Sunday, June 30, 2013

Song for Onna

Her name is pronounced Anna. Her mother says she spelled it that way because she wanted her daughter's name to be unique, even while familiar. I think she wasn't a very good speller. But in any event here's the link:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Song for James

There are many songs that I feel are mine, but this one I share with my son.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Song for Constance

And the last wife...first..well, you know what I mean!

I prefer the Dubliners version, especially the one that ends with, "bad cess to her black velvet band!" But the version she loved was the Irish Rovers. So here they are.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Song for Joan

Song for Joan

For my youngest daughter, I turn to medieval song. Obviously, the original intent is to express the sadness of a rejected suitor. However, substitute the words father and child for love and lover and you will see why this piece makes me think of her.

Song for Patti

As long as I'm doing wives, Here's the song which always evoked and still evokes my second wife.

I think Billy Joel must have known her...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Song for Moonshadow

As you know, I'm posting links to the songs which, when I hear them, always make me think of a particular person for whom I care very deeply. That isn't to say that the songs accurately describe that person, or his or her life. It's more that they evoke the feelings I have about that person. They make you realize, well, they make me realize, how much I love that individual and why.

This one's for my last duchess, I mean know:

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive...Doh! I'm quoting Robert Browning. I think I'd better stop that. That poem has the wrong meaning anyway.

Note the longer, original lyrics of this old Scots ballad that are entered on the YouTube page, along with comments about the song's history.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Song for Racquell

I wonder how many people can say this, but I have songs that I attach to particular people. I suspect many do this, but then I'm not so sure. At any rate, I'm going to try to go ahead and post links to the songs that, when I hear them, always make me think of a particular person for whom I care very deeply. That isn't to say that the songs accurately describe that person, or his or her life. It's more that they evoke the feelings I have about that person. They make you realize, well, they make me realize, how much I love that individual and why.

Today's posting is for my middle girl, Racquell. There are elements of the song that are accurate and elements of the song that are not. But taken altogether, it does evoke her in my mind. So here's to you, Kid.


Tonight I'm broke down weary

Tonight I'm bone soul tired

Life is long and hard

And you live it every day

And some days are bright with joy

And some are sharp with sorrow

And many cut you deep with pain

But today...

Today is just plain weary

Today is tired and old

Even so,

Today is done and gone

And tomorrow

There may yet be brightness

There may yet be joy

There might yet be joy

Friday, June 21, 2013

Today's Song

Some days, Stephen Foster has it right. Over a century and a half ago, he wrote...

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.

Today used as the theme song to the show, Copper.

Thanks to YouTube and Wikipedia

Case Closed

The LA Times has reported that the Exodus ministry, which attempted to "cure" gays of their "addiction" has shut down, admitting it failed in over 99% of all cases, and caused massive suffering and grief in the process.

The Ministry of Hate, at least one of them, has finally shut down. Everyone should read this article. It does not matter which side you're on. This piece of journalism is informative and helpful.

Please pay special attention to the tragedy of the family whose religious bigotry and hatred drove their own son to commit suicide.

Whatever you think about this issue, don't you think it's time to mind our own business? Don't you think it's time for some tolerance? Remember, you don't tolerate things you like. You tolerate things you don't like. After all, being gay is neither a choice nor is it an addiction. Being intolerant and hateful is both. We need a ministry that teaches Christians to stop hating. Just a Modest Proposal.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ancient Wisdom

Referring to Aristotle's attempt to balance interests to create a stable governmental system, Alan Ryan in On Politics states : A political system that gives political power to the majority of the citizens so long as they also possess the majority of society's wealth is uniquely likely to be stable. This requires what sociologists called a "lozenge-shaped" distribution of wealth; if there are few very poor people, very few rich people, and a substantial majority of "comfortably off" people in a society, the middling sort with much to lose will outvote the poor and not align with them to expropriate the rich; conversely, they will be sufficiently numerous to deter the rich from trying to encroach upon the rights and wealth of their inferiors. American political sociologists explain the resilience of American democracy by noting the United States achievement of this happy condition after World War II.

Both our current parties, though especially the Republicans, should take note.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Addendum to Whiny Guy

I found a nasty and scabbed scratch on my arm this morning. It must have hurt when it happened, but I have no memory of the injury. I only realized it was there when I saw it in the mirror. Typical of me when I am disoriented. I refer to such incidents as burnt towel episodes, a reference to an incident previously described, in which I rather severely burned a towel, and then couldn't remember doing it.

Whiny Guy Strikes Again!

Friday was bad. Saturday I survived. Sunday I made it through. Monday was difficult, but I can honestly say that at least I lived it. Tuesday I broke down and made a blog entry; the price of which entry which I'm paying even today. And today I'm not doing very well at all. Still, things are better than they were on Friday!


In a walk find nature. In nature find the numinous. In the numinous find God. In God find yourself. In yourself find peace.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Orange Kangaroos from Denmark

There seems to be something wrong with my brain. Well, I mean other than all the things that everybody already knows are wrong with my brain.

I've been watching Brain Games on National Geo TV. Interesting program. Quite often, I follow the correct pattern. In other words, the trick they play works.

Of course, it doesn't always come out that way. Today's program, for example, just isn't working out. A rather elaborate series of steps were supposed to lead me to think about an orange kangaroo from Denmark. Only it didn't. It led me to think of a red ichthyosaur from Dubai. No problem, I suppose. Except that they seem absolutely certain that I would have thought of an orange kangaroo from Denmark. Apparently everybody does. Everybody except me.

Next they asked if I, the viewer, would prefer to go to an ice cream store with only three flavors or one with many flavors. I chose the site with many flavors. Then they give a list of the choices available in that store, and asked what I would order. I was supposed to have found the first decision easy and the second decision hard. Only, the second decision was not at all difficult. I knew exactly what I desired without hesitation. I did not like most of the flavors which were offered. And even with a number of choices left, I simply chose my particular favorites.

So what's wrong with me?

It is not the first time this program has presented a situation which didn't seem to have the right effect on me. An earlier program asked me to count the number of ducks I saw a shooting gallery. I didn't see any. Then they asked me how many bunnies I saw in an identical sequence. Those I counted. Turns out I was supposed to see the figures as ducks the first time and the same figures as bunnies the second time. Only I never did see any ducks.

Then there was that that whole business about the strange room which makes people look different sizes than they actually are. We viewers were then asked to identify which woman was the taller of the two, and I correctly identified the one who was. They proceeded to claim that the two women were the same size. They then had the two women stand next to each other to prove it. In spite of their denial, the one I had identified as taller was was clearly at least half an inch higher.

Mind you, almost all of their deceptions have been effective with me. I usually make the same errors everybody makes. It's just that on a few occasions I can't even understand what I was supposed to see.

For now, I'm going to push play and see how the rest of the program works out.

Later: This show is really proving to be a bust for me. Maybe I am proving to be a bust for it. The next sequence showed a picture of one girl and the picture of another girl. You're supposed to pick the most attractive. Then they swap the pictures and most people apparently don't even notice. I find that extremely odd. Both of the girls were very pretty, but one was more attractive to me. I couldn't have mistaken one for the other.

This is especially strange for me, since I have massive problems recognizing faces, even those of people I know very well. By the way that's a confession. I don't lightly make it, as I find this disability extremely embarrassing, but it is the truth.

There was another sequence in which you had to choose among women. Although it wasn't the point of the program, I found it interesting that in both cases I chose a woman that was least likely to be chosen by the average person. In one case I was in a 30% minority in the other I was in a 20% minority. I am not certain what it means, but it's interesting.

Actually, I think I do know exactly what was going on to create the conflict between me and this particular episode. The point of of the program was that we make many of our choices on what I refer to as autopilot. Then, if we find ourselves forced into a wrong choice, we rationalize it and convince ourselves that it actually was our choice all along.

Since the conflict between our rationality and our rationalization is a particular philosophic obsession of mine, I expect the reason I wasn't so readily fooled by the tricks played is because I'm a bit more conscious of the reason I make decisions. After all, most of the time I'm tricked just like everybody else. It's just that every now and then, I manage to avoid that.

Which brings me back to the whole situation that started me writing today. Before I picked ichthyosaur, I considered indricothere. That would've led to an interesting situation. If I hadn't changed over to ichthyosaur, I would've ended up with a mental image of an ecru indricothere from Dubai. Orange kangaroos from Denmark, indeed!