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Grief

A high school friend and I re-connected on Facebook a while back. She is also a photog hobbyist. And I do have fond memories of her as a kind person.

She recently lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly.

I've been watching her Facebook posts, and I finally decided to send her some of my own history, as a way of helping her realize these emotions were all normal. She seemed to appreciate the message.

Fazer xixi, lol

As many K-D posts as I have made lately, I must be feeling pretty darned chatty!

I learned a very important phrase today -- 'to pee'. I had been meaning to ask my Brazilian friend about child words -- go potty, go pee-pee, #1 and #2, that sort of thing.

Today we were commiserating about how fricken' hot it has been! He told me the only time he had gone out of the house was to take the dog out to 'go peepee' -- fazer xixi, lol! Pronounced like fah-ZEHR shee-shee.

i replaced his dog's name with the word for dog in Portuguese.


I still need to ask about the other child words. And I also want to ask about what you say when you get up at dinner to go the bathroom. I know in English, you're just supposed to say 'Excuse me' and leave, but usually I say 'I'll be back -- heading to the bathroom'. I would like to know what you say in Brazil. Also, if it's just a guy, I might say 'Gotta take a piss' or something like that. It depends on who you're with!

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My First Hummingbird Moth!

I knew of Hummingbird Moths (Clearwing Sphinx Moths), but I had never seen one. Or rather, I had probably seen one and thought it was a bee!

Most moths feed at night, but Sphinx Moths feed during the day. The one in my front garden was colored like a bumblebee, but I noticed it had a little tail, odd to my eye. And I noticed it hovered like a hummingbird.

In this case, I think it was a Snowberry Clearwing (or Bumblebee Clearwing). I grabbed my old Rebel and got a few shots. The moth was pretty small and I almost couldn't see what I was photographing, but I figured I could crop the photos and find out later. As I was photographing it, I notice the proboscis (like a butterfly!)

More info here --> http://ninnescahlife.wichita.edu/node/404

First pictures below are cropped. Second pictures are full sized to give you an idea of how small the moth was.

Set 1






Set 2






Set 3






In any event, I was pretty pleased to notice it and to see my first. I also saw a small hummingbird out front the other morning -- no camera on me, and he/she didn't hang around long when I started moving!

The flowers out front have been a really nice thing to have!

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Hot out!

It was hot as the hinges of hell today. I walked around downtown to check out a couple of the new murals for this year (I think this is the last year of the mural project, now that they have reached the goal of 100 murals).





Black and white street --

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I realized I needed to close the loop on the prostate biopsy. I got the results back this past week, and everything is fine. Results benign. (Although I'm not completely healed, but at least the blood coming out is now 'brown', so I'm assuming the healing is almost done).

The doctor told me that he did 3 biopsies that day and I was the only negative one. I expected it to be fine -- cancer does not run in the family. There have been some one offs (ovarian and oral), but generally, my family dies of heart problems. I told the doc I was glad the results were benign because I had not prepared for the other answer!


Went to Belle Isle last night -- I just needed to be outside, near the river. Scoped out the pawpaws, but they are still small and green -- not ready for picking yet. Got a good walk in!











Ferns out back, taken while I was having breakfast one morning. In keeping with my Sabbatical, I'm still spending breakfast outside every day, front porch or back deck.

End of a quiet weekend

I needed a quieter weekend, after all the social life, medical test, etc. from this past week and weekend.

Yesterday, I headed to the Botanical Gardens to look at butterflies. Turns out the facility was damaged in the storms from a few weeks ago too, so the butterflies were just starting to hatch again, and there were only a few butterflies in the greenhouse.









Family lunch today, so I visited the old farm and took some pictures --







One of my sisters gave me a Portuguese dictionary for my birthday. I sent a picture to my Brazilian friend.

The fires are burning.

Fires are burning all over the globe -- France, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Brazil, the US, Britain...pretty much everywhere you look, things are on fire. Timing wise, this lines up with the Generational Turning Theory. I have posted about the Generational Turning theory before -- http://karmicdragonfly.livejournal.com/354801.html.

The idea is that western society is in a cycle of about 4 generations -- about 80ish years -- where in the 4th part of the cycle (the 4th Turning), institutions are torn down and rebuilt. The last one (according to the authors of the book) was the the Great Depression and WWII. Before that the US Civil War.

By the count of generations, we are now in the 4th Turning -- a crisis time. And well, all the fires around the world seem to support that idea! When the 'Great Recession' hit, it seemed a major thing but I wasn't sure if it really was the sort of major institutional upheaval a 4th Turning would bring -- it didn't seem to get rid of our existing institutions.

I think we're still in for some real shit.

The reason I am drawn to the theory is that it makes sense to me. I believe it takes 4 generations for information to be forgotten. Example: my grandparents came of age during the Great Depression, so I would count then as #1. My parents are #2, and my siblings and I are #3.

As #3, my sisters and I inherited some of the thought patterns from the Great Depression. An example for me is that I HATE to throw away food -- I attribute that to a pattern past down from my grandparents. My youngest sister is totally into canning (=storing food away for when there is none).

Although my nephews and niece academically know what the Great Depression was, I don't think they inherited any of the patterns. I think they are #4, having not inherited the knowledge from the last crisis period, and thus generating the next generation who will come of age during a Crisis -- the Millennials. And the cycle will start again.

The idea of a cycle brought on by how one generation raises the next, and the number of generations it takes to "forget" about something makes sense to me. Another reason I think the theory speaks to me is that I have never, ever, ever identified with the Baby Boomers. I don't care about John Lennon, the Beetles, free love, Woodstock, or any of that. My first music was Disco, lol! Sometimes, population charts put me with the Baby Boomers, but the Generational Theory has me in the Gen X group -- which makes much more sense to me.

What brought all this on was that I read an article that suggested that civil war in France was coming. I'm not going to post a link to the article because it was quite right wing. What surprised me was that it was in French...but written by a US think tank...But I could see a civil war in Europe.

So I will ask you. If you woke up in a few years, and 1/2 your retirement savings had disappeared (though stock market decline and/or currency depreciation), and your house was 1/2 its value, and jobs were nearly non-existent to find, how would you make it?

Me? I grew up a farmer. I have generally figured I will return to farming after I retire. I found these pre-fab domes designed to be buried under a hill -- -- they look like hobbit holes to me! Not sure that they wouldn't be depressing in the winter because they have so few windows...but the idea of planting my garden on top of the house is interesting to me! I call these domes my 'retirement villa'.

A gente viverá

Eu sinto muito pelas pessoas em Nice, França. A gente vai sobreviver -- juntos.

I celebrated a friend's birthday tonight with beer and ice cream and food trucks :)


Outras fotos --




Fauna

Some every day photos from lately.

The first was from the local park. I was trying to photograph a butterfly, who was too skittish and I never got a good pic. As I was standing there, this (I believe) female Ruby-throated Hummingbird flew in for just a couple of shots before she flew away.



Creek at the park --



And the chipmunks have no fear of me. They are EVERY.WHERE, just like the rabbits, just like the squirrels. Damned things know I won't hurt them. Maybe a reason to stop being vegetarian, lol!

I saw a rabbit the other day on my driveway stretched out like a cat in the sun -- on it's side, all 4 legs stretched out as far as they would go. Eventually, the rabbit turned itself over and back into more normal 'scared' rabbit pose.

Holy Heebie-Jeebies!

I debated whether to post this because it's a test for cancer, and I haven't gotten the results back. And hopefully there will be good news, but if there's not...well, I don't need to think about that just yet!

My PSA level was too high for my age, so the urologist recommended a prostate biopsy. (As an aside, one of the ways as a man that you can tell that you are getting old? Having appointments with a urologist!)

I had the procedure done a couple days ago....Evidently, there are 3 ways to do a prostate biopsy: 1) through the urethra (meaning going up through your penis where you pee), 2) through the perineum (meaning cutting your skin to get inside) or 3) through the rectum (transrectal)

Transrectal is the most common. There was very little prep work. He started me on preventative antibiotics the day before which will last until a few days after. Reason for this is that the biopsy meant going into my butt and poking (small) holes through my intestine. This introduces a risk of infection, so they prescribed a short course of antibiotics.

You also have to do a quick enema a couple of hours before your procedure -- you buy the 'Fleets enema' kits at the drugstore or Target, etc.

So, not very much prep work at all.

Warning -- squeam-inducing medical discussion below. Click here to read more...Collapse )

Next step now is to wait until I go back to get the results. Like I said, hopefully it will be nothing.

Sitting on the porch with coffee

Here are some pictures from lately from downtown and from Belle Isle.















My Brazilian friend and his wife had me over the other night for cheese bread (pão de queijo). It was a 100% Portuguese night.

It was fun, and the night was very helpful -- the friend was a stickler for not letting us lapse into English, and my Portuguese more or less held up. I'm sure some of it was badly spoken and the verbs badly tensed, but they understood me!

And they spoke slowly, but only in Portuguese, and I probably followed 80% - 85% of what they said -- which I feel very good about.

I did make a final mistake that sort of put a slight down note on the evening. The friend walked me out, so that he could walk the dog. And there were some Brazilian neighbors standing out front. He introduced me, then he told me goodbye using a Portuguese phrase that I know of, but don't regularly use.

My mind went completely blank -- I think between being tired (speaking another language wears me out), and having the other folks standing there waiting, and it being a phrase I don't typically use -- I just completely blanked. It was a little uncomfortable for him to repeat in Portuguese, then finally in English. It was sort of a down note for the end!

But it was definitely a fun evening, and it helped me a lot.

This

Having watched the latest video of a black man killed...shot to the head and chest...

I have a pit in my chest.

If Trump didn't do it. If the way Obama has been treated for his entire presidency didn't do it. If Flint didn't do it. If Aaron Campbell or any of the other deaths didn't do it. If Sandy Hook or Orlando didn't do it. If the stuff I see on Facebook didn't do it.

Then, Alton and the Dallas police shootings did it.

I am now ashamed. Ashamed of our culture, our society. I am ashamed of the way some of my family members believe. I am ashamed at what some of my high school mates say.

I am not Christian. But the Christian scriptures -- so dear to so many in our culture -- talk about those who draw the sword will die by the sword. So, what exactly has our society been drawing?

All in all, pretty boring weekend!

It was a rainy last 2 days of the holiday weekend! One get-together fell through. And I had a friend over for wine. But otherwise, it was pretty lacking socially this weekend!







I barely moved, but I did go down to the War Memorial in the rain on the 4th --







I also made final arrangements for an upcoming vacation. My 'big camera' is in the shop right now. I've been using the Rebel (T4i) for the last month. I didn't realize how much I would miss the 7D Mark II.

Depending on the job situation, I'm thinking about splurging for a whole different sort of camera -- been looking at some of the Fujis. I just want something to bum around, shake up the photo taking. I've been looking at this one -- Fuji x100t.

Lazy Sunday

Rainy day, so not much outdoor activity for me. And I was supposed to go visit my sisters and parents, but 1 sister is sick with a fever, so we postponed lunch.

Here are a couple of 'before and after' photos from lately, meaning RAW files SOOC (straight out of the camera) on the left and my edit on the right.





From the Flood Wall Friday --







Flowers --






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The Buddhist Power Force? What??

Buddhism doesn't make the man, the man makes Buddhism. And in this case, this man is making his Buddhism out to be something murderous. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32929855

Moderate Buddhists have also been targeted by hard-line ones. Of course they have been. See the Goering quote a couple posts ago...


We know that words from the Dhammapada (chapter 10) would not change the murderous ways of these folks. But these words came to mind anyway --

Everyone fears punishment; everyone fears death, just as you do. Therefore, do not kill or cause to kill.
Everyone fears punishment; everyone loves life, as you do. Therefore, do not kill or cause to kill.



Red Pill or Blue Pill -- Madness!

There are thought experiments and ideas about our existence not being what we think it is. Here are 5 examples:

God Egg

You were on your way home when you died... -- Read the rest of the story here

Alien Video Game

What if we are just an immersive video game? Each of us is an alien who is playing a completely immersive video game. The alien starts the game, becomes immersed in living a ("Sim City") life here, and the game ends when the character dies. So when we die, we wake up in our normal alien body and go back to our normal alien life.

The Matrix

Somewhat similar to the Alien Video game except that in the Matrix movie, aliens keep our minds occupied with a fake existence (There is no spoon.) and use humans as current producing batteries.

Buddhism

What about the idea that we are in a circle (Samsara) and keep repeating it until we reach Nirvana...or maybe better to say Sunyata? Again, this life is not particularly real, just illusion made up of forms...sankharas...

Christianity

This is just a dress rehearsal, and the real life is an everlasting afterlife?


The problem is...each of these seems to take some pressure off of us, as individuals, to make our world better -- I mean in each example, the world we think of is not really the world, and making this current existence better for everyone doesn't necessarily seem like it would be worth the effort.

The whole thought experiment leads to madness to me!

Maybe Democracy Just Doesn't Work?

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about #Brexit...but I do hate stupidity.

The people who wanted to change their votes afterwards? #Stupid. The people who didn't realize that "Leave" meant, well, leave the EU? #Stupid. The people who believed the ads that said that the NHS was gonna get all this money back after leaving? #Stupid.

Now if these voters were honest with me, and said that they voted to leave because they were afraid of immigrants? Then I could understand where they were coming from and could have a conversation.

And I do think that's what this was about -- fear of chaos, fear of terrorist bombings, fear of immigrants.

Do I think that is the correct position? No. But I do understand the fear -- when you learn that the bombings in Paris and Belgium were done by EU citizens, some of whom were 2nd generation immigrants, whose parents did not know they had become terrorists, it makes you think about the future.

I get the fear.

My big takeaway from #Brexit? How easy it is to get large numbers of voters to do your bidding. Easy-schmeasy! That's why my takeaway from this is that maybe democracy does not work!

I'll leave you with this quote from Nazi leader Hermann Goering:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering while at the Nuremberg trials

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The year after

Fuck if it hasn't been a year since the Brazil trip! The woman who organized the trip...she did the trip to be back where she grew up for her birthday...that was a year ago!

Wow...I hadn't thought about this being June. I guess the term for this surprise is 'existential dread'. But that implies that I worry about not existing anymore -- but I don't think I do.

I think I worry more about not enjoying what I want to enjoy before I can't anymore. I "pre-regret" the time in the future when people are taking vacations to Mars, but I have to decline because my health won't stand for it.

And I kinda "pre-regret" the time when computer interfaces are physically implanted into people and I have opted out of it, so that I can't quite experience it completely.

I guess I've had a few too many medical appointments lately. I had my 1st urologist appointment recently, and I'm heading in for a prostate biopsy for cancer soon. I told a friend tonight that I'm actually looking forward to it, lol! I know that sounds crazy, but the whole prostate biopsy thing has been sort of a future bugaboo that I'm handling by getting the biopsy.


Since the 7D is in the shop, I've been taking the Rebel out lately...or just using the iPhone. Here's a pic I captioned 'Dance of the Dragonflies' taken at the local park --


I've been playing with wrapping the lens in a Ziplock bag -









More bee --



A week or so ago, Deege and I went to the the museum for an exhibit --







I guess my motto needs to be 'More wine, less existential dread' lol!

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Celtic Knot
karmicdragonfly
Karmic-Dragonfly

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In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.

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