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All in the name of Allah

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Thursday morning appears with slate gray skies, scattered rains and a humid 75°.

I was eager to sit out on the porch with my new tablet and type out a missive this morning, but the light rains put an end to that today. Not that I am complaining about the rain, mind you. We Texans don’t bitch about something as precious as rain. Most of us would be so elated with a good long weeks soaker.

I am a little late in penning this missive. It seemed to take a bit more coffee to thin the blood this morning, so I idly let the newsfeeds scroll by without comment. I am reminded of the Merry Minuet.

They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain

Read more: Kingston Trio – Merry Minuet Lyrics | MetroLyrics

School girls captured in the name of Allah. Captors cursed in the name of Allah.
Pelosi the hairy wants fairness in the Ben Ghazi hearings.
Senator Reid says some billionaires are evil (Koch Bros.) and some billionairs (Sheldon Adelson) are good.
Harvard students plan to hold a Black Mass. Cool. As long as it isn’t a Catholic Mass.

So goes the world outside my window. But I sit cocooned in my $49 Office Max Executive chair, coffee cup warming my fingers.





Intermittent rains …

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Wednesday dawns overcast and windy, but a warm 73° as rain cells scurry about, soaking one area, and leaving another bone dry in the beginning of the 4th year of drought.  Kipper da budgie greets me with shrill chirps and buzzes. I am wondering who dropped a quarter in her today.

And today is another Bruin Hilda day. I am getting used to the torture, and might even be beginning to enjoy her loving lashes as she escorts me from one device to the other. If only I didn’t have to make the trip into the metropolis and the attending labyrinth of the hospital corridors. But I guess you can’t have everything. Of course, my answer is “Why not? Who wrote that asinine rule?”

Later in the day an installer will come and put in a new broadband service called WDSL … sort of a WiFi network that will give me more bandwidth and higher speeds than satellite. And almost no latency (a geek term for sluggish performance). So for the next eight months, I’ll have two internet providers until my original satellite contract expires. But I’ll call them tomorrow and change to their lowest level of service, which combined with the Wi-Fi will cost me less than Satellites best service plan.

Yeah. I imagine you are just titillated with that revelation, aren’t you!

Not much happening on the writing front as life advances. It is a time of reassessing goals, becoming more reflective in my day-to-day routine, and working at becoming an elder statesman as the new congregation flourishes. It is kinda like when your kid grows up, and you have to back off and let them soar or crash.

But it is good. I never was a good committee worker anyway. Few good things come from committees. But then, few bad things come from them too. Committees on the whole are not geared for risk taking. I think the last committee meeting pretty much killed any desire in me to assist in taking the congregation to the next level. My work here is done. Now sit back and smile a lot.

And writing. Journaling is my speed today. I have little desire to lead you unwilling down mystical paths, inculcating religious themes in your mind without broaching the subject of God. It used to be fun to engage in that sort of benign deception. And the political fire in the belly is dying. Here is a great nation, slowly dying on the altar of greed and selfishness. Noble themes, the grand egalitarian experiment of the Founding Masons, have been pushed aside for effete academic intellectualism, and both political parties are culpable in the descent into decadence. RIP … it was a grand experiment, but man is not truly capable of freedom.

And my ambitions of a flourishing garden are slowly dying too. The persistent drought and my own debility combine to simplify my life. Keep the grass and weeds mowed down so that a prairie fire does not destroy my home is pretty much the rule now. The riding mower reigns, the garden spade is retired.

And with those somewhat morose meanderings, I bid you a pleasant good morning as I go to prepare by body for Bruin Hildas loving lashes …

Good morning!




Tuesdays troubles …

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Tuesday dawns cool and partly sunny in weather casters vernacular. Odd use of words. Partly sunny. I guess that means a little more sun break outs than it would if it was partly cloudy. This’ll be a laid back day, I am still sore from my rehab session yesterday, but I am noticing a bit more strength.

The hardest part is the walk from the parking lot to the clinic. There is close in parking, and valet parking, but I am too cheap to pay a valet, and I don’t want to join the circle of cars slowly circling the lot waiting to pounce on an empty spot, and being annoyed at the surplus of handicapped spots with each circuit. So I just park in the far in of the lot and walk the block and a half to the door. It is uphill and by the time I hit the clinic door inside the huge building, I am puffing like a steam engine.

Once inside, I take my monitor pouch that is laid out on the table and walk to the back where Bruin Hilda ties the straps on, puts the monitor in the pouch, and snaps the leads on to the patches on my chest and side.

Now it is 20 minutes on the recumbent, which goes well, five minutes on the arm crank, and 20 minutes on the treadmill. The “effort” is adjusted higher each visit on the machines as well, but if it gets to be too laborious, you can adjust the effort downwards. But you WILL do twenty minutes. The machines are tied into the monitor, and they know if you cheat on the time.

But back to the moment, as I sit at my studio window and watch the breezes rustle the tree leaves, and the cardinals flit around the bird bath. It is a peaceful time, and by the middle of the second cup of coffee my mind can turn to the day’s evils. I will have to run into town today because I forgot to stop at the pharmacy yesterday and pick up some new glucose test strips. Maybe I’ll stop at the grocery and pick up the fixins for a country breakfast this weekend. I am allowed to blow my diet once a week … and Sunday is my day … and I have a hankering for sausage gravy and biscuits, scrambled eggs and hash browns. And maybe a grapefruit. If I am going to be a piggy, I’ll go whole hog.

Actually, I am off of pork and pork products. It is ersatz sausage I get these days, made from turkeys. It seems to satisfy the soul as much as the original hog did, but doesn’t tickle the taste buds as well. But such is life.

And maybe I’ll mow. That seems to be what I do best. Seated on my riding mower like a grandee, waiving at the passing neighbors and workmen. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

Entering quietly

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Thursday dawns a humid and overcast 66°. The trees are in full leaf, and the yard is green. But Texas is still in a long drought, so we cautiously wait out the spring by avoiding garden shops and seed catalogues. Water is too dear to waste on much greenery. A modulating whine from Snookums morning run on the tread mill intrudes into the soft silence, and Kippur gently yeeps from her cage as she goes through another molt. Somewhere off in the distance, a diesel motor rumbles. Most likely a concrete pump in the development nearby. So much for my bucolic countryside and quiet country lane. The passing of an era goes lamented only by the aged.

And my old pick ’em up truck sits out in the yard where I left it yesterday after its annual bath. Today it gets a safety inspection. The sticker is two months overdue, and I hope to duck the law on the way to the inspection station. I feel like such a criminal! I considered selling it a few times since I usually put less than a thousand miles on it a year. It occasionally gets used to haul a sheet of plywood, or to run down to the village gas emporium for lawn-mower gas. If I am careless about putting the trickle charger on it, I get rewarded for my irresponsibility by having to put a new battery in it. Gone are the days of a $50 dollar battery. This year it was $125. *sob!*.

I must be getting stronger. Yesterday, under the loving lashes of the Big Nurses flail, I managed the full run of cardio exercisers without pain. Barely. And I managed to get all the way to the car afterwards without my rubber legs giving way before I got there. Still, I just sat in the car for a time and blew. I don’t think that I will ever return to 100% … but then, I never was that enamored of full bore living anyway.

Not much in the news today. Lots of political posturing. Even more inanities. The mid-week bloggers are few. And facebook is a wilderness. So I have run out of excuses to sit in front of the unblinking Cyclops and must cover my bod for the day’s routines. Would be that the world would be more accepting of a geezer in his underwear.

Good morning!


Cream cheese and soda crackers

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A late Tuesday morning greets me as I stumble out of bed after a sleep tossed night. Half a tub of cream cheese spread and a packet of saltines is not a good bedtime snack, apparently. But when you are retired, it matters little. Early or late, the world still goes on with or without me.

The routine either way is to pour a cup of coffee, and stagger down the hall to the studio and peek into your world. A fast scan of US news, then world news, and a special Middle East newsfeed. Then the blogs, and finally facebook, text messages and emails.

A period of coffee sippin’ and musing follows that, and perhaps a journal will follow. Most of my journals I call the coffee is good journals. A period beginning with the soft fog of morning reverie, and slowly solidifying into a plan of action for the day. I try to not have any contact with people until I am coherent, around ten a.m., and so my emails and telephone calls are much later in the day.

My lawn is mowed, and I can look with satisfaction out into a neat and orderly universe of swifts darting inches above the ground, mocking birds mimicking piercing calls and arguing with the cardinals. Kippur the Budgie fussing and scolding me. She is in the middle of another molt, and gets real cranky during them.

Another ten minutes, and morning talk radio will automatically kick on, and once again, the world will intrude into my little corner of paradise. But such is our world.

Good morning!


Happy Easter, or Happy Astarte, or Enjoy the Day!

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… just started in on my second cup of coffee. It didn’t take me long to get thru the mornings news and blogs.

There is lots of blogs on Easter, the resurrection, and friends on facebook wishing me a Happy Easter. Not that I mind. I am happy to be wished a happy anything, ‘cept perhaps a Happy Prostrate Exam day. But I do find it a bit odd that Christians would use a pagan idol like Ishtar or Astarte to commemorate their god rising from the grave. Maybe someday I’ll investigate this mystery.

Today is going to be partly cloudy, with a one in three chance of rain. But the air is full of the sound of lawn mowers. Big ones, little ones, and grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr weed eaters, all beating back the verges of wilderness.

We are a curious lot too. We buy a parcel out in the wilds to enjoy nature, and set about civilizing it. Rattlesnakes got to go, but we set out baths and seed for birds. Coyotes are not appreciated, but we have tame dogs. And of course, field mice and rats need to be poisoned off. Snookums will NOT live with mice. Don’t water at night, because frogs multiply, and where there are frogs, there are copperheads and rattlers. Don’t leave lumber stacked on the ground. Keep the weeds mowed to provide a fire break, and cut down any cedar closer than 50 yards.

But all that is just distant musing on this soft Sunday morning. Soon, I’ll prepare for our First Fruits celebration at the shul. Two, maybe three hours out of the day. Then back this afternoon, put the new battery in the old pickup, maybe mow the front acreage if I have time.

Today is bath day for Kippur the Budgie. She really perks up on bath days, zooming thru the bath and flitting back up to the perch to shake the water off and fight with a few toys. Unless a really big bird perches on the porch handrail just outside the window. Then we get veeeeeryyy quiet and still.

So as the day slowly runs by, and the coffee nears the bottom of the cup, I leave you with a “Happy Easter” if you are so inclined, or greet you with “Chag Sameach” if that is your tradition, or enjoy the day off if that is your particular belief.


Messy Musings

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OK … sit at the keyboard and type something. Anything to get the ball rolling.

That is the normal way I try to get off a journal. My studio looks out over the front yard, and that is the first thing I notice when I sit down with my coffee cup in the morning. To one side is Kippur the Budgie’s cage. That is why so many of my journals start off with the yard and the bird.

But some mornings, that doesn’t inspire me. I don’t wanna force my mind into composing sentences. I just want to sip coffee and vege. This morning was one of those days. I ditched services today for no other reason than I just didn’t wanna. I didn’t wanna shower. I didn’t wanna dress. I didn’t wanna load the car. I didn’t wanna spend four hours away from home.

But something always seems to impel me to write, even when I don’t wanna. I’ll bang out nonsensical pieces that I rarely share. Or maybe I’ll pick up an old piece and rework a few paragraphs. Politics used to be a motivator of mine, but I am to the point that I have given up, because nothing short of a bloody revolt is going to put our nation back on a secure path. And revolutions too often replace the bad with an even worse. And all in all, given the high level of misery in the world, does it really matter? I got mine, and I’ll die with as much of it as I can. Not that it matters even at that. I don’t have much in the way of new stuff, so probably when I pass, most of my “stuff” will end up in a landfill, and I’ll not care a whit at that point.

Anyway … to all, I wish a very great day.