Pilgrim Eye

"Pilgrim Eye"?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

8:56 AM - Even if it were explainable, we couldn't explain it to her

Even if it were explainable, we couldn't explain it to her
curiesagan2 Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
Sagan has been spending a lot of her time -- much more than usual -- sitting at one or the other of the two windows with a view of the front walk, gazing out.

Current mood: sad
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Monday, November 2, 2009

7:35 AM - There's gonna be some shameless reminiscing, introversion, celebration, and tears

There's gonna be some shameless reminiscing, introversion, celebration, and tears
Curie hangs with the boyz Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
Sitting on a hard, antiseptic floor, one hand gently against her warm chest, one wished for a miracle. One imagined her hopping up and dashing for the door -- "never mind! Let's leave this place!"

Let's leave this place together.

One threw thousands of dollars at the problem, the best in modern care, amazing, remarkable, committed professionals (more on them later) -- and yet one wondered which god had you not prayed to, in the right way?

One hadn't asked the Virgin's intercession, one hadn't wailed at the Wall, one hadn't tied a ribbon or lit incense at the shrine, one hadn't put on paint and smoked grass and danced howling in the firelight.

One hadn't snatched one's friend back from the brink.

We had been talking the other day about how Curie trusted us. We talked often about the evolution of dogs, the domestication of these scavengers. Dawkins has a lovely section on this in his latest book "The Greatest Show on Earth." About the dance of compromise as the wolfish originals learned tameness for survival, hitching their lives to that of their people.

Curie lay swaddled in Marsh's lap, my hand at her fluttering heart.

We were surrounded by love. The technician Karrie, Doctors Moore, Taylor, and Hickey, Tracy and Brian at reception, Emly in our thoughts and hearts at every step, Christina on IM, Gloria who produced this perfect girl and who had talked us and walked us through many other decisions and issues. Aaron. Greg.

On the phone, this time, Glo's advice had been, "Go to her. Ask her. Let her tell you what to do."

So one imagines a miracle, and prays in one's way, and asks.

Current mood: touched
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

9:01 PM - Triptych

Triptych Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
Northern Virginia has been especially colorful this fall.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

6:15 PM - Now that's a birthday present!

Now that's a birthday present!
Table Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
A plant-stand table, with built-in drainage and lighting for the lower shelf... an outing for the garden shop's last bedraggled herbs*, at half-off and just begging to be rescued... lovingly repotted and now enjoying the best natural light in the house...

It goes with where we are in this life of ours. An oasis of clarity, succor, good earth and flavorful food. Growth, and life, and knowing that every day is a step along a road, rather than an endpoint to be harshly scored as incomplete.

Thank you.

*Stevia, Marjoram, Greek Oregano, Lemon Verbena, Chives, Rosemary, Winter Savory -- and from seed: Chamomile and Borage.

Current mood: loved
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Monday, October 19, 2009

11:04 AM - Let's play word association?

From my previous entry, I had this ad served to me by Google:

titanic memorial cruise

I'm just not sure how good an idea that is.

Current mood: amused
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

2:54 PM - To the lifeboats!

To the lifeboats!
barack_sinking Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
With AP photo editors on the job, who needs enemies?

Or did President Obama really hold a health care reform presser on board the Titanic?

Current mood: surprised
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Monday, October 12, 2009

10:54 PM - Graphic fail

Graphic fail
IMG00043-20091012-1452 Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
Sign inside a tour coach. Something to do with the emergency exit mechanism. Darned if I know what it means!

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Friday, October 9, 2009

11:47 AM - Nobel Laureate

From over at politijab:

"Meanwhile... Dave Weigel said this:

daveweigel @EdMorrissey The Nobel isn't a lifetime achievement. It's occasionally given to people just starting a peace process, ie Arafat.

daveweigel @EdMorrissey And yes, it's occasionally given in error. But it's not a "you've achieved so much" award, it's a "please do more" award."

I completely agree. Keep up the good work, Mr. President.

Current mood: pleased
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

4:16 PM - Turkeys

turkeys Originally uploaded by verbalobe.
They really seem to have earned their reputation for, um, un-brightness.

Are we all turkeys, loping away alarmed from each imagined or real threat, never seeming to anticipate, unable to distinguish friend from foe?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

10:54 AM - Amateurs!

I think this is simply brilliant:

Largest-Ever Hoard of Anglo-Saxon Treasures Found on UK Farmland

Current mood: busy
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10:49 AM - Dreamscape Franchise

I had a WoW dream. In it, I was visiting a real-life theme park based on WoW. There were activities and attractions vaguely based on WoW themes. The park was still under construction. One long line of park-goers snaked around two buildings, waiting for the Sandworm Joust ride. As far as I know, WoW has neither sandworms (I am currently rereading the Dune series) nor jousting. (I guess a sandworm would be somewhere between a Crustbuster and a Jormungar. The ones in the park were more like giant holographic snakes.) As I walked by, there was a big ooh-aah and someone remarked that so-and-so's lance had split. "So-and-so" might have been my sister Lisken, or my daughter Alexis. Neither of whom play WoW; but I've been in touch with both of them recently.

I was impressed with how the park designers were sculpting and pruning real groves of trees to resemble the out-of-scale, cartoony trees in the game. Then I was flying, floating -- on a parachute? -- and as I landed, the dream ended. But not before remembering that I had dreamed of WoW theme parks for three consecutive nights, each dream a different park, and each one more advanced than the last. How cool! I thought. My brain concocted this whole thing, but developed the idea incrementally. Then I woke up, and couldn't decide whether I really had dreamed three incrementally more advanced theme parks on three consecutive nights -- or whether I had just dreamed that I had.

Current mood: mischievous
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

10:27 PM - Oh yay!

"See how living in recycled shipping crates is not as shabby as you might think."


Current mood: excited
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Monday, September 7, 2009

1:45 PM - Today

- Organize financial papers
- Pay bills
- Stop by step-kids' family for Labor Day cheer (i.e., burgers and Doritos) ... mmm, everything was really good
- Play 1 game of Scrabble withagainst my favorite opponent
- Make chicken salad for lunch
- Look at Dus Shingitai badge art, that I have been procrastinating on
- Prep for work
- Shower & shave
- Read the text of Obama's speech to school students*
- Put away groceries, empty dishwasher
- Review draft of pre-trial memorandum
- Read chapter of Dune Messiah
- Klystron's fishing and cooking dailies on WoW
- Walk 2-31-2 more miles
- Make to-do list
- It's trash night!

*Of course the knee-jerk reaction to this by the minority opposition was ridiculous -- and they knew it. But what I found most bizarre was that when pressed -- when reminded that (a) many presidents have addressed the nation's classrooms, including both Bush's, (b) historically these speeches have included policy/propaganda (including that of GWB), and (c) there was no evidence that Obama's speech would be propagandistic -- spokesmen like Jim Greer fell back on the release by the Department of Education of a lesson plan that included questions like "what can I do to help the President?"

I found it bizarre that this kind of lesson plan could become a target of such venom, and even more bizarre that interviewers like Chris Matthews so quickly conceded the point, agreeing the lesson plans might have been better done, or something. And now the White House has said the lesson plans will be or have been revised.

I'm not going to argue that "what can I do to help the President?" can at least from the perspective of innocent youth be read as "what can I do to help the country?" That line is obviously a non-starter with the less-than-innocent minority opposition, who have decided that they must do everything in their power to diminish and destroy this Presidency -- and in a (fruitless) effort to attach a shred of rationality to this effort, while still calling themselves patriots, have decided that this President is not even of this country.

No. What I will point out, simply, is that it is perfectly possible to answer the question "what can I do to help the President?" from the standpoint of someone who disagrees with his policies. Not only possible, but perhaps essential. How about these lesson-plan answers:

- "I can tell him what he's doing wrong."
- "I can tell him about the particular needs/issues of my community."
- "I can ask him to keep his promises."
- "I can tell him what I'm worried about for the future of the USA."
- "I can pray that he see the right way to guide the country."

Or how about this one:

- "I can stay in school. Even on the days when we're going to hear some speech by some uppity black guy. 'Cause, y'know, I might learn something."

Current mood: optimistic
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2:39 PM - Halaa

Some people -- Type A personalities, white supremacists, Republicans, the Alliance -- are just not happy unless they are "in charge." Even if they have no intention of doing anything with all that power.

So the people who really want to make a difference -- who see the need for progress, who notice and care about things like tilted playing fields -- have to scramble for a bit of that power from time to time.

And they would gladly keep the power, if they were allowed; but the others -- the ones for whom being in power is the end in itself -- will always have the last laugh. And progressives and liberals will always surrender, because power is NOT an important enough end in itself.

Current mood: annoyed
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Friday, August 28, 2009

1:24 PM - Are you a Health Care Reformista?

Are you a Health Care Reformista?
Reformista! You are, or should be, pro-reform. You have called or written your representatives, given money, and signed petitions -- or you should have. You attended town hall meetings and asked intelligent questions and listened to the answers. You have more work to do now that recess is over and the country is a little bored about the topic. You need to make sure that your representatives listen to the PEOPLE, not insurance industry lobbyists.
Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by Quibblo

Current mood: bouncy
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

11:41 PM - From the garden

From the garden
From the garden Originally uploaded by verbalobe.

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9:33 AM - Our Magnificent Language: Words Gone Wild


woulda WOUH duh

Third conditional usage with a past participle, forms perfect and perfect continuous conjugations. Ex I woulda worked, you woulda been workin, etc.

Current mood: geeky
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

8:56 AM - I'm just sayin'

I've seen the argument "emotion does not equal logic" used by climate-change deniers attempting to assert that the science behind anthropogenic climate change is invalid/irrelevant/flawed 'because' it is presented with emotion. If you see this, remember:

The argument "emotion does not equal logic" is an emotional argument, not a logical one.

Current mood: awake
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

12:36 PM - Our sweet pup

(Okay, Marsh's.)

Current mood: bitchy
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8:35 PM - The Underrated Mind

"With Thady went Piedar Dooly and The O'LiamRoe who, like Maximilian's pelican, followed him everywhere except into the royal presence and who, in private, uproarious sessions in Gaelic, was evolving a brilliantly bigoted new philosophy to meet the occasion."
That, from page 107 of Dunnett's Queen's Play, caromed off my thoughts today and prompted this post about a lost past and a mythical present.

You don't need to know who Thady or Dooly or The O'LiamRoe are, or even Maximilian (don't even ask about the pelican), but what you should notice is the idea of evolving a ... new philosophy to meet the occasion.

I heard some of the interview on NPR this afternoon with Alex Jones, plumping his new book Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy, and the subjects were impartiality, research, facts, and reality in journalism today, the relationship between print and broadcast journalism, how much of cable "news" is really entertainment (yes, even Keith O, says Jones), and how much of the rest of it -- the PR behemoth that is the voice of America -- is not merely bad journalism, or dishonest entertainment, but propaganda.

Into this stew introduce the idea that each of us is, potentially -- and perhaps most powerfully -- a philosopher. It's what we do. Well, I don't know what you do, but it's what Marsh and I do.

Each day is a sojourn in a new land. Each week is a new occasion, each month opens doors on new problems, new solutions, new questions. And we keep with us -- in the very fabric of the brain -- a constantly evolving, active picture of what we think of it all.

What values guided this decision? Do the values apply here? Have our values changed? What new (to us) information has been revealed? Sure, there is nothing new under the sun, but what they forget is that everything combines in new ways.

An eager mind, a capable mind, should carry forward a dozen or more concurrent philosophies from day to day. Not every one evolves every day -- not every day revolutionizes your politics, your tribe, your dreams -- thank god. But it's why we read, and listen, and people-watch, and play, and fight, and wonder, and take long walks, gesticulating at the crows and the oaks and the joggers.

Current mood: thoughtful
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