11 Nov 2015, 4:32pm
Gnomes Ponderings
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No Travel At All

Those 5 or 6 days of laryngitis turned on me. I went from being an unintentional practical joke with mom calling and not believing that who answered the phone was me, insisting that Brian hand the phone over. To being aspiration and mouthing things for a couple days. To a soprano boy’s cracking voice. To it wearing out after a sentence or too. Me on mute.

I’ve been coughing for days. Hacking out a lung that won’t quite come right out. Holding on by mucus of steel.

I don’t feel congested. I feel like a plague-bearer.

Slowed thinking has its advantages.

Economics is not growth like plant growth.

I put 1 potato in the ground, split 3 ways and I got a bagful of potatoes back.

Invest money and your just take it by “interest” from someone else. It is not alive. All the movement is by outside forces.

Maybe new ores are squatted on by corporations skimming the land from beneath where plants, humans and other animals have been living but money is a process more than a product.

Money is a convenience for trade. Why go to make a transferable neutral of cash when you can find and trade directly and skip the middle means? Cash is a failure of communicating with a tribe that you can be useful to and who can provide what you need.

Writing things down is in the belief that otherwise it will be forgotten. What if it isn’t? And writing just prevents further thought and releases things to be forgotten?

A while back we went to Pink Lake where sunning on the trail was this guy. I say guy because male garter snakes are smaller than females and it is late in the season to be young.

I have always loved garter snakes. To encounter a species not-human is a gift. Snake, cat or Firebrat, which prefer 98 to 102 °F (37 to 39 °C) and an optimum of 85% humidity. A niche I can understand myself.

I like water snakes. And garters. Even when I found one eating peaceably as a little kid. But I ran to dad who came and “rescued” the mouse from her mouth. I didn’t even offer the snake an apple in return. The mouse was wet but ran off.

I’ve never written that. Now that I have it will disappear like all things consigned to text. The construction of language confers a lack of real to anything it touches. What stays outside language in the 90% of the world that is non-verbalized has a reality to it that is hard to bring over the border of 2-D.

Talking is good. I can understand how it has all kinds of leakage and slippage, and refusal of one narrative. Talking is messy and takes up a moving sack of space of body, a larger one of sound. When we pare it down to text, we keep a spilled dried spatter of egg white and the chick had left to dry and scratch. The shell is something to marvel at and hold. It is everything all together that adds up. The whole stories.

Pink Lake
Pink Lake is extremely low oxygen. The water doesn’t cycle in it and in fall especially the algae builds to make it bloom. It looks more Mediterranean than dreams of the Mediterranean. Than tourism guides for the Mediterranean.

A month ago there was snow. A month ago there was ice on the water. And still the trees aren’t bare.

On one hand, I appreciate the warmth. On the other, I’d like to try out our snow shoes.

10 Jul 2014, 4:26pm
Farming Gnomes
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Veggie Garden

Milkweed out in the wild verge.

That’d be nice to have planted, to attract some butterflies and because the little boats of pods and silk are fond memories.

I envy the cultivar daisies but I want wild daisies for a sunny spot, and trilliums, dog-tooth violets, all the native forest floor plants to reinstate what was once here a couple centuries ago.

Know what would also be nice? To have peppers survive to our table. The second big one was swiped. Them being eaten at the picnic table is civil of the critters and all, but I’d rather see the pepper turn red.

I suppose gardening is a variation on plant a tree you will never sit under the shade of.

I thought the pole beans didn’t come up but when I look closer I see the ones that did are chewed to the ground. Chicken wire is now around the survivors.

Radishes are coming up. First and second planting are weeks apart but thanks to the heat and rains all coming together this week, they’re the same size.

And some squash that was way past proper planting time but threw in the ground anyway? Three of them coming up.

Such amazing fertility of seed. You could rake and bale the amount of sow weeds and creeping joe and manitoba maple seedlings and crab grass. Where invasive species meets invasive species, that’s a kind of rainforest thriving, except everything is inches tall.

13 Apr 2014, 6:39pm
Gnomes Photos

Breaking old ground

Irises, yes?

Sun, warm, and rain and the majority of the snowbanks have gone away.

The snow’s vestige.

Kids (of all sizes) were playing hopscotch, skipping rope.

Dogs were promenading in their new haircuts. People on bikes, trikes, longboards, razors, on motorcycles, scooters or in convertibles. Singers were out busking with guitars. People carrying bouquets or sitting on patios inside the new bird song.

Tulips are breaking old ground.

down the street…

in the bank’s planter—
more cigarette butts
than tulip buds

On the sunny side of the street, tulips gone feral.

Hocus crocus.

buddhas, sign of spring?
Even Buddhas are sprouting.

14 Sep 2013, 5:11pm
Glad Game Gnomes Light Photos

On Beauty Duty

Ride bear, ride.

mancala by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Bokeh-dot mancala

peaches by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Peaches wait.

Glad Game: We happened across a friend on the street. I automatically waved. Both of those are good and that I didn’t crumple from sudden shoulder movement. It was more of a salute until the shoulder hit a wall 3/4 lifted, but still, that’s farther than its been for I don’t know how many weeks.

Book was ordered. I shipped it. I didn’t charge enough for postage so griped and then life dropped a toonie at our feet for my troubles. I tell you, it’s hard to keep a good kvetch going sometimes.

Let there be light and there was and it was good: the basement window which was boarded over when we got our place has now been unboarded and it admits light and air. That brightens it up down there.

Halloos received from a few friends. That’s rather nice.

Oh, and

sugary top by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Muffins in the mailbox. That sure never happened in condo life. In a condo it had all the isolation of being a hermit and none of the advantages of quiet or privacy. Being on the ground again has all kinds of unexpected perks like new lovely neighbours.

Sister Teresa of Proces Constituent in Catalan Spain is thinking of bigger boxes that better social policy and more self-determination can fit in.

The Ottawa Public Library has another lineup of poetry workshops

Oh, and I’ve been reminded that not everyone is on twitter or FB and the blogs go where some of them don’t. It’s kind of counterintutive since there’s more interaction at the FB and Twitter but yes, I should mention here as well, a recording of Literary Landscape is archived at my author site.

That caught was thanks to plan C: the recording by Hubby At Home Manoeuvre. Not much of the time, not the majority of the time, but every now and then, intentions turn out. How about that.


I like the sentiment of the quote below, even if it’s kind of right and wrong. Expecting perfection and professional to be synonymous and that there is a place where one’s learning and curiosity stops while skills keep right on going seems misguided and not entirely benign. At the same time, much is lost by giving up too soon, by “good enough” and starting to call it in. And everything is a skill. Learning itself and teaching are skills. All is acquired. Even, I’ve heard, patience.

Quote: “Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong” ~ quote investigator says a variant of it went to 1902 to school superintendent George W. Loomis

8 May 2013, 11:44am
Gnomes Photos Ponderings


Times passes. It seems more digital than analogue sometimes. We’re not at the mid-90s in temperature, yet, but it’s undeniably warm weather. Finally it is starting. I’ve been going through photo albums.

Cape Breton jay walkers
Cape Breton jay walkers, 1995.

graduation, 1995
1995, graduating with a linguistics degree.

near Morell, PEI Sept 6, 1995
Near Morell, PEI September, 1995.

We should totally reenact this, or maybe do it at the local beach in an odd time lapse.

fall tree, 1994
A maple tree, 1994.

honeymoon, mount washington
Honeymooning, on top of Mount Washington. As if in answer to the question, were we ever that young?

There may only ever be this moment of now but there are so very many of them. Egad, already it is Wednesday. Wordless, speechless, it keeps on leaving and coming. More speechless than I mustered this morning.

I’ve got a reading tonight at Venus Envy. I’ll be reading at the Grand Finale Voices of Venus with comedian and story-teller Kalyani Pandya. That’s 7:30pm doors, $5 admission, 8pm Venus Envy at Lisgar and Bank. There’s gonna be cupcakes and celebration.


Every change comes with a complex set of outcomes. For example, by fishing for the big fish, it pressures the advantage of fish coming to sexual maturity while smaller since they won’t live long. Salmon or trout don’t get larger not only because they are killed too soon but because the littler ones aren’t bottlenecked to not survive.

If you give people the freedom from taboos of women being controlled in church, not having the right to speak or preach, mandates on their clothes, such as a Baptist church I grew up in, to leave also leaves the good part of the community where there are people who are not exclusively that box.

There’s no pro without a con. Some things are undeniably better, surely in the whole, a tradeoff that’s un upgrade that opens some better options. Or is it just change being better? To be violently closed, group tribal, in favour of guns and the strongest surviving, pro-bullying as making men from boys and showing girls their proper place, also make for fierce ties that protect in-group as much as they fend off out-group. One is never fully free of being outside a sensibility even when having a foot in different ones. The mind can keep its parallels that would conflict if they mixed. But they don’t mix.

It argues against one’s own experience will to say that life is not progressive. We’ve got our bathroom reno almost done. It moved to more order. Groceries get done. Laundry. This is a domestic progress. It isn’t ambiguous and can’t be called more chaotic or adding cons. Chaos outnumbers pattern. Our pattern recognition is what is salient. Maybe it is only catch less than a percent of anything, seeing the breadcrumb trail and ignoring the forest. There’s a momentum and direction.

Noteable Quoteables:
“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
― George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

“The thing is, it’s very dangerous to have a fixed idea. A person with a fixed idea will always find some way of convincing himself in the end that he is right”
― Atle Selberg

“One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.”
― Eric Hirzel

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