12 Sep 2014, 2:35pm

Here a Tidy, there a Sharpy

The windstorm knocked over the whole tangled mess of morning glory/grapevine/raspberry canes, snapped their stakes and pulled them off their tendrils and fence.

Our blueberry is still surviving underneath the runners of enthusiastic morning glory. They can feel the sun again. I procured some eggshells to scatter at the base of the rhubarb that snails still find so numlicious.

I presume I can just leave the onions down there for next year. Cleaning out some areas of the garden I find that the ground has reabsorbed the onion greens and the lettuce. And yellow clover has acted as a shelter for Manitoba Maples. Even in sock and sweater weather they are still growing a little porous forest.

Our watermelon radishes are pretty intense. The kale has recovered. What I thought was a row of radish has some tiny turnips. I could have sworn I sowed the turnips in the other raised bed where the arugula overtook them just before the pink blossoming thing and an anthill took over the money plant. Arugula is one strident plant. It is still sending up new greens.

bean blossom
Our beans are still beaning ad blossoming forth. Little pods still growing. Our buckets of herbs seem to be keeling over again. Or perhaps keeling over is the wrong metaphor since they’re pot-dry.

Meanwhile upstairs I’m cleaning out the medicine drawer and checking the dates on all the cold meds, antihistamines, pain relievers, and muscle relaxants. So many boxes gone.

It occurs to me that you don’t need to give people excuses with a request. Give them credit for their creativity. All your saying that that does is to give the subtext of please refuse me which will become the real message.

Ponly you and you palone can thrill me like you do…you’re a ream come through, my pun, and ponly yooou.

10 Sep 2014, 12:23pm
General Ponderings
1 comment

The Economics of our Built Systems

While waiting for godot-transpo, I ended up walking 20 minutes since there was a longer wait than that between connecting busses.

It’s interesting walking with a device. It’s like a tricorder to reveal all the invisibles. I names and places put to wifi signals, like HappyAlphabet, BadAstronaut, AnLEDSign, and Password is Password. As Snowclone-a-Minute might put it if the bot were interactive: “Crouching messes, hidden insisting”.

climate change protest
Corrective graffiti on Bank Street.

It’s a bit hard to make out but over the words “Quality Moments” is written “Climate Change”

Our society is like an alcoholic with a cirrhosis that continues to drink.

I presume it was a car ad but I didn’t glance down. Looks like one.

We never need to get advertised at to buy commodities, potatoes, carrots, etc, yet there’s a constant push to try to induce appetite for cars and other luxury goods.

What does it mean about need that supersized farms have costs that make them band together and advertise as lobbies? Egg marketing, pork producers. The aim is to raise consciousness for the general idea. Now that pulled pork is ubiquitous on menus, there’s a virus going thru U.S. pig herds that causes almost 100% mortality in piglets. It can’t hop to humans and hasn’t made it into Canadian-traded animals.

Farming is a complex economic juggle, heavily subsidized since Canadians want one thing from their food it seems: cheapness. Price as the main thing create brutal situations. Cattle prices fell while feed prices rose, so it became expensive to keep the cattle. So some farmers culled. Smaller herds, higher demand, and vagaries of market ask for a higher price except now demand outstrips supply and there’s no way to make an animal breed faster. Gestation is gestation. Maybe for a tool you can build another factory, import more workers, get a supply chain of materials rerouted to respond quickly but 9 months and a week to make a new calf.

Really absurd practices reign of treating lives like inanimate goods. Even inanimate goods shouldn’t be destroyed en masse if there’s a market glut. Yes, it corrects the supply and demand but it disrespects the energy, lives and materials it took to make the widget, or life.

If we see a product as a commodity we don’t care who made it or where it came from. One material is interchangeable with another like cash or gasoline, rice, coal, soybeans, silver. There’s no intimate relationship to the source. The general idea is pitched.

Are books unditinguished commodities? In genre is one looking for the next Harlequin? When it’s pulp fiction when readers consume many books by cowboy genre, or thriller, romance, werewolf, do they act like commodities?

Is poetry like that?

When we have a luxury item or some good with product differentiation it is all about the distinguishing features, the niche, the quality or timing, place, availability, distinct aspects.

Many literary especially small press publishers seem to pitch their books as if commodities. This is the book. This is the price. There’s no excerpt, no reviews, no indication except title and author of what the niche or distinguishing features might be. This is at odds with their nature.

What to do with a cover information alone? If there’s only the cover to go on, it limits the market to someone who knows the author by name, or already knows enough of the press by other means to want to buy anything coming from the editor’s aesthetic. Or, as on twitter the dead author [Sep 4] quipped, “Show me on the book cover where you stopped reading.”

8 Sep 2014, 3:33pm

Summery Summaries

How could someone as mellow looking as this be also a holy terror running up and down stairs, outside swatting bees from midair.


I’m not as much a full time doorman to the cat as I think, surely I’m not.
cat, chill as a dude
Holland being chill, hanging out like a mobster.

On the other hand getting up to the meows to find out if she wants water because she dropped kibble in it, or food, of a higher standard perhaps, or clean toilet, or to go outdoors, or go indoors, or make it sunnier please or I’m bored of these, toys, want catnip, or attention or look, I caught a housefly.

What was I saying? Hard complete a thought since my thoughts are rather slow to piece. Ah, yes, I was saying all this is good for my back. This moving about thing. My back hasn’t felt as well in years. The cumulative effect is rolling back with the accumulation of a new habit of moving.

This outdoors thing isn’t so bad. Birdsong, cicadas, and whatever is biting my calf.

bean blossoms
Bean blossoms in front of bean blossoms.

table's apple holder
The patio table does’t need an umbrella anymore, but now it has a handy apple-holder.

These are key times with important questions of our day to be asked and some voice inside me shames me for not asking them. Yes, manic pixie dream girl, with laughter that’s kinda random and with deliberate mischief and kinda little town amateur theatre acting but somehow I dream of Jeannie is gently comic despite hyper-sized gender roles.

And yet yet that Failure to Care subroutine does come in handy occasionally. Confirmation bias allows a good night’s rest.

Don’t confuse your discomfort with danger. Or your comfort with safety. Or platitudes with effectiveness.

If we question ceaselessly, it’s a crazy maker. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path.

Make a better model. Or make a cake. Or do something concrete and useful.

If you want to double your money, fold it in half. If you want to make your poetry twice as good, don’t fold it half or you won’t be able to find the sheets.

How to judge if Fuller did what we wanted? What of Fuller’s life, legacy rebuilt what we now take for granted? Every molecule changes something constantly. Every chipper that rolls a cluster of trees into dust. Every sporting cat who grabs a robin. Every robin. Every mite on it. I suppose even its gnats have gnats on their backs with flora in their gut.

The big picture is so astronomically larger than a perception and the smaller picture as fractal.

Yet to know rather than believe is a more substantial calling than to believe instead of knowing. It’s harder than faffing about and rarer but.

But, but, putter butter. Squirrel running over the top of the shadow of the tree, that is fence.

The cat wants back in.

3 Sep 2014, 10:25am

Silent in the Night

“So you’re relaxing at your South Hillside home in Anchorage when you look outside and see…a lynx? That’s exactly what happened to JoAnn Cunningham one Sunday” last December. The video. “Luckily my schnauzer and cat were inside at the time,” Cunningham says.

To me it is a joyful crossing paths to see any life, moss or crow, beetle or hopping spider. I’m a fan of life. Always have been. It distressed the folks as a kid as I sheltered mice or snakes or insects. For them nature is the sinister to be conquered.

I can see the logic of we build indoors so we don’t have to do outdoors. I’m tired of wee things biting me. But that said, there are so many fantastic beauties that we get to time share space with. A gift in this land so sloughed of life with our concrete and spraying programmes.

The house centipede being nocturnal, I didn’t know it was there. It is a tiny predator, hunter of spiders, silverfish, ants, bedbugs and moths. An entire ecosystem checking each other.

It looks like a deep sea creature. It can scuttle at 0.4m/second which is another reason why you’re unlikely to see it. Yes, it can sting but we don’t look like lunch, and it’s up to us if we force defensiveness.

house centipede
I scared the wee thing with my hunched relative several tonne form looming with a flashlight. It ran back and forth. Sorry fella. Just wanted to get a look.

Centipede is hyperbole. They never get to a hundred legs. This one seems about mid-life with 13 pairs. So halfway from a lifespan of 3-7 years. According to wikipedia,

They gain a new pair with the first molting, and two pairs with each of their five subsequent moltings. Adults with 15 pairs of legs retain that number through three more molting stages (sequence 4-5-7-9-11-13-15-15-15-15 pairs).

Millipedes are also exaggerated. Eathlife says “if you want to know how many legs a millipede has you can count the number of body segments, multiply by 4 and subtract 10 unless it is a member of the colobgnatha in which case you only subtract 8.” They have at least 9 pairs. There are over 10,000 named species of millipedes.

House centipedes by comparison, with their up to 3″ long antennae, look delicate for all their lassoing of prey pierce and fierce hunting. They also fastidiously self-groom. They look flashy compared to the more common cryptopid centipede found around fallen logs. Not sure if it’s range is here. It looks similar.

House Centipedes cannot be tight assed as they can’t clench. See,

Centipede respiratory systems do not provide any mechanism for shutting the spiracles, and that is why they need an environment that protects them from dehydration and excessive cold.

So as a kicker to this post, and it’s unfortunate that I have to say this explicitly, but no negs. No suggestions of harm to the creature. If you are bound to your hatred and fear as your identity, just come back when there’s a new post. No sharing of fear. Do that at your own site according to your need.

But back to the centipede. Mating is a bit detached and anti-climatic after the dance.

To begin mating, the male and female circle around each other. They initiate contact with their antennae. The male deposits his sperm on the ground and the female then uses it to fertilize her eggs.

Which I suppose is better? Well, different from Australia’s shrew-like black-tailed antechinus which takes 11 months to get to sexual maturity then has sex 12-14 hours a day then the male dies of internal bleeding from the franticness before it reaches a year old. The Antechinus female generally lives 2-3 years.

So many forms of life.

I once thought I’d like to study biology or hard science but was blocked by internalized anti-science fundamentalism and medieval ideas of being tested by Satan planting false evidence, pushed by a belief that I was destined for Bible translation. I liked the idea of science but I couldn’t abide the idea of evolution or animal dissection long enough to get to the other side of where formal observations could happen.

Where you start doesn’t determine where you stay.

If I had not been superstitiously moving through prayer sessions to decide my post-secondary, I wouldn’t have encountered hubby.

If we had not both been raised with the notion of church going we wouldn’t have met.

If I had not been inculcated on religion, I wouldn’t have sought refuge among believers who I felt were also oppressed minorities in a hostile anti-Christian world.

Because of this broken path, I intersected the life of who was to become the hubby who encouraged rationalism as well as being one of the kindest humans I’d met.

The wild-eyed, If.

If something that didn’t occur, did. If something that might occur did, except it didn’t.

A nonsense haranger that word. It’s scare quotes without any substantiated quotes.

2 Sep 2014, 11:59am

So far

I feel we should have a word.

I seem to have boxed myself into the idea that I can’t have a word without a photo. It’s like a talking point, a device like a novelty in pocket to ice-break even with self.

You have to start one place. Many places go no where. Just one. It can be arbitrary. Movement is more important than destination. Direction inevitably changes.

I can do words but I feel non-verbal. Two weeks I’ve felt off kilter. Better this week than last.

I can do eye- or hand-movement but feel all is a layer too thin. Watercolor thinking instead of oil. Or muddy scribbles. It’s as if being in a raucous room trying to make myself heard through the thick of competing voices. It’s physically fatiguing. It’s a learning curve to assert my mental lungs and compete and carry on my thing rather than just let myself be washed by it. Although fitting task to capacity is a good strategy as well. It’s a pain to need to adapt. Sometimes refusing is good too.

My head is clearing. Today is better than yesterday. Yesterday all felt impossible, futile. Grim Peeper is depression. Easy to mock and dodge. Except when persistent. Even when the heart feels light and amused, patient and tolerant of the Fool, peep, peep, peep. Failure to Care kept wanting to trump any and everything. The head had a noise of clatter so pulling out strands of one thing without interruption took more energy than it usually does. It’s as if the visual system and organizational system are tethered somehow. What size of pot to what size of burner seemed unhackable. Threat response was wonky. I could see it. Self felt more delicate and therefore angry and witty. So tenderness to self. Can’t hit the off button on the buzz saw so let ‘er rip as long it needs to and leave me out of it.

Could be triggered by body’s calendar. Anticipation. It would be my dad’s 87th birthday today. Flipflop. Call mom in case in weighs on her or flipflop, not call, in case she’s dismissing the bodily memory and engaged with now.

Or that may be ascribing the body too much intelligence. Solar flares. Randomness. Why posit logic into the irrational. The body could be on about anything.

Today, my limbs feel more mobile. Only under the normal number of gravitational weights. Reading Hello my name is Diane by Sandra Ridley at OpenBook on the life living with panic attack.

I can absorb information. Parse easier. Lists can be made. Tasks done. So far so good.

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