Hi to my Readers…which includes Everyone

[Blogging 101 assignment for Day Four, identify your audience.]

As indicated in my title of this post, there is really no specific intended audience or readership.  Right now I have readers and/or followers from just about any category of possible bloggers who are interested in my blog.

This includes young students, teenagers, young mothers…no, let me rephrase that:  young parents, political heavy-leaners, carpenters, education, news coverage, college professors, poets, photographers, artists, beauty and health practitioners, religious leaders, human-rights workers, gardeners…and lots of writers who define themselves as “Bloggers.”

I could not pinpoint an exact focus on my blog, which is called Sometimes: Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why.   Please forgive me if I mixed up the order there.  🙂     I deliberately set up my tag line like that because I want to be free to write about anything that strikes my fancy.     I may write about CNN one day, or cats, or countries I have visited…snow, opinion on any number of subjects, childhood, the future…Death, animal rights, drones, stupidity, math… few restrictions.

As for keeping some semblance of order in my blog, I depend on Categories to sort the posts.   That way it is possible to at least try to sort out topics so a reader who is not interested in reading my Poetry can skip it and go to Fiction, or see photos of my cats, or my yard which I loosely call a “garden.”

In a nutshell…my goal is to write about things that I think will appeal to a wide variety of people.     I work hard not to offend anyone, and so far so good on that score.  No one is obligated to follow me or even ever visit my blog.  Of course the same is true for me…it I don’t want to follow a given blog–I don’t.

There are people that don’t like me–really!–and I can be annoying at times.  I respect everyone’s opinion and treat all comments and points-of-view with respect. Agreeing with me is NOT a prerequisite for following my blog and commenting–although I insist on the same respect for MY opinions and sometimes radical viewpoints.  I am very opinionated, mouthy, and often launch into “lecture mode” about some subjects.   I don’t claim to know everything…but the few things that I DO know I love to talk about.

So, that’s why I say my blog is written for EVERYBODY… or maybe I should say ANYBODY who is interested.

 

 

 

 

Flashback to the Ocean

[DAY 13, Writing101.   Assignment: a continuation of DAY 4,  Two Posts in a series.]   The post for Day 4 was about something we had lost, or that we had had at one time but no longer.] https://mumbletymuse.com/?s=day+four

One windy day in Ohio (is there ever a non-windy day in my backyard in Ohio?) we decided to put up one of those big square plastic covers with the cheap metal supports, and guide-wires and all that.   There were three of us, me, my daughter and my son.  Maybe if there had been another person we would have better results.

But I am getting ahead of my story, and while this may double as the DAY 14 post, I think it is…to write about foreboding atmosphere…that might be cheating.

We got the four posts laid out at their respective four corners of the top cover, inserted the posts into the post-holes as instructed, and prepared to lift the cover  into an upright position.  We had it all figured out, and in theory the top should have just raised into position and hooked onto the stakes at the corners, and we would have at least that much of the tent-like cover up in place.     Then all we would have to do was  raise the center pole, a very simple matter, and put up the other four posts in the center at each side.

The instructions and the advertising label had boasted that their product was EASY TO ASSEMBLE, A CHILD CAN DO IT so we were not expecting serious difficulties.

The problem there is, obviously, we did not have a child amonst us…   if we had, she would have been the fourth person, and have a firm grip on the fourth tent corner.

Like clock-work, the three-legged structure settled into an upright position, and–so far, so good.   and all that remained was for  one of us to move  over to the fourth pole, (which was sort of flapping around,) grabbing the end, and sliding it into the pocket on the stake.

A virtual gale blew in at this moment, and although I had a good grip on the pole that I was supposed to be holding, the plastic was flapping, and the whole thing was caving in.   The wind was so strong that it very nearly yanked the metal pole out of my hands, and I felt as if I was about to sail off into the air.

[Here’s where Day Four’s story applies.] https://mumbletymuse.com/?s=day+four

Suddenly I was back aboard that sailing ship, holding on for dear life to the main mast.   The ocean waves were well over the top of my head, and I could see nothing except the top of the mast where I had climbed as far as I could go.  The deafening crash of the giant waves, the creaking of the twisted and leaning mast, the sounds of the wind and the ocean …ended.

…back home in this life, really hanging onto a pole with flapping canvas (plastic) threatening to lift me off my feet…the wind died down, the tent/cover fell down, and I sat down on the grass.

[comment]

As I have commented before, “this story MAY be fiction.”   But this experience with the whipping cover and the sensation of the metal pole being dragged from my hands as I held on with all my might–this incident convinced me that I had a glimpse of a Past Life.   In that life I was a boy on a sailing ship, until I drowned.

Not lost, not forgotten…just on another page.

[WRITING 101–DAY FOUR:  Something that I had once but lost.]

We are back in the days of the sailing ships powered by great billowing canvas panels,  dependent on wind power. I am not sure of the year, or even the type of sailing vessel.  It may have been a great Clipper Ship, or a fast-treacherous slaver, or a grand warship complete with cannons.  Maybe it was one of those Egyptian ships run by man-power, rowers whose jobs depended on their keeping rhythm, and almost super-human strength and durability.

But no, my sense of adventure and grandeur is getting ahead of me here, and in truth I believe the ship that I am on is actually a medium-size fishing vessel.  The chances are my knowledge of fishing and shipping is  limited by lack of years…I’m only  15.   Except for basic techniques and words of caution from my father and uncles, my brothers and I are learning the fishing trade step by step.   I have only recently graduated to get a job on a real fishing boat…a big one, three masts.

We have shipped out, and it is very exciting.   Mother was trying hard not to cry, but she is a fisherman’s wife and also the daughter of a man who made the family living working at sea on the ships…she is fully aware of the rewards, and dangers, of fishing and sailing. I was lucky to get a job as a deck hand, and since I’m just beginning my life’s work on the sea, there is a lot to learn.  For now my duties are simple…helping cook, running around with orders or supplies, fetching water, and generally keeping my mouth shut and do what I’m told.  That isn’t easy for me, but I realize that obedience and a good attitude and work ethic is mandatory for my future success.   So I am anxious to prove myself to be a “good all-around hand” so that I can advance to better jobs on the ships.

SIX MONTHS LATER, off the coast of England.

As I have been trying to keep up with my journals (actually we call them “logs, “like the captain does) it has been necessary for me to also keep studying my writing and reading lessons, which is a condition of my employment…insisted on by Mother.   Most of the men working on the ship as deckhands and sailors have limited educations, and have worked their way up through the ranks from their own “go-fer” status as young boys.  Some of them tell me that I should study and learn all that I can, but others tell me that having my nose in books is a waste of time.

The ocean waves have been choppy lately, and dark clouds gather where there should be blue skies and calm seas.  The Captain has ordered us to head back to port, so we are busy watching the wind and minding the sails and making sure that the water barrels and other supplies are held fast with great ropes.  The nets have been hoisted into place.   The good fishing time and conditions are growing less frequent, and safety rules in place .  The safest and most secure plan is to get off of the ocean and into safe harbor.

We are now heading into increasingly heavy waves, and the dark  clouds are low in the sky, removing any line of horizon between the sea and the sky.  The waves are deafening, twice as high as the ship on one side, water slopping onto the deck on the other.   The warning bells are sounding, and I can hear men shouting .  The massive sails have been lowered and secured to their masts.

I hear someone shout my name… “Boy! Climb!”

I am holding on to whatever I can, gripping the nearest mast as tightly as I can.  I can see the water deepening onto the deck, and I begin to climb.       Water reaches my ankles,  as I climb higher.   I cannot see any of the other men on the ship, only the whipping waves threatening to engulf the ship.  I am near the top of the mast–there is no place else to go.

But wait…Mother is there, holding out her hand…

©Sometimes,2019

A poem by Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar

Here is a lovely, lovely poem recommended to me in response to my chatting about the Pershing at the Front poem which I published a couple of days ago here on Sometimes.     My new blogger friend, ACFlory mentioned her own favorite poem…with which I was not familiar (which isn’t unusual, I’m no expert on poetry or poets.)   I googled the title, and located this charming site dedicated to the Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar.

My own roots, some of them, are in Australia…thanks to my grandfather, who when he left Australia at the age of 16, he was already himself a third or fourth generation Aussie.   I never have been there, by the time I decided I wanted to go, I had no funding to finance a trip, and so missed the opportunity.

So I am posting the web site I found honoring the poet, and her poem…

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/my-country-17/  (A reading.)

My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar

Stats are fun!

I love the STATS feature of WordPress, and every once in awhile go to the page and look it over.   Actually its two pages.   They are very well organized, and I notice some new twekes that I really like.  For instance the Followers list now has that little round bubble photo with the blog avatar.   Mine is a yellow rose.

Today I have had four visitors so far, or to be more specific, visitors from four countries: UK, Ireland, Australia, and someplace else.   The multi-color map illustrates where the viewers are in the world at a glance.

There are statistics showing Yearly and Daily progress.   My stats begin when my blog did: 2011.   I think two people looked at it that year…and I know who they are!    2012 and 2013 the blog sort of languished in cyberspace without much attention.     Then at the end of 2014 it picked up, when I started to take it more seriously.

In 2015 and 2016 the posts multiplied.   This is when I enrolled in several WordPress classes, which were free and fun.   This is also when I met lots of other bloggers, some of which have remained loyal to this day, originally classmates in various courses.   There was Writing 101, Writing 102;  Photography; Poetry Writing; Fiction Writing….just to name a few.   The classes were voluntary….could follow themes or just wing-it and write whatever.   Different forms of Poetry—that was my favorite, where I learned forms of poetry that I never knew existed.    (Oh, I guess I did, from some old English class participation, but promptly forgot.)

The cool thing about the classes was that there were assignments, and huge class lists of bloggers that signed up, and every day for the class period (a week, month…) my followers list grew.

So for a good time check out your Stats.

 

Teotihuacan 1996 revisited

Wow!   Two promises in two days….      I checked out my Digital Film/Slide Projector for my pal Judy Dykstra/Brown over at Lifelessons, AND in the same swell swoop…or is it fell swoop?… found some of my ancient slides of ancient archeological sites as I had promised my buddy BadFish!

I will do a proper post about these pyramids  soon, right now the goal is to show that my old slides really can be  resurrected and restored by even ME…klutz that I can be even after thirty-some years of computer-practice.

The purpose of this post is to show the results of my test of my scanner converter…yes it works, and yes I love it!    It took me about four times longer than it should have, and I had a LOT of hassle getting the photos into the post.

No, that is not me up on that pyramid…no way.   It may or may not be my late husband, who went up part way.

These shots were taken in 1996 at the Teotihuacan archeological site near Mexico City.  This particular occasion marked the last time Bob and I went to Mexico together, although I made several more trips by myself.

These are not Aztec pyramids, but were constructed by the Teotihuacanos, who predated the Aztecs by centuries.    The city was a hub of commerce and trade that extended even down into what is now Guatemala.   National Geographic did a great magazine issue featuring this fascinating city.

There are hundreds and hundreds of photos of the pyramids.       https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=teotihuacan+pyramids&FORM=IARRTH&ufn=teotihuacan&stid=1a1f9c4b-ec11-aeee-db7b-def752eff0af&cbn=EntityAnswer&cbi=0&FORM=IARRTHds   I’ll check it.   I just googled Teotihuacan pyramids and got it.

OH yes!  the link works…many of the photos I looked at on the site have been taken much more recently.  There has been on-going reconstruction work at many of the Mexican sites for many years.

All photos were by Robert Dreger, 1996.   © Sometimes, 2017

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The Pyramid of the  Moon photo © Sometimes, 2017
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The much larger Pyramid of the Sun.
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A partially reconstructed Administration or residential Building.

a primer of selective History

Please open your books to page twenty-four
the teacher instructed, one morning …
look at the  ladies’ dressed in their finery,
feel free to smile at feathers and bustles,
and laugh out loud at the shoes!

Now let’s skip ahead to Chapter Seven,
where more ladies are seen at their work,
the clothing they wear is of buckskin,
embellished with feathers and beads (and pride,)
their raven hair in long silken braids.

Now the section titled “The Roaring Twenties.”
Days and years of lovely short-skirted ladies,
with bobbed hair and feathered  hats, called cloches.
They dance the Charleston, ducking the hit-men
who are ducking the likes of Elliot Ness.

The 1930s, when poverty reigned,
until saved by the richness and horrors of War.
The rich and beautiful, such as they were,
held on to their baubles and feathered their nests
as well as they could under the circumstances.

So now, we turn to the aftermath of The War
to the fiction-like era called The Cold War,
when living in spy novels was the norm…
and the games and palace intrigue surpassed
even the earlier times of the Kings…and Queens.

Now that we have closed the book of History
…a somewhat truncated collection of tales
that range from maybe to crazy-but-true…
we start or a new era which marvels
Alice’s Wonderland in scope and Fantasy.

In today’s time of making history…
a knowledge of the past is imperative.
If something of importance happens today,
it does not happen in a vacuum  at all
but is based on centuries of History!

So I leave you, boys and girls, with a note-worthy
suggestion….nay, a proclamation…
study your History from classical sources—
don’t depend on Twitter-twatter from pundits
who think History started last month.

© Sometimes, 2017
.

 

Deliyah…4-year-old reader of 1,000 books

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/12/meet-daliyah-the-4-year-old-girl-who-has-read-more-than-1000-books/?utm_term=.6403ea387b35&wpisrc=nl_mix&wpmm=1#comments

Now here is an inspiring story out of the Washington Post this morning, a four-year-old who has apparently read one thousand (1,000) books so far. She hangs out at the Library of Congress.

Yes…I hear you in the back there mumbling about the veracity of this story…and I’ll bet you either 1) don’t personally know any of Deliyah’s peers, other pre-schoolers, that is… or 2)are not paying attention. This child is indeed remarkable and a great role-model for other children—and she is not unique. (Meaning one-of-a-kind, not as in the modern fancy of “unique” as a mere synonym for unusual, or great.)

Today’s children all over the world are smarter and more aware than at any time in history.    Peer into the bright, shining eyes of a child…in person or in photographs…to see the intelligence shining through.

They “know” things, information gleaned from television shows, or books, chatting with other children…and, of course, school.   Pre-school kids commonly know the alphabet and basic number figures, understand the details about the hippopotamus, orangatangs, and mocking birds.   They often even know how to spell those words.

 

when the Muse keeps quiet

One of the things I love about blogging is the great bloggers…all kinds of people, all over the world, young and old (is that politically correct?) and all political and religious persuasions.   I like that.   How boring life would be if we never got out of our particular little niche.     I DO care about all my … uh…blogging acquaintances…and their opinions and points of view…even the ones that don’t think like I do.   That’s OK, feel free to say what ya want and I’ll deal with it.    My best friends usually don’t agree with me on everything…some don’t agree on anything…

Blogging is fun because there aren’t many rules, and when it isn’t fun there is always the unfollow button.

This post is supposed to be about My Muse.    She stays out of the way, mostly, and pops out with a brainstorm of an idea, or nags me to comment on World Affairs, or Cats, or  to expound on my opinions or ideas.       Right from the beginning I established my blog as “Eclectic” in nature.   That means I am right on topic no matter what my subject of the day happens to be.

Some days I publish three or four posts, which may deal with anything or everything.   Maybe I’ll write about my childhood, playing mumblety-peg with my brother, or learning to read, or skipping through an airport on my way to…wherever.    I am a Historian by education, and sometimes write about a topic dear to my heart—Aztec flower wars, the view from the top of an ancient pyramid in the Yucatan Jungle, the art work of Diego Rivera, slavery in the Caribbean, miscellaneous wars…obscene houses of worship with walls painted in real Gold.

Other days something more mundane, like expounding on the coming election…or discussing the Soviet Union and why I really love watching James Bond movies…or maybe even a commentary about the various James Bond actors.

Poetry is a form of writing which I only very recently discovered.  Oh sure, I had creative writing in English classes here and there, copied Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven into notebooks along with some Shakespeare, and a selection of my early poetry, which remains in my notebooks, and I sit and read occasionally to marvel at my flowing words and flowery handwriting.   All that with a real ink-pen…a fountain pen which was filled with real ink.

Last year I participated in a WordPress Poetry Writing class.  I loved it…learning new forms which I had not really considered before, like Haiku, Villanelle, limericks, and my favorite Free-Form Poetry.   Which to me means nice words that fit nicely together to form rhyme and prose lines  that are palpable to the ear and lend themselves to foot-tapping and rhythym.

The poetry forms are fascinating.   The act of rhyming, and counting syllables to achieve a certain “beat” to the poem…meter, actually.     Instead of being tedious, as it might be to physically craft a poem following specific rules in a Freshman poetry-writing class, I find the mechanics of Poetry to be interesting, educational, and instructive.

When my Muse seems to be taking a day off, and I want to write a poem, I like to scribble a line and then build on it, in the rough draft using words that will not necessarily make it to the final rhyme.   I hasten to say that I have finally learned that poems do not have to necessarily rhyme…as in the Cat in the Hat being true blue…that kind of rhyme.

Sometimes these methods pay off in producing a quick and succinct poem, but other times it is months that a “rough draft” languishes in the notebook, occasionally having an update that consists of a tweke here and there, polishing a word, scratching it out.   Some efforts never work for me,   especially  forced or manufactured lines of poetry that just stink…or are stupid.

Writing prose articles is different.  I won’t bore everybody with long lists of examples of such posts.       I try hard to avoid  writing that tends to be presumptious…self-serving…holier-than-thou…or in lecture mode.    Above all my goal is to entertain and inform, and to interact with other bloggers who have similar interests or common experiences.

 

500 Posts…a Milestone!

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In view of the fact that today marks the 500th post to my blog, SOMETIMES, I decided to repost the  very first two posts I EVER made…FIVE years ago!    Coincidentally, tomorrow the 13th is also my birthday. 

 

BUTTERFLIES AND CAMERAS.

 

At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched almost imperceptibly.  Its black body was covered with white polka-dots, close together in horizontal rows.  It appeared almost surreal, its delicate wings black and a cobalt blue, with yellow and white dots.

My cellular phone was in my pocket, and I took three photos before the phone’s camera froze up.   It would not shut down, save, change functions… the light would not go off.

[Here’s where the plot thickens, in maddening illustration of Murphy’s Law of Cameras.]

My trusty Nikon had died, and I had been using my son’s camera.  It works well enough, as long as the packaging tape holding the battery case stays tightly in place.  But there was a problem, I had neglected to replace the batteries…I guess hoping for a break giving  another burst of power .   The power light flickered a couple of times then quit.  OH NO!  Prying off the tape was more difficult than it sounds, but there were four AA batteries in the refrigerator.      They would not work…apparently old batteries that should have been thrown away.

I kept glancing out the window, checking to make sure the butterfly was still there.   I tried to call my camera savvy daughter, who was not answering her phone.  Verizon had a “longer than normal wait” for service.   A small radio in my room had no batteries.  Finally another look into the refrigerator bag miraculously provided four brand new AAs, which worked fine.  The tape worked as it was supposed to and the battery case was in place.   The red light came on.

During my frantic search the butterfly continued to sit in place without moving, for a full twenty minutes.   Once it spread its wings fully and walked up the post a few inches, stretching its legs.  But when I went back outside, the camera ready–the butterfly was no longer there– apparently tired of waiting for me to get my act together.

Well…the photo that I did get turned out, proving that my butterfly was real.   I’m honored to have communicated with the butterfly.   Now if my camera skills, or rather my battery replacing skills improve–maybe I’ll be ready the next time nature leaves me a beautiful gift!

© Sometimes, 2011

AN UNLIKELY VISIT FROM A HUMMINGBIRD 

My story about the Butterfly on my deck originally included a Hummingbird.  The tale is true, but I decided not to stretch my credibility by putting two improbable creatures in the same post, but they were in fact on my deck under a canopy at the same time.

There are a pair of the little birds that work the red Bee Balm, and the huge Hibiscus flowers, a brilliant scarlet.  We have had hummingbirds in the gardens for years, so although they never outwear their welcome and run short of charm, they are not really a novelty.   The birds prefer red, going after Million Bells hanging plants which they like so much they actually come around the plant to work the flowers hanging underneath the roof.  They are not shy about being inside the canopy.

Photo by Karen Chandler, Visioning

So, while I was trying to get the photos of the black and blue Butterfly with my battery-less camera a hummingbird came around the Million Bells and encountered me–standing less than arms length from his hovering pattern as he treaded air for maybe ten seconds before it flew up and away.   Maybe it saw its reflection in my glasses.

This is the first time a bird and I have been in such close proximity, although we do watch them frequently through the glass door.  Too bad the camera was following Murphy’s Law — if anything can go wrong, it will — and I admit it is the operator and not the camera that are to blame.

©Sometimes, 2011

[Thanks to photographer and blogger Karen Chandler, of Visioning, photography and digital scrapbooking, for permission to use her photo of the hummingbird.]

Butterflies and Cameras

 At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched…

Butterflies and Cameras

 At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched…

Wordle #116 a flight of fancy

 

For Mindmisery’s Menagerie, prompt for yesterday.  The Wordles are fun, given a list of words and spin them into a poem or yarn in any order.      The words: starch, trample, Protean, walnut, strop, staccato, waltz, churn, wallflower, dummy, probiscus, Fireworks.(use any ten in any order.)

A Flight of Fancy for the Fourth

In spite of his prominent probiscus,
Sam had reputation as a protean dancer—
His staccato taps as he tripped a Flamenco
was just as charming as his whirl in a Waltz.
No dummy, Sam danced with the wallflowers…
melting the starch in reticent maidens
and moved with the music-style beat, in time.
Trampled the competition, like a SNAP! of a strop…
set off fireworks with his fancy footwork.

© Sometimes, 2016

Keeping Score and Counting Votes

Once upon a time I believed that there was NO WAY an election could be “fixed” in the USA.   As a student of Latin American Studies I understand that “those other countries” were crooked, and thus their elections could be rigged.  When a computer accidentally shuts down for four days in, say, Mexico…just sayin’… and during the shut-down the candidate who was losing the election miraculously pulls ahead….   WELL, everybody knew that was fraudulent…but when it comes to those other countries—well DUH!!!   But here at home?  Where our electoral system is honest as the day is long and absolutely without loop-holes that could “steal” an election. … in Ohio, or Florida?  Of course not.

Ah, everybody knows how THAT all played out.   No sense in going over it again, as the voters just don’t care.  They don’t want to hear about it.  Well, let me qualify that, of course “everybody” is a misnomer, because usually it’s about half and half….the red team and the blue team, them and us,  the Butterflies vs the Spiders.    Actually, in the USA we call them “Democrats and Republicans.”   They miraculously are just about halfies when it comes to voting for President…but the “lesser” elections do vary and there is a lot of “crossing the line.”

A case in point is the recent Brexit fiasco in the United Kingdom.   I still don’t know exactly what that means, and although I consider myself fairly well versed when it comes to world affairs (some more than others) and although I did know the UK was voting to leave the EU, European Union, it wasn’t a top priority issue for me.    (Who ever seriously considered the “leavers” would prevail over the “remainers”?)   Please allow me to clarify…when I say I didn’t know what Brexit means, I meant the translation…etymology, perhaps.  I do understand the basic facts and the consequences—vaguely,  I am not an expert on that subject.)

Anyway, here’s the thing…I  am bothered by the vote tally… 52% to Exit the EU—48% to Remain.   I realize we are talking percentages here, and not actual votes.   IF however there really were (say in a very small town)  52 voters who said “Yes” and 48 voters who said “No” on a given issue…  I suppose my logic may be twisted…but if that were the case, it means that if TWO voters had voted differently, the issue would be reversed and it would have passed.

I once won a primary election vote for council-at-large…. by a handful of votes  (six I think,) and there was an automatic recount.   I was still ahead after the recount, but I lost in the general election in November.    The point here being that had my opponent garnered FOUR more votes than she did, the results would have been reversed, assuming that the same number of voters had NOT voted for me in the first place. .

By coincidence the split in the United States when there is a national vote, tends to run about the same with roughly 50-50 for each side of a given matter.  Then our insane system of electoral votes is very often off-skew and the candidate with the most (popular vote) votes can (and has) lost to the electoral vote.

Then it comes to the vote-counters.  Now it’s all computerized…done in little table-like booths.    Then poll workers presumably are instantly given the results to share with the voters.  It isn’t that simple, of course, but since I don’t know much about the system nowadays I refrain from elaborating.

However, I did get to work the polling booths once about thirty years ago, and I say “get to” because it was something of a privilege to get the job, which actually paid about fifty dollars for the 12-hour day.  (Hey…those folks EARN every penny of what they get paid!)   In those days the voting was done in an actual machine with an actual cloth curtain that opened and closed with a hand lever.   The voter would pass through the line, sign in at the workers’ table, and declare their party or verify their address, then they would wait in the line for their ward and precinct, then when the curtain opened with a swoosh (I don’t know if there was actually a swoosh, but it sounds good) and the former voter would exit.  Then once the lever was pulled to close the curtain, the voter cast votes on the machine.

What happened then was the remarkable thing.   After the polls closed, the poll workers would dismantle the voting machine, and the votes were tallied.  THEN the results were written on paper…in a grid, with a magic marker, for each candidate or issue that was voted on.  THEN poll workers would go out to designated sites around the city, in each precinct, and post the paper vote results.    At which points party faithful from various campaigns would gather the information and take it back to campaign headquarters.

Thus is my version of what happened on Election Nights….back in the day… 1970s.   Actually  then I was a newspaper reporter, not a candidate for any political office.   Some years I had to work in the newsroom, but when it was a running around covering various campaigns it was fun.      The Rs had their celebrations in country clubs and other fancy places, the Ds in the local Moose Hall (etc.)  Champagne or Beer parties.   … just sayin’

 

 

Playing with raindrops

DSC06133
The white streaks are not only pouring rain, they are on the verge of turning to snow.  This was taken four or five days ago.  🙂
raindrop 1
Raindrop 1

As I was sitting on the deck watching the rain/snow fall, I thought it would be fun to see if I could capture some drops.   These photos, following, are of individual drops into the same puddle…a couple of them are close-ups, and the orientation varies.   Since I am not an engineer (I know, not really a photographer, either… I will refrain from speculating on any mechanical aspects.  I just think the resulting pics are interesting and cool reflections of the puddle-water.   I hope they will fit right in with Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge for this week!

raindrop 3raindrop 4raindrop 5raindrop 2raindrop 4raindrop 5raindrop 3raindrop 6

All photos on this page are © Sometimes, 2016.

what the heck’s a tetractys?

A Tetractys is a poem of five lines, consisting respectively, of 1 syllable, 2 syllables, 3, and 4…followed by a line of 10 syllables.   The long line forms a base for the triangular shape formed by the previous four lines–which add up to 10.  Tetra indicates ten, of course.     A Tetractys poem can also be made into a double, more or less diamond shape, formed of a right-side-up triangle, and a reversed triangle.      Come on all you poets…try your hand!  It’s fun.

when
morning
follows dawn
in its own time
the birds’ clock chimes early to alert them …
they begin to sing their cheery wake song
the time is nigh
to begin
their day’s
work

© Sometimes, 2016

write
I asked:
about what?
if you must ask…
instead of taking up your pen in hand,
start to write the words that flow from within
ignite the spark…
unconscious
flow…sans
thought

©Sometimes, 2016