Archive for September, 2008

Keep Those Back Roads Clean

Friday, September 26th, 2008

When Dwight David Eisenhower was commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, he was impressed with the German Autobahn — so impressed in fact that he envisioned an efficient highway system crossing the USA. We certainly have such a system in place, whether we have Ike to thank for it or industries that insisted on efficient arterial passages for trucking goods.

Engineers planned a network of highways well marked to take travelers in the any direction. Highways with even numbers go east and west in our star spangled country from ocean to ocean. Odd numbered highways go north and south between friendly neighbors, Canada on the north to Mexico and the gulf on the south. Look at it as a giant pattern like tick tack toe. Smaller and narrower streets and driveways branch off to become the final destination of millions daily. My home. My business. My services. I pay taxes to make roads and keep them passable.

Look at a highway map and see how the roads cover every nook and cranny. So it is with the human circulatory system. Blood goes from arteries to minor veins and from there to capillaries where food moves to keep the body healthy. Quite a neat organization, don’t you think?

Yeah, right. The problem is that no outside force overlooks the system. Upkeep is the responsibility of each individual. Tough job, actually; to exercise and keep the blood moving; to eat and keep the blood nutritious; to rest and keep the body calm and productive.

People die unnecessarily young when those tiny back roads are neglected, get clogged with potholes and weeds and yellow bricks and all that stuff way out west in Kansas.


Thursday, September 25th, 2008

So how can we — one small part of all living things on earth – imagine we exist above all other life? We go along making plans, living according to our schedule, believing we have some control. To some extent we have. But in reality the atmosphere above us and the ground beneath our feet move at the pace and speed of time and physics.

Heat, or lack of it, moves across the Pacific Ocean and affects the weather on the west coast of the USA. Major earthquakes occur from six miles to one hundred miles deep somewhere on the thin crust of our planet every day. Five quakes measuring over 5.1 on the Richter scale shook the earth on September 24. Off the coast of Colima, Mexico, a 6.2 a quake was measured at 10 meters deep. On the same day major quakes occurred in Afghanistan, on south Island of New Zealand, in southern Atlantic ridge, and in the Solomon Islands. A total of thirty were measurably noted around the world on that same day. Twenty have already been measured for September 25th.

Usually I do not think about this living earth affecting me but I become particularly lethargic when the moon is in its waning phase. My schedule is well established so I go about regular tasks. If I had no plans for each day I would find it easy to lay in bed, or sit at the TV, or just plain eat myself into self disgust. As it is I try foods that ordinarily energize me — but to no avail. I plug along. I go through a schedule well set from day to day and get jobs done. I do not go into each one with the bright outlook as is my habit otherwise.

So am I the only one moon struck? Or are there others who notice changes? Is that the reason for the morning cup of coffee? Usually one cup does the deed. Or the first cigarette? I watched others who did their jobs, and did them well, as I believe I did mine, and thought the various levels of enthusiasm related to their personalities. But maybe not.

We are an intricate part of the earth – animals that have to be reminded that we live in relation, if not effected, to the earth and the moon.

Winter Is Nigh

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Snoqualmie Pass in the Washington State Cascades is 3022 feet altitude and September 22, 2008, the temperature was 46 degrees F. To me that speaks of a fall temperature. The peaks to the west of the pass were snow covered. To me that speaks of the onset of winter. Interstate 90 was still wet from an earlier precipitation but the pavement was dry.

I left Bellingham at 11:00 with a full tank of gas and had a pleasant drive — I-5 was a bit busy and so was I-405. There was very little fall color in the leaves of trees or bushes except for some obvious maple trees in rows at a nursery. After I got over the pass, which is the lowest pass over the Cascades in the state of Washington, it was all downhill, and to make things even better, a brisk tailwind blew me the next three hours into Richland.

From Ellensburg over Umtanum ridge and the remainder of miles into Richland, the hillsides and ditches were colorful with rabbitbrush, both the green and gray varieties. Bright yellow blooms are cheery and bright. The difference between the blossoms of two types of brush is not easily noticed but the stems of the plants are different — gray stems on the gray variety, green appearance on the other. Sagebrush is also in bloom but the blossoms are so tiny that they do not show any color at a distance. Only a pinhead flower close up.

Apples and other fruit are ready to harvest. Interesting how some orchardists are training the fruit trees as espalier, to support the fruit laden branches, I suppose. Or make picking easier, maybe by machine. Orchards are being replaced with grapes, of all things. Foreign fruit is cheaper, especially apples, which pack well for long distances. Although we never know what pesticides, or pests for that matter, will hitchhike on the imports. Still the freeway is well traveled with long trailers of fruit going to market. I saw trucks from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Georgia and they do not keep to the speed limit either.

I enjoy the art that is put up on the over passes in towns. Yakima, the Palm Springs of Washington state, has Old Sol in metal on one overpass. Very nice sculpture. Others put salmon where appropriate and they show a lovely flow like water. Anyway I enjoy driving and thinking on those in passing cars — what are other travelers up to? Going home like me? Or off to exotic places?

Nevertheless my fellow travelers show no signs that the approaching winter is affecting them. Even very few birds show signs of impending chill. Maybe the birds that are going south are already gone. Never fear – English sparrows, pigeons, and crows will hang around to keep us company. The high body temperature of birds heats them in cold weather. Lack of food is what kills them or hunger insists they fly until they find some.

Winter will affect my driving. I will stay home so as not to be subjected to snow. The winter scenes are to enjoyed on holiday cards and travel brochures. Or somehow let others do the driving for me.

I’m not Naomi

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

How do I get out of this?

Know Your Duty

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Delivered in Fort Worth on the morning before he died, John F. Kennedy expressed what we all want to feel – a pride in our country, compassionate leadership in the world, and responsibility to see that our leaders do what is right for us and the world.

“We should all like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it…We are still the keystone in the arch of freedom. And I think we will continue to do as we have done in the past – our duty.”

Before the day was out, JFK was dead. We must get real and do our duty.

Vote in November and in 2008, those votes must be for democrats to uphold our civil rights, build a strong sense of community, and work together for the good of all working women and men.

When have a thoughtful people voted for a sick old man? Especially when the running mate is a woman who is against women making private choices about their bodies, or encourage the free development of science and technology, or who does not know that the cosmos is billions of years old?

People do not always vote in their own best interest. Voting for or against an issue is not a logical approach. The issues are clear and we must vote for the party that understands who will work for the people not the billionaires who have lobbied against all things that help the working people. Democrat – the party of the people – Democratic candidates. Vote for them from the top of the ballot straight through to the very most local candidate, even dogcatcher.

Now we have a clear vote for change. Barack Obama. The world is watching to see the USA do the right thing, make a black man president. That will prove to the world that democracy and dialogue will be restored in diplomacy. Democracy must be desired by the peoples of a country – not jammed down their throats by the biggest bully on the block.

If in your area you must request an absentee ballot, do it. Or go to the polls.


Somewhere The Sun Is Shining

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

It is true. Somewhere on this big blue dot as Carl Sagan expresses our planet earth the sun is shining. Today it is not shining in Bellingham where I am visiting, but no matter, my outlook is happy and hopeful. I read extensively and esoterically. Most recently I revisited THE NAKED APE by Desmond Morris, a zoologogist from the UK who describes the evolution of Homo sapien from his studies at Oxford. Mysteries by lawyers are always enlightening, at least about courtroom cases and juries. Read Martini.

Historical romances have a real place in my reading list especially those of England which is where American history has its base. Fashion recorded in those tales is enlightening because as Morris delineates in THE NAKED APE, clothes were put on by humans who needed to keep sexuality and copulation private during the long courtship and association required to keep a bond for the long time for raising the young. Fasinating, Huh? So different from our ape ancestors who did it and went on with everyday life. The sex act absolutely changes the individuals envolved. And provides continuity of the species.

Read lots of stuff. Various kinds of stuff. Keeps the brain active. Also makes one aware of hope and sunshine somewhere.