771. Pruning

How to Prune a Grape Vine - YouTube

Like so many of our English words, prune (pruned, pruning) comes from agriculture/horticulture and then gets mixed in with non agricultural purposes, like everyday life or early brain development.

  • trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.
  • reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous or unwanted parts.Earth Day All Month: Reducing Waste

In early brain development pruning refers to the shedding of unneeded neurons and pathways after age 2 or 3 and to a lesser extent during the rest of one’s life.

  • Pruning, as referred to in Neuropsychology, refers to the natural and lifelong physiological reduction of neurons, synapses and axons that occurs in the brains of mammals, including humans. … Neural connections that are not used and needed gradually disappear from the brain as it matures.

In very harsh terms: use it or lose it, dude. Get leaner and meaner and keener or go extinct. Why carry books into your retirement home that you haven’t read since you bought them in college? You’ve had 50 years to read them, but now they’re faded and the spines are withered and desiccated. The same with your VHS collection, lp’s and cassette tapes, photographs, cd’s, greeting cards, clothes, fishing rods, golf clubs, etc. They are outside your utility and simply weigh you down. Not that you are a hoarder…yet. However, you are a denier. You deny that bell bottoms and platform shoes are never, ever coming back around in style. Miami Vice unstructured suits too.  One day you will golf with rusted irons and mildewed handles or fish with a dry rotted pole. Yeah…no. Deniers become delusional after so many cycles of failing to break the pinata of their pipe dreams.Pinata GIFs | Tenor

So prune, my people. Prune your dusty empires the way prune juice cleanses your innards. Prune the closet of the polyester disco shirt you’ve clung to in eternal tribute to the Bee Gees. Prune those National Geographics that have caused your house’s foundation to settle unnaturally right beneath the staircase where you’ve stored them for ages.  Prune those wobbly cassettes and videotapes that literally blur the recorded past. All those outdated cell phone chargers and wires to devices that you threw away decades ago… let them go. Say goodbye and let them be reunited with their ancestors in the great techno heaven graveyard way beyond.Ira Block Photography | Silhouette of ancient temples with sunrise ...

Downsize, simplify, prioritize– it’s all pruning, keeping the fruitful parts and cutting away the dross, the waste, the excess that adds no value. You have likely already guessed that we are pruning at our house. In the not too distant future we plan to retire; sell our house; and move pretty far away. Our pruning was incentivized before the virus plague struck. After our last adult child moved out, we began tossing things that were redundant or had no future use for us. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity Restore, the Animal Shelter Thrift Shop, and our local library have all received tons of clothes, gadgets, tools, furniture, books, et cetera over the past few years. I think because we are closer to the finish line of life we are more realistic about our possessions. Plus there is the potential burden of moving things we have no intention of ever using again… so why? How dumb is that?Moving is for the Birds — Says Everyone | Earl & Other Greys

Our previous delusional belief was that our grown up children would want these old sets of dishes, or towels, or linens, window dressings, photographs, etc. When we asked them to pick them up after decades of storage, we found out that they did not have any interest in them. Well, maybe a few books and photos, a favorite knick knack, but truly precious little. All that time someone else could have been using the majority of what we had stored under false beliefs. But then there are the grand kids, our last hope, “Wouldn’t they like your old toys, books, blankets, and…” The many things grandparents sacrifice for their family | OverSixty

“No.”

“But they could…”

“Nope.”

“What if..?”

“Nyet. Zip. Nein. Fogettaboutit.”

Oh well. No one ever said parenting was gonna be easy. It’s actually a long course in stewardship. We don’t own stuff or people; we have the privilege of their company for a period of time, and then we don’t. Hopefully we render diligent care along the way, and receive diligent care as we enter our second dependency. Which brings me to John 15.The Vine and the Branches | John 15:1-15 - YouTube

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

It’s hard to love one another if your closets, cupboards, garage, sheds, and storage units are overflowing with stuff you mistook as the currency of love. Your presence is the grist of love’s milling process. The grossly piled up stuff is just so much overgrowth to be shed.

Grape cluster and berries structure

 

770. Sanity, Vanity, Urbanity & Inanity

Development: Sanitation roadmap - Newspaper - DAWN.COMPondering words again, which are approximated concepts of reality, concrete and abstract, usually in that order. The physical comes to us initially through our five senses; then the metaphysical follows. My first thought/word today was sanity. Could it be related to sanitize and sanitation?  Well, why not? Let’s see…

Cambridge Online Dictionary says,

sane: the state of having a healthy mind and not being mentally ill. Amazon.com: I Became Insane Intervals Horrible Sanity Edgar Allan ...

Okay, that fits, now how does it link to sanitize and sanitation? All the way back in Roman times sanus was the root of all this word growth. It meant “healthy or sound“. Well, it’s an easy jump from a healthy mind to healthy body parts or vice versa. When we wash our hands or use sanitizer, we are going for sound, healthy practices, right?  And picking up garbage or flushing sewage is healthy, thus sanitation. Conversely, the absence of sanitation leads one to insanity. Right? I believe that was the take away lesson from “Alice’s Restaurant”… that littering was somehow equivalent to war crimes. living in: alice's restaurant – Design*Sponge

The Urban Dictionary of Rome speculates that the root of all this evil could have been an old contraction of sans anus, or “without an anus”, or in modern vernacular “not an asshole”.  That proposed theory remains to be fully researched by Wikipedia with a grant from the Gates Foundation. Till then it makes common sense to believe that sane people are not anuses. To say that others may be anuses means that you may be insane or that the other person really is an anus. Or it could mean that you are an anus who merely appears to be sanus.Adventure Balloon Rides - Up To 53% Off - Perris, CA | Groupon

Hmmmm, well how about another Latin based word, vain.

1: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements : CONCEITED
2: marked by futility or ineffectualness : UNSUCCESSFULUSELESS vain efforts to escape
3: having no real value : IDLEWORTHLESS vain pretensions
4: archaic FOOLISHSILLYEnglish Learner's Word of the Day: vain - Learner's Dictionary
Tracking this word back to Rome we find its source vanus, meaning empty, lacking content. So a vain man is essentially empty, without content. Not that a vain man is necessarily insane, but I can think of at least one current emperor who is self evidently not sound or healthy in his mind. I don’t need to say his name, so I’ll just give his number–XLV. If anyone is a verbal, intellectual dry well it is XLV, who stutters and repeats his words like a kindergartener because he cannot complete full sentences, despite having gone to the best schools and having gotten great grades. “Believe me!” Can you imagine your class valedictorian spending his/her speaking time to the graduating class stating, “I’m really smart, you know. I got the best grades. Smart. Some people are saying I’m the most brilliant person they know. Big league smart. Huge IQ.”An Empty Well | Write Anything A dry, empty well is just a hole in the ground. Great for an outhouse, which brings us back to sans anus, but that donkey joke has been ridden into the ground already.

Let’s pull another word out of the ancient hat– urbaneSophisticated boy names which are not over the top | Mumsnet

Webster’s tells us this about the adjective,

 polite and confident, fashionable and somewhat formal. In the beginning it meant “belonging to a city” and implied sophistication in contrast to being from the unsophisticated countryside. I guess it still does. Yeah, I guess it’s a good thing to come from a sophisticated place; then there’s the rest of us sub-urbanites, as if we are second class citizens. Notice there is nothing call suburbanity, my friends. You likely just met the word here in the blog. Now I just need a definition. Hmmmm,
irreverent, lacking sophistication, formality, manners, and socially desirable values, as in “That guy is so suburban he goes to Walmart in just his Flintstones jammies top.” I think paraurban would be a more politically correct word. Suburban suggests sewer dwellers.Into The Tunnels: Exploring The Underside Of NYC : NPR
Yet you can originate from a city, let’s say Queens, for example, and still not be at all polite or confident. You can, as they say in the country, put lipstick on a pig or dress a hog in a tuxedo. That does not make him urbane. Fantasy - Pig in Colorful Tuxedo Toasting Champagne c1910 Postcard ...

And finally we come to inane inanity. It is the height of silliness and nonsense. This post, for instance, is an example of inanity. It lacks purpose, direction, meaning, focus, and utility. Yet you have read this far following the pretty pictures, hoping for redemption in a pithy conclusion. Sorry to disappoint. When finally the dog stopped chasing his tail, he simply curled into a ball and took a nap. curledupdog Instagram posts - Gramho.com

While seeking personal sanity

In the dull halls of mundanity

I vaulted over my vanity

Embraced my suburbanity

And Landed in a canal of inanity

On the back of a manatee

Uttering only profanity

Oh, the humanity!

Florida's Manatees: Big, Beloved And Bitterly Contested : NPR

769. Shoot The Messenger

France, David Ordering to Kill the Messenger Announcing Saul's ...

It’s an old defense strategy going back to ancient tyrants: if a messenger brought an unwelcome message to a tyrannical ruler, the king/emperor/sultan/ potentate would have the messenger exterminated in an attempt to unhear the truth. I guess this strategy exterminated the king’s anger at least. The truth remains the truth no matter how many messengers you kill, though.

The latest example of shooting the messenger comes from the Captain Crozier debacle.Capt. Brett E. Crozier addressing the crew of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in November.

A Navy commander’s written alarms about a coronavirus outbreak aboard his aircraft carrier “looked terrible,” President Donald Trump said Saturday, as he praised military leaders who removed the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s top officer from his post.

Pentagon officials ousted Capt. Brett Crozier after he wrote a searing letter to Navy leaders notifying them of a spike in cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, among sailors on his carrier. Us Military: Chain Of Command Us Military

I’m sure there are other concerns in the chain of command, but on that ship the bond and responsibility between captain and crew is sacred. Their lives were literally in his hands, and he made an impassioned plea for their lives. If you can believe the higher ups, they claim it was how he went about the messaging that was the unforgivable sin. It’s hard for me to believe that the Navy cared about sailors’ lives more than its image in this morale crushing ordeal. Often I have found that the more responsible folks act because the less responsible fail to do so. So the less responsible worry about image and brand, while the more responsible worry about truth and human lives.Michael Atkinson (Inspector General) - Wikipedia

In another case of shooting the messenger, we had the Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson fired last week for daring to do his job, finding out the truth. By allowing a whistle blower complaint to go forward, which led to the impeachment investigation of President Trump, he signed his own termination letter. In classic Mafia style Trump went after witnesses and any conduit of truth. He fired and gutted whomever he could following his gutless Senate hearing. Along the way he fired Ukraine expert Lt. Colonel Vindman and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland for telling the truth under oath. I guess it “looked terrible” for Trump that someone might be able to tell the truth and live to tell about it. Intimidating and bribing witnesses, crippling and extorting witnesses, burying evidence and bodies– these are Mafia actions.  Trump claimed he was a wartime president once this pandemic began. He is if you think in terms of mob wars. ICYMI - When not blackmailing Ukraine or threatening witnesses ...

Others who Trump came to believe were not loyal enough to him, i.e., preferred truth over branding, include John Bolton, John Kelly, and Jeff Sessions. These guys took bullets for Trump but apparently not enough bullets when it counted. I don’t like any of the three, by the way, but that’s not what’s most important. Truth matters and is consistently assassinated upon delivery in the Trump administration. Just as he did in his private life, Trump obliterates or litigates the fulsome truth to its knees. His allies leave service to the Don in body bags.The Godfather (1972) discovered by Abd El Karim

In the whistle blower incident the outing of the whistle blower’s identity was of primary importance to Trump. Again truth did not matter. Instead of investigating the legal fire, the Trump fire department investigated who pulled the fire alarm, in much the same way that they attack journalists and researchers who bring inconvenient truths to light. On Russia-Kushner Backchannel, Trump's H.R. McMaster And John ...

[Pre slaughter images]

Rex Tillerson, remember him? only the best, was fired for not parroting Trumpisms. Reince Priebus,who helped elect Trump, was shown the door once the Republican Party ceased to exist. Even his buddy Steve Bannon had to go after some of his negative comments about Trump surfaced. My point is not to elicit sympathy for these goons. I did not care a whit for them. The point is simply that if ever a sliver of daylight comes between Trump’s butt cheeks and any of his “team”, somebody is leaving the White House. This is why I fully expect Trump to fire Dr. Fauci in the near future. Dr. Fauci is just too fond of the truth and does not cheer on Trump’s idiotic talking points. His face plant seen around the world will be his body bag moment. Count on it. He will be slaughtered in similar fashion to the taxidermied row of Trump “allies” above. Which makes you wonder, how is our dictator any different from Kim Young Fool in North Korea, Don’s former crush? If you kill your “friends”, your enemies get the message. All tyrants know this truth.

Dr Fauci looks down while President Trump talks about coronavirus

Now whom does Donnie still pine for, you ask? Well, he still hopes for Michael Flynn to avoid punishment for lying about his insider trading with Russia. And his old estranged buddy Paul Manafort, “I hardly knew him”, even though pardons are likely coming their way. He misses “Hopey” Hicks, his cute little office bunny and her inappropriate boy friend Rob Porter. Nikki Haley and Don McGahn are two anomalies out there in the wind. Both know too much to piss off for the moment, so nary a negative word is said about either of them.

Who remains in position? Happy Ivanka and Bashful Jared, of course. Not sure what they do, but they’re family. Doc Pencey Baby, chief worshiper of the chief. You’ll never find another starry eyed lover of Trump to replace Mesmerized Mike. Sneezy Mnuchin the money gnome. Grumpy Wilbur Ross, of course. Dopey Betsy know nothing Devos. And Sleepy Ben Carson. So he’s kept the best of the dwarfs. All of them share the ability to mimic exactly what Donnie Boy says without a gnat’s eyelash of difference between them and him. This is brand loyalty at its finest. The Seven Dwarfs screenshots, images and pictures - Giant Bomb

Unfortunately for the rest of us who try to live in a world of truth, such brand loyalty like a Mafia hit, is killing us.Gangster Squad GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

768. Salubrious Salutations

Namaste | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

I am not cursing or speaking in a foreign language. “Healthy Greetings” is a fair translation of the above phrase. Nope. Dope. Seriously. In a world gone viral I sincerely wish you all health and wholeness. John Donne’s lines resonate from long ago, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.” Let’s just delight in this gem of a poem’s whole text, shall we?White Cliffs of Dover - Wikipedia

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

2292 Antique Tapestry 3'2" X 3'3" - ANTIQUE ORIENTAL RUGSSo, as the COVID 19 death toll (today’s tolling bell) ratchets up daily in our country and around the world, it’s proper, I think, to grieve for humanity. Someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, child, cousin, friend, coworker, spouse, or grandparent, etc. is washed away from the continent of humanity. Unity and integrity are embedded in these thoughts: mankind is a tapestry fabric in which each of us is a thread. When one thread deteriorates, withers, or dies, the fabric becomes weaker. If not today, then further on when another and another thread disappears. Our tapestry then hangs loosely on the bones that support it, like a man dying of hunger, a sagging sack of skin.Two emaciated survivors stand behind a barbed wire fence in the ...

Ring the bells, ring the bells… comes from Leonard Cohen across the astral planes. Another favorite of mine…Bird Flying GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

ANTHEM
The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
[Take a breath hear to savor this image.]
Yeah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never freeDove of Peace Caged | China Media Project
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in최고 Church Bells Ringing GIF들 | Gfycat
We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Nelson Mandela's Living Legacy | December 1989: Unbanning, and after
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from meThunderclouds accelerate cosmic electrons – Physics World
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets inLooking Into Space, When Do We Start Looking Into The Past?
You can add up the parts
You won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
But like a refugeeThe refugee crisis: 9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask - Vox
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
Ring the bells that still can ring (ring the bells that still can ring)
Forget your perfect offering
The Pharisee and the Publican: Sins Forgiven - Bishop Serratelli ...
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets inIn the darkness men leave behind the women and emerge in the light ...
Lyrics alone don’t do the song justice, so go to Pandora and listen to Leonard’s chanteur beauty. We will wait as one waits for a feast, with pleasant anticipation. So, you are back now, yes? Let’s continue. One comment on Leonard’s You Tube video touched me…
“Your voice was a ragged blanket for my trembling soul; you were my ground, my safe and sound.” dynamn .  Yes, Leonard Cohen was a golden thread in the tapestry of mankind. We all have our favorite artists who have passed on, leaving only their art behind. We grieve and rejoice in their imperfect beauty because it touches us deeply.Beautiful Light Painting Photos of a Young Woman Rising From the ...
In times of crisis we look for the symbols and images that lift us up above the dark valley we are mired in. Fred Rogers always said, “Look for the helpers”, and I agree. Look for the real authorities, not the guys who insists that he’s the smartest guy in the room. The smartest guy in the room never says he’s the smartest guy in the room. The most arrogant guy does this shilling song and dance. We do not need him. He needs us to keep looking at him or he disappears along with his t.v. ratings. Real authority knows the value of life and grieves for its loss. Real authority knows the Author, from whom authority flows and is anchored in. Real authority is not proud, does not boast, well, wait a second… Transcendent Love - YouTube
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love Never Ends I 1 Corinthians 13:4-10 (Lyric Video) - YouTube
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
Is it possible that real Authority is love, the love Paul speaks of in I Corinthians? That our healing comes from loving and being loved? The refining fire we are wading through these days is surely separating the dross from the gold.United Precious Metal Refining, Inc.
Healthy Greetings to you, friend.

 

 

767. Epistles Of Thistles

Using the Internet to Learn English - Learn English with UCT ...So Joel has been unavailable for our formal Coffee Nation and informal daily briefings at the coffee shop now going on three weeks. It’s rough. I have no one’s mind to warp, no nerves to jangle and pluck the last of. Fortunately for me but not him, we are connected on Face Book messenger. He contacted me after reading his name in a recent blog post about having a hobby.  He thought he read “having a baby”. I reassured him that he was past the safe age for carrying a child full term. “It would  be too tough on you and the baby since you are over 70. I’m sorry.” He was consolable but just barely.Terrence Williams - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Joel shared his personal regimen that keeps him busy and well these quarantined days. To which I replied…

So glad that my blog motivated you to be productive and indirectly contributed to public safety by keeping you sheltering in place. May I use your post as a testimonial endorsement? I’m thinking of monetizing my blog with some major advertisers– Gold Bond for Men, Denture Glue, Bunion Relief, and Doan’s Arthritis Pills. They are barking at my door for access to my lucrative silver market.UPDATED: Stores Launch Senior Shopping Hours, New Operating Hours ...

A terse reply came quickly…

That would be a NO!

I quibbled…

As in no problem, go ahead; or no worries, sure? They are wolves at my blog door. I can’t hold them back for much longer, Tonto. I might need that silver bullet. I just got an offer from a stool softener company from Wisconsin… cheese tends to constipate the elderly and they see the imminent propulsion my intellectual property may, no, will provide.Amazon.com: DulcoLax Stool Softener, Liquid Gels, 100 Count ...

Without delay or any appreciation of my humor, Joel replied…

As in no, do not use my name. But I will part with my silver bullet, if I can find it. After all I was hit over the head a number of times and the memory is not what it used to be.

Now, dear readers, the silver bullet is a cherished childhood memento for Joel. He received it at the Zembo Temple Shrine in Harrisburg during the 1950’s from the Lone Ranger himself!! I have only seen it once when he brought it to the coffee shop under armed guard. No dollar figure could possibly be put upon this plastic bullet painted over in chrome.

We passed perfunctory comments back and forth until this morning when I sent him the following.Fyodor Dostoevsky - Alma Books

It feels like we have become characters trapped in a 19th century Russian novel, in winter, waiting for Dostoevsky to write our next thought, feeling, or movement. But Fyodor is out of ink for his fountain pen, so we hang here, suspended in our meaningless existence, knowing that the serfs are better off than we are because they cannot think beyond their grumbling bellies. It is our own mental acuity that is severing our minds from our sensory input via the spinal cord; so we look with envy at the peasants who skulk about with only a spinal cord and no minds.Peasants: 1850 - The Golden Age of Russian Literature

“Never mind”, says Alexandra, and I am struck by the profound truth in her two words on this bleak sunless pewter-domed day. I wonder, ‘Are the gods going to lift the cover off this, their serving tray, and pick at us today like so many grilled shrimp?’ but they refuse to lift the dull gray ceiling. Vodka is our only hope.Sensational Baked Blackened Shrimp Recipe | Hostess At Heart

Some time expired as Joel tried to process and respond to such deep philosophical plumbing. At last it came.

I have 8 bottles of gin in the house. If you keep depressing me with this mindless drivel, I will be forced to start drinking with abandon. (Grilled shrimp? How about oysters on the serving tray?)12 Best Gin Brands 2020 - Best Gin for Gin and Tonic

I pounced at the opening in such a tight canyon of insightful opportunity… but I knew I could thread this intellectual needle with… well, more thread.

I expected more from you, Joel. Mindless drivel is what I do. But what to say of a man who edits mindless drivel? Words fail, so I use an acronym–MDE, mindless drivel editor… in chief. Perhaps a refreshing limerick would put some tonic in your gin.Pre-Game Talk: - Jets at NY Rangers - Thurs Oct 3/19 - 6 PM - TSN3 ...

There once was a man from PA who blew on a tuba all day. When in Antarctica he blew, a flock of penguins flew to his feet for the treat of vibres.

Thank you. Thank you. It was nothing really. A mere trifle. Please, no applause.

I’d like to think that Joel appreciates the creativity that I put into his torture. However, minus the body language, the gestures, the tone, and eye contact, the facial expressions– all I have to go on are the mere words, black on a white background. It’s like reading music instead of listening to it played professionally, and I don’t read music, so there.Strike Up the Score: Deriving Searchable and Playable Digital ...

In the void or radio/internet silence I can only conclude that he found his gin and is having a face to face with himself about ever speaking with the Burrito man lo those many years ago. Then again, he could be waiting like I am for Dostoevsky to refill his fountain pen and write us out of here. Hurry, Fyodor, the situation is deteriorating.

A hand writes MENE, MENE, TEKEL and PARSIN on the wall

766. Dear Mr. Fantasy

How 'Dear Mr. Fantasy' Become Traffic's 'Milestone' SongIf you are old enough, you’ll easily recall Steve Winwood’s Traffic song “Dear Mr. Fantasy“and sing along to its cryptic lyrics.  As I watched the latest Trump COVID 19 press conference today, the song burst through from my memory as the proper soundtrack at such Fake News Conferences. He blathered on about sending a hundred million medical things to Italy. Bandaids? Syringes? Aspirin? A bright commentator later mentioned that journalism and science are both fact-based exercises which is why Mr. Trump, aka Mr. Fantasy, has such death match struggles with those disciplines and those who practice the pursuit of truth. Though many will argue that journalists and scientists inflate and obfuscate and suffocate truth, it is inarguable that Donald Trump is the master of lies. His entire life is a lie, from home runs he never hit in high school, to his family’s Swedish heritage, to the grades he never earned in college, and, of course, his taxes. Five deferments for bone spurs that may never have existed. Those records are gone also. Five bankruptcies by the stable financial genius. All records sealed by NDA’s.An illustration of Donald Trump popping out of a TV set, with a coronavirus above him

The lyrics are credited to Jim Capaldi, an original member of Traffic. Chris Wood later explained the origin of the lyrics this way… One early morning at the Cottage he (Capaldi) was coming down off LSD, sketching in front of a log fire. Bubbling out of his acid-fired subconsciousness and through his pencil came the image of a man hanging on puppet strings and wearing a spiked hat with the words, “Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune, something to make us all happy” scrawled under him.Donald Trump as Lying Pinocchio Puppet Art Print by judgeart ...

Dear Mr. Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything, take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
I know, he is not musical, Trump that is. Winwood, on the other hand, is gifted in his creativity. He laid out the melody to Capaldi’s lyrics. Where Trump is gifted is in his ability to hypnotize farmers and coal miners and auto workers by pretending he understands their needs. This from a man who poops on gold toilets and drives a golf cart exclusively.  Yeah, there’s the word– exclusive. He cuts folks out of his golden key life while pandering to their victimhood. “I’m like, really rich and I’m like, really smart because I like, went to the best schools, and like, nobody knows business, or anything for that matter, better than I do.” You can tell Trump is lying when he speaks on the inhale. It’s the strangest speech pattern I’ve ever encountered. He has mastered the art of being Messiah and Victim simultaneously while inhale talking. Think Unabomber.Amazon.com: Trump UNABOMBER Design BLOTTER Art Psychedelic Print ...
The birth from an acid trip come down makes sense to me, because our Mr. Fancy Fantasy is so psychedelic, especially in his word salad oratory… where he, he says, he manages to say, and a lot of people agree with him, that he’s a genius. And you know, maybe it’s true. Okay, it’s true. Big smile. Feckless and reckless. Words mean nothing when others speak, but he knows lots of big words; he just can’t use them correctly. So he blurts verbal things out like a drunk plumber.Unseen 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' Sketches Found in ...
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don’t be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn’t have known you all these years
I know, I know. Trump doesn’t cry. He mocks anyone who does cry, which is what sociopaths do. Still, he deserves credit for his mastery of Schizophrenish, a language practiced in Welsh mental hospitals mostly.Why I love … the supporting cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's ...
Here is one of his most precious word salads ever. Good luck making it through this verbal ninja warrior course.  If you understand it, please report to the closest mental hospital in Wales. Sign in as “Mr. Fantasy”.Art Donald Trump L-W Canvas Poster Dope President P-466 | eBay
Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged — but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me — it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right — who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners — now it used to be three, now it’s four — but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years — but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.
Trump New Sheriff 2017

765. Going Through The Motions… Or Not

footsteps | Taking The World On With A Smile!

Just start and the purpose will appear; the way will be clear; the meaning will be self evident. Whether it’s in yoga, exercise, art, writing, walking, or riffing out in jazz… as you go, meaning arrives. Perhaps it’s just down the Dorset Drive hill, or at the stop sign where The Parkway intersects Berkshire Drive. Maybe it’s at the apartments called Beacon Hill yawning where the Washington Post newspaper route calls every morning over the grave of an old airfield. Or deep in the woods behind Ben Mae Manor where the stream runs into the wetlands, as Harrison Lane turns left 90 degrees into Hybla Valley. Just start and you will realize why you began, like popping the clutch in an old VW Beetle with a dead battery. Second gear, a little momentum, and “Vroom” or more likely “clatter, clink, rattle, sputter, fart”. You are in motion. We have the who and the what, my readers, but remain in search of where and why, with whom?footsteps on desert photo – Free Soil Image on Unsplash

Well, simply enough for a sixteen year old boy the destination was there— for teen girls, and the thrills, spills, and chills involved in their intoxicating presence. The crisis was of an existential nature back then. Trying to answer the question, “Am I good enough, interesting, maybe even desirable?”The Growing Child- Teenager (13 to 18 Years)I placed my fragile teen ego in the tender and fickle palms of the other sex. If you guessed that I had no sister, you are right. Female scarcity was the norm in my childhood. In their absence their value skyrocketed.

Despite the usually pejorative sense of the phrase “just going through the motions”, sometimes that’s just what is called for in order to get back to normal functioning. If you’ve ever had a serious injury that involved injured muscles, you know that physical therapy requires going through the motions to restore range of motion. Raise your hand if you know what a goniometer is.  Good, now lower your hands slowly out there. You with the beer, yeah you. It’s 9:00 a.m., man!! If you’ve ever lifted weights, that is definitely going through the motions for an anticipated goal…buffness, super cut, vein bulging sexiness. Keep doing the mindless, mundane thing over and over till one day, voila!, serendipitous returns on investment present themselves. Like juggling.Iowa State Juggling GIF by CyclonesTV - Find & Share on GIPHY Or doing the polka.POLKA DANCE CONTEST PT3OF3 WITH BRASS EXPRESS AT FRANKENMUTH 1989 ...

In sports and dance it’s called muscle memory; that’s when your muscles know precisely how and when to respond because of endless repetition, i.e., going through the motions. Police and military do the same. It’s called training— so that when the unwanted moment comes, no thought is required. Training kicks in. “Look at him, Lieutenant, just going through the motions. It’s an oil painting in motion. Poetry. Liquid cheesecake.” “Shut up, Corporal!” And it’s a reassuring observation also, as an airline pilot lands a plane in a thunderstorm or a captain docks a ship in pitch black night that neither has to consult some outdated static manual. “Uh, let’s see here: you put your right wheel down, you put right flap out, you put your right wheel down and you shake it all about.”Crosswind landings GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

And here we are going through the new normal motions, trying to gain mastery of an invisible enemy. Masks and gloves and lots of hand washing; sequestering; Skypeing and Zooming and Face Timing. Till it’s automatic, mindfully mindless, unconscious competence. I’m realizing that taking my shoes off in the house is not a bad idea at all. Slippers are hygienic in a weird sort of way. They don’t bring the street germs into the kitchen. And wiping down the groceries with bleach water is not such a big deal if the alternative is a slow, painful death.  I’m down with some extra hygiene, given the unforgiving statistics of mortal risk. And of course my car’s gas mileage is way up… two weeks on the same 1/4 tank of gas and car wash.Risk/Reward Ratio Definition

Each day goes by uneventfully in our quarantine. My wife works from her lap top as I work from mine. We team up at lunch and dinner, and then settle in for some Netflix or Amazon Prime on the couch or reading in bed. Okay, no need to quote B.B.King that the thrill is gone. It’s just none of your business, you perv.  But it’s fine. Just hearing her regular breath rise and fall without laboring is as sweet as daffodils lifting their heads to a damp spring day’s sun. Peace like a river flows wide and deep.Daffodils: How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Daffodil Flowers | The ...

But today she challenged me to a friendly game of Scrabble, but that could result in a prison riot when I defeat her as is usual. It’s all fun and games when the kids are home at Christmas, but without civil witnesses I worry for my very life. “Why fix what’s not broken?” I ask her while walking our dog Kermit through the underpopulated park. “I’m thinking of you, honey. After you kill me with the butcher knife for over celebrating, happy dancing, taunting, bad winning, and other unsportsmanlike conduct, you’ll have to stage the crime scene to make it look like I fell on the knife in my exuberant state of victory. There will be the blood; the cops tracking in all sorts of germs; the heated interrogation; the press; Nancy Freakin’ Grace will be asking you haahhrd questions in that awful accent of  hers; and the eventual clean up. I’m trying to practice healthy empathic prognostication for your sake, my love. Let’s not play Scrabble!! There is no such thing as a friendly game.”Find CNA Classes

Surely cooperation is better than competition at this uniquely challenging time. Going through the motions of cooperation will bring greater rewards and fewer 911 calls during the pandemic. I urge you people of the planet not to play competitive games with anyone older than 4. If it’s not broken yet, please do not attempt to fix it. Like the canals of Venice, just let nature go through the motions till all is clear again.The Canals in Venice Are so Still, Dolphins and Swans Are ...

 

 

 

 

 

764. 9-1-1, What’s Your Hobby?

Excel : Intersection between curve and straight lineOkay, there seem to be two conflicting tipping points in the U.S.A. these days. There is the overt, much covered COVID-19 infection curve that is nearing its apex soon, everyone hopes. It is in the foreground of everything we hear and see and read. However, there is also the covert existential curve of unimaginative folks trapped at home who are losing purpose and meaning in their lives, if they had any to start with. That curve is nearing its apex as well. These two graph lines need to remain separated, socially distant, like gasoline and matches. For if the existentially challenged humans break out of their socially imposed prisons, their herd transmission will spike the other curve, giving it new legs in the name of freedom coupled with ignorance. Ignorance, as you will recall, is the most expensive commodity in the world.

Swimming duck GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Humans are creatures of habit. I guess all creatures are, if you think about it. Each animal has its own set of behaviors that it practices. For instance, I’ve never seen a duck ice skate or play ice hockey. [Don’t bring up the Mighty Ducks, dude. Not cool.] They tend to waddle, paddle, and quack a lot. Humans are wired in such a manner as to repetitively normalize things over time. This phenomenon is at the heart of behavioralism. B.F. Skinner correctly predicted that television would have to increasingly become more graphic in order to hold its audience and the profits they bring. He knew that tolerance is built up over exposure time so that what was powerful and scary becomes mundane and trivial within two weeks. I believe Mr. Skinner proved his hypothesis long ago, and we are reaping the mind numbing harvest today. [Google Kardashians for further research.]B.F. Skinner And The Psychology Of The Markets | Seeking Alpha

E.g., for example: Smoking my first cigarette was a big deal when I was 11. It was so risky since it was one of my dad’s Camel filters that I had pilfered. I had to ride my bike to the elementary school out of sight of nosy Mary Burrington in order to light up and partake of the mysteries of tobacco. I coughed and gasped and could not understand the alleged rush that was supposed to come with cigarette smoking. I did get the cool factor of just holding the cigarette nonchalantly in one hand. (For the record word nerds, there is no chalant in English, like we never say “Oh, that’s a sequitur“. It’s only ever a non sequitur…something I like to indulge in.) Flash ahead ten years and I was smoking 20 to 30 cigs a day, sitting in my parents’ living room, smoking alongside my dad. You see where this is going, right? The normalization of the dangerous and abnormal.Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In a similar vein I recall my Abnormal Psychology prof telling my class that he had lived in tornado alley for several years, in Oklahoma, I think. The anecdote he told was about his experiences with tornado warnings. In my book tornadoes are tied with tsunamis for the deadliest weapons nature can hurl at humankind. They are the Black Mamba snakes of weather. Okay? Are you still with me, bro? So Dr. Abnormal explained that when the first tornado warning sirens went off each spring, everyone would hurry to secure shelter to ride it out, hoping and praying to be spared the ravaging of 200 mph winds. Here’s where behavioral conditioning comes in, kids. After a few warnings failed to produce a Black Mamba funnel cloud of destruction, folks did not rush to shelters. In fact, over time they began to have tornado watch parties on the balconies of their apartment buildings! Complete with beer and hot dogs on the grill. Why? They had built up tolerance to the fear that once paralyzed them, feeling illogically invulnerable. The creatures of habit went back to their old ways habitually… whistling while walking past their own graveyard.Tornado Watch Party - Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance

So here is my thesis: humans need something purposeful to do while in hibernation or else they will make a jailbreak; infecting everyone simultaneously; overwhelming our medical system; and thereby ushering in the apocalypse. The solution? A hobby for every man, woman and child. I.e., what this country needs is a good, cheap hobby. You know, like assembling 1,000 piece jig saw puzzles or creating new Faberge eggs. Everyone needs some activity that requires focused attention for a sustained length of time. Artists already have this sanctuary of sanity, but it’s time for others to realize that art saves minds, souls, and sometimes lives.What to Know About Faberge: Eggs, Jewelry & More

You are reading this blog on a computer screen. So there in front of you is your vehicle for writing or graphic art or composing music or making videos. Before you go all “Yes, but…” on me, let me ask you this, “Would you rather be quarantined without the internet?” Don’t choke on that “No!!!”, good reader. It may be time to organize all your photos into Shutterfly scrapbooks. Even my buddy Joel can do this, “Okay, Boomer?”How to Start a Collection & 50+ Manly Collection Ideas | The Art ...

Rather than overwhelming first responders with calls of advanced ennui and a certain feverish insouciance, get yourself a hobby going that can be maintained inside your home. Collecting dryer lint and counting the individual flecks under a magnifying glass can keep you busy for days. Like fact checking Trump’s misstatements and lies, you will need a big sheet of paper to keep track. Imagine the hours of fun you’ll have disentangling the lint fibers during Lent! Hey, you didn’t see that coming.  And with some laundry starch, you could sculpt lint monuments to inanity.6 Creative Ways to Reuse Laundry Dryer Lint

No Friday fish fries? No problem. Start your own watercolor collection of Japanese koi. Once your internment is over, you might even be able to sell them at the hobby product markets that are bound to spring up like mushrooms in cow manure after the apocalypse. You’ll want to be ready with a stockpile of products to sell to other hungry consumers with their virus recovery checks itching in their hands. When life gives you quarantines, you just gotta make quarantinis.Martini GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

763. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Gerry Goffin, songwriting partner of Carole King, dies at 75 - Los ...I’ve been reading about Carole Klein King and her first husband, songwriter partner, Gerry Goffin, a couple of Jewish kid pre-baby boomers from New York City, right time and place to become famous.  Quite the pair for pumping out popular songs in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I can’t read about them without zoning out into their hit songs, the acoustic wallpaper of my early childhood– rolled out layer upon layer upon layer… until it seems as solid as concrete. In fact, it’s just so many pretty words set to music that sanitize teenage sexual desire. Idealized libido. Sanctified seduction. Perfect orgasmic righteousness.  So many hits to pick on or pick from, like melons in a well stocked grocery produce section. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’d rather live in a world of too many melons or lemons than a world bereft of either.Central American melons climb | Packer
The musical Beautiful is basically a melodious biography of Carole King’s rise to stardom with the release of her record breaking album Tapestry. So many of the songs in the show are autobiographical sketches of where she was in her young life, as her husband slipped away into mental illness brought on by LSD use, and their teen anthems faded then dissolved in the face of less idealized lyrics that spewed out of Bob Dylan and the later Beatles.Beautiful the Carole King Musical Broadway Poster - Beautiful: The ...
Tonight you’re mine, completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow?Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls | Independent School, Elstree
That’s a good question that is asked over and over in teen ballads. Will this evening’s sexual union check be valid in the bright light of morning, or will it bounce when I try to cash it in on Food Stamps? Harsh reality is always waiting outside the door of the candy store, though. I hate to be the bringer of bad news to teens drunk on idealism… because I was a zealot also, once upon a time. Do you stand by and let the self deluded teenager persist in their starry eyed pipe dreams, or do you offer another platform to stand upon, one of reasoned response?Anna Excited GIF - Anna Excited Frozen GIFsYes.
Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure
Can I believe the magic in your sighs
Will you still love me tomorrowPrince Charming Getting a Live-Action Disney Movie | E! News France
I love the first couplet and the question it holds. What’s missing, of course, is the logical debate to define the relationship. Is it just sex and pleasure? Or is it something larger and more stable, like the commitment of unconditional love, which is the lasting treasure? The male lover’s voice and his questions are not entertained, however. AWOL. That might just kill the wonder of the moment, if Prince Charming turns out to be the guys from Sha Na Na. “Geez, I guess so, Carole. We’ll havta see.”Dennis Greene, a Singer With Sha Na Na, Dies at 66 - The New York ...
“Ya wanna make some babies wid me?”

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sunNew York City Nyc GIF by Chris Cubellis - Find & Share on GIPHY
What are words unspoken? Body language, folks. The language of jiggification, a racing heart, short breaths of desire, and a surge of hormones… the rush of intense feelings so great that they cannot be sustained. That’s the deal, isn’t it: to engage in high wire sexual acrobatics trusting an ironclad net of security below will never fail; to have your trapeze partner always catch you or die trying. That’s the implied message even though forever and always are based on an abbreviated sample size of good feelings. And feelings change because that’s what they do.Dirty Dancing 80S GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
I’d like to know that your love
Is a love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrowMGM to Close 13 Resorts on Las Vegas Strip as Virus Spreads in ...
Here’s the thing: she says she won’t ask again, but then she does –three more times. That is the thing about real life love versus the yoga pants version. It’s the difference between Vegas at night and day. A stark difference indeed.This is what Las Vegas looks like when coronavirus empties the ...
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow
Will you still love me tomorrow
Sadly, Carole and Gerry divorced in the late 1960’s. Sad because they outlived their ideal love songs. Real life oxidized their shiny hits as time passed on to the less than ideal versions of love.Albums That Should Exist: Various Artists - Covered: Gerry Goffin ...
Neil Young’s bleak Rust Never Sleeps song comes to mind.
My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue
And into the black
They give you this,
But you pay for that
And once you’re gone,
You can never come back
When you’re out of the blue
And into the black.

The king is gone
But he’s not forgotten
This is the story
Of a Johnny Rotten
It’s better to burn out
Than it is to rust
The king is gone
But he’s not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.Neil Young, Philadelphia, PA 1970 | Joel Bernstein

Such lyrics would have been shot down as commie propaganda and burned in the make believe land of Kennedy’s Camelot. America was at the pinnacle of its greatness; so great that teenagers were liberated with pocket money to fund a social rebellion. Ironic, huh? Artificial sweetness and cotton candy dreams were loosed upon this new market. No one, including the Beatles, ever expected it to live, but here’s Downer Neil saying it can never die in his ode to rock n roll.
Five weird pieces of Elvis memorabilia people have tried to sell ...Carole King - TeachRock
The King was Elvis but it was also Carole to a lesser degree. The dynamic of teen love can extend into a corporate level between fans and their teen idols. The same question can be asked, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” Unless you die in a plane crash or some self destruction, time tarnishes whatever it is you’ve done. Very few artists come through unravaged. Do we still love them now that tomorrow is here? Yes. RIP to all of them.
Rock's Most Famous Graves

762. Ducks on the Pond

Image result for nesting mallard ducks picture

Faithfully they return each spring no matter the weather, momma and daddy Mallard duck. For over twenty years now, a mating pair have claimed our 15 x 15 foot fishpond as their own Air B and B. I have no idea if the current pair are the original homestead settler pair or their ducklings, or maybe grand ducklings. I never needed to know so much that I ever considered banding them. I just know that our dogs have religiously pestered them into flight. Whether that was Nick or Johnnie or Kermit, the birds knew the drill. They’d take flight as soon as the back door opened. Sometimes they’d just fast paddle to the side the dog was not on. Never did one of our dogs actually dive in to crunch down on a duck’s neck. I think it was just fun for the four legged contestants, skill drills so to speak.Image result for mallards on a fish pond images

Over time concrete things come to symbolize something else that is abstract. The ducks are recurring symbols of rebirth, I suppose, even before the buds on the trees show up. Their quacking is like an alarm clock for spring to wake up. Our ducks don’t migrate south. Nope. I think they just hang out at some busier water hole with more to eat. But when it comes time to set up the nursery, they choose our little pond. I’m glad they do; it’s a special honor somehow, a relationship that is mutually satisfying. Hope’s promise is fulfilled in the bargain.proud mom GIF by BBC Earth

Their presence speaks of faithfulness also, of instinctual loyalty, if not to one another then to the species. I like to imagine that just like me and my wife, these birds do care for each other and miss one another when they are not together. And it’s not just about how many eggs they can hatch out or how much food they can attain. After years together, I can imagine the hen still saying to the drake, “After all these years, you still quack me up”. And then the pair of them quacking skyward like it’s the first time they ever shared this pun. Yack, yack, yack. They flap skyward.Image result for mallards flying upward gif

Sacrifice gets a nod as well. You likely know already that male birds are brighter than their female partners. In plumage, ladies. This is not a sexist statement. It’s not about male vanity but distracting predators. When the couple are under threat, it’s the male that flies off low and slow to distract the predator. If the drake is killed, the hen and her eggs or ducklings survive. Call it a male beauty tax if you must.ducks ducklings GIF by The Dodo

Symbols are tokens that take on meaning within a specific culture…

Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.Image result for chinese duck paintings

For instance,

In China, ducks, particularly Mandarin ducks (famous for their vivid multicolored plumage) are highly auspicious creatures. Most famously, they are a symbol of marital happiness and fidelity, and this symbolism can display itself in multiple ways; duck imagery may appear on Chinese wedding invitations, it is considered good luck to have at least one duck dish served at a wedding feast, and the imagery of two ducks physically entwined is seen as a metaphor for sexual congress.Image result for chinese duck paintings

My reader, you will never think of ducks the same way again, eh? Avian porn.

Now the expression “ducks on the pond” is used in baseball lingo to refer to runners on base. Apparently it has also been used to warn all-male audiences that women are present so that they will curtail salty talk. Both of these expressions seem nearly antiquated, like dead duck and lucky duck, lame duck; modern life and language have moved away from nature and toward the inorganic… “Dude, Legos on the rise.” Perhaps this is why it is so refreshing to see our pair bonded Mallards take up their short residence each spring. They are a breath of fresh air from a more innocent time.Image result for baseball pictures ducks on the pond images

During the current coronavirus quarantine, our ducks are also a symbol of unsinkable hope as they float atop the rain-speckled water. Peace and calm radiate from them when the sun breaks through later and they turn their heads back into their fluffed feathers for a nap. As this modern day plague plods on in the human domain, our ducks on the pond remain dignified… letting all the what ifs? and then whats? roll off like, well, water off a duck’s back. Leaving me warm, dry, and grateful.Image result for pet duck images