Blethers...

Hi there Folks ......

It's mine - No! it's mine ...... Hey! No it's not - it's mine !!!

Hi Folks,


This first item is written in 'Scots' and if anyone should require translation I would be happy to oblige and explain - though I doubt if anyone would need it - which reminds me , when Susan Boyle was being interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey show the other week she had the nerve to put up subtitles ! surely people in these days of worldwide travel folk don't need translations - In order to cover this eventuality, I have typed a translation of the children's comments at the school below !

Our Prime Minister GORDON BROWN was visiting a Scottish primary school and he called in at one of the classrooms. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked Mr. Brown if he would like to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy'. So 'our illustrious leader ' asked the class for an example of a 'tragedy'.
***A little boy stood up and offered: 'If ma best freen, wha lives on a fairm, is playin' in the field an' a tractor rins ower him and kills him, that wid be a 'tragedy.' ' 'No', said Gordon - 'that would be an accident.' A little girl raised her hand: 'If a skale bus kerryin' fufty children drove ower a cliff, killing a'b'dy inside, that wid be a tragedy' 'I'm afraid not', explained Gordon - 'that's what we would call a 'great loss'' .
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Gordon searched the room. 'Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?' Finally, at the back of the room, wee Johnny raised his hand... In a quiet voice he said: 'If a plane kerryin' you and Mr. Darlin' (The Chancellor of the Exchequer) wis struck by a 'freendly fire' missile & blawn tae smithereens, that wid be a tragedy.' 'Fantastic!' exclaimed Gordon. 'That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?'
'Weel,' says wee Johnny 'it his tae be a tragedy, because it certainly widnae be a great loss.....
and it probably widnae be a flippen accident either! ***
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Translation
(Broad Scots to English).
~~~~~~~~~
***A little boy stood up and offered: 'If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playin' in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a 'tragedy.' ' 'No', said Gordon - 'that would be an accident.' A little girl raised her hand: 'If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everybody inside, that would be a tragedy' 'I'm afraid not', explained Gordon - 'that's what we would call a 'great loss''.
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Gordon searched the room. 'Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?' Finally, at the back of the room, wee Johnny raised his hand... In a quiet voice he said: 'If a plane carrying you and Mr. Darling (The Chancellor of the Exchequer) was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to small pieces, that would be a tragedy.' 'Fantastic!' exclaimed Gordon. 'That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?'
'Well,' said wee Johnny 'it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss.....and it probably wouldn't be a ruddy accident either! ***
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Butt Dust...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
What, you ask, is 'Butt dust'? Read on and you'll discover the joy in it! These are original and genuine. No adult is 'this' creative !

JACK (age 3) was watching his Mum breast-feeding his new baby sister. After a while he asked: 'Mum why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?'

MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. Melanie said, 'If you don't remember you must look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six.'
STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mum good night. 'I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window.'

BRITTANY (age 4) had an ear ache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mum explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: 'How does it know it's me?'

SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. 'Please don't give me this juice again,' she said, 'It makes my teeth cough.'

CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried When his Mum asked what was troubling him, he replied, 'I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in it?'

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: 'Why is he whispering in her mouth?'

TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mum knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, 'Why doesn't your skin fit your face?'

JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: 'The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.' Concerned, James asked: 'What happened to the flea?'

The Sermon is one I think this Mum will never forget .. This particular Sunday sermon...'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust...' He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mum, what is butt dust?'


and on that 'happy and childlike note' I will say Cheers to All from the land of the Tartan, Lots of
Love Kate xxx.

I'm Back - Blethering and letting my fingers roam the keys !

Dorien in her glory at the park across the road from her flat with a 'wee one' ( my second youngest Grandson Kai ).


Hi Folks,
Firstly, can I say thanks to everybody who messaged me in the last week or so, your kind words meant a lot. The arrangements made went as well as they could and it was good to meet up with friends and relatives whom we had not been in contact with for some time.

The Minister who conducted and led the service was a bit of a character who came across as a real gem and helped all of us (family members) through the delicate and difficult parts of the 'saying goodbye' as competently and as helpfully as he could and he did so with a sense of humour too - which is quite unusual for a man of the cloth but which helped our family cope enormously.
The only thing about something like this is all the loose ends which have to be tidied up - like the flat to be emptied, Dorien's jewellery sorted out and gifted, the furniture to be got rid of, anything which can be given to charity shops etc., plus all the utility services who have to be informed . It was, I must admit, a bit daunting for me as I had never had to deal with anything like this before and without my family helping it would have been impossible.

The foregoing apart - to have to face dealing with this business without the company of Dorien herself though makes me realize just how much I relied on her - even just to complain to or offload 'my' fed-up feelings and 'my' moans about being taken for granted.. Right now I'm finding it difficult trying to see my way out of this murky great black cloud which has decended.

Oh, how my face burns with embarrassment when I think of the times when 'I' moaned and got things off 'my' chest to her! I'm not making her out to be an angel - well, not when she was here at any rate... But she did the same to me too ! I suppose that's what most sisters and friends do though isn't it ? It's only when something like this happens that you suddenly are brought up with a short sharp shock !

I must admit that I miss Dorien dreadfully already but I am thankful that she is now at peace and in no more pain and that she had a peaceful journey in her passing.

The last four months have fairly taken a toll - I'd hate to think how difficult it is for people who are on their own dealing with the friends and relatives in the same position and I'm intending to try and figure out a way of doing some kind of voluntary work - yeah folks ! even at my ancient age !! Rob and I are going to try to get away for a few days after all the business part of this is over and I must admit I am kind of looking forward to getting some sea air and seeing some sea views.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

This wee poem was one which 'The Minister' recited at the service and I thought it quite meaningful .... As I said already he was a bit of a character and I felt and was told later that he spoke the words directly to and at me. I had never heard the poem before but I must admit that I have gained some comfort from it and hope that anyone in the same position reading it here will also appreciate it.
Miss me, but let me go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no tears in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – But not for long
And not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me – But let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone,
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to your friends that we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good works,
Miss me – But let me go.



With Love from the land of the Tartan and from me ! xxxxxx.

2009 1st Quarter Report

43 games in, a bit over a quarter into the season, we're sitting pretty at 25-18, good enough for first place and a 4 game lead in the divison. Eat that, MLB experts. Imagine where we'd be if we had a bit of offense along the way, huh? But here's my votes on a few individual catagories early in the year.

Nicest Surprise
There's a few decent contenders here including Brandon Inge, Fernando Rodney, and Edwin Jackson, but I'm going to go with the offensive play of our shortstop duo, Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago. Combined, they are hitting .319 with 4 homers and an impressive 35 RBIs. Who'd have projected that for the first quarter? These guys have been awesome in the field, as advertised, but providing the offensive spark that's been missing from most of our big names is a large part of why we're in first place. A close second place, in my opinion, has been Young Dreamboat Rick Porcello, who's looked much better than a guy that hasn't pitched above A Ball.

Biggest Disappointment
It's odd to have so many disappointments on a first place club. From Guillen to Ordonez, to Granderson and Polanco, we have a bunch of guys off to slow starts at the plate. But overall, I'm going with a pitcher, Armando Galarraga, here. He started well, but he'd been dreadful the past few weeks. Armando was probably our "ace" on last year's underwhelming staff, but this year, he's become the weak link. He's 3-4 with a 5.74 ERA and in danger of leaving the rotation when Jeremy Bonderman returns in the coming week or two. Basically, Armando's become this year's Nate Robertson...not a good thing.

Comeback of the Year
If Dontrelle Willis continues to impress, he may well wrap this award up for the entire league by season's end. But right now, I'm going with Justin Verlander. JV's pitching like the ace we all hoped he'd become once again. After today's stellar performance, he's 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA, leading the AL with 85 strikeouts. Last year's 11-17, 4.84 ERA performance is becoming a distant memory as Verlander's been baseball's best pitcher not named Zach Greinke the past month.

Coach of the Year
When the pitching's good, the pitching coach looks like a genius. When it's bad, the pitching coach becomes a scapegoat. Ask Chuck Hernandez about that. We've been outstanding this year, so Rick Knapp gets this award. He came to us from the Twins organization with a reputation of harping on guys about throwing strikes. And that's just what he's done with guys like Verlander, Jackson, and Zumaya. Walks and ERAs are down and wins are up. Thank you, Rick Knapp.

Best Pitcher
With all due respect to Mr. Verlander's May success, Edwin Jackson has been top notch all season. EJax is 4-2 with an unbelievable 2.55 ERA in 9 starts so far. His wildness has been a thing of the past and he's finally living up to the potential the Dodgers thought he had as a youngster. The man much of Tiger Town groaned about when Matt Joyce was traded to Tampa has been having a career year in Motown. Here's to hoping he keeps it up.

Worst Pitcher
The "Nate Award" so far this year goes to Brandon Lyon. The man was acquired to be our closer and instead has an ERA of nearly 6 while giving up 19 hits (4 homers) in only 19.2 innings. Worse, the man who was known for his good control has given up an alarming 11 walks so far. The Tigers took a chance on Mr. Lyon this offseason, and he just hasn't panned out. Luckily, while looking scary at times, Fernando Rodney has gone 8/8 in save opportunities so far to be the man Lyon was supposed to be.

Best Hitter
You can't stop Miguel Cabrera...you can only hope to contain him. Entering today, the big man was hitting .367 with 9 homers and 33 RBIs. If we could get some hitting in front and/or behind him, those numbers could be even scarier. The man is simply a beast and a yearly MVP candidate while still being in his mid 20's. Getting Cabrera for a bunch of prospects that have yet to work out in Florida might be the best deal Double D has ever pulled off. On top of that, Cabrera has shown huge improvements on defense over at first, putting the icing on the cake for him.

Worst Hitter
Mr. Misty-May was on his way to winning this award going 0-13 as a Tiger before ending his season with an injury, but I'm going with his replacement, Dane Sardinha. Dane's hitting a dismal .095, 0, 2, in 21 at bats so far. I've never seen a major league player look more lost than Sardinha does at the plate. He's also struck out 10 times in those 21 at bats. The kid called "Pineapple" calls a decent game, but we might as well have our pitcher hitting on the days Gerald Laird needs a rest.

Team MVP
Cabrera's an easy pick here, but...God help me...I'm picking Brandon Inge as the MVP of the first quarter of the 2009 season. The guy is playing way over his head hitting .271 (slugging .556) entering today with 12 homers, 31 RBIs, and most importantly, playing a Gold Glove third base. Inge has become Mr. Web Gem this season. He's getting the big hit when most guys not named Cabrera aren't getting the job done. What else can I say? Maybe the 13 year old girls were right all along.

It's been a fun start to the 2009 season in Tiger Town. The Tigers are winning with pitching and defense, something that never seems to happen in Detroit. Things continue to look up with Bondo and Thames coming back from injury and Magglio Ordonez starting to heat up at the plate. If we can get Granderson hitting again and get something out of Carlos Guillen when he comes back, perhaps this team can fulfill the expectations that last year's team had coming into the season. But I'm getting WAY ahead of myself here...keep up the good work, guys.

Three

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A single word



Bad Habits

One such is the need to ponder every living thing with which I am confronted. The slightest encounter arouses in me the most peculiar urge to think. [...] I am possibly a somewhat high-strung person, but I am also a precise one. I feel even the most trifling losses, in certain matters I am meticulously conscientious and only occasionally am I obliged, for better or worse, to command myself: Forget this! A single word can thrust me into the most monstrous and tempestuous confusion, and then I find myself utterly possessed by thoughts of this apparently minuscule and insignificant thing, while the present in all its glory has become incomprehensible to me. These moments constitute a bad habit.


This little letter -- for it is a letter that young Joseph Marti writes to himself and then discards into the wastebasket of the small, yet well-appointed technical office, located on-site at the Evening Star villa -- this little letter so sums up these lovely stories of Robert Walser's. This next passage does as well:

What swimming person, provided he is not about to drown, can help being in excellent spirits? It appeared to him as if the gay, warm, smooth surface of the lake were taking, vaulted shape. The water was simultaneously cool and tepid. Perhaps a faint breath of wind came whispering across it, or else a bird flew above past his head, high up in the air. Once he came close to a small boat; a single man was sitting in it, a fisherman peacefully fishing and rocking away his Sunday. What softness, what shimmering light. And with your naked, sensation-filled arm, you slice into this wet, clean benevolent element. With every stroke of your legs, you advance a bit further in this beautiful deep wetness. From below, you are buoyed up by warm and chilly currents. You plunge your head briefly beneath the water to irrigate the excitement in your breast, squeezing shut your mouth and eyes and breath, so as to feel this delightful sensation in your entire body.
Walser writes so easily, so effortlessly -- all is simple and yet strange -- all is poetic, verging on purple and yet never, ever falling on that side. There is so much celebration! so much silliness, so much beautiful longing and love for the world just as it is, seen through the eyes of a young man who is so self-aware, so reckless, so lovable.

A single word



Bad Habits

One such is the need to ponder every living thing with which I am confronted. The slightest encounter arouses in me the most peculiar urge to think. [...] I am possibly a somewhat high-strung person, but I am also a precise one. I feel even the most trifling losses, in certain matters I am meticulously conscientious and only occasionally am I obliged, for better or worse, to command myself: Forget this! A single word can thrust me into the most monstrous and tempestuous confusion, and then I find myself utterly possessed by thoughts of this apparently minuscule and insignificant thing, while the present in all its glory has become incomprehensible to me. These moments constitute a bad habit.


This little letter -- for it is a letter that young Joseph Marti writes to himself and then discards into the wastebasket of the small, yet well-appointed technical office, located on-site at the Evening Star villa -- this little letter so sums up these lovely stories of Robert Walser's. This next passage does as well:

What swimming person, provided he is not about to drown, can help being in excellent spirits? It appeared to him as if the gay, warm, smooth surface of the lake were taking, vaulted shape. The water was simultaneously cool and tepid. Perhaps a faint breath of wind came whispering across it, or else a bird flew above past his head, high up in the air. Once he came close to a small boat; a single man was sitting in it, a fisherman peacefully fishing and rocking away his Sunday. What softness, what shimmering light. And with your naked, sensation-filled arm, you slice into this wet, clean benevolent element. With every stroke of your legs, you advance a bit further in this beautiful deep wetness. From below, you are buoyed up by warm and chilly currents. You plunge your head briefly beneath the water to irrigate the excitement in your breast, squeezing shut your mouth and eyes and breath, so as to feel this delightful sensation in your entire body.
Walser writes so easily, so effortlessly -- all is simple and yet strange -- all is poetic, verging on purple and yet never, ever falling on that side. There is so much celebration! so much silliness, so much beautiful longing and love for the world just as it is, seen through the eyes of a young man who is so self-aware, so reckless, so lovable.

Catfight: Sheff vs. Clete

It's a Battle of the Titans as I compare our old #3 guy to our, sigh, new #3 guy. It's Gary Sheffield vs. Clete Thomas! Gary's numbers are currently .257, 3, 9, .396, .459 in 74 at bats in New York, while Clete's hitting .286, 1, 6, .375, .429 in 56 at bats. Gary has the early lead, but we can go deeper than that, can't we?

1. Looks
Sheff: Like a man-beast.
Clete: Constipated.
Advantage: Sheffield.

2. Major League Teams
Sheff: Has played for 8 of them.
Clete: 8 have heard of him.
Advangage: Sheffield.

3. All Star Games
Sheff: Played in 9.
Clete: Voted in 4.
Advantage: Sheffield.

4. 500+
Sheff: Homers and counting.
Clete: Cult Members.
Advantage: Sheffield.

5. Walks
Sheff: 70-100 times per year.
Clete: To the bus stop to get to the balkpark.
Advantage: Sheffield

6. The Cream
Sheff: Took with Barry Bonds.
Clete: Now shaves TWICE a week!
Advantage: Clete. No one wins with PEDs.

7. Favorite Uncle
Sheff: Dwight Gooden
Clete: Uncle Pete?
Advantage: Clete. Say no to drugs, kids.

8. Defense
Sheff: 1 error the past two years.
Clete: 4 errors the past two years.
Advantage: Clete. C'mon...I've played about as much MLB outfield as Gary has the past two years.

9. Latinos
Sheff: Says they're easy to control.
Clete: Controlled by the Venezuelans.
Advantage: Clete. Can't go against Magglio.

10. Costing Us
Sheff: $13.6 million to play in New York
Clete: Probably the minimum
Advangage: Clete. Bang for the buck.

And Clete comes from behind to...tie? We need a tie breaker...

11. Scrappy
Clete: Term used to describe him.
Gary: His drug dealer's nickname.
Advantage and winner: CLETE!

Well, the numbers don't lie. I guess I should shut up over my disgust over Gary leaving as Michael Clete Thomas has come out on top in the end.

Tonight: Game 2 against the Colorado Grillis. Can we win 8 in a row?

A Month Late: Adios, Timo.

timo perez Pictures, Images and Photos

Timo Perez has been a favorite of mine for a couple years. I was somehow hoping that he'd make the team this year out of Spring Training. He did hit .333, 1, 5 in Lakeland with a .345 OBP. But a 34 year old journeyman outfielder that's played for 4 teams with non-superstar success isn't going to high on the priority list when there's kids to take a look at. But I still rooted. He didn't make it...and I guess I kinda forgot about him.

Until today. Wilkin Ramirez made his debut yesterday and did well crushing the first homerun of his career in his first MLB game. I can't wait to see more of the kid. But with Sheff being released, along with Thames and Guillen going down, I started thinking, why can't Timo get a call up? Raburn, Larish, and Clete are doing well, but Timo's my boy. Leyland even called Perez the best pinch hitter on the team this spring. Then it dawned on me...I haven't heard anything on him with the Hens this year. I am a moron.

Timo was designated for assignment in April and I'm not sure if he didn't accept it or they ended up releasing him. (Wikipedia says released.) I had thought for sure that he was heading to the Hens again, but I guess not. He's currently playing in the Mexican League for Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. Timo's hitting .302, 1, 10 with a .393 OBP. No big surprise...that's what Timo does. In '07 with us, he was one of the few that didn't quit at the end of the year hitting .389, 0, 13, .427. Last year with the Hens, he hit .302, 13, 63, .374. What's he doing in Mexico? The Nationals couldn't use someone like him?

I'll miss you, Timo. There has to be a place for a guy like you in the Major Leagues. Sorry I forgot about you for a while. Won't happen again.

And that will be my Rick Reilly-ish jibberish for THIS month. Please tune in next time when I'll most likely be back to my usual poop humor. Good luck, Timo. Someone should have started you a Cult.

The wine-dark ivy



How many have read Oedipus Rex and not read Oedipus at Colonus?


In his first lines in Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus reveals the following fact:

Suffering and time,
Vast time, have been instructors in contentment,
Which kingliness teaches too.


This play is about will and fate; about struggle and acceptance; about character and nobility. Oedipus and Theseus -- both exiled, both governed by fate -- how are they different, how are they the same?

Oedipus will die with contentment -- this tragedy is about the end of action, about transitions and acceptance -- he has been pursued by fate for all his life -- the fate which forced his hand at every turn. Oedipus will die in the grove sacred to the Eumenides -- the gentle-hearted -- Oedipus will die in the grove sacred to the Furies -- the relentless:


Ladies whose eyes
Are terrible: Spirits: upon your sacred ground
I have first bent my knees in this new land;
Therefore be mindful of me and of Apollo,

For when he gave me oracles of evil,

He also spoke of this:

A resting place,
After long years, in the last country, where
I should find home among the sacred Furies:

That there I might round out my bitter life,

Conferring benefit on those who received me,

A curse on those who have driven me away.

Oedipus was given portents and signs to tell him of this day. The Fates guided him, 'with feathery influence' to this final place, and here he is -- in Athens. He has come to pass on a blessing to one who will receive it, one who gives the wanderer, the cursed shelter -- Theseus.

I come to give you something, and the gift
Is my own beaten self: no feast for the eyes;
Yet in me is a more lasting grace than beauty.

[...]

I shall disclose to you, O son of Aegeus,
What is appointed for you and for your city:
A thing that age will never wear away.
Presently now, without a soul to guide me,
I'll lead you to the place where I must die;

But you must never tell it to any man,

Not even the neighborhood in which it lies.

If you obey, this will count more for you

Than many shields and many neighbors' spears.

These things are mysteries, not to be explained;

But you will understand when you come there

Alone. Alone, because I cannot disclose it
To any of your men or to my children,
Much as I love and cherish them. But you

Keep it secret always, and when you come
To the end of life, then you must hand it on


[...]

For every nation that lives peaceably,

There will be many others to grow hard

And push their arrogance to extremes: the gods

Attend to these things slowly. But the attend

To those who put off God and turn to madness!

You have no mind for that, child of Aegeus;

Indeed, you know already all that I teach.

This image: the nation that pushes its arrogance to the extreme is equated with those people who ignore the will of God and instead turn to ‘the madness’ of a similar arrogance. This is what Oedipus has learned from his life -- from the curse of his own fate. He is a man who has been entirely manipulated by fate and the playing out of prophecy. However, the prophecies that governed the events of his life were sequential. He was not governed by one all-encompassing prophecy spoken at birth that he gradually fulfilled; his prophecies followed one another, each growing in horror and resulting in greater misery.

Perhaps the prophecies of Oedipus' life were not static -- perhaps there was elasticity in the dynamic nature of the prophecies -- perhaps Oedipus was never locked into one irrevocable path. Perhaps the events of Oedipus’ past -- the ones which originated at the hand of a mortal, the decision of Jocasta and Laius to kill their son in the hopes of circumventing the first prophecy, the decision of the Shepherd to spare the life of Oedipus, Oedipus’ relentless questions, and eventually his self-mutilation -- perhaps these events are examples of mortals putting off God in the ‘madness’ of arrogance.

If this is true, then it seems that somewhere along the way, the gods blessed Oedipus and gave him a secret to bestow upon the nation who gave him shelter. Does Oedipus’ grace originate in his final willingness to accept his fate, to surrender to the prophecies of the gods? He is now in the position of bestowing a great and potent secret upon Theseus, a secret which will allow Theseus and his heirs to protect the city of Athens. But why to Theseus?

Why is this mystical secret is being given to a nation that is governed by law, a nation that is ruled by a king who knows all that Oedipus can teach, a king that says, ‘I must not speak in ignorance.’ Theseus is already in possession of all qualities Oedipus has had to learn from tragedy, and Athens under the rule of Theseus seems to have no need of a mystical secret. Even the protection against Thebes seems inconsequential as we learn within the play that Polyneices is leading seven companies of men to a battle against Thebes that will surely result in some devastation. If the secret is not useful to Athens, then is it merely a way for Oedipus to finally fulfill the role of oracle, and in that fulfillment, to disappear at his death like one who has been blessed by the gods? What does it mean that Oedipus has a secret to give, and why does he give his secret to Theseus and Athens?

The wine-dark ivy



How many have read Oedipus Rex and not read Oedipus at Colonus?


In his first lines in Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus reveals the following fact:

Suffering and time,
Vast time, have been instructors in contentment,
Which kingliness teaches too.


This play is about will and fate; about struggle and acceptance; about character and nobility. Oedipus and Theseus -- both exiled, both governed by fate -- how are they different, how are they the same?

Oedipus will die with contentment -- this tragedy is about the end of action, about transitions and acceptance -- he has been pursued by fate for all his life -- the fate which forced his hand at every turn. Oedipus will die in the grove sacred to the Eumenides -- the gentle-hearted -- Oedipus will die in the grove sacred to the Furies -- the relentless:


Ladies whose eyes
Are terrible: Spirits: upon your sacred ground
I have first bent my knees in this new land;
Therefore be mindful of me and of Apollo,

For when he gave me oracles of evil,

He also spoke of this:

A resting place,
After long years, in the last country, where
I should find home among the sacred Furies:

That there I might round out my bitter life,

Conferring benefit on those who received me,

A curse on those who have driven me away.

Oedipus was given portents and signs to tell him of this day. The Fates guided him, 'with feathery influence' to this final place, and here he is -- in Athens. He has come to pass on a blessing to one who will receive it, one who gives the wanderer, the cursed shelter -- Theseus.

I come to give you something, and the gift
Is my own beaten self: no feast for the eyes;
Yet in me is a more lasting grace than beauty.

[...]

I shall disclose to you, O son of Aegeus,
What is appointed for you and for your city:
A thing that age will never wear away.
Presently now, without a soul to guide me,
I'll lead you to the place where I must die;

But you must never tell it to any man,

Not even the neighborhood in which it lies.

If you obey, this will count more for you

Than many shields and many neighbors' spears.

These things are mysteries, not to be explained;

But you will understand when you come there

Alone. Alone, because I cannot disclose it
To any of your men or to my children,
Much as I love and cherish them. But you

Keep it secret always, and when you come
To the end of life, then you must hand it on


[...]

For every nation that lives peaceably,

There will be many others to grow hard

And push their arrogance to extremes: the gods

Attend to these things slowly. But the attend

To those who put off God and turn to madness!

You have no mind for that, child of Aegeus;

Indeed, you know already all that I teach.

This image: the nation that pushes its arrogance to the extreme is equated with those people who ignore the will of God and instead turn to ‘the madness’ of a similar arrogance. This is what Oedipus has learned from his life -- from the curse of his own fate. He is a man who has been entirely manipulated by fate and the playing out of prophecy. However, the prophecies that governed the events of his life were sequential. He was not governed by one all-encompassing prophecy spoken at birth that he gradually fulfilled; his prophecies followed one another, each growing in horror and resulting in greater misery.

Perhaps the prophecies of Oedipus' life were not static -- perhaps there was elasticity in the dynamic nature of the prophecies -- perhaps Oedipus was never locked into one irrevocable path. Perhaps the events of Oedipus’ past -- the ones which originated at the hand of a mortal, the decision of Jocasta and Laius to kill their son in the hopes of circumventing the first prophecy, the decision of the Shepherd to spare the life of Oedipus, Oedipus’ relentless questions, and eventually his self-mutilation -- perhaps these events are examples of mortals putting off God in the ‘madness’ of arrogance.

If this is true, then it seems that somewhere along the way, the gods blessed Oedipus and gave him a secret to bestow upon the nation who gave him shelter. Does Oedipus’ grace originate in his final willingness to accept his fate, to surrender to the prophecies of the gods? He is now in the position of bestowing a great and potent secret upon Theseus, a secret which will allow Theseus and his heirs to protect the city of Athens. But why to Theseus?

Why is this mystical secret is being given to a nation that is governed by law, a nation that is ruled by a king who knows all that Oedipus can teach, a king that says, ‘I must not speak in ignorance.’ Theseus is already in possession of all qualities Oedipus has had to learn from tragedy, and Athens under the rule of Theseus seems to have no need of a mystical secret. Even the protection against Thebes seems inconsequential as we learn within the play that Polyneices is leading seven companies of men to a battle against Thebes that will surely result in some devastation. If the secret is not useful to Athens, then is it merely a way for Oedipus to finally fulfill the role of oracle, and in that fulfillment, to disappear at his death like one who has been blessed by the gods? What does it mean that Oedipus has a secret to give, and why does he give his secret to Theseus and Athens?

To transform the world



'Knowledge can never transform the world,' I blurted out, skirting along the very edge of confession. 'What transforms the world is action. There's nothing else.'


[...]

'There you go!' he said. 'Action, you say. But don't you see that the beauty of this world, which means so much to you, craves sleep and that in order to sleep it must be protected by knowledge? You remember that story of 'Nansen Kills a Kitten' which I told you about once. The cat in that story was incomparably beautiful. The reason that the priests from the two halls of the temple quarreled about the cat was that they both wanted to protect the kitten, to look after it, to let it sleep snugly, within their own particular cloaks of knowledge. Now Father Nansen was a man of action, so he went and killed the kitten with his sickle and had done with it. But when Choshu came along later, he removed his shoes and put them on his head.

What Choshu wanted to say was this. He was fully aware that beauty is a thing which must sleep and which, in sleeping, must be protected by knowledge. But there is no individual knowledge, a particular knowledge belonging to one special person or group. Knowledge is the sea of humanity, the field of humanity, the general condition of human existence. I think that is what he wanted to say.

Now you want to play the role of Choshu, don't you? Well, beauty -- beauty that you love so much -- is an illusion of the 'other way to bear life' which you mentioned. One could say in fact there is no such thing as beauty. What makes the illusion so strong, what imparts it with such a power of reality, is precisely knowledge. From the point of view of knowledge, beauty is never a consolation. It may be a woman, it may be one's wife, but it is never a consolation. Yet from the marriage between this beautiful thing which is never a consolation, on the one hand, and knowledge, on the other, something is born. It is as evanescent as a bubble and utterly hopeless. Yet something is born. That something is what people call art.'

-- From Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

To transform the world



'Knowledge can never transform the world,' I blurted out, skirting along the very edge of confession. 'What transforms the world is action. There's nothing else.'


[...]

'There you go!' he said. 'Action, you say. But don't you see that the beauty of this world, which means so much to you, craves sleep and that in order to sleep it must be protected by knowledge? You remember that story of 'Nansen Kills a Kitten' which I told you about once. The cat in that story was incomparably beautiful. The reason that the priests from the two halls of the temple quarreled about the cat was that they both wanted to protect the kitten, to look after it, to let it sleep snugly, within their own particular cloaks of knowledge. Now Father Nansen was a man of action, so he went and killed the kitten with his sickle and had done with it. But when Choshu came along later, he removed his shoes and put them on his head.

What Choshu wanted to say was this. He was fully aware that beauty is a thing which must sleep and which, in sleeping, must be protected by knowledge. But there is no individual knowledge, a particular knowledge belonging to one special person or group. Knowledge is the sea of humanity, the field of humanity, the general condition of human existence. I think that is what he wanted to say.

Now you want to play the role of Choshu, don't you? Well, beauty -- beauty that you love so much -- is an illusion of the 'other way to bear life' which you mentioned. One could say in fact there is no such thing as beauty. What makes the illusion so strong, what imparts it with such a power of reality, is precisely knowledge. From the point of view of knowledge, beauty is never a consolation. It may be a woman, it may be one's wife, but it is never a consolation. Yet from the marriage between this beautiful thing which is never a consolation, on the one hand, and knowledge, on the other, something is born. It is as evanescent as a bubble and utterly hopeless. Yet something is born. That something is what people call art.'

-- From Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

Bad News......

Two of Dorien's great loves - dogs like this one: She had a black retriever/cross dog called Christy - who lasted till he was well into his latter teens, she was into dog training and ran a class teaching others how to control their dogs.


She also couldn't resist babies and young ones and she was my youngest sister's and my built in babysitter..


Hi Folks,

My wee sister Dorien ......... I had a phone call just just before 5 o'clock this morning giving me the message I was expecting but dreading ...... Dorien's condition had deteriorated since we had left last night at 9 pm and that we should attend the hospital if we wanted to see her - when we arrived the nurse who had phoned told me that she had passed away just after she had phoned me.

I have now lost my best friend and my sister and I feel empty already ...... For the last week Rob and I along with our other siblings and members of our family have been spending much of our time going to and from the hospital, keeping her company - just talking and also including her in our lives while she lay comatose in her hospital bed ... she seemed at times to show some acknowledgement of our presence with eybrows being raised or making a face as though to say 'that's not right' or 'that's rubbish' or even ' just wait till I can get out of this bed' !!!

Now the inevitable has happened ! Dorien had previously beaten a cancer called - Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma by having had a bone marrow transplant over 17 years ago and her Consultant was so proud of the fact that he had succeeded in helping her beat it and that she had survived for so long - the only one of his patients to have done so for such a long period of time. Unbeknown to any of us Dorien was waiting all that time for the cancer to return, it was only when this problem surfaced that she told me - God what a ruddy weight for anyone to carry - just ready for the axe to fall !

During the last few months some of you will have been aware that she was suffering from a recurrence of cancer, the problem this time was that it was a much more more virulent and agressive type called 'small cell lung cancer' combined with secondaries in her bones and subsequently elsewhere. Well today she passed on to a better place. As I am her next of kin and will be dealing with the winding up of her affairs and the emptying of her flat etc .... I expect this will probably take a couple of weeks. I will therefore not be posting any blogs for a while..

I'd like to take this opportunity of thanking those who were already aware of Dorien's illness and who had been in touch over the recent past for their understanding and their kind comments.

I have loaded this video, because it was from a film that Dorien and I enjoyed and she loved weepies too . It also says all that I feel at this moment .
As it says in the heading for this video - get the tissues out !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiS8YokFzeY

Thanks and Cheers for now, Love Kate xxx.

Injuries: Not Always A Bad Thing

Normally, when you think of a MLB team's players going on the DL, it's a bad thing. But with the multiple Tigers that have been hurt already, I think it's actually helping the team in both the short term and the long run. We've been able to take a longer look at some of the AAA kittens and have been able to rest some of the older guys. Here's a quick peek.

Carlos Guillen, shoulder
Carlos wasn't doing too much before heading to the DL, but since he's been gone, Magglio's been able to DH more and it seems to be helping him at the plate. More importantly, Jeff Larish has had a chance to come back and he's been doing quite well. Take your time coming back, Carlos. Then again, it'll probably only be a couple more weeks before you're hurt again.

Mr. Misty-May Treanor, torn labrum, right hip (out for year)
Dane Sardinha hits about as well as Ty Cobb does...and by that I mean Ty Cobb's remains today. But the kid can catch. The players seem to like him. And Rod loves calling him "Pineapple" (racist jerk). I'd still like to see the Tigers be on the lookout for a quality MLB backup catcher (or starter if Laird keeps struggling), but I guess there's more important things to worry about than getting a .240 hitting backup to replace your .200 hitting backup. (I hope he hits .200.)

Marcus Thames, left ribcage strain
Every year, Jim struggles to find Marcus Thames some at bats. With the big man gone, though, he's been able to play Josh Anderson, Clete Thomas, and Ryan Raburn a lot more and find out what they have to offer. I've loved what I've seen out of Anderson, Clete's been better than I expected (he's still not a #3 hitter, though), and Raburn's finally catching fire. It's fun to watch Thames swing for the fences, but I'm willing to bet that Leyland's happy to have the chance to watch the three young guys play a bit.

Jeremy Bonderman, thoracic outlet surgery
Dontrelle Willis, crazy

With the two starters out, we got the MLB debut of Dreamboat Rick Porcello, who's been quite impressive for a guy so young. In fact, if JV and EJax weren't being so dominant, I think Rick would be getting more attention. Also, extended looks at Miner and Galarraga have helped to see who truly belongs in this rotation. With Bondo returning soon and Galarraga struggling so much, I can see Armando becoming the odd man out, which I don't think would have happened without the mentioned injuries. Willis and Bondo continue to remain question marks at this point, though.

Nate Robertson, bruised labia (or whatever)
Poor Nate. He has to feel unwanted and forgotten at this point by everyone. (I'm still here for ya, buddy.) There just is no place for him on the team anymore and with his injury, "The Tickler" Luke French has been able to come up and throw a couple scoreless innings for us. Yet another kid for Leyland to get a good look at.

Last year was different. Granderson going down early killed this team from the start. Injuries continued all year. This year, negatives have become positives. Hopefully, this trend continues and the Tigers can keep learning from the chances the younger guys have been given in 2009.

A New Hero Emerges

Tonight's beatdown of the A's was fun to watch after the torture of the past few days in Minnesota. I could talk about Raburn finally doing SOMETHING and hitting a Grand Slam. I could talk about Inge's bomb making it the first time the Tigers have had two grannies in a game since 1968. I could mention EJax continuing to dominate. Magglio finally had a good game. Etc, etc, etc. I could talk about all that. (I think I just did?) But, no. There is something WAY more important here.

Luke French made his debut with a 1-2-3 ninth. This guy is screaming for a nickname.

Frenchy? Too obvious.

French Fry? Too greasy.

Cool Hand Luke? Maybe...but what else do we have?

French Bulldog? Hasn't earned it.

French Toast? Only when he pitches poorly.

Luke Skywalker? Nate...I am your father. That made no sense...

Saint Luke? No. Religious people get angry easily.

The French Connection? No. We would need another Froggy guy for that. Wait a minute...

The Frog? The kids would get into that...

The French Kiss? I like that for whatever his strikeout pitch is.

Luke Perry? When French and Ryan Perry pitch in the same game? I'm sorry...

The French Revolution? I'll save that for a blog title one day...

Victor French? He was the bearded guy in the A's hat on "Highway To Heaven". Screw the A's.

Luke-Kemia? That will make people sad...

The French Tickler?

Luke French, I dub thee "The Tickler". Good luck in your stay in Detroit.

Funnies - Heaven or Hell / Chinese New Year / Taser tryout!

This photo is taken from an angle which does not show the glass partition between the little girl and the tiger...

A picture taken at the party given for Louis recently - here he is grinning for the camera opening one of his presents, his godmother looking on ......

Hi Folks,


These funnies today are, I think, the best for a while, make sure you are not in the process of drinking your tea or coffee hehehe...... (especially while reading the second two).

READ IT TO THE END, PLEASE.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
A man and his dog were walking along a road ...... The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.. He and the dog walked toward the gate and, as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, could you tell me where we are?' 'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked. 'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.' The man gestured, and the gate began to open. 'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveller asked. 'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.' The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. 'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?' 'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.' 'How about my friend here?' the traveller gestured to the dog. 'There should be a bowl by the pump.' They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveller filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were satisfied, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree. 'What do you call this place?' the traveller asked.'This is Heaven,' he answered. 'Well, that's confusing,' the traveller said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.' 'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.' 'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?''No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word.Maybe this will explain. When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward jokes.When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes. When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes. Also to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke.

So, next time if you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile. You are all welcome at my water bowl any time!
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Don't know if this is just a sick coincidence but .... 2007 - Chinese year of the Chicken - Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia 2008 - Chinese year of the Horse - Equine Influenza decimates Australian racing 2009 - Chinese year of the Pig - Swine Flu Pandemic kills hundreds of pigs/humans around the globe.
It gets worse..... Next year.... 2010 - Chinese year of the Cock - what could possibly go wrong then ???
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Just try reading this without laughing till you cry! It is the last paragraph that will do it!

A pocket Taser Stun Gun ......... Now 'that's a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Taser for their anniversary submitted this: Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety... ? WAY TOO COOL !

To cut a long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs...... AWESOME!

Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave. Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple -A batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries. All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5' long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best...? I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, 'don't do it dipshit,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . . HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . .. . WHAT THE HELL!!! I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again.

I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the foetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs? The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note ...... If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself!You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative? SON-OF-A-BITCH, THAT HURT LIKE HELL! A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape.

My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently I shit myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my nuts and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P. S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it! 'If you think Education is difficult, try being stupid.'


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

Lyon Heart

It's hard to remember back to back heartbreaking games like these two to the Twins. I'm a bit sick to my stomach and tired of throwing up in my mouth watching this bullpen the past two days, but I would like to say one thing.

Thanks, Brandon Lyon. You tried. Lyon had no business being in the game as long as he was. Shame on the Tigers management for not having a full team available for the game. Sure, you don't usually see a 13+ inning game coming, but if Nate's really been hurt this long, they should've been prepared. Everyone, including myself, has given Lyon a hard time so far. But for him to be out there, 60 pitches in, and still throwing while clearly out of gas...at least he tried. And he took one for the team. Too bad they didn't get another inning out of Rodney.

Damn you to hell, Joe Crede: Tiger Killer. But I'm more upset with Tigers management right now. Bring on the A's. Hopefully things will go a bit better with them.

Some amazing sea photos/ Marvin Husband of Maxine / Funnie Videos...





Hi Folks,

These amazing seawater shots were taken by Clark Little, the number 1 photographer of waves, he has published a selection of the best images of his career and I thought they were amazing ..

Now, while I was having a looksee around the 'net this morning I came across this funny, I'd never heard of Marvin before but he is apparently the male version of the cartoon 'Maxine' . Now I know that following on directly from the beautiful shots of the seascapes to this seems like going from the sublime to the ridiculous but bear with me, just put it down to my usual menopausal loony-ness !

This is Marvin - Husband of Maxine !!
Men strike back! How many men does it take to open a beer? None. It should be open when she brings it.
Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman? Because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.
Why do women have smaller feet than men? It's one of those 'evolutionary things' that allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.
How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart? When she starts a sentence with 'A man once told me....'
How do you fix a woman's watch? You don't. There is a clock on the oven.
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first? The dog, of course.. He'll shut up once you let him in.
Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by 90%. It's called a Wedding Cake.
Why do men die before their wives? They want to.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.


Well fellow blogggers we have sunshine in the land of the tartan which is unusual I can assure you so Rob and I are off to the sea-side to watch some of these gorgeous 'real' seascapes down the coast before we head off later to the hospital to see 'D' I hope you all have a great day wherever you are .


Cheers and Love from here, Kate xxx.

p.s. I saw this video this morning and it fair cheered my up so I hope you enjoy it too......

I couldn't resist a 'Friends show' bloopers video too !

Taking On The Cult

(braces for hate mail...okay)

cult: an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers.

There is no way we are going to contend in our division with Clete Thomas continuing as our #3 hitter. I'm sorry. I don't know what kind of Clete's Kool Aid that Tigertown (or Jim Leyland) has been drinking when it comes to this guy, but it's that simple. Even Jason Beck's been infected with The Clete, as I call it. I can't find it now, but the other day on tigers.com he referred to Thomas as "explosive". He has one career home run! WTF?

I like Clete Thomas. I think he's a nice #4 or #5 outfielder. But he's not especially good at anything. He's not a great hitter. He's not great on defense. He's kinda fast, but not blazing. He's a left handed David Eckstein playing outfield. Sure, he's gritty, pesky, hard-nosed, and all the other words sports writers use to describe little white guys that try hard, but he's not a #3 hitter for a MLB contender.

This year in Toledo, coming off of an injury, Clete hit .236 with 1 homer and 10 RBIs. Then, Carlos pulls his normal DL thingy, and all of the sudden, Clete's hitting in the Kirk Gibson spot in the lineup with the big boys. Excuse me? What kind of pictures does Clete have of Jim Leyland that the Marlboro Man doesn't want us knowing about?

Clete had that big game against Cleveland in his first game back going 3/4 and missing the cycle by a homer. Awesome job. But since then, in the #3 hole, and after today's 2 singles, he's 5/18 with no homers and 1 RBI. That RBI (and one of those hits) was a weak grounder against the Tribe that their second baseman double clutched and Clete was safe. It should've been an error. Nice hustle, Clete. But weak grounders are not what we need out of the #3 spot.

Carlos and Marcus are gone for now. But why is Clete even playing every day? We already have a left handed, left fielder that is a better hitter, faster runner, and I think, a better defensive option. He is Josh Anderson...or Mr. Anderson to you and I. So far, Josh has hit .327 this year with 0 homers and 7 RBIs. He's 6/7 in steal attempts with a .373 OBP. What has he done to make Jim Leyland mad?

We are 3-2 in the games that Clete has batted third. And other than the first one, we aren't scoring runs. The pitching has carried us. I understand Jim's want of going lefty/righty in the lineup, but there are better options. I can't be the only one that's been screaming to the heavens to move Curtis Granderson to the 3 spot. (And what's Jim smoking batting Curtis 5th? Cabrera does not need protection at the expense of limiting Curtis' at bats.) Hell, if you still want to keep having Grandy lead off, put Larish there! I'd rather see Larish swinging for gaps than Clete legging out an infield hit batting third.

My ideal lineup for this team right now is as follows.

1. Josh Anderson, LF
2. Placido Polanco, 2B
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Miguel Cabrera, DH
5. Jeff Larish, 1B
6. Magglio Ordonez, RF
7. Brandon Inge, 3B
8. Gerald Larid, C
9. Santiago/Everett, SS

Use Clete to give guys some days off...not to anchor the lineup.

After all, who would you want backing you up?

Mr. Anderson?
neo matrix Pictures, Images and Photos

Or Cletus?
cletus Pictures, Images and Photos

Don't kill me, Cult. I'm just looking out of the good of the group.

A Lucky Duck / Women's Places / Seamus's Accident..

More 'Heaven on Earth' Photographs......

Windmills in Holland ...

Lavender Fields ......

Hi Folks,

I received this next part of this post in an email from Judy in Kentucky and thought it was a lovely mail and that it would therefore make a lovely item for my blog today ........ It's just such a great wee story and has the sort of feel good factor that I couldn't resist setting it up on my blog - so enjoy ! (and Thanks again Judy ).

A lucky duck in San Antonio , Texas.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Something really cute happened ...... in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The Mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and on Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch. The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort nine more times!

He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help. As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother. At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River, site of the famed "River Walk."

The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River. The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way. As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly.

At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride. All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking. At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all together again. We're here! We're here!"


Here's a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures... Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands. I think it gives the name of San Antonio's famous "River Walk" a whole new meaning! Maybe you will want to share this story with others. Doctor York told me she had forwarded it to 20 people.. I'm sending Mrs Duck on to further waters on this side of the pond as it's a story that's too good to lose!

Changing tack a bit I'm enclosing a joke I heard recently, have a look-see I was drinking a cuppa and just about managed to stop myself choking ........

Woman who know their place and their husband's ......... Barbara Walters, of Television's 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul Afghanistan several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands. She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. From Ms. Walters' vantage point, despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women walk even further back behind their husbands, and seem appear happy to maintain the old custom.

Ms . Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you continue with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?' The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, " Land Mines ! "

The moral of the story is (no matter what language you speak and where you go). BEHIND EVERY MAN - THERE'S A SMART WOMAN ! ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

If you read this to the end all will be revealed ... An Irish farmer named Seamus had a car accident. In court, the lorry company's hot-shot solicitor was questioning Seamus. 'Didn't you say to the Police at the scene of the accident,
"I'm fine"?' asked the solicitor. Seamus responded: 'Well, I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favourite cow,Bessie, Into the...' 'I didn't ask for details', the solicitor interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say,at the scene of the accident 'I'm fine!'?'

Seamus again said, 'Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road', The solicitor interrupted again and said, 'Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene, that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question'.

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Seamus's answer and said to the solicitor: 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favourite cow, Bessie'. Seamus thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favourite cow, into the trailer and was driving her down the road when this huge lorry and trailer came through a stop sign and hit
my trailer right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurt, very bad like, and didn't want to move. I could hear old Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible pain just by her groans.

Shortly after the accident,a policeman on a motorbike turned up.He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning . So he went over to her. After he looked at her,and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the policeman came across the road.... His gun still in his hand, he looked at me and said, 'How are you feeling?'
"Now just what in flaming blazes would 'you' have said?"



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

Heaven on Earth / Hummingbirds ......


WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T SEE HEAVEN ON EARTH ???

An Earthbound Rainbow ......


A Tree in the middle of a Lavender field ...... Who says that purple and green don't go together ?

Now for a change of subject - Have a look at this ......


Hi Folks,

Hummingbird Lane ......

I have never seen or ever even heard of this before .... This lady lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. She took the little red dish, filled it with sugar water and this is the result. The woman is Abigail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana - she has been studying them daily and one morning put the cup from the feeder, with water in it, in her hand; as they had gotten used to her standing by the feeder they came over to her hand. She says in touching they are as light as a feather. Isn't it a beautiful sight ?

As a P.S. Abigail also said, 'if she had known her husband was taking pictures she would have put on makeup...





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