Historiography at work

Historiography is the study of History.    It was one of my favorite mandatory seminars as a grad student at the University of Akron.

One of friends and cohorts here in Blog Land, raised a very interesting point in  a comment on how the Historians of 100 years from now would treat the scenario in rage now of the Great Republican Plan to Obliterate the Obama Presidency.    Obviously all of us reading this will have no interaction whatsoever in the future century.   Who knows how the History of our age will be preserved, or how it will be reported to future generations.    The History of the Present hasn’t happened yet.

The Trump-Obama factionalism is too multi-faceted to tackle here.   However, the question is a good one, and leads me to ponder the basic differences between Now and Then…meaning past and future coverage of historical events.     There can be two designations here: Paper and Digital.

The most glaring difference is that what was written, published, in real books is that they were permanent.   Not necessarily the absolute authoritative sources on a given subject, but through a sort of consensus of opinions and research, and yes credentials.   In order to reach a thesis statement for a given publication, the writer presented his or her own ideas….something new, an alternate position.   There are always at least two sides to any proposition.

Here is a proposal that when it comes to Digital History, that which is presented over the internet by countless diverse sources, the information comes across only as permanent as the print-out a student or proponent, or indeed, opposition commentator, understands—or prefers to present as Truth or Falsehood—to their respective readership at any given time.

Digital History is much easier to alter, re-write, or inadvertently  distort  because of its fluidity…never permanent, always subject to a myriad of changes.    We see reports on the internet news channels… a statement made by an anchor person on CNN or Fox, MSNBC, BBC…at a given hour—that never airs again.

No one in their right mind for long will be able to watch Cable News constantly to keep up absolutely on the stream of information.    Remember when the internet was actually referred to as the Information Highway?   That was back in the 1980s, when major newspapers made the change from individual typewriters to the chaotic stream of News-all-the-Time.   Up-to-date means “constantly changing,” which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

 

the dance of the miscreants, a fairy-tale?

… and all of the miscreants danced in a ring
singing and clapping and everything.

Chicken Little handed out cups with holes in the bottoms…
and urged everyone to please help themselves.

Uncle Paul smirked and grinned, and dreamed
when he slept, of clever tricks and double crosses.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, sent out engraved linen notes
that read: “Be here or else—but mind what you say.”

The Ice Queen giggled and tried to look cool,
as she whispered to the boss “you’re starting to melt.”

The King beamed and preened to adoring crowds
who cheered as he told them: “You all are invisible to me!”

The Witch of the Beltway cackled with glee:
“Listen to me!   What do I say?  What do I mean?”

…and the Tall Man looked down on everyone
until he tripped and came crashing down…

Topsy Turvey turned and spun… telling tales and amazing everyone.
“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

Mr. Dowdy Pudding frumped and preened,
beady eyes glistening with malice and mildew.

It’s all a cruel joke intended to wound—impossible tricks every day:
the Media chatters and makes up titillating tales.

The Wise Women lecture and try to make sense
while the Old White Men tell them “sit down and shut up.”

The Lawyers, in turn get their say…don’t let facts in the way!
Believe nothing you hear—nor even what you say!

…and all of the miscreants danced in a ring
singing and clapping and everything.

©Sometimes, 2017

 

Magic of WordPress support

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/reblogging/

 

I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.

OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know.     I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.

The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot.   The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university.     No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.

Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”

So what do we expect from blogs?    At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults.     Jokes, comics.    How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting.     But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe.     No one can know everything about everything.

This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in.   I often re-blog posts from other bloggers.     Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it.      Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.

The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article.   Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author.    A link is easily copied from the address bar.

The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Why Nuts?] A look into the unique creative art of blogger I-Shan Lin…

Here is a delightful and different blog by I-Shan LIn. Her drawings and writing are fresh and creative. Thanks for the permission to re-blog.

“I’ve got all I need. Me, a paper boat and lots of nuts. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.” 

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Death is late…Re-blogged from writer George Agak’s site, Sliver of Darkness.

I am very touched by this excellent poem by George Agak.      His work is very graphic, and grabs ahold of the reader and doesn’t let go.       It is an accomplishment to achieve such a deeply emotional work of writing, and as you folks know, I am not subject to being moved by hyperbole….so I appreciate what I may call beauty-in-horror.      It is a sad fact that this kind of terrible scenario exists in our modern world.       Thanks for letting me re-blog, George!

 

Sliver of Darkness

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I will write a letter and toss it in the wind
Or strip your hammock and toss in the river
I might be dead when they reach you
Nothing has changed
Yet nothing has remained the same
The gods have been vexed
All this time they’ve held rain

Grass still grows
Watered by endless flow of blood
The valley has changed its appeal
The shades we once rested under
Now home rotting humans
And vultures feast
The freedom fighters have fought the system
Then rebelled against their prior motives
They kill anything in human gait

But still….
The government lives
Not counting the ones lost
They fly outside to drink and dine
Because this nation is rotten
Their appetite might wane

When they took you, bro,
I couldn’t fight them
That’s cowardice I know
But death isn’t for the brave either

Bro, this nation is rich
You could have seen…

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Where have all the bloggers gone? Gone to silence, every one…my take on Opinionated Man’s observations.

Today my friend Jason over at OPINIONATED MAN  posted a question about the recent slow-down in blogging.          https://aopinionatedman.com/2017/03/29/where-did-they-all-go/#respond    I started to make a comment, which of course went all hay-wild, and I am moved to make a post of my own.    Thanks, Jason

huh….good question!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.   I think it is because I am overwhelmed.   I LOVE blogging…love my blog, my fellow bloggers.   Since the beginning of this year…. January 20, 1917 to be exact we wake up every morning to a new disaster of Government Gone Mad, and are filled with rage that everything we hold dear is going down the tubes.

Now….having written that statement above, my zapping finger wants to delete it.   WHY?   Because someone will pick on me for being partisan or a conspiracy theorist or a Democrat or Liberal or biased….and make me feel like a terrible person because I am critical and speak out about it.

What I really want to do is write about Daisies…and Little Bunnies…Sweetness…Light.     I want to write poetry that curls the toes and reaches out to my lost- love- with- the- blue- eyes .

Photos…I want to take photos and put them online.
Blogs…I want to visit every one of my blogger pals every day….AND comment on stuff.
Writing Poetry…I want to write great poems that I love.  (I may be my own favorite poet.)
History…I want to write about History….the pyramids, archeology, slavery, British Abolishment of Slavery,
Rachel Jackson, the Real Purpose of Foreign Aid.

So why don’t I write about these things?     Because someone/somewhere will resent it, or think that I am opinionated.   Someone told me once when I was complaining about the bombing of Baghdad…that he “always knew what I was going to say…always negative…always unpatriotic.”

Or worse, the “WHO do you think you are?” remarks from alien commenters…both from Mars and from Maryland.   These are the folks who demand their right to say and write anything they please—while sneering at what I write and telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.      Do I ever say that to anyone?   No—

Yes….I am overwhelmed.   Chastised by people who laugh at me for being “afraid of the Russians.”    Reluctant to say anything that will piss somebody off.

I check my notebooks, and too often to stuff I find scribbled there is pinched and stiff…topics like bombs and war and why I hate the news people.

From now on I’m going back to writing something in my blog every day….no matter how mundane, how ridiculous, how unpopular…and if anyone doesn’t like it they can go read something else.    AND I’ll just write about my theories, and is anyone wants to snicker or make fun of me for being a silly…well, I’m not even going there…fine.   Just keep one thing in mind: just because I’m a conspiracy theorist doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.

Tree Garden Time, illustrated…

When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails)  I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area.   Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.

The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet.  The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time.   The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.

The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house.   When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East.   There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.

So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel.   The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs.   Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths.     I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.

For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there.   But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.

Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw.  The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.

The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter.   Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.

This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths.    Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off.     Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired.   Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.

Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do.   🙂

Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental.    I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail.   Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.

toning down the glare

Last month I got a new computer, printer, and camera.   Yesterday the monitor had to go back to the store because the brightness control didn’t work.    I have had computers since 1983, and the first thing I ever did when setting them up for use was to adjust the brightness of the screen.   The manufacturers insist upon having white backgrounds on much of the content, but there was always the option to turn down the brightness by using the control button.

So in a search for the control that I knew had to be there, finally found the controls, and set out to change the brightness.    So I went online and asked google how to change the brightness.   Easy…they told me…giving detailed instructions.    Nope.   Then checked the discussion pages….the people who say stuff about their frustrating experiences with their new computers.      In a nutshell, they followed the instructions, to no avail…gave up.

After convincing myself that the brightness control on my monitor did not work, I turned to my second plan of attack—the first being to solve the problem myself—which involved asking my daughter, who is something of a computer guru, to look at it and tell me what I was doing wrong.   She arrived, and conducted a search of her own, trying all the tried and true tricks that a neophyte like me would not know.

Finally, daughter arrived at the point where I had given up and her opinion was that the control system was not working.    So, we went off to BestBuy, where the GeekSquad woman ran the monitor through its paces and arrived at exactly the same conclusion that we had reached—the thing did not work!

All ended well though—I paid an extra $30.00 and got a new monitor.   It’s about an inch larger screen than the one it replaces.    The brightness control works…and the controls themselves can be manipulated easily and efficiently without standing on my head to find the control board.

Now…I am having a problem getting the CD with the instruction booklet for the monitor to download.   I know the CD drive works because I tested it last week.   But this won’t be a major issue, because I DO know enough German to read the on-screen directions if I need to make other adjustments.    Sprechen zie kleine bissel deutsch, so I’ll manage until I have the wits to adjust the language.

Tile Art

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Here are some pictures that just tugged at me to create while walking through my entry.  They are twelve-inch natural stone tiles.   I never noticed the (featured photo) before, but once the face popped out at me…at least three faces in fact…I knew they were perfect for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo challenge.     The eye just seems to adjust for the scene.

These shots remind me of mountain and desert terrain, the color scheme of the Southwest.      What wonders do YOU see here, boys and girls?   I’d love to hear….

(all photos © Sometimes, 2017)

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STATS…my favorite posting prompt

(this post has been amended twice er, three times in the past five minutes.)

I LOVE to look at STATS of my various sites.     They are always wonderful…in the sense of being “full of wonder” at the mysterious statistics.

Today my notice came about a great spike in hourly views and visitors to my alternate site,              A State of Mind, which I admit is sorely neglected.

Anyway, my number of VIEWS has spiked to 52 views an hour — remarkable in view of the stat that my normal count of views is   O  — ZERO.   Of course his information peaked my interest and curiosity.

It seems that the 52 Views were … well, viewed … by 2 — TWO individuals.   One in Canada, the other in Australia.

Welcome to both!

Apparently one viewer looked at up to 52 of my past posts.

…. and guess who holds the record for having looked at (viewed) my posts?

Ha!    Gradmama2011.    Yes, that’s ME.

I love Stats… 🙂

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
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“Moving South” and NAFTA

When I was growing up and into the 70s and 80s, my home area of Northeast Ohio was booming…the steel mills in Cleveland and Lorain were blasting night and day, round-the-clock shifts, and there were plenty of good-paying jobs in the mills and in auto manufacturing plants.   THEN the plants started to close and move down South….no, not to Mexico then, but to Alabama and Georgia .   The cause (they told us) was the labor unions guaranteeing good-pay and benefits and decent working safety conditions.
 “Illegal” workers picked tomatoes, worked on ranches in the broiling southwest sun, and worked laborer construction jobs and washed dishes and mopped floors in restaurants and hospitals etc, etc.   Ranchers hired these “pickers” because local-white boys would not do these jobs.         They also worked as nannies and housekeepers for our well-to-do,
NAFTA has provided a free-for-all atmosphere that harmed American workers.    The worst I personally know of is that NAFTA decimated the Mexican farmer corn business….flooding the Mexican markets with American corn.   An even greater atrocity is that under NAFTA came the genitically-modified corn itself, which was treated to prevent re-growth from seed.
The so-called “maquiladoras” throughout Mexico hired cheap and mistreated labor…big companies like Tommy Hilfiger and The Gap.   I have seen these with my own eyes, workers stand for long shifts, begging for bathroom breaks, standing at sewing machines (etc.) for 12-14 hour shifts on tiled concrete floors.   Yes, these people ARE glad to get the work at any price.
These points are just a few, and may be arbitrary…..but are facts.   .  TRUE FACTS, not Alternate Facts.

Second Guessing myself…

Day 8, 2017.

Wow!  We are already heading into the second week of the new year.   January is the busiest month of the year as far as family birthdays count.   My late husband, two grandsons, a son, great-granddaughter, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law.  And that is just my immediate family, not counting at least one niece from my Florida-Clan.

I used to send cards with detailed notes in them, and even money.    Now that I am basically a poor church mouse, I’m lucky if I get a card out at all.   Oh, sure, there are electronic cards that are relatively easy to send, and I must say those are often very attractive…and they even sing or play music for the recipient.

My intentions are good, and yes, I do know what they say about good intentions.   I do at least think about people on their birthdays.

Unfortunately (I guess,) I am not really into Facebook or other social media.   Let’s not go into that here, with a wink and a nod to my excuse/reasoning that these venues cause a LOT of trouble.   E-mail was bad enough, always a risk for correspondents.

Blogging is my love, being a source of endless blank pages on the computer screen, beckoning with a promise that I can write/say almost anything about nearly any subject.  I write poetry, essays and diaries about the good old days…at least MY good old days.     My goal for this new year is to write something every day…or at least re-post something that I have written since my blog SOMETIMES was born.

One of the sweet things about blogging is that we tend to attract like-minded writers who more or less follow our work.   We enjoy each others’ photos, essays, and poems, and short stories.

One rule I set for myself is to write with care.   To me that means avoiding offending anyone, getting uppity with those who do not agree with me, or writing obnoxious or unsubstantiated  things.    Normally I rest fairly well assured that when I push the SEND button, and later when someone opens my post to read it, there will not be any adverse effects.    Sometimes (often, actually) what I write is intended to be humorous, though representative of my views and opinions.   Satire and sarcasm I use sparingly,  with care and judgement.

I have published 671 posts to this blog, Sometimes, as of a glance to my Stats page just moments ago.    This represents steady publications the last couple of years, and the total over the life of my blog since 2011.   I have deleted two posts that I recall, rewrote a couple, but most have stood as written.      I don’t think I’ve offended or insulted anyone, and I take great pains to avoid such writing.

My number one goal this year is to write every day.    Actually I do write daily, usually in a variety of diaries and notebooks…then transfer items to my blog.    Once in a great while I have misgivings about a post, and accordingly re-write it, edit it for spelling or grammatical errors…and for any questionable content.     It takes a few moments to go back in the pages and fix typos or mis-spellings, or to make glaring corrections of fact.

Yesterday I wrote one of my problem pieces, and have mulled it over in my mind since.   It is about the infamous Wall which has been proposed…whether actual or theoretical, our president-elect now owns this idea, and possibly feels he has an obligation to “build the wall.”.     My purpose was to post the link to photos of the existing wall between the United States southern border and Mexico.   The suggestions that were included in my post are facetious…tongue-in-cheek…sarcastic.   When I came to my computer this morning I fully expected (dreaded, perhaps,) some negative comments about my rather outrageous “suggestions” for extending the border.    Especially worrying to me are “guests” or browsers who happen-upon  what I write, not regulars that recognize snide…ok, snarky…sarcasm.    So far so good…

 

 

 

organization begone!

So far so good
on my New Year’s resolution,
already Day Two!

Clearing my desk
may be part of the solution
of my goal to be tidy.

On the other hand,
the only reason to tidy my spot
is to pile up new clutter.

Neat pristine spaces
seem such a darn waste…
like bookshelves sans books!

New manila folders
with crispy sharp tabs
are nice but tend to confuse.

Organization
tends to mystify storage
if it all is “where it belongs.”

So for Twenty-Seventeen
the main goal is writing
and working the blog!

Happy New Year
my friends and fellow bloggers
wherever you are!

© Sometimes, 2017

Rules For Commenters…or Think First!

There should be a rule
on commenting protocol
requiring at least
(if not a working knowledge)
mini-common sense.

Every school age child
with a mite’s  intelligence
should have learned restraint
in matters of opinion…
at least a few facts.

No one should ever
consider as an expert
smart snappy comments…
an internet free-for-all
sans supervision.

Our Rule Number One:
Start out with a set of clues,
a few question marks,
a reasonably open-mind
and process of thought.

For Rule Number Two,
should be needless to expound,
an unspoken rule–
have proof, or at least
citations of information.

Who, what, when, where, why
How the commenter knows,
…at least Who Said So?
citation of source
and last—Who Cares?

© Sometimes, 2016