Out of the Blue... You never know the minute ...

Hi Folks,

I had a phone call about 1 o'clock from my sister yesterday (Wednesday) to tell me that she had had a telephone call from her doctor asking her to make her way to the hospital. You see recently she has had a yellowy orange tinge to her skin and our doctor has been doing a few tests .... one of them being a kidney/liver function test. The other day I had mentioned that she looked kind of jaundiced... and was she alright ? You know how sometimes you can hit the nail on the head unknowingly, well I seem to have managed it ! After my Dentist's visit the other day Rob and I collected her and she and I had a wee wander around the shops and having dropped her off at her flat Rob and I returned home.
My sister had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and had a bone marrow transplant 15 years ago and at that time all four of us (her siblings) were tested for a match, I was a perfect match so I was her bone marrow donor - it now turns out that her kidney function has deteriorated badly, so now they are doing some investigations into why this has happened and how it can be sorted... She is in the habit of having a check-up every year and the Hospital Consultant who was in charge of the transplants at the time is always pleased to see her and is always pleased to see that everything is working as it should. She is the only one of his patients who had the transplant at that time who is still alive ..
You know what is coming don't you ? My sister is of course worried, but is hopeful that her health will improve enough so that a kidney transplant will not be needed. On the other hand the 'cowardy custard' (me) who is terrified of needles is full of trepidation. Have you ever wished you could be a character in a film ? Right now I feel like the cowardly lion wanting courage in the Wizard of Oz film, pity you can't zap yourself into a situation gather what you need, ie. courage and just zap back to real life huh ? In the meantime we will hope, pray and try and cope with the thought of what lies ahead. There is no option but to accept and realize that many folk have a lot worse to cope with.
We now await the test results with hope and trepidation. This kind of puts the ordinary moans about general things into perspective - doesn't it ?



Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Circle


This has been an incredible year, an unexpected, unplanned-for year. I think of all I have learned, of the growth, the wonder, the joy, and also a dangerous dip toward despair that I battled and surmounted. This has been a year of incredible reading, learning and writing -- a year of letters sent and received -- of new friends, of old friends -- a year of family, wonderful people that I am proud of and amused by and so thankful for -- a year of creating, crafting and working with my hands -- a year of transitions and difficulties -- a year of teaching and coaching and interacting -- a year of love and of understanding.

I will spend tonight with family, in this crazy wind at this slippery turning-point in the year's circle.

I have no big plans for the new year -- I think of Katherine Mansfield, of the passage I copied here -- and I think that, yes, All is well.

And to the wonderful people who have been so supportive of my babbling and rambling here, thank you and Happy New Year!

Circle


This has been an incredible year, an unexpected, unplanned-for year. I think of all I have learned, of the growth, the wonder, the joy, and also a dangerous dip toward despair that I battled and surmounted. This has been a year of incredible reading, learning and writing -- a year of letters sent and received -- of new friends, of old friends -- a year of family, wonderful people that I am proud of and amused by and so thankful for -- a year of creating, crafting and working with my hands -- a year of transitions and difficulties -- a year of teaching and coaching and interacting -- a year of love and of understanding.

I will spend tonight with family, in this crazy wind at this slippery turning-point in the year's circle.

I have no big plans for the new year -- I think of Katherine Mansfield, of the passage I copied here -- and I think that, yes, All is well.

And to the wonderful people who have been so supportive of my babbling and rambling here, thank you and Happy New Year!

Some Funny Pictures...

AWWWW Again ....
Hi Folks,
I just love pictures like these - we humans are inclined to put our way of speech into the mouths of these beautiful animals yet we all are aware that these animals probably are not even thinking what we humans would, never mind say the words we attribute to them ..... doesn't stop us though ! Does that make sense or am I talking rubbish again, as usual ? Can't help it atmo I have an excuse, I'm sitting here with a scarf round my chin and tied on the top of my head and it holds one of these thingys which hold lavendar seeds which can be heated up in the microwave.
Probably am spouting garbage, you see I was at the dentist again today, he drilled into the problem tooth and removed the nerve ... it's called root canal treatment . I always had to be knocked out to have dental treatment in the past, these days the injections they give are brilliant, although I was wide awake I didn't feel a thing, well, not this morning anyway, I ruddy well feel plenty now though ! OOOOOOOOOOEEERRR, I don't half ! He did say before I exited his dental practice that I would be in pain for a couple of days, He he... I thought he was kidding me - but he wasn't !!!!
Oh Well, I hope you all have a Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year ... Oh and Judy (sister in toothachy pain) I'll think of you too ! ......
.............................................with pain !

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and One of the Moaning Faced Old Bats xxx.

2008: Disappointment In The D

Hopefully, I don't forget anything here...

*Preseason favorite to win it all...didn't even make playoffs

*Uncertain future for the guy in charge

*History of falling apart late in the season continues

*Underperforming, overrated, past-their-prime "superstars"

*Annoying injuries

*Terrible defense

*Rumors of problems in the locker room

*Stupid mistakes every game

*Questionable trades

*Supposedly less talented team overtakes them in the standings at the end of the season

*Pissed off fans

*Offense not nearly good as advertised

*Guys throwing the ball look overmatched

dallas cowboys Pictures, Images and Photos

I am SO glad that I'm not a Cowboys fan.

Who'd you think I was talking about?

Feel Good Stories / A Poem ...

Hi Folks,


Driving along the road, Ellen was being regaled with her daughter Christine's wedding plans. The fairytale wedding had been organised down to the smallest detail - except for the husband! Because Christine was only 10 years old on her way to school.. "And it has to have doves," Christine enthused. "Every wedding needs doves!"

Ellen laughed and was about to make a throwaway comment about having doves at a wedding to humour her little girl when she saw an elderly couple she knew walking along the pavement. Mr and Mrs Wilson had been married for more than 50 years. As they walked they matched each other's pace and supported each other through intertwined arms. At one point they stopped so Mrs. Wilson could adjust her husbands shirt collar, which was bent up at the back. Then with a peck on the lips they went on their way.

"Every wedding might need doves," Ellen told her daughter, "but that's what every marriage needs. "You need someone to stand by you, someone to lean on and someone who will depend on you too." It wasn't nearly as romantic as doves but, judging by her daughter's happy sigh, Ellen's sure she understood.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
The Council workman looked dirty and chilled to the bone as he spread grit on the pavement. Covering the section in front of the bus stop he exchanged a smile with a frail looking elderly woman. As he walked away he must have noticed the bus coming along the road. Instead of getting on with his work, he flung the shovel on to the grit truck, walked back and offered the lady his arm. "That ice won't be melted yet." He nodded to the freshly gritted patch in front of her.

After escorting the lady he stopped and helped a young Mum get her pram on to the bus. "Sir," I said, "you are a star," He just laughed it off and we went on our separate ways.

For a moment, he had changed from a grit-shoveller to a real "Knight of the Road" and I'd been left thinking how the human spirit can take the coldest unlikeliest situations and turn them into something truly wonderful...

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Winter days are cold and bleak, but that's no reason why
You shouldn't do your best to seek to brighten up you sky
If there is sunshine in your heart, and you let it shine and glow
You will find that you impart warmth wherever you go...

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
P.S. Just a short blog today, I have, like Judy in Kentucky for the last 5 days been trying to ease the pain and stave off the effects of a dental abscess, with antibiotics and painkillers ... this will hopefully be sorted out tomorrow at the Dentists surgery - Thank goodness !

Magic Mountain and Der Lindenbaum -- Part 2


[Part 1]

But now I must look closer at this song -- der Lindenbaum -- it is the key to understanding how it is that Hans carries his knowledge down from the mountain -- his new word of love and the key lesson --
For the sake of goodness and love, man shall grant death no dominion over his thoughts.

This is Der Lindenbaum [German original here]:

By the well in front of the [village] gate
there stands a linden tree;
I dreamt in its shade
many a sweet dream.

I carved in its bark
many a word of love;
in joy and in sorrow it drew
me ever to it.

Once more today I had to wander
past it in the dead of night,
and even in the darkness
I closed my eyes [rested and dreamt].

And its branches rustled
as if they were calling to me
'Come here to me, friend,
here you will find your rest.'

The cold winds blew
straight into my face,
my hat flew from my head,
but I did not turn around.

Now I am many hours' journey
away from that place;
but still I hear the rustling:
'You would find rest there!'





This song is the deep structure of this book -- a map of sorts.

Hans' first dream, his nosebleed dream which results in his frightening hovering-body experience, takes place beside water and under shade -- in the meadow where he later 'plays king.' He dreams there of 'love' -- in its first instantiation -- love as lust, as the longing for Hippe-Clavdia -- the Other, the foreign, the element by which his soul can be forced upward. He returns to this love in joy and in sorrow, passes by it (eyes closed, dreamy, in night -- like when Hans speaks of sitting on a lake, gazing with dazzled and bewildered eyes out of glassy daylight across to the eastern sky and the moonlit night draped in a web of mist). And so on, the song is rife with symbol.

In the Snow chapter Hans had learned that his 'old word of love' -- love as lust -- must be lost -- and that there must be a new word of love to carve on the tree -- love as 'brotherhood' and 'fellowship.' This song is Hans' song of nostalgia, his song of love is love for the flatlands, for Germany -- and his love for this song is also suspect -- Hans regards it warily, knowing that behind this simple feeling of nostalgia lies death -- the song is a fruit says Mann,

it is a fresh, plump, healthy fruit, that was liable, extraordinarily liable, to begin to rot and decay at that very moment, or perhaps the next; and although it was purest regalement of the spirit when enjoyed at the right moment, only a moment later it could spread rot and decay among those who partook of it. It was a fruit of life, sired by death and pregnant with death.


This simple German song, this song of love and of homecoming -- to Hans it means life and death -- life in the knowledge of death -- and thus love in the knowledge of death.

This song carefully encapsulates Hans' previous vision -- that man must allow death no dominion over his thoughts -- that love and death cannot be rhymed together -- and as a significant object, it allows Hans to triumph over himself once again --Yes, triumph over self, that may well have been the essence of his triumph over this love -- over this enchantment of the soul with dark consequences. This song allows Hans to hold together in his thoughts both the grisly feast and the sunny civilization of his dream.

But this isn't just about Hans -- though this song allows Hans to triumph over himself, allows him freedom, it is not the dissolute license of Hans' earlier experiments -- this freedom is a return to the 'anonymous and communal' dream of Snow -- and a return to Hans' 'answer as to the meaning and purpose of life.' This song of nostalgia and fatherland and homecoming and even love -- this song is all one would need to become an enchanter of souls, who would then give the song such vast dimensions that it would subjugate the world. One might even found whole empires upon it, earthly, all-too-earthly empires, very coarse, very progressive, and not in the least nostalgic. I think that Mann is saying that under the banner of 'brotherhood,' the most despicable deeds can be perpetrated -- and that it is the notion of brotherhood which takes into account only the sunny civilization and not the bloody feast that is the danger. Brotherhood and fellowship in full knowledge of the bloody feast -- this is what men must strive for. Hans is the song's best son because he has knows that lesson -- he dreamed his way into it and has now found a way of remembering it.

Hans, the song's best son, would be willing to die for this song -- for brotherhood, for homecoming, for Germany -- But he who died for it was no longer dying for this song and was a hero only because he died for something new -- for the new word of love and for the future in his heart.

And so, when Hans leaves, rushing down the mountain to the call of war and the clamor of the great storm which has broken in the flatlands -- he has his song with him -- he can carry this new vision, this new word of love, this lesson about death and life and love -- he can sing his song as he struggles through mud and fire and the dull thunder of groans and hellhound howls. And Hans disappears from sight, singing his little song about a linden tree, singing about homecoming and about cold winds and a word of love -- he has dreamed it all -- his soul forced upward out of simplicity -- into the reaches of 'hero.' Far back at the beginning of the book, before we knew anything about Hans, the narrator told us something telling:

A human being lives out not only his personal life as an individual, but also, consciously or subconsciously, the lives of his epoch and contemporaries [...] All sorts of personal goals, purposes, hopes, prospects, may float before the eyes of a given individual, from which he may glean the impulse for exerting himself for great deeds; if the impersonal world around him, however, if the times themselves, despite all their hustle and bustle, provide him with neither hopes nor prospects, if they secretly supply him with evidence that things are in fact hopeless, without prospect or remedy, if the times respond with hollow silence to every conscious or subconscious question, however it may be posed, about the ultimate, unequivocal meaning of all exertions and deeds that are more than exclusively personal -- then it is almost inevitable, particularly if the person involved is a more honest sort, that the situation will have a crippling effect, which, following moral and spiritual paths, may even spread to that individual's physical and organic life.


Hans goes to the mountain; Hans stays on the mountain, stays as long as his questions are unsatisfied; and Hans leaves the mountain -- leaves because the times force him to -- because of the war. And at the end of the book, after Hans has trotted off, these are the final lines --

And out of this worldwide festival of death, this ugly rutting fever that inflames the rainy evening sky all around -- will love someday rise up out of this, too?


I think that Mann wants there to be hope -- he wants to believe beyond reality, beyond disappointment, beyond the stench and carnal fury of war that some love can rise out of this -- and that love can only be the love of true, clear-eyed brotherhood. There must be a triumph over the self -- not in the name of license and dissolution, but rather in the name of working back toward the 'anonymous and communal,' the universal which he still believes in.

And that is perhaps the root of my love for this book -- because it shows things for what they are (though in a way, as Bernhard's Murnau would say, that is masterful and yet bourgeois) -- Mann sees to the bottom, or rather, has Hans see to the bottom, and at the end, the fight is not for the individual or the self, but rather for some elevation of the self. And though that is hard to still cling to, I do. Mann also loved and revered the simple -- but not the hollow, ciphered simplicity of Peeperkorn -- not one-sided simplicity.

Der Lindenbaum is Hans' Rosetta stone -- this song is his way of understanding both the intellectual and emotional aspects of his stay on the mountain -- it allows a neat package, so to speak, of what he has experienced. And this neat package can be transported -- he can sing it when he returns home! He sings it on the mountains and in the flatlands and it is his song of both leavetaking and homecoming. Hans -- little brave Hans -- he brings the new word of love from atop the mountain, back to the homeland. He triumphs over himself, over the indulgent placet experiri, triumphs over love-as-lust, triumphs over myopic understandings of humanity, and then disappears.

And now I must bid farewell again, kicking over the traces of my rhyme here -- veiling that welling sense of hope and optimism which seems ever more archaic.

Magic Mountain and Der Lindenbaum -- Part 2


[Part 1]

But now I must look closer at this song -- der Lindenbaum -- it is the key to understanding how it is that Hans carries his knowledge down from the mountain -- his new word of love and the key lesson --
For the sake of goodness and love, man shall grant death no dominion over his thoughts.

This is Der Lindenbaum [German original here]:

By the well in front of the [village] gate
there stands a linden tree;
I dreamt in its shade
many a sweet dream.

I carved in its bark
many a word of love;
in joy and in sorrow it drew
me ever to it.

Once more today I had to wander
past it in the dead of night,
and even in the darkness
I closed my eyes [rested and dreamt].

And its branches rustled
as if they were calling to me
'Come here to me, friend,
here you will find your rest.'

The cold winds blew
straight into my face,
my hat flew from my head,
but I did not turn around.

Now I am many hours' journey
away from that place;
but still I hear the rustling:
'You would find rest there!'





This song is the deep structure of this book -- a map of sorts.

Hans' first dream, his nosebleed dream which results in his frightening hovering-body experience, takes place beside water and under shade -- in the meadow where he later 'plays king.' He dreams there of 'love' -- in its first instantiation -- love as lust, as the longing for Hippe-Clavdia -- the Other, the foreign, the element by which his soul can be forced upward. He returns to this love in joy and in sorrow, passes by it (eyes closed, dreamy, in night -- like when Hans speaks of sitting on a lake, gazing with dazzled and bewildered eyes out of glassy daylight across to the eastern sky and the moonlit night draped in a web of mist). And so on, the song is rife with symbol.

In the Snow chapter Hans had learned that his 'old word of love' -- love as lust -- must be lost -- and that there must be a new word of love to carve on the tree -- love as 'brotherhood' and 'fellowship.' This song is Hans' song of nostalgia, his song of love is love for the flatlands, for Germany -- and his love for this song is also suspect -- Hans regards it warily, knowing that behind this simple feeling of nostalgia lies death -- the song is a fruit says Mann,

it is a fresh, plump, healthy fruit, that was liable, extraordinarily liable, to begin to rot and decay at that very moment, or perhaps the next; and although it was purest regalement of the spirit when enjoyed at the right moment, only a moment later it could spread rot and decay among those who partook of it. It was a fruit of life, sired by death and pregnant with death.


This simple German song, this song of love and of homecoming -- to Hans it means life and death -- life in the knowledge of death -- and thus love in the knowledge of death.

This song carefully encapsulates Hans' previous vision -- that man must allow death no dominion over his thoughts -- that love and death cannot be rhymed together -- and as a significant object, it allows Hans to triumph over himself once again --Yes, triumph over self, that may well have been the essence of his triumph over this love -- over this enchantment of the soul with dark consequences. This song allows Hans to hold together in his thoughts both the grisly feast and the sunny civilization of his dream.

But this isn't just about Hans -- though this song allows Hans to triumph over himself, allows him freedom, it is not the dissolute license of Hans' earlier experiments -- this freedom is a return to the 'anonymous and communal' dream of Snow -- and a return to Hans' 'answer as to the meaning and purpose of life.' This song of nostalgia and fatherland and homecoming and even love -- this song is all one would need to become an enchanter of souls, who would then give the song such vast dimensions that it would subjugate the world. One might even found whole empires upon it, earthly, all-too-earthly empires, very coarse, very progressive, and not in the least nostalgic. I think that Mann is saying that under the banner of 'brotherhood,' the most despicable deeds can be perpetrated -- and that it is the notion of brotherhood which takes into account only the sunny civilization and not the bloody feast that is the danger. Brotherhood and fellowship in full knowledge of the bloody feast -- this is what men must strive for. Hans is the song's best son because he has knows that lesson -- he dreamed his way into it and has now found a way of remembering it.

Hans, the song's best son, would be willing to die for this song -- for brotherhood, for homecoming, for Germany -- But he who died for it was no longer dying for this song and was a hero only because he died for something new -- for the new word of love and for the future in his heart.

And so, when Hans leaves, rushing down the mountain to the call of war and the clamor of the great storm which has broken in the flatlands -- he has his song with him -- he can carry this new vision, this new word of love, this lesson about death and life and love -- he can sing his song as he struggles through mud and fire and the dull thunder of groans and hellhound howls. And Hans disappears from sight, singing his little song about a linden tree, singing about homecoming and about cold winds and a word of love -- he has dreamed it all -- his soul forced upward out of simplicity -- into the reaches of 'hero.' Far back at the beginning of the book, before we knew anything about Hans, the narrator told us something telling:

A human being lives out not only his personal life as an individual, but also, consciously or subconsciously, the lives of his epoch and contemporaries [...] All sorts of personal goals, purposes, hopes, prospects, may float before the eyes of a given individual, from which he may glean the impulse for exerting himself for great deeds; if the impersonal world around him, however, if the times themselves, despite all their hustle and bustle, provide him with neither hopes nor prospects, if they secretly supply him with evidence that things are in fact hopeless, without prospect or remedy, if the times respond with hollow silence to every conscious or subconscious question, however it may be posed, about the ultimate, unequivocal meaning of all exertions and deeds that are more than exclusively personal -- then it is almost inevitable, particularly if the person involved is a more honest sort, that the situation will have a crippling effect, which, following moral and spiritual paths, may even spread to that individual's physical and organic life.


Hans goes to the mountain; Hans stays on the mountain, stays as long as his questions are unsatisfied; and Hans leaves the mountain -- leaves because the times force him to -- because of the war. And at the end of the book, after Hans has trotted off, these are the final lines --

And out of this worldwide festival of death, this ugly rutting fever that inflames the rainy evening sky all around -- will love someday rise up out of this, too?


I think that Mann wants there to be hope -- he wants to believe beyond reality, beyond disappointment, beyond the stench and carnal fury of war that some love can rise out of this -- and that love can only be the love of true, clear-eyed brotherhood. There must be a triumph over the self -- not in the name of license and dissolution, but rather in the name of working back toward the 'anonymous and communal,' the universal which he still believes in.

And that is perhaps the root of my love for this book -- because it shows things for what they are (though in a way, as Bernhard's Murnau would say, that is masterful and yet bourgeois) -- Mann sees to the bottom, or rather, has Hans see to the bottom, and at the end, the fight is not for the individual or the self, but rather for some elevation of the self. And though that is hard to still cling to, I do. Mann also loved and revered the simple -- but not the hollow, ciphered simplicity of Peeperkorn -- not one-sided simplicity.

Der Lindenbaum is Hans' Rosetta stone -- this song is his way of understanding both the intellectual and emotional aspects of his stay on the mountain -- it allows a neat package, so to speak, of what he has experienced. And this neat package can be transported -- he can sing it when he returns home! He sings it on the mountains and in the flatlands and it is his song of both leavetaking and homecoming. Hans -- little brave Hans -- he brings the new word of love from atop the mountain, back to the homeland. He triumphs over himself, over the indulgent placet experiri, triumphs over love-as-lust, triumphs over myopic understandings of humanity, and then disappears.

And now I must bid farewell again, kicking over the traces of my rhyme here -- veiling that welling sense of hope and optimism which seems ever more archaic.

Magic Mountain and Der Lindenbaum -- Part 1


There are a few literary passages which can have a profound effect on me, no matter how many times I read them. Two chapters out of Magic Mountain, are, for me, a wondrous marriage of myth, literature, philosophy and even social commentary. The Snow chapter and then its companion-piece, Fullness of Harmony. When I first read Magic Mountain, I focused on these chapters, trying to make sense of Hans' dream, his relationship with Schubert's Lindenbaum, and his exodus from the mountain. When I wrote about this recently, I thought that perhaps I had been wrong in my original writing. I now see that I had seen well at both times -- but that I had ignored the significant object itself!

Initially, I wrote that Hans is both a “prosaic soul” and a visionary personality. For seven years he exists under the dreamy enchantment of the mountain, content to experience anything and everything in the name of
placet experiri. His languid acceptance of ideas and dreamy excitement for knowledge are interrupted in a sort of interlude chapter by a transcendent vision that is acute and vigorous; it takes up his confused and tangled thoughts, sorts them, reveals the shining truth, and provides Hans with the answer he sought -- the answer to the meaning and purpose of life.

As Hans succumbs to the power of the snowstorm, he experiences a vision that connects him to the pure truth of the “great soul” and in that connection, Hans understands his responsibility to life and humanity. This final vision reveals to Hans the true state of the relationship between life, death, and love, and provides him with his satisfactory answer --
For the sake of goodness and love, man shall grant death no dominion over his thoughts. Hans’ final task is to find a way to carry his answer with him when he leaves the mountain, a task he accomplishes through his relationship to the Lindenbaum song. This song acts as a “significant object;” it translates the universal revelation of Hans’ vision into an object of individual expression, and at that moment of translation, becomes the object through which Hans can overcome himself and show his true devotion to the universal. Hans leaves the mountain as a “prosaic soul,” a soul that has denied self-indulgence and embraced a courteous, respectful love for humanity.

That's what I first wrote -- when I first grappled with these passages -- but where I failed initially was not in my grand conclusions, but rather in my understanding of how Hans triumphs over himself, of how he understands love, life and death, and finally, I did not understand what it is that happens when Hans overcomes himself and rests backward on the universal -- for, as he says,

We don't form our dreams out of just our own souls. We dream anonymously and communally, though each in his own way. The great soul, of which we are just a little piece, dreams through us so to speak, dreams in our many different ways its own eternal, secret dream -- about its youth, its hope, its joy, its peace, and its bloody feast.

What I realized after reading The Waves was that Hans had seen to the bottom and kicked over the traces -- As one piece of the larger being, Hans dreamed on a level much removed from his own everyday world. He transcended his world of reality and found himself in a world of the universal, but it was not a painless movement; Hans came dangerously close to death in the snowstorm. The physical suffering he experienced as he was forced to submit to the elements was key in the development of his vision. He looked on the living, breathing park of trees from death’s very doorstep -- Hans cannot be expected to maintain his vision when he returns to his reality; it would be altogether too powerful to dwell on. To live with his vision constantly, he would have to be constantly at the edge of life, constantly struggling with the warring desires to submit in fear or to challenge in provocation. Hans has to respond to his vision as the sunny people do to their bloody feast: he “kicks over the traces” so that he might continue living, but he keeps his respect and reverence for the truth he has seen deep in his heart.

The struggle is how Hans' lesson can be remembered -- for how is it possible? I was thinking of Kierkegaard -- the difference between the hero and Abraham, also the absurd position of the man of faith who constantly triumphs over the self to rest in the absolute -- becoming both greater than himself and less than himself.

But this story is about more than one man's personal growth -- this is the story of the growth of man, writ large. The
Foreword makes this quite clear --

The extraordinary pastness of our story results from its having taken place before a certain turning point, on the far side of a rift that has cut deeply through our lives and consciousness. It takes place, or, to avoid any present tense whatever, it took place before the Great War, with whose beginning so many things began whose beginnings, it seems, have not yet ceased.

I ignored this in my past readings -- preferring to see this all as a story of a single dreamy little bourgeois man -- but this was wrong. Without understanding what this meant to Mann and his world, I would never have been able to understand the 'new word of love' that Hans has found at the end of the
Snow chapter.

Love stands opposed to death -- it alone, and not reason, is stronger than death. Only love, and not reason, is stronger than death. Only love, and not reason, yields kind thoughts. And form, too, comes only from love and goodness: form and the cultivated manners of man's fair state, of a reasonable, genial community -- out of silent regard for the bloody banquet.
And so now I hope to understand this better -- Hans' great question posed to the world -- to nature, humanity, life -- and its answer.

Magic Mountain and Der Lindenbaum -- Part 1


There are a few literary passages which can have a profound effect on me, no matter how many times I read them. Two chapters out of Magic Mountain, are, for me, a wondrous marriage of myth, literature, philosophy and even social commentary. The Snow chapter and then its companion-piece, Fullness of Harmony. When I first read Magic Mountain, I focused on these chapters, trying to make sense of Hans' dream, his relationship with Schubert's Lindenbaum, and his exodus from the mountain. When I wrote about this recently, I thought that perhaps I had been wrong in my original writing. I now see that I had seen well at both times -- but that I had ignored the significant object itself!

Initially, I wrote that Hans is both a “prosaic soul” and a visionary personality. For seven years he exists under the dreamy enchantment of the mountain, content to experience anything and everything in the name of
placet experiri. His languid acceptance of ideas and dreamy excitement for knowledge are interrupted in a sort of interlude chapter by a transcendent vision that is acute and vigorous; it takes up his confused and tangled thoughts, sorts them, reveals the shining truth, and provides Hans with the answer he sought -- the answer to the meaning and purpose of life.

As Hans succumbs to the power of the snowstorm, he experiences a vision that connects him to the pure truth of the “great soul” and in that connection, Hans understands his responsibility to life and humanity. This final vision reveals to Hans the true state of the relationship between life, death, and love, and provides him with his satisfactory answer --
For the sake of goodness and love, man shall grant death no dominion over his thoughts. Hans’ final task is to find a way to carry his answer with him when he leaves the mountain, a task he accomplishes through his relationship to the Lindenbaum song. This song acts as a “significant object;” it translates the universal revelation of Hans’ vision into an object of individual expression, and at that moment of translation, becomes the object through which Hans can overcome himself and show his true devotion to the universal. Hans leaves the mountain as a “prosaic soul,” a soul that has denied self-indulgence and embraced a courteous, respectful love for humanity.

That's what I first wrote -- when I first grappled with these passages -- but where I failed initially was not in my grand conclusions, but rather in my understanding of how Hans triumphs over himself, of how he understands love, life and death, and finally, I did not understand what it is that happens when Hans overcomes himself and rests backward on the universal -- for, as he says,

We don't form our dreams out of just our own souls. We dream anonymously and communally, though each in his own way. The great soul, of which we are just a little piece, dreams through us so to speak, dreams in our many different ways its own eternal, secret dream -- about its youth, its hope, its joy, its peace, and its bloody feast.

What I realized after reading The Waves was that Hans had seen to the bottom and kicked over the traces -- As one piece of the larger being, Hans dreamed on a level much removed from his own everyday world. He transcended his world of reality and found himself in a world of the universal, but it was not a painless movement; Hans came dangerously close to death in the snowstorm. The physical suffering he experienced as he was forced to submit to the elements was key in the development of his vision. He looked on the living, breathing park of trees from death’s very doorstep -- Hans cannot be expected to maintain his vision when he returns to his reality; it would be altogether too powerful to dwell on. To live with his vision constantly, he would have to be constantly at the edge of life, constantly struggling with the warring desires to submit in fear or to challenge in provocation. Hans has to respond to his vision as the sunny people do to their bloody feast: he “kicks over the traces” so that he might continue living, but he keeps his respect and reverence for the truth he has seen deep in his heart.

The struggle is how Hans' lesson can be remembered -- for how is it possible? I was thinking of Kierkegaard -- the difference between the hero and Abraham, also the absurd position of the man of faith who constantly triumphs over the self to rest in the absolute -- becoming both greater than himself and less than himself.

But this story is about more than one man's personal growth -- this is the story of the growth of man, writ large. The
Foreword makes this quite clear --

The extraordinary pastness of our story results from its having taken place before a certain turning point, on the far side of a rift that has cut deeply through our lives and consciousness. It takes place, or, to avoid any present tense whatever, it took place before the Great War, with whose beginning so many things began whose beginnings, it seems, have not yet ceased.

I ignored this in my past readings -- preferring to see this all as a story of a single dreamy little bourgeois man -- but this was wrong. Without understanding what this meant to Mann and his world, I would never have been able to understand the 'new word of love' that Hans has found at the end of the
Snow chapter.

Love stands opposed to death -- it alone, and not reason, is stronger than death. Only love, and not reason, is stronger than death. Only love, and not reason, yields kind thoughts. And form, too, comes only from love and goodness: form and the cultivated manners of man's fair state, of a reasonable, genial community -- out of silent regard for the bloody banquet.
And so now I hope to understand this better -- Hans' great question posed to the world -- to nature, humanity, life -- and its answer.

Funnies / A few feel good tales / Abba Music...

* Don't worry, Be Happy ! *
Hi Folks,

In Flight Event
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
After a British Airways flight reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced: ' Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. Welcome to Flight 293, nonstop from London Heathrow to Toronto. The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth, uneventful flight. So sit back, relax and ..... OH, My Gawd !!'

Silence followed!

Some moments later the captain came back on the intercom. ' Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry if I scared you. While I was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!'

One Irish passenger yelled, 'be jezis you should see the back of mine!'
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Children (of all ages) will have been opening their advent calendars recently. Some might even be enjoying little chocolate sweets from inside them. But I know a family who have taken the advent calendar idea a little further. Jake and Jenna's parents came up with a novel plan. They'd still have something to open every morning and there would still be sweets involved - but it wasn't quite as simple as just opening and scoffing !

No, Pete and Marlene made them a Good Deed Box this year. Each morning the children open the box and take out two chocolates and a piece of paper. But wait - before they're allowed to eat the goody they have to follow the instructions on the paper. Each piece has a good deed written on it. It might be something like walking their elderly neighbour's dog, making five people smile or helping take jars and bottles to the recycling banks nearby. Or perhaps they have to do a job around the house or choose a toy they don't use much to give to charity.

Only when the good deed is done does the sweet get eaten. As first the children were full of grumbles, but now they've really got into the swing of it. And do you know what? I just know those sweets will taste all the better for having been well deserved...

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Last week, South Africa held its annual Day of Reconcilliation,. In a country divided so long by so many hatreds, it seemed South Africa was heading for a bloody civil war. Instead they went down the democratic route and decided to live together rather than tearing their country apart.

Up and down our own country there are families or friendships torn apart by hasty, ill-thought words or careless deeds. These wounds become deeper through resentment build up on both sides. It takes a lot of courage to overcome such divisions.

Friends and loved ones are precious in this world and none of us have so many we can afford to lose even one. If you've been separated from someone for no good reason why not follow South Africa's example this festive season and have your own Day of Reconciliation...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
For many years two ladies who had a great love of theatre, used to hold rehearsals for their young charges in a rather run-down church hall. Making sure the children could be heard was always a problem. They used to stress to them that they speak up due to the fact that their Granny was sitting right at the back of the hall and she was a little hard of hearing.

With the intelligence and open-ness of children they stated the obvious - "Well, why doesn't your Granny just come and sit at the front!" Out of the mouths of babes eh ??

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

One of my gifts this year was a DVD of Mamma Mia and I look forward to enjoying it and singing along with all the songs ... here's a wee snippet of their work...

Happy New Year (When it comes) I bet these bring back a lot of memories.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLMH8pwusw

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WauFkb4jmCI

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YVFemJXm7_E



Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Feel good stories and a few Videos.


Hi Folks,

Telling lies is wrong, there's no doubt about it. Take the bloke I'm going to call Donald. His sister struggles as a single parent, but through her hard times she's been fiercely independent, refusing her brother's repeated offers of help. Well, a few days ago Donald received an unexpected and quite substantial, bonus from his work and the first thing he did was phone his sister and told her the money was a gift to both of them from a long-forgotten distant relative. "What are you going to do with your half?" he asked.

As I said already, telling lies is wrong, I know that. But somehow, I just can't bring myself to tell Donald he did wrong...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Twelve year old Ashley was nervous about her part in the Guides carol service. Her Dad James was doing his best to reaussure her. "You do it then," Ashley grumped. James laughed at the very thought. One thing he was not was a singer. "Dad, you sing everywhere". Ashley responded. "In the shower, in the kitchen, in the garden, in your hut "...

James was dumbfounded, his wife just looked at him and nodded. It's not often we get to see ourselves as others see us. Sometimes we don't want to. But quite often they see us as better than we think we are. Someone who sings everywhere ? James will happily settle for that..
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
The young couple in the bank looked like they'd known nothing but hard times for a while . As the woman tended to the baby in the buggy, the man glanced around at the other people in the queue who were waiting. He shifted uncomfortably, seeming to feel really out of place. Then his wife turned the pram around and the little one caught sight of him.

"Daddy", she said, then "that's my Daddy!" with the emphasis on the 'my' - her voice got louder and more emphatic. A strange thing happened - he stood taller, his smile brightened.

His financial situation hadn't altered - but he had! He didn't look so out of place any more. In fact, most of us, I am sure, thought he was the luckiest man in the whole bank. All because of a little child's voice...

P.S. While I was reading this I was reminded of being at the nursery school's 'Christmas Show' for the Mums Dads and Granparents the other week. I could hear Louis saying loudly to his friend next to him and giving him a nudge - "That's 'my' Nana" and waving excitedly to me. I hope this post has reminded you of a 'Happy' moment...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
**FUNNY VIDEOS**
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
My Space have just improved their video facility so I thought I would try them out. Go on - have a laugh...

Attack of the killer tortoise !
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=48789569
Kitty whack-a-Mouse !
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I would end this post with the Hope that everybody has a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2009...


Cheers and Love from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Kate xxx.

Playing King


Man is the master of contradictions, they occur through him, and so he is more noble than they. More noble than death, too noble for it -- that is the freedom of his mind. More noble than life, too noble for it -- that is the devotion of his heart. There, I have rhymed it all together, dreamed a poem of humankind. I will remember it. I will be good, I will grant death no dominion over my thoughts. For in that is found goodness and brotherly love, and in that alone.

--Magic Mountain

Playing King


Man is the master of contradictions, they occur through him, and so he is more noble than they. More noble than death, too noble for it -- that is the freedom of his mind. More noble than life, too noble for it -- that is the devotion of his heart. There, I have rhymed it all together, dreamed a poem of humankind. I will remember it. I will be good, I will grant death no dominion over my thoughts. For in that is found goodness and brotherly love, and in that alone.

--Magic Mountain

This magic mountain



I will one day have to write out all of the ways I love this book -- there are many ways for so much has changed since my last reading -- I can follow along better with Naphta and Settembrini, though the result is still a grand confusion, a guazzabuglio. I am filled to the brim with the phrases, the images, the people.

I'm rediscovering Mynheer Peeperkorn, a personality, an oracle, a great wine cask rolling around -- an old green wine cask with heavy hoops

Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable. Might not nothing less than the opposite , be the proper disguise for the shame of a god? A questionable question: it would be odd if some mystic had not risked something to that effect in his mind. There are occurrences of such a delicate nature that one does well to cover them up with some rudeness to conceal them; there are actions of love and extravagant generosity after which nothing is more advisable than to take a stick and give any eyewitness a sound thrashing: that would muddle his memory Some know how to muddle and abuse their own memory in order to have their revenge at least against this only witness: shame is inventive.

It is not the worst things that cause the worst shame: there is not only guile behind a mask - there is so much graciousness in cunning. I could imagine that a human being who had to guard something precious and vulnerable might roll through life, rude and round as an old green wine cask with heavy hoops: the refinement of his shame would want it that way.

A man whose sense of shame has some profundity encounters his destinies and delicate decisions, too, on paths which few ever reach and of whose mere existence his closest intimates must not know: his mortal danger is concealed from their eyes, and so is his regained sureness of life. Such a concealed man who instinctively needs speech for silence and for burial in silence and who is inexhaustible in his evasion of communication, wants and sees to it that a mask of him roams in his place through the hearts and heads of his friends. And supposing he did not want it, he would still realize some day that in spite of that a mask of him is there - and that this is well. Every profound spirit needs a mask: even more, around every profound spirit a mask is growing continually, owing to the constantly false, namely shallow , interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives.

--Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil

He is mythic, the great Bacchus, the Delphic python, heady on chthonic fumes, drunk with life, with feeling, with personality. A presence and a prophet. But he still fails for me. He goes too far and not far enough -- there is something repulsive about the simple taken to extremes. The difference between Goethe's tale The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily and Stifter's Rock Crystal (though I doubt that's a fair comparison).

There is more to be said there.

This magic mountain



I will one day have to write out all of the ways I love this book -- there are many ways for so much has changed since my last reading -- I can follow along better with Naphta and Settembrini, though the result is still a grand confusion, a guazzabuglio. I am filled to the brim with the phrases, the images, the people.

I'm rediscovering Mynheer Peeperkorn, a personality, an oracle, a great wine cask rolling around -- an old green wine cask with heavy hoops

Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable. Might not nothing less than the opposite , be the proper disguise for the shame of a god? A questionable question: it would be odd if some mystic had not risked something to that effect in his mind. There are occurrences of such a delicate nature that one does well to cover them up with some rudeness to conceal them; there are actions of love and extravagant generosity after which nothing is more advisable than to take a stick and give any eyewitness a sound thrashing: that would muddle his memory Some know how to muddle and abuse their own memory in order to have their revenge at least against this only witness: shame is inventive.

It is not the worst things that cause the worst shame: there is not only guile behind a mask - there is so much graciousness in cunning. I could imagine that a human being who had to guard something precious and vulnerable might roll through life, rude and round as an old green wine cask with heavy hoops: the refinement of his shame would want it that way.

A man whose sense of shame has some profundity encounters his destinies and delicate decisions, too, on paths which few ever reach and of whose mere existence his closest intimates must not know: his mortal danger is concealed from their eyes, and so is his regained sureness of life. Such a concealed man who instinctively needs speech for silence and for burial in silence and who is inexhaustible in his evasion of communication, wants and sees to it that a mask of him roams in his place through the hearts and heads of his friends. And supposing he did not want it, he would still realize some day that in spite of that a mask of him is there - and that this is well. Every profound spirit needs a mask: even more, around every profound spirit a mask is growing continually, owing to the constantly false, namely shallow , interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives.

--Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil

He is mythic, the great Bacchus, the Delphic python, heady on chthonic fumes, drunk with life, with feeling, with personality. A presence and a prophet. But he still fails for me. He goes too far and not far enough -- there is something repulsive about the simple taken to extremes. The difference between Goethe's tale The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily and Stifter's Rock Crystal (though I doubt that's a fair comparison).

There is more to be said there.

Surfeit




I feel like there isn't much to say -- surfeit -- I've just returned from a trip to New York -- conversation aplenty with wonderful people -- I've also been writing many letters lately, both digital and analog -- and in those conversations and letters I've said what needed to be said -- I want quiet now, quiet but also that wonderful laughter that comes from a group of people who are happy -- so happy just to be together. It's a quiet, tightly-strung sort of happiness, more momentous, more fleeting, but delicate and rare. Spun sugar I think. I love to watch laughter unfold between people, when the surface is all that there is -- and it is intoxicating. It's in those moments that the inner life and the outer life collapse into just life.


It is difficult to be far away from people who have meant so much to me -- when I see them again I think how much of me they carry with them. So much of my inner life is worked out on pages of journals, but there are vast tracts of my self which are never forced into words. That's normal of course, but these are crucial ways of being and oftentimes I wish I had a better record of these parts of my self, these selves. The vocabulary I have for these moments of intimacy is pale and anemic. But I think that perhaps those parts of the self, those selves, they cannot be dissected with any success -- absolute or atomic or unanalyzable -- they wither under scrutiny. Also, and this is perhaps more important, this record would require the others, I would need them with me at all times. But perhaps this is possible --

I'm speaking in ciphers now -- what I speak of, it's a place for a more fluent pen than mine.

Surfeit




I feel like there isn't much to say -- surfeit -- I've just returned from a trip to New York -- conversation aplenty with wonderful people -- I've also been writing many letters lately, both digital and analog -- and in those conversations and letters I've said what needed to be said -- I want quiet now, quiet but also that wonderful laughter that comes from a group of people who are happy -- so happy just to be together. It's a quiet, tightly-strung sort of happiness, more momentous, more fleeting, but delicate and rare. Spun sugar I think. I love to watch laughter unfold between people, when the surface is all that there is -- and it is intoxicating. It's in those moments that the inner life and the outer life collapse into just life.


It is difficult to be far away from people who have meant so much to me -- when I see them again I think how much of me they carry with them. So much of my inner life is worked out on pages of journals, but there are vast tracts of my self which are never forced into words. That's normal of course, but these are crucial ways of being and oftentimes I wish I had a better record of these parts of my self, these selves. The vocabulary I have for these moments of intimacy is pale and anemic. But I think that perhaps those parts of the self, those selves, they cannot be dissected with any success -- absolute or atomic or unanalyzable -- they wither under scrutiny. Also, and this is perhaps more important, this record would require the others, I would need them with me at all times. But perhaps this is possible --

I'm speaking in ciphers now -- what I speak of, it's a place for a more fluent pen than mine.

Gorgeous George / Soppy Story / Warning ...

*** Images of the Aurora Borealis (otherwise called - the northern lights) I thought they were incredible... Enjoy !!
** This is "Gorgeous George Clooney", As though the majority of females on the planet don't know that Huh ? He 'is' gorgeous though isn't he ? Not as beautiful as the Northern Lights but not bad !! He also has, what I've heard described previously about Sean Connery as eminently chewable lips ... Mmmm .....

PS. Do you think if I promised faithfully to be a really good person I would stand a chance of getting him in my stocking on Christmas morning - Huh ? No, I thought not ... Ah well , I can dream I suppose...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
This next one is what we would call in Scotland ' a wee stoater' it's from an email I received recently and at this precise moment having reread it once again my tears are flowing and I'm having a bit of difficulty seeing what the blazes I'm typing... (good job I can touch type) .. Lom you'll need a couple of hankies for this one pal !
***Breakfast at McDonald's ***

This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end! I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling' His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.. He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?' I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's , my son, the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE. Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to : LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE. Many people will walk in and out of your life, But true friends leave footprints in your heart...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
*** Warning ***
If you receive an email entitled 'Bedtimes' delete it IMMEDIATELY. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetises the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR, and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you attempt to play. It will program your phone auto dial to call only 0898 numbers. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank.

IT WILL CAUSE YOUR TOILET TO FLUSH WHILE YOU ARE SHOWERING. It will drink ALL your beer - arrrgghhh ! FOR GOD'S SAKE, ARE YOU LISTENING?? It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company. It will replace your shampoo with Immac and your Immac with Rogaine. If the 'Bedtimes' message opened in a Windows 98/ME/ Vista environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your skimmilk with whole milk. ***WARN AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.*** And if you don't send this to 5000 people in 20 seconds, you'll fart so hard that your right leg will spasm and shoot straight out in front of you, sending sparks that will ignite the person nearest you. Send this warning to everyone!!! THERE'S A LOT OF SADNESS IN THE WORLD! Right now, as you read this, 17 Million people are having SEX!!! And look at you -You're on this flamin' computer!!


Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Awww.. Photos and a Couple of Jokes ...




Hi Folks,

How about these photos - I got them in an email yesterday morning, they are sooo full of the Awwww... factor I just had to post them on here, there's nothing like a wee animal to bring out the loving feelings in folk, is there ?

Another thing that makes me smile are Irish jokes, there's something about them - they are so innocently funny, cute and a bit childish, I just can't help it, probably because I have never grown up. This is one I found a while ago but each time I read it, it makes me smile again ! (this is no easy thing to do these days, just ask Rob). By the way, Rob is a good bit better, we found that he was allergic to penicillen and we still await word from the hospital with details of when he is to have a catscan. He has, the doctor said got Pleural Plaques apparently, which is something to do with having worked with asbestos 40 years ago would you believe.... that it can take 40 years to show any symptoms - crazy eh ?

Irish Joke
~~~ ~~~ ~
Three Irishmen, Paddy, Sean and Seamus, were stumbling home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard. " Come have a look over here, " says Paddy, "It's Michael O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul. He lived to the ripe old age of 87." "That's nothing," says Sean. "here's one names Patrick O'Toole, it says here that he was 95 when he died." Just then, Seamus yells out, "Good God, here's a fella that got to be 145 !" "What was his name? asks Paddy, Seamus stumbles around a bit, awkwardly lights a match to see what else was written on the stone marker, and exclaims - "Miles, from Dublin."
and another ...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
An Irish priest is driving down to New York and got stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The State Trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then notices an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car. He says, "Father, have you been drinking ?" "Just water," says the priest. The Trooper says, " Then why do I smell wine?" The priest looks at the bottle and said, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
I don't suppose I should be perpetuating the myth about drink and the Irish but there again I don't stop from perpetuating the myth about Scots being mean with cash and drinking so I figure if I can laugh at my own I should be able to laugh at others too...


Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Emptying My Sack

Tiger santa cat Pictures, Images and Photos
Ho, ho, ho, DesigNators. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Quazy Quanza, and whatever other holidays you goofy "normal" people celebrate. Real simple, today. There's nothing to talk about still in Tiger Land, so here's my holiday shopping list for our Detroit Tigers.

Justin Verlander: Quaaludes. Something to calm you down, big guy. Don't put it all on yourself. Sure, the other four(teen) starters we use this year will probably suck. But that's not your problem. You can only win one game at a time.

Joel Zumaya: One of those big plastic bubbles that they put sick kids in. Go from being "Glass Joel" to "The Bubble Boy". Anything to keep your dumb ass healthy until and through the regular season.

Dontrelle Willis: An old VHS copy of "Sweatin' To The Oldies". You, my friend, are a fat bastard. That's not who we need. We need the lean, mean, goofy-motion pitching machine that we thought we were getting when we traded the entire farm system for you and Miguel. Drop some weight, get your motion back, and win Comeback Player of the Year.

Curtis Granderson: A bus to hit Grady Sizemore and put him out for the year. I don't want it to kill him, I just want the AL sportswriters to pay attention to what we have in center in Detroit. Andy Van Slyke said that if he had a daughter, he'd want her to marry Curtis Granderson. That's high praise, my friends. Maybe crazy and creepy, but high praise, nonetheless.

Fernando Rodney: A pair of those glasses that Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn wore in Major League. Maybe this way, Rodney can find the strike zone more than twice per inning. Also, maybe he'll finally realize that he's wearing his hat the wrong way.

Dave Dombrowski: A closer to fall in his lap at a cheap price. If you believe what you're hearing around the league, price expectations for Fuentes and the remaining relievers are dropping. Double D needs one or two guys to at least make it look like he's trying out there.

Gerald Laird: Bigger feet. Why? Because to the average fan, he has giant friggin' shoes to fill replacing Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate in Detroit. I wish you luck, Gerald.

Gary Sheffield: The Fountain of One More Year. Wouldn't it be awesome to see the Gary Sheffield of old...instead of the old Gary Sheffield?

Placido Polanco: A Mr. Potato Head. Just so he can hold it up next to his giant noggin and give the boys some laughs.

Ramon Santiago: One ounce of respect. Cause that's more than what's been shown to him by the Detroit Tigers management.

Magglio Ordonez: Rogaine. Just in case. Don't lose those locks, Maggs. I'd blow up an orphanage to have hair like yours.

Jim Leyland: 50 cartons of Reds. It's the gift that keeps on giving...tumors.

Jeremy Bonderman: The learning ability of a 10 year old in little league. If a 5th grader can learn a changeup, you should be able to.

Matt Treanor: For the Tigers to sign Casey Daigle. He's married to Jennie Finch...that'll take some of the attention off of your wife for a change.

Miguel Cabrera: A nice, new mantle...to hopefully put the MVP Awards on that you'll be winning with us.

Brandon Inge: Puberty. Hopefully, that way, you might be able to grow real facial hair. And most importantly, you'd possibly gain the maturity to take a different approach at the plate. Moron.

Nate Robertson: A Dire Straits CD. "Money For Nothing"...that about describes your season last year.

Once again, Happy Holidays to everyone out there. Here's to hoping that we all get what we want this year...a World Series Championship in Detroit.