Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Say It Ain't So

This news, this news HERE does not bode well for incurable Canadian Starbucks addicts like myself!
What am I going to do if they start closing down around me? Why don't they just ask for a government bailout... everyone else is! MAY ONTARIO BE SPARED!
[I am going to have nightmares tonight….]


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Adult readers have the right to expect and demand that writers not condescend to them but treat them with respect -- challenge them, unsettle them, refuse to talk down to them. Personally I don't want false comfort, I don't want to read writers who flop in to join me in the shallow end where, like most people, I sometimes find myself cowering out of fatigue or disappointment or the natural human aversion to spiritual deep waters. I want to read writers like Franz Kafka or Mary Shelley or Mavis Gallant or Cormac McCarthy who grab be by the hair and haul or pitch me out into the deep end of the pool and say Swim, you bastard, your life depends upon it.
-- Steven Heighton --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Splash du Jour: Monday

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
-- Marcel Proust –

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our Extreme Recentness

I may have mentioned this before, but I'm reading a really fascinating, wonderfully interesting book.
I'm into the last three-quarters of it – Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.
It’s about…. nearly everything!
So I am at this section for a while now, [I’m a fastidiously slow reader…] about pre-history, it’s all about trilobites and whatchamacallits and Cambrian this-and-that-creepy-crawlies -- fossils, basically!
I felt that this one slab of text from chapter 22 was worthy of regurgitation –

If you imagine the 4.5 billion odd years of Earth’s history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic fauna… At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. [Unless you are real smart, you must read the preceding chapter to know what this is]. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land
. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow.
Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single lifetime barely an instant.

In the next paragraph he goes on to restate it thus:
Perhaps an even more effective way of grasping our extreme recentness as a part of this 4.5-billion-year-old picture is to stretch out your arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth. On this scale, according to John McPhee in Basin and Range, the distance from the fingertips of one hand to the wrist of the other is Precambrian.
All of complex life is in one hand, “and in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history.”


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drummers: A Saturday Poem


To believe in a different set of principles.
We say one person is marching this way
and another, that. The while, our self
lockstep with everywhere it has been,
ever seeing all it has seen, walks.

What does the person distant hear?
Too often mere rumble, echoing
through the trees or against the walls.
As rhythmic as anything they’ve beaten,
surety travels. Conviction and loyalty --
Discord, reeking of tribe.

If civilization means a thing, it involves a
heart loving harmony. An ear hearing
that it cannot produce sound. A mind
knowing that all are equally wrong.
Drummers drumming, not in a different way,
but in an other way.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

For My Mom

It is a very drizzly, rainy day out there, and I am sitting at a Starbucks after work. The internet signal is quite weak so I'm not sure if this will even post at all, but I'll try.
This is a picture of my mom, having a snooze, many years ago.
I am not 100% sure but I think we were camping somewhere when this was taken.
She is asleep, and I am just a kid.
As many of you already know, my mom passed away just a few hours into the New Year, a few months ago now. I miss her.
Today is her birthday.
So I’ve been thinking about her all day.
She would have been turning 77 years young.
Recently I wrote a little poem for my mom. Originally, I guess because of its personal nature and all, I was not going to post it.
But sitting here, the rain outside the window seems to be telling me to do it…

Sleep Peacefully Mom

So bravely you gave yourself to the New Year,
lips unmoving, singing with your children,
even as their tears fell upon an
earth you were tired of living upon. A calm
peace given unto you, not as the world gives.

Perhaps a day may come, a time when
every one of us will be reunited in
a heavenly picnic. Where Dad will surely
complain that you didn’t pack nearly
enough hot-dog buns. And why bring good
forks when he had bought the plastic ones?
Under such pressure, how can
love survive? Anyone else would have
lost their marbles and given up.
Yet you were a rock, not only to him, but to us.

Mother’s Day will forever be an empty day
on our calendars. And that other day, in
March, a remembrance of your gift to us. You.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Just a few words for a remarkable woman.
My mom!
[Note: The first letter of each line spells out the title.]


Splash du Jour: Thursday

Why, he wondered, did so many people spend their lives not trying to find answers to questions – not even thinking of questions to begin with? Was there anything more exciting in life than seeking answers?
-- Isaac Asimov, Prelude to Foundation (1988) --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Dear Readers!
All of you who have entered The First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bookpuddle© Book Giveaway Event…. Thing!
As you can see, I have faithfully made sure that everyone who submitted their name was entered into the draw.

I wish you all luck!
The luck of the Irish!
[Now, the trick is going to be to somehow camouflage these pieces of paper as food pellets, and then convince my cat that he’s hungry.]

Even though I deliberately starved him all day in preparation for his role in these proceedings, he initially was not all that enthused about these white foreign objects in his food dish!
But finally he moved in and nudged at a few.
He glanced at me to see if everything was on the level.
I said, “Go on Jack, pick one of those.”
So he did, and then he ran away a bit and I had to grab him quickly and extract the thing from his mouth.
It was full of cat spit.

And so, as you can see below, the lucky winner of the Geraldine Brooks book People of the Book, is…..

Congratulations, Dorothy W.
Check out her excellent blog at Of Books and Bikes.

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

The upshot of all this is that we live in a universe whose age we can’t quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances we don’t altogether know, filled with matter we can’t identify, operating in conformance with laws whose properties we don’t truly understand.
-- Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003) --

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Final Frontier

Hi friends.
← Guess what this is?
I am at Starbucks, just sitting here and thinking about stuff.
For one thing, I wish I had way more money.
Secondly, I wish I could read all day instead of work. Thirdly, I wish beer was just randomly distributed everywhere.

But back to the picture…. guess what it is.
That’s right.
It’s my underground parking space at my apartment building.
Basically just a few feet of concrete where I stash my wheels every night.
Every month I pay $50 for the privilege of parking there.
I moved into my place back in June of 1997.
Hence, according to my quick calculations on my Starbucks napkin, I have now paid that $50 fee 106 times.
That amounts to $5,300.
Which just goes to show you -- in the big city, everything, literally everything costs money one way or another.
Even empty space.


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time's a'Wastin'!

Dear Friends:
When I inaugurated the First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bookpuddle© Book Giveaway Event… Thing, I failed to put a time-limit to it!
So… let’s say Wednesday evening!
Two nights from now!
This means you all only have well… there’s no time like the present, like RIGHT NOW to add your name to the list of entrants in the quest to win one of three great books!
Jack is getting all primed up to pick the winning name from his food dish!

Now, I know what you’re thinking.
You’re wondering, “What's the deal with the ol’ gal and the fish there?”
The answer is umm… I just really love that picture, and have been waiting for a reason to post it, but no reason ever emerges. So I’m sitting here at Starbucks right now and I can stand it no longer. I had to post it.
Please, if you have not already entered the Book Giveaway, just CLICK ON THE FISH and I wish you the luck of the Irish!


Splash du Jour: Monday

Oh, great, divinely bounding wisdom of walls and barriers! They are, perhaps, the greatest of man’s inventions. Man ceased to be a wild animal only when he built the first wall.
-- Yevgeny Zamiatin, We (1924) --

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

COSTCO Makes You Mental

Have you ever gone to COSTCO, just thinking you were going to walk around in there and not buy stuff, and then what happens is you buy half the store?
It happened to me today.
Everything looks so good! All of a sudden you feel like you NEED so many things that [minutes ago] you had no idea you needed so badly… because there it all is, on some kind of exaggerated plastic-wrapped armageddonous level.
I found myself actually feeling that I NEED a bulk supply of canned tuna… and salmon! My God, I just stacked away into my shelves here enough canned fish to last me for at least five of the seven years of The Great Tribulation! [Now that I’m a heretic, there’s no way I’m going in the Rapture, so I’ve got to be prepared.]
I’ve got enough Stagg Silverado© chili to get me through those last 24 months.
OK, enough with the theology.
The point is, I even bought new plates and bowls, [see above photo] to eat all of this stuff in!
And the thing is, I already have enough plates and bowls.
That’s what COSTCO does to you.
It makes you do mental things!
Just in case I turn into a werewolf at some point in the near future, I bought the bulk package of Gillette shave cream. And enough Excel peppermint flavor gum to last a veritable lifetime of halitosis.
I must admit though, these plates and bowls? I like the simplicity of them… they’re all about efficiency.
They’ve got some great capacity. They’re big. And I like my supper to be…. big.
I can hardly wait till tomorrow morning when I fill that blue-edged bowl with a few bushels of cereal from my ten-pound box of COSTCO jumbo End-Times Flakes©.

Reminds me of Jethro from that old show The Beverley Hillbillies.
Uncle Jed walks into the kitchen where Jethro is literally shoveling cereal into his face from one of Granny’s big huge mixing bowls….
“Boy, how many bowls of that cereal have you had?”
“Just one, Uncle Jed. Filled it four times.”


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oblivious: A Saturday Poem


Three kids are in love with their sandwiches.

The one in an olive-colored shirt alternates between
cookie and sandwich and pop and laughter while
cramming it all into his freckles he marries a monstrous
beast develops liver disease plastic tubes keep him alive until not.

The one with thick glasses and mustard on his laughing lip
secures a fortune in the stock market loses it all
night watchman finds what he was on the sidewalk.

The one in the red jacket with the laugh like
rain falling her only child dies in the womb after a long
bout with cancer she too succumbs to life.

It is beautiful to watch them with their sandwiches.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Splash du Jour: Friday

Whenever you see a bunch of buggers puttering around talking about truth and beauty and the best way of attacking Ethics, you can bet your sandals it’s because dozens of other poor buggers are doing all the real work around the place.
--Terry Pratchett, Small Gods (1992) –

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Story Absorption

Recently I said to a friend, “I fear that I’m reading so much material I’m forgetting the relevant aspects of the contents.”
And this, especially as it applies to general fiction and short stories.
What I meant was that sometimes you can read so much that your mind tends to muddle the combined stories together, in a sort of blur.
Months, or a year later [or longer] you can’t really recall details about what you have read.
To this, she said, “They are a part of us - even if we forget about them - they are still with us somehow.”
This was encouraging.
But not only so.
I think it is also very true.
What we read, what we interact with on such a cerebral and heartfelt level, enters into the amalgam of who we are.
And the benefit is not based on regurgitation.
It’s based on absorption.
Like the blood coursing through my veins, I neither understand its function, nor would such an understanding help it along its way.
It just does what it does.
And without it, I cannot continue being who I am.


Splash du Jour: Thursday

Somehow the burning of millions of books felt more brutally obscene than the killing of people. All men must die, it is their single common heritage. But a book need never die and should not be killed; books were the immortal part of man.
-- Robert A. Heinlein, Farnham’s Freehold (1964) –

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Expensive clothes are a waste of money.
-- Meryl Streep --

I agree! In fact, I advocate the re-directing of your entire clothing budget into your book fund!
As for clothing, just keep buying books until you are reduced to crawling around in your very last dustjacket!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bookpuddle© Book Giveaway Event... Thing

I’m calling it “annual” even though this is only the first one.
But I promise. I’ll do it every year!
It's been quite a while since I have had a book giveaway event and back then I made the criteria very difficult.
This time I want to make it real easy for you to win yourself a totally free book.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this posting and say which one of these three books you would like to have ...and then write a 500-word essay defending your choice.
No, no. Just kidding.
Skip the essay part.
Just name the book.
Then I will write out all the entries on little pieces of paper, scrunch them up to look like Jack’s cat food pellets, and the first one he tries to eat, that will be the winner!
Here are the books!

The Child In Time, by Ian McEwan
People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks

The Reserve, by Russell Banks

Clicking on the titles will take you to previous postings I have made, about these books.
Oh, and here’s an interesting story.
Initially I took a couple photos of these books in the Chapters store [where I currently am, writing this] and I guess I took one too many shots, because when the last flash went off, a bookseller came up to me and she said that such activity was not allowed.
I said “Really?”
She said, “I’m afraid so.”
I said… “Are you going to call the police?”
“No,” she said, “But I would ask you to delete the pictures you just took.”
I thought she was kidding.
“Are you serious?” I asked her.
The look on her face told me that things would probably get nasty if I made a dash for the door like some kind of lunatic.
So I went through the shots on my SD-card, and she literally watched me delete each one. I kept going until an earlier photo of me appeared, and to my surprise she winced and said, “Ooooh, you should seriously delete that one, too.”
So I did!


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
-- Mr. Antolini, to Holden Caulfield, in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It Hurts To Remember...

Here is something a friend sent me:

Does familiarity breed contempt? On the contrary, it breeds liking. In the 1980s, social psychologists began showing people such stimuli as Turkish words and Chinese ideographs and asking them how much they liked them. They would show a given stimulus somewhere between one and twenty-five times. The more the subjects saw the stimulus the more they liked it. Needless to say, their subjects did not find it plausible that the mere number of times they had seen a stimulus could have affected their liking for it. (You're probably wondering if white rats are susceptible to the mere familiarity effect.) The study has been done. Rats brought up listening to music by Mozart prefer to move to the side of the cage that trips a switch allowing them to listen to Mozart rather than Schoenberg. Rats raised on Schoenberg prefer to be on the Schoenberg side. The rats were not asked the reasons for their musical preferences.
-- Richard E. Nisbett, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan --

The reason this information so intrigues me is that I can personally attest to its veracity.
It takes me back to my own childhood, way out on the Saskatchewan prairies.
See, my mother placed two very different types of music on either side of my cage also.
I shall never forget this.
On one side the sweet sounds of Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
On the other, Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida [entire side 1 of the album, of course].
Both played simultaneously and were activated by a switch that was turned on when I was a mere infant and not turned off until I graduated from high school.
I am wondering if this has anything to do with my current habit, now at 45 years of age, of sleeping with the pillow actually wrapped around my head and firmly held there with industrial-strength elastics.


Splash du Jour: Monday

There are many things in your heart you can never tell to another person. They are you, your private joys and sorrows, and you can never tell them. You cheapen yourself, the inside of yourself, when you tell them.
-- Greta Garbo --
I am wondering -- is this unequivocably true?
Was Greta right?

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Constellation: A Saturday Poem


There were dots on her shoulder, more than this
I cannot say. In that moment I closed my eyes
and leaned into her

Any scientist will tell you that no one has ever escaped
such a journey. Gravitational forces are too great,
and at that speed you are

In that moment, time itself reconsiders, and yet
cannot do anything about its current direction.
Everything you have ever wanted to do, you are

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Splash du Jour: Friday

It's fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.
-- Montag, in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

Have a great Friday!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Could it think, the heart would stop beating.
-- Fernando Pessoa --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Even Astronauts Need It...

Coffee, that is!
I am at Starbucks right now, drinking coffee and reading a great book called Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas.
It’s really speaking to my inner heretic!
The author is Elaine Pagels and this is the second book of hers I have read, the first one being The Origin of Satan. [ Terrific book. Better than this one.]
It is sooooooo cold outside, and very very windy.
But it is so snuggly warm in here, especially with a steaming Starbucks coffee and their new no-charge refill policy in effect.
Hey, I may be here all night!
Sometimes it scares me, how much I love good coffee!

When I was in college, in Peterborough, I had a saying.
I made a sign of it, and affixed the saying to my dorm-room door. I still think it is one of the most profoundest of things I have ever come up with.

“If you don’t have time for coffee, you're definitely too busy.”

My room, (well, my roommate and I)... our room was one that had a steady stream of other students flowing through, filling their coffee cups from our never-ceasing-to-gurgle Melitta© java machine!
I believe in my college-days saying as much now as I did then.

I recall a tragedy that took place a few years ago, when my family and I took a trip out to Hornby Island, off of Vancouver Island. You must take two ferries to get there, it is a rather remote destination.
One boat takes you to Denman Island, and then you drive across Denby to the far side, and get on another boat that takes you to Hornby.
We brought coffee (of course) but the Neanderthal system we had designed to make the coffee.... well, it was not all that great.
Unless we ATE the coffee grounds, we were basically coffee-less for the whole stay on Hornby.
By the end of the first day I was very nearly dead. My sister and I, both.
Seriously almost dead.
By the second day, we wanted to use our last shreds of strength to kill other people, I am not exaggerating. This is how bad it is, for a coffee-drinker to go without!

“Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical” said Jonathan Swift.
“Yes, especially the severe part,” say I.

“Coffee falls into the stomach...ideas begin to move, things remembered arrive at full gallop... the shafts of wit start up like sharp-shooters, similes arise, the paper is covered with ink” says Honore de Balzac.
Oh, I so agree.
I do not want a world without coffee.

Wasn’t it J Alfred Prufrock that said he had measured out his life with coffee spoons?

And even if routine space flight is made available to us civilians one day, I ain’t going until someone assures me that there is coffee aboard!
"If you'll excuse me a minute, I'm going to have a cup of coffee."
broadcast from Apollo 11's LEM, "Eagle", to Johnson Space Center, Houston July 20, 1969.

Now -- If you’ll excuse me for a minute, I’m going to go get a free refill.


Splash du Jour: Wednesday

The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!
-- John Burroughs (1837 - 1921) –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

The short story is like an old friend who calls whenever he is in town. We are happy to hear from it; we casually fan the embers of past intimacies, and buy it lunch.
-- R.Z. Sheppard –

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Splash du Jour: Monday


Do not like ruled paper.
Give me the blank white page.
Do not want lines.
Much moreso do open spaces
Appeal to the thinker in me.
Would sooner write through them
Than on. The lines I mean.
Whiteness. So if I veer, I veer.
Un-tracked snow for highway.
It is cold to explore. To write
Is to make my own lines.

-- Cipriano –

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Hunny Jar: A Saturday Poem

The Hunny Jar

The hunny jar had only so much of an aperture.
Wasn’t made for big heavy paws.
So here was this bear whimpering –
and for all I am worth, I swear, a piglet
elbow-deep in the jar.

They spoke to each other, but my heart
drowned them out, and not in fear.
This bear had a red demi-shirt on.
And he was curling his toes, his paws,
as the piglet-thing squeaked and laughed.

Drawing forth a hooflet, the bear’s tongue
lashed out, in a murmur of delight.
You tickle, you tickle, the piglet falling
from the tree stump giggled, and
unbelieving, I stumbled into the bracken.

Bear and pig froze, wide-eyed, as I crouched,
holding my breath, and a dollop fell, uneaten.
Could it be, do you suppose, one of the humans?
whispered the bear. The pig was silent,
but his eyes. Oh, how his eyes changed.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

Response to "Arms"

Albert Einstein, out for a stroll, and yes, the arms do seem to be fairly unswung, smashing my current theory to smithereens….

Seldom will I post an email response to one of my blogs [in fact I don't think I have ever done so] but this one was too good.
My nephew Chris, yeah -- That Guy That Is Touring The World©, beginning in its furthest corners? He writes me, about my blog posting of yesterday, entitled Thinking About Arms:

Hey Uncle!
How are you? I hope well!
I don't really have much of a theme to be writing you about, but I was just walking around my small apartment, and suddenly realized how little I swing my arms.
Now don't write me off as crazy or anything (as a matter of fact, I truly have a very good friend who has never been much of an arm swinger, actually his arms are completely devoid of any swing at all, and if you asked me "who is the craziest person you know", the name Dan would whisper in the back of my mind), because I do actually swing them, but I have to say it's less than worth making a fuss about the small amount of actual swinging going on.

I think that maybe the natural state is to walk with a healthy swing - it builds momentum and gives a pleasing aesthetic look to the walker - but maybe this swing is so natural, it is something that can only be forgone by the victim of excessive thought and introversion.
You know those strange kids in school with their heads down, with many colored sweaters draped over their most listless arms? Yeah, but they always got 102% on math tests. Excessive thought.
No, really.
If we are playing charades, and you have to act out someone with a handicap, do you expect to see an excessive amount of arm swinging? Or if you have to act out a nerd, or some mad scientist, is it not true that you would morph into a true biped, forsaking the dangling of fleshy arms?

You should really look into this.
Maybe find footage of Einstein while strolling some garden.
Even in this peaceful setting, I conjecture that the man would have quite stationary appendages.

Having successfully said nothing of importance, I'll stop before I accidentally make this a meaningful email.
Be well,


Splash du Jour: Friday

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.
-- Meg Ryan -- (from the movie You've Got Mail)

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thinking About Arms

Everybody is doing it!

Once again, coming to you live and caffeine-charged from Bookpuddle Headquarters, [a.k.a. Starbucks] at Chapters.
It’s totally packed with people in here, and so I’m looking at them.

Do people ever swing their arms a lot when they walk.
Like everyone is doing it, I’m serious.
Unless maybe if their hands are in their jacket pockets, like this one guy right there. But pretty much everyone else... swinging away.
For some reason I feel that if everything all of a sudden went at reduced speed, slow motion like, including the overhead music, people en masse would sort of take on elephant-like characteristics, in their walking. Like elephants on parade sort of, and the arms would be like the trunks, swaying to and fro.
I don’t think I have ever thought about how much people swing their arms.
I wonder if I do it that much too.

I’m going to leave the laptop for a moment and go for a little walk around the place, and I am going to take note of how much I swing my arms and stuff, and also I am going to do a few experiments, like stopping the swinging of my arms and seeing what it feels like and all.

[interlude.... tawk amongst yourselves.....]

I swing my arms a real lot when I walk too.
It’s actually sort of difficult to quit doing it, and yet keep walking. You instantly feel silly.
Like, for one thing... OK, I was doing it, hands sort of down at my side, not swinging, and first of all, it is as though your side-to-side movement is all of a sudden exaggerated.
Like the left to right motion of walking, it’s like you are tipping over too much, and it’s real uncomfortable, plus you probably look real dumb doing it.
Strangely though, I wanted to see myself not swinging like that. I was wishing there was a big mirror that I could wobble towards.
Plus I felt like a zombie, or someone that was released from the psych ward of the hospital a wee bit early!
It’s just totally not very normal at all, to not swing your arms.
Why is it that I have this image of crazy lunatic-ish people, walking and not swinging their arms?
I wonder if proper mental health can be linked to some sort of appropriate amount of arm-swinging, when doing normal walking. Somehow I think there must be a standard, like a grid.... something definable.

This much arm-swinging = normal.
That much arm-swinging = not normal.

What’s the deal with the arms-at-your-side zombie-ish feeling?
Try it, you’ll see what I mean.
I think that people should really have a look at what kind of arm-swinging they are doing.
Because let’s face it, you don’t want the opposite problem either, which would be way TOO MUCH arm-swinging.
Not good.
Especially if you are walking through some sort of..... auction-barn at the time!

I better just go on home. I feel dizzy.
Now I’m looking around this place, at other people seated at tables.
And I’m beginning to wonder...... if people’s knees bent the other way, what would chairs look like?

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world.
-- Dave Barry --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kamouflage Kitty

Can you find the hidden cat in these photos?

He blends in so well with my couch,
sometimes I forget he is there!

The ever regal Jack, after a hard day of....... sleeping.

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

It’s not thinking about what happens after death that’s interesting. It’s realizing that one day you’ll know.
-- Jane, in Garbo Laughs, by Elizabeth Hay --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 02, 2009


When I was a kid, [and by “kid” I mean as far back as my memory can go] I was terrified about the fact that I would have to learn how to write.
See – I’m a southpaw.
Can’t write a darned thing with my right hand. You should see how utterly useless I am when I try to write something as a northpaw!
And I’ve always been that way. It wasn’t something I PLANNED!
Maybe my mother slept on her left side a lot, when she was gestating me, I don’t know! All I know is that I am a certifiable southpaw.
But I had this crazy uncle.
Uncle Bill.
And he would come over to our house and try to force me to write stuff with my right hand.
I thought he was Satan.
I would cry and cry and cry – I could not understand why it was so important to him that I abandon my natural southpawed-ness. He literally tried to alter me.
When I went to school in Grade One [I did not go to pre-school or kindergarten], again, my teacher Mrs. Oystrick I began to imagine that she was the wife of Satan!
She too, discouraged my left-handedness. I cried, and cried. I was in agony.
However, my teachers [and other people] began to ease up on me when they realized that I had a natural aptitude for reading and writing. I developed fairly neat handwriting – the only downside being that as a southpaw, when you write in a notebook, the fresh ink gets on the heel of the hand. If heel is the word. But you know what I mean?

By Grade Two I was known as the Library’s most avid reader. My penmanship was impeccable. In a parent teacher interview, my Grade Two teacher, Mrs. Okrainetz [she had one of those B’52’s hairdos, you know? A la Rock Lobster era? That's her in the above photo, hovering in the background, and I am seated on the floor, third from the LEFT!]… oh yeah! Mrs. Okrainetz [you go girl]… total closet-punker – she said to my mom, “There is no way that your son has read all of the books he claims to have read, it is impossible!”
My mom told me about this, and I cried.
So I promptly concluded that Mrs. Okrainetz was the grandmother of Satan!

Anyhoo… all of this to say, listen folks. Ease up on us southpaws, OK?
It is not some sort of sign of retardation or whatever.
Lettuce use our left hands for God’s sake!
I mean, look at me?
I'm an incorrigible southpaw!
And I turned out to be a frigging genius!


Splash du Jour: Monday

If you were an ancient barbarian, I bet a real embarrassing thing would be if you were sacking Rome and your cape got caught on something and you couldn't get it unhooked, and you had to ask another barbarian to unhook it for you.
-- Jack Handey --

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Just One Bird

This is an amazing short clip of what happens when a jet engine encounters just one bird during take-off. Scary stuff.
I find it impressive how quickly the pilots and ground control leap into emergency measures.
You can see this most clearly in the longer clip of what happened with this flight -- HERE.
[Hear the birds chirping away as the plane returns to the airport?]