error, they had nothing to do with ensuring harmony, they were divisive and not conducive to progress in the search for a Promised Land. It was a transformational moment in social organization, a group was directed to set aside a passion innate in our species, the punishment for which was eternal damnation, much worse than Latin Detention, and they were directed to praise, even worship, rather than denigrate the successful hunter. Jealousy was not only self-destructive it was socially destructive, it was a waste of energy, it served no purpose, and the One God heartily disapproved of it, so none of this worshipping Golden Calves. By the time Thomas Aquinas put his mind to envy, he was thinking in terms of it as destructive to hierarchies, to the division of labor, to the order of things, and he went so far as to claim that even the Angels who had want of nothing took great delight in their own perfect and shinning hierarchies. In Dante's time the emotion of envy was defined as hoping something horrible would happen to anyone who owned a better tunic than his. These days we have the Billionaires of Silicon Valley and the avarice of Corporations plotting our future experiences of servitude. So if ever it comes time to again seek out The Promised Land, part the waters, it might make sense to have another look at the "sin" of envy. Treat it with a little more respect, give it a more useful definition within the tapestry of our emotions. Do to it, what we did to the "sin" of Greed.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Progress

Were I a Hunter-Gatherer who slept for 100,000 years and woke up to discover himself in the year 2017, I'd find it very hard to observe the traditions of my ancient heritage, one of which was denigrating the successful hunter, which in today's world would be anyone rich or powerful or famous. If anyone bothered to ask me why, I'd probably do my best to explain that the successful hunter begins to think they are better than everyone else and no good comes from it. 100,000 years ago we lived very much day to day, kind of like Kittens, but we tolerated each other because to get by, raise a child we had to live in a small close knit, sometimes claustrophobic, cooperative group, and it was difficult for anyone to labor under the illusion they were in anyway special or different. "Claude occasionally might put very poor quality meat on the table, but what do you expect he picks his nose and when he was little he was afraid of spiders." That sort of no nonsense tearing down of anything that remotely resembled hubris, the hallmark of cohesion in the more competent units, and always worth remembering the Duke of Wellington was terrified of his own soldiers. In those Hunter-Gatherer days, we were far too sensible to indulge an anthropomorphic understanding of stars that result in things like Dukedoms, and we certainly wouldn't have wasted resources on things like fireworks, flu shots and saviors.

One of the great pleasures of getting old is the inclination to look upon new fangled contraptions and ideas as the products of a degenerating imagination that lashes around, pointlessly seeking self aggrandizement rather than doing something useful, completely understand why Rock and Roll was the devil's invention.. And there's a reason why saying something like "Window's Ten sucks" or "what happened to real bread" tickles the pleasure gland in the older mind. The reality is we can't help it, because as we get old we revert to more ancient understandings of being us, and it becomes a responsibility entrusted by our aging genetic codes to preserve the idea that individual success, power, wealth are little more than passing, unimportant and youthful fantasies. Have no doubt that this responsibility in us old people is vitally important to the long term wellbeing of the whole. Nor does it really help the future of our species when old people make these ridiculous attempts to appear younger. In my view it's a total sell out and for the more Sunday observant, I have it on excellent authority that a forgiving, or nut-eating God rather frowns on it. And Mother Nature, who's been around considerably longer and who has a Kim Jong-un attitude toward visiting the iniquities of the father upon offspring, considers it a High Treason the punishment for which is extinction. So be warned, we're talking the real world, not some fancy-dandy hula hoop and tiki torch party on a hurricane prone desert island.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Agriculture

Sometimes a person has to wonder whether agriculture was a good thing for us people. Oh sure, it meant surplus, stuff like pyramid building, condominiums, but the question you've got to ask yourself is the extent to which we are actually capable of using surplus in a remotely sensible way.

And while I do accept that my own view of all living things, life itself, as fundamentally without anything like reason falls far short of a majority opinion, I can almost guarantee you the suggestion that agriculture was a critical error in our progress will be dismissed out of hand. So I guess the question is will an artificial intelligence know outrage and restlessness?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Peak Kitten

Peak Kitten, is when Kittens are just beyond the clumsy stage and are preparing for their world by endlessly practicing their long distance pounce. The more domesticated and indoor leaning Kitten will substitute things like furniture, tables and lampshades for shrubs, long grasses and trees. And instead of something like a Mouse or a Grasshopper to pounce on, the more indoor leaning Kitten will substitute the pet owner. This makes for tricky navigation through the domicile, almost impossible to move around the house or even sit quietly without being savagely attacked.

It's possible of course that this particular Kitten is an anomaly which is the polite way of saying completely out of control, probably insane and potentially dangerous. Then the pet owner decides he just can't take it any more, he pops the Kitten outside, closes all doors, curtains and cat flaps, takes a deep soothing breath and endeavors to go about his important business. This lasts about two minutes. Soon enough imagination produces images of clawed Raptors, angry Turkeys, Coyote and Barred Owls, and he's back outside scrabbling around with his pathetic "kitty-kitty-kitty."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Two points

Always reckoned that a Sweet Potato, baked or boiled, was a "Complete Food." Nor do I really care whether this is a crackpot myth derived from some nut eating theory that revolves around Resistant Carbohydrates, Vitamin A precursors, Lycopenes, Selenium, and you might as well be speaking Latin around the health food shelves at the Grocery Store while waiting for your prescription to be filled. The point is a Sweet Potato grows well around here, it keeps for months and it fills the belly for a good long time.

The other point I'd like to make about Sweet Potato is that a person takes the first steps towards the End Times when they talk about "Harvesting the fruits of your labor." In terms of labor, Sweet Potato have nothing to do with the "fruits of your labor." Aside from a little digging, even a person who feels as though he's ninety six has hardly done anything at all, and there they all are, from pods of Wales to little wandering Piglets. It's a beautiful sight, it has nothing to do with you or I. What's the matter with everyone? I blame this totally out of control Rampant Me on Interior Decorators, Fashion Houses, Online Therapists, Facebook, Focus Groups and Selfies. There's got to be something seriously wrong with anyone who takes their own picture....

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Romans

Iberia is a Roman name for lands in the Caucasus that lie between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Don't get me wrong, the people who lived in Iberia, didn't call themselves Iberians and probably didn't even know where Iberia was. The name Iberia was given to the area by Ancient Greeks and Romans. The other Iberia is named after a River which cuts across the north of Spain and is now called the Ebro River, and was the Roman name for all of Spain and Portugal. The two Iberia's are sometimes distinguished by calling one Caucasian Iberia and the other The Iberian Peninsular. These days it's the more pompous who go on about Iberia this and Iberia that, and can in moments of high confusion get all muddled up between Iberia, Anatolia which is the Roman name for Turkey, and Al-Andalusia which is the Arab name for Spain. So best to be wary and just call it Spain and Portugal, or the Armenia that constantly upset the latter stages of the Ottoman Empire and the Georgia the Russians are so regularly aggravated by and which doesn't have the Brown Thrasher as its State Bird.

"Hiber" is the Latin word for "Wintering." So for the more fortunate in our number you have words like Hibernating to wrap the mind around. The Romans, or one of them, chose to give Ireland the name Hibernia, or the Land of Wintering. But don't get me wrong, Hibernia didn't last long as a totally inappropriate name for Ireland. Following the fall of Rome, contact between Ireland and Europe all but disappeared for centuries, and this gave the Irish a chance to rid themselves of Hibernia and allowed them to go back to thinking of themselves as belonging to a land named after a wondrous Gaelic Goddess called Eriu, or Erin who might not have been a very Christian person. Eire is the Irish for Ireland. Erin is the Welsh name for Ireland. These days Hibernians are mostly either Bankers, Rugby Players, Soccer Players and there's an airline. Either way a slightly unbalanced person who might have spent far too many hours in Latin Detention can take some joy from the painfully slow withering of the Roman written language, watch it flop about like a drowning fish, and occasionally yell "I told you it was ridiculous" at no one in particular.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Local Gossip

False teeth wise, my own are improving. My S's will reach "suffering succotash" and "shall we shan't we insist on soots" without causing mirth. Which is good and important news for the totally self absorbed. Weather today is bright, breezy and there's a suggestion of river bloom, which for those who might not know is a cross between the smell of Romney Marsh sheep, Seaweed and fresh water Snail that reminds some of the sort of soup a person is obliged to praise because it cost so much money at a ludicrously expensive candle light driven restaurant that specializes in the nuances within the flavor "umami" or "tope," I forget which.

Gums, I am told, will take around two months to recover from the indignity of having all their teeth removed. Fortunately I've been keeping track, and while it does feel like around two years of being without upper teeth of my own, it's actually been less than three weeks. This morning I had what the dental professionals call an "adjustment." Basically, while the patient is being engaged by chit-chat around recent events in the Swamps of Florida, the false teeth are subjected to a grinding tool that sounds like a dentist's drill. And it would seem I must have developed a more personal relationship with my new teeth. Listening to what was happening to them, I felt rather sorry for them.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Eleven

Always had the vague understanding that in a definition of Empire would be found an idea like "Relieves internal tensions by invading other countries."

On the other side of the definition, so as to give it balance, make it feel better, would be a more evangelistic idea of justification. Some thing like "Spreading democracy."

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Therapy

History can be thought of as a series of possible explanations arranged around a list of dates. Generally speaking you and I cleave to the explanation we find most therapeutic and happy making. And it's the same with something like the science of climate change or whether Moles can be trapped or whether the current president of the United States has all his marbles.  Naturally, History as a therapeutic device, has Grocery Store type feel good flexibilities that depend upon the vagaries of mood and daytime temperatures. Yes indeed, it's a long way from something like electric shock therapy, or having your arm chopped off if you don't buy a loaf of bread. Both of which are therapies much better designed to boot a person into a more grounded sense of immediacy.

Recently I have found it therapeutic to ponder the origins of the names given to countries. Canada, for example, has several possible origins for its name found in rough and ready translations of the aboriginal languages by French, English, Venetian, Spanish and Portuguese explorers and fishermen. "The Land of Villages" is one possible misunderstanding of something that sounded like Canada. "I don't know" or "without a plan" is yet another possible misunderstanding.  Kenya, is named after a mountain, which once had snow caps and eleven glaciers, and which in most regional languages has a name that sounds kind of like Keen-ya, or kin-ya but variously translates to the English  as "The Mountain of Whiteness" or "God's Resting Place" and there are probably many others.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Preparation

Given the world as it currently appears it does seem a little self centered to be wholly engrossed in personal matters, but that's just the way things are for those who find themselves reduced to a liquid diet while engaged in the early phases of the battle with dentures. Simple questions arise, like what supplies would I need were I to find myself seeking refuge from a storm that's unfortunate enough to have been given a name. A mortar and pestle would be high on my dull list, or were I something like 20 and less inclined to follow the herds clamoring for gasoline, I might chose a surf board with a sail attached to it.

It all just goes to show, we people were never designed to live beyond about forty years which shines a whole new cone of uncertainty on the idea of being venerable. Exactly how old is Wolf Blitzer, for goodness sake? Only 69! Al Roker is 63. Andrea Mitchell is 70. Me, I'm one of this same particular generation, and I look and feel about 450. What happened? Well I'll tell you. The internet here is working again, from what I hear there's yet another worst natural disaster ever in the history of the world, for some ghastly reason the starry eyed Governor of Florida (64) doesn't believe the climate is changing, selfies were invented and You Tube happened.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Dog or a Hyena

So what is a Running Hyena. It's kind of like a Running Dog, the difference is that Dogs have a reputation for diligently chasing down their prey while working as a team. Hyenas, on the other hand, hang around yawning, like four legged Vultures, waiting to feed on corpses. A Hyena is ill designed to run down their victims, they have short back legs. And the other thing about Hyenas is they have a poor reputation that includes skulking in most unnerving and silent manner, making terrifying noises at night and they are guilty of craven cowardice. The point being that when addressing the character of rabble rousers, or polemicists, there's a difference between a Running Hyena and a Running Dog.

The whole Running Dog or Running Hyena thing goes back to the Maoist propaganda machine as a way to denigrate the sort of petting fogging, nibbling objections and obvious questions that always raise an ugly head when mere mortals suddenly conclude they've not only the answer but the power to alter the destiny of nations and people. From this it's safe to assume that both Running Dogs and Running Hyena are deemed to be on the wrong side of history, and no right thinking person should take any notice of them, the Running Hyena or Dog doesn't understand and should just basically shut up and sit down, or be sent to a labor camp, or night classes for reeducation. The question is, what kind of a Running rabble rouser or polemicist am I? Not that fond of Dogs, but Hyenas do purr...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Strategy, Conspiracy, Libtards and Running Hyenas

This side of a legal system the difference between a strategy and a conspiracy is in the degree of transparency, or if you prefer, honesty. Here, there's an argument that suggests the impasse which has characterized Congress for the past couple of decades is the result of a movement in idea that has a genesis in a resurgence of the more tribal less considered understandings that run contrary to the kinds of thinking that will hold fast to for example the ideal that we people, no matter our color, our language or our origin are a magnificent rainbow and are all equally deserving. This means that in some circles politically correctness requires the ability to say something along the lines of white people are better than black people, or black people are better than white people, rich people better than poor people, Protestants better than Catholics and so on. In other, perhaps more civilized circles, the idea of one person being in anyway superior to another person remains a fundamentally incorrect opinion, an anathema, the very idea of it should be strangled at birth.

    
Be bold, get over yourselves, call it a cultural war, and in war, step one is to begin the process of dehumanizing the other, turning him or her into a creature of lesser and lesser worth, a pox on the order of things that must be destroyed, or at least removed from sight. And this, in my view, is why I was again called a Dumb-Ass Libtard, all in capital letters, for asking the innocent question "why are you so frightened of people who don't look like you?" And the thing about it was, instead of my usual reaction to being called a Dumb-Ass Libtard which as a rule is a perfectly reasonable reference to the Running Hyenas of reactionary forces, I became the epitome of the East Coast Liberal Intellectual, a bow-tie wearing product of the fever swamps of academia, and I was doing rather well in the role, waxing on in a shameful manner around the categories of the unwashed, the ignorant and stupid, knuckle dragging, inbred imbeciles.... Then the internet, for no good reason, suddenly stopped working. Coincidence? More likely a result of conspiracy by do-gooders.....

Monday, September 4, 2017

Trail of Tears

The Romans were supposed to have assigned to a servant the job of whispering "Thou Art Mortal" into the ear of conquering heroes. I think it was Churchill's Clementine whose job it was to remind the war-time prime minister that he wasn't necessarily a god, he didn't have to be, wasn't expected to be. And it's true the powerful, whether through conquest of wealth or territory do tend to a higher opinion of their own worth, and most kiss-up a little before giving any consideration to their own dignity. And it's also true that some will glare at the servant and produce one or other iteration of "Stop being so negative, you sack of bones!"

I raise this issue because of the following. DACA was a Presidential Executive Order that followed the abject failure of Congress to compromise on an immigration bill.  Also worth remembering, that President Jackson whose face can be found on a twenty dollar note was chief executive when a bill from Congress basically kicked the Indian Tribes out of land east of the Mississippi. For the Cherokee families it was ten years of unmitigated misery, hardship and death they call the "Trail of Tears."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday

Don't recall where I was or what I was doing when President Kennedy was killed. I mention this because most people of my age with whom I'm acquainted around the world, do remember, in great and often rather boring detail. Exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, and so on. Their recall almost reverential. Same with September 11th 2001, no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it.

Maybe if I could remember where I was or what I was doing at these most dramatic points in the tapestry, my world would be fuller. I'd have recognizable and shared heroes, I'd know what my favorite color was and who my favorite Poet was, I'd get worked up about the difference between the two kinds of Marmite, and there's a whole list of important things that I apparently should do better than pretend to care about. Most likely a character flaw on my part?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Action and Dreaming

If Pessoa at his most unbridled and free was still alive he'd not be tossing un-collated notes into a trunk, he'd be tossing them into the ether. Why? I hear the call. His unbridled answer to the question would I'd argue go something like this. Between action and dreaming, neither of which he was born to, he'd rather mix the two together, and he'd go on to say camaraderie has it's subtleties by reminding us we weep for saints but never weep for God.

The great man died in the 1930's, so fortunately he'll not be able to tell me whether I'm right or wrong, but his work is in my view an anthem to those who doubt the veracity of any and all efforts to describe the world around us. Others will reach for comfort in the many and varied attempts to describe then promote patterns of motivation within our species. And always such attempts start out slowly, become a chain linked dogma, which is why we weep for the saints who served God.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Weather

Remnants of the hurricane that vented outrage upon more southern parts has been politer to us. Over five inches of rain in the past eighteen hours and more to come. The occasional gusty wind.

To each his own, I guess, but complaining about a spike in gasoline prices makes about as much sense as pulling a gun on a fellow shopper in an argument over the last school notebook in a Wal-Mart.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kitten

The Kitten, I would estimate, is something like a hyperactive ten year old with a tremendous capacity to be the center of attention and a reluctance to take on the characteristics of Cat-dom that should include Sphinx-like aloofness, disdain for the ordinary and extended naps.

She has also developed an interest in active keyboards. Already she's managed to alter a number of settings, she's done something to the screen saver, she enjoys locking caps, changed the time from EST to somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, and I have a horrible feeling she's giving consideration to a opening Twitter account.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fashion Trends

If you wonder why outrage serves our species, the answer lies in the more primal levels of our thinking where it's Us against Them, a circle that twists into a greater and greater intensity, feeds upon itself and ultimately a Revelation is forged, call it victory, or winning, or survival, or, depending upon perspective, beating your head against a brick wall until next time, but never call it reason, or common sense because reason or common sense are incredibly boring and there's a strong chance these two fine sentiments don't actually exist within living things where the day to day is more like trade, buying time for one more day.

In us people, we have the capacity to conceive a future, but too often we leave the thinking part to forces we claim to have no control over, it's today that counts, tomorrow will take care of itself. Call it the unknown, see it as the excitement of anticipating victory, all the plans are in place, strategies for the ground game devised, and when we lose it has to be someone's fault, someone has to die for our sins. So what's left, we look for the good things in others of our species and we draw comfort from what might be true. The soldier who throws himself on the hand grenade to save comrades, the generous act of the Samaritan, it's a long list. And here, I'm really very far from pure, I'm outraged most of the time, which is nice because it means I'm perfectly normal, quite fashionable and at the same time it's a little depressing.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Teeth

Sneezing and false teeth don't go well together. The momentary relief of a sneeze is soon lost to the idea of your false teeth flying through the air, heading directly for something that might not be hygienic, or something like a Kitten with sharp teeth and an interest in blood sports. This means that when you sneeze you have to use your tongue to hold your false teeth in. There's a chance of course that my false teeth are a little loose on the gums, but who knows.

The other area of immediate concern is the capacity for verbal communication. Oh sure, there are things like S's to worry about, but I'm more concerned by the possibility that false teeth further reduces the wearers recall of everyday words. Small comfort that I've been losing this rather crucial ability for many years. And sadly, unlike cats, we people have yet to develop the medium of telepathy when seeking assistance.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Irrigation

One of the first societies to learn how to take surplus from agriculture emerged on the beautiful soil of an alluvial plain upon which, in a really excellent year, nine inches of rain would fall. Their major source of water was from two giant rivers which would regularly flood in a most a terrifying way. To make the soil bountiful through the dry seasons, wondrous works of irrigation were devised. The consequence of the surplus produced has given this part of the world a claim to the title Cradle of Civilization. Things like writing and sums, stone tablet laws, standing armies, cities, accountants and contract law.

Water from rivers is different to water from rain. The water from a river is subject to trace elements a river picks up from the lands through which it travels. In the burning heat on poorly drained ground, irrigated water evaporates leaving dissolved salts in the soil. Over time these salts build and the simpler more humble things such as Wheat can struggle to produce the surplus that some will argue civilization depends upon. Others might think twice before jumping to the conclusion that nothing could have been done to save the surplus. My own view, call it eccentric if you wish to, civilization is down to us not surplus. Sadly I'm usually wrong about these things.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Eggplant

Often tried to extend the Eggplant season. Dear things give their all and in the end an Eggplant will produce between six and nine beautiful fruits before sensing the end times, entering a spongy ennui that most certainly is not helped by the hot weather Hoppy Bug. This year your gardener instead of waiting for the natural course of events, put the Eggplant out of the their misery, it was painful, it was ugly and all I can hope for is that when my time comes someone will do the same for me, quickly and when I'm not looking. No matter how you try to balance it the life of a vegetable gardener is pretty much all about killing living things in often unpleasant ways. It's a sense of entitlement we have, which not only enables us to justify, it gives us reason and it definitely creeps into our relationships with others of our own kind.

Then in the afterlife a person will wander around endlessly, and there, everything that was will be. And when I think about it I'll have to do a lot of dodging around, hiding in clouds, stuff like that, to avoid bumping into one or other of the many thousands of plants and insects that I've done away with. It's almost enough to turn a person toward the Christian path where the afterlife is apparently a people only reservation. Yes indeed, it's complicated for me. The idea of living for eternity amongst people only, fills me with a certain dread, which I guess is why I cleave to the slope and wish to be given to the birds of the air and whatever is left will drift to the rivers for others to feed upon, all the way back to the Gentle Blue Green Algae. Being strung up for the Buzzards makes eminent sense to me, but I'm constantly being told it's against the law in this county.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Names

Curiously enough when I was a schoolboy, I knew three people with the surname Harvey.  In those days of course we didn't call each other by our first names, no idea why but calling each other by first names was considered very poor form, definitely a no-no for clansmen who started their day by dunking themselves in a cold bath or face punishment. Instead we generally gave each other nicknames.

Leaving aside the obvious arguments against giving storms names associated with people, it's going to be interesting to observe how the masters of division in our nation apportion blame for the consequences of Hurricane Harvey. I can almost hear the White House blaming Texas, New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Seas, weather forecasters, the Constitution of the United States, both parties in the Senate, North Korea, China and the West coast of Africa.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Heel

And here your correspondent isn't speaking as an entirely well balanced person, he's speaking as a person who's very recently seen needles attached to syringes, has had all his top teeth removed, and he's definitely, in no uncertain terms, asking the question why.

Instead of something like twitter or the equally puerile Nuremberg style rallies, the obvious solution to aid the healing process might be found in an inexpensive technical device that follows him around and yells back exactly whatever he might like to yell at it.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Poor Behavior

Korean Pears are almost ripe. A little ladder work in the slippery cool of tomorrow morning and of the possibilities there's either a couple of buckets of pears to look forward to or a visit to the emergency room. At this age recovery from injury takes considerably longer, and without beating the reeds for anything like science I'll tell you this much, if you have to take something like Horse Tranquilizers for the pain of an injury you might just as well call it quits. Far better to endure the process of recovery by being bad tempered, moaning and groaning, throwing things around and going to the Serbian Language for adequate curses.

 "When might it be correct to take Horse Tranquilizers?" I hear the call. The answer is very simple. While on a static prone telephone line attempting to explain to an Internet Service Provider that your internet has developed a cantankerousness, has become bloody minded and seems to have no intention of observing its purpose unless you happen to be reporting its bad behavior to the High Priests at Windstream and you'd rather not wait a week for them to find out what might be troubling it. Call it an emotional dependence, if you wish to.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Musty

Don't mean to sound as though I've great experience of these things but take for example skinheads, young men and boys who in their attempts to understand their sense of frustration and powerlessness explore violence as a solution to impurity, find a home in Valhalla rather than a boxing ring. If there's no one to fight, they test each other by fighting amongst themselves, which isn't quite as satisfying in terms of unit cohesion as finding another group of mostly strangers to fight. Imagine the ugly joy a skinhead clan would take from the knowledge of a violent confrontation with say for example Antifa. It's a chance at justification, self worth, there are battle honors in a cause that can be expressed in words. Indeed, a call to unity between skinhead clans was "We're all white, right!" And off they'd go to find black, or brown, or a gentle hitch-hiker minding his own business, or another town to beat up. These days of course it's about memes, massaging, tweets, donate, cable news and likes on facebook.

More than likely the young men of Antifa have developed a similar sense of themselves, an idea of glory, and those of us who wonder at how peaceful and calm and understanding we can be in the face of well armed and angry white nationalists chanting hate in the streets of our towns, we have a sympathy for anyone with the courage to confront the outrage. It's visceral, it's dirty work, it's frightening and easy to pretend that you won't, but stuff happens and you'll get sucked into the whirlwind. There's a story from Socrates' soldiering days. He was a Hoplite, a foot soldier. Classically enough Plato was a horse soldier, he could easily gallop off. Following the Athenian route at the Battle of Delium, the enemy saw blood, spoils and victory. The Athenians in retreat ran hell for leather to escape and many of those running were cut down. Instead of running, Socrates chose to walk away. While his comrades were slaughtered he was left alone. There's a chance the wisest of men was just very un-athletic, he might have had a sore toe, or possible he was just musty and very grumpy. He was forty eight at the time of the battle.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Compren!

Nietzsche has been a loadstone for crackpot ideas. Like the bible a person can pluck anything that matches a preconception from him without having to bother with the rest of it, and in the same way that the bible was written by people, Nietzsche was a person, he died somewhere around 1900.  Nietzsche's poem "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" and the "Gospel of Saint John" were issued to front line German soldiers to give them comfort in the First World War. But by the Second World War it was the "The Will to Power" which was the work of Nietzsche's sister, culled from her brother's random notes she'd found lying around long after her brother died, of a syphilis which had entered his mind, turned him either sad or insane depending upon perspective. And like so many, Elisabeth Nietzsche found exactly what she wanted to in her brothers words, and she made them "look at me, I'm famous" profitable for herself and her anti-Semitic pals. When Elisabeth died in 1935, Hitler, who himself had ambitions to be thought of as God, brilliant he thought himself  and wonderful in every way, attended her funeral.

The more juvenile minds have always pounced upon the periphery of Nietzsche's understanding of "God is Dead, long live Superman." "That which does not break me, makes me stronger" the sort of crap-ass tough guy with a U Tube channel and the thought processes of a shellfish. Nietzsche's point however was more in line with the question, "what happened to God, what's next?" His answer if he had one was to explore what it would be like with man as god. On the positive side he reckoned it would do away with divisive religions, nations, anti-Semitism and produce a sort of equality and freedom in which idea and reason would flourish rather than be chained by the pillars of past. On the negative side he looked at himself as a person, he saw the powerful  Pontius Pilate's description of Jesus who'd been whipped, crowned with thorns, "Ecce Homo," behold the man, and the philosopher shuddered at the prospect of anything like a man being god. Yes indeed I will always argue that Nietzsche, the son of  a Lutheran Pastor, died of a broken heart.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Civics

Major heat factor, thank goodness it was in the shade, otherwise your correspondent would at this moment be pink, very blotchy and still trying to get himself into a refrigerator. Meanwhile some in our town had a high noon moment with a number of preachers and the mayor. And it was all about trying to be sensible around common sense and decency with the occasional amen.

One issue had to do with the power of prayer. And as someone who has attempted to use prayer to wish things like death upon creatures like Hoppy Bug, I can with some confidence say there's a good chance prayer might not work in any kind of traditional way. All I can say is that if I ever do get new teeth I really hope some piss-ant with hard on for hurting others doesn't kick me in the mouth again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Universal

Whether you go to Hegel for perfection, the Brahmins, the physicists, the astrologers, the interpretive dance people, almost anyone you can think of they're all looking for a universal principle. The idea there might not be one, hits a sour note in many of us, it suggests an excuse for hedonistic excess, the kind of debauchery that results in things like the vomitorium, plastic surgery and the list includes holocausts, English Boarding Schools, the Olympics, child molesting priests.... So it's all rather depressing for a more sensitive person with elegant wrists and no front teeth.

But one things for sure, the very idea of a world populated entirely by, or dominated by, white, protestant Anglo Saxon males produces a very adverse reaction in me. Not even Dante could have imagined such a circle in hell. Assimilate for god's sake, grow up, look at yourselves, the 1950's like Buddy Holly is long gone, and none of this "I just want to preserve the heritage of a slave owning aristocracy who fought a war to preserve slavery and lost."  And the thing about Universal Principles there's no wishy-washy about them they become righteous and blood drenched.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mother of All

It's mind blowing. Might just as well be us peasants going on about the comings and goings at the Court of King John, who rumor has it died from drinking either bad, possibly poisoned, ale or from eating too many peaches. I find myself medieval, plotting the reintroduction of Town Square Stocks. Visualizing the act of throwing rotten eggs so they don't break in your hand. Wondering at the technical problems around filling a balloon, or a pigs bladder, with urine.

And for some reason recalling that back in the Medieval period the Ale Conner would check the quality of beer sold in bars and if it wasn't up to scratch they'd not only fine the Inn they'd also put up a sign which would drive the drinking classes elsewhere. There's an argument too that a Bo Peep was a person who warned the barman an Ale Conner was on the prowl. Either-way it's a somewhat time warped digression from wondering what flag flies over the current White House and how a person conjures the Goddess Kali. She's a long way from socks without sandals, she's the original "Mother of All" and not to be messed with.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Order of things

In furtherance my quest to comprehend I've spent far too much time with the lunatic fringe, much of it hasn't reached the dictionaries yet. And if you want to know the difference between the rightward leaning and the leftward leaning, it's the rightward leaning that makes a fetish out of violence. By fetish I mean the belief that the thing or the act has a religious or spiritual value, and by violence I mean the physical act of hurting or killing or torturing others. And often the devices used to hurt, kill or torture others are regarded with a neurotic reverence that someone like Freud has a lot to say about, some of it quite funny, but I'll tell you this much, raise it in the chat rooms and it does rather raise the hackles of the rightward leaning who despite rumor to contrary can be sensitive. It's a boy thing, I guess.

The other area of difference, apart from grammar and spelling, has to do with an understanding that in us people there is a natural order of things which either can or cannot be changed. So for example take the recent Google Memo. For those in doubt, the memo argued that women don't make good code writers, it's too tense or something, and the boy who wrote the memo was fired and he's now going on about Political Correctness, First Amendment, "Telling it like it is," he's crowd sourcing thousands of dollars, and might even get a job in the current White House. The rightward leaning tend to the idea that the reason women cannot make good code writers is because of the natural order of things. And it's we wishy-washy liberals who argue that the natural order of things sucks the big one, and something needs to be done about it sooner rather than later. All I can say is thank goodness I don't have to even contemplate the ordeal of giving birth, or write code for the Devil's Monopoly that is Google, or walk around carrying a bloody great bit of metal in order to feel whole.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Age

As a person who holds fast to the view that not only does an Angel of Greed live in his barn, but also believes a small round member of the Elfin-kind regularly absconds with wrenches, hammers, spirit levels and half inch screws, I think it safe to say that I understand what it's like to be surrounded by the wretched and evil who spend much of their existence plotting the downfall of a good, honest and decent gardener who sometimes has to address the foibles of geriatric mechanical devices which themselves could well be in league with Medical, Dental and Mail Order Hardware Professionals.

The other, very frustrating, point is that few believe me when I tell them why buying another 3/8th wrench is a waste of good money because it's like a magnet to Elves and will soon disappear. Instead, most tell me that tidiness, discipline and a degree of objectivity is a much better cure for paranoid and delusional behavior than lunatic ranting and raving. Nor do they take seriously my argument that paranoia is a New Age and increasingly fashionable leadership quality that should be respected rather than laughed at. And No, the Angel of Greed doesn't have wings, he just sits there polishing his finger nails.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Behavior

When you think about it, back in 1914, it was the act of a single assassin that tipped the souls of the powerful toward solving their family quarrels by plunging the world into the First World War.

It was going to be a straight forward masculine confrontation that would probably be over in a couple of months. Four years later a peace treaty was signed that in many ways was so unsatisfactory it laid the foundations for the Second World War.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Data Issues

Not a big fan of the regional internet provider. Nor am I that certain the voice at the other end of the service line isn't actually a real life, overly detail oriented person with a somewhat Anglo Saxon sense of humor pretending to be machine of some sort. Having spent many sometimes frustrating hours with the voice we have developed a relationship that has enabled me to know what he might say next and oddly I rather look forward to talking to him.

When the time comes for him to say "Is there anything else I can help you with" my instincts were to simply remain polite. More recently I've given up the niceties and have begun to question the validity of his sense of self in an attempt to better understand what existence in the singularity might be like for us mortals. It's a tricky business because invariably the voice replies "Hold on, while I transfer you." Interestingly while I'm on hold, between songlets of the elevator kind, I am sternly warned that calls are sometimes monitored and my patience is much appreciated.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rabies

The question of whether our hero has had a rabies vaccination yet again rears its ugly head. Occasionally a writer of pulp has to sweat the details, not something that comes easily, but when everything is said and done there is no other pox which according to several myths turns a victim into the creature that bit him, her or it.

At the same time I'm keenly aware that 99.9% of the reason I have failed to pursue the Rabies Issue further has to do with an incontinent technical device which eighteen odd months ago chewed up, swallowed and by digesting the first drafts and notes of Book Seven caused months possibly years of work to vanish. Either way, whether he likes it or not, our hero is going to be bitten by a rabid Mink.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nicknames

Mickey Mouse and Donald Trump have one thing in common. In drug culture the two names are used in the methamphetamine trade. Mind you, if someone with a distant look in their eye mentions Nancy Pelosi they could well be on the hunt for LSD. And I guess some might already know that good old fashioned weed is often called Nixon.

Beyond the world of code names for illicit substances our president has several nicknames. "Agent Orange" is pretty good. There's a rumor he's called "Donny Two Minutes" in the West Wing of the White House, something about the man's attention span. My own absolute favorite nickname for our president falls somewhere between "Der Gropenfuhrer" and "The Mango Mussolini." Ain't freedom great, let's make it last.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Profits and Prophets

For those who might not know it, massive investments in infrastructure, could well have produced over sixty million unoccupied apartments in China. Each one is for sale but each one is well beyond the means of the average wage earner.

Here in the west where there is no command economy, high praise for the rising price of stocks is more often than not a prelude to the sort of exuberance that produces millions of unoccupied apartment buildings. Call me Jeremiah, if you wish to.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Angelic Host

Never have liked Sunday and at the same time think it quite wrong that anyone should have to work on Sunday. When I am God, should I be able to prevent myself from starting this whole life upon earth experiment over again, I will smite in a mighty kind of way anyone I happen to notice working on Sunday and I will also do some serious smiting of anyone who expects someone else to work on Sunday. That includes everyone, there'll be no exceptions, not even for gardeners who have stuff like canning to do.

More interesting perhaps is why I don't like Sunday. I'll give you examples. Visit the Grocery Store after Churches have done their Sunday best and there's a stuffed full car park, a bunch of well dressed, fine smelling people with lists and appallingly behaved children racing around with loaded shopping carts, it's a total irritation. I remember an old man of the Muslim faith telling me that God being an Almighty clearly caused creation in an instant, none of this dragging it all out over six days and resting on the seventh. Yes indeed, as God I will take pride in being both irrational and intolerant.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Murmurations

Starlings, one of the species of bird rumored to have been introduced to the USA by a big fan of Shakespeare because to his genteel and theatrical sensitivities Central Park in the city of New York just had to be a home for all the bird species mentioned in Shakespeare's plays, are beginning to Flock.

You see them in small silent groups heading in straight lines to nowhere in particular. When it starts to get colder their flock will join with others and as they do so they will begin to chatter. When the frost comes they'll be a joyous cloud of thousands, and love them or hate them their dance in the sky before the roost is a sight to see.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Decisions

Wasn't easy, the word potlatch was mentioned on more that one occasion but after a long and sometimes emotional discussion with our hero a decision has been reached. The Vestry of Monnow, or book seven, will fall to an end point at that moment when our hero succeeds in winning his place in the Tri-County Mental Asylum of Afon-Bedd.

One reason for this shift of emphasis is that while your writer of pulp is an enthusiastic fan of using lunatic asylums as perfect venues for the exploration of social cohesion, it has of late been all just a little too close to the bone for our incredibly quarrelsome hero. The decision does mean that in the meanwhile book seven will require a new title. Gwningen and Giovanni, I thought. However, difficult nights ahead, our hero disagrees with the title

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Change

There's a theory that if you vote for somebody it arranges the brain cells around the idea of betrayal in the way that a blood oath or a baptism does. Not certain where this theory comes from, might even have emulated our president and just made it up, but nonetheless I suspect the theory has some merit. And here I'll take myself as an example of the sort of intense stubbornness of mind that results in tribal affiliation rather than anything that remotely follows the patterns of reasonable debate that so often depend upon degrees of open-mindedness, not something we geriatrics are famous for during times of great change.

It has to do with what's been called Companion Planting. Plants, the argument goes, have preferences with respect to other plants, they can be picky about their neighbors, put a Bean next to Radish and they both sulk, spend most of their season quarreling. No one likes Good King Henry, what some call Lamb's Quarter, call it bullying if you wish to. Companion Planting was in my view a totally absurd theory and under no circumstances was I, nut-eater in good standing, prepared to tolerate that sort of anti-social behavior as I went about ridding the garden paths of Creeping Grass by pouring boiling water over it. Yet this year, of the Tomato, those planted in a curtain of Carrot are doing very much better than those which are not. Depressing, I'd say yes.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Teeth

Your correspondent has no front teeth at the moment. It's like old times, a good wide grin at the bourgeoisie sends them running, they see it as yet another symptom of the low moral character found in the poor, the illiterate and the mentally unstable.

I kind of like the look, makes me feel rugged and self reliant, will definitely take it shopping, to the bank, the Post Office, and always best not to try using a credit card or a check. If memory serves, with a look like mine, cash is king.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Lyres and Lutes

Amongst the remaining vegetables, wandering lonely as a cloud, I found myself engaged in a vigorous debate around whether one of Henry VIII's many crimes was writing the incredibly soppy song Greensleeves as a prelude to seducing Anne Boleyn. Then I returned to that old favorite question about whether Nero played on his lyre when in the latter part of July AD 64 Rome burned. Naturally during the six days of conflagration some citizens of Rome engaged in the traditional looting. A few historians of the time claimed that of the looters some did their best to hinder attempts by good citizens to discourage progress of the flames and it was looters to blame for the extent of the fire, nothing to do with Nero's devious plan to improve the balcony view from one of his many palaces and at the same time find a reason to commence a pogrom against a minority religious sect.

My own view on these two subjects has drifted over the years. On the one hand it came as a shock to me that Henry VIII had the time or the heart to do stuff like write songs and on the other hand I just kind of assumed that Henry VIII stole the song from some wandering minstrel and no one in their right mind would accuse him of plagiarism. With Respect to Nero, for a long while I was of the opinion that despite Nero's less than savory reputation burning two thirds of his own city down was an act of such stupidity there was no way it had anything to do with balcony views or finding a reason to throw Christians at Lions. Recently, very recently, I have come to believe that Henry VIII might well have written Greensleeves and Nero could well have played the lyre while his toadies set fire to and then looted Rome.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Farewell

It's all very depressing. The Bush Beans have been euthanized, their corpses sent to a special place. Some gardeners might think "Thank God for that!" But not me. I remember their seedling phase, on to their first shy blooms, the emergence of little tiny Beans....

Nor is this really the moment to mention the various pests they attracted or the sheer physical agony of harvest or the nightmare of endless canning as on into the valley they make their way, fearing no evil, may peace be unto them now and tomorrow. They were loyal, good friends to me and I'll miss them.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Parallels

Having lived with a Kitten in the domicile for an entire week I have come to the conclusion an adult Cat is more like a senator and a kitten phase Cat is more like a member of the Congress. This means that as a voter I am represented by two Cats in Washington DC and one Kitten.

Oddly my congressman does have certain kitten-like qualities, he does stuff like voting on bills he hasn't read and doesn't understand, and when questioned he kind of blinks and tries to look cute and everyone goes "how sweet" before giving him ginger bread.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Rot or Stink

The current spree of character assassinations from the West Wing has somehow produced the suggestion that "Fish Rot From The Head Down." The origin apparently is in the day to day Italian or Sicilian or the Long Island Gangster Genre Hollywood language. Others will tell you it's a well known German phrase, still others will suggest China, Bengal, Russia, Patagonia and on it goes all the way back to the Assyrian.

The silent fact remains, there's a strong chance the phrase is "Fish Stink From The Head Down" and I say this because Fish begin to rot in the belly and the fragrances of decaying intestines emerge from the Fish's mouth. Which makes much more sense. So I'm going to classify this whole Fish head rotting thing as yet another example of "When Ostrich are flatulent, make flame."

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hot Day in July

Kitten, day six. And like some one else I could mention it feels a little like day six hundred. Speaking of which I suspect the Girl Cat has become a Sessions supporter, she has the far away unsmiling eyes of an ICE agent on duty, and if anyone has ever met one they'll know what I mean. For my part I cling to my socialist roots, Universal Rights and Responsibilities under the panoply of very distant yet bright stars in a dark night by turning Compost Piles, one of which really didn't need to be turned but to its great surprise I turned and watered it anyway. It's now sulking at well below ambient temperatures of around 90 Fahrenheit and I'm sure there's a lesson for a Beleaguered Congress in there somewhere..

The Girl Cat's hopes, dream and slightly frightening ambitions aside, I do think it's fair to say that the Kitten and I will be on much better terms if she learns to retract her claws. Does sound very peculiar to me, but I've been reliably informed that Kittens have to grow a while before they are able to do that. Unlike some, I'm not that big on Cute Factor when it uses the body parts of others to practice rock climbing. On the bright side she has taken an interest in vegetable gardening, fascinated by Bean harvesting, has a low opinion of Grasshoppers, not much good in the Just War against Stinkbug, the squished Stinkbug smell disgusts her, and I believe she now has some understanding that one third of the bed in the room where I sleep is my own preserve and not hilly terrain to be wandered around on at will during the hours of darkness

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Sense of Place

Have to admit the slogan "A Better Deal" strikes even a wishy-washy liberal of good standing such as myself as wholly without any kind of inspiration and even less thought. There could be some who might think "My God! That's brilliant!" but I'd have to hope that none of them are in anyway seriously engaged in an attempt to move beyond the current political impasse within the Democratic Party and beyond.

As I understand it the meeting out of which these words of wisdom from leadership emerged took place in Berryville, VA. Those of us who may be familiar with the town will of course be tempted to reaffirm their faith in the theory that puts a relationship between geographical location and ability to think in a coherent and constructive manner. My advice to Democratic leadership is to go to somewhere like the Garden City of Kabul for six months before their next utterance on Party Thinking.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Canning

2014 was a good Tomato year.  2015 was a year dominated by Tomato that would suddenly explode into a rotten mess leaving a gardener to contemplate the possibility that his ground and his soul had finally rebelled against the extraordinary monotony of canning Tomatoes. 2016 was a medium to poor year for Tomato. This year looks middling to fair. The thing is, there are still jars of Tomato from 2014 in the cupboard. So whether to continue canning Tomato is the question to raise.

The next Rapture, rumor has it, comes sometime in November 2020, and one things for sure unless old age takes me the Angels certainly won't. This means when all the good and diligent are gathered into the host of eternity things like Grocery Stores, the electric, the internet, bankers, Termite Inspectors will be gone from this earth. Meanwhile I'll have all the canned Tomatoes I could possible hope for. In short, Tomato Canning continues!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Adjustments

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

Sunday

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

Ego

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

Gibbon

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

Technology

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

Senate

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

Being

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

Language

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

Teeth

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

PC's

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

"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

Wildlife

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

Dress

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

Blob-like

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

Zucchini

 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

Advertising

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

Gerontocracy

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

Larva

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

Stuff

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.