6.26.2022 – it over or just

it over or just
beginning fasten seatbelts
be a bumpy night

This is going to be a long hot summer.

So many threads in the tapestry that will be the history of the year 2022.

So many story lines to follow.

Hands covering my face but with my fingers spread over my eyes so I can see.

Right now, I can say it’s not over.

I can say it’s just beginning.

I can say, fasten your seatbelts.

I can say, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

Wake me when we get to over.

The text of the today’s haiku is adapted from the screenplay from the 1950 movie “All About Eve” by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Thinking about movies and the current passing show and the time of year, the movie, Long Hot Summer comes to mind.

Based on William Faulkner’s writings, the movie has Orson Welles, as Will Varner deliver this line about an abandoned house:

The man that built this place, his name’s forgotten.

This was his dream and his pride.

Now it’s dust.

Must be a moral there somewhere.

6.24.2022 give the blues a chase

give the blues a chase
find a sunny place can cure
your ills with sunshine

From the song, Little Sunshine by Irving Berlin and sung here in the video below, in such a way that you cannot help but smile, by Tatiana Eva-Marie & Avalon Jazz Band.

A lot of cobwebs in your head
You’re getting rusty, so you said
You’re feeling badly and everything looks grey
You’re getting worried, yes indeed

Simple?

Yes!

Simplistic?

Maybe so.

Right now I am ready and willing to accept simplistic.

And the existence of songs like this from over 100 years ago, give me some hope, some piece of mind, some perspective.

Things have looked pretty bad before.

And growing up in West Michigan, the 2nd most overcast location in North America (after Seattle) I understand how much climate can play a role in my daily outlook.

My first year of living in the Atlanta area, I again and again commented how much just the presence of the sunshine, the quality of the light in the south, made me feel good.

Right now, sunshine seems to be about it in my cabinet of things that are good for what ails you.

All things considered, at least it is not the winter of our discontent, and while it is the summer of our discontent, there is sunshine.

The book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 45 reminds me that God ‘causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous‘.

So I will not begrudge anyone access to the sunshine or the rain.

I will embrace it as it I can.

Here are the lyrics, written sometime during the years 1927–1931.

A lot of cobwebs in your head
You’re getting rusty, so you said
You’re feeling badly and everything looks grey
You’re getting worried, yes indeed
I know exactly what you need
A little sunshine will make you feel OK

Give the blues a chase
Find a sunny place
Go and paint your face, with sunshine
Pay your doctor bills
Then throw away his pills
You can cure your ills, with sunshine

6.23.2022 – when findings appear

when findings appear
sensational vision tends
to optimistic

Reading this morning, I came across the story, ‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf? by Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian.

The story deals with the complex of idea of the benefits derived from the re-release of near extinct predator animals back into the wild.

What I found somewhat refreshing in the article was one, its use of language and word along with the near blasphemous concept that science might be and maybe should be questioned.

When I was a kid growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during the summer one of the big moments of the day was the delivery of the daily paper.

Down in the lower right hand corner of the front page was a small graphic of a thermometer that showed the current temperature of Lake Michigan at the Grand Haven State Park.

As it slowly crept up to near 70 degrees we would get excited and start yelling to our Mom that it was time to get the lake.

The temperature of the water in Lake Michigan along the shore can change in a matter of hours.

The center, deeper parts of the lake never warm up much and neither do the part of the lake, north of Ludington.

A shift of the wind out to out of the north can drop the temperature of the water along the shore faster than you can say ‘get your swimming suit on.’

Yet we would get excited when we got a the information in the paper.

A paper that had been printed sometime that day with information the newspaper staff had picked up, most likely the day before.

So the information we were getting was at least 24 hours old.

Who knew what the water temp was by that time.

Years later I worked at a local TV station and working with the weather team we created and online map that reported the water temperatures of Lake Michigan at the State Parks along the shore.

We had discovered that in all the METAR tables of data that the National Weather Service made available to us, there was a report of Water Temps.

This was daily data that we could get using the internet and use on air.

I told the weather team my story about reading the temp in the paper and how old it was by the time we got it.

This caught the interest of the chief Meteorologist who decided to call the National Weather Service and ask how this water temp data was gathered.

Turned out that State Park Rangers all had a thermometer on a rope and each day, sometime before 11AM, they would take the thermometer down to the beach and throw in the water, reel it in, read of the temp on the thermometer and then call than in to the National Weather Service.

“Were there any guidelines?” my guy asked, “How deep? How long to let it stay in?”

Nope, nope and nope.

The information was now online, but that didn’t make any more accurate.

That’s the science behind that piece of information.

Remember that not all technical advances are cultural ones.

All I know is, I put my toes in Lake Michigan, they got cold.

# # # #

This haiku is one of a couple or more in a series based on this same article.

There were so many good word combinations that I couldn’t pass them up.

And readers of this blog will know that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on this article and the Ms. Weston’s word choices.

I should also mention that this ‘lack of output’ coincided with a trip up to see our son and being away from a computer keyboard for a long weekend and I am playing catch-up.

Other haiku from this passage include:

  • 6 17 2022: being brave enough to
  • 6 16 2022: need to look at the
  • 6 13 2022: enthusiastic
  • 6 6 2022: findings are challenged
  • 6 23 2022: when findings appear
  • 6 21 2022: a landscape of fear
  • 6 20 2022: overselling that
  • 4 30 2022: there are factors that
  • 6.22.2022 – they did not value

    they did not value
    resources, communities
    historic nature

    Today’s haiku is adapted from a quote from US Representative Teresa Leger Fernández of New Mexico when she made a statement about the US Forest Service and that they made multiple miscalculations, used inaccurate models and underestimated how dry conditions were in the south-west, causing a planned burn to reduce the threat of wildfires to explode into the largest blaze in New Mexico’s recorded history.

    Representative Fernández said, “These are complex issues. Starting a prescribed burn in an area where there are homes and watersheds and communities should be something that you take incredibly seriously because those are high value assets. They did not value the resources, the communities, the historic nature of these communities and so they went forward allowing more risk than they should have.”

    She was speaking about forest management.

    You could easily think she was talking about any number of things in the news right now.

    When talking about right now I must be talking about rights.

    Right to vote.

    Right to have your vote counted.

    Curious how right and right are the some word.

    The online Merriam-Webster defines the words like this:

    >Something to which one has a just claim.

    >Conforming to facts or truth.

    >Being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper.

    >Qualities (such as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval.

    My thought this morning was to write about how difficult it has been of late to construct a daily haiku and write some commentary in a light hearted way when I am feeling anything but lighthearted.

    I saw this quote of Representative Fernández’s and thought how easy it would be to use the words in a commentary on how so many decisions and actions are being taken today without any consideration to the value the resources, the communities, the historic nature of these communities and so they went forward allowing more risk than they should have.

    Then by chance I hit that word right.

    Seems there has been a major disconnect on the importance of this word.

    Right.

    Rights.

    Right rights.

    I am reminded of Proverbs 21:3 (NIV) –

    To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

    It was a long time ago but I had to take a class in school to learn how to drive a car.

    It was a free class offered by the Grand Rapids Public Schools, all you had to do was sign up.

    The only restriction was that you had to turn 16 years old, legal driving age, either before the class started or by the time it finished to sign up.

    In the winter of 1976, for reasons I have never understood, my Dad was interested in my getting a drivers license.

    At the same time he also took a life insurance policy out of me.

    Maybe he thought it was a good investment.

    It was January and my birthday was in July and I knew that I couldn’t sign up until then but he kept after me to sign up for drivers ed.

    Maybe he just wanted to avoid another summer of having a kid in drivers ed instead of during the school year.

    To make him happy I went into the office and asked for a registration card and filled it out and dropped it in the office inbox and forgot about it.

    I can’t say I have had many you-could-knock-me-over-with-a-feather shocks in my life but a week later, this would have been January still, I was walking home from school in the snow with my buddies when my Dad pulled up next to us in his car, rolled down the window and said, “get in.”

    This NEVER HAPPENED.

    The first thing that went through my mind was to examine my conscience to figure out what I done wrong.

    Truthfully, the list was so long I most likely didn’t know where to start.

    My buddies all looked at me with that oh-are-you-in-trouble look and they all moved away from me to get away from any possible shrapnel.

    Very slowly and tentatively I opened the car door and got in my Dad’s car.

    My Dad’s car was one of the pleasures’ he allowed himself to indulge in.

    My Dad had driven a Thunderbird convertible in the early 1960’s when there might not have been a more coveted car in America.

    He updated that to the Buick Riviera, which in the late ’60s had POWER EVERYTHING.

    From the Riviera, he got a 1976 two door navy blue Mercury Cougar.

    It was this car I was now sitting in.

    15 years old and I learned how to drive in this car

    Sitting in the front seat and waiting to find out what I had done.

    My stomach was doing all kinds of calisthenics and I kept my mouth shut.

    My Dad drove pulled away from the curb and said, “We are going to the park so I can show you have to drive. School called and you have Driver’s Ed at 4 o’clock!”

    HUhhhhhhhhhhhhhh whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

    Talk about you-could-knock-me-over-with-a-feather!

    We got to the nearby Riverside Park and I was put in the drivers seat of my Dad’s Cougar and on a snow covered park road, I got a quick lesson in how to start a car, put it in gear and drive.

    While I drove, my Dad explained that School had called and said that due to a cancellation there was an opening in the Drivers Ed class that started that day.

    As it happened, my card was sitting out on the desk and the school was calling to see if I was eligible for the class.

    See, when I filled out the card, I put my birthday as being in July, 1976!

    The current year.

    The school was calling to check if was old enough.

    In other words, had I been born in 1959 (when I had been born in 1960).

    My Dad said that my Mom had taken the call and she looked at Dad and asked what to say.

    “TELL THEM YES!,” my Dad said.

    About an hour later, I was dropped off back at school and found the Drivers Ed class where the teacher had my card in his hand.

    “You Hoffman?” he asked.

    I said yes and the class started.

    The teacher started talking to the class about driving and getting a drivers license.

    Let’s get this straight right now,” he said.

    A drivers license is a PRIVILEDGE not a RIGHT.

    Privileges’ can be taken away.

    Rights cannot.”

    I have never forgot that.

    Living in this country, we have so many rights.

    Why do we forget what a privilege this is?

    6.21.2022 – a landscape of fear

    a landscape of fear
    increasingly researchers
    looking, nuances

    Reading the morning paper recently, I came across the story, ‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf? by Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian.

    The story deals with the complex of idea of the benefits derived from the re-release of near extinct predator animals back into the wild.

    What I found somewhat refreshing in the article was one, its use of language and word along with the near blasphemous concept that science might be and maybe should be questioned.

    Question the science?

    Gosh!

    This haiku is one of a couple or more in a series based on this same article.

    There were so many good word combinations that I couldn’t pass them up.

    And readers of this blog will know that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

    This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

    I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

    Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

    This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

    It IS cricket because I say it is.

    It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

    Thus I have this series of haiku based on this article and the Ms. Weston’s word choices.

    I should also mention that this ‘lack of output’ coincided with a trip up to see our son and being away from a computer keyboard for a long weekend and I am playing catch-up.

    Other haiku from this passage include:

  • 6 17 2022: being brave enough to
  • 6 16 2022: need to look at the
  • 6 13 2022: enthusiastic
  • 6 6 2022: findings are challenged
  • 6 23 2022: when findings appear
  • 6 21 2022: a landscape of fear
  • 6 20 2022: overselling that
  • 4 30 2022: there are factors that
  • 6.20.2022 – overselling that

    overselling that
    myth possibly with the best
    sort of intentions

    Reading the morning paper recently, I came across the story, ‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf? by Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian.

    The story deals with the complex of idea of the benefits derived from the re-release of near extinct predator animals back into the wild.

    What I found somewhat refreshing in the article was one, its use of language and word along with the near blasphemous concept that science might be and maybe should be questioned.

    Question the science?

    Gosh!

    This haiku is one of a couple or more in a series based on this same article.

    There were so many good word combinations that I couldn’t pass them up.

    And readers of this blog will know that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

    This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

    I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

    Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

    This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

    It IS cricket because I say it is.

    It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

    Thus I have this series of haiku based on this article and the Ms. Weston’s word choices.

    I should also mention that this ‘lack of output’ coincided with a trip up to see our son and being away from a computer keyboard for a long weekend and I am playing catch-up.

    Other haiku from this passage include:

  • 6 17 2022: being brave enough to
  • 6 16 2022: need to look at the
  • 6 13 2022: enthusiastic
  • 6 6 2022: findings are challenged
  • 6 23 2022: when findings appear
  • 6 21 2022: a landscape of fear
  • 6 20 2022: overselling that
  • 4 30 2022: there are factors that
  • 6.19.2022 – happy the man and

    happy the man and
    happy he alone who can
    call today his own

    Adapted from, Happy the Man by John Dryden (1631-1700)

    Happy the man, and happy he alone,
    He who can call today his own:
    He who, secure within, can say,
    Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
    Be fair or foul or rain or shine
    The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
    Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
    But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

    Of late, I have been reading a lot of Civil War history and Grant out in the West and the battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

    While I was reading I was reminded of my families visit to the battlefield in what must have been the spring of 1976.

    Once my brother Paul got married and moved to the Washington DC area in 1969, our family spring vacation trips were to Washington and all the memorials and museums and other sights along the way.

    But in 1976 (I think) my brother Paul had a short term assignment to the west coast and my Dad decided we would go south instead.

    I am not sure of all we saw but we went to the Land between the Lakes in Tennessee and the Shiloh Battlefield.

    My Mom always got us some new clothes for our spring trips and this year she bought me, Pete and Stevie and Al matching spring navy blue windbreakers with MICHIGAN in gold letters across the back.

    Everywhere we went, at all the diners we stopped at and such, folks would say, “Y’all from Michigan are you??” and we would smile and nod and wonder how did they figure that out?

    Anyway part of the Shiloh Battlefield connects with the Tennessee River at a point named Pittsburgh Landing.

    This is where boats that supplied the Union Army under US Grant were able to dock and where much of the Union Army ran and hid after the first day of battle.

    Today it is a parking lot and overlook of the river where you can park and look over the river and the read the plaques that describe the scene in April, 1862.

    We drove around the park and pulled over at Pittsburgh Landing and parked.

    There was one other car already parked there.

    Outside the car was a little family of a young man and his wife with the wife holding an infant baby wrapped in a blanket.

    The man and the woman looked none too happy and it turned out the young man had locked his keys in the car.

    He was able to get a coat hanger from the Park Rangers and was trying to work the hanger into driver door but as I remember it, the doors had metal frames and he couldn’t work the hanger past the frame.

    My Dad walked up to car, my Mom of course had engaged the young Mom in conversation about diapers and bottles and that the baby bag was IN THE CAR, and Dad looked over the situation.

    The car was a hatch back and he noticed one window, one of the back windows that pivoted out on a hinge horizontally, was open just a tiny bit.

    The young man pointed out that the window had a latch that let you open the window but he couldn’t get his hand in nor was his hanger long enough to reach the locks.

    The young man looked at my Dad and said he didn’t know what else he could do but break the back window.

    Maybe a bit drastic but the baby was beginning to fuss and the young wife was beginning to fuss as well.

    But my Dad said to hang on and he called us boys over.

    “See if you can reach in there”, he said to us with our skinny little arms and hands.

    I don’t know which one did it, but one of us could reach in and at least open the latch so the window opened about two more inches.

    This got the young man excited but it turned out even with the window open wider he couldn’t get anything unlocked.

    “I am just going to break it”, he said.

    But my Dad said to hang on and he went to out car and came back with a screwdriver.

    My Dad always had a tool or two in the glove compartment of the car.

    “Maybe we can detach the window from the latch”, my Dad said.

    The young man got the plan right away but he could not get his hands inside the window with the screw driver and get the screwdriver on the screw heads that held the latch plate to the glass of the window and get any torque to turn the screws.

    Us kids tried also with no luck.

    But my Dad was a Dentist and was used to working with his hands in small spaces.

    I can see it in my mind as he took the screwdriver and reached in through the gap and it seems with just his fingers got that screwdriver in place and exerted enough pressure to be able to turn the screws out of the plate.

    As soon as the first screw turned us boys all cheered.

    My Dad kept at it and removed four screws, took the latch plate off the glass, open that back window wide and reached over the drivers seat and unlocked the door.

    “There you go,” he said with this big grin.

    The young mom bursts into tears and hugs my Mom.

    The young man looked like he wanted to burst into tears and shook my Dad’s hand over and over.

    Us kids were all thrilled to have been there, to have helped and to have witnessed ‘Pater triumphans.

    My Dad, he just looked happy.

    Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
    Be fair or foul or rain or shine
    But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour

    One of the many times my Dad had his hour.

    6.18.2022 – stop this day and night

    stop this day and night
    with me and possess the good
    of the earth and sun

    Adapted from Song of Myself – 2, by Walt Whitman.

    This passage:

    You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
    You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
    You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
    You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

    6.17.2022 – being brave enough to

    being brave enough to
    embrace subjectivity
    really central here

    Reading the morning paper recently, I came across the story, ‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf? by Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian.

    The story deals with the complex of idea of the benefits derived from the re-release of near extinct predator animals back into the wild.

    What I found somewhat refreshing in the article was one, its use of language and word along with the near blasphemous concept that science might be and maybe should be questioned.

    Question the science?

    Gosh!

    This haiku is one of a couple or more in a series based on this same article.

    There were so many good word combinations that I couldn’t pass them up.

    And readers of this blog will know that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

    This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

    I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

    Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

    This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

    It IS cricket because I say it is.

    It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

    Thus I have this series of haiku based on this article and the Ms. Weston’s word choices.

    I should also mention that this ‘lack of output’ coincided with a trip up to see our son and being away from a computer keyboard for a long weekend and I am playing catch-up.

    Other haiku from this passage include:

  • 6 17 2022: being brave enough to
  • 6 16 2022: need to look at the
  • 6 13 2022: enthusiastic
  • 6 6 2022: findings are challenged
  • 6 23 2022: when findings appear
  • 6 21 2022: a landscape of fear
  • 6 20 2022: overselling that
  • 4 30 2022: there are factors that
  • 6.16.2022 – need to look at the

    need to look at the
    rhetoric, the narratives
    and think honesty

    Reading the morning paper recently, I came across the story, ‘People may be overselling the myth’: should we bring back the wolf? by Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian.

    The story deals with the complex of idea of the benefits derived from the re-release of near extinct predator animals back into the wild.

    What I found somewhat refreshing in the article was one, its use of language and word along with the near blasphemous concept that science might be and maybe should be questioned.

    Question the science?

    Gosh!

    This haiku is one of a couple or more in a series based on this same article.

    There were so many good word combinations that I couldn’t pass them up.

    And readers of this blog will know that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

    This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

    I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

    Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

    This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

    It IS cricket because I say it is.

    It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

    Thus I have this series of haiku based on this article and the Ms. Weston’s word choices.

    I should also mention that this ‘lack of output’ coincided with a trip up to see our son and being away from a computer keyboard for a long weekend and I am playing catch-up.

    Other haiku from this passage include:

  • 6 17 2022: being brave enough to
  • 6 16 2022: need to look at the
  • 6 13 2022: enthusiastic
  • 6 6 2022: findings are challenged
  • 6 23 2022: when findings appear
  • 6 21 2022: a landscape of fear
  • 6 20 2022: overselling that
  • 4 30 2022: there are factors that