All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hospital sculpture

Today I was waiting outside the surgical hospital building of the UCD Medical Plaza. I was to be screened for my 3rd surgery this summer. Don't I look little? Actually I am 5' 11'' and have not lost an ounce since I was a teenager. The cause of my diminutive appearance is the comforting presence beside me.

It was provided by local ceramicist, Ruth Rippon. It made me feel like I was a kid sitting next to my mother nearly 60 years ago, waiting to see the doctor when I had pneumonia --comforting, larger than I, quiet and encouraging. I understood why Ruth Rippon --who I remember from school days-- made her statue, entitled "Waiting",  somewhat larger than lifesized. It was for worried old boys like me. Ruth is in her 90s now and I hope she goes on forever.

[If you'd like to learn more about the sculptor I've admired for many years, click here.]

Saturday, July 21, 2018

My Views On Turkey

Turkey is a republic straddling eastern Europe and western Asia.  Its cultural links to Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires mark it as a civilized country. Its multifaceted history is easily found elsewhere, but this post deals with wild turkeys. Lookie:
Mom and adolescent kid turkey are off on a field trip. All young wild turkeys are home-schooled. She is going to show him something enigmatic. They cannot ride the Trainrideoftheenigmas because they would be forced to board as "livestock".  I do not like boarding trains as livestock, why should they?

And where are they going?

Mom instructs, "Jump and flap until you gain the top fence rail."
"Wow Mom, I didn't even know we could do that! Flap-flap-up-up!"

"We turkeys call it kaboingulating. Now..."

"...Kaboingulate down onto that stump below."

"What do you see?"
"Nothing unusual, Mom. What should I be seeing?"
"Turn around. Turn your head around too!"

"My what, Mom?"
"The little thinky thing on top of you."
"Oh! Oh my!"
"What's this?"
"It's a statue of birds, Son, built by humans to show how much  they love us."

"They love us?"

"Some of them do, Son, like the pretty lady taking photos of you, but there are many more humans who are very dangerous."

"Like how, Mom?"

"Like in November especially, they're insulting and disrespectful."

"How so?"

"Well, we turkeys have an old saying, 'Beware of Humans! They'll chop your head off and throw it in your face!"
"Yikes, I don't want to end up like that. Run Mom!"

"Lesson learned, Son. You get an 'A' for today."

Monday, July 16, 2018

How To Know Everything Else Revisited

It's time---
Time to go back 4 years and reclaim enthusiasm , back to the year, the years, when we had the right idea (you can click here if you want to read the wonderful feelings under the old text)  Here --sorry about the tiny font size, but my eyes were sharper then,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014:

How To Know Everything Else:

I should begin by dedicating this post to my dear friend, Willie, who visited this town over the weekend and continued our 49-year-long conversation about what can and cannot be known and beer:

Having previously dealt with the subject of How To Know Everything, I thought it apposite to discuss methods for knowing everything else. It is probably kindest to begin by saying there are no fixed methods in philosophy for knowing everything else short of a complete survey of the entire universe, but we can derive some oblique inferences from everyday life and art. For our purpose, music will suffice.

First, let's examine the ancient Greek noun, odeion, which means "roofed theater."  Thousands of years later, the etymology and meaning remained intact, even with the advent of  Nickelodeons, theaters that could be entered for a five-cent fee. Then came Teresa Brewer, who confounded that solid definition with jukeboxes and orchestrions --coin-operated music machines. What was known became something else, but no one minded because the song was really fun and the singer, cute as a button. One cannot argue successfully with fun and cute-as-a-button because the combination is philosophically unimpeachable. Observe:

{clip of Teresa Brewer singing "Music Music Music"}

Odeion is sometimes confused with the Latin word, odium, which is an ancient Roman mechanism into which one could drop a coin and really really hate. It was quite the rage until rage went out of vogue and gum machines were hurriedly invented.

This brings us to our second gnostic insurrection, Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. "Express Yourself" is a personal and family favorite. When it played on the radio in the '70s, our little ones would dance and join its exuberant refrain (from L. refringere =to repeat) as they interpreted it, "Sprash yourself!" Norma and I would tell them the singer was encouraging them to express themselves and they would assure us they understood, then go back to dancing and yelling "sprash!" They are great big men now and happy in their arts. We are glad Mr. Wright came along and owe him bigtime.

[clip of Charles Wright performing "Express Yourself"]

Expressing yourself is not a knowable enterprise. Society may balk, it may not understand. It didn't understand Einstein for a long time. Einstein said, "I don't need to know everything, I just need to know where I can find it when I need it." And we cannot neglect the go-to authority upon whom we relied so heavily while raising our offspring, Doctor Benjamin Spock --a surprisingly compassionate man for a Vulcan: "You know more than you think you do." In conclusion, it would appear the key to knowing everything else is to simply have fun doing it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Back On The Train

One thing I have learned from my pen-pal, Jon,  is if I lose confidence in myself, I have set the whole universe against me:
"And life without confidence will completely destroy you" --Jon(Click here) 

And Jon is absolutely right (he's most always right, darn it).

Havelock Ellis wrote, "The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum." So I have got back onto the train. I don't know if there's a difference yet.

I do know that moving along --in time and space-- requires one to think rationally despite what medical science pumps into one.  We are all of us time machines. We navigate a grand continuum and must be sane --medicine can help, but we must all beware of political bloviation --noble words that conceal an insult to humankind, all ethnicities, all faiths and phenotypes. 

We must all be aware of what the necessarily entropic mechanisms of time and space throw at us --accidents, illnesses, erosion of confidence. These are unavoidable products of time-travel. 

For example, we had a perfectly awful civil war in this country --my relatives fought on both sides of it-- and I hardly think we need another one. However, there are those who have abandoned government by discussion and think we do.

I realize I don't usually rant, and must apologize,  but I'm newly growing old, and not used to seeing myself disappear inch by inch --it is too cruel (don't try this at home). I will hold onto our memories, love and liberty as long as I can.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Moving Dot

A moving dot on the pumphouse wall lured me into audience. I didn't have my glasses on.

"What're you?" I asked.

"I am a mighty Triceratops," was the reply.
"Excuse me but there seems to be some inconsistency."
"Really? Where?"

"Well, you've obviously just emerged from your pollywog stage, as your legs have not quite completed transition from a tail. And, if you don't mind my noticing, gravity means nothing to you and you're only a quarter-inch long."

He replied, "Yet, we are talking together."

"I've had a similar, somewhat mystical, experience before."

"Yes, yes!" He exclaimed. "It's like ESP!"

 "Or OBE?" (please click here).

"Yes, like AAA, LBJ, DDT, STD --it's a bit of your brain inscribed with initials." 

"I don't think my automobile club is sexually transmitted."

"Ok," he responded. "I'll ask some hard questions and see if you're worth mindreading."

 "Shoot." I said.

"How many stars are in the solar system? Has the sport of skiing gone downhill? Has the perfect hiding place ever been found?"

"What?" I cried. He continued.

"Is the family tree ever trotted out when the dogs are using it? Would you consider pheasants prone to hysteria if you suddenly found out your mother could fly? Do you love all creatures great and small because you're a bad shot and there's nothing else to do?"

"Well, now you're just getting silly. You're a treefrog. Live, and enjoy your life without reading minds of those unfortunate enough to have them."

"Ok, what should I think, now that I have briefly experienced thought?"

"Only this on your way to triceratopsism: I look forward to tomorrow because I  get better-looking every day." 

"That's what I do," I called as he hopped out of sight.