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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blogger Enigma!!!

Dear companion bloggers,
This evening I was prompted to accept some changes in posting procedure by Google Blogger --little boxes with arrows that said things like this:
"Blogger Buzz

A first few tweaks toward a better Blogger

A Googler at Blogger Buzz - 36 minutes ago
From New York to Jakarta, Blogger is one of the most popular ways to publish the things you’re passionate about. Still, we’ve heard that there’s more we can do to make the platform a better place to have your unique voice be heard. So we’ll be making some adjustments over time to bring you a faster, easier to use and more beautiful Blogger. To kick things off, we’ve taken a crack at simplifying Blogger’s dashboard so that it’s easier for you to get right to the tools you need. Now, whenever you open Blogger, you’ll be taken right to your blog with the most recent post, putting you o... more »"   

I clicked a couple to get them clear and things went fine for a while.  Later, I found I had no administrative access to my 2 poetry blogs: Gardening With Geo,and Invalid's Workshop I don't know what Google is trying to do here but I resent it, and urge you not to click on prompts as hastily as I did --that's five hundred pages of my poems that seem to have been written in disappearing ink --like much of this strange century's written record. I still have some control over this blog, Trainride Of The Enigmas, but have no idea how long that will last or if my poetry blogs will be restored.  Yes, I have run a virus/malware etc. scan on my computer and it's clean. This is Google-doings.

If anyone has a suggestion as to what I might do to correct the problem, I'd be most appreciative. Until then, I'll ask your patience.

How Poems Get Their Titles

Below is a Normaphoto of me this past Wednesday writing a poem on a little tablet (at right elbow) furnished free by the Hospital. For reasons perhaps discernible to keen observer, I had tentatively entitled it Not My Finest Hour --but found myself scribbling it around a better title, also furnished free, "Quehaceres", Spanish for Tasks, subtitled "To do..."
Here is a picture of the first draft of "Quehaceres":

Then it occurred to me that it was a to-do list that got me into the fix I was in. It was Tuesday, the 15th, and I decided to attack the most frightening problem in the most frightening room of this crazy old farmhouse. The old w.c. wax flange had spread and failed. Water got into the subfloor. If that could be corrected before the holiday, there would be sincere thanksgiving ahead. I went out and bought a new neoprene gasket to replace the old wax one, some lumber and --in case of protracted inconvenience-- a "Lug-a-loo", much used and roundly hated by campers.

I only neglected some minor details. I am in my late 60s, asthmatic and run on a pacemaker tuned to music to relax by. It was well into evening before everything was braced up and tightened down --functional at least-- and I settled at the kitchen table to read a bit, kick back and gasp for breath.  Many years ago, a therapist taught me a breathing technique she guaranteed would make panic attacks impossible. It always worked too, so I tried it and had a panic attack. About 1 a.m., I was feeling a bit restless and decided an ambulance ride might calm me down --and, what the heck, why not visit ER for a few hours and see how things are going in ICU until Thursday?

Couple days ago, a perceptive and valued commenter at one of my poetry sites recognized neglect there and opined it was suffering from "drought".  This surpassed prior estimates (including Acidosis)  and was adopted as the title for the poem:            


Drought, it hides 
Out underfoot
In tortured roots,
Science, in art,
And doubt, faith
And overhead in
Dry trees where 
We seek the living
Sky from our knees.
So, let's remember, there's nothing wrong with "to-do" lists, but at certain stages of age and caducity their authors will find themselves rewarded by careful editing before leaping into action -- and thus avoid overdoing.  Or one might simply hire a contractor. In neither course can the effect of bathroom repairs on the enigma of poem titles be measured accurately without a survey of the entire universe. Something to keep in mind when tempted to "do-it-yourself". 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nature As A Second Language

Now that the election is over with --or is it?-- it is time to turn our attention to nature --yes, that area between the front door and the car. Norma sent me coverage:
"Hello there, what're you?"
"You're the dominant species. You tell me."
"Off hand, I'd say you're an Agraulis vanillae."
"Typical arrant pedantry, up with which I shall not put. I'm a Fritillary.
"Not the same thing?"
"From Latin, human, it's a long way to Fritillary." 
"You can learn from Latin."
"Publilius Syrus said, 'An angry man is again angry at himself when he returns to reason.'"
"But I'm a butterfly, not a man. Look!"
"Where'd you go?"
"Put your glasses on and look carefully. I only turned sideways."
"Oh, there you are! What are you trying to teach me?"
"Look in your mind. What do you see?"
"Well, butterfly, this surprises me. I see my 1830 edition of Whelpley's dissertation on the importance of historical knowledge, A Compend Of History, open at illustrations of Fabricius and the Elephants and Cornelia's Jewels."

"And what similarities do you notice?"
"Good heavens, the book-spine and your head, thorax and abdomen..."
"My wings?"
"Your wings and the book's pages..."
"Constitute what, human?"
"Information systems of identical construction!"
"Indeed. Each butterfly is a four-page history of butterflies."
"Dear butterfly, I have been reading since Eisenhower took office but realize I have barely begun!"
"Learn the language, human. Learn the language!"

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day

Above is the Great Seal of the USA. I held a dollar up to the webcam to capture it, and show why it looks less like a seal than an eagle to me --no flippers. Talons. Its head is pointed toward an olive branch clutched in its talon, so it must be peacetime. In time of war, its head faces toward the arrows in the other talon. Every now and then, I check my wallet to see what sort of hat or helmet to wear.

There is a ribbon in the creature's mouth inscribed with the motto, "E Pluribus Unum"--from many, one-- in reference to the states constellated  up top. When the continental congress was trying to come up with a good motto for this country, Benjamin Franklin insisted on "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” However, the committee was not completely satisfied and their report to Congress was tabled. This pretty much set the standard for committees ever after --good thing too!

Let's fast forward to today, a lively example of USA's quadrennial enigma. For those unfamiliar with American politics, it is election day, after which votes will be counted up and result in Coronation Day, which is observed by royalty and rabble taking turns beheading each other until we have a president. We have spent the year listening to  the sizzle of promises dissolving in vitriol and are now well-enough informed to vote according to personal prejudice.

Yes, of the two choices,  I confess to simply favoring the candidate more easily identifiable as a mammal, and have voted for her.