.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Three score and ten or more

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The last couple of days have been days of education.

I have been complaining about DSL and we discovered late Thursday evening that the network cards in all my computers but my laptop had been fried. I was promised that a tech from the ISP would show up the next day with a USB cable, and drivers that would make a couple of computers work till I could replace the network cards. For one reason or another, it didn’t happen and I got so frustrated I completely forgot that Friday afternoon is one of my sessions of physical therapy to try to make my shoulder spurs less painful. I missed the session, so there went some money down the drain.

So, Friday afternoon I bought a couple of network cards from Office Max and with some help from second son, they were installed (but not in my computer). We went along messing with these while Janet made a favorite pasta dish for supper. “Oh Darn” came the call from the kitchen and I went in to find the trouble and discovered that she had opened a package of pasta, dropped it in the boiling water without paying much attention and when she turned to look at it, it was full of small bugs (which were now floating in the boiling water). Without even checking to see if it was “al dente” she switched on the garbage disposal turned on a stream of water and dumped the pasta into the disposal. We learned lesson number one (or two or seven, I still have got to learn to count), that our garbage disposal does not react well to pasta, and the pipes clogged completely. Just then the dishwasher began to empty and the clogged drain filled the kitchen sink with—Oh, you know.

Clearing the clog became my task. The pasta has not “stuck” in the disposal, but in the pipes below, so I first tried a plunger, then two plungers. The pasta somewhere below us just chuckled, and all the teeny pieces chopped up by the disposal linked arms and said. “Nanner nanner noo noo,” or “ Bleaathh” or whatever teeny pieces of pasta say in defiance. I then went to Lowes and bought a large container of industrial strength drain cleaner (that, according to the label would clean my drain without eating the innards of the garbage disposal). This drain cleaner would pour through standing water and clean out and dissolve “anything organic”, which I assumed included dead and ground up pasta. When I inserted a funnel into the drain, through the standing water (as per directions on the package) and poured it , it just sat there and stared at me, foaming a little but otherwise performing like a left handed mechanic in a right handed car. I shrugged and we sat down to eat the pasta (from a differed package). After the meal was finished, and following another a half hour of under the breath profanity seeing that the drain cleaner had not done a thing, I returned to the plungers, succeeding only in coating a fair amount of my upper body in caustic solutions. “Oh Well”, says I, “Its bed time, surely the drain cleaner just needs an overnight opportunity to do its job.” And off to the shower and then to bed I went.

Early this morning I got up to go to my water aerobics class, but my dear wife just was not able to go with me. She has been taking medication that nauseates her, and she didn’t sleep well last night so she just groaned, and I tucked her in and tiptoed into the kitchen to see how the drain cleaner had worked. Now, not only the ground up pasta in the pipes were shouting “Nanner nanner noo noo” so was the foamy water mixed with drain cleaner in the sink. Back to the plungers, and I was busily plunging away when I felt moisture on my toesees. Looking under the sink, I discovered that all that plunging had forces some of that toxic water out of the stand pipe and under the sink.

After removing most of the stuff under the sink (mostly cleaning chemicals, and pads for the “Twister” mops and stuff like that), disposing of whatever was package in paper and sorting the rest, I came to the conclusion that it was time to remove the traps and go into the pipes with a “pipe snake”. Of course first I had to bring in the wet and dry vacuum cleaner and suck up all that caustic water (even to stick it down the drain and see if I could move the clog (wherever it was). The drain cleaner advertising was right about dissolving anything organic (except pasta) because it dissolved the filters in my wet and dry vac very effectively. Fortunately we got the water out first. My next step was to remove all the sink traps, all of which were clear, as I thought they would be (just my luck that the clog was beneath them and they had refused to trap it, as was their task)
I worked my way down to the stand pipe (which was full of water and required a new filter in the shop vac, and some more water was sucked up. I then inserted the sewer snake. The one I had was too thick to go in all the way, so I went back to Lowes and bought a smaller one. Alternating snaking and sucking up the contents of the pipe with the shop vac, we finally cleaned the pasta out of the drain. Disposal ground pasta looks much like a lot of small maggots or large rice mixed with a lot of grassy looking stuff.

After washing out the shop vacs (actually used two, one with a small hose and one with a large hose and lots of power), replacing the filters, re-installing all the plumbing and testing it, the drains are draining smoothly, we will never toss pasta into the disposal again, sometime tomorrow I will put the cleaning chemicals and other stuff back under the sink, and, now, I am going to take a shower and go to bed. (Oh, while I was plumbing, number two son put a third card into the third computer so that all computers are now on line. Whee, my withdrawal symptoms are leaving fast)

Nighty Night..

Strange- Withdrawal.

It is now Wednesday evening, August 23, 2006, and my DSL has been down since Sunday. Now, I go on trips all the time where I can’t access the internet for three or four days, --- sometimes a week, and I don’t have any sign of withdrawal. I live without a daily dose of Saurkraut, Born Again Redneck, Polanco, ExMI, Gayle, Thotman, Mental Meanderings, the puppetry sites, the dollmaker’s list, or any number of computer driven addictions. I just go on without them.

But there is something about the computer sitting there with all its lights on, all its programs running, and a dead DSL Modem that was promised me by noon yesterday that just drives me batty. I come in here and look at the Explorer icon, the Firefox icon, the Outlook icon, and play a few games of solitare. I have sorted through an enormous list of old emails, most of which I should have deleted when I read them, but now I delete them or sort them into folders. I get out the slide scanner and scan pictures of plays that I did in 1970 and which I have promised to scan then donate to the University. I clean the mold off from 1954 slides of missionary experiences and Finnish Scenery from the 50’s, and scan them. ( I may have to post some just to justify the time spent on them.) I wish I hadn’t tossed the old CD of dial-up applications for Frontier (my ISP and phone company) and I go through all of my existing CD’s hoping to run across it. I do something weird to my keyboard and end up with text underlined and RED and don’t have a clue how to make it quit.

Then I play a few games of Spider solitaire, Regular Solitaire , clickomania, then I run blithering around the house. I want my DSL. I wantmy DSL/

This is the last of the posts I tried by hook, crook and laptop to post, while whining about my lack of computer access. All computers are now up and running properly on DSL. Now, I probably won't be able to think of anything to say.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The messages we send, and how we send them.

I spent the early part of last week with my daughter (and without internet access) so I didn’t even think much about the blog, but I had a couple of experiences just following that period that really hit me where I (still, in spite of retirement) live. That means that they affect the way we exchange messages or communicate. The first was a period, driving my car, when I turned on the radio and recognized the voice of Sean Hannity. He appeared to have a couple of guests, but it was difficult to sort out the topic. It appeared that one of the guests had made a comment regarding Japanese Internment during World War II that the other guest objected to. It was hard to sort out because that second guest had taken the role, often taken by talk show guests, I hate to say it but they are usually, but not always the liberal guests) that the one who interrupts, most often, shouts the loudest, and talks fastest always wins. This particular guest, called Leo by Hannity but never clearly identified during the brief time I tolerated his assault, made an absolute ass of himself because he never listened to his opponent. The opponent referred to a mistaken or bad decision by the Supreme Court and Leo shouted the word RACIST seven time in what seemed like less than ten seconds. It was only after Hannity seemed almost to clap a hand over the idiots mouth that it was made clean that the Court decision to which the other guest referred was the decision made in 1942 or 3 that the Nissei Internment Camps were legal. (In other words, he agreed with Leo)

Leo then shouted that he was an attorney and anyone listening to this broadcast would want him as an attorney. Not me. I have been on juries. I actually have had more than my share of jury duty. Between the years of 1971 and 1983 I was called to be a juror at least once, and often twice or three times a year. I have sat in jury rooms and listened to other jurors talk about impolite obnoxious attorneys, and what they say isn’t good. If he ever wins a case it is because he changes his tactics, or his opponent takes a plea.

I don’t mean to pick just on Leo, but on all the guest talking heads that come on the TV talk shows and demonstrate that absolute stupidity of thinking that interrupting and shouting and inventing statistics is persuasive. I have spend a lot of time and a considerable amount of grant money researching the types of communication that actually persuades or changes minds and behavior. Shouting and interrupting isn’t it.

It is only partially related but I have another pet peeve in communication. It is the flagrant misuse of statistics. (And in this, the right is no better than the left). Statistics require data. That means actual counts of subjects using a plan to avoid skewing that data. The other day I heard a re-run of newsman Chris Matthews interviewing Elizabeth Dole about the upcoming elections and particularly Iraq. She made a comment regarding the current Iraqi government and hopes for its success. Matthews interrupted her three time to say tha “We’ve had American Generals on the show and we know that 95 per-cent of all Iraqis want us to leave!!!” His ninety five percent is a classical non statistic. It was a quote from the opinions of some U.S. general officers who may or may not have ever been in theatre, but even that is beside the point. When one says 95 percent, it implies that you have more than statistics you have hard data. I would dare say(and I have worked briefly in the polling business, my limited experience makes be secure in saying that a lot of the statistics on most of the subjects that are quoted on the air are spurious( I almost cited an opinion percentate- that’s how indoctrinated we all are). They are the results of limited samples, badly structure polls, and often on no hard data at all.

I am not sure who said it first, but someone once was quoted as saying that “Statistics don’t lie, but statisticians sure do”. Another way of putting it is attributed to Mark Twain who is quoted as saying “There are lies, DAMN lies, and statistics.”

My router and my DSL modem went south in a thunderstorm yesterday. I am typing this in Word, hoping that repairs will be made soon enough to make the posting worthwhile.

I am going to get on to one more post regarding old coots and geezers soon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lost soul

Not that I really expect the world to miss my maunderings, but (this is Thursday the 24th) last Sunday I went out to dinner and came home to find that the dial tone on my phones was gone and that my DSL was defunct. I called the phone company and they promised that someone would come fix the phones. Meanwhile the phones returned to service spontaneously (except the portable that also served as my answering machine) but the DSL remained dead. I called the ISP and after having me run some tests the tech determined that my modem was dead. This was to be replace by tuesday, and after some agitated telephone work today it finally came. Unfortunately it didn't work so, after the new tech took me, and then second son through a bunch of tests the new tech confessed herself bewildered. Finally I dug out the laptop which was not hooked up Sunday and we determined that the network cards in all three computers are fried. I actually have three or four posts saved somewhere in WORD that I will eventually send bu at least I am alive, and can quit wandering around the house blithering from blog withdrawal. My new modem has limited wireless capability and we have at least one wire that works. I am so glad that second son walked in as the tech was taking me to task, at least he spoke her language.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Coothood Ruminations.

I should have titled this more carefully. What I really want to write about is Geezer Fashions. It is not that Geezers and Coots don’t have fashion sense, but the nonsense that is involved in general fashion becomes immediately apparent to the geezer or geezerette as the true zen of geezerhood sets in..

For instance, some semi-repentant hippie got an internship at GQ forty or fifty years ago, and immediately began to add touches of Hippie fashion to GQ. One of the first subversive fashions was to come to the ridiculous conclusion that one can’t wear socks with open toed sandals. It is not the fault of the rest of the world that this dimwit hippie leftover had gotten so used to sand under his toenails and dust and/or gravel between the toes and the space between the insole of the shoe and the arch of the foot, that he couldn’t abide anyone having sandals and still keeping the foot protected and comfortable,. He obviously didn’t know that in the scriptures one of the great blessings spoken of by the Messiah was the washing of feet. That was because, in that time, NO ONE had stockings to wear beneath the sandals.. If they, at the time, had experienced the comfort of stockings, the washing of feet, while respectable and beneficial would not have been regarded a such a great blessing.

Now when one is in the pre-geezer state, he is sufficiently influenced by the chastening power of GQ and Esquire that he is willing to put up with the abrasive qualities of sandal leather along with the drying and cracking of the skin when over exposed to the elements.
The realization that bare feet gather and distribute fungi and bacteria randomly to everything that is contacted by the foot seems less important than standing by the standards imposed by self important “fashion experts.”

As long as we are talking about feet, did you know that there are otherwise sane people who not only advocate the wearing of open toed sandals without socks, but those who would encourage others to wear closed toe, regular shoes without socks. Sneakers or boat shoes that can be tossed into the washing machine with regularity are not totally disgusting but there are actually those who wear regular leather shoes without socks (which could be washed). Can you imagine the athlete’s foot fungus, the toe jam, the oft shed cells of skin mixing together in this unwashed and unwashable leather cauldron of yuck. These are the same people who look askance at the geezer wearing walking shorts who has the wisdom to cover his feet with socks; even black socks if that is what it takes to protect society and his feet from that kind of corruption.

As one approaches the magnificent state of geezerhood, and realizes that unprotected aging and drying skin can be worn right through to the bone by direct contact with the rough side of leather, and that if one has those side effects of age called diabetes or peripheral neuropathy, that wear can create ulcers that, often un-healable, result in the loss of toes, feet, even ---- what can I say? Without even bothering to touch upon the other oft criticized, but truly salutary elements of geezer fashions like suspenders, elasticized waist bands and walking shorts that open the scars of bypass surgery and varicose veins to healthy sunlight, I leave now to go for a walk in comfortable elastic waist band walking SHORTS held up with suspenders, with white athletic socks upon my feet, under my favorite Birkenstock sandals. NYYAAAH N NYAAH NAH.
I will deal with the reasonableness, the comfort, health and super styles of other appropriate geezer fashions on another occasion

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ruminations on Coothood, part whatever.

It’s one of those days when one (or at least this one) meditates on the advantages and disadvantages of Coothood. Pain, diagnosis and prognosis are all felt differently and treated differently by age and by the changes evoked by the MARCH OF TIME.

Beginning while I was in high school, I have had all the symptoms that are now recognized as carpal tunnel syndrome. Of course, at that time there was no such thing as carpal tunnel syndrome. As a result, when my fingers turned tingly and numb and useless so that I couldn’t hold on to things, I had: truck driver’s shoulder, where my deltoids and some other muscle had over developed and were cutting off the blood to my fingers; or when I had excruciating pain in my forearm and hands, I had gout, or - - - - something else. Over the years Chiropractors have vibrated and shocked me electrically, then massaged the heck out of both arms and back (even if it doesn’t cure, it makes you feel good), for gout, doctors made me quit eating anything that tasted good, in addition to peas, beans and lentils. I’ve had xrays, examinations, held on to little aluminum bars that had low voltage electricity, and had surgery recommended to free up the blood flow from my shoulders to my hands.

Now that they have discovered Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it is too late for me. I now have an acquired peripheral neuropathy that mimics many of the Carpal Tunnel symptoms and even passes them on to my feet and legs. When I was having an EMG (I don’t have a clue what the letters stand for, but it is a diagnostic tool where they stick a needle on a nerve at the top of your leg, an electrode on the appropriate toe then shoot electrical current between the two, and measure the length of time it took to get from the needle to the toe- - - or, the needle in the arm and the electrode on the finger and do the same thing, it is probably the most fun you can have without receiving a root canal without anesthetic) the technician looked at me and said “Boy, you have the worst case of Carpal Tunnel I have ever measured.” When I asked my doctor about it, she chuckled. “It is now just part of the neuropathy, and the treatments are completely different”. I had to admit, the type of pain from the carpal tunnel is no longer in my arms (the fingers still turn numb sometimes) but now is on the bottoms of my feet.

New rumination! I wonder what capsasin (pepper) ointment would have felt like on my feet when they were healthy. Now I spread it on liberally to cut the burning. If anyone wants to try capsasin on their healthy feet and describe the sensation, I am open to reading it.

Day before yesterday I was visiting my daughter and reached upward for a book. My hand locked in place with my thumb immovably set by the side of my fingers. “I’m afraid my hand is paralyzed.” I said to my wife, so she took my hand and unlocked the fingers, moved my thumb and everything worked well. I had two more similar seizures the next day, so, first thing upon arriving home I ran to the doctor to be healed of my paralysis. “It is just a cramp” he says. “Those types of things are frequent in people who are----- over fifty or so, it is a little like when you stretch out your toes before getting out of bed and get a cramp in your foot. A lot of older people get them in the middle finger of the hand.” (I didn’t want to pursue that one, but, all in all, I prefer the cramp in my thumb). It is a bit discouraging, gout becomes Carpal Tunnel, becomes a neuropathy, and paralysis becomes a cramp.. I just don’t get no respect, that’s all there is to it. But then, I think coothood brings on a combined tolerance and lack of respect that is always a bit irritating. In my next life I think I am going to be Japanese, or Korean where, when you reach coothood everybody bows to you. Or not?????

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well I have finished all the doctoring junk for the week and am going to my daughter's where I will swim in her pool, loaf on her couch and probably end up doing carpenter work somewhere, but I am leaving for four or five days, leaving second son in the house to take a bunch of my junk and hold a yard sale. (We looked at another house this week, but it is smaller and requires the thinning out of the pack-rat stuff we have collected over the years.)
I do want to tag
Saurkraut and
Norma (Collecting my thoughts) with the tag below. (As a passionate librarian, she probably began this tag- Wouldn't that be charming to return to sender)
I really need to tag Mahndisa too. She writes so beautifully, but recently she has been on these Physics tears, and I can't wrap my sluggish old brain around it all. Get her to change the subject for one post.

See ya next week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Up with the New and Up with the Old

Up with the New and Up with the Old.

All kinds of strange stimuli floating around me. I don’t know how many of you follow Saurkraut (I can’t consistently do internal links, but look at the list of sites on the right), but if you don’t, you miss a lot of real treats. She took on a real challenge this weekend and told her “fans” to just ask her any questions they wanted and she would answer them.
That is really putting yourself out there. I can’t imagine doing that myself. Can you imagine the blow to the ego if you made that offer and nobody asked any questions? (In my situation, I suspect that with my case of diarrhea of the mouth, there wouldn’t be much that any one would have a question for which I haven’t already posted the answer, and with the number of readers I have, there might not be anyone out there interested). In any case I could hardly wait to get her answers and they were as instructive, amusing and interesting (even challenging) as I suspected that they might be.

I then skipped to tracksy, my audience counter. It was really instructive. A lot of the new folks who have been flitting through the blog seem to be looking at the Mormon Missionary stories with which I chased away some old readers. Maybe I’ll go back to talking about my adventures in Finland. Who knows?

I was really fascinated to find that a couple of my posts had been translated into Spanish. There was a time, some fifty years ago when I proved that I could read enough Spanish that it was accepted as one of the reading /research languages approved for my PhD, so I decided to read my work as it had been translated, in Spanish. I was stunned to find that, in order to really make sense of my translated post, I had to cheat and go back to the original. One would think that I could remember my own work well enough to interpret the translation. Going back to those early posts was upsetting to me, because they were some of my early posts on being “seventy-plus years old” (To the uninitiated that’s what "three score and ten or more" means). Reading them was a little frustrating because they are so much better written than what I’m doing now. Maybe my spring is running down.

Going back to the blogs I follow, I found that Patrick, at “Born Again Redneck” (same deal on links) had tagged me. I haven’t been tagged for ages. That gives me the opportunity to answer questions just as if someone had asked them of me personally. That’s not quite Saur’s level, but it shows some interest from somewhere:

This tag relates to books:

First through seventh or eighth (Next year I am going to learn to count.)

One book that changed your life:

This has to be strange to some of you, but that book was Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament. In my senior year in high school I was taking an Old Testament class on released time from school, (you had to be there) and I found my self going through Ecclesiastes (sp?) to find material to flummox the teacher. (I was -- a challenging youth-- in that class and successful in my endeavor). One day the teacher snagged me and challenged me to make a decision whether I was a believer or just a trouble making teen. This, in turn, resulted in a process that I won't describe in this forum, but in that process I became a firm believer in God, and later, a witnessing and testifying (and often boring) "saved sinner".

One book you’ve read more than once.

It is difficult to list ONE book. My eldest son, who has books about a foot deep all over his apartment is fond of saying “A book that is only worth one reading isn’t worth reading at all”. And I, kind of, agree. I have a number of erstwhile professional books that are well read. All of Shakespeare’s plays; The Idea of a Theatre, (I think, by Gordon Craig, I gave away my theatre books and my memory is like Swiss Cheese.) Acting, the First Six Lessons , by Boleslavsky; Language in Action by S.I. Hayakawa; and a bunch of others

I have re-read all the Tolkiens I could find, the same with C.S.Lewis and Isaac Asimov. As, at least, an aspiring devout Mormon, I must include the Book of Mormon, the King James Version of the Bible , and a variety of other religious books. Like Patrick, the Jane Austens; unlike him, all of the Revolutionary and other war history novels of Kenneth Roberts; and Blue Highways. The book I have reread most often is not a novel, but a compilation of poetry, originally compiled for children, which is named Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickles, (which is the name of one of the poems in the book). Who compiled the book, I couldn’t say. My copy is so bedraggled that it is missing that information.

One book you would want on a desert island.
I’m torn between the Bible and ‘Watermelon Pickles, there’s a contrast for you, probably the Bible. Psalms, Job, and Song of Solomon would satisfy my direct poetry needs, and the rest would keep me sane and alive.

One book that made you laugh.

I can't remember the name, but it was written by Thorne Smith, and I laughed and laughed, and became a devoted reader of his work, and of almost anything else in print.

One book that made you cry.

I am a living fountain who cries when he sees the color guard in parades, and I have cried at most of the books listed above (probably not Hayakawa). To pick one: It isn’t even listed above, but I have sobbed through the Diary of Anne Frank as a book, as a play I was directing, as an audience member to the play. I am beginning to tear up just thinking about some of the scenes.

One book you wish you had written:

Arundel, by Kenneth Roberts. And there are SO MANY plays.

One book that you wish had never been written:

I really can’t put anything here. There are books that I despise, but I am such a nut on open minds and freedom to think, that I can’t wish away anything from which others find value. I found my translation of the Koran to be a little boring, but largely supportive of good things. I never read Mein Kampf (sp) but it was the basis of so much hate that it verges on a winner (or loser) here, but who knows, if I read it, I might find something of value.

One book that you are currently reading:

In the period immediately following (and preceding, which explains the act) my retirement, my brain turned to mush, and I found my self unable to read anything that took thought or concentration. I reverted to pot-boiler mysteries of the type written by John Grishom, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich. They got me back to the reading table, and I find that I can occasionally read something that takes thought, if I intersperse it with----- stuff. The thinking book that I am now reading is Benedict Arnold’s Navy by James Nelson, and it is interspersed with chapters from B is for Burglar , by Sue Grafton.

One book you’ve been meaning to read.:

I have a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the first fifty or sixty pages of which are totally bedraggled from the false beginning process. There is something in me that says, that if I were a truly deserving PhD, and a scholar, I should be able to finish this book, but as I get forty or fifty (once I made it to 65) pages in, I find that the cats need fed, I need a shower, there is a zit that needs picking, or some other totally crucial activity that draws me away.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

You knew I couldn't sit on my behind forever. Here are three pictures of the cascade of pears on the tree. The bottom picture is of my grape vine in front of the house. For once, blogger let me post pictures. They are pretty small but they are pictures.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 05, 2006



Last spring I posted a sort of Valentine to Georgia.  March had come and the azaleas were just blooming and the Camellias were still in bloom.  The peach trees had dropped their blooms and were beginning to set small fruits as the rhododendrons were in bloom the grapes were sprouting budding limbs along their thoroughly pruned trunks.  Even the dogwoods had started to bloom, and I was thrilled to be in Georgia.  In that post, I think I went so far as to say that we, in Georgia paid for March, April, and September with July and August heat, but it was worth it.  

No it aint, damn it.   March and April would have had to be a lot better than they were to be worth this heat, not only July, and August, but September, but for the foreseeable future.    I have many things I would like to write about today, but the doggone heat is so enervating that I can hardly work up the strength to cuss, let along be creative.  As I drove in the driveway this afternoon I looked at the pear tree so covered in fruit that the highest limbs (and it is a big tree) are bowing down almost to the ground.  I looked at it and thought that “It looks like a waterfall of pineapple (that is the type of pear) pears running down from above the roof of the house,” and that I should take a picture and put it on the blog.   But to do that, I would have to go in the house, get the camera, come back and take the picture, go back in the house and down load----- Oh heck it just aint worth the effort.  It is so hot, that it even feels hot inside the air-conditioned house.  I went in the house to take a cold shower and the water coming out of the cold water tap is hot--- I mean it, hot enough that if there were cold water, I would add it to what’s in the shower to cool it down.  One of the difficult things about Georgia is that so many of the “crops” are at the top of their game at a time when it is just about too hot (for anyone whose livelihood doesn’t depend on it) to do anything about it.

A friend called me last week to say that his fig tree was just overloaded and could I come over  and get some (I did, and that’s a whole ‘nother story), the pears are not only covering the trees but they are falling off in bunches (the way Georgia hard pears are generally picked is up off the ground)   I must have two bushels on the ground under the two trees, and I have got to go get them off the ground before I get a CLOUD of yellowjackets slurping them up and attacking anything that comes near. (Me in particular).

I’d go take a cold shower and go to bed if I could get a cold shower.   I am just so druuuug out and listless that if there were Kudzu growing anywhere near my house I wouldn’t dare go out doors for fear of the Kudzu covering me up.  Those grapes I bragged about aren’t ready for harvest but the grape arbor looks like a four foot hedge, and the arbor in the center is almost sealed off with vines.   I suppose that if I can’t work up the energy to take some pictures of this stuff I’ll try to talk one of my progeny into doing it.   Eeeeeiiiiiiiaaaah yawn.  I wonder if it will still be 100 + degrees for Christmas.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Writing about politics

Writing about politics.

I know that I said I would stay away from political posts, and I mean to do so, for the most  part, but sometimes things come up and slap aside the head, and you have to respond.  I mentioned that I have been doctoring and healing and that kind of thing, so I have spent a little time in front of the TV.  Last week I  plopped down in front of the TV and clicked on the C-Span channel, where there are a variety of sources of entertainment from all sides of the political spectrum.  What popped up on my screen was something called THE AMERICAN SCHOLARS SYMPOSIUM.

After a forty plus year career as an American Scholar, I had never heard of such an organization so I sat back with curiosity to see what was going on.  The first thing I realized was that this group had NOTHING  reasonable related to scholarship (though they did have a speaker or two who marginally qualified as scholars) it was totally related to advocacy of an insane conspiracy theory.

In my experience of reading passionate political blogs I have read about Moonbats (liberal Democrats) and Wingnuts (conservative Republicans), but the participants in this group deserve a totally new name.  I considered Dingbats, but Archie Bunker overused that in referring to his wife in ALL IN THE FAMILY.  Perhaps they might appropriately be called Wingbats or Moonnuts or Dingnuts, but whatever they are, they deserve somekind of  appellation that refers to passion and rhetoric without rhyme or reason.

These dipsticks (??? Maybe we ought to have a naming contest) spent two hours (I think, I tuned in after it started and only saw a little over an hour an a half of it) trying to establish the concept that the 9/11 attack was phony, that the Trade Center buildings were destroyed by demolitions set by secret elements of the government, and that the airplane crashes were camouflage to cover over the real process.  I was particularly depressed by the presentation of one Steve Jones (I think) who was introduced as a professor of Physics from BYU who set out in a convoluted explanation of the pool patterns of melted steel to prove that airplanes loaded with fuel couldn’t create enough head to make such patterns. (Sic-em Mahndisa, go gettum)    Another distinguished speaker was Charlie Sheen the dramatic star of TWO AND A HALF MEN in a rambling piece of hate mail to the current administration which indicated that the source of much of this was leftist in origin (Maybe they could be Leftbats, or Leftnuts (oops)) though the antagonistic talk about the current Democrats in the government demonstrated little or no love or admiration in that direction.

One speaker from the floor asked for an explanation of what happened to the original passengers  in the two planes that did hit the Trade Center and was promised that an explanation was immediate forthcoming just as the program came to an end.

The entire program was a tribute to passionate rhetoric without any coherent logic or evidence, but with a lot of self congratulation by the radio talk show host who seems to have developed this, and periodic rants from a  Teddy Kennedy clone with white sideburns who was (I think) identifie as Jim Garrison (yes, that Jim Garrison from the Kennedy Assassination conspiracy theorists)

This was a program filmed in June, and repeated last week, and I find myself embarrassed by  the fact that even C-Span would give it enough credence to spend money (some of which could probably be traced to all of us) on this  bull----.