1.31.2023 – Some Somewhere where I

Some Somewhere where I
know I’ll someday go – finally
I’ll go Some Somewhere

From this bizarre book I am reading right now titled, The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All, a novel by Josh Ritter.

Hard to even describe the book or what is about but it is … interesting.

It’s basically about lumbering in Idaho at the end of 19th century.

Early in the book, the song Some Somewhere is introduced.

The first line of the song is:

Some Somewhere there are mountains topped with snow,
Some Somewhere where the wildflowers grow,
Some Somewhere where I know I’ll someday go,
When I finally go Some Somewhere.

When I drove to the Island this morning, the fog was so thick I felt I was going to some somewhere.

I was going somewhere.

Some Somewhere.

I am not sure where some somewhere is but it isn’t here.

Some Somewhere.

BTW – This is the same view in the sunshine.

1.30.2023 – vegetable gardens

vegetable gardens
not big but there’s a science
to making gravy

In the book Sundog, Jim Harrison writes of an May Morning in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula;

A cold dawn with the wind shifting to the north in the night.

I tried to scrape frost from my windshield with my fingernails.

No wonder vegetable gardening isn’t a big item up here, while the making of gravy is a science.

I stole this image of a ski trail up there above the bridge, the Mackinaw Bridge I mean, was taken by my friend Katie who live up there and swears that she loves it.

For myself, I guess, all I need is the picture and that is as close as I want to get.

Mr. Harrison, and he was the UP’s biggest fan, said this:

Above the Straits of Mackinac, the Upper Peninsula sat alone, perhaps the least-known land mass in the United States.

In this age where every niche on earth has been discovered and rediscovered countless times, there is an open secret why the upper Midwest is generally ignored: it is relatively charmless, and it competes with Siberia for the least hospitable climate on earth.

On the other side of the river, the road entered an enormous swamp some thirty miles in width, with very few other cars on the road. For a while the lack of any traffic caused a vertigo as if I had been abandoned.

Apparently on a Thursday night in May in the Upper Peninsula no one goes anywhere, but then where would they go?

[Enter] the UP, as it’s called, [You] enter a timbered-over, rock-strewn waste, a land so dense and desolate it became obvious to me that the most redoubtable survivalist couldn’t survive.

On the other hand I live in resort town and it is the off season.

Apparently on a Monday night in January in the Low Country no one goes anywhere, but then where would they go?

The picture makes a nice contrast to my usual ocean side views.

The Google says where I am and where this this picture was taken are about 1200 miles and about 14 degrees of latitude apart distance wise.

But where it really counts, the google says it is 7 degrees Fahrenheit right now up north while it is 67 degrees down here.

No wonder vegetable gardening isn’t a big item up here, while the making of gravy is a science.

1.29.2023 – the friendship made her

the friendship made her
realize respect and trust don’t
require agreement

Wrong things bother her,” Mr. Perkins told me. “And wrong things bother me.”

So writes Farah Stockman quoting Tony Perkins (not that Tony Perkins) in the guest opinion piece, One of the Strangest Friendships in Washington (Jan. 29, 2023 – New York Times).

Ms. Stockman writes: Given their résumés, one might think that Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, and Anurima Bhargava, who worked in President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, would be adversaries — if they ever crossed paths at all. Yet, over the past five years, they have managed to forge a bond that transcends politics and proves that you don’t have to agree on values here at home to promote basic human rights abroad.

But they found common ground.

Wrong things bother her,” Mr. Perkins told me. “And wrong things bother me.”

Ms. Stocmman quotes Ms. Bhargrava, “He’d treated her with respect from the first moment she met him, Ms. Bhargava told me. He made an effort to learn how to pronounce her name, even as another Republican commissioner refused to do so. They sat next to each other at a dinner retreat in North Carolina and started chatting.

The friendship made her realize that “respect and trust don’t require agreement,” she [Anurima Bhargava] said.




Post hoc ergo propter hoc, the Romans liked to say.

In its most common usage the saying is used to disprove an argument.

‘With this, therefore because of this’ is the translation and it usually means event B followed event A so event B MUST HAVE BE CAUSED BY event A.

But in this case.




Not only can they depend on each other, but the parts in the equation, they might be interchangeable.

Maybe it is better to say of three things, it is hard to have any of one of these three without the other two.

Perhaps the key here is that while all of these there things need the other, none of the three require agreement.

Ms. Stockman closes with the comment:

[Mr. Perkins’] friendship with Ms. Bhargava hasn’t changed his core beliefs, he told me.

He still fights for Bible-believing Christians, whom he views as under attack in the West. But he has changed how he expresses himself.

In an age when others write over-the-top tweets just to outrage their political opponents, he chooses his words more carefully and imagines his good friend is listening.

1.28.2023 -times when picture worth

times when picture worth
thousand words – what happened to
Great in Great Britain

It was Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, the Irish writer, who said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life“.

Mr. Wilde felt that the reason life imitated art was the, “… result not merely from Life’s imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.”

I have no problem with this.

And I suppose there are no rules or guidelines as to which art to imitate.

And it seems that Great Britain has decided to skip ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘Yes Minister’ and go straight to imitate Monty Python.

I feel that all I have to say or can say on the subject is illustrated in the above photo.

Who are these people?

From what slime at the bottom of a genetic gene pool were they scrapped up and presented to the world as viable political leaders?

Oh Boy Howdy, but do I love this photograph.

It says it all.

All you need to know about what happened to the Great in Great Britain.

I put it to you that you had been able to take this photograph to Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin and asked, can you come up with a sketch that presents these two as the leaders of Great Britain, they might have said it was possible, but even in the World of Monty Python, who would believe it?

According to Wikipedia, “[The British Empire] At its height, was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23 per cent of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35.5 million km2 (13.7 million sq mi), 24 per cent of the Earth’s total land area.”

Great Britain WAS Great.

There were leaders who put the GREAT in Great Britain and it was felt all around the world.

Not arguing here if that was good or bad but I will say this.

I remember talking with a friend years ago who had just spent time in Canada and Australia and I asked her what she felt those folks thought about the US and the relationship with Britain and those countries.

Her response was that the people she met regarded the US as the country that was able to get out, but I digress.

As I was saying, one time Britain had a hand in the live of a quarter of the worlds peoples and a say over a a quarter of the lands available in the world.

Now they make deals where they don’t even know if they are or aren’t or maybe might be in charge of Northern Ireland.

The picture illustrated the article, Why is British politics a raging bin-fire? Don’t ask the misunderstood heroes who held the torches, by Marina Hyde.

Ms. Hyde writes that these leaders fell they failed because their, ” … visions have been betrayed by someone or other in one way or another, when the reality is they were undone by such trifles as “the voters”, “reality” and “the consequences of their own actions”.

Ms. Hyde finishes with “it’s possible – just possible – that the real victims of betrayal are not all these politicians, but the public.”

As the Pythons would say, “Now … for something completely different …”

Notice, they didn’t say better.

1.27.2023 – fascinating thing

fascinating thing
practitioners of these kinds
of fabrications

is how easily
disprovable their falsehoods
turn out to be so

Adapted from:

The fascinating thing about Santos, and other practitioners of these kinds of fabrications, is how easily disprovable their falsehoods turn out to be.

If compulsive lying has its roots in something deeper and more complicated than mere self-advancement, you assume the risk-taking is part of the appeal.

Psychologically, Santos’s claims appear akin in scale, impulse and thrill-seeking to a man running across a football field naked, each more lurid and exposing than the last.

As it appeared in the article, George Santos’s lies are so big you almost have to admire them by Emma Brockes in the Guardian.

Ms. Brockes closes with:

It’s a serious thing to mislead the electorate and lie to members of Congress, with a much more damaging fallout than the lies of a fake heiress trying to score a free holiday.

Still, in both cases, the fascination with the workings of compulsive liars is the same.

Scrutinising photos of Santos’s blank and babyish face triggers the vertiginous possibility inherent in all really big grifts – and one, possibly, deserving of sympathy, although who knows – that he has come to believe all this stuff himself.

There are a lot of $5 dollar words in this article and I have to admire how Ms. Brockes weaves them into the narrative with seemingly so little effort.

As for the subject of the piece, well, with so many liars in America, don’t they deserve someone in Congress too?

1.26.2023 – sugar cinnamon

sugar cinnamon
cayenne red pepper
on toast
mistake this morning

According to quoteinvestigator.com, The 1662 edition of “The history of the worthies of England” by Thomas Fuller attributed King James as saying, “he was a very valiant man, who first adventured on eating of Oysters; most probably meer hunger put men first on that tryal.”

I had something new for breakfast today.

Not oysters.

And not by choice.

My coffee and two as in two slices of toast was new by mistake.

And when I say mistake, I truly mean mis take as I mis took the wrong spice from the kitchen cupboard to spinkle on my toast.

I know what you are saying.

And if you aren’t saying it, you are thinking it.

Didn’t I notice the color?

Didn’t I notice the smell?

CAN’T YOU READ for cry’n out loud?

All good questions and all suppose a level of awareness in the morning that I rarely achieve nowadays until about noon or later.

I think I was a very valiant man if maybe not the first to try cayenne red pepper on toast.

I may not be the last.

But it was the only time for me.

At least, so I hope.

1.25.2023 – President has more

President has more
absolute executive powers
than any ruler

The important words that I could not hammer into place in this haiku are, “… in theory.”

Today’s haiku was adapted from a paragraph in Nelson’s History of the War (Vol. IX) (Thomas Nelson, London,  1915) by John Buchan where Mr. Buchan worked towards explaining The American Philosophy of Politics on the chapter titled, THE STRAINING OF AMERICAN PATIENCE.

(GOSH, 9 Volumes already published as of 1915 and three more years of war to go? BTW, it does run to 24 volumes all together!)

Mr. Buchan wrote:

These reasons decided public opinion, and, since in America public opinion is the true sovereign, President Wilson was loyal to his master.

The President of the United States has in theory more absolute executive powers than any ruler in the world.

But he is bound to an unseen chariot wheel.

He dare not outrun the wishes of the majority of the citizens.

His pace is as fast as theirs, but no faster, or he courts a fall.

A true democracy is a docile follower of a leader whom it has once trusted.

But an incomplete democracy such as America demands not a leader but a fellow-wayfarer who can act as spokesman.

Hence it was idle to talk of President Wilson’s policy as if it were the conclusions and deeds of an individual.

It was his business to interpret the opinion of America at large, and there is no reason to believe that he erred in this duty.

I have heard this explained more than once, in more than one book, in more than one lecture, by more than one writer or Professor.

The most important job any President has is to EDUCATE THE PEOPLE, one of favorite Professors pounded into my brain.

Once educated, the people will understand what the President means to do.

Once the people understand that, they will also support what the President means to do.

Search on YOU TUBE for FDR’s fireside chat on February 23, 1942.

The White House would ask the Newspapers to print a World Map so that listeners could follow along with the President as he traced around the world and focused on trouble spots and where American military forces were in action.

I always thought to myself, can it be this simple?

How can it be this simple?

How can it be this simple and still almost impossible to do?

How can it be this simple and still almost impossible to do today?

Then I re-read that paragraph I quoted today.

There is that one word in there.

The word at the end of this sentence.

A true democracy is a docile follower of a leader whom it has once trusted.



So simple.

And I do love that line that reads, “But an incomplete democracy such as America demands not a leader but a fellow-wayfarer who can act as spokesman.

I have been watching these reports of everyone taking Top Secret documents home as home work, I guess, and I see that these folks look to live in some really nice homes.

Not like much anything like most of my fellow-wayfarers get to live in, but I digress.

1.24.2023 – there is another

there is another
sky ever serene fair and
another sunshine

Based on the sonnet, There is another sky, by Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

If I am honest, I have to ask the question, did I like the sonnet or did I go looking for something that I could use with a picture from my lunchtime walk to show off that I walk along the ocean at lunch time.

I think we all know the answer.

I just happen to like Ms. Dickinson …

1.23.2023 language certainly

language certainly
infelicitous surely
makes its purpose clear

I had to look infelicitous up.

I had to look infelicitous up, but I really really like the word.

Notice is that the word looks to be very close to inflection or the modulation of intonation or pitch in the voice, but the word is infelicitous.

It is an adjective that means unfortunate or inappropriate.

As in the sentence I read today that started; While the language is certainly infelicitousthe historical context makes its purpose clear.

The best part of the sentence is that part where I substituted the ellipsis.

The entirety of the sentence as used in the opinion piece, The Constitution Has a 155-Year-Old Answer to the Debt Ceiling, by Mr. Eric Foner, is:

While the language is certainly infelicitous (surely Congress could have found better wording than declaring it illegal to “question” the validity of the national debt), the historical context makes its purpose clear.

I have to admire any optimist.

And anyone who feels that surely, Congress could have found better wording.


Our Congress?

The Congress of the United States?

Surely, The Congress of the United States could have found better wording rather than using wording that was unfortunate or inappropriate?

That, dear reader, it what I call optimism.

Not wanting to be infelicitous but I am reminded of Sir Humphrey Appleby when he said, ” … the traditional allocation of executive responsibilities has always been so determined as to liberate the ministerial incumbent from the administrative minutiae by devolving the managerial functions to those whose experience and qualifications have better formed them for the performance of such humble offices, thereby releasing their political overlords for the more onerous duties and profound deliberations which are the inevitable concomitant of their exalted position.”

Infelicitous my butt.

1.22.2023 – prodigious number

prodigious number
people hanged by no means bad
time for criminals

Inspired by:

In spite of the prodigious number of people who managed to get hanged, the fifteenth century was by no means a bad time for criminals.

A great confusion of parties and great dust of fighting favoured the escape of private housebreakers and quiet fellows who stole ducks in Paris Moat.

Prisons were leaky; and as we shall see, a man with a few crowns in his pocket and perhaps some acquaintance among the officials, could easily slip out and become once more a free marauder.

As it appears in the 1926 title, The Book of The Rogue by Joseph Lewis French.

According to the Wikipedia, Joseph Lewis French. (1858–1936) was a novelist, editor, poet and newspaper man. The New York Times noted in 1925 that he may be “the most industrious anthologist of his time.”[2] He is known for his popular themed collections, and published more than twenty-five books between 1918 and his death in 1936. He initiated two magazines, The New West (c. 1887) and The Wave (c. 1890). Afterward he worked for newspapers “across the country” contributing poetry and articles. He struggled financially, and during 1927 the New York Graphic, a daily tabloid, published an autobiographical article they convinced him to write, entitled “I’m Starving – Yet I’m in Who’s Who as the Author of 27 Famous Books.”

The New York Times reports in his obit that Mr. French “insisted that the actual rewards of authorship were few.”

I have reproduced his obit here.

In his book of collected stories on pirates, Great Pirate Stories, Mr. French wrote:

It was a bold hardy world—this of ours—up to the advent of our giant-servant, Steam,—every foot of which was won by fierce conquest of one sort or another.

Out of this past the pirate emerges as a romantic, even at times heroic, figure.

This final niche, despite his crimes, cannot altogether be denied him.

A hero he is and will remain so long as tales of the sea are told.

So, have at him, in these pages!

A hero he is and will remain so long as tales of the sea are told