Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why All The Fuss?

What information does our government want to remain unrevealed, and why?

Here is a well-publicized link to supposedly secret stuff that you might like to look over.

I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

. . .

Here Is A Photograph Of God

Or it might be just a big rock.

One can never be sure.

I have often written that I am neither a theist nor an atheist. As closely as I can apply a label to my conclusions regarding the existence of God (or 'a' god) I propose this statement, "I am an agnostic."

What is the difference between a theist, an atheist, and an agnostic?

In my opinion:
- The theist believes that God exists... period.
- The atheist believes that God does not exist.
- The agnostic does not know if God exists.

An article in Slate offers a pretty good analysis.

Here is the first paragraph:

Agnosticism is not some kind of weak-tea atheism. Agnosticism is not atheism or theism. It is radical skepticism, doubt in the possibility of certainty, opposition to the unwarranted certainties that atheism and theism offer.

Another (paraphrased) paragraph:

The term agnostic was coined in 1869 by one of Darwin's most fervent followers, Thomas Henry Huxley. Here is how he defined his agnosticism: This principle may be stated in various ways but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.

I think it is an interesting and intelligently presented article, although several of the appended comments disagree. Again, the link is:

. . .

It rained huge quantities last night, enough to raise the level of the swimming pool several inches. I imagine that it also helped raise the level of the Tucson area's water table as well. Good news indeed. And more rain has been forecast for each day of the coming week.

Oh well, it is, after all, the annual Monsoon Season in Arizona.

This was yesterday's sky before the clouds began to form

I have been told that Heaven is located within that sky.

Who am I to argue with that?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Words . . .

Two words that I recently encountered have piqued my interest. The first one is:

1. Appealing in a cheap or showy manner: tawdry.
2. Based on pretense or insincerity.

Until I looked up that word I assumed that it meant having merit or being valuable. I was wrong.

The other word is:


Of course that word is actually two different words each having differing pronunciations and differing definitions.

definition -- not valid

definition -- impaired

Words, words, words... always fascinating.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can't Think Of A Title

A comment regarding yesterday's blog entry has me in a quandary of indecision. I must think about it some more before attempting a reasoned reply.

. . .

Meanwhile --

My favorite movie of all time is The Silence Of The Lambs and that is probably because the book by Thomas Harris of the same title is my favorite fiction book of all time. And also because Jodie Foster was superb as Clarice Starling while Anthony Hopkins lives within and haunts my imagination as Hannibal Lector, the unapologetic cannibal being the overwhelming epitome of human reality.

My second most favorite movie of all time is Good Will Hunting.

Another movie, Solaris, bored the dickens out of me.

And all three of those bits of trivia, to an observant and perceptive reader, should reveal some truths never before publicly admitted, by me, about myself.

. . .

If I were to win millions in the lottery, I would wish for my bodyguards to be: Warf and Kern, sons of Mogh . Well, wouldn't you?

. . .

Oh what's the use. I cannot concentrate on today's entry. I must think about justifying (or explaining) some of the stuff I wrote yesterday: semi-valid, emotions, etc.

More tomorrow.

Patience is a solid characteristic of the domestic canine... except at mealtime.
--Gene Chambers

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Before Today's Rain Begins . . .

My note in yesterday's blog entry regarding a problem with my email has now resolved itself somehow. I can only surmise that my email provider corrected the situation. I can now respond to messages that I have received from members of Writers and I will be doing so in the near future.

. . .

Yesterday morning I was otherwise occupied and later it rained most of the afternoon, so I did not go for a walk. And then, today, during my three-and-a-half mile fitness walk I discovered that striding along a sometimes busy paved road in a populated community soon after having finished three cups of coffee is inadvisable, unless of course there is plenty of concealing roadside foliage along the way.

. . . 'nuff said?

. . .

This photo is meaningless for all but one reader

A successful repair

. . .

About halfway through my morning walk a roadrunner appeared in a home's front yard. I missed it in two photo attempts while it was speeding away, but I got it once after it had retreated into the far distance. It's in the approximate center of the pic. Sorry it's so small. The landscaping is interesting though. Right?

. . .

There is a phrase that particularly irritates me. That phrase is " my heart of hearts" and, in my opinion, it is intellectually meaningless in itself and is only semi-valid when used as a poetical representation of another mythical object: the soul.

Even "in my heart" is meaningless.

Think about it.

. . .

Oh well. I'm off now to attempt to write some more perfect sentences to include in my novel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stuff . . .

While browsing the blogs I read the following sentence:

Emily Dickinson’s father viewed his son’s work as near to Shakespeare. He didn’t see that his tiny daughter in her velvet snood was a great poet of her age...

I was immediately prompted (by my obsessive personality) to look up a word in that sentence that I should have recognized but did not; the word was snood.

Here is what I found:

snood: an ornamental net in the shape of a bag that confines a woman's hair; pins or ties at the back of the head

Old Style Snood

Modern Snood

. . .

I learned another new word today.

semiotics: The study of signs and symbols, especially as means of language or communication,


. . .

According to an article in the Hoover Institution of Stanford University:

Today in the U.S. there are 77,000 clinical psychologists, 192,000 clinical social workers, 105,000 mental health counselors, 50,000 marriage and family therapists, 17,000 nurse psychotherapists, and 30,000 life coaches. Most of these professionals spend their days helping people cope with everyday life problems, not true mental illness. More than half the patients in therapy don’t even qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis. In addition,there are 400,000 nonclinical social workers and 220,000 substance abuse counselors working outside the official mental health system yet offering clients informal psychological advice nonetheless.

Now that amazed me. So I read the rest of it, and absorbed a modicum (a small, modest or trifling amount) of knowledge that I believe will help me to more easily inject a measure of verisimilitude into a troublesome (character) section of my novel.

The writer of the article, Ronald W. Dworkin, M.D., Ph.D., is the author of Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class (Basic Books, 2006).

. . .

DOJ refuses to allow attorney to testify in Black Panther case

There has to be more in this Black Panther story than is being reported. But I suppose the press will not disclose it, even if there is.

. . .

For some reason Outlook will not allow me to send email this morning. It will receive email but displays an Error message whenever I attempt to send a message. I suspect it is a problem with my email server (Network Solutions) -- but who knows? Time will tell...

Ta ta . . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wisdom? Whimsey? Or Merely Dogma?

PZ Myers wrote:

One of the terrifying properties of fundamentalist religions is the way they demand conformity: they lay down strict rules to regulate how people are allowed to think and behave, and often how they are allowed to dress and speak. Questioning the dogma is forbidden. Getting into situations where they have to think for themselves is dangerous. The community must be policed so that odd notions do not pollute the minds of their children or themselves.

Biologist, PZ Myers
Associate Professor
University of Minnesota, Morris

Mr. Myers also wrote:

Perhaps the cruelest aspect of conservative religions is the way they insist that all people must follow one straight and narrow path, regardless of the fact that people are diverse, and they impose endless misery on so many people by fostering fear of deviation.

While I do not agree with all of PZ Myers' ideas, I certainly agree with the above.

Speaking of Organized Religion's (radicals?) fervent believers, there is a thought-provoking Youtube video that illustrates how and why so many human beings are so easily led to believe that mankind's penchant for polluting the atmosphere is the sole cause of global warming, or climate change.

Ignorance is as ignorance does.
--Forest Gump's Mama

You can view the short clip if you click here.

. . .

Saturday evening Mike served as Chef and cooked up one of his hugely successful specialties: Grilled Bison Burgers, Cheesy Roasted Potatoes, Grilled Veggies, and for dessert, Whipped Cream topped Fresh Fruit Shortcake. I sneaked a peek at him in the kitchen while he was preparing the potato dish and discovered his secret ingredient -- "Mmmm mmmmm, good! -- Mmm mmm good!"

. . .

Since I am home alone at this writing (Sunday morning) today's lunch is going to be Golden Walnuts in Creamy Sauce over Butternut Squash Ravioli with mixed vegetables. It's one of those delicious two-dollar Eating Right frozen dinners that cooks in five minutes in a standard microwave oven.

(Yes, I wrote the above paragraph yesterday (Sunday)

. . .

Recently in The Atlantic I read this sentence: No one's talking about significantly curtailing corn subsidies and replacing them with fruit and vegetable subsidies; even the USDA has not gamed out precisely how such scenarios would affect the average farmer.

That was the first time I'd encountered the term 'gamed out'. The context indicates the meaning, but why not just say 'worked out' or 'figured out' instead of perhaps confusing a large share of readers? Does it perhaps make the writer feel young and modern?

Hm . . .

. . .

Remember this guy?
You do? You don't?

. . .

I read the following quotation somewhere... don't remember where or when. But it seems particularly relevant to the current situation facing citizens of the United States of North America.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Couple Of Things...

Yesterday we went to take a look at a local Farmer's Market -- I bought a tomato advertised as:

tomatoes that taste like tomatoes

And I almost bought a homemade brownie (with a $2 price tag) but then had second thoughts and did not.

. . .

What is a douche bag? Or is that douchebag? Which prompts me to ask:

Did you ever contemplate what it's really like to be a copy editor?

An opinion piece from The Awl purportedly answers that last question.

And Mentions Patrick Stewart's Right Hand

Copy editing? I think not.
. .

Watched The Age Of Stupid -- a full-length feature film chronicling the results of global warming. In my somewhat biased opinion it is mainly a political propaganda piece, speculative and blatantly aimed at arousing emotions instead of being scientific or fact-based. Most of it made me suspect that I was being manipulated by marketing experts. But as I often note, I could be wrong.

And I must admit that I did not (could not) watch the entire thing.

If you would like to view this controversial movie and form your own opinion as to its value, you can do so (until 5 P.M. Pacific Time this coming Thursday) at which time it will no longer be offered at this site free of charge.

. . .

On this lazy Sunday morning Eva is sleeping soundly on the carpet in the front parlor. She's such a smart canine.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nothing Much Today . . .

What is this?

Lurking on the wall outside our front entrance.

. . .

Same bug, different lighting

Yuck . . .


Friday, July 23, 2010

Ramblin' On . . .

To my regret, I foolishly allowed myself to watch one of yesterday's TV News half-hours.

Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, while reporting on some Hillary Clinton story, described something as being, "...very unique". The word unique means 'one of a kind'. And the educated Mr.Williams surely knows better, knows how stupid it would sound to say, "...very one-of-a-kind".

But, there I go again.

I often chide myself for my penchant for micro-editing. Who am I to find fault with the speech or the writings of others? But I do so constantly.

For example:

When I read an information piece reporting that Vikram Chandra supposedly said (or perhaps wrote), "I think it's very true when you're a writer and you sometimes you have to spend time poking at part of yourself that normal, sane people leave alone."

Something struck a sour note. I didn't at first know what it was. Then I re-read the sentence, and found a mistake in the text: "...and you sometimes you..."

See what I mean? I would be much happier (in blissful ignorance) if I had just let it pass instead of dwelling on some copy editor's negligence.

But... nooooo. Not me. Not Mister Perfection.

. . .

Mike pointed me to a link for an article titled French Scientists Crack Secrets Of Mona Lisa . It is an AP news article that art enthusiasts might like to read.

. . .

During my fitness walk I snapped some pictures. Below are four of them.


. . .


. . .


. . .


. . .

I composed a tentative opening sentence for my novel: While a child Micah Malachi Mitchell secretly consumed earthworms and Box Elder bugs.

The sentence pleases me.

At this moment in time.

Will it eventually evolve?

Who knows?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This Is Going To Be A Slow Day

Because I have been so often referring to the novel I am writing, a reader recently asked me, "What is your novel about?"

I prefer not to discuss the specifics, but, in general, the story reflects the question...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

And yes I am being intentionally circumspect.

. . .

This morning, as I do every morning, I read the brief daily offering from The Writer's Almanac and discovered the following interesting item:

When Tom Robbins writes, he has breakfast and lights up a cigar, and then he works on a sentence until he considers it absolutely perfect.Sometimes that takes a whole day. Once he decides that it's perfect, he moves on, and once he has a page finished, he won't rewrite it. He said, "I like painting myself in corners and seeing if I can get out."

That's one method that some authors employ, I've heard. It does seem to me that doing this would be prohibitively time consuming.

But, whatever works . . . right?

. . .

Just after the sun rose over the Santa Catalina mountains I marveled at the shifting play of light that painted each mountain peak with contrasting colors and subtle light-to-dark graduations evoked by the movement of denser and denser clouds drifting across the often-bleak mounainscape.

I snapped a boatload of pictures but none of them accurately depicted the actual gradations that my brain registered from the impulses transmitted from my eyes.

Five of them came close, so I am including them below:


. . .


. . .


. . .


. . .


. . .

The clouded sky and mountain scape below it seem to echo the changing intensities of my alternately darkening and lightening moods this morning.

. . .

Now I'm off to check my Powerball lottery ticket selections with the posted winning numbers.

. . .

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Ernest Hemingway

Today is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961.

Papa Hemingway At Work

. . .

I have discovered a major problem in my attempts at (honest) fiction writing: having characters perform according to what I KNOW is how they would do so because of their temperament, as opposed to how I want them to perform. It's a real problem and an item of concern for me, this deliberate skewing of a story from (my perception of) reality merely for dramatic effect.

Perhaps I am too old to write acceptably presented modern fiction.

But Cormac McCarthy published The Road when he was in his seventies, as am I, so why should I not continue writing my novel? As I wish to write it. I have a great deal to say to an open-minded intelligent reader and if I do not say it (in print) then I am surely remiss in my duty to myself and to my abilities.

. . .

I found an online Bibliography that has proven to be worthwhile in my seemingly never-ending search for new and interesting books to read. I can use this site to easily view the description of a book and then go to my favorite vendor to buy it.

. . .

A humorous interlude:

Mel Gibson meets the South Park gang in a short video cartoon.

Toodles . . .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday To . . .

Duplicate Removed

For some unknown reason, blogspot duplicated my Cormac McCarthy entry.

I removed it.

Happy Birthday To . . .


I am told that today is the birthday of one of my favorite authors. His name is Cormac McCarthy. If you are unfamiliar with the man you can read about him at The website of the Cormac McCarthy Society

Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy has published 10 books --

* The Orchard Keeper (1965)
* Outer Dark (1968)
* Child of God (1974)
* Suttree (1979)
* Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)
* All the Pretty Horses (1992)
* The Crossing (1994)
* Cities of the Plain (1998)
* No Country for Old Men (2005)
* The Road (2006)

I have read all ten, some of them multiple times, and liked them all. One of them, Suttree, draws me back to it for some reason. Don't know why.

Here is the link again --

. . .

I never let schooling get in the way of education.
--Mark Twain

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shelves Of Bric-A-Brac

My latest foray to Circle K was essayed in the middle of a one-hundred-plus degree F. afternoon. That was yesterday. Here in Tucson, AZ. And it was a most enjoyable walk, as hard as that might be for you (the reader) to believe.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

. . .

Here is a Youtube video that puzzled me. It's ostensibly about what to teach your baby.

But it was presented by an organization named: The Thinking Atheist.

Go figure . . .

And some atheist also has posted a site featuring 15 sexy scientists (with pictures, of course) which can be viewed here ...Oh, you crafty atheists, you.

. . .

A self-described occasional reader of this blog complained that the content was too unfocused, too down-home and laid back in style, and that I would have many more readers if I would write of serious and contemporary matters. And that if I gained readership I could then add Google advertising on the page and earn some cash.

That is probably true, and I suppose that I should consider it.

But if I were to write of contemporary happenings, then I would be merely a part of the plodding herd. One of the milling throng.

Wouldn't I?

I would like to make my life an

Conformity. Now, let me see . . .

(I'm thinking about it)

. . .

Yesterday, on CBS News This Morning I saw a piece featuring --

Deep Fat-Fried Butter

When I googled that intriguing concept, I found some astounding food-for-thought.

. . .

I have been musing on the possibility of letting my whiskers grow. Shaving is such a boring chore each (or every second or third) morning. I wonder why technology has not developed a harmless no-side-effects depilatory for men's facial hair.

How would I look wearing a beard? Maybe I could also just let the hair on my head grow naturally, without periodic trimming. It's something to think about.

. . .

The Kim Komando Radio Show is one I try not to miss on Sundays. Yes, I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. It seems that every show teaches me something about technology and adds to my knowledge of new electronics and modern communication products.

Digital Goddess

You can find some useful FREE downloads at her site and they are all Kim tested and approved.

Later . . .


Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Day Of Rest?

This morning I watched the Sunday news show titled This Week and listened closely to the interview with Vice President Joe Biden. Aside from mentioning that trivial fact, I have nothing more to say about it.

But . . .

In my Notes For Future Reference file, I wrote:


Favorite sound bites of the liar--

The truth of the matters is;
That's not what I said;
But that's not the relevant question;

and, of course:

Let me make this perfectly clear.

Ha! . . .

One of the basic precepts of Doctor Gregory House is: "Everybody lies."

. . .

Yesterday evening a light storm appeared over the Santa Catalina mountains and slowly drifted in our direction. But it did not make it to the door, moving instead off to the west.

. . .

My earlier promise to myself that I would set aside a time for working on my novel and write some portion of it each day has not been kept. So much for promises made to one's self.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why Do I Write?


What purpose do I have in this day-by-day entering of my thoughts in this blog?

The only purpose I can think of is that I wish to simply write down my thoughts and feelings as they occur to me. It's a type of diary. Or a personal log, or a journal of sorts. If at any point in the writing or in the reading, some observation seems at all profound or meaningful, then that's fine with me. If not, that's fine too.

My purpose is to write . . .

. . .

I recently read a Wired interview with Steve Jobs on modern technology and how the web will affect peoples' lives. At one point Steve said, "It's certainly not going to be like the first time somebody saw a television."

Which set me to reminiscing...

The first time I saw a television set was in 1950 (or perhaps '51) when I was 11 or 12 years old. I remember it well... while I was attending a classmates birthday party, the host's mother turned on their new television set and sat us all down to watch and listen to Buffalo Bob call out, "Hey kids... what time is it?" And the loud answering outcry was,
"Howdy Doody time!"

I was astounded. A movie theater right in their own home. True it was a small 6 or 9 inch dark-green screen and the show was in black-and-white, but it was right there on a table in the Orville Moore's family living room. Amazing!

When the show eventually presented a back-to-back pair of filmed movies of cowboys Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson in big white sombreros riding galloping horses with the dust-raising posses chasing the fleeing bad guys in black hats and shooting loud booming guns and the rousing music sounding so loud in the background... well, the experience was so new and so different that it truly did send chills coursing up and down my spine... and boy-oh-boy, I was absolutely stunned.

I remember it well . . .

Steve Jobs, in that same interview, said, "We're born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It's been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much -- if at all.
--Steve Jobs
Feb. 1996

. . .

The sudden storm that erupted here in East Tucson a couple days ago left a tremendous amount of detritus in the swimming pool and on the deck. The wind was strong and long-lasting. And it took me almost an hour the next morning to skim the pool's surface and sweep off the deck. I took some pictures of the scattered, submerged, and floating debris...

The pool and deck

. . .

Surface of the water

Hey! I'm not complaining. Skimming the pool, while Eva stands faithful guard, barking against any covert invasion of lizards or ground squirrels (or humming birds) is a calming and relaxing endeavor, probably because I don't have to do it... I just want to.

. . .

That's all for now.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Just A Short Note


A rainstorm yesterday lasting nearly an hour disrupted our evening routine, temporarily cutting of the electric power and delaying our evening walk with Eva. Just as the sun was going down over the mountains I snapped three pictures of the various differing colors.

Here is one of them

. . .

Here is another

. . .

And this is the one I think is best

What do you think?

Must get to my work on my novel now. Thank you for reading.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can't Think Of A Clever Title

There was no blog entry yesterday because I used that time to work on my novel.

Yes (almost unbelievably) I accomplished something in that area, in that space of time, something that I truly feel was worth the effort, something that will be of lasting worth, something that gave me pleasure in its creation -- and it has the potential to give others who will someday read the novel a measure of that same enjoyment... I think.

. . .

A friend and fellow (aging) writer is apparently suffering from the malicious malady that eventually strikes us all -- the 'woe is me' syndrome, the 'my life is nearly over and I am a failure' refrain of outrage and regret. It seems that he has fallen prey to that familiar insult to vanity known as 'Oh, poor poor me'.

Nothing can be said by those of us who have suffered this blight on our souls that will lighten his load. He will come through it and will eventually prevail -- or not.

. . .

Below are displayed 2 pics of JoAnn's plant.


During her two-week absence, I have been watering it and rolling up the blinds to allow the Arizona sun to shine upon her tiny flower each day, as I promised I would do.

. . .

Just a few minutes ago I was informed that Martin Van Buren was the first President Of The United States of America who was born a U.S. citizen.

(Very) interesting.

So now I'm off to my Novel pages . . .

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Do Authors Do For Fun?

Such a ridiculous state of affairs. Although I maintain that I am writing a novel, the fact remains that at the end of the day I have usually accumulated not one satisfactory page of manuscript. And this for some unguessable reason is, for me, intolerable.

Yesterday my daughter posted on Facebook a maxim that made sense to me. It was:

"Healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones -- through practice."
--Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I read that my first thought was: Now that makes sense to me.

And I mused upon that sensible idea for a time.

By the end of the day I had concluded that my next step should be to set aside a portion of time each (and every) day wherein I allow myself to do nothing but write... and that means write my book.

It does not mean that I should THINK about writing -- not READ about already established writers and how they go about practicing their particular personal craft (or their art) of writing -- NOT scribble notes for my blog -- not check and re-check my email -- not absently MUSE upon my novel's theme or its originality or its publishability -- but that I should WORK at it by planting my seat on the chair and pounding the keyboard's keys until my absolutely-allotted time for this and EVERY day's WORK has expired.

Noble sentiment, is it not?

Now . . . to DO it.

. . .

Here is another piece of wisdom:

If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that does not.

. . .

Do I truly believe that I am a writer?

Do I really want to write a novel?

I'll have to ask Eva those questions and then pay attention to the answers.

Or . . . I could just sit myself down and write the novel.

Yes . . .

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jots To Titillate . . .

Once again during the day I found myself telling Eva about the book that I perpetually claim to be writing. She listened attentively, as is her wont, while I attempted to rationalize my reasons for structuring this novel in such an unconventional form.

When she instinctively realized that I had finally finished my monologue, Eva fetched me her "Tug" and the two of us played a growling game of tug-o'-war that morphed into our never-ending run-and-chase game of keep-away.

. . .

I have often encountered the word 'bowdlerize' and more or less just skipped by it, but now, at long last. I have discovered (and absorbed) it's true meaning.

Thomas Bowdler was born in Ashley, Somerset, England (1754). He wrote a censored version of Shakespeare's plays, called The Family Shakespeare (1807), because he thought that the Bard's sexual humor was inappropriate for women and children. And we remember him today in the verb bowdlerize, which means to revise for a censorious purpose.

Which (for some reason) reminds me . . . I have been contemplating the concepts of 'sin' and 'holiness' but find that I cannot 'grok' these terms.

Not yet, anyway.

. . .

One of JoAnn's plants is displaying some colorful buds.

Here is a cropped enlargement of the buds (blossoms?)

. . .

I keep hearing the term "redistribute the wealth" bandied about in the news. And, strangely enough, I read that particular term earlier today in The Writers Almanac wherein is stated --

Julius Caesar . . .
In the last years of his life, Caesar was appointed absolute dictator of Rome. He had ambitious plans to redistribute wealth and land, and he began planning public works and an invasion of Germany. But a group of senators, led by Brutus and Cassius, wanted to bring back the old republic. So they organized an assassination on the steps of the Senate. Caesar died from over 20 stab wounds.

Redistribute The Wealth? Right.

. . .

E.B. White said: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What's Up With This?

I awoke early this morning just a little after midnight to the rooftop drumming of a torrential rainstorm. The rain on the roof was loud and it lasted for almost a half-hour.

Then I went back to sleep till 5:30 A.M. -- at which time I took Eva out to do her business.

. . .

As the song from Ghost Busters proclaims, "There's something strange in your neighborhood..."

The strange thing in my neighborhood is my recent and current mindset. For the last three months I have been unable to write anything of satisfactory significance (in my estimation) to include in the latest long-overdue manuscript iteration of my Great-American-Novel. This is, of course, my own fault. And yes I know what I mean by that. Something has to be done about it.

And, if time permits, it will be.

All my ghosts must be exorcised.

The ephemeral and the substantial.

And, given time, they will be.

I took my own photo this morning
Sorry I didn't shave . . . this is the real 71-year-old me

Saturday, July 10, 2010

11:45 A.M. Tucson Time

Lightning, thunder, and a pouring down rain.

. . .

The first storm of the 2010 monsoon

. . .

Today was the first appreciable amount of rain over the Santa Catalina Mountains that I have seen in the last seventy days.

I'm sure it won't be the last . . .

Friday, July 9, 2010

Same Ol' Same Ol'

Don't feel like writing today. Went for my usual three and a half mile walk early this morning but then later began to feel extremely tired, so I just sat and watched TV... the House marathon, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, Oprah, etc. Walked Eva around the pool several times, practiced nine-ball break shots, and read some blogs.

That's about it. I think my old age is finally catching up with me.

Or maybe it's a temporary thing.

We'll see . . .

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Deep Thoughts . . . Diluted

Mike has been drinking an electrolyte replacement powder mixed in with his drinking water and seems to enjoy it. So I tried it today. And I was pleasantly surprised.It was extremely delicious and refreshing. And it is not the old original Crystal Lite with all its junky additives.

This is Crystal Light PUREFITNESS.

No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.
One tube per 8 oz. glass. 15 calories per serving.

. . .

Senator Orin Hatch questions Elena Kagan, candidate for Justice of the Supreme Court, but she evades answering in an evasive and unbelievably stupid manner. Elena Kagan won't admit to Orrin Hatch she wrote something but admits it's written in her handwriting. Here is a link to the YouTube video:

Politics . . .

. . .

My Theory Of Everything --
in one simple declaration --
(and in one single equation)

infinity equals zero

Here's a thought . . .

The act or even the mere intention of observing an object or an event alters the object or event.

Therefore: Reality can never be observed and remain reality.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Middle Of The Week Already

I finally got a picture of a roadrunner. Eva noticed it first and began barking. I looked up and saw the speedy little critter sprinting along the top of the backyard wall. I hurriedly grabbed up my camera and managed to get three quick shots at it before the bird hopped down off the wall and hightailed it through the scrub and out into the desert.

Since the roadrunner was perched atop the wall at a distance of about 75 or 80 feet (approximately 24 metres) my little camera would not zoom it any closer than the following cropped closeup.

Where's Wile E. Coyote when he's needed?


The new word that I learned today is:
1. An inscription on a building or statue.
2. A quotation introducing a book or a chapter.

I once knew that word... epigraph...but had forgotten its meaning. I have always enjoyed reading epigraphs that introduce a book or a book chapter. Especially those clever and entertaining epigraphs penned by Mark Twain.


Yesterday I watched a movie that was a remake of the old Jimmy Stewart film, Harvey. In this version, Harry Anderson played the part of Elwood P. Dowd who has a companion named Harvey, a pooka in the form of a six-foot tall rabbit. Leslie Nielson was also in this one. In my opinion, it was not nearly as good as the original. Of course, I have never been a fan of Harry Anderson (nor Leslie Nielson), while Jimmy Stewart was one of my favorite performers of all time.


After lunch (Chicken Tenderloins, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Baked Beans) I developed a craving for something sweet, a dessert of sorts. So what do you suppose that I chose?

Chocolate Chip Fiber Plus Antioxidant Bar.

It was quite tasty. But horribly overpriced.

Can't think of anything else to write about right now. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day...

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
--Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

All Play And No Work...


As Eva and I began one of our strolls around the pool she suddenly became quite agitated, jumping and prancing at the pool's corner, then she plunged her muzzle down into the water. When I looked down I saw she was wrapping her jaws around a hapless ground squirrel that had fallen into the pool and could not get out. It looked like a drowned rat but it was still struggling to swim and scrabbling at the corner, trying to climb up and out of the highly chlorinated water.

Of course, I hauled back and pulled Eva (snarling and growling and completely outraged at me) awau -- I was glad she was on the leash. If Eva had been running free, the pitiful fur-matted critter would have been deceased and an early lunch for the excitedly cavorting canine.

After taking Eva back inside the house, I rescued the weakening varmint by fishing it out of the pool with a push broom, to which it clung (until I could carry it over to the gate) and let it out into the outer patio, freeing it to the adjacent desert floor... to its home.

These creatures wreak havoc on plants, digging holes that go down to the roots of flowers, cacti, and other plants. But I could not bring myself to kill it, or to maim it and then leave it to be captured and eaten by the coyotes and other predators -- guess I'm just an old softie...


We play tug-o'-war with a knotted chew-toy
That's my left hand at the bottom


Here's another shot
She's growling deep in her throat now

Eva is only a pup, being only a couple years old. She keeps me hopping... keeps me on my toes... keeps me active.

The 7/6/2010 photo of new pink blossom bud
The blossom is pale pink but appears white in the camera flash

Sorry 'bout that.


My newest vocabulary word is:
bibliolatry --
1. Excessive devotion to the Bible, especially to its literal interpretation.
2. Extreme devotion to books.