March 31 – pragmatic versus

sane, pragmatic versus
those unsatisfiable

Today I hold up a mirror to reflect your thoughts on who these words embrace?

Republicans vs Democrats?

Pro wall versus no wall?

Big Ten vs. ACC?

DH versus pitchers bat?

I found the combination of these wonderful words in an article about Brexit in the Manchester Guardian Online, one of my favorites.

The author writes of Theresa May, “Where she might have endeavoured to bind together a fractured nation and forge an alliance of the sane Brexiters and the pragmatic Remainers, her language and approaches have further polarised the country and radicalised opinion on both sides. This was compounded by concentrating her energies on trying to please the unsatisfiable subset of Brexiters who wanted the most impossibilist versions of the enterprise.”

Theresa May was dealt the worst of hands and has played it spectacularly badly by Andrew Rawnsley

I encourage you to read the article, not for its content, but just for its use of language.

I want to read it out loud and applaud every “It is now so risible that thinking about it for too long risks permanent injury to your abdomen.” and ” call the hubristic snap general election in the spring of 2017, squander her majority with an atrocious campaign and then respond as if, to use one of her most notorious phrases, nothing had changed” and “Even a leader with the power to inspire of Churchill, the team-building talent of Lincoln and the capacity to heal of Mandela would have struggled.” along with “The Tory party is now preparing to find a new chief for its cannibalistic tribe.”

Oh how I hate twitter and 140 characters. Mr Mencken, where are you.


3.30.2019 – Sin to kill a mockingbird

Morning sounds, birdsong
Sin to kill a mockingbird?
thoughts over actions …

Deep thoughts over the morning coffee with the sounds of birds outside,

Let me start by telling you I have never read the book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

As I think back, I am not sure that I have ever sat down, on purpose, and watched the movie from start to finish.

But I seen the movie many many many times, in bits and pieces so that I can say I have seen it.

It is a great movie. Gregory Peck may have made the finest film recording of an actor ever.

But has any movie raised the level of wide discussion and personal discovery with less result.

How can you watch this film and not mentally sign up with Lawyer Finch and NOT have it impact your life?

Yet, where are the results?

I want to stay away from the political if I can, but I have to admit that I was dismayed watching the reports of a President Trump rally from my home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I felt I might know a lot of the people at that rally.

I feel like I could make the claim, that if asked, EVERYONE AT THE RALLY would have responded that the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, was a great movie, a favorite movie, a movie that changed their lives, a movie they made sure their children watched.

Somehow, I also feel, that Atticus Finch, the man portrayed in the movie anyway, would not have gone to a rally for President Trump.

If you know the movie, in the scene where Finch stares down the crowd, where do you picture President Trump standing?

I don’t know if I can say for sure that I would be on the porch with Finch, but I hope I would. I hope I have that type of courage.

I don’t have answers. I do try to think that I would never really understand a person until I consider things from their point of view … until you climb into their skin and walk around in it. Which goes for those folks and friends at the rally.

But I still don’t get it.

March 29 – Quo Vadis?

Augusta? Macon?
Chattanooga? Birmingham?
Bypass? Quo Vadis?

A Latin phrase meaning “Where are you marching?” It is also commonly translated as “Where are you going?” or, poetically, “Whither goest thou?” (Wikipedia)

Inspired by the road signs and directions at the I85 and I285 interchange in North Georgia AND the EB White story, Quo vadimus?, about two men who meet each other on the street. One asks the other Quo vadis? and after a bit of hesitation, tells him a very complex tale of where he is going, and what he is going to do. (New Yorker, May 24, 1930 Issue)

White writes, “Did it ever occur to you that there’s no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another?”

As a post script, a little known piece of family trivia is that son Ellington’s full name is Ellington Bernard Hoffman.

He is named after Duke Ellington, Bernard Berg (Grand Father) AND EB White.

March 28 – Pollen

Pollen in the air,
in my head, nose, tongue, throat, lungs.
High price of spring time.

This is the roof the building across the parking lot from WXIA TV.

See the green/yellow pine pollen drying in the rain puddles. It covers the roads, the cars and my glasses.

A single tree can release 40 oz. of pollen.

University of Georgia says “Pine pollen comes from the male cones at the end of lower branches. Relative humidity, wind, moisture and health of the male cone all make a difference. Dry, warm, sunny days open the cone and spread the pollen. Warm weather out of Florida passes over any one spot in Georgia for about two and a half weeks.”

The US Forestry Service says: “The date of peak pollen shed depends on the accumulation of 636 degree-day units above 55° F after February 1.” I cannot express how much this data helps me.

On warm, dry, windy days you can see yellow clouds of pine pollen billowing across the landscape. Two side wings hold these big pollen grains aloft. These wings also make pine pollen big enough to see.

As the wind blows, it sweeps pollen up into the air and carries it long distances. Pine pollen has its unique shape to perfectly match the aerodynamic shape of the female pine cone. The airborne pollen grains are swirled around the cone and tumble into the receptive base of each bract.

Because pine pollen is so big, we can see it is light yellow. Many windblown tree pollens are invisible.

The male pine cones, which dangle at the ends of lower branches, have many pollen sacks which produce and hold pollen. As the male cones mature, they nurture the pollen grains. Then on sunny, windy days with relatively low humidity, the pollen sacks split open.

The first place most people notice pine pollen is on their car. Smooth metal surfaces will sport a gritty, yellow dust. It accumulates in miniature drifts on pavements, patios and porches, too.

This yellow dust can be breathed into your nose and mouth. Few people, though, are actually allergic to the pine pollen. But many find it irritating in their eyes and aggravating on their cars and patios.

Taken from Don’t Blame Pine Trees for Springtime Sneezes By Kim D. Coder for CAES News ( AND Pine Pollen – Predicting BY Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener (

March 27 – Salvation?

Work out Salvation
with fear, trembling, on my own?
But for Grace, no way!

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2: 12-13 (NIV)

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!
Grace Greater than Our Sin
Julia H. Johnston, pub.1910

3.25.2019 – Frogger!

Look! I85,
GA 13, Monroe Drive …
Frogger, come to life.

From my office window, I look out over 3 parallel roadways.

At least as parallel as any three Atlanta roads can be.

Maybe, successive matching routes is a better term.

City street, Monroe Drive.

State Highway Georgia 13 or the Buford Highway, which later transforms in US23, which you drive all the way to Mackinaw City.

And the mighty I85 Interstate.

I watch the traffic, when it moves and I cannot help but see FROGGER going on out there.

March 23 – How good and pleasant

How good and pleasant
When cousins are together
Zari and Essence

Grand Daughters Azaria and Essence

Psalm 133 (KJV)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

A song of ascents. Of David. (NIV)
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

March 22 – Fireworks!

Fireworks! Way too close!
Dive left, get out of the way!
Woke on floor. Such dreams.

The rocket I had just lit tipped over and was aiming right at me when it launched.

I had to dive to the left to avoid being burned or worse.

Then I was sitting on the bedroom floor with my wife, Leslie, asking, ‘Are you okay?”

I had dove out of bed, hands held out and landed on my head.

I don’t remember any of that though my forehead has a bump that hurts.

But I can vividly describe the scene with the fireworks.

“to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come?”
Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1