Three pictures using impressionist, graphic, and HDR styling.
Last night, I spent close to an hour looking for something that was exactly where it was supposed to be. It was on the correct shelf, right in front. Nothing was hiding it. It wasn’t behind something or turned the wrong way.
I looked there — twice — and I couldn’t see it. So I looked in all the other places I might possibly have put an unopened package of medication. There’s a cupboard in the kitchen where some stuff is stored. There’s a rack in the bathroom where other supplies are kept. Otherwise, it’s either my medicine cabinet or the cabinet over the john.
I searched the kitchen thoroughly, in the process finding and tossing out several bottles and tubes of prehistoric stuff that had to be at least a decade old and which I didn’t know I still had. But, I didn’t find what I was looking for.
Finally, I began to question if the container for which I was looking existed at all. I thought I’d bought two bottles of this stuff. It’s not expensive, so I would normally buy a couple of them at a time and stash the spare in my cupboard. But maybe I only thought I’d bought a spare. Maybe there was only one.
Before tucking myself into bed, I made a final pass at the cabinet over the toilet, my default location for storing non-prescriptions medications and cosmetics. There it was. Right in the middle. Where I had looked at least three times during the past hour.,
Despite my tendency to blame it on the dogs or on supernatural wee people, I suspected my eyes had been blind to the container. In a bright yellow box.
In bed, I told Garry I had just spent nearly an hour looking for something that was where it was supposed to be and where I had looked multiple times.
He was sympathetic. “Yes,” he said, “It happens.” So. Is it my eyes refusing to see what’s obviously there? Or is my brain unable (temporarily) to register information?
Or maybe … it really is those pesky, wee brownies, fairies, and pixies messing with me.
Yesterday, it was warm, bright, sunny and just a little bit humid. I was under the impression it was Thursday, but I woke up today and realized today is Saturday. The rain I thought was at least 24-hours away is already closing in.
It was sunny when I first woke up this morning. I saw no reason to get up at six in the morning, so I went back to bed and when I got up, the sun was gone. The sky was gray. The weather had moved on. But I looked out my kitchen window and I saw a bright daylily.
I was sure they would start to bloom soon. I thought they would bloom yesterday. Instead, they waited for today, so before I even got my coffee, I took myself outside to get some pictures. I think later it will rain and since it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, too … well … today was my picture day.
Movement. Amazing the changes that can take place overnight. I’ve lived through a warm spring day and woken to a blizzard. I’ve watched the sun blaze all morning, watched the movement of the clouds as they cover the sky and the sun disappears. Then heard and seen the first fat drops fall on the deck. A complete movement of the weather, sometimes in as little as half an hour from bright summer day to gloomy grey and rain.
I’m counting on it.
There’s a German word that has been adopted in Yiddish and Hebrew that means exactly this. The Urban Dictionary had a definition, which was a surprise. I didn’t know the word had crept into English.
A German or Yiddish word used in English because there’s no precise English equivalent. It is variously translated as unexpectedly, just to spite, despite everything, whaddayaknow, of course, just my luck, in fact, actually.
Basically, it’s an adverb which captures the essence of Murphy’s Law, “because of course, something HAS to go wrong.”
Notes and Usage:
Davka generally precedes the subject: “The one day I get to uni early, davka my class was canceled!”
It can also show up after the subject: “The one day I get to uni early, davka I left my pen at home!” or “I only had time to study the first 3 chapters for the exam. Davka the essay was in chapter 4!” or “For the first hour of the movie, I was fine. As soon as the exciting part started, davka I had to go to the toilet!” or “I leave my car for just 5 minutes. Davka I get a parking ticket!”
by AndreRD June 04, 2013
“Doesn’t it just figure … (fill in the blank).”
Examples include personal items like:
- You delay your picnic a day or two because you think the grey weather is going to get better, but the days that come are far worse than the one from which you delayed.
- You go out of your way to “do the right thing” and somehow, everything goes wrong and you wind up arrested by the cops or sued or some other terrible results.
- You’ve just been divorced. You figure you’re finally past the point of childbearing and anyway, you quite enough children. But doesn’t it figure, the person with whom you fall in love also has a few kids.
You can have the same results politically. You vote for an outsider because the insiders are totally corrupt. The outsider is far worse than the people you ousted. Davka!
In Hebrew, Yiddish, and German, it’s “Davka.”
When a situation arises like that, you can skip a lot of explanation and just say, “Davka.”
For a while, when I moved to Israel, I thought my name was “Davka.” I had to have it explained that it was a contextual statement. I wasn’t personally “Davka,” but because I had shown up, a lot of other things became “Davka.”
What I discovered yesterday is that our problem vis-a-vis finding really great care for our aging dogs is a bad case of “Davka.” Not merely does it turn out to be a common problem, but it’s one of those essentially insoluble problems. Even if you have the funds to board your dog, they don’t like being boarded. No matter how good the facility is, being caged is being caged, even if it’s only part of the time.
My conclusion? We might as well vacation now. It’s going to be more difficult with each passing year. More difficult for the aging dogs and just as difficult with our aging selves.
I got to thinking about what my world would look like if I (personally) got rid of everyone who isn’t white enough for this current America. I would have to remove my husband — and all my friends. And my entire family. After which I’d have to go, too. I may be white, but Jewish isn’t really white.
Not merely is this a bad idea, it is impossible. People love to talk about this country as if we are (kind of) akin to Germany, and SCROTUS is (kind of) a version of Hitler. Except … in Germany, the different people were a relatively small number in a country where most people were the same. It was a homogeneous country. Which made it easy to pick out the ones who were different.
That was true all over Europe. It was easy to figure out who were the “different” ones. In most European countries, it’s still true.
Germany in the 1920s and 1930s was nothing like this country.
SCROTUS isn’t Hitler.
The United States isn’t Germany.
The number of not-white people in this country is larger than the number of whites. Yes, you heard me correctly. If you are one of the people who believe that facts mean anything, take a look at the numbers.
This is just the beginning. Not only do we have a lot of non-white citizens from everywhere in the world, but people marry each other. They will continue to marry, have children and eventually, the current madness will vanish and never come back.
None of this means anything. It’s nonsense. Utter crap.
The world is full of hate but in the end, haters are losers.
Eventually, we will all be some shade of slightly off-white, medium tan, or terribly freckled. We aren’t getting rid of most of our population. Really.
I really hate it when everyone starts to yell at each other. It’s like a big family squabble on Thanksgiving — the kind you see in the movies about what’s wrong with the holiday — and I can’t hear a thing. Maybe there was a time when I could pick individual statements from a mad clatter of voices, but if there was such a time (and I’m not sure there ever was), it has long since passed.
The first one is that this was an awful presentation, poorly thought out. It allowed almost no one to say anything clearly without interruption and was often a literal scrambling of candidates to get a word in edgewise or any other way.
Also, those who show the least likelihood of becoming a viable candidate (and you know who you are) should run for a different office. Senate, if possible because as much as we need a new President, we desperately need at the very least an evenly divided Senate. If your state has no available senate seat, how about Governor, or Mayor of the largest city that needs a mayor?
These are important offices too. They have a lot of clout. We can only have one president, but if the candidates spread out and get elected to the Senate, Congress, Governorship, Mayors races, we will have power in many different places and that would be a good thing.
I was surprised at the intelligence of most of the candidates. To be fair, Trump has set the bar so low, it isn’t hard to step over it.
I love Elizabeth Warren, but I loved her before she took the stage. She is our Senator and I’m proud at how well she stands up for us. That Trump is always trying to cut her down to size is as far as I’m concerned, in her favor. If he weren’t pissed off, I’d have to assume she lacked sufficient status to earn his wrath.
It is a sad commentary, isn’t it? We take the negative comments of our so-called president as compliments and relish them. If he hasn’t made up a fake name for you, you don’t really count.
Julian Castro surprised me. He was intelligent, clear, and collected. He was a good speaker — especially given the clawing and scratching the format required of all the candidates.
Beto O’Rourke seemed lost. On Colbert, Chris Christie commented (I hate agreeing with him) that he was like the kid who didn’t do his homework and hoped the teacher wouldn’t call on him. Oops. While he wasn’t a total embarrassment, he didn’t shine.
I understand that this was basically a 4-hour “say hi to the audience and say a few words” introduction, but it wasn’t well done. Aside from the multiple technical gaffs (shame on you, NBC), four hours was not enough time to even properly introduce each candidate. Not even enough time for each of them to have five minutes to speak on his or her own behalf — UNINTERRUPTED.
Returning now to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. Okay, so she was the second little black kid to be bused in California. What Biden never got to say, but which is the truth — and Garry has a couple of Emmys for covering this event in Boston — busing didn’t work. However well-intentioned it was, it did not succeed for black or white students.
Biden was against it and he was RIGHT. She got picked as one of the first children in that fight, but it was a bad fight. It was a losing fight for everyone. He never got to explain his opposition and she was busy being an effective prosecutor.
Do we need another prosecutor running the country? She might make a good U.S. Attorney General, but president? It’s not just about getting your best and most memorable jab in. That’s what we currently have. We need something better, more thoughtful, reasoned, and less single-issued.
What impressed me? That for the most part, everyone agreed on most of what I think are the important issues. From health care to treating immigrants like human beings to making sure that “regular people” can earn enough money working one job to support themselves and their family. There was minimal disagreement on the basics. I thought it was a pity we couldn’t run a bunch of them as a group.
Personally, I agree a combination of private and public health care works well in many countries. Once health insurers are required to compete with a vital public sector, it’s amazing how effective they can be and how quickly their attitudes change.
About half the “nominees” need to find other places to run for office. Of the remaining half, we need sensible debates where people can say something. Asking any candidate for office to sum up anything in a one or two-word answer is ridiculous. It was stupid from the get-go. The debates suffered and we (the audience) suffered.
The moderators kept promising they would get back to individuals, but they never did. These should have been spread out over at least four night, not two. It was unfair to everyone, especially me.
And for heaven’s sake, whoever does the next debates, get your best technical people on the job. Our college radio station did better work than NBC!
“Holy shit,” I said to no one at all. “That really HURTS.”
I was referring to my back and left hip (aka “the good one”). It was early. Although morning often is accompanied by stiffness and pain, I don’t normally wake up with quite such a jolt.
Rolling slowly out of bed, I tried to remember what I’d been dreaming about. Something about cats made of smoke and a clothesline that was part of a computer game. And a shrink who offered to scratch my back, but couldn’t find the right spot.
The phone rang. Of course.
I looked at the caller ID. It showed a local number. It was not a local call. Scamming technology shows local numbers on my Caller ID including my own number. I’m pretty sure I’m not calling myself.
I answered the phone in what has become my typical surly morning greeting: “Who are you and what do you want?” There was no response. A bit of crackle on the line, but no voice. Not even a recording. I hung up. More accurately, pressed the OFF key.
It has been a long time since I expected a ringing telephone to herald a call from a friend. I don’t even expect it to be a return call from someone with whom I do business. I expect all calls to be scams, surveys, or sales pitches.
All the calls I get are recorded messages. I can’t even insult the caller or his company. That used to be the only positive side to these endless calls from anonymous people. Even that small pleasure is gone.
I have utterly abandoned good telephone manners. Telephones are not a way to communicate unless I’m making the call. Otherwise, it’s annoying and intrusive — another attempt to steal personal data so someone can hack our accounts, steal our identity, or scam us in some other way.
I can’t make them stop calling because they never call from the same number twice and the number that shows on the Caller ID is fake. There’s nothing to report. NOMOROBO dot com has considerably limited the volume of calls, but nothing eliminates them. Somehow, they get your number. When I ask how they got it — assuming there’s someone to ask — they tell me they got my telephone number from a form I filled out “online.”
Except, I never do that. I do not fill in forms online and anything which requires I include a phone number. I tell everyone I don’t have a mobile phone.
I actually do have a smartphone. I just don’t use it.
As part of the day’s epiphanies, I realized how technology steals pieces of our lives. There’s nothing wrong with the technology. It is neither good nor bad; it is what it is. It’s what people do with it that’s can be life-stealing. Those People have ruined telephones for me, probably forever.
Unwanted telephone calls may seem a minor detail in view of the many awful things going on in our world these days, but I can remember waiting with pleasant anticipation for the phone to ring. It wasn’t that long ago.
Or was it?
I love angles in black & white. Please forgive me if I reuse a few favorite pictures I love so much, I just have to use them.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to take a real vacation — relatively locally but in a rich and wonderful part of the country.
I have always loved Pennsylvania, especially this area — the foothills of the Poconos. It would be a real joy to get to know these people personally, too. Online is lovely … but person-to-person can’t is the best.
The problem is dogs.
We have three. That we have three makes little difference because really, the problem is our two Scottish Terriers, both of whom are now 13 and beginning to show their years. They are small, so they don’t age as fast as bigger dogs, but Bonnie’s eyesight is diminishing and Gibbs is getting a bit deaf. He used to come running for treats as soon as he heard the lid lifted from the treat box. Now, he falls into a sleep so deep it takes several loud calls for him to first wake up and then to realize he’s being called and why.
Gibbs isn’t the problem. Neither is wacko Duke. Yelling a little louder is not a big deal and Duke has calmed down to a point where while he’s a bit too crazy to take visiting, he’s good around the house. And he’s clean. He has never made a mess in the house from the day we got him.
Bonnie and Gibbs are a different story. Because both of them were trained to go out whenever they wanted to via the doggy door, they don’t tell you when they need to go out. They simply go. They don’t give us any indication of what they want. They are self-trained — which is fine in this house but not so fine in other people’s houses.
We have been trying to find some ingenious way to get Bonnie’s eyes properly taken care of while we are away. Owen will always make sure they are fed, spend at least an hour or so with them to keep them for getting too lonesome … and manage to squeeze two visits a day into their lives (and do Bonnie’s eyes while he is there). This is quite a trick considering he works a lot of hours.
We had been thinking about just taking Bonnie with us. That way, we’d know her eyes were getting the care they need. But if we take her with us, she will have me or Garry up by dawn. She requires an early morning cookie and a trip outside. Then she’ll have me up a couple of hours later again.
She is nearly blind, we would have to keep her on a lead — which she does NOT like because unlike home, she can’t feel her way around the house. In her mind, she has never lived anywhere else. From 9 weeks to thirteen years is a complete life for a dog. She knows every inch of the house, where all the furniture is, even where the step stool she uses to get up on the sofa stands.
In another house, she would need to find everything for the first time. Since she has always felt that leashes were something for Other Dogs, she is unlikely to take kindly to being led around.
First I figured we would take her with us. Now I’m rethinking it. If we are going to get any rest and relaxation, taking her will make that impossible.
Not taking her is also worrisome.
I’ve been trying to figure out some ingenious way of making this work for her and us. I’m coming up empty.
The only place we could board her — assuming we could afford to do that at all — would be the veterinarian because her eyes need care. Owen will do the best he can, but he does work a full week and there’s only so much we can expect from him.
So here’s where I ask for ideas. No “dog walking” service in Uxbridge and Kaity is finally attending college — a commuter school — so she already has her hands full.
If Bonnie’s eyes were only cleaned and lubricated twice a day instead of three times a day for a week, would that be catastrophic? I know none of the dogs like when we are away, but much as I love them. sometimes we need to be elsewhere and this is one of those times.
Thoughts? Suggestions? I’m not sure there is a right answer, but if anyone has a creative thought, I’m listening!
The battle over immigration is going all over the world. It is uglier and crueler here than elsewhere but make no mistake. European countries are turning away immigrants as energetically as we are — just without the cages for children. Their reasons are the same. There are so many immigrants and they need so much help, no country wants to be responsible for their welfare. Or pay their tab.
There are a lot of countries at war, in the process of “ethnically cleansing” their population, or rife with drug cartels slaughtering whoever they feel like slaughtering. It’s going on in all continents throughout the world.
We may well be a particularly disgusting example of refugee rejection, but we are hardly alone. Until the international community gets together and fixes the problems that are driving people out of their native lands seeking refuge anywhere, no matter how improbable the likelihood of their succeeding, it will never end. Are we, as a nation, being less compassionate and meaner-spirited than other nations?
Probably. I am pretty sure we are the only country jailing children.
It’s a matter of degree. Moreover, we seem to be the only place in the western hemisphere to which the refugees are headed. Where is Canada? Where are the other countries in South America? Where are the Europeans, Asians, and everyone else? Are they opening their borders?
I know we have a hateful, bigoted president who should never have been elected and I’m proud to say I didn’t vote for him, would never vote for him or anyone like him. But this current frenzy didn’t start because Trump is the president. It has been building for years and no one has had any idea how to fix it.
The bottom line is making the countries from which all these people are fleeing habitable and safe for them. Until we can make that happen, the problem will persist without remission. Maybe our next president won’t jail children, but he won’t be inviting the refugees into this country either.
Obama deported many immigrants. Millions of them. He was just a nicer guy than Donzo. But he didn’t want them either. No one at the helm of this country — or any country — will allow millions of destitute refugees into their country.
They may be nicer about how they say no, but they will say no.
I usually can’t find this challenge until it’s a week old. Remarkably, I was able to find Cee’s entry and track it down that way. I have to go check my “Reader” and see why this isn’t showing up. Actually, the problem is that I have so much email from posts, advertisements, political stuff, news and occasionally, a real message from a personal friend (!!) — I’m surprised I ever find anything.
As it happens, I have some good oddballs this week and am glad to be able to use them!
Both of these were taken by Garry. They are Rich and I are standing in front of the locks that control the Blackstone Canal in Uxbridge. The two formidably large locks have been subject of a lot of my photographs. I’ve been trying to get a decent picture of them for years, but I never found the right angle.
Garry found it. So this is me (Marilyn), Rich Paschall (visiting from Chicago) in light rain in front of the big metal locks on the widest section of the canal.
So even though I’m writing it, this is actually Garry’s photo blog since he took both pictures. Finally, a couple of decent shots of the locks!
The garden is full of buds but not full of blossoms.
The only thing in bloom are a few wildflowers. They seem to have popped up from nowhere, at least they are blooming, which is more than I can say for any of the flowers.
If the rest of the week is not entirely rainy, we will have flowers and a lot of them at that. Meanwhile, here are the little wild asters. I have always been very fond of them.
Dainty, sweet little flowers.
For a guy who doesn’t believe in a god or gods, Mr. Fandango seems a bit obsessed with the issue of god or gods.
His weekly question, based on a statement by Thomas Jefferson, is:
I have always thought it doesn’t matter a bit what you believe in as long as you aren’t beating me over the head to believe it too. I resent dedicated atheists exactly as much as I resent dedicated evangelists. I want you — whatever you believe — to leave me out of it. Believe what you want. There is absolutely NO PROOF OF ANY KIND whether there is or is not a god or gods nor any proof of an afterlife.
What you believe is what you believe. What is more, I don’t have to agree with you, no matter what you believe. If I want to believe we are all reborn as fairies living under toadstools, who are you to argue the point? Do you know something I don’t know? If so, please enter your arguments for and against in the comments which follow this piece.
Why should you believe? Why should I? Because we — you or I — like the idea. We (do or do not) have faith in the idea. We (do or don’t) prefer the concept of heaven to the concept of permanent darkness.
Would it interest you to know that Judaism has nothing to say — at all — about the afterlife? There is nothing in the Torah about the afterlife. Nothing good, nothing negative, nothing at all. You can believe in Heaven and Hell, Reincarnation, total blackness until God calls everyone up for an accounting — or nothing. Actually, to be a Jew, you don’t (technically) even need to believe in God. You just need to follow the rules and your belief doesn’t matter.
If you convert to Judaism, no one will ask about your beliefs. They will ask if you agree to follow the laws, but not what or who or even if you believe in God, gods, or not.
Unlike Fandango, I know I am fascinated with the concept of God/no God/many Gods and faith/no faith/leap of faith. I’ve had a variety of very close encounters and if anyone has reason to believe, I should. I absolutely should. A pastor of my acquaintance asked me if I was waiting for a picture ID before I could accept faith and I thought about it for a while.
“Yes,” I said. “I think so.”
Part of it is having been raised by an atheist mother, a father who only believed if he thought he was going to die (soon) … and the rest of the time, it held no interest for him at all. I studied the subject in school, read mountains of books and still concluded that it’s a matter of faith and I seem to be a bit lacking in the faith department. I don’t disallow the possibility of a god or gods, but I am unsure. Unconvinced.
But definitely interested and particularly interested by the ideas of those who do believe. I want to know why they believe, what made them take that “leap” of faith? I get to the edge — regularly — but I never jump. Or if I do, it’s temporary. I don’t stay jumped. I always go back to the other side.
I guess I need the picture ID.
The horrors of the late 21st century were — as we all know — at the root of the collapse of hominids as Earth’s dominant species. It is a cautionary tale for every species — two, four, six, or eight-legged.
Insults to Earth had accumulated over many centuries. It would be unfair — and inaccurate — to lay the entire blame for the disaster on earth’s twenty-first-century humans. Nonetheless, it is equally impossible to excuse their failure to take measures that could have short-circuited the holocaust. To this day, their silence in the face of their dying planet is impenetrable to us.
The final breach of the planet’s integrity was the corporate sponsorship of “fracking.” Cracking the earth’s core caused major instability everywhere it was practiced. History tells of the violent earthquakes which destroyed entire regions. The loss of North America’s West Coast and the formation of the Kansas seacoast are permanent reminders.
One of our most popular exhibits is a virtual trip through the submerged cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you are interested in this tour, please sign up at the Activities desk in the lobby. Participation is by appointment only.
The birth of active and highly destructive volcanoes was another direct result of fracking. Newly born volcanoes burst from the ground in regions like New England and the Midwest. The desolation of cities and farmland, the concomitant poisoning of aquifers, wholesale elimination of other species, the demise of bees and other pollinators resulted in global defoliation and total crop failure.
Most noteworthy, the loss of the life-giving Amazon rain forests made it impossible for humankind to make a comeback as a species. I know there are those among you — especially our canine citizens — who mourn the loss of humans. We share your pain. We believe other cross-species relationships will fill that gap. Apes, monkeys, elephants and other creatures stand ready to help you through this difficult time.
Some progress has been achieved by reinventing tennis balls. Please note the big green ball bins located throughout this building. You are free to grab as many balls as you can carry in your jaws and are welcome keep them as souvenirs on your departure.
Despite the evidence before their eyes, human beings remained absorbed by their petty concerns. Hooked to devices and mobile gadgets, they ignored the world around them until the world was no longer there.
These artifacts from the peak of human inventiveness are a poignant reminder of what can happen to a dominant civilization. The banning of electronic communication (2074 and afterward) was insufficient to restore human culture. Even the replacement of internal combustion engines with vehicles powered by sun, wind –and in the case of dirigibles, hot air — were not nearly enough.
Too little, too late. How sad the community of nations failed to act in coördination until the glaciers had already eliminated so much that can never be restored.
We at the Hominid Overview of Lost Arts (HOLA) work to uncover remnants of human civilization wherever it lies buried. Whether under the glacial plains of Europe and North America or in the rubble pits of the Indian Subcontinent, our army of archeologists is ever-busy. Someday, we hope to understand the entirety of the calamity.
Please remember your company manners. Rude, annoying, loud, or obnoxious individuals will be forcibly ejected without warning.
Thank you, and welcome to HOLA!