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Rumilluminations September 2012
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Sat, September 01 2012 - 12:27 pm

September 30, 2012                            Madison, IN

News alert!  News alert!  Lolita is barefoot and pregnant!

The news out of Iran about women being banned from studies such as math and engineering is outrageous.

Ditto the announcement by the 5-syllable guy that any strike from Israel will be assumed to have been supported by the U.S.

I lamented to my partner this morning that the A-word is forcing everyone's hand - and destruction (of at least some) will be the consequence.

My partner is brilliant this morning.  He answered, "Like the suicide bombers, it is almost as if Iran wants to be a suicide nation."

He went on to paint a larger picture.  "This behavior could be compared to that of the family annihilator.  Everyone - the whole culture, if need be - must be killed to save them from corruption."

But Ahmajinedad "loves everyone," meaning, of course, he says with a laugh, his family.  No one can love everyone.

Let's hope not.  That might mean not just his own (and Taliban controllers') murder-suicide attempt.

It might mean the murder-suicide of the whole world. 

September 28, 2012                          Madison, IN

How does the name thing go?

Are we more pretentious, the more syllables our names have?

If we have a five-syllable name, are we willing to threaten whole (albeit small) nations with annihilation?  Does an Ahmajinedad feel more important than a Jones because people have to work harder to learn his name (and everybody will darn well know his when he is finished with us, if he has anything to say about it!)

No wonder there is bad blood between Netanyahu and him.  Ahmajinedad has ma and dad contained within the English transliteration of his name.  Netanyahu is higher tech, with the Net and yahoo (more or less).  Maybe the high technology makes up for having one less syllable.

Some of us get along pretty well with our first and second names.  Other people seem to have to use all three names (or four or five) with a number added, in order to possess a weighty enough name to suit their image of themselves.

Did Washington's mom have to do a ton of wash?  Was Madison mad at his son?  Was Adam really a dam?  Some Jackson or other must have had a dad named Jack.

Franklin was frank, but maybe not as frank as he pretended to be.  Pierce's name is a replica of a word.  In his case the word is mightier than a sword - it is a verb instead of a noun.

Obama contains a comic-book sound effect, Bushes grow all over the world, including the states of Florida and Texas.

Napoleon thought pretty much of himself.  There is every indication that Hitler was overcompensating.  That is because his name was so short.

Silly, silly me.  I guess I'm grasping at explanatory straws to distract myself from how depressed I am that I am beginning to feel the way I felt during the arms race between the USSR and the USA.

Worse - because at least it was mostly a cold war.  At least everybody's egos could be channeled into a space race for a while.

What does Ahmadinejad have to distract him from his nuclear baby?

Not worship of Him whose name must not be spoken, evidently.  He can't take care of Himself, it seems.

We all better take Him more seriously, or someone with a five or six syllable name will set us straight!

Straight to Hell on earth.

September 26, 2012                           Madison, IN

The Right is always wanting teacher accountability via testing scores.  Never mind what the children are actually learning.  Never mind that some people have trouble, not with learning, but with testing.  Never mind the awful fact that many of the teachers with the best scoring pupils are just best at cheating.

Yet the uber-rich want to get tax-breaks on the basis of the argument that they are "creating jobs."

Okay, how about proving it?  How about only getting a tax credit for every job that a previously unemployed worker gets and holds for at least a year?  (No three-month MacDonalds government-subsidized trainees, thank you!)  Not practical or effective, you say?  Kind of like trying to pack evidence of real learning in a multiple-choice question.

It is not so outlandish to demand some kind of accounting from these folks who can afford to hire accountants.

Oh, and duh, overseas jobs don't count, unless they are filled by U.S. citizens.

September 25, 2012                          Madison, IN

Monday we walked an easy trail at Clifty Falls State Park, from the parking lot near the Inn to the campground, where we hope to stay sometime.

Much of this path was grassy; all of it was easy going.  I saw a really big crested bird.

"A jay," my partner said.

I agreed.  "But it was so big!"

His response?  "A capital J!"

September 24, 2012                           Madison, IN

I'm reading a biography of Ayn Rand, and in it she is quoted as saying she cannot bear to look down, she can stand to look across, but she wants to look up.

And that, of course, is the problem with too many members of the 1%.  They can't stand to look down, because they can't stand to remember where they came from, or perhaps where they are afraid of falling!

Actually a physical climb makes a great analogy to this state of mind.  What are people who are climbing up precariously told not to do?  "Don't look down!"  But if you can't look down, you miss the view!  You miss the experience, the awesome perspective that your climb has gained you.

In actual climbs, the view was my reward.  The beauty of the valleys, lakes, and trail below is what I remember, not the blood sweat and tears it took to get there.

Ha, ha, maybe because it entailed no blood!

No, the attainment of heights may be wonderful.  The air may be pure, the endorphin rush a rapture.  But it is the incomparable view through that pure air that makes the heavy climb and the dodging of thunderstorms worthwhile.

And if the perspective gained helps you to see more of the people who crawl like ants below, and you can see how and why they are in need, why stay up above?

Nobody stays at the peaks always.  It is too isolated up there.  There is dangerous lightning and rain, and in the winter, too much deadly cold and snow.  You can't fit a house up there, or a three-car garage.  Only so much game can perch at the top of a precipice, and no room or warmth to grow crops.

Laugh, and there is not enough vertical rock to provide an echo; there is no where else "up" to go.

If you can't bear to look down, you have lost sight of your support system.  No matter what you may think, you have had a good deal of support.

In fact, if you can't look down, you might just be stuck.

 

September 23, 2012                           Madison, IN

In honor of Sunday, I'll wander from politics into the realm of religion.

When I was in my twenties, a charismatic young friend of mine invited me to a Pentecostal Church service - an emerging movement at the time.

Standing among a group of people "speaking in tongues", I experienced something that felt like a flock of birds flying up to heaven.  It was quite an awe-inspiring experience, that column of sound between the group of transported humans and the sky.

Although my transfixion by the experience was obviously very memorable, it did not convince me that I should immediately convert to Pentecostalism (if such a word exists.)

I did, however, attend a second service.

This time I had a coughing fit that necessitated my withdrawal, and took that as an indication that at some level I didn't want to be there.  I was there for the speaking in tongues, but the experience was not the same.  Consciously I did not much care, and have never regretted not going back.

Now, though, having experienced many more of these coughing fits in audiences of dressed-up people, I am more likely to attribute my coughing response to an allergic reaction - perhaps to some perfumes.

Isn't it odd - the thought that religious experience might be the result of allergies?

September 21, 2012                           Madison, IN

Ha, ha!  I can't stop laughing at Romney!  He says we feel like victims because we don't pay income taxes, but we are just following the law.

Sounds to me like the 1% feel like victims!  Whining about how the rest of us are mooching off them.  It's a good thing they have their fifth home in the woods and their yachts to escape to.  Poor babies.

Someone on Morning Joe was talking lightly about being a victim of class warfare - being laughed at by someone higher up on the percentage scale.

Made me think of a new dialogue of class warfare:

"Ha, ha, nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah nyah!"

"Ho ho ho hooooo!  Ha, ha, ha!"

"Ha - take that!  And a ho, ho, ho!"

Nasal "Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh..." etc.etc.etc.

"Snigger snigger snigger chortle chuff chuff chuff!"

"Wha-a-a ha, ha, ha!"

Pick a side - they are interchangeable!

Meanwhile, I have read about some more Republicans who are part of the 47%:  the Southern states, mostly Republican, are where there is the highest concentration of the 47% alluded to by Romney. 

http://i.politicomments.com/gu

Big corporation guys, want us to pay more taxes?  Pay us higher wages!

September 20, 2012                               Madison, IN

Ha, ha!  Now the truth is out - both Vice-Presidential nominee Ryan and Presidential nominee Romney have, in their histories, a recipient of governmental largesse!

So, now, of course, they are anxious to espouse the 100%.

Um, I'd much rather hear you explain sirs, whether you and/or your ancestors fit under the category of lazy or moocher?

Let's face it, nobody wants their ancestor to have died of starvation - especially at a tender age by which they would have had no chance to reproduce!

To tell the truth, though, I think a creative tension between individualism and collectivism is probably a good thing.  The key word here, of course, is "creative."  I don't want to reward Republicans for their obstructionism by voting for their candidates - even if I liked them, which I don't.

By the way, every time I personally have been on financial aid it was during the term of a Republican president.

Mean anything?  Maybe not.  But you can't have it both ways.

Either federal assistance is okay, or it's not - even if that means you would not have been here on earth.

Gee, then maybe the Republicans could have had a better set of candidates!

Dang or whew, depending on your point of view.

September 19, 2012                           Madison, IN

Oops, I forgot!  I have been supported for a total of maybe six or seven months with Unemployment Compensation.  Gee, I guess that might have been the Federal Government, although as I recall I went to Benton County, OR to apply for it.

But the employers pay part of that, don't they?

Anyway, how could I forget that?

Oh, I guess the same way the supreme individualist Ayn Rand forgot how much help she received from people when she arrived in the U.S.  She said she neither asked for nor received help from anyone.  Well, she may have never asked for help, but she sure got it!

According to her biographer Anne C. Heller, Ayn Rand received not only help from relatives when she arrived in the States, but was the beneficiary of a lot of lucky educational breaks while living under the oppression of the Bolshevics in the U.S.S.R.

My apologies for misrepresenting my lame, lazy mooching on the Federal Government for the total of a few months of my pre-Social-Security-Income life.

I'll suggest to those seniors who don't need their Social Security income (as I probably have before) that they can give it up.

I think I saw on a 20/20 show with John Stossel that even well-off seniors are not willing to do this.

Well, hell, that is not a surprise.  Where did I read just the other day that some people would not consider themselves rich if they didn't have at least 7.5 million dollars?

Ha, ha!  I'd consider myself rich if I had $10,000.  Er, or, maybe if I had $100,000!  On second thought, I'd like to be able to get all my family members out of debt, so maybe "rich" should be at least $200,000.

Nah - I'm already rich compared to most of the people of the world.

Dang!  Now I'm going to start feeling guilty!

September 18, 2012                            Madison, IN

Well, Mr. Romney, you might be right about one thing:  when I was in my late teens and got my first paycheck, I saw all kinds of interesting deductions.  One I remember asking about was Soc. Sec.

I was told it would take care of me when I was old.

At the time I considered Social Security an involuntary insurance policy, not "entitling" at all, and that is the way I intend to go on considering it.  I earned it and now I am taking it without cringing or apology.

Maybe I would have been more concerned with amassing huge amounts of money for my old age if it weren't for social security.  Probably not, though, because in my mid-twenties I married and spent a great deal of time and energy to save money (it's called "household economy", Mr. Romney, sir, and it is labor that doesn't appear on an income-tax form) and rearing my husband's and my three children.

Oh, I also tried to develop my creativity, partly with a view to making some money.  That did not transpire - I made money in other ways.  I spent some time developing my mind, but was still - alas - addicted to fiction, so I didn't read the books that would have been the equivalent of a higher degree - except, perhaps in literature!

My expectation was, I confess, that my husband and I would comprise a team that would support itelf (together!) in future years.  That did not happen, and although I take a certain amount of responsibility for the break-up, I do not take responsibility for not being more far-sighted with regards to my possible needs two decades from then.  After all, even my attorney did not think I should get alimony, me having a college degree and all.

What is my point, you ask?  My point is, Mr. Romney, that some of us are not so obsessed with financial security and getting ahead as you are.

My present partner and I have made decisions that other people have marveled at for their courage (e.g. moving without having jobs lined up, without having two years' worth of living expenses saved up, etc. etc.)

The Federal Government has never supported either of us - except my husband and I, with a few months' food stamps and WIC, early in our marriage before he got work.

Yet I, without ever having lived what anyone besides my depression-baby mother would call the high life, am now living, thanks to social security and my hard-working mate, at poverty level.  Without them I would be homeless or have to be supported completely by somebody (probably a family member) until I get a job - which may never happen.

What has allowed me to be so, probably by your lights, completely irresponsible?

Freedom.  The desire for freedom to move where I want to move.  The freedom to throw off the shackles of a job that was making me miserable if not making me sick and hope for a better situation elsewhere.

This is a freedom that in spite of their back-breaking work for too-low wages, many Americans do not feel.

They cannot afford to do it.

But try looking at hand-outs this way:  most of us (if we ask at all - most don't) are looking for a little help getting through a rough patch or for help getting education, buying a house, or starting a business.

We aren't standing up in front of a group of wealthy people, holding out our hands for money so we can be President!

Why are you not ashamed for such despicable behavior?  What's the matter?  Aren't your billions enough for you, already?

Oh, by the way, "billion" is a word that was barely in my vocabulary in the nineteen-sixties.

Guess what word was?  "Penny!"

And thanks to cheap, selfish, narcissists like you, it still is.

But the entrepreneurial class can't live without labor (yet!) Believe it or not, though, the masses can live without people like you.

Just hope (as I do!) the situation doesn't come to a head in your lifetime.

September 17, 2012                            Madison, IN

It seems we have a homeless kitten.  My partner first saw her sticking her head out of a drainage pipe across the parking lot, and now she hangs out in front of the building.

Nobody here is supposed to have pets, so we can't officially take her in.  One tenant who feeds ducks and geese might be feeding her.  I don't know.

He says she'll catch snakes.  The presence of a three-foot black snake on the porch a few weeks back has the residents along the first floor jumpy.  It is going to be a while before this little kitten, whose tail looks like a banded snake itself, is going to be catching anything larger than an insect.

Meanwhile she is still a scaredy-cat.  Someone comes along and she starts up and hides.  Since she has pretty good pale-gold camouflage, when she startles, so do I.

She's making me jumpy.

Maybe if a flood comes and scares us out of our home, we'll take her along.  Then she'll have a home and we'll be the homeless ones!

I have a feeling, though, her ground-floor champion will rescue her first.

"Don't take my cat!" he cautioned me the other day.

September 16, 2012                            Madison, IN

Today my subject is Denmark.  A while back I saw an exposition about why Denmark is the happiest country in the world, and got the impression it was largely because of religious and racial homogeneity.

Now, in Chris Hayes' book Twilight of the Elites, he states that high levels of taxation correlate with low levels of inequality, mentioning that Denmark has the highest rate of taxation in proportion to Gross National Product of any Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country.  The U.S., on the other hand, has a lower taxation level than almost any other industrial country.

Of course, maybe the reason the Danish government can get this high level of taxation is because the society has more solidarity:  it cannot class an easily defined and identified "other" group of people as inferior, thus justifying dehumanizing them.

The United States is full of diversity - and diverse communities - all of which are considered by our populace (erroneously, according to Chris Hayes) as having equal opportunity for equal outcomes.  He maintains this is increasingly not-true, but the inequality of outcome continues to be blamed by our citizens on those "lazy" or incompetent people who cannot climb out of poverty.  Blame the victim, in other words.

Did I say I was going to write about Denmark?  Heh. 

  

September 15, 2012                            Madison, IN

Sunday we went on a wonderful hike.  When we got back to the car, I had no keys.  That was okay, my partner did, as far as getting home, but I had to get a new set of keys. 

We did, and the set cost under ten dollars, so although embarrassing, the loss of my keys was not momentous.  They could have been anywhere within arm's range of a nine or ten mile hike!  I wasn't about ready to retrace my steps.  It occurred to me that the little dinky library card attached to my keychain might help my keys and me reunite, but I knew it might never happen.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the library.  Some hiker had found my keys and turned them into the North Gate at the park.  The ranger at the North Gate sent the keys over to the Park Office, and personnel there called the Public Library, which called me.

No fewer than four people helped me get my keys back!  Thankyou, thankyou!

When the folks at the library here gave me the little mini-card for my keychain my first response was tepid:  another something hanging from my already loaded jangle of keys, I thought.  I usually walk to the library, anyway.  I shrugged.

It actually is a genius of an idea!  There it is, if you forgot your card but always carry your house keys.  There it was, when I lost my keys and provided the most direct way they could have been returned to me.

When I enthused about it to the library employee who called me, she said it has happened quite a few times before.

If your local library does not offer a key-chain card, try to get them to do so.  This library has become five-star in my book of libraries.  They have services I haven't heard of anywhere else.

September 14, 2012                             Madison, IN

Blasted blatting blurts under the bloated belly.

Bleeding bloodthirsty blonds blur blended blues and bland blanks.

Blocks, bludgeons, coots and curmudgeons.

Cranky sloppy slanderers sliding below slippery truths.

False, false blessings!  Brood belowstairs, blankly blinking.

Bedtime.

September 12, 2012                             Madison, IN

Today I called a naturalist at Clifty Falls State Park to see if he could help identify the sound we heard Sunday.

He said bucks don't bellow, really.  When he heard that the sound came from the west, the direction of the edge of the park, he suggested the bellow might have been a bull.

Listen to sounds on the Internet, he suggested, so I did.

The sound of my memory was most like an African lion's roar!  (My original response, although I modified my idea to fit the most common New World cat, the cougar.)

I'm back to thinking someone might have a wild cat caged near the perimeter of the park.  Creepy.

The ranger told me there haven't been sightings of bear or cougars in this area for 150 years, although the black bear is beginning to make a return in eastern Kentucky.

So my mystery is still a mystery.  Has anyone else heard what sounds like a big beast on the southerly part of Trail 8 of Clifty Falls State Park?

September 11, 2012                             Madison, IN

While we were quickly and composedly trying to hike away from the roar the other day at Clifty Falls State Park, I couldn't help thinking of alternatives to a real wild beast out there.

Trail 8 is pretty close to the western edge of the park; maybe someone plays a tape recording of scary animals to keep deer out of her garden.  Maybe someone living in the area has a caged wild animal in his yard!

Now that idea is really scary.

We didn't return to our car in the Clifty Inn parking lot via Trail 8.  We came back down along Trail 7, which turned into Trail 6, then met with Trail 5 and mounted the stairs (scores of them) straight up to the road at the site of the Lilly Memorial.  We talked to some people at the top so I got distracted and still don't know what the memorial was about.

Be sure to take a map with you.  Some of the trails are confusing and mazelike.  Even with the map we did some thrashing around wondering which path was The Right One.

From the Memorial parking area we walked along the road the rest of the way back to the car except for a shortcut through a picnic area.  Must have been a total of about eight to ten miles.

The tunnels and caves are closed to protect the local bats from a disease that turns their noses white, I guess, but I for one did not feel the need to get out of the sun on such a temperate day.

We look forward to camping in the park some day.

September 10, 2012                              Madison, IN

Knock on the door this morning.

My partner goes to answer it.  Yay!  Maybe it is my new wicked good slippers or somebody with my lost keys!

No, it is a team of Christians here to convert us.

My partner says, "We're not interested.  We're atheists here."

One of the importunate ones asks, "Can you tell us how you came to arrive at that decision?"

"Evangelicals!"

September 9, 2012                                 Madison, IN

Today we got better acquainted with Clifty Falls State Park, the South Gate of which is just west (if not still within!) the city limits.

It is incredible we haven't hiked around here yet since we moved.  We've been busy and it has just been too hot.

Today was the perfect day for a hike, so we headed towards Trail 8 along the western side of the park from the parking lot near Clifty Inn.  We crossed the stream (reportedly it is sometimes dry - Trail 2 follows the riverbed) on rocks.  I was determined to keep my feet dry, so I was practically on all fours navigating the slippery rocks.  My hiking boots are supposed to be water-proof, but I wasn't about to risk hiking for hours in soggy socks.

We made it across and started up the 4.5 mile trail to Clifty Falls.  It was the perfect day for hiking.  Sunny, blue sky, nobody around, completely peaceful - except suddenly we heard a roar behind us.  I thought it sounded like a cougar.  I started nervously checking out tree branches and rocky outcroppings for a wildcat.

Or maybe a bear?  The animal, the like of which I had never heard before without bars between me and it, roared again.  No snarl - definitely more like a bear than a cat.  I was getting really jumpy and my partner had to remind me that the worst thing you can do is get afraid.  True, but I was proud of myself for not breaking into a run!  I tossed away my apple core that I had been planning to virtuously pack out of the park.  Better than an inappropriate wildlife meal of apple than an (in my book even more inappropiate meal of me for a predator!)   Apple is more biodegradable than human anyway.

Then my partner had an idea.  "Actually, I think it is probably the beginning of the rut for deer.  I think that is a rutting buck."  Seems plausible.  The sound could be interpreted as a bellow, albeit a hoarse one.  Not too reassuring, though.  According to the wildlife shows deer can be pretty dangerous too!  Luckily the final roar seemed to be a little farther away than before.

We continued our hike.  The rest of it was beautiful:  we saw cliffs, waterfalls, flowers and mushrooms.  The parks had more wonderful stonework and railings and wooden walkways packed into a relatively small space than I have ever seen in any other state park.

And what's more - today Clifty Falls State Park in the tame old Midwest delivered the scariest wildlife thrill of my life! 

September 8, 2012                                  Madison, IN

I've written before about corporate speak, including my surprise at a new employer's utilizing the term "off-load" instead of "unload" when speaking of a truck delivery.

One reason it surprises me, I guess, is that offload isn't any easier to say than unload.  If anything it is harder.  Is it easier to hear?  It certainly isn't quicker to type - it has two more characters.

I asked my partner today, "How do corporations say "load"?  Do they say "load" or "up-load"?

He said he didn't know.

I said, "You've always worked on the off-loading end.  Do your co-workers say 'offload' when you get a deliver?"

"No," he responded.  They say, "The fucking truck's here and it's got a shit-load of stuff on it!"

September 7, 2012                                   Madison, IN

It has occurred to me that Madison is the heart-of-the-valley place along the Ohio between Cincinnati and Louisville.  So far, at least, I haven't spotted a riverside town nearby that I find more charming.

Makes me realize that most of the places I have lived with had a river running through them.  Mount Carroll IL, Albuquerque NM, Corvallis OR, Santa Fe NM and now Madison, IN all are riverside towns.

Valparaiso - not so much.  The railroad, I believe, supplied the vessel to the world Valparaiso needed to plant itself where it did.

It is a vale, though.  Enough of a valley that some believe it protects the city from being hard-hit by tornadoes!

So the name Corvalliswalkingtours, though misleading, is perhaps not altogether inappropriate as the name of my blahgsite!

 

September 6, 2012                                   Madison, IN

Pundits talked about ex-President Clinton dropping his G's last night.  Maybe it is his negative mental association with the GOP!

And as long as I am thinking about letters, how about part of the reason so many Democrats are pro-choice is because their initials are GNC!

Maybe I speculated about the possibility of Hillary and Michelle for President because my last name is Powell!  (Tillie Williams would love all three of us!)

Well, I have come down to earth a little.  Maybe H. Clinton is ideally happy in her role of Secretary of State and M. Obama only wants to be a mom (and attorney!)  What about Julian Castro, though?  Do you think maybe Americans will be able to remember his name?

That would be comical - just as Cuba is losing its leading Castro we could be acquiring another.

The fact is, we do have name-related biases.  I cannot tell you how many men I have met whose wife/girlfriend has the same name as his sister.

To avoid it, in my generation, it would mean desperately seeking not-Susan!

Too silly for words?  Well, so is the Unconscious.  Just remember your last dream.

 

September 5, 2012                                    Madison, IN

When I saw excerpts from Michelle Obama's speech this morning, I wished I had seen it all last night.

What I thought when I heard her:  Maybe she will be running for President before too long.  Eugene Robinson seconded (in my timeline) that thought.  He said, "Michelle 2016."  Hmm... there must be many more out there thinking the same thing.

Wouldn't it be wild if the struggle for nomination next time around is Hillary vs.  Michelle!  What fun for us women!

I liked Julian Castro, too, though.  Very much.  The Democrats are really coming up roses these days.  The future looks good for the party.

Now, do I have the chutzpah to lobby for Obama in a new community?  Maybe.  But at least I know which way I'll be voting!

September 3, 2012                                     Madison, IN

I used to watch the ads for Transitions lenses designed to act as automatic sunglasses and wonder at their use by, say, a photographer.  Maybe it makes sense if you have an automatic light meter on your equipment, which I suppose today everybody does.

I loved my Transitions lenses.  I never had to carry sunglasses, or worry about losing them.  I never experienced light as too bright except maybe in the car.  It didn't happen often.

There is a disadvantage to them at night, as their response to light sometimes darkens them to the extent that after seeing headlights or riding a bike under a streetlamp, you can't see enough to navigate safely for a second or so.

Their other disadvantage became huge as my vision begins to require more light:  I had trouble birdwatching, especially with binoculars.  I know, I know, my shaking hands don't help - but my protective Transitions cut out so much light that the magnification I gained from using binoculars was cancelled out!

This time around I got an additional technology to protect my eyes - Crizal.  This technique gets rid of glare, including light that comes from behind the lens and would normally reflect back into the eye.  The only problem I experience is that now the Transitions don't get as dark.  I find myself wanting to squint occasionally in very bright light.

But I can bird-watch again!  A recent experience watching a great blue heron fishing and scratching his beak against a piece of driftwood, (every feather visible, including the tuft behind his wing that needed smoothing down) has me optimistic about my birdwatching future.

I'm told many folks choose between one technology and the other, and around here split about fifty-fifty.

Maybe in the future I will not be so extravagant.  But how to choose?  That bit of self-denial might just happen to coincide with the worsening of my tremor!

September 2, 2012                                     Madison, IN

When it comes to arguments for the existence of God, I don't understand using Creation.

Rather than asking, "Who could have created all this?"  you could just as well ask, "Who would have created this constructive/destructive physical world and eat-and-be-eaten life?"

I'm not necessarily arguing against the existence of God - I think it is a moot point.  Either He does or He doesn't - and it doesn't have much to do with my opinion.

I'm arguing against the argument.

Ha, ha - just as futile!  

September 1, 2012                                      Madison, IN

There is something about Mitt Romney (besides his corporate history) that disturbs me profoundly:  his good-little-boy expression.  My history of learning that you can see a good deal about a person from the way he looks (not his looks per se, but expression, set of mouth, etc. etc.) tells me to beware this man.

All his supposed good works and activities notwithstanding, there is something untested in his expression.  Either he feels perfectly justified and full of rectitude for just about everything he has done in his whole life (scary in itself!) or there is vast gap between what he perceives (and identifies with) as his persona and reality.

He seems so much in his head.  He's seemingly right there behind his eyes all the time, which makes me wonder if he has ever really had to call in his guts.

Not that this matters, anyway.  I wouldn't vote for this Republican if I thought he was the most wonderful person in the world.

Very awesomely handsome for his age, though!  Pity to allow a Presidential term to spoil those youthful good looks!

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