Thursday, August 27, 2015


BBBH has waited if not patiently then desperately for her scooter to be operational.  Friday afternoon a trip to Kokomo, a lightening of the wallet to the tune of forty-five bucks for the part, a few minutes of time back home, and voila! she is a happy camper again.
The news is less encouraging on mine.  I'll probably have to ramp the thing onto the camper, cart it to Grandpa* who knows more than I do.  About scooters, that is.

*He calls himself "Grandpa" and the name of his business establishment is "Grandpa's."  But he's not as old as I.  By a few months.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Letter Today

The mail receptacles along our block are pretty much the standard you've-seen-one-you've-seen-them-all sort.  Most have a newspaper box on or near the post.  Quite ordinary stuff.

Some of the denizens, though, have undertaken to liven things up a bit, a little decor, in a manner of speaking.  This one is ours spruced up, or more accurately, yarrowed up with a bit of greenery and pretty white flowers most of the summer.

 This is the neighbor to the south.  Rocks and RoundupTM.
The neighbor next door eschews frivolity, lets the lawn grow around his post.  But the neighbor two doors to the north has the winning display in my opinion.  Perhaps my liking for portulaca influences this judge's selection.  For years in my prior residence we had a rose moss ground cover in the front yard flower bed.  Ir reseeded itself every year and thus required little maintenance.

The lady at this residence says she has no such luck.  She resets the bed each year.  It is a bit past its peak right now, but portulaca is so colorful and varied yet so uniform in height that one has to admire it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Butterflies and Heroes

A typical Millennial, she was not the least bit interested in anything that happened before her lifetime.  How could she have been?  The world did not exist before  her birth, nor would it survive after her demise. She is the world, there is none else, only transient and ephemeral players provided as if from her own imagination solely for her own pleasure and amusement.

The Butterfly Syndrome.  They are born, cocooned, break from their chrysalis, flit through an unthinking and unsatisfying life, seeking entertainment only, having no concept of the needs of others, nor indeed any concept of the existence of others outside the parameters of the above described amusement.

This could be an accurate portrayal of today's youth.

But it is not, for although there are those in this generation and there have been in every previous generation those who fit the stereotype there are many, perhaps many more who are caring, selfless, concerned for others; those who are determined to make a contribution to the greater good and not to themselves alone.

Most of these young people perform admirably, noticed by few.  Occasionally some of them take extraordinary action, achieving a purpose rising to the level of heroism  Such an example we saw this week in the three young Americans riding a fast train in France.  Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Alek Skarlatos found themselves unexpectedly at the center of a potential disaster when they disarmed and overpowered  a gunmen intent on murder and mayhem.  Rehearsing the story here would be redundant, for it has been widely aired, as is meet.

Yes, we see much that is disheartening and discouraging.  But I am not yet ready to concede that the human race is doomed.  There is hope.

Word of the day: ephemeral

The italicized clause in the opening paragraph is from The Festival of Insignificance, a novel by Milan Kundera.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tales of Two Insects

The damselfly entered our abode for no good reason other than that we had left the door open.  It did not know what it was getting into and unfortunately it did not find its way out.

We heard the creature whirring here and there in the living room and caught an occasional glimpse of a blur as it darted back and forth.  But we could neither identify nor capture it.

The next morning we found the creature dead on our living room carpet.  It had exhausted itself no doubt seeking an egress from the prison into which it had wandered.

Entirely too many people, lured by the inviting open doors of temptation, wander into a morass from which they cannot extricate themselves.  They may beat themselves into a frenzy seeking escape, but cannot find the way out.  God offers hope and a way of escape.

Psalm 40 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me,  and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. --KJV

In late afternoon's sunlight we found this cicada on the concrete driveway.  It was immobile and had the appearance of lifelessness.  But as I touched it gently its front leg twitched.  I picked it up and it immediately grasped my finger.

Clearly the creature had just emerged from its exoskeleton and was awaiting the drying of its wings so that it could begin its adventures as a winged insect.

Luckily it was I who found him and not a squirrel.  I placed him on a tree limb five feet above the ground.  Perhaps he will mate and procreate, thus providing insects and singing for us again in 2032.

Perhaps I have an over-active imagination, but I think the images on this beastie's back bear a striking resemblance to a Tlingit or Haida totem pole.  Maybe the totem was carved in imitation of the cicada.

Word of the day: egress.

Home :: Alaska Totem Poles :: Fog Woman Wall Hanging Totem Pole
I saw the "totem" on the cicada's back then found this image.
You may read the Tlingit legend of Fog Woman here.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hair Then and Now

Did anyone notice that my profile picture had changed to this?  This resulted from computer upgrades, loss of previous picture (temporarily) and a stab-in-the-dark attempt to find a replacement.

This photo takes twenty-one years off my physiognomy.  It was made in 1994.  BBBH does not like it and I like to think it is because of the facial hair,1 not because she wouldn't have liked me in '94.  But she did not know me then.

So, because she did not like it, and because I am a prince of a guy, I found the picture of the old me, the now me, and reverted back to this identifier.

If you could take twenty-one years off your appearance would you do it? I know some people who have made  the attempt.2  Pretty good results, too, so long as the collar is buttoned high and the sleeves go to the wrist.

I would not do it.  Yes, I know I look my age, crinkles and ridges and warts and all, and I am okay with that.  Besides I don't like pain.  Or unnecessary expenditure of resources.  Or who people might think I thought I was, doing such a thing.  Can't you just hear it?  "Who does he think he is?"

"As a beauty I'm not a great star. Others are handsomer far; but my face -- I don't mind it because I'm behind it; it's the folks out in front that I jar."  --A.H. Euwer, also attributed to Woodrow Wilson, and I heard my dad quote this from the time I was a boy.
Word of the day: physiognomy

1The goatee was grown as a part of Tipton's Sesquicentennial celebration.  It was shaved in the public square by Dave Hartley.of Hartley's Hair Salon.
2Did you hear about the plastic surgeon who could install a device in the scalp so that one could insert a clock key and get an instant tuneup?

Friday, August 21, 2015


This post is dedicated to Chuck as a follow-up to his coffee tutorial yesterday.  Read it here.
I am a master dues-paying member of this group .  Join us if you will.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I went from an elementary student myself on Tuesday to principal of an elementary school on Wednesday. That is a time warp that will give you whiplash.  So where today?

August 20, 2050.  My great-great-great grandson will start school today.  Of course brick-and-mortar, steel-and-glass schools exist only in the memories of a very few and dwindling number of people alive today. Books are remembered primarily as resource-wasting cumbersome items that required more storage space than the archaic and now useless knowledge contained in them merited. Of course, too, people had functional limbs called "legs" which enabled them to move from place to place.  Imagine that.  Well, how silly, and again wasteful of resources when all sustenance can so easily be piped into the cell in which this youngster lives; all waste and detritus piped out.  Knowledge, learning, lore: piped in through the ether.

Now imagine the first day of school.  It cannot be done.  Our history and understanding will not allow us to comprehend the world in which our progeny will live a mere three decades down the road.  Doubt me?  Think back three decades.  Do you have 1985 fixed in your mind? Now how does today look compared to that time?  Recognition through memory only and today's children cannot conceive of the primitive lifestyles we practiced a mere thirty and forty years ago, nor can we imagine the world of the really quite near future.

Of course, blessedly I won't be here to see 2050.


Word of the day: progeny.