A wee chuckle and some Kate-isms (for June)...

Have a wee chuckle ......

I bet this is going to make you smile.... It didn't half give me a laugh !! A little girl asked her mother: 'How did the human race appear?' The mother answered, 'God made Adam and Eve; they had children; and so was all mankind made.' Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. The father answered, 'Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.' The confused girl returned to her mother and said, 'Mum, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?' The mother answered, 'Well, Dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family, and your father told you about his.'


Hi There,

I know lom that this post is just sheer copy-catting but I couldn't resist it ! Your recent post about washing your windows reminded me that I also 'had a look' at my windows yesterday morning and thought - Flippen Nora, my windows are badly needing washed, when we had new double glazed unit windows put in 4 years ago at our house I specifically said we would have to be able to wash all the windows from the inside of the house ....... Hehehe that little requirement was due to the fact that I have a husband who 'loves' to climb ladders .

Now he is an OAP aged over 70 (shhh don't tell anyone). Let me explain, he worked as a roofer - now we are talking over 30 years ago folks... Anyway, he thinks (in his addled brain) that he is still aged about 30 which means that he can do 'all' the things about and outside of the house that he used to. He damn near gave all our neighbours (and me) heart failure last year when he climbed the ladder up to the roof and pulled and hauled the weeds and grass which our visiting pigeons use as nests when they pay us a holiday visit over the summer... (In my humble opinion I think of them as flying rats which harbour fleas and all sorts of filthy rubbish and they drive me batty - I assume that folk who are bird lovers will switch off me blog here ) Too bad 'cos this next bit could be funny !

Anyway - what was I talking about .... yeah windows - now I am terrified of heights and so I wanted to be able to wash my windows by having the type that pulled inside - I could do the business then push them back into place again. I had had this type of window units years ago in another house and they were easy to operate (and clean).. What happened ? Well I was talked out of them and pushed into getting the type I do have - aarrrgghhh! (total waste of time) !

A few months ago our window cleaners, who had been very reliable at coming every month like clockwork stopped ! We didn't see them for 4 months and then they reappeared - one of them had apparently had a fall and had suffered a broken leg. Well, since they couldn't very well work in harmony and do window cleaning - they had a long holiday hehehe. They washed the windows they then waved goodbye. This was 3months ago.... We haven't heard from them since, maybe the bloke has had another accident, maybe he has been hauled away by aliens, maybe the Social Security Police have hauled them away 'cos they were working on the quiet and they should not have been working.... what's the odds ? To be honest I have lost the will to live reporting this episode - no doubt you have too !

What really gets me though is why couldn't they let us know so that we, their customers, could arrange for other window cleaners to do the business... The upshot of this epic tale is that my windows 'still' need cleaned and I 'can't ' reach the outside of them - I'm dreading the first sunny day when my 'dearheart' will come out with the dreaded statement about getting the ladder out and him cleaning the windows.....

As some of you are aware he had an accident falling in our bathroom he had sneezed heavily and he just about broke his back, he drove me insane for weeks with his complaints and he had to learn to 'walk' again - well this last statement is not strictly true - but when you have to watch and listen to an old man complaining about having a sore back for weeks you are inclined to get a bit tetchy and twitchy if you know what I mean ... He is nearly back to normal (with his back I mean) and normal to Rob means that he will want to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it - I hope you can make sense of the foregoing, all I mean is that he thinks he is fit again so he thinks he is Superman and 'can do anything.'

Well June, is this a blog in my usual style huh ? In other words some Kate'isms and me talking a load of rubbish Eh ? I can't hear ya missus ye'll need to shout - hehehehe...

I think I'll close this with a video which stems from something I saw in another site about rising bollards . I'm not copying it though - I had never heard of them before and when I googled them I found some videos about them . I tell you, I will now be on the lookout for them from now on - talk about dangerous ! Rob being an ex-taxi driver would be an obvious candidate for falling foul of these things - he is inclined to go (I mean drive) like the hammers of Hell and I'm forever making remarks about his speeds etc... I swear there is someone up there looking after him ! (I just hope that there's someone looking after the others on the roads at the same time).



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

Freezing scenes and some funnies...

These pictures are from an email I received this morning - I was complaining the other morning that I had to scrape the ice off my car windscreen - I've got nothing to complain about , this sort of weather would kill me - argghhhh! These photos were taken at a town close to Geneva City in Switzerland - the water in the background is the Leman Lake .... It all 'looks' beautiful - but I wouldn't like to live there, not at this time of the year anyway !


The 'poisoner' herself ...

Hi Folks,

A special cup of tea from a precious bundle of fun ...... One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mum came home. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up. Then she says, (as only a mother would know.. :)
'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?


A medicine patch...... During a patients check up with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. "Which one?" I asked. "The patch, the Nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!" I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! The instructions now include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.

Happy Birthday... A wife decides to take her husband to a strip club for his birthday. An unorthodox choice for sure, but she just thought that since he was finally 40 years old, she'd give him a special treat. They arrive at the club and the doorman says, "Hey, Dave! How ya doin'?"
His wife is puzzled and asks if he's been to this club before. "Oh, no," says Dave. "He's on my bowling team." When they are seated, a waitress asks Dave if he'd like his usual and brings over a Budweiser. His wife is becoming increasingly uncomfortable and says,"How did she know that you drink Budweiser?"

"She's in the Ladies' Bowling League, honey. We share lanes with them." A stripper then comes over to their table, throws her arms around Dave, and says "Hi Davey. Want your usual table dance, big boy?" Dave's wife, now furious, grabs her purse and storms out of the club. Dave follows and spots her getting into a cab. Before she can slam the door, he jumps in beside her.
He tries desperately to explain how the stripper must have mistaken him for someone else, but his wife is having none of it. She is screaming at him at the top of her lungs, calling him every name in the book. The cabbie turns his head and sarcastically says, "Looks like you picked up a real winner tonight, Dave."


Imagine trying to buy groceries in a completely alien country where you don't speak the language ...... A Russian woman married a Canadian gentleman and they lived in Toronto . However, the poor lady was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.
One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs. She didn't know how to put forward her request, and in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs. Her butcher got the message, and gave her the chicken legs. Next day she needed to get chicken breasts, again she didn't know how to say it, and so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breasts. The butcher understood again, and gave her some chicken breasts. On the 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store...
OK now - what were you thinking? Her husband speaks English ! Gosh ! I don't know about you sometimes ......





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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good
Tim Kurkjian does a great job breaking down the AL Central saying that it's basically anyone's divison to win or lose. He's got a bit of insight into the Tigers other than the usual simple stuff that everyone else says.

The Bad
David Mayo writes the usual simple stuff that everyone else says. However, he is even worse. I would break this down in my usual snarky way, but he didn't put any effort into the article. Why should I?

The Ugly
Jason Beck is usually a decent read. However this article on Rodney is a bit goofy. Here's some of my favorite parts.

"When you come to pitch in the ninth inning, you have to be ready," Rodney said. "I feel ready a couple times. I don't feel 100 percent a couple times. I tried to throw more strikes. Sometimes I don't find the strike zone. Sometimes I get a strikeout. I've started working on that, and I want to be better."

What in the blue hell? He was ready a couple of times. He...well, you read it. I understand there is a bit of a language barrier, but this man was our closer up until a couple days ago? Brandon Lyon is no Mariano Rivera or Joe Nathan...but Captain Crookedhat sounds like he never wanted to be on the mound last year. That's certainly the way he pitched all year.

"Rodney's a big league pitcher. He's going to be on our ballclub," manager Jim Leyland said last week on the Tigers' winter caravan, before the Lyon signing was officially announced. "He's going to be a big asset to our ballclub, in my opinion. Exactly what the role will be defined as, I don't know yet. I think he'll be a very valuable piece of our team, and I'll leave it at that, because I don't know how things are going to play."

"He's a big league pitcher." So are Casey Fossum and Kyle Farnsworth. "He's going to be on our ballclub." So is Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis. Leave it to The Marlboro Man to not say anything bad about a guy...but make it sound like he secretly wants him to get hit by a train.

The first batters to face Rodney in an outing went just 6-for-29 against him, but his nine walks to those hitters resulted in a .395 on-base percentage.


And up until a couple days ago, this was still our closer. Now he's our set up guy. Please...Allah, Buddah, Mohammad, Zeus...ANYONE OUT THERE! Take the magic wand that you used to bless Derek Jeter and Tom Brady and use it on Joel Zumaya. I beg of you...

This offseason was spent preparing for such a fight, even if it's simply with his own issues. Though Rodney reprised his usual winter ball role for a brief stint in the Dominican League, the bulk of his work came outside of games. He threw extra side work to try to keep his tricky shoulder strong and avoid the health issues that cost him two months last season and nearly led to surgery, an absence that he thinks set up his further troubles the rest of the season. Rodney threw off the mound this offseason with a focus on spotting his pitches more precisely.

Are you like me? Are you thinking that Fernando could have been doing something much more useful than this? Something like...Pilates?

"Last year, I didn't pitch too many innings," he said. "Maybe that's why my control [was inconsistent]. This year, I'm working on [hitting] both sides [of the plate], outside, inside, and I've worked on that very hard. Because I think if I have control on the inside and outside, I'll be better."

I disagree. I'm pretty sure that Rodney pitched too many innings last year. Enough to make what little hair I had left to fall out in clumps or be ripped out of my skull. As for, you know, being able to control where he's throwing the ball? Yup, I'm willing to agree that he might not suck so bad that way. Too bad neither he or Chuck Hernandez thought of that sooner. That must be the problem.

He also believes he'll improve if he can regularly throw his slider, a pitch Tigers officials have tried to get him to throw more often for at least two years. With many hitters focused on his fastball-changeup combination, he needed a third pitch, and his slider was an effective pitch in his younger years before Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2004.

Riddle me this, my friends. Why is it that Tiger pitchers will not throw the pitches that Tigers "officials" want them to? Bondo still is scared of throwing a pitch that any 13 year old can throw, the changeup. Rodney won't throw his slider. Is he scared of getting hurt? He's always hurt anyways! Is he willing to throw it this year since it's a contract year? I really hope that Knapp can get these clowns to live up to their potential this year.

Rodney's season hasn't started yet. But his mindset suggests he's ready.

Jason, if that's what you got out of talking to Fernando Rodney, then I think you need a vacation. And so do I...

A Power Cut / A Teenage Daughter / Funnies ...

Hi Folks,

See if you can figure it out ' NO' peeking!
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
I am sending this only to my smart friends. I could not figure it out and had to look at the answer.
See if you can figure out what these words have in common.
1 Banana
2 Dresser
3 Grammar
4 Potato
5 Revive
6 Uneven
7 Assess
Are you peeking or have you already given up? Give it another try - look at each word carefully. (You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer.) This is really cool...
No, it is not that they all have at least 2 double letters.
Answer: In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.Did you figure it out? No? Then send it to more people and stump them as well. Then, you'll feel better too.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Talk about finding a silver lining !
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

My friend Jennifer, lives in New York - not the city, but out in the country in "upstate New York State. Over the winter so far they've had some atrocious weather. After a big power cut, Jennifer was dismayed to find a lot of the food in her freezer had started to defrost.

She couldn't re-freeze it, so once the electricity came back she had to use up as much as she could. Even things she'd forgotten were in there got eaten. Then storms kept her in the house, sometimes for days at a time, so she wasn't driving to the shops much.

Amazingly, at the end of the month she found that all of this "bad stuff " had actually saved her money! So what did she do with the extra cash? She stuck it in an envelope and sent it anonymously to a local charity. They talk about clouds having silver linings. Thanks to Jennifer and her kind heart those storm clouds turned out to have linings of gold.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
When Angela's daughter reached those teenage years it sometimes seemed the house had turned into a bit of a battlefield. Worn down by the constant arguments, but determined not to give up on Amy, Angela dug out a postcard-sized piece of card. She wrote a message on it, decorated it and had it laminated. Then, when Amy was out with friends, she left the card on her pillow.

It was never mentioned. The rows continued, but not quite as frequently or intensely as before. Then Angela saw the card she'd made propped up in her teenage daughter's bedroom. The writing on it said, "Sometimes you might be wrong, sometimes I might be wrong, but I love you and that will always be right !"

It seems that those words really had made an impact...
~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
This next section is a number of funnies, I hope you enjoy them -
Different ways to look at things :
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Two guys were discussing popular family trends on sex, marriage, and values.
Stu said, 'I didn't sleep with my wife before we got married; did you?'
'Leroy replied, 'I'm not sure, what was her maiden name?'
------------ ---------
An old man goes to the Wizard to ask him if he can remove a curse he has been living with for the last 40 years.
The Wizard says, 'Maybe, but you will have to tell me the exact words that were used to put the curse on you'.
The old man says without hesitation, 'I now pronounce you man and wife.'
------------ ---------
A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks, 'Can you tell me how long it'll take to fly from San Francisco to New York City?'
The agent replies, 'Just a minute...'
'Thank you,' the blonde said, and hung up the phone.
----------------------
Moe: 'My wife got me to believe in religion.'
Joe: 'Really?'
Moe: 'Yeah. Until I married her I didn't believe in hell.'
----------------------
A man was recovering from surgery when the Surgical Nurse appeared and asked him how he was feeling. 'I'm O.K. but I didn't like the four-letter-word the doctor used in surgery,' he answered. 'What did he say? ' asked the nurse. 'OOPS' ......



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

(Not) Always A Tiger

I thought I'd take a look at former Tigers in this year's free agent group and where they've ended up (if anywhere). But before that, let me just say that I love the minor league contract signing of Scott Williamson. If he's healthy, I think he could be a steal this year. Anyhoo...

Brad Ausmus, C, Age 39: Signed a 1 year, $1 million deal with the Dodgers. I always liked Ausmus and hope he has a good year backing up Russell Martin in LA. It's just weird seeing him switch teams without them being Houston and Detroit.

Paul Bako, C, Age 36: Unsigned. Bako was in Cinci last year hitting .217 with 6 homers. He's basically lasted in the majors because he's a rare left-handed catcher. And as I've said before, the only foul ball I've ever caught was off of Bako's bat, so he'll always be cool with me. He'll catch on somewhere. (horrible pun intended)

Denny Bautista, P, Age 28: Re-signed with Pittsburgh to a minor league contract. Denny pitched in only 16 games for us last year before being traded to the Pirates for RHP Kyle Pearson. He still has a fastball that can get up to 100 mph, but can't control it. He did okay for us until Zumaya was ready to come back (before getting hurt again). I expect him to pitch in Pittsburgh this year... someone has to.

Doug Brocail, P, Age 41: Re-signed with Houston for one year at $2.75 million. Not bad for a middle relief guy in his forties. Doug had a 1.22 WHIP last year in 68.2 IP and can still get the job done. He was great for us from '97-'99 before having a rough year in '00. Sadly, Brocail's most famous moment was 2004 when some jerk fan in Oakland was heckling him about having a stillborn son. Doug's teammate, Frank Francisco, hurled a chair at the fan and broke the guy's wife's nose. Good luck to you, Doug.

Sean Casey, 1B, Age 34: Retired. Despite still being a guy that can hit .300 at will and six years from 40, Sean's calling it quits to go work for the MLB Network. "The Mayor" will always be welcome in Detroit for being the only guy to not suck at the plate in the 2006 World Series.

Tony Clark, 1B, Age 36: Re-signed with the Diamondbacks for one year at $800,000. Tony the (former) Tiger had a bad year in '08 hitting .225 with only 3 HR. Obviously, Arizona still thinks he can help a bit at 1B and pinch hitting. For more on Tony, ask Blake.

Damion Easley, 2B, Age 39: Unsigned. He hit .269 with 6 homers with the Mets last year. He might end up back there as he's helped off the bench quite a bit for New York after stints in Tampa Bay, Florida, and Arizona and being booed out of Detroit in 2002. But at his age, he's probably about done. Easley is the active leader for MLB players for playing in the most games (1,706) without ever playing in the postseason.

Kyle Farnsworth, P, Age 32: Signed a 2 year $9.25 million contract with the Royals. We traded Pudge for him in his latest stint as a Tiger and he pouted through the rest of the season getting pounded like the wife of a Mississippi NASCAR fan. I cannot wait for the first time he pitches in Detroit in a KC uniform. The fans are going to crucify him.

Casey Fossum, P, Age 31: Signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Casey wasn't that great for us in the pen last year, but he had nice things to say about his time in the D to his friend, Brandon Lyon, in the offseason partially leading to Lyon choosing to play for the Tigers this year. So, thanks, Mr. Fossum. He should see time in the Mets pen.

Freddy Garcia, P, Age 32: Signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Apparently the Mets were so impressed with the Tigers staff last year, they've decided to raid our cupboard. Good luck. Garcia and the Tigers used each other at the end of the year: Freddy to audition for MLB teams and the Tigers to limp to their last place finish. The Mets will find out if Freddy's healthy and he may pay off big for them if he's back to his pre-injury form.

Chris Gomez, IF, Age 37: Signed a minor league deal with Baltimore. Chris played in Pittsburgh last year hitting .273 in 183 at bats. It amazes me that the guy who replaced Trammell at short is only 37 and still in the league. But Chris is a solid player still and serves his purpose off the bench.

Luis Gonzalez, LF, Age 41: Unsigned. Gonzo played the leader role on a young Florida team last year playing in 136 games and hitting .261 with 8 home runs. We traded him for Karim Garcia in Randy Smith's dumbest move and he responded by putting up superstar numbers until age caught up with him. Will Gonzo play another year? Time will tell.

Jason Johnson, P, Age 35: Signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. I didn't know JJ was still in the league, but apparently, he is going 1-2 with a 5.22 ERA with the Dodgers in 16 games last year. With the signing of Andy Pettitte, I doubt Jason sees much, if any time in the Bronx this year. Jason was a disappointment in Detroit, but I was always fascinated listening to Rod talk about the insulin pump on his belt that controlled his sugar level due to diabetes.

Jacque Jones, LF, Age 33: Unsigned. Played a bit in Florida last year. Sucked. He's done.

Todd Jones, P, Age 40: Retired. Todd retired as the all-time save leader in Detroit. I've made a lot of jokes at Todd's expense over the years and he deserved every one of them. But dammit, more often than not, Jonesey got the job done. Enjoy retirement, Todd. Just don't get too much fatter...we might need you if the pen falls apart again this year.

Gabe Kapler, OF, Age 33: Signed a one year, $1 million deal with the Rays. Gabe played with the Brewers last year and is a solid backup outfielder. He has his best success in Boston and his best remembered in Detroit for his freakish build and being involved in the Juan Gonzalez trade. He never seems to stay with one team for too long, for some reason.

Wil Ledezma, P, Age 28: Signed a minor league deal with Washington. Wil played in Arizona last year and has never lived up to the promise that he was thought to have in the Tigers minor league system. I expect him to make the Nats roster and be solid out of the pen. I'll always remember Wil for bailing out Jason Grilli when he tried blowing a game in the 2006 playoffs.

Aquilino Lopez, P, Age 33: Unsigned. Lopez was released this offseason by the Tigers and will probably get a look somewhere. His numbers weren't that bad, but he hurt everyone else's ERA's by letting many an inherited runner score last year.

Trever Miller, P, Age 34: Signed with the Cardinals for one year at $500,000. Trever's a solid lefty specialist that will serve that role well in St. Louis. He appeared in 5 games for us in 1996. Oddly as it seems now, 4 of those games were starts...and he got shelled. He was part of the trade to the Astros that brought us Todd Jones for the first time.

Edgar Renteria, SS, Age 33: Signed a 2 year, $18.5 million deal with the Giants, proving that the Frisco GM did not watch one game of Tigers baseball last year. Renteria is Dave Dombrowski's biggest mistake as the Tigers GM as Rentererror was underwhelming as a Tiger, to say the least. More importantly, the Tigers gave up promising pitcher Jair Jurrjens for him and Jurrjens went on to be a contender for Rookie of the Year with the Braves. Renteria may rebound offensively back in the NL where he's more comfortable, but his defense is declining every time he takes the field.

Ivan Rodriguez, C, Age 37: Unsigned. Pudge was horrible after joining the Yankees in the trade for The Farns. But he was having a decent year in Detroit before said trade. Pudge can still be productive for a team in 2009, but his unwillingness to take a reduced role and his money demands will make it hard for him to find a team until reality sinks in for him. Like most of the guys on this list, I wish Ivan nothing but the best for all good he did for our franchise.

Kenny Rogers, P, Age 44: Unsigned and probably retired. Rick Knapp says that Kenny's done, but the official announcement still hasn't been made. Love ya, Gambler...thanks for the memories.

Jason Smith, IF, Age 31: Signed a minor league contract with Houston. Jason's another guy that I thought was much older than this. He's a left handed infielder that's a career backup and played for us in '04 and '05.

Vance Wilson, C, Age 35: Signed a minor league deal with the Royals. Vance hasn't played in two years due to injury, but was a good backup to Pudge in Detroit and a great guy in the clubhouse. Hopefully, Vance can make a comeback and contribute for KC...just not against us.


I think that's about everyone. Enjoy the snowstorm, fellow Detroit area dwellers.

A Cocoon to a Butterfly/Label Stupidity/1957 or 2007 ?


Hi Folks,

The value of struggling ......
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we were allowed to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed by stupidity, here are some actual label instructions found on consumer goods.
On a Sears hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping.
On a bar of Dial soap: Directions: Use like regular soap
On Tesco's tiramisu dessert (printed on the bottom of box): Do not turn upside-down.
On Marks & Spencer bread pudding: Product will be hot after heating.
On packaging for a Rowenta iron: Do not iron clothes on body.
On Boot's children's cough medicine: Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.
On Nytol sleep aid: Warning: May cause drowsiness.
On most brands of Christmas lights: For indoor or outdoor use only. (As opposed to what?)
On a Japanese food processor: Not to be used for the other use. (I gotta admit, I'm curious.)
On Sainsbury's peanuts: Warning: contains nuts.
On an American Airlines packet of peanuts: Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.
On a child's Superman costume: Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Examples of the difference between 1957 and 2007....
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Robbie disrupts other students in class.1957 - Robbie sent to office and given 6 of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2007 - Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. Robbie's parents get fortnightly disability payments and School gets extra funding from state because Robbie has a disability.

Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.1957 Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison.

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.1957 - Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a bullant nest.1957 - Ants die.
2007- Star Force, Federal Police & Anti-terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, Feds investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Is this sad or what ? The daft thing is that these are the kinds of things which happen and are written about in our newspapers ! How stupid have we become ???


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

Philosophical Rhetoric and Reflections of the Self

"It is remarkable," he said, "how a man cannot summarize his thoughts in even the most general sort of way without betraying himself completely, without putting his whole self into it, quite unawares, presenting as if in an allegory the basic themes and problems of his life."


Settembrini says this in
Magic Mountain, responding to some very suspect comments that had just issued forth from the mouth of the young Hans Castorp. I remembered this passage recently as I was casually musing over some recent thoughts and conversations about philosophy, analysis and methodology. I have been thinking recently about the apparent arbitrariness of much of what I have been reading, and, moreover, the arbitrariness of philosophy itself. I keep coming up against 'methodological projects' and guiding principles -- it seems so arbitrary how the principles of symmetry, simplicity, elegance are tossed about. Some projects prefer one over the other, some attempt to use all of them, some cite Occam for justification, some cite history for foundation -- but it always seems arbitrary. Why, after all, do we assume that there will be law and logic and order?

It is no secret here that I am deeply concerned with explorations of the self, knowledge and aesthetic experience, and I think that those three large, general interests are the underpinnings of how I approach new fields of study, new texts and new artworks. I am interested in what they might reveal about my self, my experience, my methods of knowing, and my methods of finding some sort of excellently aesthetic understanding of the world. I understand and accept that much of what I learn and come to know is dependent upon the sort of knower that I am particularly. I also happen to think that that's what makes knowledge and art interesting -- the variety of experiential qualities. (In the sense that not only can there be many kinds of knowers, but also that a single knower, a personality, may undergo many ways of knowing throughout her life).

These underlying assumptions of mine have always made it easy to maintain a certain sort of skepticism about grand empirical and metaphysical projects -- I have a difficult time seeing how anyone can come to believe in that sort of project as anything more than the outgrowth of a personal project (understanding that there can be a sort of shared intentional set between people, allowing for 'group projects,' as it were. I think that is probably what many human projects actually look like).

Feeling a bit lost at sea I opened my Whitehead anthology and read through some of his opening remarks in Process & Reality. He outlines his project as "an essay in Speculative Philosophy" and defines the latter as such:

Speculative Philosophy is the endeavor to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted. By this notion of 'interpretation' I mean that everything of which we are conscious, as enjoyed, perceived, willed, or thought, shall have the character of a particular instance of the general scheme. Thus the philosophical scheme should be coherent, logical, and, in respect to its interpretation, applicable and adequate.


This I can understand, I think -- it is at least explicit about its endeavor. It will construct an entire metaphysical system, it will enumerate the laws, the substance, the logic, the wonder. It's massively flawed I'm sure, but like the systems of Plato, Leibniz and many others, it at least attempts to say it all and say it through. It draws no narrow scope within which to confine its thoughts and forestall objections and criticism. It seems to me that so many of these papers feel obligated to define their narrow little scope, and then there are the responses to the papers, which take only one small point out of the already narrowly-circumscribed scope -- and so on, rings of concentric, nested circles, each narrower than the previous. None of it helps!

And this brings me back to the excerpt posted by Mr. Waggish some time ago -- on Donald Verene and Philosophic Rhetoric -- this seems to me, above all, what one should be most aware of when one writes -- how so much of it is a singular outpouring of one's self and one's set of aesthetic preferences. I think too many philosophers write papers in the attempt to forget their own rhetoric -- to forget just how tenuous their position is, how narrowly set it is, how much it rests upon.

Narrative is the speech of memory. Philosophies are essentially narratives. All great works of philosophy simply tell the reader what is the nature of things. The arguments we find within such works are meaningful within the structure of the narrative they contain. The narration confers meaning. Questions of meaning always precede questions of truth. Philosophical arguments do not stand on their own. They cannot profitably be removed from the narrative that informs them and evaluated as though they had independent value and truth.

Philosophies, like all narratives, act against forgetting. To forget is to leave something out, to omit or overlook a feature of a subject matter or of the world. Philosophical speech is memorial speech because it reminds us of what we have already forgotten or nearly forgotten about experience. The speech of philosophical narrative can never become literal-minded because to act against forgetting is to attempt to hold opposites together. The narrative is always based on a metaphor; a metaphor is always a narrative in brief. The narrative is also the means to overcome controversy, because for the self to overcome an inconsistency of its thoughts it must develop not simply a new argument but a new position, a new narrative in which to contain any new argument.

The self makes itself by speaking to itself, not in the sense of introspection but in the sense of the art of conversation, which is tied to the original meaning of dialectic. On this view, philosophy is not rhetorical simply in its need to resolve controversy, nor is it rhetorical simply in terms of its starting points for rational demonstration. Philosophy is rhetorical in these senses, but it is further rhetorical in its total expression. Any philosophy commands its truth by the way it speaks. Great philosophies speak in a powerful manner that affects both mind and heart. It is common, in the Dialogues, that, after engaging in the elenchos, Socrates says he is unsure whether a claim that seems to be true really is true. His answer is to offer a “likely story.” All philosophies, on my view, are likely stories, which originate in the philosopher’s own autobiography and are attempts to move from this to the autobiography of humanity, to formulate the narrative of human existence in the world and to speak of things human and divine.


Philosophical Rhetoric and Reflections of the Self

"It is remarkable," he said, "how a man cannot summarize his thoughts in even the most general sort of way without betraying himself completely, without putting his whole self into it, quite unawares, presenting as if in an allegory the basic themes and problems of his life."


Settembrini says this in
Magic Mountain, responding to some very suspect comments that had just issued forth from the mouth of the young Hans Castorp. I remembered this passage recently as I was casually musing over some recent thoughts and conversations about philosophy, analysis and methodology. I have been thinking recently about the apparent arbitrariness of much of what I have been reading, and, moreover, the arbitrariness of philosophy itself. I keep coming up against 'methodological projects' and guiding principles -- it seems so arbitrary how the principles of symmetry, simplicity, elegance are tossed about. Some projects prefer one over the other, some attempt to use all of them, some cite Occam for justification, some cite history for foundation -- but it always seems arbitrary. Why, after all, do we assume that there will be law and logic and order?

It is no secret here that I am deeply concerned with explorations of the self, knowledge and aesthetic experience, and I think that those three large, general interests are the underpinnings of how I approach new fields of study, new texts and new artworks. I am interested in what they might reveal about my self, my experience, my methods of knowing, and my methods of finding some sort of excellently aesthetic understanding of the world. I understand and accept that much of what I learn and come to know is dependent upon the sort of knower that I am particularly. I also happen to think that that's what makes knowledge and art interesting -- the variety of experiential qualities. (In the sense that not only can there be many kinds of knowers, but also that a single knower, a personality, may undergo many ways of knowing throughout her life).

These underlying assumptions of mine have always made it easy to maintain a certain sort of skepticism about grand empirical and metaphysical projects -- I have a difficult time seeing how anyone can come to believe in that sort of project as anything more than the outgrowth of a personal project (understanding that there can be a sort of shared intentional set between people, allowing for 'group projects,' as it were. I think that is probably what many human projects actually look like).

Feeling a bit lost at sea I opened my Whitehead anthology and read through some of his opening remarks in Process & Reality. He outlines his project as "an essay in Speculative Philosophy" and defines the latter as such:

Speculative Philosophy is the endeavor to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted. By this notion of 'interpretation' I mean that everything of which we are conscious, as enjoyed, perceived, willed, or thought, shall have the character of a particular instance of the general scheme. Thus the philosophical scheme should be coherent, logical, and, in respect to its interpretation, applicable and adequate.


This I can understand, I think -- it is at least explicit about its endeavor. It will construct an entire metaphysical system, it will enumerate the laws, the substance, the logic, the wonder. It's massively flawed I'm sure, but like the systems of Plato, Leibniz and many others, it at least attempts to say it all and say it through. It draws no narrow scope within which to confine its thoughts and forestall objections and criticism. It seems to me that so many of these papers feel obligated to define their narrow little scope, and then there are the responses to the papers, which take only one small point out of the already narrowly-circumscribed scope -- and so on, rings of concentric, nested circles, each narrower than the previous. None of it helps!

And this brings me back to the excerpt posted by Mr. Waggish some time ago -- on Donald Verene and Philosophic Rhetoric -- this seems to me, above all, what one should be most aware of when one writes -- how so much of it is a singular outpouring of one's self and one's set of aesthetic preferences. I think too many philosophers write papers in the attempt to forget their own rhetoric -- to forget just how tenuous their position is, how narrowly set it is, how much it rests upon.

Narrative is the speech of memory. Philosophies are essentially narratives. All great works of philosophy simply tell the reader what is the nature of things. The arguments we find within such works are meaningful within the structure of the narrative they contain. The narration confers meaning. Questions of meaning always precede questions of truth. Philosophical arguments do not stand on their own. They cannot profitably be removed from the narrative that informs them and evaluated as though they had independent value and truth.

Philosophies, like all narratives, act against forgetting. To forget is to leave something out, to omit or overlook a feature of a subject matter or of the world. Philosophical speech is memorial speech because it reminds us of what we have already forgotten or nearly forgotten about experience. The speech of philosophical narrative can never become literal-minded because to act against forgetting is to attempt to hold opposites together. The narrative is always based on a metaphor; a metaphor is always a narrative in brief. The narrative is also the means to overcome controversy, because for the self to overcome an inconsistency of its thoughts it must develop not simply a new argument but a new position, a new narrative in which to contain any new argument.

The self makes itself by speaking to itself, not in the sense of introspection but in the sense of the art of conversation, which is tied to the original meaning of dialectic. On this view, philosophy is not rhetorical simply in its need to resolve controversy, nor is it rhetorical simply in terms of its starting points for rational demonstration. Philosophy is rhetorical in these senses, but it is further rhetorical in its total expression. Any philosophy commands its truth by the way it speaks. Great philosophies speak in a powerful manner that affects both mind and heart. It is common, in the Dialogues, that, after engaging in the elenchos, Socrates says he is unsure whether a claim that seems to be true really is true. His answer is to offer a “likely story.” All philosophies, on my view, are likely stories, which originate in the philosopher’s own autobiography and are attempts to move from this to the autobiography of humanity, to formulate the narrative of human existence in the world and to speak of things human and divine.


Secret Women, Part V


I posted all of those passages [and there are more, so many more] below because they have accumulated in my mind and spurred the coalescence of some vague, unfocused sense of rebellion. There is something in me that wants to not even dignify such passages with commentary, but then I read another book, The Master and Margarita, by Bulgakov, and yet again there is this sort of man's woman -- the perfect woman who will sacrifice everything for her beloved, utter and complete submissiveness. And they are always rewarded for such submissiveness, rewarded not only in the texts themselves, with superficial accolades, but also in being written of at all. These are the women who are written of -- the best of the many sorts of women who are written of. They are lionized, poetized, raised high on pedestals. Even Musil's Claudine sacrifices, though in a funny self-abnegating way, she sacrifices herself, her newly constructed self (the self created around the scaffolding of her marriage and her love). How horrible it all is -- to be so beautiful and yet so terrible.

Secret Women, Part V


I posted all of those passages [and there are more, so many more] below because they have accumulated in my mind and spurred the coalescence of some vague, unfocused sense of rebellion. There is something in me that wants to not even dignify such passages with commentary, but then I read another book, The Master and Margarita, by Bulgakov, and yet again there is this sort of man's woman -- the perfect woman who will sacrifice everything for her beloved, utter and complete submissiveness. And they are always rewarded for such submissiveness, rewarded not only in the texts themselves, with superficial accolades, but also in being written of at all. These are the women who are written of -- the best of the many sorts of women who are written of. They are lionized, poetized, raised high on pedestals. Even Musil's Claudine sacrifices, though in a funny self-abnegating way, she sacrifices herself, her newly constructed self (the self created around the scaffolding of her marriage and her love). How horrible it all is -- to be so beautiful and yet so terrible.

Secret Women, Part IV



She realized that she was not being asked merely to share his bed -- but his whole life, the monomania upon which it was built. Normally, it is only the artist who can offer this strange and selfless contract -- but it is one which no woman worth the name can ever refuse. He was asking, not for her hand in marriage [...] but for her partnership in allegiance to his ruling daimon.

[...]

In this response to a common field of action, Justine was truer to herself than she had ever been, responding as a flower responds to light. And it was now, while they talked quietly and coldly, their heads bent toward each other like flowers, that she could at last say, magnificently: 'Ah, Nessim, I never suspected that I should agree. How did you know that I only exist for those that believe in me?'


He stared at her, thrilled and a little terrified, recognizing in her the perfect submissiveness of the Oriental spirit -- the absolute feminine submissiveness which is one of the strongest forces in the world.


Durell, Mountolive [I've written of this before]

Secret Women, Part IV



She realized that she was not being asked merely to share his bed -- but his whole life, the monomania upon which it was built. Normally, it is only the artist who can offer this strange and selfless contract -- but it is one which no woman worth the name can ever refuse. He was asking, not for her hand in marriage [...] but for her partnership in allegiance to his ruling daimon.

[...]

In this response to a common field of action, Justine was truer to herself than she had ever been, responding as a flower responds to light. And it was now, while they talked quietly and coldly, their heads bent toward each other like flowers, that she could at last say, magnificently: 'Ah, Nessim, I never suspected that I should agree. How did you know that I only exist for those that believe in me?'


He stared at her, thrilled and a little terrified, recognizing in her the perfect submissiveness of the Oriental spirit -- the absolute feminine submissiveness which is one of the strongest forces in the world.


Durell, Mountolive [I've written of this before]

Secret Women, Part III



'You ask a woman: 'Do you love him, then?' and she opens her eyes wide, or even bats them, and replies, 'He loves me so much.' And now try to imagine that sort of answer from a man -- forgive me for correlating the two. Perhaps there are men who would have to answer that way, but they are simply and utterly ridiculous, tied to love's apron strings, to put it epigrammatically. I would like to know what sense of self-worth such a female answer represents. Does a woman feel she owes a boundless subservience to a man who would confer the favor of his love on such a lowly creature, or does she see in the man's love for her an unerring token of his superiority? I've asked myself that question in passing, now and again, in life's quiet moments.'

'Primal, classic questions you've touched on there, young man, with your apt little discourse on holy matters,' Peeperkorn responded. 'Desire intoxicates the male, the female demands and expects to be intoxicated by his desire. Which is the source of our duty to feel. And the source of this terrible disgrace when the feeling is lacking, when there is an inability to awaken the female to desire.'


--Mann, Magic Mountain [Hans to Peeperkorn]

Secret Women, Part III



'You ask a woman: 'Do you love him, then?' and she opens her eyes wide, or even bats them, and replies, 'He loves me so much.' And now try to imagine that sort of answer from a man -- forgive me for correlating the two. Perhaps there are men who would have to answer that way, but they are simply and utterly ridiculous, tied to love's apron strings, to put it epigrammatically. I would like to know what sense of self-worth such a female answer represents. Does a woman feel she owes a boundless subservience to a man who would confer the favor of his love on such a lowly creature, or does she see in the man's love for her an unerring token of his superiority? I've asked myself that question in passing, now and again, in life's quiet moments.'

'Primal, classic questions you've touched on there, young man, with your apt little discourse on holy matters,' Peeperkorn responded. 'Desire intoxicates the male, the female demands and expects to be intoxicated by his desire. Which is the source of our duty to feel. And the source of this terrible disgrace when the feeling is lacking, when there is an inability to awaken the female to desire.'


--Mann, Magic Mountain [Hans to Peeperkorn]

Secret Women, Part II


'Listen! There now exist in society two ways of regarding women. Some men measure the female skull and prove in that way that woman is the inferior of man; they seek out her defects in order to deride her, in order to appear original in her eyes, in order to justify their own bestiality. Others try with all their might to raise woman to their own level; they oblige her to con the three thousand five hundred species and to speak and write the same folly that they speak and write themselves.'

Likariev's face darkened.


'But I tell you that woman always has been and always will be the slave of man,' he said in a deep voice, banging on the table with his fist. 'She is soft and tender wax out of which man has always been able to fashion whatever he had a mind to. Good God! For a man's penny passion she will cut off her hair, desert her family, and die in exile. There is not one feminine principle among all of those for which she has sacrificed herself. She is a defenceless, devoted slave. I have measured no skulls, but I say this from grievous, bitter experience. The proudest, the most independent of women, if I can but succeed in communicating my passion to her, will follow me unreasoningly, unquestioningly, doing all I desire. [...]


'It is a noble, an exalted bondage!' he cried, clasping his hands. 'In that bondage lies the loftiest significance of woman's existence. Of all the terrible absurdities that filled my brain during my intercourse with women, my memory has retained, like a filter, not theories nor wise words nor philosophy, but that extraordinary submission, that wonderful compassion, that universal forgiveness -- '

Likariev clinched his hands, fixed his eyes on one spot, and with a sort of passionate tension, as if he were sucking at each word, muttered between set teeth: 'This -- this magnanimous toleration, this faithfulness unto death, this poetry of the heart -- The meaning of life lies in this uncomplaining martyrdom, in this all-pardoning love that brings light and warmth into the chaos of life --'


Chekhov, 'On the Way'

Secret Women, Part II


'Listen! There now exist in society two ways of regarding women. Some men measure the female skull and prove in that way that woman is the inferior of man; they seek out her defects in order to deride her, in order to appear original in her eyes, in order to justify their own bestiality. Others try with all their might to raise woman to their own level; they oblige her to con the three thousand five hundred species and to speak and write the same folly that they speak and write themselves.'

Likariev's face darkened.


'But I tell you that woman always has been and always will be the slave of man,' he said in a deep voice, banging on the table with his fist. 'She is soft and tender wax out of which man has always been able to fashion whatever he had a mind to. Good God! For a man's penny passion she will cut off her hair, desert her family, and die in exile. There is not one feminine principle among all of those for which she has sacrificed herself. She is a defenceless, devoted slave. I have measured no skulls, but I say this from grievous, bitter experience. The proudest, the most independent of women, if I can but succeed in communicating my passion to her, will follow me unreasoningly, unquestioningly, doing all I desire. [...]


'It is a noble, an exalted bondage!' he cried, clasping his hands. 'In that bondage lies the loftiest significance of woman's existence. Of all the terrible absurdities that filled my brain during my intercourse with women, my memory has retained, like a filter, not theories nor wise words nor philosophy, but that extraordinary submission, that wonderful compassion, that universal forgiveness -- '

Likariev clinched his hands, fixed his eyes on one spot, and with a sort of passionate tension, as if he were sucking at each word, muttered between set teeth: 'This -- this magnanimous toleration, this faithfulness unto death, this poetry of the heart -- The meaning of life lies in this uncomplaining martyrdom, in this all-pardoning love that brings light and warmth into the chaos of life --'


Chekhov, 'On the Way'

Secret Women


[Dürer's Eve]
She fell silent, and in this moment had something of the aura of one of Dürer's female figures, a sort of night-bird shyness, a flying-over-the-seas-in-the-dark, a soft inner whimpering.

--Walser, The Robber

It is morning and I read Bachmann's poems and not papers on Identity Theory. I read 'Songs in Flight' -- I read and I too fly, I too soar.

I read:

But I lie alone,
wounds fill an abbatis of ice.

The snow upon me
has not yet sealed my eyes.

The dead pressed against me
are silent, no matter the tongue.

No one loves me,
no lamp for me is hung.


I think of Lucy Snowe, my forgotten heroine. Shall I read Villette again? I think also of Charlotte Brontë -- I think of her well-loved dead, the dead she could never resurrect, not even with so much attentive ministrations. I think also of her women, my secret women in a way -- her Jane and Lucy, but also the oft-overlooked Marina and Elizabeth. Elizabeth figures in an early novella, 'Captain Henry Hastings' --

Here was a being made up of intense emotions—in her ordinary course of life always smothered under the diffidence of prudence & a skilful address, but now when her affections were about to suffer almost a death-stab—when incidents of strange excitement were transpiring around her—on the point of bursting forth like lava— still she struggled to keep wrapt about her the veil of reserve & propriety.

These were Charlotte's women, they were fiery, passionate, artistic, but veiled, always veiled. They are buried deep under snows, buried deep in earth, but always buried. They disguise themselves, feign, dissemble, do whatever it takes to protect that smoldering fire that burns in their breast. Even triumphant Jane is buried at the end, sequestered away from the world with her beloved, broken Rochester. She has her triumph of course -- she addresses her spirit to his spirit, prevents that cup of living water from being dashed from her lips, preserves herself from infamy and scorn, but in the end her reward amounts to a live burial.

Jane's return to Thornfield is suffused with death imagery. Thornfield itself is a wreck, a burnt shell of what it had previously been: And there was the silence of death about it: the solitude of a lonesome wild. She leaves this site of death and destruction to continue her search for Mr. Rochester. As she progresses, she retreats further and further from the world. Ferndean, Mr. Rochester’s new location, is remote, desolate, and, deep buried in a wood. Jane must navigate the gloomy wood that surrounds it, winding further and further into isolation. She arrives at the gate and then the house: So dank and green were its decaying walls. Entering a portal, fastened only by a latch, I stood amidst a space of enclosed ground, from which the wood swept away in a semicircle…‘Can there be life here?’ I asked.

Yes, life can exist, but only in a mitigated sense. Jane has returned to her master only to find him maimed and blind. He too has passed close to death, emerging with his life, but altered. Jane and Mr. Rochester are reunited through near-death experiences, a spiritual communication, and the power of burial. The needs of each only serve to bring them closer together, to fuse their spirits into one: No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. Jane has reconciled the two sides of her nature that had so often opposed one another, her reason and her imagination, but she has only done this in the setting of a burial. Jane lives in a metaphorical grave, buried from the world and sharing her life with only one other person. Just as she had foretold in her passionate speech to Mr. Rochester, it is her spirit addressing his spirit as equals, but only as if both had passed through the grave.

There is so much more to say about Charlotte, about her women, about the only path she had available. I look back on the writing I did about this years ago, my massive thesis on Charlotte, Villette and death -- on the problem of suppressed passion -- and I wonder how whether that project chose me, or if I chose that project.

And then I turn back to Bachmann, I read:
We entered enchanted rooms
and illuminated the dark
with our fingertips.

And again I am transported --

Secret Women


[Dürer's Eve]
She fell silent, and in this moment had something of the aura of one of Dürer's female figures, a sort of night-bird shyness, a flying-over-the-seas-in-the-dark, a soft inner whimpering.

--Walser, The Robber

It is morning and I read Bachmann's poems and not papers on Identity Theory. I read 'Songs in Flight' -- I read and I too fly, I too soar.

I read:

But I lie alone,
wounds fill an abbatis of ice.

The snow upon me
has not yet sealed my eyes.

The dead pressed against me
are silent, no matter the tongue.

No one loves me,
no lamp for me is hung.


I think of Lucy Snowe, my forgotten heroine. Shall I read Villette again? I think also of Charlotte Brontë -- I think of her well-loved dead, the dead she could never resurrect, not even with so much attentive ministrations. I think also of her women, my secret women in a way -- her Jane and Lucy, but also the oft-overlooked Marina and Elizabeth. Elizabeth figures in an early novella, 'Captain Henry Hastings' --

Here was a being made up of intense emotions—in her ordinary course of life always smothered under the diffidence of prudence & a skilful address, but now when her affections were about to suffer almost a death-stab—when incidents of strange excitement were transpiring around her—on the point of bursting forth like lava— still she struggled to keep wrapt about her the veil of reserve & propriety.

These were Charlotte's women, they were fiery, passionate, artistic, but veiled, always veiled. They are buried deep under snows, buried deep in earth, but always buried. They disguise themselves, feign, dissemble, do whatever it takes to protect that smoldering fire that burns in their breast. Even triumphant Jane is buried at the end, sequestered away from the world with her beloved, broken Rochester. She has her triumph of course -- she addresses her spirit to his spirit, prevents that cup of living water from being dashed from her lips, preserves herself from infamy and scorn, but in the end her reward amounts to a live burial.

Jane's return to Thornfield is suffused with death imagery. Thornfield itself is a wreck, a burnt shell of what it had previously been: And there was the silence of death about it: the solitude of a lonesome wild. She leaves this site of death and destruction to continue her search for Mr. Rochester. As she progresses, she retreats further and further from the world. Ferndean, Mr. Rochester’s new location, is remote, desolate, and, deep buried in a wood. Jane must navigate the gloomy wood that surrounds it, winding further and further into isolation. She arrives at the gate and then the house: So dank and green were its decaying walls. Entering a portal, fastened only by a latch, I stood amidst a space of enclosed ground, from which the wood swept away in a semicircle…‘Can there be life here?’ I asked.

Yes, life can exist, but only in a mitigated sense. Jane has returned to her master only to find him maimed and blind. He too has passed close to death, emerging with his life, but altered. Jane and Mr. Rochester are reunited through near-death experiences, a spiritual communication, and the power of burial. The needs of each only serve to bring them closer together, to fuse their spirits into one: No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. Jane has reconciled the two sides of her nature that had so often opposed one another, her reason and her imagination, but she has only done this in the setting of a burial. Jane lives in a metaphorical grave, buried from the world and sharing her life with only one other person. Just as she had foretold in her passionate speech to Mr. Rochester, it is her spirit addressing his spirit as equals, but only as if both had passed through the grave.

There is so much more to say about Charlotte, about her women, about the only path she had available. I look back on the writing I did about this years ago, my massive thesis on Charlotte, Villette and death -- on the problem of suppressed passion -- and I wonder how whether that project chose me, or if I chose that project.

And then I turn back to Bachmann, I read:
We entered enchanted rooms
and illuminated the dark
with our fingertips.

And again I am transported --

Weird Buildings around the world and two friendship stories...

Hi Folks,

I received todays pictures from my brother-in-law in the form of loads of photos . Weird and wonderful buildings around the world . There are some 50 images and some of them are real crackers! I have only shown a few here ... Have a decco - which ones do you prefer and which ones are of buildings where you would prefer not to live nearby - there are a few of them as far as I can see hehehe...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
This next item was in my Friendship Book .......
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
When we moved into our house the previous tenants had left a special heat-giving bulb in the bathroom. It was much bigger than the normal lightbulbs, but we grew to like it as it helped to take the chill off the room.

One time my seven-year-old son was in the shower over the bath when the phone rang. The phone was in the next room so I felt it was safe to take the call and shout through every few minutes to make sure he was okay.

Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to open a window for the steam and I think that's what caused the problem. I was in mid-chat when there was a loud bang and the house was plunged into darkness. My son screamed and I rushed through to the bathroom to find a traumatised wee boy in floods of tears, clutching on the shower curtain for dear life.

The bulb had exploded, showering the room with shards of glass. "It's OK, Mummy's here" I said, tiptoeing through the mess before carefully rescuing him and carrying him through in the dark to his bedroom.

Apart from a few slithers of glass in his hair I'm glad to report he was unhurt, physically at least. However, the whole frightening experience put my son off having a shower for weeks and I'd an awful job going over the floor and bath to make sure I had every last piece of glass picked up...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Tuesday, January, 20, 2009...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
This date will go down as one of the biggest days in history, with the inauguration of Barack Obama as America's first African-American president.

The occasion was the topic of many a conversation that day. I was speaking about it with my friend Shirley. She said Obama has a huge job on his hands, with an enormous weight of responsibility and expectation. She wondered how on earth he sleeps at night.

But then she answered her own question. She had read a bit about the President's background and history. He has had his share of troubles and difficult times. And what has always got him through, said Shirley, has been his faith, his honesty and courage in facing challenges, and the company of those he loves.

Listening to her, I felt full of optimism. These are the things that can help anybody deal with their own life and look after those around them.. I'm sure President Obama will have all he needs to succeed in making the world a better place for us all.




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

I will say nothing at all


[Turner]


It's now so long between posts. I tried this morning to sit down and write something out, but it turned loose and unstructured and so I shuffled it off to that other place where I write. I still question the separateness -- why write in two places? Why not write in one place in many ways? But then I began writing something else here, something which I will work on and complete tomorrow, for that is the plan.

I spent today constructing proof after proof. I find that they are coming swiftly now, a truly learned skill. I also spent the day strumming my new, borrowed guitar. Playing the simple chord progressions of the songs that haunt my mind and my twilight hours.

And I also reopened Time Regained, but it was too soon. I have these markers in my mind which stand to serve as guideposts -- it is not yet time for a return to artwork, to the creative process. First I must finish this work on love -- funny phrase. But there is Musil's story to complete, and I wonder what I can see about it now, now that my gaze has changed. But it's frustrating -- I can't find footing here, here amongst these literary words. How did I find my footing with Woolf, I wonder? I read her diaries, of course. And so I gather Musil's diaries, gather his short essays and non-fiction, prepare myself to study. And I fail. There is so little mental energy left. So little after these professional forays into papers that I will promptly forget. I've written of this before, lamenting my current state, and so I won't repeat that again.

But it really does require something utterly different -- to read a story that is. To try and understand a story is to try and gain access to the lyrical validity, to try and immerse oneself in the climate created by a text. To immerse. It's impossible to read and maintain some professional detachment. But perhaps that's true only for me, or, rather, true only for certain texts. And I remember struggling to find this place of immersion before, with Proust and when my mind was benumbed with legal intricacies and a burgeoning social life. And it happens again, though now it is 'philosophy' which drags my mind away. I am realizing now that what I used to call philosophy is something utterly different. I made the student-mistake of believing that philosophy really was about learning to live one's life well. And I continue to make it every day that I maintain my distance from this field, every day that I maintain my skepticism.

And the great irony is that one can do this new philosophy 'well' and never for a moment assent to it. And this is why I now see my time here as professional training -- technical training. It will be learned, absorbed, made habitual and promptly lost. But I'm young still, and perhaps this is just necessary field work.

I will say nothing at all


[Turner]


It's now so long between posts. I tried this morning to sit down and write something out, but it turned loose and unstructured and so I shuffled it off to that other place where I write. I still question the separateness -- why write in two places? Why not write in one place in many ways? But then I began writing something else here, something which I will work on and complete tomorrow, for that is the plan.

I spent today constructing proof after proof. I find that they are coming swiftly now, a truly learned skill. I also spent the day strumming my new, borrowed guitar. Playing the simple chord progressions of the songs that haunt my mind and my twilight hours.

And I also reopened Time Regained, but it was too soon. I have these markers in my mind which stand to serve as guideposts -- it is not yet time for a return to artwork, to the creative process. First I must finish this work on love -- funny phrase. But there is Musil's story to complete, and I wonder what I can see about it now, now that my gaze has changed. But it's frustrating -- I can't find footing here, here amongst these literary words. How did I find my footing with Woolf, I wonder? I read her diaries, of course. And so I gather Musil's diaries, gather his short essays and non-fiction, prepare myself to study. And I fail. There is so little mental energy left. So little after these professional forays into papers that I will promptly forget. I've written of this before, lamenting my current state, and so I won't repeat that again.

But it really does require something utterly different -- to read a story that is. To try and understand a story is to try and gain access to the lyrical validity, to try and immerse oneself in the climate created by a text. To immerse. It's impossible to read and maintain some professional detachment. But perhaps that's true only for me, or, rather, true only for certain texts. And I remember struggling to find this place of immersion before, with Proust and when my mind was benumbed with legal intricacies and a burgeoning social life. And it happens again, though now it is 'philosophy' which drags my mind away. I am realizing now that what I used to call philosophy is something utterly different. I made the student-mistake of believing that philosophy really was about learning to live one's life well. And I continue to make it every day that I maintain my distance from this field, every day that I maintain my skepticism.

And the great irony is that one can do this new philosophy 'well' and never for a moment assent to it. And this is why I now see my time here as professional training -- technical training. It will be learned, absorbed, made habitual and promptly lost. But I'm young still, and perhaps this is just necessary field work.

Thank you, Gambler

Kenny Rogers Pictures, Images and Photos

According to pitching coach, Rick Knapp, Kenny Rogers has decided to retire. 2006 never would have happened without Kenny. He was the f'n man during the playoffs. Thanks, Kenny, and enjoy your well deserved retirement. Just be sure to wipe the crap off your hands in civilian life.


Edit: It's also just come out that Sean Casey's calling it quits, too. Odd that the only two guys that showed up in the '06 Word Series for us announce their retirements at the same time. Sean's taking a job with the MLB Network and I look forward to seeing him there.

Good luck to Kenny, Sean, and Jonesey, too. If he starts out the season rough, try and take Sheff with you.

Happy Chinese New Year and Silly Saturday Funnies.

YA GOTTA LOVE THOSE QUICK THINKING ITALIAN POLICE
For what reason is the Police Officer pulling these people over ?

How long did it take you to realize that she's not wearing a helmet !!
I got it wrong too !!
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Chinese New Year is Jan 26th...

For most of us, it's a time for us to get together and talk about our past, present , and future. Like the Scottish the Chinese New Year is a very important time. In China it's very much like Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one for Americans...

I wanted to say "Happy New Year" to any Chinese speaking folk who were having a quick decco here - so I'll say it as it sounds ...... " GOONG HAY FAT CHOY " !! (with apologies for the spelling).


- A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.- Confucius
- A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
- He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
- If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
- When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
- The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- If you bow at all, bow low.
- A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
- Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one.
- Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous. Confucius
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NAILS IN THE FENCE
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There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ' You Have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Remember that friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.'
As it's National Friendship Week show your friends how much you care.
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A fireman is polishing his fire engine outside the fire station when he notices a little girl next door in a little red cart with little ladders hung on the side and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle. The little girl is wearing a fireman's helmet and has the cart tied to a dog and a cat. The fire-fighter walks over to take a closer look:
'That's alovely fire engine,' he says admiringly. 'Thanks,' says the little girl. The fireman looks closer and notices the little girl has tied one of the cart's strings to the dog'scollar and one to the cat's testicles . 'Little colleague,' says the fire-fighter, 'I don't want to tell you how to run your fire engine, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat's collar, I think you could probably go a lot faster.'
The little girl pauses for a moment, looks at the wagon, at the dog and at the cat, then shyly looks into the fireman's eyes and says: Yeah ! you're probably right, but then I wouldn't have a 'screeching' siren, would I?' Uh Oh !!!

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