Friday, April 28, 2006

Attached/Detached Portions

There is just too much in this world for me to even start to blog about. I learned tonight that when you bend uncooked spaghetti that it will never break into two pieces, it will always break into 3 or more pieces. They called it "fragmentation theory". Sounds like a good name. Then there is a place in Nebraska called Carhenge where people can visit cars and trucks stuck vertically into the ground in various positions. Quite the tourist spot it is. I can't wait to see it. Ahem. It snowed on our mountain last night. Last time I looked it was April and this is Arizona. It snowed. Next thing you know there will be an earthquake. Then I got a Customer Info booklet from my bank that said they will maintain appropriate records of my Account. That is a relief. I'd hate to have to figure up my own account balance! I am the product of the public school system. Give me a break. And they will by going to arbitration if I have a claim, counterclaim, cross claim, third party claim, interpleader or otherwise. I especially like the interpleader. Is that like a religious guy who stands in the gap? Anyway, I don't like the sound of arbitration. What comes to mind is a kangaroo court. My apologies to Australia. The alpha kangaroo wins. Not the one who is right. But the biggest, meanest kangaroo. Now if it is me in one corner and the Bank in the other, who is the more impressive boxer? Boxers or briefs? Forget the Boxer, I prefer looking at the Mini Cooper although a Toyota Corolla could run over it like a speed bump. Not sure I'd want to actually ride in one in traffic. I'd feel safer on my motorcycle. There is a motorcycle buried in an old graveyard near me. Not a motorcyle-henge. It is actually six feet under. I think because that is what the guy who owned it wanted. And there aren't many cemeteries that take motorcycles. At the moment I can't remember if the guy is buried with his machine or not. The human part escapes me. Is that what happens when someone kills another person on the spur of the moment? The human part takes a brief hiatus? In Alzheimer's your personality goes on permanent holiday. I think you need an interpleader then. Because there is going to be money involved and that attracts lawyers. I firmly believe that when it comes to the legal system, your past, present and future income will, should and shall become subject to fragmentation, in theory and in truth.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Occam have a short story to tickle the insides of your craniums today. All original by yours truly and it was no dream:

There was a dream I had. I was a young boy living in the Mid-West, in farm country. The horizon stretched to infinity. One hot afternoon a massive storm approached. The dark gray clouds were more than ominous. Not the clouds one would see when there were tornado warnings. These were different. Mother was shutting the house windows and had already taken the laundry off the clothesline. The clouds built up to enormous heights. I felt I was under a tsunami about to break over my head. Nothing would be left of me when it struck down. Shapes swirled in the blackest clouds. Angry horses. I thought I must be dreaming but the cooling air on my arms felt real. Lightening flashed. I could faintly hear my mother called my name. Why were the horses so angry? I reached out to them. If I only could show them I was friendly and no threat to them. The wind gusted. My mother screamed for me. I never looked back. Nothing was left but those dark eyes piercing me, hooves flashing by my ear. Then I was taken. By the black, eternal sky.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day

Occam had to put A/C on in house for first time this year. Earth Day? More like dry heat day. I celebrated Earth Day by picking up debris that could blow into my swimming pool. And unceremoniously dumping it elsewhere on my acreage. My tall, healthy Australian Eucalyptus tree is dropping seeds & leaves like crazy. Maybe this down under native has our seasons reversed. It is spring, not fall, you messy tree! But it does have some redeeming features. It grows in the desert and it gives shade. Even if it does bombard you with seeds in April.

The Lyrids Meteor Shower is tonight. But I looked last night. All I saw was an airplane cut through the handle of the Big Dipper. I live far enough from a major airport that those high planes are silent as they cruise on overhead, blinking in the night, shining silver in the day. I'll never forget the days following the 9-11 terrorist attack when no planes, high or low flew overhead. The sky looked as it did 100 years ago. Pure. And to us: abnormal. Our lives are imbued by so many unnatural artifacts, that we can't think it should be any other way. Photographs from space show the lights of the earth at night. Do you pollute the night sky with a badly aimed security light? I live near an astronomical observatory, so we are cognizant of improper night lighting that can lessen the abilities of those telescopes. Nothing is as velvet as the dark desert night with the scents of a thousand nocturnal flowering plants luring the bats, the moths, to fertilize them. That is the Earth speaking.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fun With Taxes & Postage

This is my 100th post in this blog. I'm starting to get the hang of it...

Today I paid property taxes. They aren't terribly crushing here in the outback of Arizona. But they still complexiate me. I can understand county tax, school tax, and fire district tax. But I, located on a hill overlooking a dry wash full of new homes, I, must pay $4 for flood district taxes? Oh, it must be for that 10,000 year flood that may involve my property. And for my 40 acres in Northern Arizona I pay $2 for flood control too, even though that vacant land is on a hill overlooking a dry wash. For you non-desert types, a wash is a dry bed of a stream also known as an arroyo. It is more comfortable to say wash because the more romantic word arroyo is colorful but tough on the tongue which gets wrapped around my eye tooth and then I can't see what I am saying. What do you mean? Complexiate is not a real word? Well, why not? This is the income tax deadline date for most of the US, and if anything is complexiated, it is the IRS.

Overheard in the U.S. Post Office today: a customer saying to the clerk: "I don't want to give the government anymore than I have to." The federal government employee, the clerk, let that one slide. Smart move. He probably earns a lot more than she does. I tread on dangerous ground when it comes to the USPS though. I use the mail service a lot. I appreciate the security and generally good service they provide. And half my family was or is employed by the Postal Service: a brother, an uncle, 2 nephews and a niece. My sister dresses as a mail carrier for Halloween. And they still deliver on Saturdays! But why do they insist on such odd numbers for the letter rate? 37 cents, now 39 cents. 24 cents for an additional ounce. 84 cents to Australia, 63 cents to Canada. No wonder they must use computers to ring up your sale at the counter! Ah just kidding there. I know it is for auditing purposes and all that. I am sure the clerk can add 39 plus 24 in his or her head. But I still like to stick a few 3 cent, 5 cent, and 23 cent stamps on the envelope and see how long it takes him or her to figure out how much more postage I need. That is not as bad as the letter I once received that was covered in 1 cent stamps, up to the correct postage amount. And was delivered as usual. Let's just say that the letter was a result of frustration and complexiation.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I took a break from blogging due to illness. I am back!

Today is Easter Sunday for many people. One of my earliest memories of this day is hunting through the house for my little basket of goodies. The basket was made of wicker and it was reused year after year. Then everyone got dressed up in their finery and we went to church, which was an elaborate affair. Later we went to a close family member's house for a large meal with many other relatives and then I got to watch "The Robe" or the "Ten Commandments" or something special on TV. Note these were all indoor activities because in the Northeastern US it could be any kind of weather on Easter: sun, rain, snow. Here in AZ we have "Sonrise" services outdoors at 6 AM, outdoor egg hunts, picnics, etc. It probably has not rained on Easter in 100 years.

There is much discussion over the origins of Easter celebrations: the Easter bunny being a symbol of fertility, Easter "eggs" more obvious, the "spring is here" kind of hope - even if it is snowing in the Northeastern US - new green life emerging from the dead earth. A resurrection, if you please. A large part of the history of the holiday emerges from the connection with the Jewish Passover, where the angel of death passed over the protected households and yet afflicked the Egyptian homes causing the deaths of the firstborn of the slave masters. At that final straw, so to speak, the Egyptians freed their Hebrew slaves, and Moses led his people out of bondage: to a new life and a land of milk and honey. A couple more metaphors for life emerging from death. Finally we have the worldview of the Christians, who see man as having a corruptable body, a corruptable mind. But after Jesus Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection, the Easter story, man has hope of life after death. An imperfect life which appears to die forever, can live again in a new, perfect body because it follows the example of Jesus. A kernel of corn must die to produce the corn stalk. The corn plant must grow with vigor to produce seed after its' kind. Then it must die to be succeeded. That is how it follows on earth. But Jesus came 2000 years ago to show there was more than this seemingly endless cycle. There is milk and honey for those who believe. Or you can stay in Egypt.

Now, I like Egypt. They have fabulous pyramids there, the Sphinx, the Nile, shopping bazaars to die for, unique and healthy food, and the best thing for me, authentic Egyptian Arabian horses! It's a rich culture. But I wouldn't want to be a slave there. I have a hard enough time making bricks with straw. I choose to believe the Easter story as interpreted in the Holy Scriptures. I prefer to accept the authority of God on this earth and His promise of Easter, than remain in the moldering for eternity.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Books & Horses

Books are my friends. They wait for me indefinitely, on the shelf, on the end table, on the night stand. Sometimes they wait so long that they get dust on them. They don't mind. I love them, old and new. Some books I read twice. Maybe more. I like clever fiction. Margaret Atwood wrote a book about a book within a book. I loved "The Blind Assassin". I may read it again. Silverfish live with me too, no doubt, although I rarely see them.

Today I bought a horse book for one of my granddaughters. It isn't her birthday. She doesn't even live in Arizona. But if her girl's heart is anything like mine was at her age, a horse book is a door to love. The lifelong love of horses, in the flesh, in film, and on the printed page. Maybe today we can add the electronic horse. Proudly strutting forth on PC screens. I need to put more photos of horses in my blog. After all, what is a ranch without horses?

A double barrel cactus horse ranch? Hay, that would make a good title for...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some Trek

Occam is of a certain age where she watched Captain James T. Kirk religiously on TV in the late 1960's. Today he has a renewed life as a lawyer on Boston Legal. I think lawyers are a necessary evil, sort of like psychiatrists, but this lawyer show is a mind-meld of comedy and drama. Led by the brilliant acting of William Shatner. One could almost begin to see lawyers as humans. I laughed so hard at tonight's episode that I made my throat sore. There are still good screenwriters in Hollywood. They haven't all moved to a galaxy far, far away.

Shatner is a horseman. He used to raise American Saddlebreds and still might for all I know. But the latest I hear is that this 75 year old enjoys riding his reining horses. You know, the ones that do those slides and spins? I am inspired once again. It must be true what my husband told me about his horse-shoeing customer, age 80, female, who was the only person who could ride her two grey Arabian stallions. And she did, daily. If I had a choice, I'd like to be her successor. But I am not quite 80. And there is not a single grey Arabian stallion on the Double Barrel Ranch. Anyone who'd like to remedy that can leave a comment...

I would hope to be awake at 1:02:03 AM tomorrow so I could say I was writing at 01:02:03, 04-05-06, but I'm not a night owl. Interesting convergence of numbers though. But is that Daylight Savings Time or Standard Time?

I'm setting up barrels for my horses. I want to learn them to leap barrels, just fer the fun of it. But I'm a-hoping they won't connect that jumping to jumping their corral fences!

Lately everyone has been buying new motor vehicles around me. One party bought a Hyundai Santa Fe 2001, and another bought a GMC Tahoe 2003. I hope they last 100,000 miles. My first new car was advertised for $2695 and I was so shocked to find they added stuff like sales tax, title, registration, dealer prep, delivery. I was young, naive and they saw me coming. I drove it nearly 70,000 miles and then sold it in rough shape for $500 in 1982 so that wasn't too bad. My next new car I sold at 150,000 miles for $500 so I seem to have a trend going. My current forest green baby ain't going until 300,000 miles and I want $500 for it. I should be near 80 years old. Then you can beam me up, Scottie.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Canine Value

Basal Cell Carcinoma is diagnosed in 800,000 Americans every year. Count me among them. Through the magic of electrodessication my doctor is confident he "got" all the cancerous tissue. Burning skin smells loathsome. It reminded me of all the sunburns I've had on my back. Now, years later, comes the final price I pay for being a pale immigrant from the north to the sunny desert. This is likely only the first skirmish I'll have with BCC. Others may be more disfiguring. Oh heck, my dog will always love me!

I've not been well for a couple days. I thought of those 80-some people who have taken advantage of Oregon's assisted suicide law since it has been in effect. Medical doctors take an oath to "first, do no harm" and I can't see how that coexists with prescribing lethal doses of drugs to people weary of life and fighting pain. I understand these people may have had intractable pain. But I believe the human body has a defense against that. You faint. You die. Those 80 or so people didn't need to implicate others. Time would've taken care of them and their problems. But this is an efficient society. Those 80 people, they should've had a dog.