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New Rug

Got a new dining room rug today. I like the design very much, but because it is a cheaper, thinner rug, it curls on the edges. I've got books weighing down the edges until I can put some carpet tape down. I thought Shakespeare, Leonardo and Lovecraft were an interesting juxtaposition!

I've been replacing some things that have worn out over the years. I will never buy another large rug that has a latex backing -- that stuff makes a BIG mess when it starts disintegrating!



I got down to the river yesterday, both for hanging out and also looking for Pawpaws. I didn't find any Pawpaws, I'm afraid, so I quickly tapped a little poem onto Facebook about it --

Not a pawpaw to be found!
None in the trees; none on the ground;
None on the island or any of its paths.
I guess pawpaw season is gone; 1 more year past.

It took me a little bit to decide what punctuation I wanted to use!

Pics from Belle Isle

The first is the old hydroelectric plant on the south side of the island. I labeled it "Like a Cathedral" on Flickr because it had the air of the inside of a church to me with the light shining through the glass.

This water looked like stained glass to me, with the wind blowing ripples across the water. This was a pool of water on the rocks on the north side of the island.

Here's what that pic looked like SOOC ("straight out of the camera"). Of course, I took away some of the haze, and saturated the colors, and made some other changes, but you can see all of the colors in the original as I saw them at the river. Interestingly, I did not see the green when I was there; only after I got the picture home to post processing.

And here follows my typical fascination with dragonflies and damselflies. I think this one is an American Rubyspot --

What is Time?

Picked up the phone to say E aí, Siri! (Hey, Siri!) and ask about the weather, being too lazy to find and tap on the weather app.

Unfortunately, my Portuguese was too shaped by my English. The word tempo can mean weather -or- time. Instead of saying "How", which is what I should have said in Portuguese, I asked "What". And I used the permanent form of the ver to be (ser, é) instead of the impermanent form (estar, está)

So, instead of what the weather is like, I actually asked "What is time?" And she answered: an illusion.

Following up with what I really wanted to know.

I sent this picture to my local Brazilian friend...in my typical 1/2 Portuguese, 1/2 English way --

The Guest

I watched the movie, The Guest last night. The movie is said to be structured like a horror movie, but is action packed like a thriller.

It was enjoyable...maybe dragging just a bit during the beginning. You (the audience) knew that the guest was gonna be bad news (because what else would the movie plot be about?), but it took a while for that to get going. It was also kinda interesting that the guest did some things along the way that made you like him, root for him. Only after a while, did you realize what a bad hombre (borrowing from the presidential debate) this guest was gonna be!

The movie was helped along by how fracken hot Dan Stevens is in the role. I saw this note:
The day Dan Stevens was cast, he was assigned personal trainers and dietitians to begin his physical transformation for the role. He worked out daily for 2 hours a day, even during shooting eventually putting on 25 pounds of muscle and building six pack abs for his shirtless scene.

The training regimen definitely showed, not just in his shirtless scene, but even in his chiseled face -- something I don't remember from Downt0n Abbey.

On a technology note...

For all that I enjoy learning and using new technology, I don't actually maintain a lot of new technology at home. I watch movies using a 4.5 year old iPad connected (via those old red/yellow/white composite cables) to a 15 year old (read: very heavy, less-than-spectacular screen) TV. No Netflix. No Hulu. No cable. Nouveau Luddite!

And although the iPad is sluggish with the latest iOS on it, it still works. And the TV still works. So I see no reason to replace them!

Fire and Smoke

Fun dinner tonight with some old friends...they always say that we are in a Seinfeld episode. Sadly in that scenario, I am the one who is playing George!

Working downtown again, I hear different sounds than in the suburbs. I've been noticing the automated bus warnings that buses use to warn pedestrians: "Caution, bus moving right. Pedestrians, look both ways! Caution, bus moving right. Pedestrians, look both ways!" -- there are different versions for whether the bus is turning, etc.

The sound of the voice is very impersonal, and it totally reminded me of the movie Blade Runner. There's a scene in the movie where the cross walk is rhythmically announcing instructions to pedestrians. It's a scene that struck me when I first watched the movie and has stayed in my memory: "Cross now..cross now...cross now...don't walk..don't walk....don't walk" -- very impersonal and dystopian.

Th impersonal bus announcements reminded me of that crosswalk scene!

Beers and tears

I had a good time tonight hanging out with one of the guys from the ESL class from a couple years ago. He's back from his 2nd round of teaching English overseas and wondering what is next for him. And he's heartbroken as a romance he had while teaching has been breaking up -- one of those slow-mo breakups. It's a very human thing to go through, and there were some serious tears in his eyes a few times...

I asked him if this were the 1st time he has been in love. He said he's been in relationships before...and I said 'That's not what I asked.' He basically agreed that this was the 1st time he had been in love. He really is heartbroken over her...and I think she's trying to set him free gently.

I listened and offered whatever advice and comfort I could give. I did mention how impressed I am with him for having just picked up and moved to teach English overseas -- twice! I like hanging out with younger people and playing the role of 'Uncle Bart' (as my nephews and niece call me) lol!

More Monarchs in the yard today --

Un-easy Day

For some reason, I was ill-at-ease all day yesterday. This was both physically and emotionally uneasy.

Even when a friend was over last night for wine, I was still uptight. I spent some timing putting out Halloween decorations out yesterday afternoon, which should have been a fun job but I still was ill-at-ease. No apparent reason.

This dis-ease continued into the dreams I had last night. The first dream was sort of about a police state.

I sitting in a large auditorium with movie theater or stadium type seating. I was bored and was using my phone to search for stuff, when 2 young guys -- nice, but 'goons in training' so to speak -- came and escorted me away.

Evidently, what I had been searching for had been 'noticed' by the powers that be. I never saw the young guys again, somehow next finding myself in a ramshackle room that looked like it was on a dock or something. A Project Manager that I used to work with was there in the room with me, and she seemed to be concerned about what was happening.

Then this scary woman with dark shades and wearing a pant suit whose style hearkened back a little to a Nazi uniform came in along with 2 'fully grown' goons. The dream ended as I was asking if they needed the room (in the way you do at work, when your meeting is running over).

The second and immediately following dream involved a young guy who was in my English as a Second Language class from a couple of years ago. I had seen him on Facebook a couple hours before bed, which is probably why he ended up in my dream.

In the dream, he and I were sleeping at my house -- it started out as a pleasant dream of us talking to each other. But then the dream took a negative turn -- when I woke up in the morning, he was gone. Like no note, nothing.

So I figured maybe he had taken a walk. After I made breakfast and showered, I finally texted him to see where he was, and I heard the text come to his phone, which was still in my house. His car was on the street. Seemed odd that he would have been able to get out of bed and leave without waking me, and also odd that he would have left his cell phone.

After a while more, I walked around the neighborhood and park looking for him. Back at the house in my living room, having waited several hours, I called the police.

Two officers were in the living room with, asking questions and taking notes when the guy suddenly just walked down the steps inside the house. Not in the door, but down from upstairs.

In the dream, I asked him a few questions while the officers were there, then apologized to them as they left for wasting their time. After they were gone, I asked more questions and the guy never really would answer where he had been or how he had gotten back into the upstairs without me seeing him.

Neither dream had a point really -- just dark, uneasy dreams. Hopefully today will be more positive!

Here are the Halloween decorations --

Fire Spinners

I had a good time watching the fire performers last night at Gallery 5. Here are some pics...in no particular order --

One performer was scaring me while he was performing. He seemed to be having trouble with 3 fireballs at once, and it seemed the fires were spending too much time too close to his clothes!

One guy and girl were performing, and began to perform together. And he leaned in and kissed her at one point. She seemed shocked, and I couldn't tell if it was all part of the performance, or she really was shocked he kissed her, lol!

One guy (you can see him above) looked like Wolverine, lol! He was a good performer -- spinning while on roller blades, and leaning all the way back on the ground with the fires. Given that I thought he was fricken' hot, I took more pics of him than some of the others, lol!

I liked the 'Day of the Dead' makeup the one performer was wearing (you can see him above too).

There was one woman that I got a lot of eye contact with the camera -- the performers seemed to see me with the camera (and maybe it was my red jacket or my shiny shaved head, lol!). The photos with the eye contact with the lens were great -- but for her, a couple of the other photos were more interesting to me. You can see the one above where she is leaned back with the fireballs above her.
Practicing my Portuguese with Siri tonight.

I asked her: What is the meaning of life? Qual é o significado da vida?

I half expected the answer quarenta e dois --42 from The Hitchhiker's Guide...

But instead she answered: I believe there does not exist a consensus on that question. Acho que não existe um consenso sobre esta questão.


Hanging Out

When I haven't been out with the camera in a while, and don't feel like going out (or can't because of the weather, etc.), I often end up taking some selfies --

I got home the other day and was pleased to see that the Asters were doing their job of feeding the bees and butterflies this late in the year. When I looked out the window, at first I figured the orange butterfly I could see on the Asters would be a Viceroy or maybe a Fritillary. But when I got outside and saw the backside of the wings, I realized this was a Monarch.

A Fritillary would have had a different pattern, and a Viceroy would have had a black line down the hind wings.

And there were also two Red Admirals also feasting --

Sitting out on the porch tonight. It's a bit cool, but nice in a fleece. I haven't eaten breakfast outside the last couple days, partly because I have been rushing, and partly because it as been just a bit chilly. #MissingSummerAlready...

Planning vacations next year -- the guy who offers the photo workshops that I have been to a couple times is offering a location next year that I really want to go to. I sort of would like to go overseas again somewhere...but the call of the New Mexico Bisti Badlands is strong!



Sitting at a red light this morning watching traffic pass in front of me, and I had the impression of watching an old Victorian Zoetrope or something.

I stopped and some traffic went by and a woman in a dress and trench coat riding a bicycle.

A minute later, some more traffic went by....and a woman in a dress and a trench coat riding a bicycle, lol!

It's not typical to see women wearing a dress (or trench coats for that matter) on a bicycle, which is why it stuck out. Seeing it twice just gave me the impression of watching some old style flip book or wheel turning, showing me the same scene again.

Bugs on the Honeyvine

I posted about Honeyvine once before. It just showed up this year -- or maybe it was last year and I didn't notice it.

I'm a little uncertain about whether I should be more concerned about it. It grows like gangbusters -- invasive. But it's native, is good food for Monarchs. And I find the pods interesting.

Today I spent some time taking pictures of the large Milkweed Bugs -- I consider them sort of natural herbicide for the Honeyvine.

And Milkweed Aphids -- non-native. Will make the Milkweed unattractive/unusable by Monarchs. But I think I will just let this all play out. I have too many things around the house to keep track of to try to control aphids on a wild vine outside!


You know, Hillary Clinton is deeply unpopular with a large segment of the US. I believe the this is largely due to coordinated attacks by right wing TV and talk radio combined with weak-minded people and a general, unresolved but deep running sexism in humans.

But what is odd to me is that I think the Republicans could have run a broom with a smiley face drawn on it as their candidate, and that broom would have been able to beat Clinton. But instead the Republican party ran Trump. This is someone I believe is very dangerous, and he is so unpopular that he is losing to Clinton. While I may have been a Bernie supporter, I certainly will be voting for Clinton in the election because of my feelings about Trump.

But this all just seems very odd. The timing is odd. Almost like some sort of test...or some sort of 'game twist' (see my earlier post about being inside an Alien video game or the Matrix, lol!)...or possibly a preparation by the 'powers that be' to see how far they can push this weak-minded populace.

At the risk of going down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories or seeing a boogie man in every shadow, the timing of running Trump just seems odd. Alternatively, maybe this is just the breakdown in institutions that the Generational Theory calls the 4th Turning.

In any event, the populace really is weak-minded now. Unable to logically deduce answers. Unable to read more than a 2 or 3 line essay on a topic. Controlled by emotion. Uninterested in historical events that might warn of how bad some actions can be (like Germany electing Hitler or the US dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

Barely able to read. Barely able to do simple arithmetic. Unable to plan financially -- spendthrifts without enough savings to support all the spending.

The US was founded by very educated men. These men could read historical essays and stories in some of their original languages. I think the Founding Fathers created an amazing, if badly flawed in some ways, political system. But their education is what provided them the basis to create the system.

I guess our election year is our own ignorant doing!

Working downtown...

Walking up the hill to work today, I saw this kid (early 20s?) walking in socks and house slippers, carrying a trash bag of clothes. At first, I thought maybe a homeless person? So, I gave him some space.

As I was walking at a distance behind him, I thought that he didn’t strike me as homeless... So my second thought was maybe this was a college kid taking his laundry to the laundromat -- although I don’t think there are any laundromats in the area.

I caught up with him at a light, and he asked me if I knew where Spring Street was. My eyebrows went up a bit, and I told him he was a pretty long way from Spring Street, but I gave him directions.

He told me that he was just released from jail and was walking to Oregon Hill to surprise his mom. The city jail is now in the Bottom, so I’m estimating his trip at about 2.5 miles – in house slippers. As I was turning at the corner, I told him that at least the walk would be good exercise, and he smiled and answered that since he had been inside for a while, he was happy for the exercise.

Working downtown provides interesting interactions.

It's self anger!

I just realized that the hate that Trump followers have for Obama and now Clinton is self-anger, but re-directed.

The question I was pondering was why anyone would vote for Trump. And why anyone would speak and hear lies enough to try to believe they were true, the way Republicans are doing now.

I say this after having a couple of two glasses of wine, but this explanation of self anger 'feels' right to me. Trump voters are angry with themselves for getting in the situation of not being able to find work, of being forced to be on the public dole by taking Medicaid, etc. Angry that they don't know how to fix their situation. Angry that their way of life is passing by.

I have heard that depression is really anger turned inwards. Trump followers seem depressed and are now lashing out.



One of the buildings at work was an old hospital. And there is an old 'Surgical Theater' room there, where people watched surgeries performed.

It had an "off" smell, and it was creepy.

(You are already free)

A friend and I watched some more episodes of Stranger Things last night. He and I left his place about the same time, and as I was crossing the Manchester Bridge, firetrucks and an ambulance went by.

Because he had been in a hurry and it was raining, I got a bit worried that maybe something had happened. So I drove towards where he had been headed downtown, just to make sure he was okay. Nothing had happened, and this is a picture of a bus through the rainy windshield --

Dinner with friends tonight was fun. I'm stuffed!



Latest Month

October 2016


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

-Wei Wu Wei

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