THERE’S A BAD MOON RISING – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Marilyn Armstrong

There’s a Bad Moon Rising

And just because this is really what I was thinking about. Maybe because for some obscure reason, it sounds like it means more now than it did before.

And it’s also one of my all-time favorite songs. Actually, ALL of Creedence is favorite music for me. Pretty much every single song.

THE ARRANGEMENT – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Arrangement


This is one of “those words” which means so many things on so many levels it is hard to know exactly where to start.

Most typically, in my world, it is “common parlance” for a couple whose marriage isn’t going well, but who would prefer to avoid a divorce. Often, it is because they are also in business or share other important interests and a divorce would distract the world from whatever else they do.

Rich people have an arrangement. Poor people simply can’t afford the divorce.

I always thought that Bill and Hillary had an arrangement, that they agreed to continue working and living together and the deal was that they remain discreet, not humiliate one another, and keep their eyes on the importance of the work they were doing. I think Bill screwed that up and Hillary never forgave him for that.

I suspect this is the situation with many high-powered political couples. I can’t prove it, but I would be surprised to discover I’m wrong.

An arrangement isn’t inherently a bad thing. Often, the work a couple does together is more important than whether or not one or both of them is entirely faithful to the formal marriage bond. There are also couples who never bought into monogamy, so their marriage was an arrangement from the beginning.

But arrangement means other things. Spying is an arrangement. Treason is an arrangement. Most forms of corruption are an arrangement and often, an extremely complex arrangement involving many people across a vast network. It is why when such an arrangement starts to crumble, it is a shock to see exactly how many people were involved, either at the fat or short end of the deal.

Last night on Colbert (with Jake Tapper as the guest), there was much talk of “why” so many Republicans are still trying to “sell” Trump. Regardless, barring an actual putsch in our government, DJT is OUT by 2024, if he doesn’t die of hardened arteries first.

CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out presumably these same people intend to have a career after 45 is gone. How do they expect anyone to have any faith in them?

My answer? The money. Follow the money. Trump has been laundering Russian money for a long time and there’s a lot of money involved. He is not the only one who has been “on the take.” Maybe they think if they steal enough money, they can buy faith? They’ve done it before, after all.

I’m willing to bet that many of these other Republicans have gotten their portion of the dirty money. They aren’t protecting Trump. They are trying to protect themselves, too.

I hope we get to hear every last detail of the story.

Washington is a carefully arranged town. How much money have they stolen? How much of it has been used to turn our country into a place I don’t even recognize?

THE SILVERY MOON – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP#57: MOON


From “Romeo and Juliet” – William Shakespeare

ROMEO: But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off!

Bad moon in Barnstable

My first good moon shot

You can’t say we weren’t warned

Or, as I and every other person who understands that this is NOT a witch hunt and that Donald Trump has not colluded — what he has done is called TREASON. And if you do not vote, you are complicit in that treason. Get this treasonous Russian patsy out of office. Before it’s too late.

THE SHINBONE STAR

One of the pleasures of my morning commute is to listen to comedian-activist Stephanie Miller’s radio show on Sirius XM (Progress). She often begins with a review of whatever shenanigans Putin’s Poodle (PP) has fouled the White House with overnight.

She seldom has been left hanging, from the continued assaults on the the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment — hell, most of the Amendments outside the Second Amendment, which is the one the president thinks will save him when his base comes out roaring and armed to keep him in power.

It’s a sad fact that PP’s hopes have been reduced to a complicit Congressional Republican majority, and a deplorable base. And there’s a good chance that come November, the first of those hopes will be voted out of office.

But this is the life we chose, as the mobster said to his protégé in “The Godfather II.”

We can…

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STARTING OVER – A NEW EPISODE FOR HAROLD – Rich Paschall

Finally, A Plan For The Planner, by Rich Paschall

Bill woke up refreshed on another warm and pleasant Florida morning.  As he lie awake staring at the window shades, he wondered what time it could possibly be.  In retirement, Bill did not worry about such things as alarm clocks.  Yes, he had one just in case he needed it, but he tried never to set it.  This Monday, however, Bill did have something he wished to do.  So he decided to get up and start his week.

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Not far away, at the county hospital, Harold was barely conscious.  He had been transferred from Intensive Care to a regular hospital room.  It was a trip from one bland room to another, although the current room did not contain so many machines humming and whirring, not that any of the noise was noticed by the recovering retiree.

The previous Monday Harold was brought to the emergency room.  He had a stroke on Monday, or perhaps even the day before, no one knows for sure.  Harold was not talking and they could only make a guess.  The paramedics told a neighbor it did not seem to be a long time, but they were not sure.

Bill, and nosey Mabel Crockett, were the only neighbors who knew where Harold had gone.  Neither knew of any of Harold’s friends or relatives, so Harold had to lie for a week in Intensive Care while Bill tried in vain to get news.  Now he could finally go and see his retirement friend.

In truth, Harold was not in much better shape, but since he had moved to a regular room, he was allowed visitors.  As no one had been notified, there was no one to visit Harold until now.  Even though Harold had been a master planner in his profession, he had never planned for a life event of this magnitude.  As a result, his future was in the hands of strangers to whom he could not communicate.

When Bill had finished his morning routine, including a light breakfast, he prepared for a trip to the hospital to see Harold.  All through the previous week, Bill had tried to see Harold and was turned away on every occasion.  He was not a relative and since there was no medical power of attorney or permissions granted, no one besides the medical staff could see old Harold.

At the moment Bill was ready to give up on Harold the previous week, a hospital volunteer slipped him the word the Harold had improved and would earn his way to a regular room.  Now Bill was ready to go find out if Harold could tell him anything about friends or relatives.  Just who should be notified.

Heading to the medical center

Heading to the medical center

Bill drove through the light traffic to the county hospital and parked in the multi-level parking garage.  It seemed that all of the spaces on the first two levels were reserved for staff or the handicapped so Bill drove up and parked near the elevator.  He rode down, walked across the roadway that lead to the Emergency Room, and entered the hospital.

The same receptionist who Bill saw everyday the previous week was on duty, but this time she was able to give him some information and a room pass.

“Good morning,” she said upon seeing Bill.  “You will want to go to the fifth floor and when you get off the elevator, go right and down to room 502.”  At that she handed Bill a room pass and instructed him to return it when he came down.

“Hello,” Bill said with a smile when he was finally able to jump in.  “Thanks,” he continued as he took the pass and headed to the room.  Oddly enough, no one ever asked to see the pass that Bill stuck in his pocket.

Dana Farber lobby

When Bill arrived at the room he discovered a whole group of medical people around Harold’s bed.  They seemed to be discussing their plan of recovery for Harold.  They all spoke as if Harold was not even in the room.

“He’s already been here a week and there is only slight improvement in motor skills,” one doctor announced to the gathering.

“We believe his cognitive skills will return to full capacity,” another doctor chimed in, “but only time will tell for sure.”

A nurse stated that Harold was being fed by a tube in the stomach because he was incapable of eating.  The brown liquid in the bag hanging overhead would have to do for a while.

As the discussion of Harold’s condition, both good and bad, continued, Bill asked the nurse if he could see her in the hall.  “Can Harold hear what all of you are saying?”

The nurse explained that Harold might be able to hear but perhaps he could not follow along too well because of the medication.  “Then don’t you think we should be careful what we say about his recovery?” Bill wanted to know, trying to make a point she did not understand.

“Yes,” the nurse replied in a cheery voice, “please be careful what you say.”  A frustrated Bill walked back into the room where the discussion of Harold’s condition continued.

A physical therapist discussed rehabilitation plans.  This was followed by a speech therapist.  She not only spoke of the relearning to talk, she also discussed the work that would be necessary to teach swallowing.  This act that we all take for granted would have to be relearned following the paralyzing effect on one side of the body.

An occupational therapist was the next to speak.  There would be a need to practice typical household chores, such as reaching for cans and bottles and opening them, preparing food, and doing everyday tasks.

All of the therapists and doctors announced a schedule they would follow each week.  They discussed a timetable for success and how much they had hoped to accomplish in an optimal situation.  As they left the room, Bill tried frantically to ask how long this would take and if Harold would fully recover.

As that was taking place, a slight smile appeared on Harold’s face.  The Midwest planner was pleased at the extensive day-to-day plan they had laid out for him.

Note: One more “Harold story” arrives on Sunday.
Previously:  “Missing Monday,” “Sunshine, Spring Training, and Survival,” “Wednesday Wondering,” “Waiting For The Story To Continue,” “A Tap On The Shoulder

CANINE PSYCHOLOGY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve had a lot of dogs — and I’ve learned a few things, mostly from the trainers with whom I’ve worked.

The most important thing I’ve learned about dogs is they can’t and don’t think like humans. We tend to anthropomorphize them and attribute motives to them of which they are incapable. For example, most people believe that dogs chew furniture or poop in the house when they are left alone because they are ‘getting back’ at their humans for leaving them. The problem with that theory is that it requires levels of conceptualization, insight, and understanding of cause and effect way beyond a dog’s capabilities.

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First, they must have the self-awareness to know they are feeling angry at you, which they can’t and don’t have. Then they have to understand they can get ‘revenge’ (a human concept) if they make you mad or upset too. That is more than a two-year-old child can do, let alone a dog. Thirdly, they have to figure out, in the abstract, what behaviors they could perform to make you upset.

This is a more than a reasonable stretch for any dog.

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The explanation for most negative dog behavior seems to be stress or anxiety. Different things cause stress in different dogs. Various dogs react to stress in unique ways. Chewing and making in the house are examples of anxiety-driven behaviors, as are excessive barking and hyperactivity. None of these are thought out revenge schemes.

My anxiety prone dog gets most anxious when other people come into the house.

Remy and Tom

Apparently, that’s because she thinks she has to ‘protect’ me, which means she is on duty when the doorbell rings. However, this skittish dog does not react to things that stress out many other dogs, like thunder, vacuum cleaners, packed suitcases or even a trip to the vet. She is the calmest, most relaxed dog my vet has ever seen in her office!

Go figure!

Another interesting fact I learned about dog psychology is that dogs are very Zen. They truly live in the moment. They can only think about what just happened for about 10 seconds. That’s why to train a dog you have to reward them the minute they do what you want them to. When housebreaking a dog, you have to praise them profusely while they are in the act of making, not even a minute later. If you rewarded your dog right after they made, they would think you were praising them for whatever they were doing at that exact moment, like sniffing a bush or wagging their tail.

This brings up a funny story about how my anxious girl, Lexi flummoxed the dog trainer.

It also points up how dogs can see things differently than even the dog trainer believes they could. When Lexi was on the sofa with me, she would often growl at our older dog when he came near the sofa. So we followed the trainer’s advice and told her ‘no’ immediately and threw her off the sofa. In most dogs, this would end the offensive behavior.

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However Lexi continues to growl at her brother, but as soon as she does, she immediately jumps off the sofa and lies down on the floor. The trainer has never seen a case of self-punishment before. Her takeaway is logical though.

Thus “When you growl, you have to get off of the sofa,” is as valid a lesson to take from the situation as is just ‘stop growling’!

Think of your dog as a two-year-old child. You can’t expect the child or the dog to act or react like an adult/human or understand the world the way we do. You are the superior intellect in the relationship so you have to try and understand how your dog perceives and thinks.

Don’t get mad at your dog for ‘scheming’ against you and ‘purposely behaving badly to annoy you.’ His brain doesn’t work that way. Figure out what stressor is triggering his undesirable behavior and deal with the stressor or channel the dog’s anxiety in another way.