Login now

Not your profile? Login and get free access to your reports and analysis.

Tags

Sign in

No tag added here yet.
You can login on CircleCount to add some tags here.

Are you missing a tag in the list of available tags? You can suggest new tags here.

Login now

Do you want to see a more detailed chart? Check your settings and define your favorite chart type.

Or click here to get the detailed chart only once.

Alvin Stearns has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Ryan Van Sickle781,305ON AIR Hangout Concert  Tuesday, August 7th @ 8PM ESTRyan Van Sickle Pre NYC HIRL2 Hangout CONCERT w/ Matthew Rappaport2012-08-08 02:00:0027  

Shared Circles including Alvin Stearns

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

5
comments per post
1
reshares per post
15
+1's per post

1,345
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 25

posted image

2015-07-19 23:46:54 (25 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Are there any actors or actresses you dislike so much that you'll skip seeing a movie just because that actor or actress is in it?  I have a few:  Adam Sandler (annoying voice, not that funny); Will Ferrell (manic, uncomfortably desperate, not that funny); and Tom Cruise (despite being part of my generation and appearing in movies since my teens, I've never understood his appeal, he's just not a very good actor, to me).  

The movie "Pixels" is coming out.  I smiled at the premise:  aliens received signals of 1980s video games and mistook them for a threat from Earth; now they attack Earth with those same video game characters and it's up to a group of aging gamers to save the day.  That sounds like a fun 90 minutes in air conditioning with too-salty popcorn! 

Then I saw that Adam Sandler is in it and I thought, oh, never mind.

Whatabout ... more »

Most reshares: 9

posted image

2015-07-19 22:49:45 (8 comments, 9 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

We should all be doing so well at their age.  And, neither of them has much business being that well at their ages, given their histories.  Heh.  Which they comment upon in another song off this album, "Live This Long.'

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie (2015)
"It's All Going To Pot"

Most plusones: 66

posted image

2015-06-26 18:52:05 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2015-07-30 00:26:45 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Today I walked with Annie at the college and tried to imagine that I live in a world that is not fallen.  It's not fallen, of course.  My personal meditation was not on the world as it is, the world is fine, whole and exactly itself, with nothing to apologize for.  The meditation was to try to fix me.  

I was raised Southern Baptist.  My spirituality and psychology formed around the central truth of a fallen creation.  That we are born to find our way out of exile, to atone, to reunite with the Father, through the Son, guided by the Holy Spirit.  Dependent upon, but never worthy of the divine's grace.  That only through the perfect sacrifice of the divinity are we able to atone for an event in a garden involving a man, a woman, a tree, a serpent, and a piece of fruit.

It is not that way for millions of people currently alive.  It was not that way for most ofWestern ... more »

Today I walked with Annie at the college and tried to imagine that I live in a world that is not fallen.  It's not fallen, of course.  My personal meditation was not on the world as it is, the world is fine, whole and exactly itself, with nothing to apologize for.  The meditation was to try to fix me.  

I was raised Southern Baptist.  My spirituality and psychology formed around the central truth of a fallen creation.  That we are born to find our way out of exile, to atone, to reunite with the Father, through the Son, guided by the Holy Spirit.  Dependent upon, but never worthy of the divine's grace.  That only through the perfect sacrifice of the divinity are we able to atone for an event in a garden involving a man, a woman, a tree, a serpent, and a piece of fruit.

It is not that way for millions of people currently alive.  It was not that way for most of Western history.  But, it's that way for me.  And probably for you.  I'm not much bothered any more by the idea of original sin, but one's original mythology can really blind one to so much experience.

I watched Annie amble along.  Stopping.  Sniffing.  Bolting toward squirrels--which she's as likely to capture as I am a feeling that my world right now is Eden.  I stopped my fruitless efforts and tried to imagine the world through her experience of it.  Again, surprisingly difficult.  I'm sure I got it wrong, my ape brain is far too noisy.

As we neared the end of our walk I realized that I will never escape being me.  Never walk through a world that isn't fallen.  Never feel relationship with powers and divinities that don't pay much if any attention to me because they're much too involved with the perfections they represent within the whole.  The ineffable and eternal forever springing forth, dancing, twisting, laughing, suffering, and returning back to the nothing.  All of life, meditations on creation and dissolution--and there is nothing at all, just the imperfection of words to try to contain and make sense of all of that nothing.  

Why does all of this happen?  Really, is that the relevant question?  The meditation, I think, is on the experience of it all, not on assigning meanings and reasons why.  I could be wrong.  But the older I get the less I trust the imperative that everything must mean something.  Find the joy.  Try not to label every friggin' experience and put it into boxes of "This is good," "This is bad," "This I hide," "This I show the world" . . .

We concluded our walk, Annie and I, and the world remained just as fallen to me.  I thought, OK, I'm stuck with this crappy mythological DNA.  

When life gives you mythological lemons, make lemonade worlds.  It's not that hard to make worlds, apparently.  Look what one Eastern Mediterranean deity managed with no more than a small overcompensating tribe with a crippling inferiority complex following a crisis 2,500 years ago.  Without the Internet.

It's time to create better, accounting for flawed mythological DNA.

Then Annie and I came home and I just now remembered that there's watermelon to eat.  Life is good.  It's a start.  

And you're not a fallen creature in a fallen creation.  You've never had to reach for the divine.  Exile is a state of mind and the universe doesn't mind if my or your life is a mediation on exile.  But, I like to imagine that it points and giggles.

//___

posted image

2015-07-26 01:17:43 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 


In the port of Amsterdam  
There's a sailor who drinks  
And he drinks and he drinks  
And he drinks once again  
He'll drink to the health  
Of the whores of Amsterdam  
Who've given their bodies  
To a thousand other men  

Select lyrics from David Bowie cover of Jacques Brel's "Amsterdam"


In the port of Amsterdam  
There's a sailor who drinks  
And he drinks and he drinks  
And he drinks once again  
He'll drink to the health  
Of the whores of Amsterdam  
Who've given their bodies  
To a thousand other men  

Select lyrics from David Bowie cover of Jacques Brel's "Amsterdam"___

posted image

2015-07-25 05:04:52 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

That Face

And those crazy eyes.

Meet Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, Emperor of Rome in the early 3rd century anno Domini. He was nicknamed Caracalla, which refers to a style of ancient hoodie that he favored.  History remembers him as Caracalla.  But, nobody called him that to his face.  He wouldn't have liked that.  Nobody without a death wish risked upsetting Antoninus Augustus, aka Caracalla.

You can learn a lot about leaders by how they choose to have themselves portrayed.  Look at Caracalla, at any of his many surviving busts.  The cropped hair and beard.  The "You tawkin' to me?" turn of the head with furrowed brow and scowling lips.  His styling, bearing and expression are a radical departure from the flowing lines and dreamy expressions of his predecessors, the Antonines, the line exemplified by the philosopher/emperorRichard ... more »

That Face

And those crazy eyes.

Meet Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, Emperor of Rome in the early 3rd century anno Domini. He was nicknamed Caracalla, which refers to a style of ancient hoodie that he favored.  History remembers him as Caracalla.  But, nobody called him that to his face.  He wouldn't have liked that.  Nobody without a death wish risked upsetting Antoninus Augustus, aka Caracalla.

You can learn a lot about leaders by how they choose to have themselves portrayed.  Look at Caracalla, at any of his many surviving busts.  The cropped hair and beard.  The "You tawkin' to me?" turn of the head with furrowed brow and scowling lips.  His styling, bearing and expression are a radical departure from the flowing lines and dreamy expressions of his predecessors, the Antonines, the line exemplified by the philosopher/emperor Richard Harris Marcus Aurelius.  Caracalla set a new fashion.  After him emperors would continue the scowling martial visage in their official imagery.  By the 3rd century emperors could no longer command respect by looking emo, they needed to instill fear looking bad-ass.

Caracalla's father was the Emperor Septimius Severus.  Papa Severus had two missions in the year 210:  do an emperor's duty to Rome by beating on some barbarians, and try to instill some military discipline in his spoiled, violent and often drunk teenage sons, Caracalla and Geta.  The brothers were close in age, but not in affection.  In fact, they hated each other.  

The family, including the boys' mother, Julia Domna, traveled to the Roman province of Britannia, present day England and Wales.  Severus had probably had more than enough of his sons' constant fighting on the journey to Britannia.  So, he left Geta in the town of Eboracum (modern York, England) and took Caracalla north with the army to go beat on some Caledonians, the predecessors of the Scots.  On the way, Caracalla drew his sword as if to strike down his father, the Emperor of Rome.  Father stared down son and Caracalla put away his sword.  Dad didn't say a word.  But, that night, Severus sat his son down and placed a sword between them, telling his boy that if it was his intention to murder his father, do it now.  Caracalla swallowed his impatience and didn't touch the offered sword.

Happily for Caracalla, his father died in 211 of an illness while still in Britannia.  Knowing he was close to death, Severus called his sons to him and gave them the following fatherly advice:  "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"  Then he died and was declared a god by the Senate of Rome.

Caracalla and Geta ruled as co-emperors for a while, but their hatred of each other only increased.  If not for their mother's protests the brothers might have divided the empire, each brother ruling his half, which would have advanced by several decades the eventual division of the empire into eastern and western administrative halves.

Julia, their mother, tried to get her sons to reconcile.  The pair agreed to meet at her palace in Rome to patch things up.  At the meeting Caracalla gave a signal and soldiers loyal to him rushed forward, fatally stabbed Geta.  Julia Domna tried to shield her son and suffered an injured hand.  Her younger son bled out in her arms, her older son standing over them both, triumphant.  The sole emperor.

Then the real killing began.  It is estimated that on his orders Caracalla caused the deaths of some 20,000 people in the first era of his reign as sole emperor.  Almost all of Geta's friends and allies and several thousand more attached to those friends and allies were put to death.  

Caracalla wasn't satisfied with killing his brother.  He wanted to erase Geta.  Even going as far as having the Senate officially damn his brother's memory, making it a capital offense to even speak his name.  His mother kept her titles, privileges and wealth, having been prudent enough to keep her mouth shut and grieve in solitude.

Also, he had his ex-wife and former father-in-law murdered.

So, Caracalla failed to follow his father's first piece of advice, that his sons be harmonious.  However, he excelled in the other two pieces, favoring the army and to hell with everybody else.

By this time in its history Rome's political power was in its army.  The era of expansionist Rome was over.  By the 3rd century the legions were the military police force of an empire trying to keep itself together.  Caracalla's father understood the political facts of life and had raised the soldiers' pay and given them other perks.  Caracalla continued to favor the army, raising pay again, buying its loyalty.  Caracalla styled himself a soldier/emperor.  He traveled with his army, camped with them, ate with them.  It worked.  It's possible the soldiers did like him, this soldier emperor.  It's certain they liked the treasure he pushed their way.  (But, how would they feel if that treasure ever stopped flowing?  Caracalla had set a precedent that would haunt later emperors and Roman citizens.)

The soldier role and uniforms were perfect for him because he was still a homicidal sociopath.  During a stop in Alexandria, Egypt, he had another 20,000 or so people murdered.  What had the cosmopolitan center and greatest city of the Classical world done to upset him?  Some actors performed a satire that mocked Caracalla's story that he'd killed his brother in self-defense.  Caracalla did not discriminate in his retaliation and had his soldiers punish the city by killing thousands of its citizens.  It was dangerous to assume that Caracalla had any sense of humor about himself.

I mean, look at that face.

Caracalla fancied himself another Alexander the Great--which is funny considering what he had done to Alexander's namesake city.  He tried to emulate Alexander in style and career.  So, to mimic his idol, Caracalla needed to invade Persia, now called Parthia--same people, different branding.  His methods differed, though.  He affected a proposal of marriage between himself and the King of Parthia's daughter, to lessen tensions between the empires with ties between its ruling families.  Dubious, but agreeing to a summit meeting, the King of Parthia along with his daughter and some of his court met with Caracalla.  Caracalla again gave a signal and his soldiers fell upon the Parthians.  The king escaped, but his daughter and several of his people were slaughtered.

Crazy Eyes strikes again.

Did he do anything good?  Sure.  He kept the empire together during his tenure.  No small feat in that age of invasions, rebellions and civil wars.  He was the emperor that declared that all free males living in the empire were henceforth citizens of Rome.  That was a double-edged sword.  It vastly increased the Roman franchise, from Mesopotamia to Britannia.  But, more importantly to the emperor,  it also vastly increased the volume of imperial taxes--Roman citizens were taxed differently than non-citizens. Caracalla needed treasure to grease his army and keep it loyal to him.

Meantime, Caracalla's attempted murder of the King of Parthia put the empires into a state of war.  Caracalla needed to burnish his image as the Second Coming of Alexander, so he was game.

However, time and circumstance caught up with Caracalla outside the city of Carrhae, in present southeast Turkey.  While on the road, Caracalla called a halt so he could dismount and take a leak.  Dismounted and standing by the road, taking care of business, he was fatally stabbed by a soldier.  It's been said that the soldier was upset at having been passed over for a promotion.  It's also whispered that he was put up to the act by a fellow named Macrinus, a leader of the Praetorian Guard, the emperor's personal police force.  Caracalla's murderer was instantly killed by an archer's arrow.  Macrinus went on to succeed Caracalla as Emperor of Rome, with no potentially pesky whistleblower to mess up things.  Convenient.

Caracalla was declared a god by the Senate of Rome.  He had ruled Rome for six years as sole emperor when he died at age 29.  Live fast.  Kill everybody.  Die young.  Leave a pretty corpse and lots of crazy-eyed busts.

That town where Caracalla died?  Carrhae?  It was where Crassus died in 53 BC while fighting the Parthians.  Crassus was a member of the ruling triumvirate along with Julius Caesar and Pompey.  With Crassus gone, the battle was on between Caesar and Pompey, and I think we all remember who won that battle and paved the way from Republican to Imperial Rome.  

In Ancient times the city of Carrhae was called Harran, same as it's called today.  Alexander the Great had taken the city from the Persians.  The Persians had taken it from the Babylonians.  The Babylonians had taken it from the Assyrians.  In fact, Harran was the last-stand capital of the Assyrian Empire.  A coalition of Babylonians, Medes, and Persians invaded Assyria and destroyed its capital.  The last-stand Assyrians failed at Harran too, ending the ancient Assyrian empire.  Harran remained an important center of later Assyrian Christianity.  Until they were persecuted and scattered and all but wiped out.

Harran is an unlucky city for the mighty.

But, Caracalla's amazing face and crazy eyes stay with us.

Oh, and the 12 century story-weaver Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that Caracalla was a king of early Britain.  Geoffrey of Monmouth lied.  A lot.

//___

2015-07-23 20:10:52 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Hard to get beyond that one little detail.

Tried to enjoy listening to an elderly, experienced and wise woman with a fine history of triumph and scandal. But, my inner voice kept interrupting: "She touted the health benefits of drinking your own urine."

I find that I still have some hang ups that inhibit my otherwise benevolent detachment from those who harmlessly live life on their terms.

//

Hard to get beyond that one little detail.

Tried to enjoy listening to an elderly, experienced and wise woman with a fine history of triumph and scandal. But, my inner voice kept interrupting: "She touted the health benefits of drinking your own urine."

I find that I still have some hang ups that inhibit my otherwise benevolent detachment from those who harmlessly live life on their terms.

//___

2015-07-20 14:51:09 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Today's ear worm: the Hare Krishna song from the musical "Hair."

Beads!
Flowers!
Freedom!
Happiness!

Then my Virgo mind kicks in and wants to replace Beads! with Peace! and Flowers! with Abundance! because who cares about beads after age 13, and the replacements join the other two universals, also available in a Maine January.

I'd wish to change and have a nature that can just go with stuff, but I guess Nature needs us Virgos or else it wouldn't have evolved us.

Take trips and get high
Laugh, joke, and good bye
Beat drum and old tin pot
I am high on you-know-what . . .

//

Today's ear worm: the Hare Krishna song from the musical "Hair."

Beads!
Flowers!
Freedom!
Happiness!

Then my Virgo mind kicks in and wants to replace Beads! with Peace! and Flowers! with Abundance! because who cares about beads after age 13, and the replacements join the other two universals, also available in a Maine January.

I'd wish to change and have a nature that can just go with stuff, but I guess Nature needs us Virgos or else it wouldn't have evolved us.

Take trips and get high
Laugh, joke, and good bye
Beat drum and old tin pot
I am high on you-know-what . . .

//___

posted image

2015-07-19 23:46:54 (25 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Are there any actors or actresses you dislike so much that you'll skip seeing a movie just because that actor or actress is in it?  I have a few:  Adam Sandler (annoying voice, not that funny); Will Ferrell (manic, uncomfortably desperate, not that funny); and Tom Cruise (despite being part of my generation and appearing in movies since my teens, I've never understood his appeal, he's just not a very good actor, to me).  

The movie "Pixels" is coming out.  I smiled at the premise:  aliens received signals of 1980s video games and mistook them for a threat from Earth; now they attack Earth with those same video game characters and it's up to a group of aging gamers to save the day.  That sounds like a fun 90 minutes in air conditioning with too-salty popcorn! 

Then I saw that Adam Sandler is in it and I thought, oh, never mind.

Whatabout ... more »

Are there any actors or actresses you dislike so much that you'll skip seeing a movie just because that actor or actress is in it?  I have a few:  Adam Sandler (annoying voice, not that funny); Will Ferrell (manic, uncomfortably desperate, not that funny); and Tom Cruise (despite being part of my generation and appearing in movies since my teens, I've never understood his appeal, he's just not a very good actor, to me).  

The movie "Pixels" is coming out.  I smiled at the premise:  aliens received signals of 1980s video games and mistook them for a threat from Earth; now they attack Earth with those same video game characters and it's up to a group of aging gamers to save the day.  That sounds like a fun 90 minutes in air conditioning with too-salty popcorn! 

Then I saw that Adam Sandler is in it and I thought, oh, never mind.

What about you?  Any "Oh, never mind" actors or actresses?___

posted image

2015-07-19 22:49:45 (8 comments, 9 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

We should all be doing so well at their age.  And, neither of them has much business being that well at their ages, given their histories.  Heh.  Which they comment upon in another song off this album, "Live This Long.'

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie (2015)
"It's All Going To Pot"

We should all be doing so well at their age.  And, neither of them has much business being that well at their ages, given their histories.  Heh.  Which they comment upon in another song off this album, "Live This Long.'

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie (2015)
"It's All Going To Pot"___

posted image

2015-07-19 22:19:01 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Another example of how everything is improved by Metal.

Another example of how everything is improved by Metal.___

2015-07-17 14:41:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

God is a reference. Beyond god, the ineffable.

Question placing your life and your spirit in a god who insists he's it. That god is deluded. Maybe for a reason. But, it needn't be your problem.

//

God is a reference. Beyond god, the ineffable.

Question placing your life and your spirit in a god who insists he's it. That god is deluded. Maybe for a reason. But, it needn't be your problem.

//___

2015-07-17 14:18:58 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Neo-pagans who explain their faith to me in terms of its opposition to Judeo-Christian mythology are more dull to me than proselytizing Christian evangelicals.

Attraction and goodly purpose are about saying yes and immersing yourself in your passions and joys. Saying no and defining yourself by what you are not is a dreary existence. It makes you dull company. And I doubt that any gods feel honored or celebrated.

//

Neo-pagans who explain their faith to me in terms of its opposition to Judeo-Christian mythology are more dull to me than proselytizing Christian evangelicals.

Attraction and goodly purpose are about saying yes and immersing yourself in your passions and joys. Saying no and defining yourself by what you are not is a dreary existence. It makes you dull company. And I doubt that any gods feel honored or celebrated.

//___

posted image

2015-07-16 12:24:39 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

It's not an age thing.

Through a conversation with another I figured out something about myself.  We discussed popular shows and I shared that I haven't enjoyed a lot of television since the advent of "Seinfeld."  Also, that though I can stomach and even enjoy fictionalized violence, starting with shows like "Cops" I have an aversion to televised actual violence.  I guessed that I started to become old around age 24 and we laughed.

My companion opined, "Have you considered that it's television that changed, not you?  Stand up comedy and 'reality' bullsh** have taken over TV.  You just never happened to like either, so television has less stuff that you like."

Ahhh.  Makes sense.  So, it's not my aging, it's just losing step with popular media.  Either is fine with me, but it's fun to pin downthings.... more »

It's not an age thing.

Through a conversation with another I figured out something about myself.  We discussed popular shows and I shared that I haven't enjoyed a lot of television since the advent of "Seinfeld."  Also, that though I can stomach and even enjoy fictionalized violence, starting with shows like "Cops" I have an aversion to televised actual violence.  I guessed that I started to become old around age 24 and we laughed.

My companion opined, "Have you considered that it's television that changed, not you?  Stand up comedy and 'reality' bullsh** have taken over TV.  You just never happened to like either, so television has less stuff that you like."

Ahhh.  Makes sense.  So, it's not my aging, it's just losing step with popular media.  Either is fine with me, but it's fun to pin down things.

Thank goodness for "The Walking Dead," "Bob's Burgers," "Archer," "30 Rock," "Parks and Recreation" and all the other non-stand-up, non-'reality' programming.  If not for them you'd have to read so many more postings from me.

//___

posted image

2015-07-16 03:18:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

And then the world ended.  The End.

That's not a spoiler.  It's in the title of the movie, "These Final Hours."  A 2014 Australian slice o' Armageddon that's not about The End, but about a self-involved young man on his journey through humanity's final hours.

The movie is light on substance, but it's good substance.  Death, being universal and inevitable, is ultimately not that important compared to how one chooses to live.  And how one meets the universal and inevitable.

Fine performances all around.  Good actors, worth seeing more of.  Contains nudity, sex and violence.  What would you expect?  It's the end of the world.

Streaming now on North American Netflix.

//

And then the world ended.  The End.

That's not a spoiler.  It's in the title of the movie, "These Final Hours."  A 2014 Australian slice o' Armageddon that's not about The End, but about a self-involved young man on his journey through humanity's final hours.

The movie is light on substance, but it's good substance.  Death, being universal and inevitable, is ultimately not that important compared to how one chooses to live.  And how one meets the universal and inevitable.

Fine performances all around.  Good actors, worth seeing more of.  Contains nudity, sex and violence.  What would you expect?  It's the end of the world.

Streaming now on North American Netflix.

//___

2015-07-14 12:51:15 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

FLASH!

AHH-ahh!

FLASH!

AHH-ahh!___

2015-07-13 17:45:56 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

The sacred never leaves, even when we believe we've abandoned the sacred.

Or, why it helps you to understand another's sacred place.

Finished a silly conversation in which I explained that my colleague must apologize to another colleague for eating some of her chips. It was not just a property theft, it was a violation of another's sacred place: her food. My colleague was not convinced and said that eating a few chips is not a big deal and the other "should get over it."

Wars start over such matters and misunderstandings.

God does not care. We should.

//

The sacred never leaves, even when we believe we've abandoned the sacred.

Or, why it helps you to understand another's sacred place.

Finished a silly conversation in which I explained that my colleague must apologize to another colleague for eating some of her chips. It was not just a property theft, it was a violation of another's sacred place: her food. My colleague was not convinced and said that eating a few chips is not a big deal and the other "should get over it."

Wars start over such matters and misunderstandings.

God does not care. We should.

//___

posted image

2015-07-11 19:44:45 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

92-year-old woman:  You're getting too thin!  Eat!  (Slaps my face, not hard, but not gently either.)

Me:  (Rubbing cheek.)  Yes, ma'am.

Guess who is having all the ice cream he wants tonight?

92-year-old woman:  You're getting too thin!  Eat!  (Slaps my face, not hard, but not gently either.)

Me:  (Rubbing cheek.)  Yes, ma'am.

Guess who is having all the ice cream he wants tonight?___

posted image

2015-07-09 23:39:45 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

Optimism

I walked into the living with a half of a watermelon and a spoon.  Instantly, Leo the dog hopped up next to me on the futon.  I let him watch me eat and explained, "It's watermelon, buddy, you wouldn't like it."  Leo licked his chops and looked back and forth from the watermelon to my face.  I broke off a small piece and fed it to him.  He gingerly took it, played the piece across his tongue and then spit it out.  He resumed staring from the watermelon to my face.  Licked his chops.  I tore off another small piece and fed it to him.  Same result.  Same follow up from Leo.  At some point, he believes, it could turn into steak.

Opportunism

Annie the dog wandered by and casually ate the two small pieces spit out by Leo, then continued her journey and curled up for a nap on the sofa.

//

Optimism

I walked into the living with a half of a watermelon and a spoon.  Instantly, Leo the dog hopped up next to me on the futon.  I let him watch me eat and explained, "It's watermelon, buddy, you wouldn't like it."  Leo licked his chops and looked back and forth from the watermelon to my face.  I broke off a small piece and fed it to him.  He gingerly took it, played the piece across his tongue and then spit it out.  He resumed staring from the watermelon to my face.  Licked his chops.  I tore off another small piece and fed it to him.  Same result.  Same follow up from Leo.  At some point, he believes, it could turn into steak.

Opportunism

Annie the dog wandered by and casually ate the two small pieces spit out by Leo, then continued her journey and curled up for a nap on the sofa.

//___

2015-07-09 16:24:19 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Her: I don't want to get addicted to peanuts, like you.

Dang. People are on to my offers of a free first taste.

I admit to using peanuts as a foundation in my diet, but as a tasty convenience, not to feed an addiction. I've never experienced peanut withdrawal symptoms if I go without.

So, there.

//

Her: I don't want to get addicted to peanuts, like you.

Dang. People are on to my offers of a free first taste.

I admit to using peanuts as a foundation in my diet, but as a tasty convenience, not to feed an addiction. I've never experienced peanut withdrawal symptoms if I go without.

So, there.

//___

posted image

2015-07-09 11:11:26 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

In praise of nerds and heroes.

A year ago "The Quest" aired on ABC.  It was reality TV based in fantasy genre.  Contestants from several walks of life discovered themselves chosen to rescue a mythical kingdom from a rising great evil.  Across ten episodes these sudden "Paladins" learned how to live and battle, earning recognition in various virtues, and facing elimination toward revelation of The One True Hero.

Sound geeky?  Sure.  Was it fun?  Oh, heck yes.  

These days there's something vaguely embarrassing about watching somebody admit bald enthusiasm and childlike faith.  But, there's also something redemptive about it.  That little tug inside you that makes you want to say, "Hey, can I play too?"  

It's a normal human need to feel part of something bigger than one's self.  It's also normal tokindle tha... more »

In praise of nerds and heroes.

A year ago "The Quest" aired on ABC.  It was reality TV based in fantasy genre.  Contestants from several walks of life discovered themselves chosen to rescue a mythical kingdom from a rising great evil.  Across ten episodes these sudden "Paladins" learned how to live and battle, earning recognition in various virtues, and facing elimination toward revelation of The One True Hero.

Sound geeky?  Sure.  Was it fun?  Oh, heck yes.  

These days there's something vaguely embarrassing about watching somebody admit bald enthusiasm and childlike faith.  But, there's also something redemptive about it.  That little tug inside you that makes you want to say, "Hey, can I play too?"  

It's a normal human need to feel part of something bigger than one's self.  It's also normal to kindle that inner flame that says, "I might be just a regular person, but even I contain heroic potential."  Given the right circumstances and people who similarly believe, anything can happen.  Heroes happen.  Great evils are defeated.

Why did "The Quest" matter in the universe of reality TV?  It was the only show that invited us to cheer for the heroes without needing to make villains out of any of the competitors.  Have your favorites, sure, that's also human nature.  But, the point of "The Quest" was that all are heroes.  It's almost incidental that only one can complete the mythic arc and personally slay the evil.  Significantly, The One cannot do it alone and the heroes all around him/her are never disqualified, they remain important to the story.

It was reality TV that did not require the players or the audience to cheer for villainy or to accept finding pleasure in otherwise good people as they're prodded toward evil to achieve fame and importance.  Unlike virtually all other reality TV, "The Quest" made a powerful and unfortunately oblique statement:  We either all win together, or else accept that only one of us may stand at all, alone, corrupted by the experience, and ultimately needing to ask if the experience was worth the the self and the society that it created.  

At the end of "The Quest" you could feel good about everybody who competed, and good about yourself.  A little nerdy?  Yep.  Do we need myths like it in our popular media?  Yes.  Yes, we do.

You've always been better than a rose ceremony, or a tribal council, or a food judge's profanity-laced criticisms.  Keep that inner flame alive.  Resist the corruptions.  The hero could be called upon at any moment.

"The Quest," if you're now curious about it, is available for streaming via Netflix.  

Shout out to +Patrick Higgins, who I rooted for and who took the time to show up on Plus, and to #thequestarmy  , who refused to give up on a good thing, each one a hero.

//___

posted image

2015-07-09 09:15:19 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

A zombie turkey?  Dreamed I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen at an upscale food store.  The bird reanimated as I was preparing it and I was forced to put it down.  The dilemma:  do I keep preparing the zombie turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, or do I lose time and spend a ton of cash getting an expensive turkey in the store?

I have some ideas on my unconscious mind's purpose in telling the story.  But, the only thing less interesting than somebody telling you his dreams is that guy speculating to you on its meanings.

Here's a posting of a macabre tombstone to make this post have some reader interest.

//

Carry on.

A zombie turkey?  Dreamed I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen at an upscale food store.  The bird reanimated as I was preparing it and I was forced to put it down.  The dilemma:  do I keep preparing the zombie turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, or do I lose time and spend a ton of cash getting an expensive turkey in the store?

I have some ideas on my unconscious mind's purpose in telling the story.  But, the only thing less interesting than somebody telling you his dreams is that guy speculating to you on its meanings.

Here's a posting of a macabre tombstone to make this post have some reader interest.

//

Carry on.___

2015-07-07 00:41:45 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Just finished my 2015 emergency medicine protocol update course, including a quiz (passed) and fancy digital completion certificate.  Everybody has their sensitive spots in this stuff.  For me it's pediatric stuff.  I understand the need to observe video of children in medical emergencies.  If you don't know the signs and symptoms, you might not understand them when you see them.  But, did I need to see a video of two little girls getting hit by a car?  Sheeeesh!  Relax, both children were physically OK, they bounced great.  I think we're now all three at least a little psychically traumatized, though.

Just finished my 2015 emergency medicine protocol update course, including a quiz (passed) and fancy digital completion certificate.  Everybody has their sensitive spots in this stuff.  For me it's pediatric stuff.  I understand the need to observe video of children in medical emergencies.  If you don't know the signs and symptoms, you might not understand them when you see them.  But, did I need to see a video of two little girls getting hit by a car?  Sheeeesh!  Relax, both children were physically OK, they bounced great.  I think we're now all three at least a little psychically traumatized, though.___

2015-07-06 21:00:02 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world.

I've tried to make this my creed for the past 20 years. Failing, mostly. But trying.

My personal dilemma seems to be that the nearer I get to joy the farther I feel from the participation part. I am most personally joyful when I feel the most removed from others and their day-to-day.

I really don't care what you wear today. No fascination with relative sizes of butts or biceps. If you love, great, own it. If you hate, carry that, I can't make that my burden for you.

I seem most interested in others when they're in crisis. Bleeding out, literally or metaphorically. If you want to know a person and reach their truths, meet them in such moments. Do not panic or judge or pretend that you are The Solution. Just be there, doing no further harm, stopping the bleeding as best you can... more »

Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world.

I've tried to make this my creed for the past 20 years. Failing, mostly. But trying.

My personal dilemma seems to be that the nearer I get to joy the farther I feel from the participation part. I am most personally joyful when I feel the most removed from others and their day-to-day.

I really don't care what you wear today. No fascination with relative sizes of butts or biceps. If you love, great, own it. If you hate, carry that, I can't make that my burden for you.

I seem most interested in others when they're in crisis. Bleeding out, literally or metaphorically. If you want to know a person and reach their truths, meet them in such moments. Do not panic or judge or pretend that you are The Solution. Just be there, doing no further harm, stopping the bleeding as best you can because everybody deserves a little effort along the way to obtain their truths. You can help. Maybe. If you are a panic-type or screamer, please leave the vicinity. Go dial literal or figurative 911.

My truth is that I feel crushed under what to me seems like the banal absence of purpose in human day-to-day. I just get quieter. In my silence I begin to feel joy.

I once read a fantasy novel about a wizard character cursed to see everything and everybody in its ultimate decrepitude. A young beautiful woman appeared to him as a rotting crone, for example.

Life feels that way, often. As I age the monologue becomes more pronounced, when faced with (waves arms) all of this. It goes "OK, but why?," or "Uh huh, and then what?" or "I believe that you believe that you mean that, but you're not conscious of your truth or you wouldn't be so afraid."

Our paths, wandered to their ends, all appear to lead nowhere at all. What was the intention of any one thing? Why that role? Why that decision amid the universe of decisions? How does each story, great and small, end in much the same way, regardless of characters or plots?

As T.S. Eliot wrote, and Woody Allen used to comedic effect, "I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas." Maybe, metaphorically, I am. Though, I'd prefer a great deal more actual silence. You all are a noisy lot.

Today I think the following things:

-- We are endowed by our creator or whatever with life and reflective consciousness;

-- We possess the capacity for moral consciousness and decision-making. If we did not then sex wouldn't be as intensely interesting and nobody would care about a Kardashian;

-- We spend much of life afraid of things. Some of those happen. Most will never happen;

-- Most of us want to feel heard, seen and to feel like we matter. So, God became personal, to make us feel better, to feel less anxious and afraid. So, be nice to God. How many others will wear a face just for you?

-- You will die;

-- Everybody will die;

-- It's OK, don't panic, it's supposed to be like that;

-- Let the truth of the ending inform at least some of your decisions and actions;

-- Most of you are too noisy. Stop a moment. Does that matter really require that level of your energy and volume? Remember, the louder you get the louder others become to feel heard over you. Trick them and improve both the environment and the discourse. Go quieter. Experience the power of doing that;

-- You're fine. Except for what you've done to yourself. Stop that. Go back to just being fine. It's your natural state;

-- You must forgive the old gypsy woman for revealing your curse. (This last one may not apply to all.)

Meanwhile, I'm researching Buddhist monasteries that practice silence. Told that to an acquaintance. He innocently replied, "Buddhist? Don't you worry about a language barrier?" I blinked and said nothing, unsure of the ignorance or profundity of the question.

That's life.

//



___

2015-07-06 19:25:20 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Got an earful from somebody. A delayed reaction from a conversation last week.

The speaker told me he'd made an important decision based upon religious conviction. I probed that statement and got to its foundation. I observed, "So you've made a decision based in fear, to avoid divine retaliation. Not out of any moral wrestling with the matter. You have no gospel. You choose the defense, 'I was just following orders.'"

Today he verbally assaulted me for my statements. How dare I?! And so on.

That's one step in a progression of steps.

I sense a new gospel on its way. Worth placing one's self in harm's way to achieve, I think.

//

Got an earful from somebody. A delayed reaction from a conversation last week.

The speaker told me he'd made an important decision based upon religious conviction. I probed that statement and got to its foundation. I observed, "So you've made a decision based in fear, to avoid divine retaliation. Not out of any moral wrestling with the matter. You have no gospel. You choose the defense, 'I was just following orders.'"

Today he verbally assaulted me for my statements. How dare I?! And so on.

That's one step in a progression of steps.

I sense a new gospel on its way. Worth placing one's self in harm's way to achieve, I think.

//___

2015-07-06 19:00:48 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Me: I won't ask you to care about my nation's Independence Day if you'll stop being suspicious that I happen to know about your nation's history.

A Lebanese friend grew alarmed at my knowledge of his birthplace's old and recent history. This after disdainfully waving aside his ignorance of the U.S.A.'s latest celebration of the signing of its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

One reads books and articles.

It's OK to be ignorant about many things. It's never OK to excuse one's ignorance as politically correct, or to mistrust another's knowledge and experience because they aren't agreeable to one's politics. (Looking at you, Congress.)

//

Me: I won't ask you to care about my nation's Independence Day if you'll stop being suspicious that I happen to know about your nation's history.

A Lebanese friend grew alarmed at my knowledge of his birthplace's old and recent history. This after disdainfully waving aside his ignorance of the U.S.A.'s latest celebration of the signing of its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

One reads books and articles.

It's OK to be ignorant about many things. It's never OK to excuse one's ignorance as politically correct, or to mistrust another's knowledge and experience because they aren't agreeable to one's politics. (Looking at you, Congress.)

//___

2015-07-06 18:39:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Nicest compliment this month. Maybe of the season.

Him: You make me feel better not by bullshitting me about how special I am, but by assuring me that nobody is that special.

//

Nicest compliment this month. Maybe of the season.

Him: You make me feel better not by bullshitting me about how special I am, but by assuring me that nobody is that special.

//___

2015-07-02 20:03:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Her: You said I should do it!

Me: Actually, I slightly inclined my head and made an "Mm" sound.

Her: You didn't say not to do it.

Me: Neither am I caring that you did do it.

Her: Why do I even talk to you?

Me: (Slight inclination of head.) Mm.

//

Her: You said I should do it!

Me: Actually, I slightly inclined my head and made an "Mm" sound.

Her: You didn't say not to do it.

Me: Neither am I caring that you did do it.

Her: Why do I even talk to you?

Me: (Slight inclination of head.) Mm.

//___

2015-07-02 18:05:12 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

A common misconception of many bosses is that their support people share the boss' responsibilities, accountability and all of their motivations.

Once or twice a year I find myself in the situation where I must pause with the boss and explain the relationship. The transactional relationship. I provide quality services, s/he compensates me with money and benefits.

Thinking out loud around me is fine, but try not to project boss pressures onto me. I care to the extent that in good faith I've agreed to give hours of my life to another's goals in exchange for the aforementioned stuff. I do not misplace my care when a boss protests to me that the s/he cannot do his/her duty, as if that reason is my responsibility or I will be held somehow accountable for it.

Welcome to Anglo-Saxon Capitalism in the 21st century. Let's all do our jobs, bosses and... more »

A common misconception of many bosses is that their support people share the boss' responsibilities, accountability and all of their motivations.

Once or twice a year I find myself in the situation where I must pause with the boss and explain the relationship. The transactional relationship. I provide quality services, s/he compensates me with money and benefits.

Thinking out loud around me is fine, but try not to project boss pressures onto me. I care to the extent that in good faith I've agreed to give hours of my life to another's goals in exchange for the aforementioned stuff. I do not misplace my care when a boss protests to me that the s/he cannot do his/her duty, as if that reason is my responsibility or I will be held somehow accountable for it.

Welcome to Anglo-Saxon Capitalism in the 21st century. Let's all do our jobs, bosses and support, and try to avoid thinking about what doing our jobs says about all of us and the weird dysfunctional world we create together.

//___

posted image

2015-07-02 00:22:00 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I do believe this says more about me than about that character.  The new Colonel Sanders characterization for KFC?  If I met that guy in my neighborhood and he acted and laughed like that?  I'd be checking for that guy's name on my state's sex offender registry.  Doesn't at all inspire me to want to go to KFC.  (shiver)

I do believe this says more about me than about that character.  The new Colonel Sanders characterization for KFC?  If I met that guy in my neighborhood and he acted and laughed like that?  I'd be checking for that guy's name on my state's sex offender registry.  Doesn't at all inspire me to want to go to KFC.  (shiver)___

2015-07-01 15:39:46 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

(Waves north.)

Hi Canada. Have a nice day.

(Waves north.)

Hi Canada. Have a nice day.___

2015-06-29 20:21:02 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Cat bite

Me: That's infected.

Her: It's just a little red.

Me: And swollen, and warm. Infected.

Her: I think it'll be OK.

Me: I think you go on vacation next week. Just in time to be ending oral antibiotics. Not getting intravenous antibiotics while on vacation because that generalized redness resolves into red threads of incipient blood poisoning . . .

Her: Oh my god! I'll call my doctor's office, shut up!

Sometimes I insist upon getting my way.

//

Cat bite

Me: That's infected.

Her: It's just a little red.

Me: And swollen, and warm. Infected.

Her: I think it'll be OK.

Me: I think you go on vacation next week. Just in time to be ending oral antibiotics. Not getting intravenous antibiotics while on vacation because that generalized redness resolves into red threads of incipient blood poisoning . . .

Her: Oh my god! I'll call my doctor's office, shut up!

Sometimes I insist upon getting my way.

//___

2015-06-29 19:58:17 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Him: Done anything interesting lately?

Me: (Pondering the question.) I'm in an informal self-imposed experiment to see how long an almost 50 year old body can live mostly on peanut butter, dark chocolate, pistachios and coffee.

I'm lazy about and forgetful of physical realities. If it weren't for the husband and convenient foods I'm likely to forget to eat. At one particularly stressful and busy point in my life I realized I hadn't eaten in over two days. So, the current diet is a great improvement upon forgetful and invisible starvation.

Still. Just how long do you think a human body can sustain on such a diet? Fun experiment, given that I love each of the foods.

//

Him: Done anything interesting lately?

Me: (Pondering the question.) I'm in an informal self-imposed experiment to see how long an almost 50 year old body can live mostly on peanut butter, dark chocolate, pistachios and coffee.

I'm lazy about and forgetful of physical realities. If it weren't for the husband and convenient foods I'm likely to forget to eat. At one particularly stressful and busy point in my life I realized I hadn't eaten in over two days. So, the current diet is a great improvement upon forgetful and invisible starvation.

Still. Just how long do you think a human body can sustain on such a diet? Fun experiment, given that I love each of the foods.

//___

2015-06-29 18:08:28 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Every human story ultimately ends with, "Then s/he died.

The personal ending has been on my mind since about age 11. The age when I understood not just the fact of death, but its universality.

Not long after that realization I learned that the dead have a kind of afterlife, though not the ones taught to me in years of Southern Baptist Sunday School.

We mythologize the dead. The perfect mother. The world's greatest dad. The brother who had courage and talent and such possibilities. We tend to idealize the (safely) dead, refining their history down to those parts we consider most essential to their memory, to serve the living. A few we vilify, the bogeymen among the (thankfully) dead, like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot.

None of them ever come back. Our dead. Unless you believe in reincarnation or ghosts, which are other forms of... more »

Every human story ultimately ends with, "Then s/he died.

The personal ending has been on my mind since about age 11. The age when I understood not just the fact of death, but its universality.

Not long after that realization I learned that the dead have a kind of afterlife, though not the ones taught to me in years of Southern Baptist Sunday School.

We mythologize the dead. The perfect mother. The world's greatest dad. The brother who had courage and talent and such possibilities. We tend to idealize the (safely) dead, refining their history down to those parts we consider most essential to their memory, to serve the living. A few we vilify, the bogeymen among the (thankfully) dead, like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot.

None of them ever come back. Our dead. Unless you believe in reincarnation or ghosts, which are other forms of mythologizing the dead to serve a need among some of the living.

We all die. A common ending to our common human story.

We don't come back.

Have you ever considered the choices you're making--today, right now--balanced against the universal and inevitable truth? It might make a difference.

How you love. Choosing to love, including yourself, flaws and all.

Relaxing a bit, maybe deciding that the wars you've been fighting don't mean that much after all. Maybe it's more admirable and certainly more purposeful to enjoy today, to create a field where enjoyment is possible.

Speaking out against wrongs, because though Hitler is dead we've got ample proof of what we're capable of when the living don't act to counterbalance voices racing us toward suffering and needless death.

Lost my train of thought . . .

The X-Files is currently in production for six episodes to air next January. It makes me happy to think about it, having that to look forward to in the cold and dark of another Northern New England winter.

In The X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" a middle-aged psychic had the dubious gift of being able to know the time and circumstances of people's deaths. Scully impulsively asks him, "OK. How do I die." The man smiles and replies, "You don't." He later commits an act of self sacrifice that changes the future, saving Mulder.

Each day we change the future. Not the fact of that one ultimate and inevitable and universal truth--we are not Dana Scully. But, we do create. Ourselves. Our relationships. Our home. Our world.

Don't worry about the inevitable.

In fact, why worry at all?

What will you be and do today? You have today, after all.

//___

2015-06-29 17:02:19 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Regarding God

Her: I'm so sick of religion. How can I believe in any of it?

Me: God has bothered to evolve for you. Will you do even less than that, or nothing?

Her: God doesn't evolve!

Me: I think we've identified the potential root of your problem. Study God's history and get to know God, early in history to present. Like a human face at age 50, some say we get the God that we deserve. We certainly get the God of our time.

Her: Don't you worry that you're going to Hell, talking like that?

Me: Not after studying the evolution of Hell.

Her: Let's talk about something else.

Me: Agreed.

Regarding God

Her: I'm so sick of religion. How can I believe in any of it?

Me: God has bothered to evolve for you. Will you do even less than that, or nothing?

Her: God doesn't evolve!

Me: I think we've identified the potential root of your problem. Study God's history and get to know God, early in history to present. Like a human face at age 50, some say we get the God that we deserve. We certainly get the God of our time.

Her: Don't you worry that you're going to Hell, talking like that?

Me: Not after studying the evolution of Hell.

Her: Let's talk about something else.

Me: Agreed.___

posted image

2015-06-29 04:37:36 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

There's no drama like MMO drama.  My guild's leader went mental and abandoned us.  I wasn't upset by any of this until he made me leader just before storming out.  A rotten thing to do.

Next, the former leader's ongoing mental breakdown led him into public anger rants against his former guild.  I didn't sign up for any of this.  But, I like many of the people in this guild and some of them mistake me for a leader, so I decided to make some effort.

It's moments like this when I ask myself:  What would The Dude do?

I mixed a virgin White Russian and wrote an email to the officers of the guild:  "First, relax.  This is still just a game and everybody keeps their birthday.  By the end of this week we will decide to keep going, break up, or merge with another guild.  No matter what, by Saturday I will go back to my casual doofy styleof game p... more »

There's no drama like MMO drama.  My guild's leader went mental and abandoned us.  I wasn't upset by any of this until he made me leader just before storming out.  A rotten thing to do.

Next, the former leader's ongoing mental breakdown led him into public anger rants against his former guild.  I didn't sign up for any of this.  But, I like many of the people in this guild and some of them mistake me for a leader, so I decided to make some effort.

It's moments like this when I ask myself:  What would The Dude do?

I mixed a virgin White Russian and wrote an email to the officers of the guild:  "First, relax.  This is still just a game and everybody keeps their birthday.  By the end of this week we will decide to keep going, break up, or merge with another guild.  No matter what, by Saturday I will go back to my casual doofy style of game play, no longer The Leader. If we stay together, first order of business is to elect my successor."

Now I just need a rug that really pulls the room together.

//___

posted image

2015-06-27 00:16:46 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I probably need a British person older than 30 to answer this for me.  In the animated kids' show "Danger Mouse," what accent was Stiletto's in the original UK broadcasts?  In the USA in the 1980s the cable channel Nickelodeon aired the cartoons.  Stiletto had a Cockney accent.  Since then, he's got an Italian accent.  

Anybody know which came first:  Cockney Stiletto or Italian Stiletto?

Speaking of accents, I've read that Stephen Fry will voice Colonel K in the new episodes.  As the Colonel K would say, "Oh, jolly good show!"

I probably need a British person older than 30 to answer this for me.  In the animated kids' show "Danger Mouse," what accent was Stiletto's in the original UK broadcasts?  In the USA in the 1980s the cable channel Nickelodeon aired the cartoons.  Stiletto had a Cockney accent.  Since then, he's got an Italian accent.  

Anybody know which came first:  Cockney Stiletto or Italian Stiletto?

Speaking of accents, I've read that Stephen Fry will voice Colonel K in the new episodes.  As the Colonel K would say, "Oh, jolly good show!"___

posted image

2015-06-26 22:42:08 (19 comments, 0 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

Fried chicken. It's what's for supper.

Fried chicken. It's what's for supper.___

2015-06-26 21:09:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

I'm making fried chicken this weekend. Goin' full on Southern roots. I'll use lard as the frying fat.

Whatever fat you choose, for frying always choose one that can take a high temperature without going smoky. For instance, you don't use olive oil for frying. For frying chicken your thermometer should max out at 325 F.

I'm making fried chicken this weekend. Goin' full on Southern roots. I'll use lard as the frying fat.

Whatever fat you choose, for frying always choose one that can take a high temperature without going smoky. For instance, you don't use olive oil for frying. For frying chicken your thermometer should max out at 325 F.___

posted image

2015-06-26 18:52:05 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

My pick for Posting of the Week.

Via +Michael Babcock. Thank you, Michael.

___My pick for Posting of the Week.

Via +Michael Babcock. Thank you, Michael.

2015-06-26 18:15:50 (11 comments, 2 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Coworkers appear to congratulate me on the US Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriage. One (who is a witch, whether she knows that or not) perceived the ambivalence under my smile and "Thank you." We chatted about that.

Social equality for gays and lesbians is the goal, yes. A worthy and truly American goal, certainly. To me, scoring points off of this particular state-controlled institution, marriage, is a false social economy. Why is the state deciding upon any American marriages? The answers, and many exist, get to the core of my issues.

Why does the state get to control the levers that open or close opportunities based upon sexuality, gender, race, age or origin? The state should be in the business of guaranteeing citizen rights, not defining them according to piecemeal categories that speak loudly of our prejudices while ignoring the ideals... more »

Coworkers appear to congratulate me on the US Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriage. One (who is a witch, whether she knows that or not) perceived the ambivalence under my smile and "Thank you." We chatted about that.

Social equality for gays and lesbians is the goal, yes. A worthy and truly American goal, certainly. To me, scoring points off of this particular state-controlled institution, marriage, is a false social economy. Why is the state deciding upon any American marriages? The answers, and many exist, get to the core of my issues.

Why does the state get to control the levers that open or close opportunities based upon sexuality, gender, race, age or origin? The state should be in the business of guaranteeing citizen rights, not defining them according to piecemeal categories that speak loudly of our prejudices while ignoring the ideals of human liberty, regardless of our precious labels.

It's time to agree upon some basic principles about what makes a citizen emancipated, and then leave him or her alone. Then, responsibly and in the greatest interests of the republic dismantle and disengage the state from its legal, economic and social controls over the lives of its citizens.

Also, fix the nation's schools so that they raise generations of thinking and informed citizens. Throw in world peace and tigers and polar bears for the next 100,000 years.

I'm pleased with the Court's decision. I wish I lived in an America where the matter never needed judicial review.

Finally, when I called my coworker a witch I was stating a positive. Witchy women are cool and necessary.

//

___

2015-06-26 17:44:44 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

At last! The husband and I can plan that fabulous Kansas vacation.

At last! The husband and I can plan that fabulous Kansas vacation.___

posted image

2015-06-26 04:58:16 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Risible

Adjective.  Refers to something that provokes laughter.  "It was a risible moment involving stiletto heels and a banana peel."  Droll is a word with a similar meaning, also infrequently used in contemporary English.

Risible

Adjective.  Refers to something that provokes laughter.  "It was a risible moment involving stiletto heels and a banana peel."  Droll is a word with a similar meaning, also infrequently used in contemporary English.___

posted image

2015-06-26 04:28:01 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

"After" (2012) is a suspense/paranormal/horror movie now showing on Netflix.  I liked the soundtrack, a lot.  The story is OK.  It's not spoiling the movie to say that it plays on the "they were dead the whole time!" plot twist.  That's addressed by the leads not long into the movie.

Mild to moderate spoilers follow.

What's most annoyingly unbelievable to me is the developing romantic bond between the lead characters.  At the start of the movie they seem mismatched and unlikely.  As the story develops, a key plot point would indicate that the two most certainly would not leap toward a romantic bond.  A shared struggle, sure.  A lifelong bond delivered after frightening trials and a painful revelation, yep.  The treacly romance ending felt forced and unsatisfying.

"After" (2012) is a suspense/paranormal/horror movie now showing on Netflix.  I liked the soundtrack, a lot.  The story is OK.  It's not spoiling the movie to say that it plays on the "they were dead the whole time!" plot twist.  That's addressed by the leads not long into the movie.

Mild to moderate spoilers follow.

What's most annoyingly unbelievable to me is the developing romantic bond between the lead characters.  At the start of the movie they seem mismatched and unlikely.  As the story develops, a key plot point would indicate that the two most certainly would not leap toward a romantic bond.  A shared struggle, sure.  A lifelong bond delivered after frightening trials and a painful revelation, yep.  The treacly romance ending felt forced and unsatisfying.___

posted image

2015-06-26 03:21:55 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

For +Tejas Richard.

And for our own resident Moose, +Dat Moose, who should be fast asleep by now.  (If you don't know, DM, Moose is the character name of the girl on the left.)

Clip from the 1980s kids' show "You Can't Do That On Television."  If you want to see a very young Alanis Morissette, check out her clips from the show on YouTube.

For +Tejas Richard.

And for our own resident Moose, +Dat Moose, who should be fast asleep by now.  (If you don't know, DM, Moose is the character name of the girl on the left.)

Clip from the 1980s kids' show "You Can't Do That On Television."  If you want to see a very young Alanis Morissette, check out her clips from the show on YouTube.___

posted image

2015-06-26 02:45:40 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I watched the SyFy Channel mini series "Ascension" on Netflix.  It's just OK.  Assemble a pre-hippy 1960s American cultural ethos, put that onto a starship, add in a conspiracy and a murder, go heavy on class structure, just hint at race culture, sprinkle liberally with sexy-sexy, toss in a bit of the seemingly paranormal, garnish with a lesbian and you have "Ascension."  Features Tricia Helfer, who once played an important character on a much superior SyFy Channel science fiction drama that handled its characters and themes with greater interest and much better writing.  

I watched the SyFy Channel mini series "Ascension" on Netflix.  It's just OK.  Assemble a pre-hippy 1960s American cultural ethos, put that onto a starship, add in a conspiracy and a murder, go heavy on class structure, just hint at race culture, sprinkle liberally with sexy-sexy, toss in a bit of the seemingly paranormal, garnish with a lesbian and you have "Ascension."  Features Tricia Helfer, who once played an important character on a much superior SyFy Channel science fiction drama that handled its characters and themes with greater interest and much better writing.  ___

posted image

2015-06-26 02:32:21 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Penfold.
Shush.

Now, if Netflix adds "You Can't Do That On Television" my 1980s guilty pleasures will be restored to me.

Penfold.
Shush.

Now, if Netflix adds "You Can't Do That On Television" my 1980s guilty pleasures will be restored to me.___

posted image

2015-06-26 02:22:46 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

"Wayward Pines" asks too much of one's suspension of disbelief in setting up its surprises and twists.  It's pretty and stupid.  A combination I'm known not to mind from time to time.  

"Wayward Pines" asks too much of one's suspension of disbelief in setting up its surprises and twists.  It's pretty and stupid.  A combination I'm known not to mind from time to time.  ___

2015-06-25 19:53:42 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Her: How do you get away with that?

Me: With what?

Her: How you spoke to him!

Me: My tone was reasonable, calm and my words well enunciated. I think you wonder about what I said, not how it was said.

Her: What! Ever! You told him he's full of shit!

Me: No, I did not. I said that I accept that he does not believe what I told him. It's not my duty to convince him of anything, but I'd never say he's full of shit.

Her: Aren't you angry?

Me: No. But, if you'd like to be angry on my behalf, that's cool.

/

The older I get the less it seems that people listen. I'm often surprised at where and in what people invest their ego, and their frequent assumptions that I give similar shits.

It's not that I don't care. I'm choosy in where I place my... more »

Her: How do you get away with that?

Me: With what?

Her: How you spoke to him!

Me: My tone was reasonable, calm and my words well enunciated. I think you wonder about what I said, not how it was said.

Her: What! Ever! You told him he's full of shit!

Me: No, I did not. I said that I accept that he does not believe what I told him. It's not my duty to convince him of anything, but I'd never say he's full of shit.

Her: Aren't you angry?

Me: No. But, if you'd like to be angry on my behalf, that's cool.

/

The older I get the less it seems that people listen. I'm often surprised at where and in what people invest their ego, and their frequent assumptions that I give similar shits.

It's not that I don't care. I'm choosy in where I place my care. If it crossed my mind to say to another that he's full of shit, then I'd have to own that that person or their matter has some kind of claim on me. That doesn't happen a lot because it seems like a colossal waste of time and mental and emotional resources.

I'm open to arguments about that.

Sorry for the blue words.

//___

posted image

2015-06-19 22:56:35 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I can't count how many times I've played this movie.  I can't say that I watched it countless times since it's often on as background in my day.  Usually at work.  "World War Z" and my job just complement each other.

I appreciate the humor of this "Everything Wrong with 'World War Z' in Six Minutes or Less," though some of the things called wrong are not really wrong to me.

But, the movie does require several moments of high suspension of disbelief.  Chief among these is a planet's willingness to bail out Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) at every critical moment in the movie.  Examples:

-- Nobody tries to take the Philadelphia RV and the family Lane have no trouble driving right out of the city.  So nice of a terrorized and panic-stricken population to make way for Gerry and his family;

--  He's so importantthat t... more »

I can't count how many times I've played this movie.  I can't say that I watched it countless times since it's often on as background in my day.  Usually at work.  "World War Z" and my job just complement each other.

I appreciate the humor of this "Everything Wrong with 'World War Z' in Six Minutes or Less," though some of the things called wrong are not really wrong to me.

But, the movie does require several moments of high suspension of disbelief.  Chief among these is a planet's willingness to bail out Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) at every critical moment in the movie.  Examples:

-- Nobody tries to take the Philadelphia RV and the family Lane have no trouble driving right out of the city.  So nice of a terrorized and panic-stricken population to make way for Gerry and his family;

--  He's so important that the UN seeks him out, personally, diverting material and personnel to find and bring him in;

--  A slacker pharmacist will pause during a zombie apocalypse to give Gerry Lane medicine for his kid, referencing his own kid, which he seems in no similar hurry to rescue, just pensively watching as Gerry races back to his own family;

--  He meets the one Latino family in a Trenton, New Jersey, tenement willing to open its door to strangers during a zombie apocalypse;

And so on and so forth through the entire movie.  Had Gerry Lane not been the luckiest man in the world, humanity may never figured how the ZA "disguised its weakness as strength" and brought humanity to the tide turning conclusion.

I may not have completely absorbed every sound effect, bit of dialogue and music cue, though.  (Punches up "World War Z" on Netflix.)___

posted image

2015-06-19 19:39:47 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

219 days . . .

I have such a gay fan boy crush on both Anderson and Scully. I'd enjoy talks over meals with Anderson, and work and talks about cases with Scully.

Then we all pile into Cher's helicopter to escape the city at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse . . .

I really need to get some quality sleep tonight. Please, nobody get sick or hurt tonight.


219 days . . .

I have such a gay fan boy crush on both Anderson and Scully. I'd enjoy talks over meals with Anderson, and work and talks about cases with Scully.

Then we all pile into Cher's helicopter to escape the city at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse . . .

I really need to get some quality sleep tonight. Please, nobody get sick or hurt tonight.
___

posted image

2015-06-19 18:11:04 (16 comments, 1 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

Friday face. A little under-slept.

Did you know that there are islands in the southern Atlantic called Shag Rocks? At first I misread it as Shaq Rocks and considered that celebrity and corporate branding might finally be going too far.

Shag Rocks total combined area: 49 acres.
Human population: Zero.

Sounds idyllic.

//

Friday face. A little under-slept.

Did you know that there are islands in the southern Atlantic called Shag Rocks? At first I misread it as Shaq Rocks and considered that celebrity and corporate branding might finally be going too far.

Shag Rocks total combined area: 49 acres.
Human population: Zero.

Sounds idyllic.

//___

2015-06-19 15:34:25 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Is race a lie agreed upon?

It's like asking what makes you American, or French, or any number of hyphenated identities as a subset of a national or state identity.

It's like asking what makes you Catholic, or atheist, or Protestant, and then filling in the appropriate discriminator that further defines how you stand with your group with regard to your relationships with your fellows and the gods.

Law is an idea agreed upon. Without law we wouldn't have societies as we know them. One can argue whether some ideas about law make them natural laws, obvious things based upon our experience of living a human life on planet Earth. Natural or not, we agree upon the idea of law, whether or not we are conscious that rule of law requires our willing agreement.

Where do ideas about race, the notions we have about each other based upon skin color and... more »

Is race a lie agreed upon?

It's like asking what makes you American, or French, or any number of hyphenated identities as a subset of a national or state identity.

It's like asking what makes you Catholic, or atheist, or Protestant, and then filling in the appropriate discriminator that further defines how you stand with your group with regard to your relationships with your fellows and the gods.

Law is an idea agreed upon. Without law we wouldn't have societies as we know them. One can argue whether some ideas about law make them natural laws, obvious things based upon our experience of living a human life on planet Earth. Natural or not, we agree upon the idea of law, whether or not we are conscious that rule of law requires our willing agreement.

Where do ideas about race, the notions we have about each other based upon skin color and origins intersect with our ideas about identity, and morality, and law? Should there be any intersections?

What is the boundary where ideas agreed upon become a hindrance rather than a help to all of us?

Do we need race at all? Are we all just perpetuating an idea that no longer serves anybody who seeks the greatest good for the most people?

Why do we keep checking the boxes that mark us out as this color of human, that brand of Homo sapiens, this style of talking ape?

//___

Buttons

A special service of CircleCount.com is the following button.

The button shows the number of followers you have directly in a small button. You can add this button to your website, like the +1-Button of Google or the Like-Button of Facebook.






You can add this button directly in your website. For more information about the CircleCount Buttons and the description how to add them to another page click here.

Alvin StearnsCircloscope