Saturday, December 31, 2005

Halcyon Days

The glass is half empty. Something is always threatening to knock it over. Our lives are a miracle. Today a man shot his ex-wife to death, injured two of his kids and then committed suicide. Good. Saved the taxpayers a lot of money prosecuting him. There but for the grace of God go you or I. Try explaining to the orphan kids that they are supposed to honor their mother and father. Moses taught that. Were there murder-suicides in the tribes of Israel? We need the wisdom of Solomon. He died a long time ago. Now we have to rely on someone who went to our universities. God help us. I got a bachelors degree from an American university. It seemed like a good idea at the time. A friendly Democrat-run government paid for most of my tuition. It was an investment in the future when I would presumably be paying more income taxes on my higher income. Turns out I was so socially conscious that I went to work in social sevices where the workers are notoriously underpaid. At least in Arizona. So I don't know if I paid back my tuition in higher taxes. A lot of ideas are theoretically excellent.

So the glass-- is. See you in 2006. Inshallah.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

La vie

Today I received a priority mail package sent Dec. 19, 2005. Yes, that was sent 10 days ago. What can we expect of non-priority mail? And postage is going up in January?

I have decided to blackmail the man whose motorcycle I am borrowing. When he comes to reclaim it, I will hold it hostage until he fixes my own relic of a motorcycle. Just kidding. I think. I love riding a bike. Even the part about every vehicle out there is trying to kill me. Yes, especially that. It is an adrenaline thing.

Only a couple more days left in 2005. I guess I am suppose to reflect/make resolutions. Let's see. I got another year older. And the same thing is going to happen next year. There. Got that done.

Actually I am quite pessimistic about my future. Oh, here and there there will be highlights. But I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Unless it is THAT tunnel. Because I believe in THAT tunnel or whatever it is one sees when one is in extremis. I have a ton of questions for the generations past in my family. One will be why they did not instill the importance of learning foreign languages into their children? My grandparents spoke three languages. Many people in Europe still do. But I, only the second generation in this country, do a fair job in English, a poor job of French, and abysmal in German, Spanish, Polish and Latin. I find poor language skills to be a terrible lack in American education. I didn't even have the chance to study German until I was in Grade 12. I am not one to pick up foreign languages easily, but just like being bad in math doesn't mean you don't have to figure the tip at a restaurant, being bad in language doesn't mean students shouldn't be taught it.

From the stranger than fiction department: the other day I met for the first time a person who lives 2 miles from me through a mutual friend who lives 2000 miles from here. C'est bizarre.

So I will wrap up today's post with a warning. Don't watch so many crime shows on TV that you think there is a criminal behind every bush and that the world can be so easily divided into right and wrong. There are crooked cops and kind-hearted criminals. Mostly we are just in-between, average folks trying to make life bearable for ourselves and those around us. Maybe we can do a better job in 2006.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where Art Thou Learning

I read an opinion column that claims our difficulties arise from fundamentalism. He wrote that there are liberal fundamentalists as well as right-wingers and Moslems. Titled: "Closed mind a terrible thing to protect", he asks us to become our own persons. I think he has a point to a point. But there has to be some bedrock to build one's learning upon. There has to be a fundamental something or else one is liable to go swaying back and forth in the latest trends during your whole lifetime. In my profile in this blog I stated I am always learning. Yet I do have certain beliefs though that are solid. Not everything can be relative. I will give you the address of his website for those interested. I cannot say what he might have in it as I have not visited it myself.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I had a green-yellow day. My artistic talents are not in the paint medium, but I believe most people have a sense of the property of color in one or more ways. A green-yellow day is fair, relaxed, painless. The air was fresh. I believed I could win a million dollars and not be richer than a green-yellow day. There are days better than this. But many more are worse.

Possibly what colored the day is that it was a holiday. Government was closed down. Banks were closed. No heavy vibrations in the air. But now that I think of it, I think my grandfather died on this day when I was an infant. Not so good. But one of my relatives turns 28 today. That is good. He is a cancer survivor. I imagine it was a black day when he was told he had the big "C". The worst thing I've ever been told is that I am crazy, but people have been telling me that since I was 10 so that doesn't faze me.

The famous September 11th was a gray day. All I can think about is smoke. Gray choking smoke. More Americans died from the terror that day than died in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. How soon we forget.

The South Pacific is a wet blue of many hues. When I was in Tahiti I was in a constant sweat. But the ocean was magical.

The Internet is brown. A combination of the colors of all the people who contribute to it. Think of a barrel of food all thrown together in a mish-mash, what color is it? Brown. The end result of digestion? Brown. Cyberspace is certainly brown.

What color is the future? White. Like a page of paper unwritten upon. A cold frozen landscape waiting for the breath of life to warm it. Take me future. I go as a willing sacrifice.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Born To Be Wild

When I was young and knew more than I do today, I rode a motorcycle full-time. Then I got lazy and bought a car. It has all been downhill since then. But in a remarkable Christmas miracle I had the opportunity to take an 850 cc bike for a ride on a 70 degree, sunny, warm morning. Yes, while the rest of the country were in church worshipping their redeemer's birth, I got the motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure, in whatever comes my way...oops, slipped into an old Steppenwolf song there, excuse me. I found no adventure outside myself. Instead I summoned up sweet memories of 2 wheel freedom. Feeling that wind pushing at me, noting the changing road surfaces, leaning into the turns. Being part of the life around me instead of shut inside a conveyance. I did wear a helmet. Not that it would save much if my noggin hit pavement. And due to my recent inexperience I kept the speed below 75 MPH. Oops, was I supposed to drive this borrowed bike slower? Well, it was all in fun for the holidays. Apparently I have lived to tell about it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

On the Eve

Right after we finished a big Christmas Eve meal with friends, carolers appeared at the door a-caroling away. The timing couldn't have been better. And they gave us cookies! This Christmas thing ain't such a bad deal after all.

I am not kidding, the national weather service has issued a severe weather warning for our area for Christmas day because we can expect record-breaking high temperatures. For us that means 70 degree range. Read it and weep all you hardy northerners!

I have a 25 year old horse who thinks he is a 3 year old Lippizan stallion. Yesterday he took me for a ride. We didn't do "airs above the ground" but it was a great frolic. I wonder if he'll slow down when he turns 30? He's an Arabian.

My wish for this Christmas is that everyone have a few moments to reflect. Christians are celebrating the birth of the Saviour; Jews are celebrating the miracle of the oil. Kids are celebrating Santa; big kids are thanking their credit card credit limit. The days are getting longer from now until June. We get one chance to live here. Nobody knows when their time is up. Even a death row inmate could have a heart attack while walking to the lethal injection room. Many people have related the experience of dying only to be told to go back, their time was not up yet. Your time is not up yet. What will happen next? There is only one way to find out. I'm on the Eve of something.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


During my cross-continent trip I drove 5,978 miles. I love to drive. Yesterday I had to drive to the city (130 miles away) and since my back was "out" I had to have the help of a relative who drove most of the way for me. Thanks. Then this morning I wake up and my back is fine! Maybe I should get a job as a truck driver if sitting in a vehicle is so good for me.

It was 79 degrees in the city yesterday. Unbelievable. So beautiful for Dec. 21st, the first day of winter. Sorry to brag. But this is what I endure all those 100 degree days for.

There was a TV show on recently about heaven. Barbara Walters interviewed people of different faiths and no faith. Personally I believe in an afterlife. I don't believe the dead can communicate with the living. Those TV shows popular now about sensitives who channel the needs of the dead to their loved ones are great science fiction. Spiritual beings who communicate with the living are another matter. Satan is a master of lies. He can use people's willingness to believe their loved ones are communicating in order to further his nefarious schemes, whatever they are. Once people open their minds to his machinations, all matter of hell can break loose, literally. Don't mess with questionable spirits. It's similar to trying street drugs, once won't hurt anything, next thing you know, you are hooked and stealing money from grandmothers.

I will stop my preaching for now. My Christmas shopping (not holiday shopping) is almost done. Just have to get a little something for my husband. He is sweet so I am going to get him sweets. This year I saw Christmas lights all across America and Canada. Hannukah is the festival of lights. There are good reasons for lighting up a house when the days are at their shortest here in the northern hemisphere. Although they aren't as short here in the southwest as they are up north. I remember well going to work in the dark and going home in the dark up in the northeast. It was psychologically depressing. Many people are known to suffer from daylight deprivation known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Too much darkness. They should move to Arizona. Yes, 79 degrees and sunny yesterday. I sat outside and ate ICE CREAM! Almost heaven, Barbara!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mongrel yips

Two days ago my back "went out on me". I don't know the proper medical term for it. A spasm? A cramp? Whatever it is, it lasts a few days, giving me a lot of grief, then it goes, as mysteriously as it came. Years ago I tried a chiropractor for it and nothing changed. Not heat nor ice, nor rest nor exercise, nothing has any effect. Oh well. C'est ma vie! I just assume that everyone has some pain in their life. Migraines for instance. I've never had one. Would love it if I went to the grave ignorant of them.

We are caring for a mongrel pup while its' owners are on vacation. My own dogs were gracious to accept their cousin into their home turf. I enjoy watching them interact. Mankind was very smart to domesticate animals. Not only for nutritional reasons and work purposes but for entertainment. I pity folks with allergies to pet hair. They miss the personal relationships. My horses, dogs, cat and rabbit provide a lot of diversion.

When I was travelling the continent and meeting people face-to-face, I lost touch with blogs I read. Good grief! The real world interfered with my fake world! Well, not actually fake. Real life is contributed to from many sources: novels, lies, fantasy, chemicals in the brain, mass media, etc. I think my life is run by vision. I can't predict where this vision is going to take me next. I wouldn't want to know. That would take the adventure out of it. If your life is not an adventure, then I'm sorry. Maybe it is the mongrel in me. The Internet let me out of my cage. So many words, so little time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oh Canada

During my days spent north of the border I meant to behave myself. It is a beautiful country with signs in this province often reminding you that this is beautiful Ontario. Tricky as it was, I figured out my kilometres per hour and tried to do the speed limit but on the "401" (main highway between Toronto and Montreal) everyone speeds. I had to avoid being a traffic hazard.

Prices in Canada are a challenge to figure out in US dollars, and then at the cash register they hit you with GST and PST. Those are taxes meant to foil even an autistic savant who can recite Pi to the 30th decimal. A $6 magazine would sell for about $5 in the US costs $8 in Canada with tax which is?? I give up.

On Nov. 26th I went snowmobiling! There was just enough snow there in eastern Ontario for me to learn how to run a Ski-Doo around the "bush" and proudly I claim that I didn't run over any bushes or hit any trees. It was trickier than I expected. But fun! The gasoline in the Ski-Doo was bought by the litre, not by the gallon. It cost around $.82 a litre which I have no idea how to translate into any measure I can easily relate to. Any mathematicians out there?

Some miles to the west down the 401 I passed farm country that could have been in Indiana. Except the road signs were in English and in French. Vive La Belle Langue!

One final word about Canada. Yes I heard people say "eh!" but I also caught myself saying "y'all". So tit for tat. Differences are fun. Under the outer trappings, people are people. I will always carry a great love for the land of the maple leaf.

Cogito Ergo Sum - Je Pense

Okay, I admit it has been 21 days since my last post. I got carried away during my vacation - without Internet access in many places. Since I got home I've been chilling out.

I was generally without daily news during the time I was away from home. Things happened. I don't know what happened. I am still holding body and soul together without that knowledge. I am not a lesser being because I don't know what I don't know. I think. Therefore I am. I think.

Arizona is still without measurable rain/snow. Looks like a dry Christmas if something doesn't happen in the sky soon. But that is just life in the desert. If I really liked snow, then I would have been in my glory during the 7 hours I drove through Minnesota and Iowa in heavy snow and witnessed many car & truck mishaps. Instead I thought of the easy life I have here. A rough winter day is a high of 50. Today it was 60, sunny, calm and accompanied by birdsong.

The winter solstice and Christmas are coming. Lift up your chins.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


A most remarkable thing happened this morning. I had to use a brush to push white stuff off my car so the windows were cleared. This doesn't happen at home very often; I think it has been about 8 years since the last time we've had snow. The landscape looks very soft and pretty under the white blanket. It behooves me to button up my coat before I go outside in the below freezing temperatures. And the residents here live under these conditions for months! My heartfelt sympathy to you all!

Yes, I used to live in the northeastern US once too, but I got smart in my early 30's and high-tailed it for the desert. It is fun to see different places, but I know when I start to see the western vistas, I will get anxious to get home, sweet home, in the desert.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

November In America

I have now travelled 2500 miles so far across America. I can tell you this is a big country. And we have so much in common, despite our different accents and different scenery out the window. First, everyone cooks great food. Next, all my friends and relatives have a dog, cat, or a horse, or several of them. One even had a house full of parakeets. And I got to spy on a couple birds mating! Shame on me. So there are things that bind us together, despite our different locales. And I'm not talking about the mating, this is a clean blog!!

The weather has been quite cold, at least compared to what I am used to. There was a 50 degree drop in high daytime temperatures from what I am used to. This is just a lot for the body to take, but I'll adapt. I knew this was going to happen. Just not so suddenly. I even missed a tornado watch by one hour in Oklahoma. Now I've driven in snow, but a tornado is another story. I'll take a winter blizzard or an Arizona dust storm in 100 degree temeratures over a tornado anyday. No I won't be moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma anytime soon!

If this is Saturday, I must be in Pennsylvania. The sun is out. The land is big and strong, will write again, on the road, this is your steadfast reporter, occam, giving you the scoop, on America... and later, Canada.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Pondering Fool

Last Sunday the newspaper headlines were very refreshing. Nothing about the war, nothing about politics, the economy, or crime. The main headline was about the university winning a football game by a wide margin, and the main local headline was about a woman rescuing a dog from a fire. How interesting! Do you think the editors recognised that they were on a break from their normal "We are on the eve of destruction" type of reporting? Probably not. Had to be a freak accident. After that it was back to the war, politics, the economy, and crime. The one day respite was great though. That was one lucky dog!

I found out there are audio books on-line that one can download for free. Of course these are old books but one can never have too many oldies but goodies. I downloaded one and burned it onto 3 CD's that I can listen to in my car while whiling away the hours as I drive cross-continent. Wish I had discovered this earlier so I could be listening to more classics. I may have gray hair but I am not afraid to embrace new technology. Too bad few of my friends are very tech savvy. Most often I have to figure this stuff out on my own and things drive me (more) crazy. Like how do I correct something in a blog post that I've already published??? I have fun anyway.

My doctor doesn't know I am going on this long trip. I wouldn't want to scare him. But I'll be ok. Isn't there a saying that God protects fools and puppy dogs? I'm too big to be mistaken for a puppy dog. I'll tell the doc when I get home, "Oh by the way, I just drove 6000 miles or so." It is just something I have to do before I die. Surely that day is coming.

Today I ruminated on faith. This does not have anything to do with cows or other cud-chewing animals. Rather I thought more about my experience of faith. Anyone can believe in and study Marco Polo, Genghis Khan, or Jesus Christ. But I have a connection with the latter that comes to mind when I see a herd of cattle grazing, or admire the vast world that Marco explored and Genghis conquered. It is too much for my little mind to grasp that all we behold is the result of mutations of tiny genes that we'll never see, occurring over vast expanses of time that we cannot comprehend. I can hear the scientists out there howling. But until they make evolution as rock solid as the claims of the Son of God on earth did 2000 years ago, hey, I'm gonna go the God route. It is the simpler explanation or my name isn't occam. Chew on that if you have any teeth left.

And what if Pat Robertson says that Dover, PA may be in for trouble because they voted out the school board members who backed the teaching of intelligent design? Didn't a hurricane nearly wipe off the map a city known for voodoo? It has happened before but now it probably won't because God doesn't need to "play" God. He is. But would it really get people to think if something did happen to Dover? Not likely because the non-spiritual have hardened their hearts toward the things of the spirit. For those willing to open their minds though, it is so rewarding. Again I remind you of Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. Freud died alone. His choice. And his words coldly live after him. In contrast, when the author of the Narnia Chronicles died, Great Britain wept. Go to see "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" when it opens on Dec 9th in theatres. Would you rather have as a neighbor: C.S.Lewis, who invented Aslan the lion, or Freud who invented the technique of explaining your problems as a sexual issue from your childhood? I don't have to ponder that question very long.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Eyes Have It

Here is another poem. Inspiration comes burning down from the achingly blue desert sky.

Mine Eyes

One eye sees light
One eye sees dark
Oh- they hurt so.
The light side is worse
Its lightning, jagged lightning
The dark side is bottomless
Falling, falling.
The hopeful third blind.
Pain squeezes that inner vision
And life gushes over the optic rim.

copyright by Michaelina Lewandowski, Nov. 10, 2005.

Never Tackle a Skunk

I am still not feeling up to snuff, but I go on because that is what is expected. After all, aren't our heroes those who put on a good face and persist in spite of circumstances? Don't we all want to be just like them? Oh poppycock.

I lost my eyeglasses for about 20 minutes yesterday and turned the house upside down. I found them outdoors. My vision is excellent for about 18 inches and then it drops off precipitously. So if I don't recognise you on the street and I'm not wearing glasses, that is why. Now if I have my glasses on and still don't recognise you, ah, well, I am not a spring chicken. Is that a good excuse? Is that ageism? Yes and yes.

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others-" Groucho Marx.

I am in the final days of preparation before my cross-continent trek. The vehicle is in top shape except for the jagged crack in the windshield. This is legal in Arizona but I don't know about other states or Canada. Do you suppose I will get a citation and have to get it repaired? Do you know I don't really care? I will persist in spite of circumstances but I don't have to put a good face on it. Some laws are unduly restrictive. That is one reason I love living in the wild, wild west. I don't think you even have to have a windshield in Arizona. What bugs are going to hit you in the face? I never saw a mosquito this past summer. Also, despite driving in rural areas after dark, I've never come close to hitting a deer in the road. It is relaxing to roll on down a dark desert highway, singing along with your favorite CD - I recommend "Hotel California"- and not worrying about 100 to 200 pounds of flesh and bones about to step in front of you and becoming windshield dressing. Although it is not unheard of, right Mrs. L?

To change up the subject a bit, in high country campsites in Arizona there is a frequent nighttime mammalian visitor of the family Mustelidae. It's a large skunk with a wide beautiful white stripe down its back and tail. He wanders around people and their camping equipment looking for stray bits to eat. If the campers are clean, they can just sit and admire his long, lovely hair in the firelight as he noses around, sometimes right under your chair. Alarm is the wrong reaction. Live and let live and you'll be treated to a close up view of one of the forest's most maligned critters. Scent-free and amusing, just calmly enjoy his antics. And you won't get skunked.

Soon it will be cold in the high country though. Suprisingly this state has many opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. It is common in my town in winter for a pick-up driver to go up the mountain and shovel up a load of snow and bring in down to the desert to dump in a yard for play. It has been over a decade since we've had measurable snow here in the neighborhood. Unfortunately it occurred when my brother was visiting from the Northeast, after I had been bragging to him about how warm it was here in winter and no snow. He shovelled a path in the 4 inch accumulation from his motorhome to my front door and came in saying: "It never snows here sister?" Very embarrassing.

I mustelidae end for today. Keep your chin up. Tomorrow will have new circumstances for you to tackle. It will be college football Saturday! Hasta la vista, Baby.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Want Those Fries Supersized?

We are having record-breaking heat here. Near 90 degrees today and yesterday. Oh boy, I'm going to freeze my gluteus maximus off when I get up north!

I was out of town yesterday and out of sorts the previous days which is why I have not been posting. Sorry to disappoint you .003 people per day who visit this blog hoping for fresh inspiration.

I am thinking of the riots in France and its neighbors. So what did M.Chirac do to the poor immigrant and French-born youth of north African descent? He let them congregate in their own slums. Mind you, many of them wanted to live together, to preserve their "traditions" so they wouldn't be "assimulated" into French culture. No want to join countrymen? Then suffer. Oh no, that would be discrimination! M. Chirac should have joined the coalition fighting in Iraq and sent them there to see what their traditions have wrought. Such as their "brothers" blowing up their "brothers" in crowded marketplaces. Where innocent children are just part of the collateral damage in an insurgency intent upon putting Iraq back into the darkness of the past. One look at that and those poor disaffected youth would feel fortunate to live in a rich, socialist European country with peaceful democratic elections and incredible art, history, culture. Vive la France!

I don't know what the problem is between France and the US. Politics! I enjoy french fries, not freedom fries. And ever since I began to study it in 1966, I've thought French to be the most beautiful sounding language in the world. C'est magnifique! But I will grind on in English because it has more words. We have supersized it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Command and Control

I am now going to wrap up my comments on the poverty mindset, also discussed on Oct 23rd: Fistful of Dollars, and Oct 30: Divine Comedy. According to the biblical account, on the 6th day God told man to take dominion over the animals. I know some animal rights people are going to scream at that one. But I have no problem ruling over the beasts. If I am on a nature hike and a wolf attacks a child, I have no qualms about using my revolver to blow its furry, fanged head off. People first. I also believe in fair chase hunting. For a number of years I raised sheep and rabbits for food. I believe in using science to create better agricultural crops, to cure plant and animal diseases, and to control fishing for sustainable harvests. So as a step to defeating a sense of impoverishment (yes, that is a word!), I have the dominion thing down pat. So how does that help? Theoretically, if I have control of outer things it will transform somehow into inner things. The right perspective recognises this connection and enables one to have a balmy outlook in one's finances, relationships, and emotions. If one recognises they have weak muscles, one can transform them by eating better and exercising. But if I recognise I have need in a relationship, do I style my hair different and expect that will make me more acceptable? If I have need in my budget, do I cheat in my checkbook to show a bigger balance and everything will turn out ok? If I am shattered emotionally, do I put a smile on my face and go about the world like there is nothing wrong? I can tell you quickly where that last scenario will get you. The locked ward of a hospital. So to summarize, I will admit that the right perspective on dominion will work in a few instances but is porous as a colander in righting the sinking ship of the needy. (Ya gotta love those mixed metaphors, eh?)

On the day of worship, people of faith gather to hear words from their imam, priest, rabbi, bishop, leader or minister. The vast, vast majority sit, listen, the words washing over them, uncritical. At political rallies the group also waits for those words, baptizing them into the fraternity/sorority of the "cause". Students sit and sponge up their lessons. Mobs take cues from the leaders and respond in an animal way without having taken the time to figure out the purpose, risks, and real outcome from that Molotov cocktail. I suppose it has always been this way. The charasmatic lead the sheep. Well, I'm sorry but my heart just isn't into being sheepish. I have within myself: faith. Faith that I have command and control over the words I am being fed. And if you know what is good for you, you should too.

In case you think I have just contradicted myself, please think again. When that doesn't work, congratulate yourself. You are taking the first steps in taking possession of your mind from the established forces. Contradictions are everywhere. Beware.

Taking on this Job

The book of Job in the Bible was written a long, long time ago. I don't know anyone today whose name is Job. After all, the story of Job is one of intense suffering. I also have noted the similarlity to the English word: job. Job had quite an undertaking, quite a "job" to live through his suffering. And his suffering was completely undeserved. I think today we get really annoyed at God, at Fate, at whatever when our suffering seems so unwarranted. As the story progresses we see that Job's friends were no help to him. Have you ever thought, gee, my friends are well-meaning but they just don't understand? You are right. I am reminded of the spiritual song whose lyrics say: "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." Everyone has unique problems because we have unique abilities and experience. In Job's story his wife gives up and tells him to just curse God and die. Not the best advice a helpmate could give their misery-ridden spouse. I would hope my spouse would stand by me a little better. He has so far and that's been no mean trick! But I digress. The reason I got thinking about Job is late in the book is a description of the "behemoth" and the "leviathan". I understand that some "intelligent design" folks use these lines to support their belief that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time on earth. It is compelling to read about these two great beasts and wonder what they could be. Not something I want as a pet in my backyard! I'll stick with horses, they are big enough for me. So where am I leading to with these two seemingly disparate ideas: suffering and big monsters? Why does this ancient book combine these things? Let me remind you of Occam's Razor. Two possiblilities: the writer of Job is a lunatic, or the writer wanted to reveal something about their view of God. Would this writing have endured if it was nothing but meaningless dribble? I have troubles. Specific troubles. So do you. I chose to believe my troubles can be transended by faith. I do not believe in Fate, Good Luck, the almightly position of Science, talismans, dead relatives, dead holy people, the lottery or even myself. What am I compared to the Leviathan? the Behemoth? Yes, there are times I believe my problems are about to crush me like a bug. But then I remember Job. He did a good job of showing people through the ages that there is a reason to endure. At the end of his suffering, Job's fortunes are double what he had before and he lived a long, full life. I don't believe every person will see their reward in this life though. But fortunately there is an afterlife. And it isn't what you see on TV on "Medium" or "Ghost Whisperer". Those shows are so laughable that it causes me great suffering to think that people just suck up all that entertainment at face value. Ah, there is enough suffering in this world. No need to add to it the suffering of those who are dead but not "crossed over". Ha! That reminds me of an old movie (or TV show) that showed a minister preaching over an open coffin and he says: "When you dead, you dead, and there ain't nothing gonna bring you back." At that point the corpse sits up in the casket to a huge uproar among the mourners. (wish I knew the name of that show - any trivia buffs out there?) To continue this run-on thought, think of the story of Job and how many individuals have taken comfort from this history. And then tell me that we are just carbon-based entities with no purpose but to interact, reproduce, and fall to ashes when our time is up. I believe in the Creator of that behemoth.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Tilting at the Sun

I got a wild hare and decided to make a trip alone back east so I can have Thanksgiving with my family there. Also I plan to stop and visit some friends along the way. Some of them have computers so I can update my blog! You aren't getting rid of me that easily!

I love to travel but I haven't done much lately due to health issues. I don't know whether my health is really up to this trip but I guess I will find out. At least I got my flu shot. I don't plan to get sick on the road. Driving relaxes me. I put on my 1960's & 1970's rock music and drive on, rather oblivious. For some reason I hardly ever get lost either. That is good because I can't afford the gas I am going to be using, much less the gas to get lost wandering around some State or Province. But life comes first. Money is a secondary concern.

Being from Arizona, I rarely have to wear heavy outerwear. But I do have some cold weather attire. More importantly, I haven't driven in snow for years. I hope I remember how, or I get a lucky break in the weather department. This is where global warming could be real helpful, do you hear me you atmosphere up there? It is 80 degrees here today.

When I was a child my family used to take vacations to New York's Adirondack Mountains and to Cape Cod and Maryland on the coast. These were most exciting days for me. I think that is why I love to travel. I've met some interesting people along the way too. I'll never forget these friendly folks in White Pine, Tennessee who gave shelter to me, my girlfriend and her horse (!) one night. They didn't know us from Adam but they gave us a vacant mobile home to rest in and a full hot southern breakfast in the morning. Wouldn't take a dime for it. All they asked is for a postcard from New Mexico so they were sure we made it to our destination all right. We did get there ok even though neither of us could back up the horse trailer with any skill. (I can do it a little better now.)

People who live more than 50 miles from your home are markedly different than you. Maybe it is the angle of the sun, but they live and talk and have a way of living that is different. I find these changes fascinating. I have two doctors in a city 130 miles from my home and everytime I see them I see they have a whole different pattern or design to their lives that is distinct from mine and not just because of their profession and that I am their patient and that they have scads of money compared to me. It must be the angle of the sunlight again. Of course there are plenty of people within 50 miles of me who are very different from me, but they can relate to the view of the mountains that we each see every day. From experience my neighbors know about the cost of food here, the color of the police cars, how long the signal light is at the corner by the post office, when the wind starts to blow how the dirt from unplanted fields will fill the air, that our valley "snow" is cotton, etc. These are examples of the patterns of our lives, unique to us, foreign to outsiders. I am going to explore outside my familiar pattern, seek out people who have a design to their lives totally different from mine. But we will get along famously. Because I believe all people should be treated with respect. And I like to see that sun at different angles.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pulmonary Palaver

There are often 3 or 4 desert cottontail rabbits hanging around my hay barn door. They clean up the spilled hay because the desert is meager pickings lately. They aren't as scared as rabbits that have less contact with people. So this bunny tonight let me reach as close as 2 feet before he thought better of it and hopped away. I must take my camera tomorrow!

Tonight I am having a shortness of breath but this has happened before. No need to call the paramedics. I'll survive. It just makes it a tad more difficult to write coherently. But if I was always coherent, it would get old fast. The inconsistent is much more dramatic. Our weather has been consistently beautiful lately. But who talks about the weather unless something interesting is happening? I found when I moved here that in Arizona people hardly ever talk about the weather compared to the Northeast where everyone talks about the weather all the time because it is always changing. Maybe I'll be able to report our first frost in November. Or maybe not. We seem to be in a consistent pattern of 70 degree days and cool nights. Normal. Predictable. Isn't it more fun to think I might have a respiratory disorder or a heart problem? Naw, I'm healthy as a horse. Speaking of which, the mare with the sore leg is fine.

I am glad that I have a high pain threshold as well as a high capacity to drink alcohol before appearing drunk. That does me no good though because I don't drink anymore, so... but back to the pain thing. It must be awful to feel every ache and pain vividly. The only possible benefit I can see to that is that one doesn't hurt themselves further if one stops at the first twinge of pain.

The problem of pain is one that theologians and atheists discuss a lot. The best book I'd recommend on universal questions like this is The Question of God by Armand Nicholi. It is about two men and their answers to such deep questions. One is C.S.Lewis, a writer who was a staunch atheist in university who later converted to Christianity. The other is Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalist who was brought up in Judaism and later became an atheist. They never met in person to debate, but what a debate it would have been! The book is very neutral on who had the right answer. So you get to make your own decision. What I find most peculiar is that the atheist Freud had to get his behind out of Vienna before the atheist Nazis got ahold of him for being born a Jew. So Atheists can't decide who is a good atheist and who is a bad one? Why that sounds almost Christian! As in my denomination is better than your denomination! That sounds almost Islamic, as in my Shia (Shi'ite) is better than you Saddam boot lickin' Sunnis! Or did I get that mixed up? Our MSM (Main Stream Media) gives us such good reporting from Iraq, that I can't keep straight who the good guys and the bad guys are. Except OUR GUYS are the best of them all! Hoo-rah!

So my breathing feels a little better now. I must have needed to get some things off my chest, so to speak.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sense of Darkness

Today I post an original poem. I enjoy poetry for its' emotion, playfulness with words, and concise thoughts. The author wants the dear reader to have their own opinion of "what does it mean?" So without further ado, open your spirit and savor --

Sense of Darkness

Don't let the light shine on me.
My eyes have adjusted to the dark
I can see fine

Don't tell me it is common sense
This is the dark continent
Breathe deeply of this reality

Don't tell me the world is round
Anyone can see it is flat

Copyright Michaelina Lewandowski, October 30, 2005.

Monday, October 31, 2005

A Common Touch

The master farrier, occam's better half, put horseshoes on the old gelding today. He is ridden lightly as he has seen 25 years. While being worked on, his mate was fretful and pranced about her corral, worried over being left alone. Until she finally slipped and fell, hurting her hind leg. We aren't sure how serious it is yet. When you have animals, it is always something. They are as bad as children.

There is another Supreme Court nominee. Poor Harriet was harried into withdrawing. We'll never know what kind of judge she would've made. Now we will learn about Samuel Alito. And the Republic churns on...

Tonight is halloween. Sometimes I wish I could be scared. My favorite meat is heart. How scary is that?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I will spend less this year. (See yesterday's posting.) Too bad I'm not talented at making crafts. I'm envious of people who give homemade gifts. I can write. Want a poem? Not mine I'm sure. I have one to post tomorrow. It is fitting for the season of lessening daylight.

You may wonder why all my blog links are doctors. Why not? They are articulate, often funny, and cover human experience like no other professional can.

I will now explain why our place is called The Double Barrel Ranch. When we first saw the raw land in 1987 we found two very chummy barrel cacti growing together. When we moved here in 1988 we brought some of our belongings in two old fashioned wooden barrels. And we each had a double barrel shotgun. That was enough for me to see it was a natural name. Today the original barrel cacti are gone but others have sprung up to continue the tradition. In fact, we have two double barrel cacti here. Contrary to myth, one cannot get water to drink from cutting open a barrel cactus. They are just fine, plump, barbed green cactus with outstanding flowers and bright yellow fruits. If you must eat something from a cactus, eat its fruit. Lots of goo and seeds, fiber, good for you.

I've really cranked out the mundane today. Nothing cosmic on my mind. Pardonnez-moi. Nil desperandum. Be patient, occam will return, better than ever.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Divine Comedy

On October 23rd I posted "A Fistful of Dollars" and today I have a few more thoughts on revenue deficiency. I will preface by warning you that I struggle to decipher reality from false perceptions. To quote Carole King, "I feel the earth move under my feet". My sense is not your common sense. As I said earlier, in high school I was a rebel's rebel. I was too extreme for the hippies. Too unconventional for the nerds. Too aloof for the jocks. Too remote for the teachers to reach. I'm only answerable to the Deity. And today the sermonizer proclaims that poverty is an attitude of the mind. If I decide to think that I am really richly blessed, it will be so? God wants me to prosper in all areas of my life: relationships, physically, in the pocketbook, in my mind? Will He bestow on me the perceptual faculties to discern only this "truth" and not reality? Perhaps God only wants me to recognise the good things and forget the adverse circumstances, those very circumstances that shape me into a stronger human being? No, I think God does not want me to be a mindless cult worshipper. I believe He wants me to know good and bad. And that my attitude should be to live through whatever is my life. To me that means conflict. Peace is for the next life. God doesn't want to prosper everyone in every way all the time. Although I don't want to presume to speak for God, being just another peon. But from my exerience, as short as it is, life goes up and life goes down. There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes.

Tomorrow I have to pay bills that total over $1000, and I'm a couple hundred short. Contrary to common sense, I am not worried, not panicked, I will sleep like a baby tonight. If I wake up tomorrow I will deal with it. See how insanely trusting I am? I didn't even buy a lottery ticket! Gut Gott! I expect conflict and I live it. Nothing new.

When I thrust from my mother's womb there was a message banner for me hanging above the delivery bed: All hope abandon ye who enter here!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

My Comfortable Opinion

Just another beautiful 80 degree day in southern Arizona. Sorry, I can't help myself. I brag because I love it here so much.

But I also love to travel. The only major region of the US that I have not visited is the Pacific Northwest. I've heard it is lush and green there, but also cloudy and rainy. I had enough clouds and rain where I grew up thank you. But I've been to Europe and the South Pacific, Mexico and Canada of course. My favorite city is Venice, Italy and my favorite wilderness area (outside of Arizona) is somewhere near Shillington, Ontario, Canada, where a stream runs through a natural chute of black rock. If you can find Watabeag Lake you can find it somewhere nearby, I think. I haven't seen it in over 25 years but if it stuck in my mind this long, it must be really special. Northern Ontario is a real treasure of wilderness. And I am not being paid by Travel Canada or whatever they are called these days. I just love Canada. Even though they have repressive gun laws. In the states, Wyoming and Colorado are the places I've seen that can touch the wilderness in your soul. My favorite island is the Cook Islands. They speak British English there and it is lots cheaper than Tahiti. But Prince Edward Island is a close second. Beaches are a little cooler in Canada though. My favorite mountain is right outside my window. It isn't the highest or the easiest to visit, but it is familiar and I know a lot of special places up there. Nothing can beat a free campsite at 9500 feet in June with an 80 degree temperature when at home, 30 miles away, it is 105. Enough travelogue.

A Cox News Service article in today's paper reports on a 60 page booklet produced by Roman Catholic leaders that says the bible is not "fully...accurate" nor does it have "complete historical precision". This comes as a shock to fundamentalists who believe the bible is the inerrant word of God. But they aren't Catholics anyway, so who cares what R.C. bishops say? When I was in a parochial elementary school I was taught about God creating the world in 6 days and then taught evolution. Nothing seemed amiss. Can the bible be without error and still be not fully accurate? Seems a contradition. But we live with contradictions every day. Do I have to spell it out? Most Americans need to lose a few, or more than a few, pounds to be healthy. Everyone wants to be healthy. But we continue to eat junk food. Even moi. I ate some halloween candy this afternoon. Shame on me. And I was even losing weight. Until today. How did this get to be a discussion on weight? Anyway, let the bishops nit pick. There is incredible truth in the bible, both the old and new versions, the Greek, Hebrew, English whatever language it is translated to. It still stands as the Greatest Story Ever Told. (Apologies to Cecil B. De Mille, I think that was his cinematic title). Pick it up, dust it off, and read it sometime!

Those are my opinions and I'm sticking with them!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Dissolved. Unresolved.

Today I browsed my favorite blogs and found one to be highly hilarious. In part of the posting for today at Via Negativa, there is a quote from which I will quote a part, just so you can get a flavor of it: "...all dogmatic assumptions are dissolved by the inner self production of reason..." Now that is sharp thought, eh? Makes you want to go out and ask your friends if they agree? Actually I think somebody drank a thesaures for breakfast, with something illegal dissolved in it. My inner self production doesn't dissolve anything without coffee. And my dogma maintains a pure doctrine of whoever gets to the bird first gets to eat it. Then the dogma assumes the meat, bones, feet and feathers into its own being through gastric juices. Which becomes a satisfying inner production for him. Yes, I love to read blogs. Never know what treasures you might find.

Halloween is a conumdrum for me. Fundamentalist Christians do not find it an appropriate thing to celebrate due to its relationship to witches and satan. The Mexican Catholics seriously celebrate the day of the dead and even go to cemetaries to decorate tombstones. The northeastern US (as I remember) is awash in young trick or treaters who are just out for candy and couldn't care less about pagan origins. I am not one to promote evil things. Damnation does not interest me. Nor does it please me to disappoint children who desire candy and can learn a lot about dressing up and pretend and reality. I don't know how this can be resolved. I am glad I have no children to decide for. I hate hanging chads.

After wrapping my dogmatic assumptions in a water proof cover, I'll slink off into a dark cafe for recharging my self production.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I've been pondering the idea of principles or the lack of them, mostly. The decline in moral standards in this country is no secret. Take television as an example. Rin Tin Tin or Desperate Housewives? Which would you prefer your 10 year old to watch? I am not suggesting that bad conduct has only appeared in the 21st century; however, it has become more blantant. More people wink it off. I would like to think I live in accordance with higher principles than most but I don't know for sure because there doesn't seem to be an agreed upon standard anymore. Most of the time I drive the speed limit. But not always. I hear a joke that would be offensive to members of a certain religion, race, ethnic origin, etc. and I laugh and feel guilty later when no one notices. I am undercharged in the check out line at the store and I fail to alert the clerk. But if I am overcharged, boy, that is another story! In general I think that we all expect others to have high principles. When they don't, well, we feel smug. Self-satisfied that yes we are superior to that cheat or that prejudiced person. So I am thinking. Am I really a principled person? Or am I perjuring myself as I shuffle through this mortal existence? I want to do better. Do you?

"The sun is the most evident thing to be seen, and yet the hardest to be looked upon."

I am glad people like my photography. I've been taking pictures since I was 8. And seem to have a knack for it. Or maybe it is the result of practice. It is the same with writing. I've been doing this a long time too. I've made a concerted effort to improve at it. When I wasn't writing creatively, I've written letters to penpals all over the world. To these women I owe a debt of gratitude for continuing to write me back even if they didn't know what the heck I was rambling on about. For an example, see the first paragraph of today's post. And that is pretty coherent compared to some of my poetry. Remember I like things sharp. The parsimony of words in poetry really intrigues me. I don't understand why poets write elephants when a speck will do and get them more readers. I imagine it's individual style. If I like things crisp, why do I write such long blog posts? Oh, I just have weak principles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Botany Question

As you might have guessed from the preceding photos, I've been up on a heavily forested mountain. Went camping for 2 days and became so enamored of colored leaves that I took 64 photographs. Scientifically I understand that the color is caused by the loss of chlorophyll in the leaves. But why on God's green earth are there such brilliant colors underneath? And why not on all deciduous leaves? I've not found anyone to explain that to me. So in the meantime I am going to anthropomorphize the reason and believe some leaves are colorful because people need a little cheerfulness before the dark days of winter fully set in. Anyone have a better reason?

Steep mountainside

Steep mountainside
Originally uploaded by edification.
Yellow aspens among the evergreens cling to a steep mountainside. Arizona has rough inclines when it comes to hills and mountains. Oct. 25, 2005.

Forest Floor

Forest Floor
Originally uploaded by edification.
Autumn colors mixing on the forest floor on mountain top, 9500 feet elevation.

Autumn in Arizona

Autumn in Arizona
Originally uploaded by edification.
Found a nice maple tree in full autumn splendor that I wanted to share with you all.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fistful of Dollars

Today I listened to a lecture about poverty. He stated that poverty is an attitude of mind. And that the poverty mindset can be on the rich as well as the poor. I can see his point. But I also know that poverty is a choice for the rich and not always decision by the poor. Or the sick. One can decide in their mind that they are rich in the things that are eternal but still have hunger pains. One can have a mindset that claims they are strong but still have hours to live. In the Bible, Matthew writes that it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. Well, no kidding. For example, one the winners of the Lottery the other day was a man with a net worth of over a million dollars. I can imagine that is me, but my credit card company knows the truth. And truth is always truth. Unless you are wealthy, then you make your own truth, as long as you retain wealth and influence. Power does corrupt. And with that power and wealth you can influence the mindset of a lot of folks. Poverty can take away your ability to choose wisely. Poverty can take away your desire to choose. Sickness can alter your mindset so much that one cannot even see there is a choice. I am going to give this preacher a chance to prove his theory in future episodes. But as one of the millions of Americans living beyond my means, I want to know how I can learn to be rich when I know that huge boulder (debt) is about to crush the living daylights out of me.

That being said, as I sit here at my expensive computer that I paid cash for, what else do I want to squawk about? Well, I am not enjoying the dispute I am having with my health insurance company. They loudly proclaim all these procedures that they will pay for 100% and when you are not looking they charge you for this or that. An uncritical customer would just pay the amount due, thinking that they are a big company and must be right. Then there is occam. Occam no like paying extra when not liable. Occam prefer we all play fair. Even if have to go through 6 menus on phone call to big insurance company and three people who have to consult their supervisors. Once they billed me $500 and after a few phone calls and a few weeks, they admitted I was only required to pay $10. Oops! Only a $490 mistake! Luckily occam not so sick that cannot see that big companies often make big mistakes. I question everything. Maybe I have a future as a consumer advocate.

I am going to try to add more links to my blog here so you can check out my favorite bloggers. Right now I only have Dr. Sanity listed. She is a conservative writer who is always on top of the news. But I have other doctors to recommend that each have their unique worldviews. None of them have a poverty mindset, that is for sure.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pointed Speech

I know someone that I am very glad I am not: Harriet Miers. Even if it meant I was nominated for a job for life (Supreme Court Justice). Her every blink is being scrutinized by all these would-be experts in judicial fitness. I don't care what religion she is or that she is a good bowler. I will wait for the hearings.

Four desert cottontail rabbits ran out of my barn when I went out to feed the horses tonight. They are powerfully cute little animals and don't run away too far from me so I get a good look at them. I don't begrudge them the little hay scraps they clean up for me. Will try to get a photo up of them someday. They are just one of the delights of desert life.

The birds of summer are all but gone and the winter ones are arriving. One of our year round residents, a cactus wren, is busy preparing a nest in a Palo Verde tree. I doubt it is for procreation purposes but to shelter it during our surprisingly nippy winter nights.

Some scientists have proposed that birds evolved from dinosaurs. My image of a dinosaur is a big, lumbering beast. Nothing like the darting loveliness of a hummingbird. I reserve my right to believe that some evolution is more far-fetched than intelligent design. Which brings me to my name: occam. In 14th century England there lived a Franciscan monk named William of Occam. He formulated what is known today as Occam's Razor, because William is too common a name to be used in a famous saying, so his town got the glory rather than poor childless William. Anyway, his "Razor" states that given two equally possible theories, choose the simpler. These days some people have shortened it to K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid. But that is a little too short for a razor. I have adopted the name because I need an explanation for everything and since there are a whole heck of a lot of things in the universe, I tend to believe the sharpest interpretation. I like razors.

As I continue my uncommon journey through life, I wring hope for a better tomorrow out of the imperfect knowledge of today. Au revoir.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I have a suggestion for a newspaper headline. Concerning the woman who threw her 3 children off the end of a pier to drown: Mentally Ill Woman Gives Mentally Ill a Bad Name. Then an eminent psychiatrist should be interviewed about his overwhelmingly benign patients and how such behavior is rarely found. The general public is often fed spectacular stories for their shock value. Whereas your garden-variety non-conforming individual never makes a scene; yet suffers the stigma from the media's delight in publicizing the extremes.

The Double Barrel Ranch has horses but no grazing pasture. It is too dry and occam have no water well. So every 5 or 6 weeks I have to go buy a load of hay. I dread the day I go to buy and find the price hiked due to the cost of fuel to harvest the crop. I won't blame the farmer who has to make his little profit. But I can't help be a little suspicious of the oil companies who seem to be making record profits. There have been crooks in every generation and I am beginning to believe that Big Oil is front and center right now. Big Pharma has been edged out for the time being.

So how has life been treating me lately? Well, I woke up this morning. That is what my Dad always used to say. Actually I am starting to believe I have been given a "present" and it is up to me to decide what my attitude toward it is going to be. Today I employed procrastination as I am wont to do. I have the "deer in the headlights" look on my face when I realise it is 2005. This isn't quite what I expected to be doing at this stage in my life. You probably have not guessed that "procrastination" is the word for the day, I so proficiently wove it into this text. I have no excuse. Qui s'excuse s'accuse.

No being can predict the future. Sorry all you fortune tellers and tarot card readers and pollsters. So when I wake tomorrow I will have no preconceived expectations. The day will either be good, bad, or both. Whatever comes it will have to be lived. Or else you won't have this blogger to kick around any more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Excuse Me, I Diverge

In Robert Frost's poem: "A Road Less Traveled" he writes about two roads diverging in a yellow wood. With fall upon us in the northern hemisphere, a lot of my readers can relate to the "yellow wood". One of my favorite places on our nearby mountain is in an aspen grove in October with the golden leaves fluttering in the breeze and slowly sailing to the ground. The next lines in the poem are something like: And I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. One of the strongest points in poetry is how powerful statements can be made so succinctly. And today's vocabulary word isn't succinct, it is diverge! Back on point, if you think about the road less traveled in a wood, there could be many reasons for it. The road is probably steeper, rockier, muddier, lonlier, there may be trees fallen across it that have to be circumnavigated, it may be the longer distance to a similar goal, unfriendlies may inhabit the woods this less traveled road passes through. But the poet implies that when he prevailed against all those odds, it made a lasting impact in his life. When I first read this poem as a young teen, I decided the road less traveled was the road for me. I was the rebel's rebel in high school. Today, many decades later. I still cannot conform. I still fight the unfriendlies in the woods.

Yesterday during the long, 2 hour drive to the city, I admired the puffy white clouds in the strikingly clear blue sky. And listened to Rush Limbaugh for about 1/2 an hour. He makes me laugh. For those who aren't familiar with Rush, an icon of conservative talk radio, I'll just say: he is rough on the Left. Myself, I lean conservative but I have a liberal heart. So I laugh at Rush, read blogs written by partisans of the left and the right, and cast a secret ballot. I thank God I live in a country with open debate.

The news is full of stories about the huge $340 million jackpot in the Powerball Lottery right now. The masses of people in this country don't realise how infinitesimal their chance of winning is because they never went beyond beginning algebra in high school. I heard rumors in college about how tough the undergrade class in Statistics was so I never took it. But I know enough to avoid buying scads of lottery tickets. And the majority of lottery ticket buyers? Those who can least afford it. Myself, I confess, I buy about 2 lottery tickets a year. Cost: $2. My mad money. I only buy state lottery tickets because I want my "donation" to stay within my home state where it funds various projects. It is a rare diversion for me. And diversion comes from diverge which as you may recall is the word for today. So divert your $1 today, but don't bother again until next April. It's all in the numbers, statistically speaking. That is my inference and I'm sticking with it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tighten up

I've been with the same cell phone company since they started. They are a regional company. I always had great service and a great price from them. Now they've been bought out by Verizon and I have to switch to them in order to get a free phone, but I also will be paying a lot more for a single line than I was paying for 2 phones with the old company. And there is a 2 year contract. A multi-national company is like an octopus. Once they got you, they got you. And you are bound to pay for their slick TV ads. Can you hear me now? If I didn't travel outside my own town so often, I'd stick their fancy phone where the sun don't shine. Oops! Almost forgot this blog is rated for all audiences.

The Iraqis voted on their new constitution. To the consternation of the Muslim fascist terrorists, it seems that Iraqis like the idea of voting with real choices (unlike under Saddam where everyone voted for Saddam.) I am sure the voting system is not perfect. Is ours? (think- hanging chads in Florida). But to paraphrase what someone famous once said: Democracy isn't the best form of government, but it is better than anything else we've come up with.

Heard a discussion of charitable donating fatigue yesterday. There are so many needy people in the world simultaneously that the normally generous are saying "Whoa" we can't give anymore. A lady actually said she would have to start thinking about not buying her morning latte from Starbucks in order to have extra cash to donate for the earthquake victims in Pakistan or the mudslide vistims in Guatamala. Oh please. My heart goes out to you lady! Especially since I am still able to walk and talk and I have never been in a Starbucks. And I love coffee. (Just ask my cousin.) So I don't want to hear about charity fatigue. Unless you are going to take me out for a Starbucks! Not!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

St. Rose

Have you ever felt that life is rushing at you and there is nothing you can do to slow it down? When I was young I thought I was going to be dead by the time I was 20, so I adopted St. Rose as my patron saint because she was martyred when she was 20. Quelle surprise! I am still here. Maybe because I am not Catholic anymore? No, that doesn't follow. It is a miracle that I am here though. My mother survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Now it is thought, this generation may have to face the bird flu. There are no guarantees in life. Having spent my youth in air raid drills in case the communists dropped atomic weapons on us. I scratch and claw for every day. It rushes faster and faster every day. My Dad said it goes faster every year. Thanks Dad, that gives me great confidence. I already can barely handle it. But I'll try hard to go on, as long as you are out there, my family, my friends, other members of the human family, my horses, etc. I have no illusions about the predetermination of nature: dust I once was and to dust I shall return. Sic transit gloria mundi. (Latin, did I forget to tell you about latin sometimes popping up here too? Gut Gott! I am a veritable bottomless abyss of linguistics. Or is that abysmal? Whichever.) Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mid-October Musings

October is turning out to be a beautiful month here, weather-wise. End of weather report.
I am an expositor. No circumlocation in my writing. Ah ha! The word for the day: circumlocation: speaking in a roundabout way. Not me! I go straight to the poop of it, I mean the heart of it. Yep, the straight heart, er, straight poop, ah whatever... Also no cuss words in my blog. Suitable for any age audience. Unless you can't understand words with more than two syllables. Then you'll be up a crick without an oar, or paddle, or is it creek? My goodness, what did I have for supper? It was strictly vegetarian tonight, no dead animals of any kind. My alfalfa-fed horses would be proud of me. They all got a pet from me today. All 5 of them. Due to the cooler weather the flies are dropping off in number. And we really had few mosquitoes this summer because it was just too dry. Horses are growing their winter coats and are soft touches right now. One of my very un-vegetarian dogs did a horrifying thing today though. She caught a quail and ate the whole thing. Ick! We have a wild flock of quail that come into our backyard every day for seed we sprinkle about for them. About twice a year, a quail makes a fatal error of judgment and comes within tooth range of one of my 2 mongrels that look like Dalmatians. I am under no illusions that nature is all flowers and sweetness. The bear that my husband "harvested" will not be eating deer fawns. We are the top of the food chain. Long live the whitetail deer!
I promise to write better in future postings. It is just that Notre Dame lost their football game in the last 3 seconds of the game. And I am all bummed out. I went to a Catholic elementary school and a small private college that used to be run by the Catholics so I've always had a soft spot for the Big Catholic University. Besides they are known as the Fighting Irish and who can't be inspired by that nickname? And I'm not even Irish. Although I like the Irish. The economy of Ireland is doing better than the US economy. Shamrocks are pretty. Corned beef and cabbage are delicious. And green is my favorite color. So there! Expository prose, no circumlocation. Gotcha!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The measure of me

I will apoligize in advance to all my non-USA readers that all my temperatures will be in degrees Farenheit, all elevations in feet, and distances in miles. This is because the USA school system barely mentions that other countries use another system and I am too lazy to learn it at my advanced age. Chortle chortle. I live at 3,170 feet above sea level, am 7 miles from town, and it is a lovely 76 degrees F outside, calm, dry and sunny. What the heck am I doing sitting at my keyboard then? I am a neurotic writer I guess. There could be worse things you know. I could be an erotic writer. Probably make a lot of money. But then I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Or I could be a platonic writer. But then I'd put all my readers to sleep. Same as if I was an ergonomic writer. OTOH (this is a short cut that bloggers use that stands for On The Other Hand) OTOH I could be a supersonic writer. No one would be able to catch up with me then. Or a graphic writer but then half of you would stop reading because you don't want to hear about how my better half (occam's husband) is really expert at butchering dead animals. So I think I am safe being a neurotic writer and let's keep it at that. Most of you know what I mean when I say neurotic. Nothing bad. It is just that how many of you would be as excited as I am that I learned not to exacerbate my reader's pain by having long posts because my "word for the day" today is exacerbate. Yes, your vocabulary with grow along with moi as you read my blog. Isn't that wonderful? (I also know some other languages, so all you folks who took high school French, Spanish, and German... be ready to dust off your cerebra because multi lingual is fun!) (Cerebra is plural for cerebrum, of which we all have under our dura mater which is under your skull people.) But I digress. All part of being neurotic I claim. Did I warn you that this blog could contain sarcasm, wit, paradox, eccentricity, nonsense and twaddle? Oh but I repeat myself. It will all come out in future postings. As well as the sublime, the splendid, and the flow of life as I see it, here in the desert. Keep tuned.

Welcome to my blog

I've been reading blogs all summer and decided to get in on the fun Hope you find my writing clear, thoughtful, entertaining and informative. I will also post photos I have taken. This is an anonymous blog so those who know me, don't give away my identity in comments to the blog, ok? Thanks. Well, here goes my first head first dive into the blogosphere!