[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
.

 

“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

 

A Re-blog of “EU Mission to Mars; no thanks” by Calers. With commentary from a space-nut.

Here is an interesting post by Calers, one of my favorite bloggers…who always manages to stretch my imagination. Like Kermit the Frog, I subscribe to the like of Dreamers and Lovers and all of the many songs about rainbows and the sheer joy of speculation and imagination that is an innate part of our Human Intelligence. Or as my late husband once suggested: maybe I am just “nuts.”

 

Calers's Blog

The EU has many urgent needs. A mission to Mars is not one of them. Greece may need another bailout. The EU is trying to form an army. There is massive illegal immigration. Many EU states have terrifyingly large deficits. The PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) still suffer from massive unemployment. Among the young this is beyond massive. We need to turn to green energy.

The USA already has missions to Mars. It is wasteful for the United States too. There is no need for the EU to copy such profligacy. It is part of the EU’s small man syndrome. The European Union often tries and fails to rival the United States.

The EU is better than the USA in terms of dealing with poverty and providing healthcare. We have a far lower murder rate and a better human rights situation. Why do EU fanatics feel impelled to take…

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the space race remembered

Once I watched a rocket launch from under a blanket…our TV set was ancient and the light was very dim, so unless the room was almost dark the image on the set was barely visible.   I’m not sure of the year, or which of the early missions it was.   My whole life back in those days, between 1957 and about 1965 , are catalogued according to babies that joined our little family.

Our oldest was just a few months old, and we were living in a trailer park outside of the base of Fort Hood, Texas.  Our tiny television set was on a high shelf, and we had to stand right next to it in order to see anything in much detail.     In the interest of accuracy, by the time the Soviets launched Sputnick in October 1957, my daughter was five months old, and we were stationed at the Oklahoma Military Academy, where facilities had been set up to accommodate army insturctors.  We lived there for a year and a half.

Our connection to the United States Army accounted for much of my interest in space travel and life on other planets, and all kinds of innovative gadgets and scenarios that actually would become History within my lifetime.    I have  always been an avid fan of Science Fiction, and was working my way through the library shelves reading everything I could dealing with outer space.  The only other book that occupied as much or more of my time during that era was Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care, having literally worn out my original copy of the Baby Manual.

So with that setting, the events leading up to the great space race between the United States and the Soviet Union were high on my “interests lists.”    The Cold War was alive and well, and a source of vast panic and hysteria for young military wives, who feared the bell ringing in the night would be a call for hubby to go somewhere and do something to fight The Russians.

So it was with great interest and intrepidation that I pretty much stayed glued to the TV after the hoopla of the Russians having beaten us to the draw in launching a rocket, and then a month later…a dog named Laika,  thus becoming the first Earth Creature ever to attempt space travel.

In January of 1958 we were absolutely ecstatic when th United States Army Ballastic Missile Agency sent up the first U.S. satellite into orbit.

Here’s a Timeline borrowed from the NASA site.    For the entire timeline, please go to  https://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/space-timeline.html

1957

  • October 4 – The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space.
  • November 3 – The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 was launched with a dog named Laika on board. Laika did not survive the voyage.

1958

  • January 31 – Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States when it was sent into orbit on January 31, 1958. It was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology. The satellite was sent aloft from Cape Canaveral in Florida by the Jupiter C rocket that was designed, built, and launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) under the direction of Dr. Wernher Von Braun.

1960

  • August 19 – The Soviet craft Sputnik 5 was launched, carrying the dogs Strelka and Belka. They became the first living beings to survive a trip into space.

1961

  • April 12 – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.
  • May 5 – Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
  • May 25 – President Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

[The space saga continues… .]

Tributary (Reblogged from Behind the White Coat)

This post is about a topic that I think about often….namely, friends in our circle of virtual friendship.   I did not know the subject of this, but in fact…popular as he was, he is thus gaining even more interest.

 

Behind the White Coat

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There are exceptional people you can come across in life if you are lucky, people who make you feel like a better version of you. Smarter. Prettier. Kinder. More patient.

Not empty flattery. No. They have a knack for finding the gem of you and making you sparkle and shine.

I have been blessed to find a few of these people in my lifetime. Paul Curran was one of those. I looked forward to his comments for that very selfish reason. He made me feel better about me.

I realize that he was a virtual friend, someone I never met, but what I feel now is a very real sense of grief and sadness. Strangely that is made worse by the fact that I can find no obituary, no mark of his passing except for the deafening silence that exists now on my blog and on many others.

I want…

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