On the long voyages to and from the Spice Islands Dutch sailors would cuddle with sewn and stuffed “dolls”. On arrival they’d trade STD’s with the locals, load the ship with spice, and head back. They might have had a seamstress in port overhaul their fabric sweetie for the return trip. Nowadays the Dutch wife is a rubber maid. Full size and damn heavy, they say, but with anatomical proportions undreamed of by those lonely salty sons of Nederland.
Santa gives more expensive gifts to the families of the wealthy. why is that?
In keeping with their personal philosophy I am willing to entertain offers of cash to stop riding this “Tax The Rich” hobby horse. Anyway, its just me kissing up to that hot Latina from NYC.
This graphic is on the same old theme. The style, if it could be called a style, might appeal to some. Anyway, it’s all “grist for the mill”….something they said two hundred years ago. God I’m old. Thanks for asking…..seventy six and counting.
Not sure what the message is. Sure, tax the rich, but maybe also the puzzle of getting at their well hidden stashes. In the case of Russian Oligarchs recently in the news, take ALL of the money. Hey, that works too. Lets goad Bill Gates into invading some country. Nah, His column of heavy armor would be trucks full of cash and it would be welcomed.
I might mention the Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub, Lucifer, old Nick, but the creature that inspired this cartoon sickens me to name. If you don’t know who I am referring to God bless you, you have managed to shut out this nasty era. Wish I could.
The MATH hat was free. It was from the nomination campaign for Andrew Yang. His supporters raised the money to buy me a hat. They spent it on other things too. Like spreading the message of his plan for a minimum income for everybody. A virus was the unlikely instigator for an experiment. The government did send everyone money. That may have helped a lot. It got me a nice new Nikon Z5 with a 24-200mm F4/6.3 and this new 24″ 4k Huion tablet. Thank you Andrew! They stole your idea but it all worked out in the end.
If you live long enough you see things repeat. Not youth, that ends. What you see again and again is the stupidity. It seems to be innate.
This very human reaction to the firehose of information, bad mostly, is normal. In fact it is natural beyond just our species. In the Electric Power industry its called “load shedding”.
Actionable information. That’s what we need. If we can’t do anything to reduce the trauma with the info that induces the trauma….and one isn’t a masochist….enuf is more than enuf
I do have trouble being absolute on this. On the one hand they worked the system to get that money. On the other if half their money went for medical care for all and for hospitals and the like – they’d still be rich.
Rockland was a working harbor. Still is to some extent. But, like other ports in touristy states, it feels the need to attract the rich. The idea is that their crumbs might help feed the locals. It’s been like that on the Maine coast for a hundred years with the rich from away and their summer mansions.
The Finns are an interesting people. They have a language that to me is as obscure as Chinese or Arabic. One Finn I remember in Ecuador sat while I drew his portrait. We sat opposite each other at a table in Charlito’s bar and grill. The table was a battlefield of dead soldiers. That’s slang for empty bottles. Never try to keep up with a Finn in emptying bottles. My subject would be chatting away, in Finnish, I guess. It could have been heavily accented English. Either way it was unintelligible to me. Too bad, I might have ask him about one of Finland’s recent exports, Hobby Horse Dressage. It is officially a sport and gaining popularity world wide. in Finland, where it first surfaced only a decade ago, there are an estimated 10,000 “Stick Horse” enthusiasts. For a long time I couldn’t watch it without incontrollable spasms of laughter. Something about it was so captivating, so poignantly unreal, such emotional depth. Here were adolescent girls prancing around a gym floor holding the reigns of a “hobby horse”. A sewn and decorated fabric horse’s head mounted on a stick. The girls would emulate the dressage riders who compete on real horses. They would keep themselves stiffly erect from the waist up. Their faces holding serious expressions. Eyes fixed. Their lower half pranced and leaped and cavorted as a horse would. Equally serious judges viewed each rider and took notes. The girls were competing with events that mirrored the sport they had appropriated and made their own. Specifically, Dressage, the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. Also jumping, both low and high barriers, called puissance. The winner beams smiles to supporters and family. The looser shed tears and is consoled. For sheer fun, and training for competition, girls will “ride” alone or in groups, through the woods. Its role playing and that might be the root of its visual quality, the reality they were participating in was invisible to the camera yet in their minds they rode a living animal. Young girls love horses. I don’t know why, but they do. Keeping a horse isn’t cheap. Its needs are for food, shelter, medical care and exercise. All expensive. My first thought on encountering this movement was sympathy. This was the only way these girls could participate. Real horses were not possible. So they created work arounds, the wooden stick with a horse’s head. Everything else was REAL. The emotion, the audience’s reaction, the judges keen observation. There are even Veterinarians at some events giving advice on equestrian medicine. They’ve invented something new. It took just a little bit of suspended disbelief. The horse becomes real when everyone believes. At these events everyone does believe, and with passion. The excitement among “tween” girls has spread around the world. An industry producing the Hobby Horse for enthusiasts has sprung up too. On the Irish Etsy website, where crafters offer their work, 500 items are listed for the sport. One young horse maker in Finland is selling custom stick-horses for 100 to 300 Euros each. A pair were requested by the government in Helsinki as gifts to the royal children of Prince William. It is amazing how things, ideas, can be interconnected in history and culture. The word hobby for example. Stamp collecting is a hobby. Ham radio is a hobby as is model railroading. The word hobby is derived from the first “hobby horse” which appeared in the early 1800’s. It was much as the current stick-horses are but it had a wheel at the lower end of the stick. It was named after an extinct Irish animal. The name first in French, the “Haubini” became, “Hobbeye”, then it took on the spelling we know. The meaning of “hobby” for avocation was derived from this first stick-horse! A hobby was a non professional activity. Riding a “hobby horse” also came to mean speaking on a favorite subject.
The news that Arturo had died reached me last week. He was found along the road between Malacatos and Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador. I knew him and didn’t know him. He was a beggar. When I lived in Vilcabamba I thought of him as the dean of beggars. He was that in the sacred valley. He lived on the edge of Malacatos but did his begging in Vilcabamba, that’s where the money was. To get there he commuted on foot, walking ten KM each way. That’s twelve miles daily. On arrival he ate a simple meal at the Juice Factory. Breakfast was bowl of soup and cup of coffee. It was given gratis on the steps in front of the restaurant. As he sipped soup he squinted and surveyed the scene, the church and park at the center of town . I imagined he’d developed a sixth sense over time. A sense telling him how the day’s takings would go. The taxi stand next to the park gave clues. Were they busy? Often there’d be flocks of European tourists on the church steps. If there were he’d grab his stick and run toward them. He threw his stick to the ground as he ran, lest it seem threatening to anyone. Arturo knew fresh visitors had coins and would start his day properly. What did the visitors see running toward them? Did they see an emaciated old man? Did they part with their dollars imagining Arturo was starving? They might have thought that, he was thin and light, but he wasn’t starving. He was healthier than you or I. Exercise, clean air and water, moderate diet of fresh natural food. Thin as a rail but all the healthier for it. He was so light he seemed to float. He ran as might a lithe ballet dancer flitting across a stage. When several groups of potential alms givers stood in the square he flitted among them. Then I thought of a humming bird, a blur moving between flowers. This was Arturo’s show. A presentation with costume and chorography. His set, the plaza – fountain and church were backdrop. There were other beggars in Vilcabamba. One who’s name escapes me now was a bit pushy. He would poke at potential donors. There was a Kichua (native) woman and her three children. She only begged when she wasn’t sewing intricately embroidered rectangles of cloth. These she sold from the sidewalk. The kids played nearby. I always had my sketching kit with me and would give the kids paper and pencils. Children love to draw, it seems universal. There were other artists, con artists, hustlers. They ask for money too, but only after a build up, a story. These tricksters worked the square until they hooked a fish, often for thousands of dollars, then they disappeared. But Arturo could be counted on. He took his profession seriously. As with many things cultural beggars can be a litmus. So many tourists and retired expats felt guilty for being rich. Not rich where they came from, the USA or Canada or Europe, but rich by Ecuadorian standards. To Arturo they were like direct deposit. They always had a dollar coin ready for him on market day. He had supporters who gave him clothing. But it didn’t take long before the dusty path he daily trod gave his togs the patina appropriate for a beggar. The same week the Queen of England came down with Covid, Arturo left the main road and stepped onto a path to the afterlife. Nature doesn’t respect any hierarchy. The beggar or Queen fare as do you or I.
What’s worse than being beaten senseless by a big bully? Watching the beating, weapon in hand but doing nothing to stop it. Well, nearly nothing. Nothing useful. Nothing that will save the victim. It’s like being “pistol whipped”. Come to the victim’s aid and you’ll be shot dead. Today’s bully needs to have nuclear weapons and use murder/suicide as a threat. I have no choice but to watch you injure and kill, maim and impoverish innocents. Any move to stop you would bring much more death. The inexorable logic of our nuclear MADness leads to this helplessness. Unless we find a way. There is only so much dumb luck available and we’ve used a lot getting 77 years into the nuclear age unscathed. In my old age I sometimes wonder if living is just running out the clock. Letting the arrow of time fly. Counting ticks toward the game’s end. It would be ironic (everything is anymore) if another clock was moving toward our collective end. Is my clock a minute slow? Is my clock giving me a false idea that its not so late after all? The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has a clock. A famous clock with hands frozen at 100 seconds before midnight. That metaphoric midnight would be the end of the day for our civilization. I’d like to be guilty of touting gloom and doom without cause. I’m not. The man who controls the majority of the world’s nuclear warheads has twice in the last few days threatened to use them. If you’ve read this far, imagine in your head, the credits rolling and Dame Vera Lynn singing “We’ll meet again”. This was the ending of the 1964 Kubrick film, “Doctor Strangelove”. The meeting she alluded to was to be in the afterlife. Good luck.
Every epoch, every age has its ticks, its quirks. The Victorian age had sightings too. Things in the sky seen by reputable witnesses. Things beyond the kin of scientists who called Victoria their sovereign. Sightings continued into the reign of the Queen’s son, Edward. In a London gentlemen’s club an official in the Ministry of Defense speaks with his dog’s body cum major domo.
The Man deriding those witnessing the phenom ran a new department . The unit he headed was called the committee for inquiry into Anomalous Ethereal Manifestations. Whitehall was concerned with the clamor being raised for an explanation. King Edward himself had seen several cigar shaped craft. He assumed they were inventions of the Brazilian Dumont, late of Paris, who’s craft were setting records in France. No, the King was told, Dumont didn’t trust the winds over the English channel and wouldn’t risk the crossing. The king ordered an investigation. This was the impetus for CIEM.
No less a personage than W.H.Smith, the First Lord of the Admiralty, while visiting Her Majesty’s ship HMS Pinafore, saw, thru the spyglass he invariably carried, a bright object moving across the sky. He described it to his aunts and sisters as appearing to be white and much like an elongated egg but of greater aspect. All on board corroborated Mr Smith’s sighting. Its always best to agree with a First Lord of HRM’s Navy. In private they thought he might be better cast as a character in some comic opera.
The greatest minds of the greatest country in the world, the United Kingdom, were coming up naught in their quest to understand the reports arriving daily. Disc forms with colored lights seen in North Umbria. Elongated egg (Tic Tac) seen over Ellenmorganthale by thousands of pilgrims. They were journeying to the shrine of our lady of the Dumovum. The military men on loan from the fleet (on loan to the committee) were sure an enemy was up to something….The Keiser or the Czar or the Pasha. Non state actors could,’t be ruled out after so many Jules Verne novels cast them as powerful villains with incredible machines.
Author’s note: I’d always thought Professor Langley was a complete goof. He was no engineer (scientist usually are not) and this showed in his designs….but he may well have accomplished the first human piloted flight in a heavier than air craft. But he wasn’t putting in the hours Wilbur and Orville did.
There may be a late Victorian steam punk story in here somewhere. I have been interested since my youth in the history of the development of electronics and aviation. Maybe some regurgitation of that? What if….
Bob and Schrödinger had developed the habit on these long summer evenings, of sitting at the edge of the field behind the house. Nothing about the field was special. It’s wheat crop circles have long since been harvested. Their nutritious grain goodness fortified with twelve vitamins, minerals (the less expensive ones…no rare earths or trans uranics) long ago consumed as breakfast by eager children. Bob has been known to down a bowl of baked wheat shapes before going to work. Maybe that’s why he and Schrödinger are here every night.
Shrodinger’s ears twitch. Its not the raucous two stroke engine causing them to do so, its something approaching. Bob closes his eyes and blends with the warm, gentle, breeze wafting across the field. Shrodinger’s eyes fix on a point in the western sky. Like the experienced mouser he is, he’s got the scent and knows they’re close. Bob doesn’t stir. He sits frozen in body while his mind melts, becoming fluid, better to seep across boundaries.
Suddenly they’re overhead, floating 100 feet above Bob and Schrödinger. The cat raises the alarm with a prearranged coded signal…Meow! Thru self hypnosis and sleep learning Bob has trained himself to return to his body and to the dimensions you and I take for granted at his cat’s que. He shakes his head a couple of times, regaining a little clarity. He then follows Schrödinger’s gaze to the lights above. Its a couple of saucers with the rotating lights. Bob reaches down. At his feet, his rucksack and in it The DOD field guide to UAP. He leaf’s thru the outlines until he comes to the saucer section. Hmmmmm he ponders, could this be the UAP he needs? A type 6A saucer will complete the requirements for level two and its coveted purple badge. If the lights are blinking red,red,yelow,blue,green and repeating that pattern its a rare type 6A. He studies the lights above….It is!, excitedly he checks a box on the score card. A smile comes to his lips…tonight he’ll be sewing that patch on his jacket!
Bob’s Dutch wife, native of Antwerp, a city in a low country, worries. Worries as much about Shrodinger as about her UAP obsessed husband. Does Schrödinger understand the cosmic forces he is dealing with? Who knows what a cat thinks. Who knows what Bob’s thinking when he’s off in La La land. She takes some assurance in knowing that as a team Bob and this special cat are more than the sum of their parts…whatever that means. Maybe it’s enough. They’re still not back. she knows they won’t be as long as a single blinky light dances above the field. Dinner was cold an hour ago, everything except the dessert, ice cream, it was warm an hour ago. Through the kitchen window she spies the saucer. She knows very well its a type 6A and consequently Bob will prick himself again tonight sewing the badge on the breast of his UAP patrol jacket.
You’ll have a tough sell if you want the Smith’s to buy any part of the Phenom thing. Grounded in reality and faith the couple ignore it all. The city on the edge of the great forest, at the base of the mountains, sleeps. As it’s citizens snore and exhibit REM under Eder down, lights pulse above. It’s red, red, yellow, blue, green but nobody sees this. They are in dream land.
If you are just woke to the UFO/UAV advent, welcome. We’ve been waiting for you. Welcome to the community. You’ll be surprised to find many of your neighbors, like you, rubbing eyes, yawning and stretching, finally awoke to the “phenomena”. You once wondered about them. You saw them on the edge of their well clipped lawns, standing alone or in small groups, looking up at an empty sky. To you it was empty. To the un-woke it was void, black, null and not all that interesting. Things are different now. You and they share mugs of hot coco and together stare into the night. But its been a slow evening. A couple of tic-tac’s and one disk with Blinky lights. Don’t worry, there will be other nights, other sights. your sojourn into the mysteries is just beginning.
Sure, you’re in a hurry. You want to catch up on things. While you were asleep so much has happened. To get you in sync I have a little list of info sources. Read, watch and listen at a comfortable pace…remember, this has been going on for all of human history, longer really, so relax. If your mind is pliable, impressionable and ductile, you should do fine.
They are out there! by Furgus K McCalmer, Saucer Press, 2005. 352 pages, trade paperback. The author doesn’t pull any punches, this tome has it all, it names names and drags the truth kicking and screaming from the closet. Mister McCalmer’s profession as an embalmer’s esthician is apparent in his deft treatment of a difficult subject – cattle mutilation. By page 200 the penny will drop & you’ll understand. By page 300 you’ll be climbing the walls, babbling and drooling. Highly recommended, a good place to start.
ME? a UAP? by Sam Shamalama, self published down at the copy place. price varies. Mr Shamalama takes you thru the process of building and then operating a vehicle. Pretty exciting to contemplate buzzing Navy Hornets and Tomcats off Va in a vehicle you’ve built yourself! This author’s been there. Yes, that fuzzy electro optical recording released by the DOD is Sam cavorting with the fleet. From the collection of materials you’ll need, to the tools required to construct a craft, its all here. Best of all no license is required since it isn’t an “aircraft”, its a phenom!
Abducted and probed, by Alice Dudoddomi, Publisher’s Depot, $19, spiral bound. The squeamish should steer clear of this book. Ms Dudoddomi’s frank and clinical retelling of her abduction and subsequent residence in a lab near the center of the galaxy is compelling reading. You may never be abducted, but if you were, I can’t imagine a better preparation than having read this book. An appendix, distended, contains diagrams with alien names of body parts. Memorize as much as you can!, should you be selected for probing it is invaluable to know at least a few terms.