“I simply cannot fathom,” she said, “How anyone with a dribble of intelligence can think like you.”
“Not everyone thinks everything Trump does is always a bad idea,” he countered. “After all, we wouldn’t want to give those babies back to ‘bad parents,’ would we?”
“Really?” she said as one of her eyebrows rose high above her right eye. “I think he is a moron without a moral center — or even a concept of right and wrong — and anyone who supports him and whatever crap he’s pandering is at least a double moron. Bad enough to be a moron — I have to assume that’s DNA at work — but to willingly follow one? That is literally unfathomable.”
A fathom is a unit of length in the imperial and the U.S. customary systems equal to six feet (1.8288 m), used especially for measuring the depth of water. There are two yards (6 feet) in an imperial fathom.
What could he say? She was unreasonable. He thought maybe it was all about language skills. He wasn’t even sure what “fathom” meant and he sure as hell wasn’t going to let her know that.
“I’d become,” he thought gloomily, “A triple moron.”
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) loved the paddlewheel steamboat and the river. As a matter of fact, it was during his years on the river he chose his pen name. “Mark Twain” was a frequent call of the leadsman. It meant that the water was 2 fathoms (12 feet) deep and therefore safe water.
He didn’t consider the possibility of changing his political opinions. Not for a second.
He’d have to look it up online, assuming it was spelled like it sounded.
Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall; In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed, For heaven approves of each generous deed.
-John Dickinson, The Liberty Song, 1768
Throughout the history of this country, the concept that we stand together has been expressed in song, in writing, and at the podium in speech. It was the rallying cry of the Revolution and the days following 9/11. It was spoken during the Civil War and the armed conflicts since. It was the thought of trade unions fighting for better working conditions. We may never have all stood together, but we were never divided at critical times in history. Until now, that is.
From the opening of his campaign until the present day, the leader of our country has worked hard to divide Americans with an “Us versus them” attitude. He speaks it, he tweets it, he lies about it.
In the opening salvo, he started by trying to assert that many of our neighbors who came from other countries were the enemy. Of Mexico he stated: “They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.” You likely know the most egregious things he said about Mexico. Let’s consider another statement.
Dividing us from other friends, 45 went on to say: “It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening.” This was stated despite a strict immigration policy under President Obama. Ask anyone who entered (or was deported) at that time.
Also at the time of his announcement, China and Japan were particularly criticised, along with the leaders of our own country. It is not unusual to criticize the other party during a campaign, but consider carefully the deals the country made during the Obama presidency and the comments made by Trump, the candidate. There is campaign rhetoric, and then there are falsehoods and divisions. The announcement of candidacy is filled with quotes that are not attributed to specific people and many statistics that raise questions of accuracy. Did he portray us correctly?
After a campaign of insults and hateful comments, 45 has spent a great deal of time on his twitter account blasting out hateful and divisive comments among people here and abroad. How do we feel about this? Early in the year the Quinnipiac University National Poll found that the Tweeter in Chief is dividing the nation. While polls results show that the majority of Republicans do not feel this way, Americans by 64 to 31 per cent feel that 45 is actually doing more to divide the country.
Worse yet, many are unsure if the man is actually stable. “President Donald Trump can’t seem to improve his approval rating, perhaps because of the troubling fact that half of the voters we spoke to think he is mentally unstable,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. But apparently, some of those voters are willing to stand by him anyway.
He tried to change the narrative on the NFL anthem controversy, perhaps because he could not get an NFL franchise years ago. The NFL commissioner and the NFL Players Association fired back. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,” commissioner, Roger Goodell, said. NFLPA executive director, DeMaurice Smith, indicated that they would not back down.
NFL QB Tom Brady, believed to be a Republican, responded “I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. I just want to support my teammates.”
Last year in September, the New York Times’ Peter Baker provided this news analysis, “Never in modern times has an occupant of the Oval Office seemed to reject so thoroughly the nostrum that a president’s duty is to bring the country together.” Isn’t it troubling that our leader has so many negative things to say?
Baker also noted, “In his brief career as president and a candidate for president, Mr. Trump has attacked virtually every major institution in American life: Congress, the courts, Democrats, Republicans, the news media, the Justice Department, Hollywood, the military, NATO, the intelligence agencies, the cast of “Hamilton,” the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” the pope and now professional sports. ” Is this presidential?
While the tweeter is in a rage, outside forces are also trying to undermine American life. Fake social media accounts have reportedly planted fake stories and memes meant to drive a wedge between parts of our society. Apparently it has been working. If you have been a regular user of facebook or twitter you know exactly what the problem is. As these fake stories pop up, unwitting supporters retweet, reblog and share these items on their news feed. Do you think foreign influences are behind this?
Social media believes we are under cyber attack. Google, the parent of YouTube and other media platforms, deleted Iranian accounts. Facebook and others have removed Russian accounts. These accounts were there to influence opinion and perhaps even divide Americans through fake stories. Was there collusion by 45 and/or his minions to help spread lies posted by Russians? Time will reveal the answer.
With full-blown propaganda wars in play, some started by and perpetuated by our leader, our enemies must be rejoicing. They see the unraveling of the American fabric, aided by our own leader, allowing them to advance to a stronger position in the world. If they can divide us and turn American against American, with Trump’s help, then our foes will watch as we stumble and fall in the eyes of the world.
Right place, right time is the name of the photography game. That and the right light. Most of my best photographs were a combination of having a camera when I needed it and being where something happened worth commemorating.
From sunsets to laughter, it’s always about being there and having a camera ready. I always keep a camera with me and even though it weighs down my bag, you just never know what out of nowhere, suddenly, there’s a great picture.
Herons are pretty good about standing still while you take their picture. Unless you startle them.
The thing was, I didn’t have a long lens on the camera or even with me, so instead of zooming, I had to creep up on him.
The ground was mucky and muddy, but I decided I could cope with mud because I wanted that bird. Except I was wearing open-back shoes and when I tried to clamber up from the bank of the river, my shoes stuck in the mud. My feet moved on, but my shoes stayed put. That was when I discovered I could not climb up the hill without my shoes. So I sat down to wait. I figured eventually, Garry would wander by and we’d work it out.
Which we did.
Don’t wear open back shoes in the mud by the river. And it’s always good to have a long lens with you.
If you survive the wedding, marriage is a piece of cake.
When Garry proposed, I was shaken. He was 48 and I was 43. I’d been married twice and my first husband (still alive) was Garry’s best friend. Don’t ask for details. As they say in modern RomComs, “It’s complicated.”
I had finally managed to get unmarried to number two which was complicated by requiring a board of Rabbis in Jerusalem to agree and you’d be surprised how complicated that can become. They are not modern guys.
Garry proposed. Once I got over the shock, I realized there would be a wedding, about which I wasn’t enthusiastic. I’d never been enthusiastic about weddings.
But Garry wanted the whole thing with flowers, music, and his pastor from childhood (retired, but drug out of retirement for the occasion) … and of course, me. It had to be in New York, not Boston.
Having told me what he wanted for a wedding, Garry retired from the fray and let me get on with it. At some point, he figured out I would do everything and he could show up in a tuxedo. Voila! Done and done.
It’s a blur. I don’t remember the details though I have it on a CD and that helps. When you are a bride, you get moved around, told where to stand. You wear shoes so painful you need the jaws of life to remove your feet. Also, the gown had no shoulders, so I had to wear some kind of corset thing. It was a warm September and beneath the corset, it was sweaty. Then there were stockings and a veil, flowers, hair, and makeup. Sheesh.
As for the date, it was simple. It would be when Garry’s baby brother, the honorable Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf’s Choir wasn’t going to be on the road with the choir. We wanted him to sing — and HE wanted to sing — but he’s a busy guy. Then there was a bagpiper (my former first husband insisted). My Maid of Honor wanted to sing (lovely voice) … and another friend was going to sing too. NO way we were getting away with simple music and anyway, Garry has a streak of Hollywood director in his soul, so we made almost no plans for the party, but staged a big show as the ceremony.
On September 15th. Today. In 1990.
When people asked if they could bring their kids, we said NO and they brought them anyway. Garry’s mother invited all her best friends because she was Garry’s Mom.
I wanted to go to city hall and have the Mayor marry us. He was a pretty good friend then — still IS a friend, though he’s long out of office. We could have had a nice little ceremony on the steps of city hall, grabbed a plane at Logan and headed for Ireland. But we had to have this wedding. I think we were the ONLY people to invite 86 people and end up with 110 people. No one refused.
“You mean — GARRY is getting MARRIED? I’ve gotta BE there!” He was Boston’s longest known bachelor, so this was an occasion for all and sundry.
It was a great wedding which I know because we had it taped. A couple of years ago, we transferred to DVD. It turned out mylar tape corrodes over time. Who knew?
With a few exceptions (mostly due to death), we know all the same people today we knew then. Funny how that works.
I suppose we stayed married because we were determined to make it work. We really cared about each other. Love is important in a marriage, but I have to say it is the friendship that keeps it going. When the flush of romance has been crushed under the pressure of two full-time jobs and Mr. Romance just wants to sit around the apartment watching baseball, being good friends matters.
Love is a grand thing, but a deep and abiding friendship is forever.
Personally? Call an abstention on the wedding and spend the money on a fabulous honeymoon.
So what could be better than pink fuchsia? We grew these the last year we were able to buy fuchsia. It was the year of the invasion of the gypsy moth caterpillars which consumed every edible hardwood tree on our property and I think would have, had they had the teeth for it, have consumed us, too.
The next year, last year, I blew our budget and had the house and the trees around the house sprayed for caterpillars and we were spared the worst of the invasion.
These pictures were taken exactly two years ago, the last year I was able to find anyone who was selling fuchsia. I’ve had other plants that were beautiful, but none as beautiful as the fuchsia.
I have been interested in the balance between work life and personal life since the days of my first husband’s 60 plus hour work weeks at his New York City law firm. Working so much wreaked havoc with our home life and left me, effectively, a single parent most of the time.
The issue has been magnified with the advent of the 24/7 access to work via the internet. Employers can expect their employees to be available at all hours on all days. But there is some soul searching in the corporate world over how to reasonably limit employee’s accessibility and responsibility to the office.
To manage work stress, some companies provide massages, yoga classes, nap venues, and other wellness services during the workday. This is clearly not enough. There is a horror story out of Japan where a 31-year-old worker logged 159 hours of overtime in one month and worked herself to death.
France is concerned about workers becoming more and more connected to work, online, outside of the office and outside of office hours. France also seems to be taking the lead in legislating to correct the balance between work and life. The French believe that if you limit the amount of overwork, you also limit the amount of burnout and in the process, increase productivity on the job.
France takes the forward-looking position that it is beneficial for people to have downtime away from work. The French believe that workers have the right to draw a line when employers demands interfere with evenings or weekends at home and even vacation time.
So France passed a new provision in the Labor Law that requires companies with over 50 employees, to negotiate new rules to limit work and keep it from spilling into days off and after work hours. Labor consultants have suggested that one way to limit after-hours work is to avoid the ‘reply all’ function on group emails. That way, only one person, not everyone, has to read and respond to each email.
Another suggestion to achieve better work/life balance is to set a time limit for work communications. Some firms have designated the hours from 9 PM to 7 AM or 7 PM to 7 AM as off-limits to employers.
This makes sense to me and is easy to enforce.
In Germany, in 2013, The Labor Ministry ordered its supervisors not to contact employees outside of office hours. In 2011, Volkswagen shut off their BlackBerry servers at the end of the workday.
In Britain, they are studying the use of commuting time for work by employees with long train rides twice a day. They are looking to include commuting time as hours worked since employees are still accessible to employers online on their way to and from work.
Several other European countries are proposing changes in work rules that take long commutes into account. A European Tribunal last year decided a court case that could change how work hours are calculated across the continent. It ruled that in Norway, some employees can count their commutes as work time. The ruling acknowledged that as long as you are at the disposal of your employer, you are technically at work.
Recently, France’s highest court ordered a British company to pay an employee $70,000 after the company required employees to have their phones on at all times. They were expected to answer questions from clients and subordinates at any time, day or night.
The right to disconnect is becoming a battle cry for workers all over the world. We have to learn to balance the new technologies with human values and reasonable lifestyle choices. Permanent access doesn’t mean people should have to work all the time.
It will be interesting to see how these issues get resolved in the years to come.
When I think of grubby, I think “three years old and covered with sticky apple juice.” But today, cleaning around my sink, I realized parts of my world have gotten grubby too and are likely to get more so as time chugs on.
Keeping your house clean used to be a normal part of life. You just did it because it was that time again. You fit it in between work and hanging out and that was it. But with the passage of time, it gets harder to do even the easy things and impossible to do the harder things.
So what do you do? Do you give up? If you can’t afford someone to give you a hand, what’s your other choice?
And if someone has an answer, let me know! Because I haven’t found any answers yet.
Intuition – the sure knowledge that even though your husband swears he cleaned the bathroom, it isn’t clean. Bet on it. How can a man who is so personally fastidious be oblivious to the dirt all around him? Is this a guy thing? Some weird part of the male psyche?
I’m not an especially dedicated house cleaner. I’m one of the “good enough for company” school of cleaning. Vacuum the dog hair and clumps of dust. Wash the kitchen floors. Vacuum the dust wherever you see it and every once in a while, go nuts and actually dust a few things. Not everything. I’m physically not up to a full top to bottom cleaning anymore.
I used to put on a round of “Credence Clearwater Revival” and push my way through a 9-room house in about 2-1/2 hours. Now, that same amount of time I can do the living room, hallway, and kitchen. It takes a lot longer to do the same stuff I used to do without even thinking about it.
Intuition is also knowing how much I can do without exhausting myself and winding up sick.
Let me return to the beginning of this and talk about the nature of my kind intuition. It isn’t a “gut feeling” that “comes out of nowhere.” That “gut feeling” is an accumulation of a million bits of information you’ve collected over your years of life. The older you get, the more intuitive you become because you’ve collected more and more information. You may not even realize you’ve collected it.
I often say that I listen but more importantly, I listen to what is not said. What people fail to say is often the most important part of the conversation. Silences are louder than shouting, sadder than falling tears.
When I used to do horoscopes, if I was reading in the presence of the person who was paying me, I got hundreds of “tells.” The widening of an eye, a tic of the cheek. A tightening of a hand. A jittery foot. In the end, I always preferred to do initial readings without meeting the person. Because those tells can throw you off as much as put you on a trail. They can mean something related but very different than you think.
Sometimes people would start a reading asking me to “guess” or “intuit” their sun sign.
“Why?” I asked them. “Why use all that energy when I can just ask you? You know, there’s a lot more to astrology than your sun sign. Depending on how the orbs are arranged, other things may be much more important in your life than where the sun is placed.
No one ever believed me. Too many astrology columns in the newspapers of the world.
I know a lot about people, often from brief conversations. I am particularly amused by “anonymous” bloggers who think no one knows anything about them. I don’t know how much money you have, but I know a ton of other stuff. How? The words you use. The subjects you pick to write about. The flow of your words. The authors you love or hate. The places you visited.
Do I know your name and address? No, but I’m sure I could find out. The Internet is good that way. You can dig out data about anyone and anything. I don’t because it isn’t critical to me. I don’t need to know if you choose to not offer the information. Anyone who chooses anonymity will not be a real friend because anonymity screams one thing loud and clear: “DON’T GET TOO CLOSE!”
Gotcha. I observe borders. I hear what you are saying, what you won’t say, wish you could say. Are afraid to say.
It’s everything I’ve read, seen, done, experienced. Live, loved. The more you live, the more intuition you gain.
I live in New England and it is where I always wanted to live. I think I originally had a more northern destination in mind, but the requirements of work brought us originally to the Boston area and eventually, out to this valley.
When I dream of the glory of a New England autumn, I dream of Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and Maine. It is beautiful here, too, but up there … it’s breathtaking.
I’m sure the leaves are already changing there.
Up by Jackman, Maine, the weather is changing now and the leaves are turning. Someone asked me about the place and I dug up some information.
This is one of the most undeveloped areas in New England. It is poor and while there are some “resorts” there, it never developed the other places have. Partly, it’s because it is so far from anything else. Jackman is a tiny town. Not much work. A bit down on its luck.
Any number of attempts have been made to make the place more desirable to tourists, but except for anglers, it’s just incredibly beautiful. And relatively inexpensive, if you don’t mind driving many hours up into the mountains. It doesn’t hurt to have a pretty sturdy little car with four-wheel drive, either.
And some good camera equipment. There are bear and moose are everywhere. There are a lot of signs along the road warning you to be very careful. Moose plus car in a collision will probably kill the moose AND all the people in the car. They are really huge animals and this is one of the places they like.
Moose like bitterly cold temperatures. Any time it gets much above freezing, as far as the moose are concerned, it is too warm. The colder it is, the happier they are.
This is what the state of Maine says about the area:
Attean Pond is one of four large bodies of water in the Moose River drainage to the west of Jackman. More than 40 islands are found in the pond. With 1 exception of a set of commercial C:1mps on some of these islands, the area remains undeveloped. Sally Mountain to the north, Attean Mountain to the west, and rolling hills to the east and southeast complete a scenic background to the pond environment.
The shoreline of Attean Pond varies greatly in composition, providing a diversity of habitat types. Some areas consist of rock and ledge, others are gravelly, some weedy. Among these, several fine sandy beaches are available.
There are a number of good campsites around the pond, which are often utilized by people making the popular Moose River “Bow Trip.” Attean Pond is the beginning and end of this 30-mile canoe trip. A one-mile carry trail connects the western end of Attean with Boleb (?) Ponds, which then provides access to the Moose River and the opportunity to return to Attean.
Wild populations of brook trout and salmon are present in Attean Pond. However, large areas of shallow water are marginal habitat for these cold water game fish during the summer months. Of the total area, only about 600 acres have water deeper than 20 feet. In addition, large populations of yellow perch, suckers, and minnows compete for the available food supply. This further limits the potential for brook trout production.
The best spawning and nursery areas for the salmon and trout are found in tributaries to the Moose River several miles upstream from Attean Pond. The Moose River, both as a tributary and the outlet:
Maximum depth – 55 feet
Principal Fishery: Salmon, Brook trout
Surface – 70°F.
50 feet – 48°F.
Surveyed – August. 1956 – Revised 1977 (** They could probably use a newer version!)
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Published under Appropriation No. 4550
A Contribution of Dingell-Johnson Federal Aid Project F-28-P,
Maine and other small brooks that flow directly into the pond offer few areas that are suitable for spawning. or that could recall large numbers of small salmon or trout.
Lake trout are occasionally caught in Attean Pond. These have moved upstream from Big Wood Pond, where they are stocked. and dwell in a small area of deep water al the western end of the pond. Because of the competition from non-game species, especially yellow perch, brook trout management through stocking is now impractical.
Under existing conditions, wild trout should continue to provide a small fishery. Lake trout can utilize the non-game fish as forage, but it is unlikely that a sizeable lake trout population could be maintained. Management for this species is precluded by the small amount of deep, cold, well-oxygenated water available in the western end of the pond.
Thus, at present, Attean Pond is best suited for salmon. A smelt population provides the forage necessary to sustain this species and salmon are perhaps more inclined than brook trout to travel long distances up the Moose River to the 10 spawning areas in its tributaries.
Small numbers of marked hatchery salmon will be stocked to supplement the wild population. Their growth and contribution to sport fishing will be followed via information from anglers.
Area – 2,745 acres
Yellow perch have become established in the drainage. They have adversely affected the Quality of fishing in Attean Pond in recent years. There should be no introductions of new fish species that could adversely affect the existing trout and salmon populations in Attean Pond, or the management of other waters in the drainage. Minnows, Lake chub, Fall fish (chub), Creek Chub, Common shiner, Cusk, Salmon, Brook trout (squaretail), Lake trout (togue), yellow perch, Smelt, White sucker, Longnose sucker
ATTEAN TWP., SOMERSET CO
AREA 2745 ACRES
This is a fabulous place for a photo vacation. Rough and undeveloped land — with plenty of wildlife and an autumn to die for.
I wish we were going, but it’s too much driving for us these days.
Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.