’20 A to Z Challenge – R

Now that we have another generation on its way, we have to consider  three words

Rambunctious

difficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous
turbulently active and noisy:
informal boisterous; unruly

Raucous

harsh; strident; grating:
rowdy; disorderly:
(of voices, cries, etc) harshly or hoarsely loud

Roister

to act in a swaggering, boisterous, or uproarious manner.
to engage in noisy merrymaking; revel
to brag, bluster, or swagger

Boy or girl, we don’t plan to sheath the child in Amazon bubble wrap.  The kid will be allowed to be a kid.  We’re just facing the reality that a male child will be slightly more statistically likely to get into some kind of physical trouble than a girl.

It’s not that I, or the son, or the Grandson, weren’t inquisitive, active and adventurous.  We’ve each been warned by police in our youth, but, intelligence, planning and luck kept us all out of Emergency wards…. mostly.

I was 40 before I skidded a bicycle on wet grass in a park, and broke – well, cracked – a bone, a rib, by driving a bony elbow into my side.  My first suture came at 21, when I had a tooth removed.  We can’t really add a fourth ‘R’ word – Rowdy – to the Grandson’s ER visit, when a neighbor kid pushed him and a lawn chair over, and he landed on an aluminum tent peg hidden in long grass.

The son was born with a disproportionately large head, to stuff all those IQ points into.  It affected his center of balance as he grew, sometimes causing him to fall over as he learned to walk and run.  He always tipped his head back, and met the ground with the point of his chin.  By the time he was 6, he had accumulated 23 stitches.  He sports a big, bushy beard now, but hidden in the middle, is a dime-sized bald spot of scar tissue.

I imagine that the Grandson will be laying in a supply of SpongeBob-Squarepants bandages, and some Super Glue ™, something that is common now for treating small cuts and gashes, but did not exist when I, and the son, were boys being boys.

Ahhhh, the luxury of being able to sit back and observe the oncoming mayhem from two generations away.  Do you have any police/doctor stories about you or your kids that are safe to share??  😕

WOW #63

Someone is always trying to control you.  It has been going on for millennia.  I recently came upon an even-rarer-than-usual word which proves it.

ATHANATICS

The use of the word is so uncommon, that it is almost impossible to find in a dictionary or search engine.  The concept has been around for as long as there have been alpha-males who want to inflict their views on others.  The term seems to have arisen about 400 AD, based on Athanasius of Alexandria.

As the Bishop of Alexandria, he used social, political, and religious power to eliminate heresy, and enforce his beliefs about Christian Orthodoxy.  The definitional value is to create an ideal world, although your definition of “ideal” probably greatly differs from whoever seizes the right to impose theirs.  Athanasius’ idea of ideal, was blind obedience, uniformity and conformity – no free thinking allowed.

In Poul Anderson’s World Without Stars, the antithantic prevents age and disease but memories must be artificially edited. In Anderson’s The Boat Of A Million Years, eight mutant immortals survive through history until the athanatics are developed.

In Larry Niven’s Known Space future history, ‘Boosterspice’ extends life indefinitely, and protectors, who have eaten “tree of life,” live until killed.

1970Nigel CalderTechnopolis: Social Control of the Uses of ScienceSimon and Schuster

If only a minority of the athanatic technologies summarized in this book comes to practical fruition in humans — and some of them are mutually contradictory — there will be plenty of moral, legal and political issues to perplex us.

England is perhaps the most athanatic country in the world.  “The Wild” has almost completely been eliminated.  There are still stands of (hardwood) forests, but they are open and welcoming, with paths, trails, tiny roads, and bridges over streams.  It is almost impossible to get lost, in any dangerous sense.

In the developed world, science and technology have done much to make life ideal, but the more we are protected from harm, the more freedom and control of our lives, we lose.  When motorized vehicles were new, they were cumbersome things that required training and knowledge, care and control, to safely operate.  Many attained all of these, but quick and handy transportation meant that far more did not.

In 1906, there were only 8 motor-cars in the entire city of Cincinnati, yet somehow, two of them managed to crash, head-on, into each other.  Soon came control – the requirement for driving licenses, speed limits, stop signs and traffic lights.

Early cars had manual transmissions.  Drivers had to understand gears and clutches.  I very much liked the feel of controlling a ‘standard’.  I did so until cars with gearshifts became so rare that buyers had to pay a premium for them.  All of my motorcycles had gearshifts.  Now, even many motorcycles are equipped with automatic transmissions.  It just takes away the fun, the thrill, of doing it yourself.  I was recently passed by a large motorcycle with its radio blaring, so that the rider could hear it over the wind noise.  I was almost surprised that the rider didn’t have Wi-Fi direct to built-in earphones in his helmet.

The flying cars that we have been promised for almost a century have failed to emerge, because technology has not advanced far enough.  We’ve seen what destruction and chaos inattentive fools can create in two dimensions.  I hate to imagine what they might accomplish in three dimensions.

AI, and self-driving cars are almost perfected.  When that is accomplished, we might move on to individual, self-flying cars.  They might satisfy the general population, who just want to get from place to place.  For archaic fools like me, who still want the feel of doing something, AI is a smothering pillow.  I want to control what my vehicle is doing.  With self-drivers, I can’t start, stop or steer.  I can’t drive 10 MPH over the speed limit if I’m foolishly late.  Even if I could override the controls, the manufacturer put in a black box that will tell Big Brother, and my insurance company, if I did.

The world continues to be safer, tamer, more ‘ideal,’ but, more and more, we end up swaddled in Amazon bubble wrap, protected, but divorced from reality and any chance of adventure.  This may be acceptable to a large percentage of the population, but we still need some who dare, who search, who triumph.  The New World was not discovered or conquered by a boatload of chartered accountants.

’20 A To Z Challenge – L


What else do I need to say??! I’m not usually tongue-tied, although some people have suggested that it should be put in handcuffs…. Tongue-cuffs??…. I’ll check with the ‘Adult Store.’ They may have something really, fucking kinky.

LALOCHEZIA everyone! Shed the stress. 😈 If you make bail on the public profanity charge, stop back in a couple of days.
***

Adventures In Non-Sequitur Land

This is a framed copy of a reproduction of a Saturday Evening Post cover. It, and a mug with his name, –CYRIL – were all I got back from the nursing home, after my Father died. I don’t know where, or when, or how, he obtained it. I never saw it hanging in my parents’ little house.

Those who know me, know that I am Psmith. Dad was always a little distant, and self-centered. It pleases me to believe that the why that he obtained it, was because of me.

A year ago, when I wanted to attach it to my ‘I’ve Never Herd Of Smith’ post, I kept getting a message from WordPress – Error. Unable to upload image. There are two copies of this image, one taken with a camera, and the other with the scanner/printer. WordPress would accept neither. Recently – JUST BECAUSE – I tried again, and it slid smoothly into the Media file.   😳

WOW #62

Television

I suffer from tinnitus.  Oh, my wife actually has it, but I must endure the consequences.  She cannot sit quiet in the living room, reading or knitting.  For her, it is never quiet.  To drown out the internal whistles, squeaks and crackling, she has the TV on constantly, as background noise.

Her constant quest to play something inconsequential, leads to this Word Of The Week.

HINTERLAND

Often hinterlands. the remote or less developed parts of a country; back country: The hinterlands are usually much more picturesque than the urban areas.
the land lying behind a coastal region.
an area or sphere of influence in the unoccupied interior claimed by the state possessing the coast.
an inland area supplying goods, especially trade goods, to a port.

Several years ago, before we cut the cable, Canadian TV stations sometimes added a little PSA between one show and the next, called Hinterland Who’s Who.  We would get a little 30-second introduction to loons, ruffed grouse, or brown bears.

I have been involuntarily exposed to subtitled shows from Iceland, which was settled by Norway, and from Sweden.  While trying to do crossword puzzles, or read, myself, I’ve been exposed to 4 seasons of a show titled Bordertown, which I thought might be Detroit, Bellingham, WA, or Laredo, TX..  Turns out that it’s Saint Petersburg, Russia, with half the dialog in Russian, and the other half in Finnish.  It’s hard to figure a 4-letter kitchen appliance in the middle of a United Nations debate – with gunfire.

My reading was distracted by 5 seasons of Shetland, a British police procedural set on an island off the west coast of Scotland, where the sheep outnumber the humans, 500 to 1.  I thought that the most likely illegal offense might be bestiality, but the already meager population was reduced by at least one, in each episode.  The wife drooled over the many gorgeous knit sweaters worn by the plodding hero.

I thought that my life wasn’t particularly interesting or adventurous, but Shetland attracted enough viewers to lead BBC-TV to follow it with Hinterland, an attention-grabber Yawn set on the rocky Scottish peninsula that projects toward the island of Shetland.  Here, the ratio of sheep to people is only 400:1, and folks speak English almost as well as those on Iceland.

The son has acquired a set of Dr. Dre Beats headphones.  I often try to speak to him, only to realize that he is listening to audio for something that he is watching on his tablet.  The muffs disappear into his shaggy hair.  Maybe I could wear them, disconnected, as sound-deadeners.  I’d use the ones that I wear when I mow the lawn, but she would be somehow disturbed and insulted.  Silence is golden – but I get the brassy alternative.

Please quietly return soon, for my next whine and cheesy party.

Adaptation/Evolution

SDC10178

When the cats say that it’s time for a nap – IT’S TIME FOR A NAP!

Puppy Litter

When puppies or kittens are born, they quickly learn to huddle together in a ball, especially if Momma’s not there. This behavior seems to come from adaptive evolution. It makes the pile look like a single, larger animal to any potential passing predator. The puppy-pile, or kitten-clowder often has the strongest, alpha, animal at its center, and the runt exiled to the edge.

The greatest benefit of these mounds, is the conservation of body heat. This is particularly important for feral animals which are born outside. Every once in a while – not every litter – a puppy or kitten leaves the safety of the group, adventuresome, daring, brave, inquisitive – to explore its world. This is not a safe or good thing to do. Research shows that any young animal that does this has a 75% of dying. They achieve the label of ‘maverick’, whose origins are explained here. https://atkinsbookshelf.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/the-person-behind-the-word-maverick/

THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL YOU, MAKES YOU STRONGER.

Oh, the vistas to be seen! The world to be explored. The things to be learned. The empires to be seized.

Excess Canadian grey wolves were trapped, and transported to Yellowstone Park, to repopulate the area, after an unusual die-off. Included was a young omega male, a runt which all the other wolves harassed or ignored. Early his first winter there, he disappeared. Park Ranger observers thought that he had starved to death, or been killed.

The next spring, it was discovered that he had crossed over the nearby mountain pass. He had defeated an older alpha male, taken over a pack, and proceeded to mate with the females and produce litters of strong pups to follow him.

Whether you believe that we are merely animals like the rest, or divinely created by a God, human beings would do well to take note of this type of situation. In social, political, or religious situations, great insights are obtained, great things are learned, and great advancements are made, by those who step outside their comfort zone – who leave the warm security of the puppy pile. It’s worth the risk. Be brave! Learn or create something new.

Of course, I want you to continue to do the same old thing, and stop back here again in a couple of days, when my mind wanders off over a mental mountain pass, and breeds a completely different post.

I Know That I Promised

Island

I know that I promised, and I know that most of you have read about it, but this story was just too precious, not to comment on.

American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island

John Allen Chau had to know that what he was about to do was extremely dangerous.

Mr. Chau, thought to be in his 20s, was floating in a kayak off a remote island in the Andaman Sea. He was about to set foot on one of the most sealed-off parts of India, an island inhabited by a small, highly enigmatic tribe whose members have killed outsiders for simply stepping on their shore.

Fishermen warned him not to go. Few outsiders had ever been there. Indian government regulations clearly prohibited any interaction with people on the island, called North Sentinel.

While I was reading this story, I wondered what this guy was – some sort of super-jock survivalist, out to prove that he had was the biggest dick??! Then came the punch line.

But Mr. Chau pushed ahead in his kayak, which he had packed with a Bible. After that, it is a bit of a mystery what happened. On Wednesday, the Indian authorities said that Mr. Chau had been shot with bows and arrows by tribesmen when he got on shore. It was a “misplaced adventure,’’ said Dependra Pathak, the police chief.

No, it wasn’t!! There is no mystery. This was not “an adventure.” This self-made martyr was an unwelcome Christian missionary, too arrogant and stupid to stay out of harm’s way. The article doesn’t say if he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but apparently there are even some Indian people who don’t like telemarketers. 😯

He violated the laws of India, which clearly forbid him from interfering with the natives. He violated the rules of his own missionary group, who urged him not to go, and he disobeyed Christ’s own Biblical directives. Jesus said to go by twos, to spread the word. Christ obviously knew the need for backup, but Chau insisted on going alone – probably because he couldn’t find anyone else crazy enough to go with him.

Christ said, “If you offer the word to a people, and they refuse it, depart from that place and leave them.” Chau swam ashore one day, and the natives shot arrows at him, obviously not willing to accept him (or Him) and The Word. The only arrow to hit, struck his Bible. He believed that God had spared him. Instead of departing from that place, he swam back out to the fish boat, but returned the next day.

He is apparently unmarried and childless, so he qualifies for the Darwin Award. He’s not your usual, testosterone-infused gym-jock. He is was something even worse – A faith-infused Jesus-Jock. At least he managed to kill only himself.

I repeat from my post, “What’s wrong with a comfortable delusion?” Because, not every time, but ultimately, and inevitably, it leads to the likes of:

Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre – 918 good Christians dead.
Uganda, Nov. 2018 – more than 918 black Christian sect suicide deaths
David Koresh and the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco – 75 faithful and 4 FBI agents dead
Heaven’s Gate cult mutilation and suicides – 39 dead
Solar Temple Order – 74 dead in Quebec, France, and Switzerland
South Korean ‘Benevolent Mother’ sect – 32 poisoned and strangled

And these are just the recent, penny-ante examples. How about the Inquisition, where thousands were horribly tortured and executed, or the Crusades, where hundreds of thousands died on faraway battlefields, or through disease or starvation, including excess population children?

And these are still penny-ante! How about the delusionally manipulated European peasants of the Dark Ages?? The Church convinced them that cats were the minions of Satan, so they killed them all off – which allowed rats to proliferate – which promoted the growth of fleas infected with bubonic plague – which killed off over 1/3 of the total population of Europe…. Millions and Millions!

Anyone who doesn’t see, or denies the relationship, is more than comfortably deluded. Not to seem harsh, but, aside from the FBI agents in Waco, I don’t really give a damn. It’s a self-solving problem. It’s about as important as being unfriended on FaceBitch: it’s like the garbage taking itself out. 😈

Delusion does nothing but hold us back. Truth is far more important than all of the soothing lies and should be sought in all instances. I know that sometimes the lies can give you temporary peace, but in the end, somebody always gets hurt.

A To Z Challenge – R

 

Challenge '18letter-r

RECOVERY

Hedge Clippers

I HAD A VASECTOMY!  I know, I know!  TMI!  TMI!  The guys are now clenched so hard that they could hold an aspirin with their butt-cheeks, and the women are diplomatically trying hard not to smile.  Still, it’s something that should be mentioned.

After a few years of marriage, I had produced a couple of offspring and a paltry paycheck, so we decided to stave off poverty, using birth control.  ‘The Pill’ was available, but difficult to obtain, and expensive.  Using Ontario’s “free” socialized medicine, either the wife or I could get sterilized.

If she has her tubes tied, it’s three or four days of extreme discomfort, and a week to recover….all while I’m taking care of a 4-year-old, and a 1-year-old.  If I have the snip, it’s a couple of days of mild discomfort, and I get waited on.  The choice wasn’t difficult.  Some years later, my brother also decided to have it done.  He drove to the hospital on a Saturday morning…. but couldn’t bring himself to go in.

I got the idea for this post from another woman, whose husband was given a Valium at the hospital, to calm him down, and had an interesting reaction.  I’ll tell you about him in a couple of weeks, when I write about ‘S for surgery.’  I wanted to tell my tale first, so I titled it ‘Recovery.’  I already have a word picked out for V, so I don’t need either Vasectomy (easy, guys), or Valium.

When she wrote of her husband’s Valium adventures, I made the following comment:

Now I feel cheated. I didn’t get a Valium. They may not have been invented back when I had the procedure. I had it done in the doctor’s office on a Friday morning, before I went to work. I got a local anesthetic injection, and went to the office after.  The doctor who actually performed the procedure was another, of three doctors sharing a practice.  I wasn’t told why at the time, but found out later that my doctor was a barely-functioning alcoholic.  I am so glad that he didn’t get his shaky hands on my delicate crotch.

The shot was just wearing off by the time I left work at 5 PM. Still, I only took 4 of the 8 pain pills Doc gave me, over the weekend. He warned me that I would feel like I got kicked in the groin by a horse. Actually, I didn’t. I looked like a horse had kicked me – bruises in colors not normally found in nature.  Her husband was grumpy after the meds wore off.  I purposely had mine on a Friday, then I had the entire weekend to be grumpy, and there was that bag of frozen peas that never made it to the table.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll tell you a tale about the dangers of drug use – even if it was just an innocent little Valium, but please come back before then.  We have other topics to discuss.  😀

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – J

 

Challenge '18
Letter J

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re sorry.  The blog-site that you are currently attempting to connect with, is temporarily out of service…. because we’re on a

JOURNEY

If you’re reading this, it means that my unpaid assistant has done his unpaid job, and clicked ‘Publish’ for this post, which I left queued-up for him.  I am not sufficiently tech-savvy to be left unsupervised with a ‘schedule post’ program.  In fact, only recently, Bell Canada insisted that I give up my rotary-dial telephone.

It was the last one in my telephone exchange area, and they couldn’t afford to maintain my ‘clickety-click’ system, along with the new beep-beep boop-boop one.  I guess they can’t blow the dust out of the new fibre-optic lines, the way they used to with the old electrical ones.

If we merely go to Detroit for some weekend shopping, should a medical situation arise, it’s a quick trip back across the border into socialized-medicine land.  For a week away, 12 hours drive from the nearest Canada, we will be purchasing out-of-country medical insurance from CAA, AAA’s little brother.  Please, nobody mention ‘giddy’ as a pre-existing condition.

We’re not allowed to bring anything toxic back, so we’ll stay away from all Tweets.  We might get close enough to the White House to hear that twit Trump, trumpet.  We might even get to see him playing bocce ball on the front lawn with the North Korean Rocket Man, using nuclear warheads.

We’ll be staying west of DC proper, just left of where Donald Trump hangs out these days.  Of course with Trump, pretty much everyone is to his political left.  Someone should censor him by slipping him a placebo smart-phone, that only looks like it’s actually working.

It’s a good thing that there’s a 140 character limit on Twitter.  Can you imagine how many people he could offend with 300?  He should be put on Twitter-Lite….only 14 characters.  He has surrounded himself with quite a few characters, some of whom last longer than others because they can say, “Yes, Mr. President.  You’re absolutely right, sir.”

This journey is the ‘We’re Going To Rants’ and ‘Sisterhood Of The Blog’ trip that I’ve been threatening you with for months.  We’ll be out of our minds the country for about a week, so, there’ll be no new posts for a while, and likely damned few responses to comments, so feel free to talk about us among yourselves for a while.

I’d suggest that, after reading this post, you get some rest, because I’m sure that I’ll have a shopping bag full of fun facts and photos when we get back.

‘Journey’ is an ‘80s, San Francisco rock band.  If you click, they’ll tell you how much I Don’t Stop Believing that this is one of the greatest adventures of my life.  I’ll see you back here soon, with a big smile on my face.   😀  😎  🌯

A Poem About My First Car

Poetry

SDC10575

There won’t be much poem
I had to tow the thing home

It was a dark British green
An ugly shade to be seen

It was never much fun
The damned thing wouldn’t run

It was a ’52 Morris
It wouldn’t start for us

I got it for free
The owner overcharged me

It came home from a farm
The chickens did it some harm

We towed it home with a rope
I never had any hope

I didn’t take time to love it
I just quickly said ‘Shove it’

Mr. Snake-Oil did offer
An older trade he did proffer

vauxhall

I can’t think of a rhyme for ‘learning experience.’  If you haven’t already, but would like to read about my early automotive adventures, click to go back to read about My First Cars.

WOW #27

Bagpipes

Today, we look at my Scottish heritage from the outside. The Word Of the Week is

Doodlesack

Doodlesack, a respelling of German Dudelsack “bagpipe,” literally “bagpipe sack,” is a rare word in English. The German word is, or seems to be, a derivative of dudeln “to tootle” (unless the verb is a derivative of the noun). Even in German Dudelsack appears not to be a native word but is likely to be a borrowing from a Slavic language, e.g., Polish and Czech dudy “bagpipe.” Doodlesack entered English in the mid-19th century.

I can’t blow my brains out.  I may huff and puff on my blog site, but the last time I could extinguish all the candles on my birthday cake, I was about 9 years old.  I love the soul-stirring skirl of the pipes, but I couldn’t inflate a set of bagpipes.  Even just picking one up is like wrestling a spastic squid.

Bagpipe music is not for everyone. Like kimchi, it’s an acquired taste that not all people acquire.  At a cultural festival in the park, when a piper stopped playing, a little old lady approached him and said, “If you stop squeezing that cat so hard, it will stop screeching.”

Click here if you’d like to see and hear AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ played on a set of flame throwing bagpipes.  A British couple got, what they thought were, really cheap tickets to a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert.  They flew to Dublin to see a show by “The Red Hot Chilli Pipers“, a cover band that does all the Pepper tunes on bagpipes.

I read a Scottish adventure/mystery story one time, where the hero was a piper. He was practicing, standing on a rocky crag above a deep, fast, mountain river, when a sniper shot at him.  He tumbled into the raging waters and, although the shooter watched for a long, long time, he never surfaced…. until the next chapter.  Scottish pipers have lungs as big as their bagpipes.  He held his breath for almost 4 minutes.

My hometown had a well-established, and forgiving, Scottish Presbyterian Church. Shortly after World War II, a series of Scottish preachers immigrated to Canada.  Each would be placed in our town for a few years, until he’d learned the social ways and lost most of his Scottish burr, and then another would come out to replace him.

The Presbyterian Manse was directly across the street from my house. As a small boy, three ministers in a row brought their bagpipes with them.  On the upper floor, there was a double-wide, 40-foot-long hallway, with 10 foot ceilings.  When they had successfully composed the week’s sermon, each would celebrate by striding the hall while playing the bagpipes.

As soon as I would hear the first skirl, I would rush over, (I was allowed to) let myself in, and sit, out of the way, in absolute awe at the close-up sound of the pipes. Sadly now, the only time I seem to hear bagpipes, is at a funeral, if someone important dies.  ‘Amazing Grace’ is a lovely song, but I pine for ‘Scotland the Bra’e.’

Doodlesack indeed!!?  Making fun of my cultural music and instrument??!  That’s as bad as me making fun of rap music….no, wait, that’s justified.  Rap – so that Negroes with otherwise absolutely no talent, can make outrageous amounts of money.

Stop back again in a couple of days, when my rants aren’t quite so outrageous.