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Camera Play

My Christmas party is coming up soon and I am in full preparation mode. The last few nights have been about cleaning...and I still have a few nights to go.

After I cleaned the kitchen last night, I took a break for some camera play. These are pictures from inside, through my front windows of the Christmas lights I put outside. While taking the photos, I twisted the focal length on the lens to get the 'warp' effect.





Drama Town

The older I get, the less drama I can tolerate. I had a bit last night with a guy I dated for a while a few years ago...and we had been hanging out again every so often -- not dating, just hanging out now and again.

Certainly I had no intention to hurt his feelings, and nothing I did was particularly wrong, nor do I think I would change anything if I were able to replay the situation. I'm not entirely sure what I did that caused the reaction in him (although I have an idea) since this all happened via messages exchanged on the phone.

His messages seemed...off...strange, like he was upset but not telling me. I typed an answer to a message, and I got this: "Error: All the communication between you and ___ was blocked."


And I just don't feel like figuring it out. I think his expectations don't match me. Or something. Anyways...I had just been thinking how low my tolerance was for drama now...

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The Horror in Clay

After all the Thanksgiving eating and traveling, I needed a rest day. After running errands and then having brunch with a friend, I decided to take the day off.

One thing I did this afternoon was to start reading a tome of H.P. Lovecraft's work. I had never read anything by him, so I started with probably his most famous story -- The Call of Cthulu.

I liked it -- it had a certain Edgar Allen Poe-ness to it, although not quite the same. And I'll probably pick the book up and read more stories at some point. The prose is not too hard to follow, but it can sometimes weave around and around the point before it finally makes it to its goal, as you can see in this selection from the narrator's final words:

With it shall go this record of mine -- this test of my own sanity, wherein is pieced together that which I hope may never be pieced together again. I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me. But I do not think my life will be long. As my uncle went, as poor Johansen went, so I shall go, I know too much, and the cult still lives.

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Thanksgiving

Various pictures of friends, family, food, etc. that got texted around --





















And this last one is what Siri was repeating every 10 miles on the way home (I sometimes turn on maps just for the practice). I could NOT completely understand her, so I'm going to send this to my friend to ask if he can figure out what she was saying.



And you know you're from the country when this is a pretty typical thing to see on Thanksgiving! Deer hunting season is always around this time of year.


Lemon Tree Move

It was time to bring my grandmother's lemon tree back in for the Winter. It's not doing all that great, but I'm hoping to get a grow light for it.

First step was to get it into the back door into the kitchen. I have to say my hernia was a bit sore after this exercise. I couldn't give the tree enough time to totally dry out like I usually do, so it was heavy!


I tied it up to help prevent the thorns from doing too much damage as I waddled through the house with it!


In place for a few months --

Bigly .... Doubleplusgood

A friend and I were talking and discussing the Dumpism "bigly" - one of the silliest words I have heard. And it reminded me of a quote from the book "1984" about Newspeak:

It's a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word, which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ‘good,’ for instance. If you have a word like ‘good,’ what need is there for a word like ‘bad’? ‘Ungood’ will do just as well – better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of ‘good,’ what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and all the rest of them? ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning or ‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston?

http://www.shmoop.com/1984/language-communication-quotes.html

Pimento Cheese

Thanksgiving pot luck at work happens tomorrow. I signed up to bring a chips and dip, so I made some Pimento cheese. It's sort of a trial run for the Tree Trimming -- I can't remember if I made it for last year or not. It's not on my 'schedule' for the Tree Trimming, but I thought I made it last year...

Tarragon --


Roasted Bell Pepper --



Finished result --

Sunday Outing

At the river today for a walk with a friend. I took a couple of portraits, and I really like how the black and white came out -- it looks real, and she looks very determined in the photo!





On the way back, I noticed how the sunlight was shining through the War Memorial, so I stopped and took a few pics. In the first pic, I like how there appears to be a shadow behind "Memory" (the statue at the memorial) --


Federalist #68

A friend had sent me a Change.org petition to petition the electors to select someone else for president. Of course, this would most likely result in civil war and/or martial law in the US. And if the electors did not select The Dump, then in fairness they should not select Hilary either, so who would it be? I don't expect this to happen (although within the "Many Worlds" hypothesis, this will happen in some dimension or other).

The idea of the petition made me search for information on the reasoning for having an electoral college.

I sent this email to friends today.

-----BEGIN EMAIL
Quote from Federalist #68 by Alexander Hamilton on why the electoral college was established shown below. It’s been a long time since I puzzled through the complicated and peculiar language of the 1700s...

One argument he made for the electoral college was so that it could prevent someone from the presidency who would bring "tumult and disorder", or who was under the "influence of foreign powers."

Doesn't that sound familiar? Russian authorities say they were in contact with the campaign, although his campaign denies that. And we certainly have been subjected to The Dump's tumult and disorder for the last 2 years.

Of course, I added bold and underline below.


It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.


http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp
-----END EMAIL

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Primer

Watched a movie called Primer from 2004 last night. Very confusing, interesting, slow, enjoyable, disjointed -- sort of conflicting observations!

It was about 2 guys who discovered how to make a sort of time machine, which they used to go back in time and make boatloads of money on the stock market. Then, they realized what time travel means.

The whole film was made for under $7K -- which is pretty amazing! It's worth a watch.



One warning -- if you do any Googling ahead of time, the articles WILL spill the beans a little about the plot. What happened for me is that I was so confused at the end of the movie that I had to Google to help me understand!

Photo Blast

Yesterday while the car was having new tires mounted on it, I walked over to the park with the camera. As usual, I'm attracted to reflections!











I've taken some pics lately that I haven't posted here...so here they are as one blast! Some of these are from a building being torn down to be replaced downtown.












Light

Had dinner with friends last night for 1 of their birthdays. And then we headed to InLight ... a local exhibition of light installations sponsored by a local gallery annually.

Although I like InLight and go every year, I don't find most of the exhibits to be noteworthy. I did like the venue this year -- a part of town where the streets were closed to traffic for the evening, so the attendees could walk on the streets. (Last year, the location where it occurred was too small, and the throngs of people were forced into too small a space.)

















You didn't vote

I found this graphic interesting. I verified the numbers (at least against Wikipedia.)

You can see the how low the bars are. Hilary lost because people didn't vote.

Such foolish people. Welcome to Grabbed.Pussyland! I hope you enjoy your trip to the 1950s.

And I wish that was all - but I suspect we'll be taking a trip back to 1939 as well.

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Backing away...

I deleted my Facebook account today. It was sort of a reaction to the election. I felt like Facebook was an example of what I dislike about modern life -- how low our level of education has become, how people are not able to read long textual works.

I find myself doing that too -- just skimming online or on Facebook. I also don't like how lies and edited videos would be passed around Facebook.

I decided to quit it, spend time outside and with friends and read. Until I decide what I will do next...

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Earth Abides

I watched this movie today (free download from iTunes). It is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and is about climate change. There's nothing earth shattering about the information -- it's all basically a re-hash of where we are today, showing the scientific community's consensus on the cause of global warming as well as showing the influence of the oil companies and the right wing on swaying public opinion to think it is a hoax.

It might be good for someone who doesn't know much about the subject.



What I did like was that the movie started and ended with (and is titled after the content of its middle panel) Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights. I always found this painting crazy...and then you start looking at it closely and you find all kinds of details.

I like the way the film took the right hand side of the 3rd panel, showing fires and smoke, and transitioned the screen onto an oil refinery spewing smoke.



I also liked the bit of info that 47% of US land is devoted to raising food, and that 70% of that is devoted to cattle with just 1% devoted to raising veggies, fruits and nuts. The point is that even partially switching from beef to chicken would have an impact on reducing environmental damage.



I took a walk around today to look at Fall foliage. I entitled this one "The Earth Abides", after that post-apocalyptic book from the 40s. The point of the book is that the earth will abide, with or without man.


Not sure why the foliage reminded me of the book.

Wednesday

11/12-- Updating/correcting myself: I had thought Hitler was directly elected. From reading, it seems that he lost his election bid for president in 1932, but then the National Socialist (Nazi) party won so many seats in Parliament over the next couple of elections, that the president felt pressured to appoint Hitler as Chancellor, and the rest as they say is bloody, bloody history!


I haven't posted much about the election lately. For all her faults, I consider Clinton to be ready to be president. And I consider he-who-shall-not-be-named to be a true threat to the Republic. I think I said this before, but I always wondered how Hitler got elected in Germany, and now I know...

So many calls from Florida! I'm assuming these are pollsters. I never answer calls when I don't know the number -- ESPECIALLY during elections!



Onto more important matters --


No freezing temps here yet, so Rosa Tamora had a chance to put out a bloom --


And some urban scenery from the walk to work this morning --

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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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