RADICAL SHMADICAL- Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Not Feeling Radical


I couldn’t think of anything radical except maybe for that day I went in for a light trim to my waist length hair and before I had a chance to say what I wanted, the guy with the scissors had lopped off 10 years of care and love and left me with a chin length “bob.”

Photo: Garry Armstrong

That was really radical and I can’t even begin to tell how seriously pissed off I was. It took years to grow it back and now, I can’t grow it back — it’s too thin, so I keep it around shoulder length. At least I’m not bald. Yet.

Otherwise, it’s Sunday. I need a break. I’m tired, half asleep and the house is pretty cold … and I can’t afford to turn the heat on yet. It’s too soon.

We took photographs yesterday and then I came home and made fish chowder. Then I realized I was going to sit down or fall down … and where was my wrist brace?

So today is a radical day off.

THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE – Rich Paschall

Episode 1: The Campaign, by Arod Serling*

Opening scene:  Rural state rally, small town folks and area farmers in attendance.  A candidate for office is at the podium.  To the left of the stage are two of his aides.

Candidate: “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ’em, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.”

Cut to Narrator standing at undetermined location, presumably at the rally.

Narrator

Narrator: The man at the podium has recently announced that he is running for the highest office in the land.  The tall gentleman to the left of the stage is Michael who is attempting to control his candidate, a reality TV star.  Next to Michael is a young intern named Billy.  He wants to get some experience in political campaigns.  They all think they will be heading to the nation’s capital when in fact, they are about to enter “The Twilight Zone.”

Fade to opening credits, theme music. The scene will resume at the same rally.

Candidate (speaking on his own popularity): “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Billy (to Michael): Did he just say he could get away with murder?

Michael: All politicians are getting away with murder in one way or another.

Candidate (speaking about opponents): “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

Billy: I am unclear. What is he saying?  The people of Iowa are stupid or the other candidates are speaking crap? (Pause) Both?

Michael:  If you are unclear, so is everyone else.  Don’t worry about it.  We can spin it whatever way we want.

Candidate (speaking on ISIS):  “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.”

Billy: What could he know about ISIS that the generals don’t know?

Michael:  Look, you ask too many questions.  Just watch and learn.  It’s all a television show and he’s the star. (pointing to the candidate on stage).

The candidate

The candidate is giving the cheering crowd two thumbs up.  Fade out for a commercial break. “The new Twilight Zone is brought to you by Preparation A, for those nasty flare-ups”

Episode resumes with quick shots of various rallies around the country.

Billy (to Michael in South Carolina):  Did he just give out the real phone number of the opponent?

Michael (laughing):  Yeah, that should generate some press.

Candidate (to crowd trying to eject protester in Missouri): “Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore.”

Billy: More violence?

Michael: Whatever works!

Candidate (at another rally): “Do I look a president? How handsome am I, right? How handsome?” (Looking smugly at the crowd) “I feel like a supermodel except, like, times 10, OK? It’s true. I’m a supermodel.”

Cut to Billy shaking his head and Michael laughing.

Candidate (in New Hampshire): “That could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack.”

Billy: That can’t possibly be a Mexican plane and they certainly are not going to attack.

Michael:  The crowd doesn’t know that.  You can say anything, no matter how outrageous, as long as you are willing to stick with your story.

Quick cuts to various rallies.  The candidate is always looking smug and/or giving a thumbs up to the crowd.  The crowds always seem to love whatever he has to say.

Scene: Hotel room at debate site.  Michael and Billy our waiting anxiously for the event to begin.

Michael and Billy

Billy: I don’t have a good feeling about this.  I mean he would not even practice for the debate.  How can we get the message across if he is not prepared on the topics?

Michael:  Don’t worry, if he doesn’t have an answer, he will just change the subject and throw some dirt on an opponent.

Billy:  But some of those things he says are not true.  That will not work in a debate.

Michael:  Of course it will work.  These are not real debates, they are reality TV shows and we have the star.  Just watch.

Cut to the television studio where the debate is underway.

Candidate (replying to a Senator in the debate): “I never attacked him on his looks and believe me, there’s a lot of subject matter there.”

Cut Back at hotel room.

Michael:  See Billy, he did not have to actually answer the Senator.  And take a look at the Senator’s face.  This is hilarious.

Cut to television studio.

Candidate (referring to female primary opponent): “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”

Hotel room:


Billy:  Do you think insulting a woman like that is good?  I mean, even if it is an opponent, people might get upset.

Michael:  His fan base will eat this up and who cares what the others think. We are well on our way to success.  A few more debates like this, a few more rallies and he will have the nomination.  From there it is just a few easy steps to victory.  I don’t think there is anyway we can screw this up now.  The fans love us, we are getting a lot of press and the ratings are good.  Best show in town!

Billy looks lost in thought for a moment.  Then finally speaks.

Billy:  I think I should leave the campaign now.  It is not really what I expected.

“You can not leave the campaign now. You know too much…”

Michael (angry): You can not leave the campaign now.  You know too much, and nobody likes it when someone can give away the magician’s tricks.  Our candidate has a way of getting even with people who cross him.  You are in this until the end. I wouldn’t bring this up again if I were you.

Camera settles on Billy’s astonished face as the Narrator speaks over this shot.

Narrator: Billy wanted to learn politics and make his way to the nation’s capital.  Instead, he found a permanent address in The Twilight Zone.

Fade Out.

*Arod Serling is also the Narrator and Executive Producer of this program.

Candidates quotes courtesy of: “The 155 Craziest Things Trump Said This Election,” Politico Magazine, November 05, 2016.

I’D RATHER BE A JUDGE THAN A MINER: BEYOND THE FRINGE – Marilyn Armstrong

We now, after almost 350 years of nationhood, have a president who thinks mining — coal mining — is a good idea and a fine way to make a living. Oddly enough, someone else had this idea years ago.

It was hilarious — and stupid — then. It is no less stupid and hilarious now.

BEYOND THE FRINGE – Peter Cook
Why I’d Rather Be A Judge Than A Miner


I think it might really be funnier now than it was in 1964.

WILD PINK SHRUB AND ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER – Marilyn Armstrong

A Wild Pink Shrub by the River and the Man Who Takes Her Picture


We went down to the river in Rhode Island today. We were looking for Autumn and thought it might be hiding along the river in Lewis Bleiweis Park.

The prettiest pink shrub

Photo: Garry Armstrong

It was or at least a bit of it was there. A few trees with red and yellow leaves and a giant pink shrub. The side streams were flowing very heavily and there were whirlpools in the river.

Together, we took more than 300 pictures. I took pictures of the pink bushes and Garry took pictures of me taking pictures of the bush. And we both took pictures of the river and the trees. More to come on those.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

For now, for this last night of September, it’s all about the pink shrub (no, I don’t know what it is but I’m sure someone will recognize it) and me and my camera.

YESTERDAY, WE FOUND A HINT OF FALL – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – FALL


Yesterday, in the rain driving to the doctor, we kept looking for fall. We could see touches of it here and there, but given that it is already the end of September, it should have been everywhere.

One autumn tree in a sea of green

But today, with the temperature just right. The rain has finally finished and the sun is shining. I live in hope. If we look, I’m sure we will find a little hint of the fall to come.

So, just so you know what might be on its way, these were all taken in mid-October. By the river, on our own street, near the dam in the middle of town.

It’s coming. I can smell it in the air.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

So this post is a bit early. It’s not autumn yet. Not for another week. In this region, mid-October is generally peak and the week before is delicious — as is the week after.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I won’t give up until all the leaves have fallen, I promise.

This is MY season!

GOLDENROD, BEES, AND SPIDERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Goldenrod, a Bee, and a Spider


The goldenrod is blooming and it’s lovely. I can hardly stop sneezing when I’m near it, but a long lens really helps a lot. Although to be fair, nothing entirely stops the sneezing, the gritty eyes, and the hoarse voice. They come with the territory of pollen.

Whoever said “allergies don’t make you sick” never had allergies.

Goldenrod, spider, and a bee …

Goldenrod 

AUTUMN COMES TO NEW ENGLAND – #WRITEPHOTO – Marilyn Armstrong

Autumn Comes to New England – #writephoto

It is the end of September. Normally, we would be wrapped in the bright leaf colors for which New England is justly famous. Not so far.

We were at Manchaug a few days ago and everything was green.  We always look for the first color of the year along the water, but aside from some berries and a few yellow leaves, it was still deep summer green.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.

It seems to make the colors bright and show up sooner than anywhere else.

But it was green along the river on Tuesday. Today is Friday and it has been pouring for the past couple of days. Good news? The temperature is down and you can see bits and pieces of the season on its way.

Bad news? If it doesn’t stop raining soon, the leaves will turn yellow, then brown, then fall off the trees. Rain is just not the best thing for autumn colors.

Today, though I began to see — through the rain — the start of colors and even the occasional scarlet maple tree shining through the green. And finally, I saw a tree. Just one tree, mostly yellow with some red. I took pictures.

Considering how grim much of life has been, one bright tree made all the difference.

HOW A FORTUNE TELLER RUINED MY GRANDFATHER’S LIFE – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My father was a scientist and a very rational man. He didn’t believe in religion or have any superstitions, except one. He told me to never, ever go to a fortune-teller. He had a logical reason. HIS father had told him an eerie story about HIS experience with a fortune-teller, which had haunted him throughout his life.

My grandfather, on a lark, when he still lived in Russia, went to a gypsy fortune-teller in a nearby gypsy camp. He was given a long, detailed story about his future life. Most of the story seemed outrageous, if not impossible at the time. He forgot about the incident. Until, to his dismay, the predictions started to come true, one at a time. I don’t remember all the details but here are a few.

The gypsy told my grandfather that he would serve in the army. At the time in Russia, only first-born sons were conscripted into the army. My grandfather was the third son, so this would never happen. Except that his oldest brother shot off his toes to avoid military service. Then the second oldest brother died suddenly and young. So it fell to my grandfather to take up arms. Just like the gypsy told him. What are the odds?

My father’s father

Next, the gypsy told my grandfather that he would take a long journey involving a boat. He had no intention of ever leaving Russia. Until he couldn’t make a good living as a tailor when he finished his military service. Then he decided to come to America – a very long journey, part of it by sea.

The personal details the gypsy told him were the creepiest part of the story. The gypsy told him that he would marry a young woman who would bear him seven children, including a set of twins, but only two of the children would survive. Believe it or not, my grandmother had exactly seven pregnancies, including a set of twins. The oldest and the youngest, my Dad, were the only ones to survive infancy.

By now my grandfather was freaking out! The next prediction by the gypsy was that his wife would die young and leave him to take care of two children on his own. She died of tuberculosis when my Dad was three. The gypsy said that my grandfather would struggle for a few years but would eventually marry a strong woman who would be a good mother to his children. This happened exactly as predicted. His children, aged three and eleven, were latch-key kids until he met his second wife who, my father always said, ‘rescued’ them.

The rest of my grandfather’s life also played out pretty much as the gypsy had told him. He started making a good living. (He was the first to bring the pleated skirt to America). He lived comfortably until his death as an old man for the day – he was in his 70’s.

The story doesn’t end there. My father understood his father’s aversion to clairvoyants. But as a young man, he fell madly in love with a woman who was ‘beyond his reach’. He was a poor, Jewish medical student and she was a proper WASP who wanted a comfortable and respectable life. He was not in a position to give this to her.

My Dad as a young man

My Dad was so smitten, that he took a year off from medical school to pursue the woman full-time! During this period, he came across a fortune-teller. He couldn’t resist finding out if he would ‘get the girl’ in the end. The gypsy told him that the woman would never marry him. She said that the woman would string him along but eventually would marry a man from Chicago who was ‘like a locomotive’. Dad remembers this phrase because it was an unusual way to describe someone.

As predicted, again, despite a long courtship, his paramour eventually sent him a letter breaking off the relationship. She said that she had found a well established, well-off man and was moving to Chicago to marry him. She described him as strong and commanding, ‘like a locomotive!’

Unbelievable! My father had no rational explanation for any of this.

Neither do I.

SQUARE UP ARIZONA SUNSET – Marilyn Armstrong

ARIZONA SUNSETS – Marilyn Armstrong


I was amazed at the sunsets everywhere in Arizona. Maybe it was because it never rained, but the colors were amazing. Just when I thought they couldn’t be better, the subsequent night would be even more extraordinary.

And so it went from one night to the next night, glorious sunset after sunset. In the mountains and even from city streets. Some nights, the sunset was so red it turned the mountains red, too.

Sunset – Phoenix

 

THE CHANGING SEASONS – SEPTEMBER 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, September 2018


Painted falls …

Rocks at Manchaug

It’s the very end of September here in New England, so it’s the middle of our best season, Autumn.

Except it isn’t Autumn.

The stone mill

The trees are entirely green without even a hint of red. A few yellow leaves on a few trees, but none of the colors we are supposed to have. We went and we sought for fall, but we could not find it. I was not by the river, which is the first place you usually find it … nor by the dam. Nor in the woods.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.

Lily pads. Not Monet,. Just me.

And we went down to another part of the valley, too. It wasn’t just Manchaug!

Photo: Garry Armstrong

And me, too – Photo: Garry Armstrong

The pond at Manchaug …. right before the dam. Photo: Garry Armstrong

Softly falling water – Photo Garry Armstrong

Graphic stone and falls – Marilyn Armstrong

Roses for our anniversary

So, not a red tree to be seen. Not even a bright yellow or slightly orange tree. Nothing at all. This was how it was last year, too. We finally got ONE week of Autumn. Then, all the leaves just fell off the tree. Kerplunk. End of Autumn.

I’m sure glad the seasons aren’t changing! I’d hate to lost whole seasons — like Autumn.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, Su-Leslie can update her post with links to all of your posts.

OH HELL, WE ARE REALLY ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY

As I’m writing this I’m watching the circus that is the Senate hearing on Bret Kavanagh.  Lindsey Graham and the Republicans on the committee are making complete asses of themselves. Graham is literally screaming at the top of his lungs.

href=”https://teepee12.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/graham-angry.jpg”> I’m mad as hell because I’m mad as hell.[/

What he’s saying is basically “This is all made up and how dare anybody say anything bad about a guy who’s had FOUR DIFFERENT WOMEN COME FORWARD TO CLAIM HE SEXUALLY HARASSED THEM!!”

Earlier, Dr. Ford made calm and compelling testimony where she backed up her allegations with scientific facts that she is professionally qualified to state.

She’s a doctor of psychology.

Her credibility was stunning. The Republican Senators were so cowardly they had a woman ask all their questions.

I’m the only Republican with any balls in this room.

But while Kavanagh is testifying they are all screaming bloody murder and asking all sorts of questions. Now I’m watching Republicans stamping their feet and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum.

Whaaaaa!

So this is all about rage. On both sides.

The thing is, our side has a shit load of rage. For women around the world, the rage has gone up to 11. This isn’t unusual. We’ve all been pissed has hell since The Cheeto Mussolini was elected.

And since that day pundits have claimed that after a while we’d all get tired of being pissed off.  I wrote a blog at the time pointing out that that isn’t going to happen. Why? Because every week a new thing pops up that makes us even angrier.

Remember ripping toddlers from their parents at the border and putting them in baby jails?

Oh yeah. WTF! So, again, I have to repost a blog I made over a year ago. It should not be current. It should not be relevant. Yet it is. So, here it is. Again.


HOLY SHIT WE ARE ALL STILL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY


Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny. OK, maybe just humorous.

OK, maybe just humorous.

Bruce Banner Tee Front

Fine. Mildly amusing.

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now. Because I’m angry.

Really pissed off.

I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle-class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com

orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com

youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org

tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason, people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com

moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight on November 9th, 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com

freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com

beforeitsnews.com


Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com

blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is that his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger.

The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s no upward limit on his rage.

theunrealtimes.com

theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”


And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

SCROTUS could do the same thing– more or less. You know, he could stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com

observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while. Years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope.

Because we may have drubbed him on the health bill, but while we were dealing with that, he’s destroying the water, the air, and every living creature on our continent.

Stay mad!
Why?

BECAUSE THE MADDER WE GET, THE STRONGER WE GET. 

WE ARE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW. 

weknowmemes.com

weknowmemes.com


NOW, YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN SHIRT!


It’s on Custom Ink. The complexities of ordering the shirts then sending them out to each person are a bit much. But you can order directly from Custom Ink … so here’s the CustomInk link for the Bruce Banner tee.

These are pretty cool tees and if you think it sort of fits how you feel about the world and the way things are going? This is the tee that will tell your tale.

Link to CUSTOMINK and Bruce Banner Tee-shirt

The profits from these shirts are not going to charity. To be precise, they are not going to us either. All profits go directly to CustomInk who print and deliver the shirts. You can use this design as a money raiser. If you would like to use it and change the back of the tee logo to something personal, you have our full permission to do so. If you do that, please let know what you are doing. We will do your own little feature here.

We just wanted everyone to recognize that this is not raising money for anyone other than CustomInk who produces the shirts. It was simply too complicated for we simple word-laden souls.

IS THE U.S. CAPABLE OF BEING A LEGITIMATE NATION? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Heart


Yesterday was some kind of turning point for me. My heart broke. Because the same shit that I went through as a young woman is still happening and now we are going to sit one of these shitbags on the Supreme Court.

Shame on us, shame on our political system and its keepers.

I’ll vote. I’ll write. But I think I’m losing hope, heart and any kind of faith that we are capable of running a nation.

JUSTICE? REALLY? – Marilyn Armstrong

Friday RDP: JUSTICE ISN’T


I don’t have anything useful to say about this except that whatever we think justice is, I’m not seeing any evidence of it these days and not for a long time.

After yesterday — which I presumed and assumed was going to be horrendous — and which was indeed horrendous even beyond my own expectations, I have little hope left that we will see anything like justice in my lifetime.

Garry is fuming. Pity he finally got his hearing working just in time for hearing this bullshit.

Someone said, “you can’t burn the truth.” But I’m here to say “Yes, you can. We have. We are.”

We aren’t going to stop, either. Unless all of you who hate what’s going on show up and vote during the mid-term elections, it will keep getting worse until you are living in a country you do not recognize.

Personally? This isn’t any version of the U.S.A. I recognize. I don’t know what it is, and worse, I fear what it is becoming, but it’s not my home anymore.

GOOD AND EVIL – Marilyn Armstrong

I can’t read “Lord of the Rings” these days without thinking about Stephen Colbert and his obsessive passion for these books. They are great books and eventually became rather amazing movies, but still and all … he knows things about these books I’m sure J.R.R. Tolkien forgot.

Nonetheless, in this time of stress and strife, I’m rereading the series for the umpteenth time. I’ve gotten all the way to the third and final volume of  “The Lord of the Rings.”

The book is entirely about good and evil. The great evil that is Sauron. The somewhat lesser evil of his cohorts. The striving evil of Saruman, and the fear of everyone in the battle that they can find the right way and stay woven in the fabric of good.

When evil is everywhere, goodness can get a little complicated.

I bumped into this quote last night. I was tucked in for the night and I hoped I would remember it in the morning. I didn’t exactly recall it, but luckily for me “Lord of the Rings” is such a well-quoted book, I found it quickly on ye olde Internet.


Eomer said, ‘How is a man to judge what to do in such times?’ As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.


In the great fabric of life of which we are merely threads, good and evil are also a part of us. We are born with a genetic understanding of both. It is in our DNA. When we see evil and allow ourselves to become part of it — when we live in evil times, excuse and forgive evil — we become part of it.

A bad man and his bad adherents don’t have “a good side.” Lying about it changes nothing except maybe us.


When you read this book, you will sooner or later end up talking like this. You can’t help it. If you are really into it, you might just do it in Elvish or worse, Orcish.

And in the darkness bind them …