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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Two Bees

I have just returned from the pharmacy with a filled script and two bottles of Woodbridge Pinot Noir --from nearby Lodi. I still have not convinced my medigap insurance to let me buy wine at discount with a small co-pay --even at a pharmacy!  I mean, is this California or isn't it? Well, perhaps by way of apology, they did send me some free face masks with their logo on them --quite comfortable and considerate of wearers who must inhale air sometimes,  in addition to containing their own expectorants.

So yes, I've been outdoors, leaving my shoes in the mudroom --Norma Law, cannot be rescinded-- and reentered our house shoeless but undefeeted-- which reminds me this post was intended to be about bees, or something with lots of "e's" in it. Recent Normaphoto above is of a pumpkin flower and a bee who says, "Hmm." They say that a lot. He heads into this giant blossom in hopes of big rewards.  Then something topples and he says, "Oops!"....
...and activates his antennae. Standard distress call is received and prioritized. Reply:"On my way. What is the nature of your emergency?"

"I'm trapped under a toppled stigma."

"Oooh that sounds serious."

"Could be a style, stamen or sizable ovary."

"En route!"

" I'm  in the nectary at the floral axis and need a hand getting out."


"Oh that hooky thing on your foreleg, the one you use to groom your antennas."

"Ah, understood!"

"Ewww no! that's your tongue!"

"Sorry, they're all about the same length. I'm sure many creatures have trouble telling them apart."

"That's what they all say...Hey I think we got some leverage here!

"YES!I feel the barriers shifting! I'm Free! How'd we do that?"
"Do what?"
"I dunno. Bees don't have a lot of memory."
"'Cause why?"
"'Cause Shut Up. That's why!"
"Dang, I do believe we're evolving."

I dedicate this post to the rude imposition
of Google Blogger's new and incomprehensible
format. Anybody else having problems?

Friday, July 17, 2020

Enigmatic Evolution of Pragmatic and Interpretive Philosophies

Let's begin with a couple Normaphotos, which she titled "His and Her Groceries." During this quarantined time, she orders comestibles from our corner store, which I pick up at their loading dock. All I do is pop the trunk and let them earn their pay. Norma checks the garden first and reaps much of the "hers" part.
Then we collaborate on the "his" part and I go get it.
I built that table 40+ years ago after Norma, kids and I repeatedly dined in a Refectory. The tabletops were inset with ceramic Mexican tiles, and that looked practical to me. So we hunted around and found them at Pier One Imports. The rest is local pine with teak stain. By and by we outgrew the thing but it serves still in the back porch. There is a practical logic (set hot stuff on ceramic instead of wood) to it and an abstract principle --I liked how it looked-- which of course brought the James brothers to mind.

William James was a psychologist, paranormalist  and pragmatic philosopher. His brother, Henry James, was a writer who focused upon the mind in moral dilemma. When they were little they had an argument:
Wm.: Life is based on practical logic.
Hen.: Nuh uhh!
Wm.: What then?
Hen,: Abstract principles.
Wm: Nuh uhh!
Hen.: Yuh Huhh!

The rest is history. Other  James brothers went west to investigate more fungible philosophies, like bank and train robberies. Jesse got his brains blown out by a trusted gangster named Bob (it happens sometimes). Then Frank James quit the band to live to a ripe old age. I have no idea what all this has to do with philosophy and let that be a lesson to you.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Pumpkin Demon

It began, safely enough, with a normal Normaphoto of a pumpkin vine but, by and by, my sequestration frustration kicked in...
...and I was agitated into what is medically termed Hallucinatory Apeshitosis and began to see nothing where things aren't (first stage!) followed by seeing something where things are (second stage!). It gets worse from there: Pumpkin Imps!!!! Lookie:
It Changes into something with eyes and hands and boots from my high school drill team!  I suppose these demons can arrange leaves into capes and be little vampires...or umpires --never got that straight. Which one stays up all night, calls plays and drinks blood?

I forget a lot of stuff. Sheltering in place doesn't help. Sometimes I go to the grocery store and forget what we need. So I write a list ahead but, with remembering to wear gloves and mask, I often forget my list. I find myself surrounded by choices but sadly listless. Now Norma orders our supplies and I go pick them up at the loading dock. Listlessness is a big problem generally, and sufferers must marry people like Norma.

I believe I've gone off-subject, whatever it was, something about something's got to restock the shelves our memories fell out of --and pumpkins. If pumpkins really contain demons, be sure to bake the Hell out of them before consumption.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

That Blue Thing

12 years ago I posted a poem without a photo. There was a NASA photo of  the Blue Thing, but I didn't know how to extract and transport it, so I didn't, until now. I've been using public-domain photos for years, but this time the result included a vertical white line which I covered up by smearing white down its left side. Is anybody else having this problem?

                                                                                    Nasa Image, Spitzer, Star Vega 
 Here is the poem:                                      

Saturday, November 1, 2008

That Blue Thing

Darkness spills downhill,
Pools under trees and
Earth turns me to stars.
I locate Venus, Mars,
And that blue thing,
Then head home.
Doppler effect and
Some old ricochet you see,
Astonishingly old,
It or us rebounding,
Heading here, this garden--
A bridge of light sounding
Blue notes to this
Transpontine eye.
I don't know why, but
I think of love under
The blue thing,
Cross the shadows
And always head home.

Blue Thing is star Vega, which served for billions of years as the North Star, until she retired and the job was awarded Polaris --who apprenticed as handle tip of one of the dippers; forgot which one-- who is 400 lightyears more distant than Vega. Why am I telling you this?

I don't know! I'm  just sheltering in place. Brain's wandering in time and space --you know the feeling. We've already been invaded by beings from star Vega. They are called Vegans and they're ok. 

We have endured worse. In 1967 all the boys in my high school got called into assembly for a pitch from a member of the U.S. War Dept., Public Relations, General Staff.  At question time, I stood and asked how conscription could be reconciled with the 13th amendment. He said the president's power to raise armies took precedence over the 13th Amendment.I considered this a general Staff infection. But we mainly got through it.

Somewhere over this closing paragraph is Norma's view of the globe right now. She recently had a birthday that started with a dental appointment to get a crown installed. I consider it her coronation day, and suspect the handmade mask indicates regal defiance of corona virus. Let's all mainly get through it and be OK, like the Vegans.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Odds, Gods and Cephalopods

I have been pondering in lockdown --as have we all, but it's still a lonely deal-- and have reached a point where memories intrude upon the present. They are fragmented things, but claim to have lessons  of continuance and triumph in them. Let's begin with government in a nutshell. I mean, everybody comes to Rick's. Metaphor: a place of odds, tin gods, possibility, chance that sometimes gets shut down by Inspector Renault when it suits survival (

One finds oneself in a strange position of authority and disadvantage, obeying tyrannical orders versus personal equilibrium in state of awkward imbalance.

One finds oneself. Happily, many of us have never had to find ourselves because we were never missing. Others simply weren't careless enough to lose themselves.  However, too many settled their allegiance to 8-legged psychic monsters that clamped down their brains.

Some wait in Casablanca ("White House", en Espanõl) and wait and wait for the plane to Lisbon. My Portuguese Grandma Filamina would wag her finger and say, "Não fàceis!" And no, it is not easy.

As I've mentioned, the tenor of this post is a product of  lockdown, and not my finest work. I have been clearing my house of octopi -- 8-legged godless brain mollusks that get in through old plumbing.

What're the odds, eh? 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Enigmatic Evolution Of Normative Statements

It is a strange title, I admit, but these are strange times. I haven't had to gas up the car in months. Still, I'll invent some reason to get out among people --matches, toilet paper, wine, prescriptions. Everything else gets delivered to the house. I would have prescriptions delivered, but declined years ago to have my life depend on our often dyslexic rural post office. Do I sound stir-crazy? I think so.

Sometimes I watch clips of road-rage and bad drivers on Youtube just to feel better about sheltering indoors. Fortunately, we have an abundance of outdoors, which Norma has been very busy with.

As you can see, the foreground object is la Tour Eiffel, so those roses are really big! I like the Eiffel Tower, and many other ingenious appointments added to Baron Haussmann's improvements to a squiggly-streeted city that could forever be controlled by cannon-fire down straight streets from a central point. No more revolutions? It is, I suppose (and I HATE this expression!) what it is. I believe it was David Hume who argued there is no coherent transition from a positive statement (what is) to a normative one (what could or should be). Uh, time for another Normaphoto:
The universe put her in my path and me in hers. Now she puts plants in my path and Normaphotos them.  Imagine a library,1968, a stunningly beautiful Norma and a suave, debonair me. I walk in, sit and notice something quietly elegant on my right. I couldn't help sneaking glances. She finally said,"What?"

I debonairly and suavely said,"Buh, hamina dut?"
This confused her so I tried again:
"I'm Geo., would you like to go out?" I knew her name was Norma because it was written neatly on her flute case --still is.

She said, "No."

I replied, "What if I persist?"

She quietly and forcefully said,"Well, then I'll have to beat-choo up."

I'd give worlds to know how that turned out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Letting Ivy Grow

I have nothing in mind but a doodle done years ago and
       its little poem: I have let ivy 
                               Grow across
                               A disused door.
I am reminded of it by frequent encounters lately with symbols like this:
They announce May as our National Mental Health Month. I imagine a door in there somewhere but don't know which side of it we're on.

May has been Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. I was born in 1949. I do not think this was mere coincidence.

May is now about 1/2 over-with, hence my fractional observance. Mid-month is an appropriate celebration to those of us who are half nuts.

Life is a responsibility, and it is up to half-sane people like me to set a good example.

Go thou and do likewise.