All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Looking For Answers Above

The enigma of mind that seeks information and guidance above and beyond one's own perceptions puzzles me.  I try to reply to such questions with respect, compassion and rely on what suave elocution a man of my age ought to have.

"Duh, hamina hamina hamina." I reply suavely. Then Norma sends me a photo:

It's as if we are in submarines, needing to see what's on and over the surface. We want periscopes. Cats already have them.

There are admittedly some puzzles we can solve with guesswork and logic. Example: What is the chief commercial export of the Arctic?

Frozen fish, of course.

But other questions need Science: like what happens when sunlight strikes an atmosphere of water, methane, ammonia, in combination with molecular hydrogen and atomic helium floating around a rockbound planet?

Why, it causes Uranus to turn blue.

 For all other speculation, spiritual and otherwise, I confidently refer readers to one of my favorite C&W performers, Slim Whitman:

"When my life is through, and the angels ask me to recall
The thrill of it all... I'll tell them I remember you." 

[I'd like to dedicate this post to all who have suffered loss]


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Mysterious Movements Afoot!!

There are mysterious movements afoot! They are social, political, individual and seldom, if ever, addressed by news media. Surely we have all seen this sign protesting road work:

Add caption

When I was young, we used to contract dinosaurs to discourage unfair excesses of highway maintenance. It worked until their tails fell off and their teeth grew to where I couldn't tell them from relatives. It's getting rather late and I ought to include at least one more event  anent this subject. It is a demonstration conducted by strangely-dressed foreign people concerning Baron Geo.-Eugène Haussmann's 1853 urban renewal program in Paris. He retired in 1870 after snapping the curly streets straight but the work wasn't complete until the 1920s --which, as we were all taught in grammar school, touched off the French Revolution in 1789.

Their sign reads, of course, "END ROAD WORK!!!!!" 

Strange thing (enigmatic thing even) is I approve of road work. I mean people are safer without potholes and but sometimes I have to try looking at the other side of a thing and...well, it's getting on to 2 a.m. and I need to go to bed.  Anybody else going nuts in quarantine?


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Devil In The Details

I'll begin with a Normaphoto taken last week. Somehow it captured my theological posture toward existence. It shows how I look from behind where horns hold my halo up. Hopefully it confuses demonic attackers who strike from the rear, or avenging angels above. A personal detail.

I don't begrudge this confusing feature.  I accept surreality, and yes reality , even though I don't always approve of it. A detail. Let us consider another detail: paper towels and the 20th century:
 Caption: He's one of the few physicists who has
                     conceptualized  Black-hole Theory:

I drew this on a paper towel many years ago --during my 1/2-hour lunch break at someplace I worked, possibly in the early 1970s. It may easily be the last surviving paper towel of the 20th century. I never made a fair copy of this doodle to submit to a periodical, as I sometimes did. It is just a detail. 

Then there's the big detail of the California sky. It has been brown again, very brown. It turns brown every summer and every fall brings out a tremendous amount of painters and scaffolding. Here is a photo over the Vineyard:
It usually consumes 8 or 9 months for crews to get the sky blue again, but this summer's been bad. Could take 2 or 3 coats. So our taxes go up. Small price to be penniless under blue sky.

Point is, Brain sometimes yields a pleasant, fun memory or constructive fantasy, even in these hard times. It's Brain's way of saying, "Just details. We got this." Don't forget to thank your Brain when that happens.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Enigma of Growing Up

This is Hairy Tux.  He is thinking intently about something. In the past year, all he has done is grow up. I believe his meditation must be focused on that.

I don't ordinarily discount physical education. In fact, I have several friends who entered gainful employment as gym-coaches and freelance toilet trainers (doubtless seduced by the glamor of it all) . But I recall those days, deep in another century, when 9th grade choice consisted of gym class or the cacophony of marching band. Although I played 3 --or so--guitar chords, I never mastered the cacophone and took gym.  Gym class was full of psychologically isolated boys who exhausted themselves --whose only other exercise was falling in love, even when nobody else was around.

A year or more later, we were mobbing the DMV to get our drivers' licenses. Girls were warm, soft and smelled really good but, if boys were foolish enough to ask them out without a driver's license, they were soundly skunked. We mainly just had fun.

Years later, I met a girl in a library and wondered: how could such a perfectly fragrant creature appear under my very nose? I asked the cat, "Is that the sort of thing you're focused on?"

Hairy answered, "No, I'm concentrating on making my white eyebrows grow. It makes me more attractive."
No argument there, Hairy. You got this.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

How Is It Still Here?

California burns spectacularly every summer. Nasaphoto below is from 2007 but we've burned down every summer that I remember and I shall be 71 this year. Certainly it's not a conflagratinous attack on me alone --there are many local infernos recorded before I was born and renounced Hell. Also, we Californians have got very careful with matches and have used ashtrays for several days.

But most puzzling, yes enigmatic, of all is this: After centuries of devastating wildfires, how could anything combustible still remain in our state? Like any Rationalist, I went outside and asked my cat.

I found Tux. He was doing sentry duty on an old dead tree stump. I asked what was going on. He said:
"My brother, Hairy, is sneaking through the fence to see why our neighboring field is all dried up and flammable."

"Tux, there's been tragedy over there. My friend of over 60 years died last week and there's nobody to plant or water anything. Another friend from childhood moved back to the Vineyard 2 years ago and he'll see to the mowing. We're safe enough."

"Can we discuss this over a meal of dehydrated mice?"

"Oh Tux, I'm no deipnosophist, but appreciate the offer. Now I must try to address the world."

"Sure, do it!"

"Dear world, is anybody besides me having horrible problems uploading images onto Blogger from PC "pictures". Never happened to me before but tonight it's a major enigma."

Thursday, August 6, 2020

My First Ever Rant!

Today, I received the following comment on a prior post   (Why does Hercules etc.) and it got me thinking. I will show you its unclickable version which I, myself have sanitized. Lookie:

"Unknown Unsubscribe," to me: " Push me up against the wall and do dirty things to me. Click here and Check me out i am getting naked here:)."

It's an offer I've never gotten before, especially the "clicking" part. I mean, I click light switches on and off like everybody, and power tools. I even click my fingers when I like a musical rhythm, but I can't get myself that excited just by snapping my fingers. So I present it here as an enigma.

Then! Then, couple hours ago I got an email, purportedly from Google Plus, inviting me to request forms and other legal confustications regarding a class action lawsuit against Google for bugs. Bugs. I had bugs once and there are OTC products  available to rid oneself  and pets of them. Here's an excerpt:

Summary of Litigation

Google operated the Google+ social media platform for consumers from June 2011 to April 2019. In 2018, Google announced that the Google+ platform had experienced software bugs between 2015 and 2018, which allowed app developers to access certain Google+ profile field information in an unintended manner. Plaintiffs Matthew Matic, Zak Harris, Charles Olson, and Eileen M. Pinkowski thereafter filed this lawsuit asserting various legal claims on behalf of a putative class of Google+ users who were allegedly harmed by the software bugs (“Class”). Google denies Plaintiffs’ allegations, denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever, and believes that no Class Members, including the Plaintiffs, have sustained any damages or injuries due to the software bugs...
The suit demands recompense for Google users in the amount of Godawful gazillions of dollars, which divides out among users to between $5 and $12 each .  Even when I was young and raising 4 kids, I knew there were easier ways to earn 12 bucks. What's the point? Where there is no point, can there be an enigma?

Please comment. Ranting leaves me a bit unsettled.

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?