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Monday, May 8, 2017

Wordlist #18 (or thereabouts)

My powers are under a cloud. It is Monday and the weekend has made an imbecile of me. When this happens, I resort to wordlists (samples clickable here) because thoughts sometimes lose adhesion to one another --in fact, this suggests the first entry:

1. Efeitos-colaterais: This a Portuguese phrase that means Side-effects. A change in medicine has caused me to utter things like this: This weekend's topographical studies have convinced me it is possible to travel from Spain to Portugal by zipline --which leads to word #2.

2. Cacoethes: This is an English (but yes, really) word defined as a sudden urge to do something inadvisable. Clearly, international travel by cable and gravity is inadvisable, yet, among a world population of 7 billion and a law of averages that produces remarkable events, someone is doubtless planning to do it. This calamity might be averted by safety-minded Spanish philologists who hear the phrase, "Sostenga mi cerveza", or "hold my beer", and intervene.

A more pleasant example (and exception) is here:
Norma got within inches of a California Carpenter Bee the other day to get his picture. I wouldn't have thought it advisable but I was in the house being an imbecile. This constitutes the exception to cacoethes. If one is innocently photographing sweet-pea petals and the law of averages inserts a great big bee into the picture, neither photographer nor indoor imbecile can be held responsible. Besides, I am better now and calculating to see if a zipline from the Marin Headlands to the Presidio might relieve morning traffic into San Francisco.

Wish me luck, wheeeeeeee!



16 comments:

  1. And so now I can stop thinking about how a zipline might help our friends and those who seek to travel Highway 1 closed by a failed bridge. Our beloved Big Sur with the Henry Miller Museum, Esalen, Nepenthe, Lime Kiln and such are "off limits." You can't get to Monterey from here, or here from there. Maybe cacoethes at work?

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    1. Unfortunately the bridge failed between two equal elevations. Catapults and nets might work, or large taloned drones --both of which would be inadvisable. Bridge restoration is inescapable

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  2. I sat meditating.....a candle sitting in a stone pot was lit.....the candle was wedged upright with a piece of paper.....I smelt burning.....the candle had burned down to the level of the paper. Yes, I understand the concept of cacoethes!!

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    1. Exellent illustration of cacoethes! In all, a productive meditation on causality.

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  3. A zip line from Spain to Portugal - why not. If Nik Wallenda can cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope, I am sure that there is someone out there who might consider your very exciting, but dangerous idea. There is a fine line between daredevil and crazy.

    I prefer my feet on the ground and having a good distance between myself and a stinging bee.

    A change in medication can play with our minds and bodies. I find it best to stay in bed till the spinning stops. Take care of yourself, Geo.

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    1. I always check to be sure the line between daring and crazy is made of high-grade steel and well-secured in case somebody, certainly not I, should decide to use it. You take care too, Arleen. Deal?

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  4. I have always wanted to ride a zip line but my fear of falling has kept me from trying it. I suppose cacoethes defines my wish.

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    1. Gardening public places often involved tree trimming in climbing gear and I never feared falling. The few times I did fall, I was only afraid of landing. One experience with a zip line awakened anxieties I never even knew I had.

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  5. Glad to hear your temporary imbecility is over...although...if I hear of you zip lining I may think it has returned. I had an urge to do something inadvisable 43 years ago and look where it got me......take care.

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    1. My adjustment to new medicine is complete, but my imbecility is in search of a new excuse. If what happened 43 years ago brought you into correspondence with me, I am grateful.

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  6. I hope your side effects have settled down by now, Geo.

    That's a pretty large bee! Good catch by camera by Norma!

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    1. O_Jenny, I'm fine, thanks. Have corrected text to read California Carpenter Bee instead of Bumble Bee. They're about the same size and travel singly. Beautiful creatures.

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    1. Thank you, Ana! I will relay your generous compliment to Norma. Wild things seem to sense they are safe with her.

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  8. I must fix "cacoethes" in my brain, Geo, because that sudden urge hits me often. It's probably why my husband worries a lot when I'm out of his sight. I'm forever landing in some kind of trouble.

    I have, btw, zip-lined down Fremont Street in Las Vegas (the short one); I'm still working up the nerve to try the zip-line that runs the full length of Fremont, Slotzilla. You shoot out of a giant slot machine eleven stories up in the air and fly under the canopy like Superman. Trouble is, sometimes people run out of momentum, and someone has to crawl out along the zip-line and reel the stranded flyer in. But I'd jump at a chance to zip from Spain to Portugal!

    Even when your powers are under a cloud, the results are enjoyable!

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    1. Thank you, dear Louise! I agree entirely with your stunt abstentions --they sound harrowing. However, I note the absence of one inadvisable recreation, riding a line of rolling oil drums down a hill. You are one brave kid!

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