Whitecaps on Black Lagoon

It’s a strangely warm, extremely windy day, with t-storms threatening.  There are practically whitecaps on the literally black lagoon i.e the abandoned swimming pool that the neighbors never used.  Soon the weed jungle will conceal it.  I mean, who does that?  Hillbillies.  I keep expecting to see bodies  floating in it.  An old white rag is hanging from a tall weed, evidently indicating surrender to the elements.

Hopefully the strong winds will blow all the leaves into the corner of the yard, so I won’t have to rake.  My favorite kind of leaf blower.  Not that it would matter if I didn’t.

It’s that sort of a day.  I can let my inner Eeyore out.




It’s hard to feel at peace or secure when so much is going horribly wrong in the world, country, and the lives of people close to you.  It’s hard to make sense of all the senselessness.  It’s easy to just shut down and withdraw from the overload.  I know because I’m there, so if you are, too, I understand.  I don’t have a lot of reassurance to share, but what I have I offer.  I wish much peace and relief to my close family members and friends who are grieving for many kinds of loss.  Your tears won’t last forever.


Two members of my extended family just died within a day of each other, against a background of sad circumstances.  I did not know either one personally, but I know how much they meant to their respective families, and how devastating their loss is.  This is just a brief tribute to them, and empathy to those left behind.  May their survivors find some comfort and healing.


I just want to add, separate and aside, that life is too short to perpetuate the cycle of petty phobias and ignorance which divide and destroy families for generations.  You can’t control everyone or thing, all you can do is resolve to break the cycle in your own life and family, so future generations don’t suffer ostracism, intolerance, or estrangement.

It Can’t Rain All the Time

The sun made a vain attempt at dawn, then gave it up to a cold, rainy November-like day.

Sometimes it’s just dark and stormy, and there’s nothing for it but to weather it and be here now with the ones you’ve chosen to share a life with.  You can’t control the weather or other people, but you can choose to be a small part of the climate solution down on the ground where you are right now.

Until the next ice age is upon us, the sun is usually just around the corner, and the moon still comes out eventually.  And you’ll be relieved to know I’m done with the bad metaphors for now.

“Oh it can’t rain all the time.
The sky won’t fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
Your tears won’t fall, your tears won’t fall,
Your tears won’t fall forever.”
Jane Siberry


There’s not much to do around here, so for a cheap pastime away from the stuffy apartment, we wandered the vast halls of a huge antiques mall.  It’s like a museum of antiquities, only with stuff for sale.  We found a few obscure little kitchen gadgets and gifts we needed, but mostly we just explored.  I feel like an artifact myself, doing it, but it’s fun to try to figure out how people used some to the strange torture implements.

Here are some ancient Asian sculptures in marble and bronze, and a crazy chandelier.




World Screen-Sharing

After a lengthy tech support session with a nice Sikh person in India, during which I’m pleased to say I kept up at my end, “we” got to the bottom of the glitch that was indicating some security risks on my Mac.  I have only a vague idea of what she explained about the issues, but I did all the things.  I’m still a tech dummy from yestercentury, but at least I know how to follow instructions.

Sometimes during these texting chats, while we’re waiting on a long download, I get to have a nice conversation with someone in Bangalore or Mumbai or Chennai.  I keep in mind the vast cultural differences and language barriers being bridged.  I picture some cramped office full of tiny cubicles, where low-paid workers struggle to make a living and to make some sense of spoiled Americans, irate at the tiniest inconvenience.

India has come a long way, but it’s still a very different world from the one we take for granted.  A lowly  IT technician there feels privileged to have a job and modest income like that.  It probably has to support a large extended family.  There are no frills or security as we know it.  Indians are often trained to speak better English than the average American, because they must.  Their IT skills are very competitive and affordable in the business world.  There’s a reason we outsource to India.

I think of all this while sharing a screen remotely with someone from another world, as we interact, remove, download, reinstall, and work together like tech detectives, rooting out the insidious evils.  At the end, we congratulate each other on a job patiently well done.  It’s not a robot, it’s another human trying to do a job well in a tough world inhabited by idiots.  It doesn’t take any effort to be courteous and respectful back, something they unfailingly are.  I can’t imagine the ignorance they have to put up with on a daily basis.

I know this is not a new or original thought, but it always amazes me to think of how interconnected and interdependent our world has become, and how we can’t afford to insulate ourselves in a self-deluding bubble, endangering the whole planet.  Each and every trivial contact and interaction we have can improve relations, or break down communications, so vital to our survival.  Just a little more personal civility and self-education can go a long way toward making our world more livable.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a view from semi-hibernation.  Since most of the adjoining yards feature junkyards, brush piles, and a disgusting green lagoon [swimming pool], I believe a few maple leaves on the ground won’t harm anyone.  I think they look nice.

Years of Living Dangerously *

If you’re ever feeling desperate and hopeless, just watch a doc about what Hurricane Sandy, caused by climate change, did to already impoverished New Yorkers.  Not that it helps much, but it will give you a whole new appreciation for what you’ve still got.

*[Actually, this is an excellent but sobering series about climate change:  https://www.amazon.com/Years-Living-Dangerously-Showtime-Episode/dp/B00NDOZ92E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510332731&sr=8-1&keywords=years+of+living+dangerously+season+1  ]

It was utter devastation for many after the Superstorm.  While we in suburban NJ were uncomfortable in the cold, with no electric for a couple of weeks, with a frail elderly parent to take care of, that was nothing compared to the coastal destruction, months of virtual homelessness for hardworking poor parents and children, long waiting lists for help, and nowhere affordable to return to.

Developing nations have nothing on third world America.  Not that it’s a competition.  But it will make you think twice, the next time you have a first world white “problem”.  We are so fortunate to have a roof, utilities, food, and any income at all.  Beyond that, any decent conditions or human rights are evidently not to be taken for granted in a country run by greedy, unscrupulous bigots.

On that cheery note, erev cheers from The Skullies!  😉


Winter Squash Wonderland

Yesterday we stocked up on squashes and apples at Peifer’s.  Mostly we played catch with the old farm dogs.  There can never be too many photos of crazy gourds and pumpkins.  There were many varieties of apples as well, but I was distracted by alien lifeforms.

Not to be outdone by dogs, we then had to visit Mister Eko at Dark Star (and grab a few cookbooks while we were at it).  Here he is in his usual position, guarding books.  Of course, we adjourned to HQ, the Tavern, for some beers.  We’ve made some nice friends at these places of business in Yellow Springs, and will miss them.

E made some Bat Noodles with her new bat cookie cutter!  Here they are drying.  And needless to say, we voted today.  There are virtually no progressives to vote for in this little podunk place, but we did our best with the few we had to work with.  Soon we’ll be out of here, anyway.