Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen – Three at the Bridge

Three sleeping PBGVs (Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen) from left to right, Tinker, Griffin, and Pagan. Now at the Bridge. I hope you have the comfiest sofas for your naps.

Once upon a time, we had three furry noisy smelly hounds called PBGVs, or Petites … or, correctly, Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen. Shaggy long-backed short-legged French rabbit hounds. They were funny and smart and had the most musical … and loud … voices I’ve ever heard. Tinker was insanely destructive till the day she passed. Griffin was a cuddly and always ready to entertain you. He loved to make you laugh. Pagan was the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. They’ve all passed on … Pagan way too early for causes unknown, the other two in their time. The house is cleaner and quieter, but no dog will ever make me laugh like Griffin the clown could make me laugh, or be as totally weird as Tinker was, or as passionate about nap time as Pagan was. We’ll always miss them and never forget them.

Posters

Like many photographers, I’ve experimented with manipulating images to look like paintings, posters, line drawing, and other art forms.  These three came out nicely, I think. I don’t know if they are photographs anymore. I think after a sufficient amount of manipulation, it may be photography based art, but it’s no longer photography per se.

This is a marshy area along the Blackstone River. It’s a manipulated image that intentionally resembles a poster.

The roof on an old mansion not far from home.

Definitely poster style! Black-eyed Susans, one of my favorite wild flowers.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Until I started using Facebook, I honestly never much worried about the zombie apocalypse. naiveté? Maybe.

I was only funning when I originally posted this. I didn’t realize that the zombies are already here and are trying to take over by pretending to be politicians and legitimate candidates for the Presidency, Senate, and other high offices. Well, should they actually succeed in their attempted coup, we are all in trouble because zombies … well, you know what Those People are like.

Indeed, I had focused on other things … the Republican Party taking over both houses of Congress … lack of health care … pollution of our environment … destroying rain forests … extinction of species … whether or not I was going to survive cancer …  and if I’d be able to afford to have a roof over my head. That was before I realized that I really was worrying about the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. It isn’t just “coming.” It’s here. I hadn’t gotten the right message.

Knowing we are in danger, when I learned that this property is available, I knew I held the key to survival in my virtual hand. I relaxed, my mind suddenly at peace. Because I really care about all of you my friends and acquaintances, let’s get together and build a safe haven.

The Big Attack is coming. That is what December 21st is about! Zombies running the world. Oy vay.

For those of you with the foresight to recognize a bargain when you see one, this is it. I’ve included a picture to whet your appetite and a link so you can check it out in greater detail.

I feel so much better now that I’ve shared and solved the biggest problem facing the world today.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-perfect-house-for-surviving-a-zombie-apocalyps

TGIF

Oh yeah!

catnipoflife

Echoes from the Past. . .

Remember When

Rock ‘n’ Roll, American Bandstand, the Beetles—
Teenage idols, legends in their own time
Sound and vibrations shook the world
Music made both young and old unwind

James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, J.F.K.—
Icons that ultimately shaped a nation
Lives ended in tragedy
Memories live on in admiration

Jonathan Winters, Bob Hope, Red Skelton—
Stand up comedy in side-splitting form
I Love Lucy resonated clowning around
Hearts remained rosy and warm

Life seemed so much simpler then
Bop Shu Bop Shu Bop, newly waxed gym floors, sock hops
Change was left in your pocket
Enough for drive-in movies, popcorn and soda pops

Remember when life was uncomplicated
Friends hung around to help with life’s collisions
The price of gasoline was under a dollar
Mom and Pop made all the decisions

 

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I don’t care what you say. I’m damned proud to be…

 I have to preface this with a story. It has absolutely nothing to do with the intent of this post, but it’s true and I wish I’d had the wit to record it. In this post, I have included two hymns I love: Simple Gifts and Amazing Grace. I was just about to call it a night and toddle off to bed  (it’s after 2AM), but decided to play Amazing Grace one more time. I couldn’t resist the chance to sing along. The moment I began to sing, all four of my dogs began to sing with me. Trust me, there is nothing quite like a chorus consisting of Judy Collins and her chorus, me, and four dogs: one dachshund, a large shaggy Australian Shepherd, a Scottie, and one puzzled Norwich Terrier who is just discovering her voice — I believe this is the first time she has joined the choir. In addition to being deafening, it was absolutely hilarious, a perfect commentary from my very own furry peanut gallery. If I was feeling excessively proud of my literary efforts, the dogs put me firmly in my place!

Pride is not a virtue. It also makes you stupid.

If you are proud to be a Christian, proud to be an American, proud of being righteous, you are a contradiction in terms and a sinner to boot. So there.

I’m not sure I believe in sin, but I do believe in right and wrong, good and evil. Is pride sinful? If you believe in sin, yes it is. But even if you don’t, pride confers a sense of privilege and superiority that is never justified.

Thrown out of Heaven for the sin of pride. Oops. That first step was a long one.

Pride evaporates free will. Proud people are poor listeners and make bad decisions for the wrong reasons.

Pride makes you think you are in control of your world when you’re not. I’ve said it before: We are passengers on the bus, not the driver. We control nothing but our pride makes us believe we are in control … so long as the bus is traveling where we want to go. When it veers off in another direction, we are devastated.

Being on the bus that is life gives us a choice: we can enjoy the ride and the company of other passengers, or shout imprecations at the driver for failing to take us where we planned to go. Trust me. It won’t help. Your world will be better if you sit back and relax. It may not be the trip you planned, but it’s the only one you’ve got.

How can something that feels so good be wrong? Damn, but pride feels great.

It brings down kings and emperors. It has caused the collapse of corporations, nations, and empires. It caused Lucifer to be ejected from Heaven. Pride got human beings kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Rather more recently, it brought down Roger Clemens and Richard Nixon. All they had to do was own up to their bad behavior, but they were too proud and down they went.

Pride keeps nations in wars they can’t win for decades, destroying entire cultures and costing tens of thousands of lives. Pride blinds you to the truth about yourself, your country, your leaders.

Pride of country, pride of family, pride in ones importance, talents and abilities: In what ways do these improve the world or your life? The prouder you are, the harder you’ll fight to keep that pride intact, defying logic and reason. Pride makes you misjudge situations and people, distorts your ability to distinguish right from wrong, and muffles the voice of your conscience. It makes you greedy, arrogant, easy to manipulate, and self-destructive. It has the same effect on nations.

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas called Pride “inordinate self-love (that) is the cause of every sin (1,77) … the root of pride is found to consist in man not being … subject to God and His rule.”

Are you still standing proud?

Pride is defined as an excessive belief  in one’s own abilities and by extension, in the righteousness of ones causes, the rightness of ones country, the value of ones self or work, the importance of ones family. It interferes with our ability to recognize the grace of God. When Jesus said “the meek shall inherit the Earth,” he meant what he said. He didn’t make any exceptions for patriots, rich folk, or Republicans.

Pride is insidious, the sin from which all others arise. Unlike other sins which are obviously wicked or downright icky, pride feels so right, so good, so true. If you are proudly defending your country, you are already in trouble. By definition.

One afternoon when I was living in Jerusalem, a friend of mine and I climbed up on the parapets of the ruins of a Crusader castle on the southern edge of the city. It offered a fabulous view of the old Roman road that winds up the mountain past Hadassah Hospital.

I said to my friend: “They built these castles and they are just piles of stone. Where are the Romans, the Crusaders now?”

“Oh,” she said, “You know where they are. They are exactly where we will be in a few centuries. Dead and forgotten.”

I rest my case.

Morning in summer …

Just after sunrise, the sun low in the sky.

Morning. Although I want to sleep late, I almost never do. On summer mornings, I drink my coffee and watch the early sun filter through my woods. Each day, the world is made anew.

The sun has risen higher in the sky. It’s about 7:30 in the morning.

Cat Stevens’ rendition of this traditional Christian hymn is beautiful, as is the presentation. I ask that you please leave your prejudices behind. It is a beautiful song of praise.

it is the bonus you get if you arise early. Late sleepers, make an occasional exception and see the world in a different light.

And now, coffee finished, the sun is high in the sky and the day has begun.