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Rumilluminations July 2011
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Fri, July 01 2011 - 3:29 pm

July 31, 2011                                   Valparaiso, IN

On our bike ride this morning we passed the Canine Country Club (or is it spelled with a K:  KKK?!?)

The whole south end width of the property a dog ran along the fence, barking at us.

I turned to Joseph.  "If your dog goes to an obedience school called the Canine Country Club, does he carry a sense of entitlement?"

Later I talked to my son whose dog Toolius goes to the Doggy Dude Ranch.  I told him about the name of the club.

He said, "Do they have a poop course?"

I fell right into it.  "What's a poop course?"

"Instead of getting balls into the holes, the dogs have to poop in them."

We were off!

"Oh yeah, they serve a fancy roadkill buffet on Sundays."

"Instead of golf carts they have barf carts."

"Designer doggy bags - consolation prizes for losing on the poop course."

My partner and I were just glad that the Canine Country Club had fences up to keep out the hoi polloi - and keep the dogs in!

July 29, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

We wonder why we are so confused.  Many of us are taught to use our brains but then taught in religious classes to accept and believe.  In other words, not to use our brains.

We try to value military men who pursue goals we don't believe in (or is that part of what we're supposed to accept and believe?)  We try to value our parents and families, even though in many cases they are the most destructive forces in our lives.

In the same way we are taught to honor and value our spouses, even though they might not honor and value us.

Judge Judy says when she's confused she knows she is being lied to.  Confused?  Maybe it's time you start sifting through your value system to see where your true duty lies.

A lot of what people tell you is your duty is just doody.

July 28, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

Would you walk in Central Park on a muggy day?

It's wonderful to fly.  Why is "flighty" such a negative word?

Flunk, shrunk, plunk, dunk, drunk, sunk, slunk, are all downward trending words that land with a clunk.  Funk, trunk, skunk.

Makes you wonder about uncles.

When you go to an auction, do you forbid?

Is forbidden an off-limits study?

If you aren't allowed to do something forbidden, what is morbidden?  A bid for more?  Dead?  A study with animal head trophies?

How about rabidden?  Ridden with rabies?

Torpiden?   "The submarine has been torpiden!"  Or alternatively, out cold?  "Dad is torpiden in his forbidden morbidden." 

I'm in my penplay!

July 27, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

Years ago I remember meeting a much older man hanging out with a bunch of twenty-somethings.  Left together for a moment, we spoke for a while, and he told me that he had invented the life-saving technique that was used in the Red Cross Handbook.

I was impressed by that achievement, but I wasn't impressed by him telling me about it during the brief (and only) time I ever met him.  I somewhat uncharitably wondered why he was hanging out with the very young.  Did he feel the only respect he was going to get was from them?

Did he hope to woo a young'un?  Hell, he was even way too old for me!

The sad (or happy) fact is that thirty-five or forty is off the radar for most twenty-year-olds, and if it is not, there are likely to be issues.  No blame if people enter into a May-December relationship.  It's their business.

But as a woman who in her sixties has seen herself drop off the radar and usually doesn't much care, I have a warning for you.

These young people are not being intentionally rude or dismissive.  They aren't ignoring your existence in spite of your presence.

They simply don't see you.  You hold no interest and neither does your past.

What are you doing now?  If not much, what do you have to offer them in the way of attention and support for what they are doing?

And for the young people who are doing all the work now.

Don't resent us too much.  At one time I waited on people, as you are now.  In one way or another I served, and served, and served.

Ha, ha!  I sound like that old guy trying to get attention with his past achievements.

My point is just the opposite:  make yourself a life that doesn't include the adulation of the younger generation.

Otherwise, as Damon Runyon wrote, you have to "Get the money."

I, for one, was not willing to sacrifice my own youth to get the money to attract the interest of the very young when I grew old.

July 26, 2011                                    Valparaiso, IN

Oh no!  We have reached the bitching hour.

No, more like the bratty swat.

Bat! BAT!

We never see midnight around here, so who knows from witches?

But we know bitches!

Is calling a woman a bitch just the female equivalent of calling a man a dog?

That's a pretty mild insult for it to be bleepable.

Believe it or not, I'm not particularly angry at anyone in particular or any particle of anyone in particular.

(I had a teacher in college who was always talking about the "particular" - and always in generalities!  We found him very funny.)

I like to pretend I have a readership, and I don't want to neglect you.  I don't want to write just nothing.  I'm just no longer serious.  It's the bitching hour!

July 25, 2011                                       Valparaiso, IN

We have all joked about Me, Myself, and I.

It has occurred to me to get a little more literal about it.

Myself has got to be my body.  "I hurt myself."  Mostly we mean our bodies when we say that, although, come to think of it, it could also apply to our psyches or "spirit."  Do we have such an internal thing as a spiritual body?

I was going to say I must be the one who wills, the ego, but most of us don't hurt ourselves on purpose.  Maybe the I is the collective being made up of the inner bundle of people (me and all myselves?) that we are when we are most centered.

In that case, who is Me?  Well, for one thing, in normal usage me is not capitalized, as "I" is.  (heh)  And in sentences, "me" is the object of some action.

Maybe "me" has the most connection to the outside world.  Maybe "me" is persona.  "They saw me!"

It would be funny to write a story using these three words for the self consistently with separate distinct meanings:

Myself got on the bus but I was far away.  Nobody saw me (if nobody sees me, do I exist?) as myself walked through the woods at the end of the line.

I was brought back to myself when I noticed that myself's eyes weren't seeing clearly because of the deep shade.  (The eyes of I, unfortunately, see clearly even less than myself's eyes.  Maya.)

After thrashing around in the underbrush for a while, myself's stomach started growling so I started thinking about how to obtain food.  But who would serve me, myself looking as she did?  All grubby and pine-needled.

Hmmm... It definitely has possibilities.

Meanwhile, I see that Edward Albee has a play called Me, Myself and I.  More adventurous reading ahead!

But I don't know, order of the expression seems wrong.  Ought to be Myself, Me, and I?  But wait - is the body more important, or....???

July 24, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

After living in a neighborhood for years, you have to vary your walking paths or get very bored.

Today, we walked down an alley.  And what an alley!

Not four blocks from our house we saw a property hedged along part of the sides and the whole back yard with Rose of Sharon.

I'm not sure I have ever seen a more spectacular hedge of blooms, including the showy camellia borders of Corvallis and the lilacs of Santa Fe.

These bountifully blooming shrubs were maybe twelve feet tall, with all single flowers in at least four or five different shades.  At one spot in the alley they were growing on both sides.

Those plants would have made a wonderful bower in a garden, and here they are gracing an alley!

The Rose of Sharon hedge was so closely planted that the back yard had complete privacy.  I wonder how many years it took for them to grow so tall and thick.

A few years ago, they might not have looked so good.  Japanese beetles just love Rose of Sharon, and the plants might have been a horrible sight - a nightmare of squirming insect life!

But this year I have seen only a few beetles, and the early abundant rains have made the plants luxurious.

The Rose of Sharon, normally a rather tortured-looking plant, is this year's queen!


July 23, 2011                                       Valparaiso, IN

Funny how our memories play tricks on us.

My mom, who isn't enthusiastic about bathing (especially with the assistance and/or under the supervision - take your pick - point of view! of someone else) always thinks she had a bath yesterday.

But if it is dinner she has to remember having, she won't!

I can understand forgetting that you have had lunch or dinner if you are hungry, but to ask about it, then turn food down when it is offered - what brought the question up in the first place?

My mom makes for great examples because her memory is exceedingly spotty.  But look at your own memory.  If you are really honest with yourself, I think you will have to admit that you remember the the social dates and chores you are willing to remember.

The other stuff?  Left in some synapse along the way, and good riddance!

July 22, 2011                                       Valparaiso, IN

I'm sure I had something significant to say today.

Not terribly important, but something a little worthwhile.

Rack my brains.  Rack my brains.

Rack my brains!  Where did that come from?

No, it must be wrack my brains.  Wrack my brains!

We have a serious choice here.  Would you rather have your brains racked as in the torture, or wracked, as in totally destroyed?

This is supposed to aid my memory?

What sadist thought up that expression, anyway?

Rack my brains, wrack my brains, wreck my head.

It doesn't matter which word is correct.  It is so sadistic and/or self-destructive that I'll never use the phrase again.

No wonder I can't remember my somewhat significant idea.

Maybe tomorrow.  Early.  Before the day has had a chance to mess with my mind.

In my experience racking one's brain, like physical torture, doesn't produce reliable information anyway.

July 21, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

Vertiginous ambergris hurls grizzly bears into the abyss.

Blocked canals, blocked anals, writer's block and blocked analyses make the word block look like it's not spelled right, don't they?  Braintwister.

Wistful twisters swirl furniture, urns of ashes, curtain sashes, unintentional tongue lashes.

Grist for the mill makes inedible bread.

Are loafers bakers?

Does making tires make you tired?

When you make jam are you in one?

Loafers spoofers goofers roofers better not get dizzy or fizzy but busy.

Entertain us or bust!


July 20, 2011                                      Valparaiso, IN

Of all the crushing ideas I've heard, the idea that there is a repeated Big Bang that leads to exactly the same sequence of events every time is the worst.

I first read that kind of idea in Nietzche.  He talks about the repetition of our lives, over and over without end.

I later read about it, with relation to the Big Bang, in a mystery that had Fractals in the title, if I remember correctly.

The basic idea of predestination is bad enough:  everything that happens is foreordained and not to be changed or altered.

Multiply my life times more than once, and what has not been a completely negative experience by any means looks bleaker and bleaker.

Quite honestly?  I might want more life, but I don't want the same one over and over, like I don't want to repeatedly watch the same movie or read the same book again and again.

Been there, done that.

July 18, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

I've been mulling over racial guilt lately.  Or sexual guilt.  Or even special guilt (guilt of the species heh.)

Trying to make some other group of society feel guilty, I'm beginning to think, is just a way to deflect responsibility (or guilt) from oneself.

Why should Christians in the United States feel more guilty for what happened to Jewish people in Nazi Germany than the Jewish people who lived in the States?  They all failed to prevent it.

Why should the sexes blame each other for common relationship failure?  Both sexes can be equally heartless and unfeeling at times.  When a relationship breaks down, it makes us feel helpless and out of control; so it must not be our fault, but someone else's.  If you really look at your feelings, words, and behavior, though, you have to take some responsibility for the consequences.  Eeek!  You brought this on yourself!  That's enough to make anyone mad - at someone else!

And about the guilt of the human race?  Oh, that responsibility we are going to have to own.  Can't blame the consequences of the works of man on the dolphins.

July 17, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

Well, here's a sunny Sunday for you!

That's better than a ruesday Tuesday, isn't it?

I think, the next time I marry, it'll be on a Wednesday.

Is it an accident that fish fries land on Friday?

And that we want to sit around all Saturday?

How about Thursday?  Thruway Thursday?  or Aaron Burrsday?  I think I like the idea of a sure day on Thursday.

That leaves Monday, which is supposed to be the Moonsday, isn't it?  Kind of a contradiction in terms, although there is a rare moon visible during the day, but blue Mondays, unlike blue moons, are common as dirt!

Hmmm... maybe Thursday is dirtday - good for gardening!

July 16, 2011                                             Valparaiso, IN

A while back I read a list of things that is supposed to help make you happy.

One of the things that is helpful to happiness is to "make your bed."

That really intrigues me.  Why does making your bed make you happy?

Is it because doing chores does induce cheerfulness, as Ben Franklin wrote, and making your bed is a relatively easy chore?

Is it because making it reminds you that you will have a place to rest in comfort at the end of an often demanding day?

Is it because it is made at all, therefore smoother and more comfortable when you climb into it at night?   In other words, is it the making of your bed that makes you happy, or the fact that your bed is nicely made up at night when you are tired and ready to climb in?

Or does it have more to do with words?  "You made your bed, so now you have to lie in it."  Pretty hostile, seems to me.  I can't think that that sentiment would lead to happiness, unless it tends to make us take more responsibility for our own situations.

The sooner we take responsibility, the closer we come to making any necessary decision about changing it.

In other words, if making your bed doesn't make you happy, maybe it's time for a new bed - or new sheets, new pillows - whatever it takes to make you happy!

Or maybe I have the emphasis wrong.  Maybe the emphasis should be on what is unsaid.  Make your bed - but by no means spend your whole day doing chores!  That sure wouldn't make me happy!

Well.  The philosophy of bed-making.

Have I covered everything?

July 15, 2011                                     Valparaiso, IN

This morning we went blueberry picking - got to Blue Sky Berry Farm at about 8:00 and got right to work.

I have seen better picking.  The berries were good, but we seemed to be a little early for the height of the crop.  Lots of bunches of green berries.  Quite a few really big fat first-of-the- bunch berries, though.

One shrub held what looked like a robin's nest, but it seemed a little large.  It was three feet off the ground, and I was startled when I saw it.  At first it looked empty, but I cautiously peered closer to find that it held... four or five large blueberries!

Driving home we saw an ominous sight - a whole row of very dead trees, shrubs and foliage on both sides of the road.  As we drove past I saw that there was water (or some liquid?!) running through all this dead stuff.  Intentional kill?  Intentional pollution resulting in kill?  Flooding resulting in root death?  What happened there?

Otherwise, a very beautiful day.  Heard one of the mightiest most competent cardinal songs ever, and saw many tall, bright and bonny lilies in the gardens of Valparaiso.

And boy, did we eat blueberries!

July 14, 2011                                          Valparaiso, IN

How come men are supposed to like to see pictures of women, but men like flicks with no women way more than women like flicks with no men?

How come Bejeweled tells me there are NO MORE MOVES and bumps me when I can see them?  The moves, that is.  They are right there.  It is not supposed to be timed, what the f--k?  Is Bejeweled getting all parental on me?  I haven't been playing bejeweled lately.  I don't like unexplained consequences.

How come strength training is supposed to be good for women and aerobics for men?  My partner and I were instinctively doing the right things for us, but how come?  How come popular convention has it more the other way round?

How come we keep believing in a God which is really no help at all and science, which so often gets it wrong?

How come I'm all of a sudden in the deep end of the pool when I thought I was just getting into a foaming hot tub?

July 12, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

We saw the DVD documentary Gasland:  Can you light your water on fire? here at home yesterday.

So we are junking up the ocean with plastic, oil, etc.  We are heating up the world with carbon emissions.  We are eating up all the fish.

Now I find out about the practice of "fracking," totally irresponsible polluting of the water table to get natural gas out of it.  Whoopee.  We really have everything under control, don't we?

This morning I just happened to read in The Week that the state of Texas has become the first state to require that the corporations who do this (and the wells are many hundreds of thousands in the states) publish the chemicals they are putting into the environment in order to get natural gas out.

So Rick Perry isn't running for President, eh?  Maybe the secessionist governor has decided if you can't get away from them you might as well join them.

Well, good for Texas anyway.

According to the film, if New York City doesn't wake up, there might be health consequences unparalleled.  The shale beds that hold the gas are in the watersheds that feed the rivers that feed New York.

These are under most of the states of Pennsylvania and New York.

People in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana can light their faucets!

Well, the water has to be good for something.  They can't drink it.

July 11, 2011                                       Valparaiso, IN

This morning I tried to hack away enough of the clematis and a failing shrub to make the meter readable.  I almost succeeded, filling a big plastic receptacle to overflowing that I thought I would only half fill.

I didn't see any wildlife, but as I was trying to complete my task it got cloudier and a breeze sprang up.  I looked down the block, and you could almost see the shadow of the rain the way you can see it from miles away in the west!  There was a wisp or two of what could have been a misty cloud at the level of me.

Most unusual.  I left the last few minutes of my task for another day and went inside to avoid the rain and lightning, which was really intense for a very short while, then over just as quickly.

An hour later we walked down to the library, and passing Banta (my old grade school turned senior citizen center) saw a relatively young linden tree which had been snapped (or twisted) off inches from the ground!  The foot-diameter stump showed that the trunk was almost half rotted, and later a worker trying to dig it up said there was a root girdling the trunk also.

Other tree limbs were on the ground, and not only from the trees you would expect to shed.

The old silver maple on our property - the most pathetic one that I am expecting to hurl itself onto the house any storm now, did not lose anything I could see.

Of course, my nose is in the black raspberry bushes and the echinacea.  I leave the province of the maple to the squirrels and the birds.

July 10, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

Good grief.  No sooner do I write about the importance of good health (not an original idea, I am well aware) does my body start to feel like it is falling apart.

A tooth filling.  No big deal.  The teeth are the most obvious thing which, if you don't take care of them, will seemingly melt away.  They dissolve in sugar, the dentists say.

But oh - only in an Aborigine Walkabout would I be safe from sugar, and sugar safe from me!  (And these days, I wouldn't be surprised if even they have their candy bars stashed away somewhere!)

I'm eating as much green pepper as I can to avoid allergies and macular degeneration.  So what happens?  I get the lightning flashes in my peripheral vision that mean my retina is threatening to detach.  I'm not as panicky as I could be, because this symptom hit me ten years ago, and has mostly gone away since, until now.

Still, that symptom is not quite as benign as the ringing in my ears, which I finally had to acknowledge in the ten degree snowy weather last winter was not the buzzing of cicadas!

Retinal detachment causes blindness, I'm told.

I might be more sanguine if I thought that my vision might only be tinted green - which together with summer lightning and the sometimes deafening insect noises, might convince me that I was dwelling in the perpetual summer of Paradise!

No fear of that, though.  My muscles are too achy from lawn-mowing and raspberry picking.

July 8, 2011                                         Valparaiso, IN

I read in The Week that lawns were originally used at the homes of the aristocracy.  They had servants to do all the work of maintaining lawns.

Eventually lawns became the province of the middle classes as well as the wealthy.

Today, mowing our lawn, I decided that contemporary lawns denote a failure of imagination.  Except you need your imagination to keep from getting bored while you are mowing!

Look around at your neighborhood, and beyond if necessary.  The most interesting yards possess the least lawn.  Curved masses of daylilies, true lilies, shrubs like hydrangeas and rhododendrons, and cranesbill, columbine and ageratum make the spaces seem larger and are gorgeous.  The list of alternatives is endless.

Lawns are labor- and water-intensive.  The attractive thing about lawns is partly that mowing them is pretty mindless, and takes less discipline than weeding and tending a variety of plants.

I should know.  Mowing is the sine qua non of our yard.  Sure, the neighbors probably mind that I don't weed the wilderness (on principle) but they don't say anything because I keep the lawn civilized.

Mostly.  Kind of.

But the lazy lawn is doomed.  It is too environmentally expensive, and besides, why should we be slaves to our own lawns?

So I thought while I slavishly mowed the yard.

I'd rather watch the goldfinches foraging in the weed patch.

July 7, 2011                                          Valparaiso, IN

Brandishing blandishments, the dishy tomato torments blancmange.

The white mangy dog barks at the white bark of the birch.

Acetacylic acid etches aesthetics athletes perform painlessly.

Dark bark, white paper, chocolate coating on vanilla - sprinkles!

Sprinkler crowns, squeaking grasses, wet swimsuits run to mama brandishing blandishments and dry towels.

Thwack!  The wet dog shakes again.

Vie and stop me!

July 6, 2011                                            Valparaiso, IN

Looks like we need to rethink what constitutes child abuse and/or neglect.

I'm not going to say I never raised a hand against my children.

In fact, before I knew that in the state of New Mexico hitting a child anywhere but on the rear was considered child abuse, I probably racked up years' worth of potential child abuse time (you could theoretically get up to 18 months for per count at the time, I believe.)

As in abuse towards women, however, nobody took those laws that seriously.  Maybe the laws were a little too idealistic for the majority of us, although a little education on the subject might have been helpful!

Neglect is another matter.  I don't know Florida law, but maybe there is no law requiring a parent to report a missing child to its grandparents, friends, and the local authorities because it seems so obvious! 

It's like breathing, right?

Evidently not, and if allowing your child to go missing without reporting the fact is not aggravated child abuse, it sure is aggravated child neglect.

Neglect can be far worse than some abuse, researchers have found with newborn infants.  A child who gets hit may be damaged, but a child who is neglected dies.

I hope the law of Florida has some significant terms for lying to the police and leading authorities astray that the judge can use to keep Casey "penitent" for a while.

My partner predicts she will be sentenced to time served.  Maybe the jury can sue Casey for wasting their precious time.  No parties for them during this trial!

So what is the message to all the yes, loving, but also struggling mothers out there who are trying so hard to bring up healthy, happy, good children?

"Don't bother.  You're right.  It is more important to party."

I cannot tell you what one percent of the support Casey has received since her daughter's body was found would have meant to most moms, who really get very little support in this country.

Wow!  My mind boggles at all the hugs and help I, for one, would have had.

As it was, I had to settle for the hugs of my husband and children.

Good choice.

July 5, 2011                                         Valparaiso, IN

Beware the pollen of lily - it will cling to your clothes, and your nose!

We saw bluets on our vacation much different from the "bluets" I saw on the label of the pot that blew down our gutter.  As far as I can tell from the photo, I prefer the wild flower, and I am charmed by the name.

The name of no other color lends itself to such a form.  Try it, you'll see!  Even environmentalists wouldn't call a plant "greenet" or "greenette!"

Redet sounds very ready - no charm at all.

Maybe if we find a color that ends with a vowel, like blue.

Still doesn't work.  Indigo is too long.  The sound of "Indigoette" inclines me to indignation.

Maybe a violet is like a bluet but already ordinary in my mind.  A viola is an instrument or a flower.  In this case it seems like the flower defined the color, not the other way around!

"Peachette" sounds like gilding the lily to me.

With its own pollen!

Ah, we all have our own ways of mourning the beginning of the waning of the light.

Nonsense seems as good a way as any!

Hmm... I don't think there is a flower called nonsense, though there is one called impatience, almost.....

July 4, 2011                                           Valparaiso, IN

When I was a girl I often felt like sneaking out of the house and going roaming around the streets, but I never did it.

Tonight I did.  For some reason Mom went to bed early, but she got up to watch fireworks on TV with me.

We saw Washington, D.C. and New York City thanks to modern media, then I left my partner at home and went on a walk.

It is only about three quarters of a mile to Jefferson Junior High School, where the city fireworks are held now.

Fifty years ago they were held at the county fairgrounds, which now has a track and some sort of playing field.  We used to walk there, too, and sit in the bleachers for the fireworks.

If there was a program before the display, I don't remember it.  We all used to sit around in the silence that framed the big bangs, and crane our necks together.

"Oooh!"  Long pause.  "Ahh..."

People talked, but it was a pretty quiet affair.

Now there is a band playing practically the whole time the fireworks are going off.  You can't hear the responses of others, and I feel kind of sorry for the kids in the band who can't watch the show.

The glowing lights that give some people halos and others laser swords these days are enchanting.  There is a strong sense of community about the evening. 

On those long-ago nights with a background of silence, though, the experience felt communal.

July 3, 2011                                         Valparaiso, IN

This morning we decided to take a walk while it was still quiet (in the aftermath of a 2:00 a.m. fireworks war!)

If Corvallis has come to us via many rainstorms, albeit storms much more heavy than the misty showers common there, New Mexico has followed us to Valparaiso with - yucca!

Yes, not only is yucca used here as an ornamental, but as a gaudy, sometimes six feet tall show plant!

The blossoms are very white, large, and numerous.  Where you will see a hillside covered with yucca maybe attaining three feet or so in New Mexico, here they are used to great advantage as something different.  You might even call them gaudy.

At first I resented seeing them.  After all, they are New Mexico's state flower!  Yucca loves it hot and dry - how could it be happy here?  Plus, why would I want to be reminded of arid Santa Fe here in the land of green?

Well, the plant has responded to my objections by proving how unpredictable nature can be.  Just because it can survive in New Mexico doesn't mean it isn't happier here!  A surprise.  Plus I hardly recognize it!

We also saw a fabulous stand of milkweed as tall as I am, sharing a bed with red bergamot and daylilies.  The first two make a great pairing, and the milkweed, in full bloom, is incredibly fragrant.  The daylilies seem to be losing the territorial battle, but you never know.  They may be blooming away when the milkweed is gone.

Monarch butterfly larvae eat milkweed.  I wonder if the adult butterflies like bergamot or daylily nectar?  For sure they like milkweed nectar.

Our milkweed, struggling against competition and not favored with such a sunny location, hasn't bloomed yet.

It is black raspberry time, though, and the recent very heavy rains don't seem to have hurt the fruit at all.

July 2, 2011                                        Valparaiso, IN

Well, someone said "Happy Fourth of July" with a very loud (but distant) boom on Monday.

Then the thunderstorms, but Mother Nature joining the celebration didn't content the celebrants, so yesterday there were a few more fireworks (ha, I almost wrote foreworks!)

Today during the day, pop, pop, pop.  Is someone trying to cover up a murder, for goodness' sake?

Now, tonight, if I didn't know better I would think this was the 4th.

I'm sure not enjoying other people's celebrations, so maybe I should join them, but I like the pretty fountains and spooky pinwheels that are still illegal here in Indiana, aren't they?  At least for us ordinary citizens?

Well, I'm gritchy and grouchy from sweat and too many war films and murder mysteries.

Might as well take a bath and wash my hair - not about likely to get to sleep anytime soon anyway.

But if we're all so poor, how come so many of us can afford so many fireworks?

Ha, ha.  My partner says, "Their money's going up in smoke."

July 1, 2011                                          Valparaiso, IN

Dramatic day here in Chicagoland.  This is the most rain and thunder-and-lightning that I have experienced since I came back to Valpo in 2004, I think!

Good backdrop for discussion about the responsibilities of parents towards their children versus the state.

I first ran across the idea that a man who turns his son over to authorities is a father who eats his offspring in Joseph Campbell, I believe.

So, what do you think?  Do you lie to protect your children or do you tell the truth no matter what?

My partner and I decided that we would tell the truth no matter what, unless our (hypothetical) kids were at risk for being threatened with the death penalty.  Since we don't think the State has the right to put anyone to death, all bets are off in moral or civil responsibility to it when it tries to do that!

An interesting scenario for civil disobedience.

Gee, now I wonder what case might have inspired our discussions?

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