Tuesday Open Thread ~ I'll Take Potpourri for $100


~

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” ~ Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

~
gone-fishing-festival of lights.jpg
~

Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's Open Thread. By the time many of you read this, I will be on the road making my way to Temecula, California to meet some friends for a day of wine tasting. It was all very last minute but I decided to throw caution to the wind and see where it takes me. In my absence, I've collected a potpourri of amusement and reflection. Will check in when I can to say hello!

~

"Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles." ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

~
gone-fishing-road in the woods.jpg
~

A Walk in the Woods

by Bill Bryson
(an excerpt)

"What are you doing?"

"I'm moving my tent."

"Oh, good plan. That'll really confuse it."

I peered and peered, but I couldn't see anything but those two wide-set eyes staring from the near distance like eyes in a cartoon. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to be outside and dead or inside and waiting to be dead. I was barefoot and in my underwear and shivering. What I really wanted--really, really wanted--was for the animal to withdraw. I picked up a small stone and tossed it at it. I think it may have hit it because the animal made a sudden noisy start (which scared the bejesus out of me and brought a whimper to my lips) and then emitted a noise--not quite a growl, but near enough. It occurred to me that perhaps I oughtn't provoke it.

"What are you doing, Bryson? Just leave it alone and it will go away."

"How can you be so calm?"

"What do you want me to do? You're hysterical enough for both of us."

"I think I have a right to be a trifle alarmed, pardon me. I'm in the woods, in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, staring at a bear, with a guy who has nothing to defend himself with but a pair of nail clippers. Let me ask you this. If it is a bear and it comes for you, what are you going to do--give it a pedicure?"

"I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," Katz said implacably.

"What do you mean you'll cross that bridge? We're on the bridge, you moron. There's a bear out here, for Christ sake. He's looking at us. He smells noodles and Snickers and--oh, shit."

"What?"

"Oh. Shit."

"What?"

"There's two of them. I can see another pair of eyes." Just then, the flashlight battery started to go. The light flickered and then vanished. I scampered into my tent, stabbing myself lightly but hysterically in the thigh as I went, and began a quietly frantic search for spare batteries. If I were a bear, this would be the moment I would choose to lunge.

"Well, I'm going to sleep," Katz announced.

"What are you talking about? You can't go to sleep."

"Sure I can. I've done it lots of times." There was the sound of him rolling over and a series of snuffling noises, not unlike those of the creature outside.

"Stephen, you can't go to sleep," I ordered. But he could and he did, with amazing rapidity.

The creature--creatures, now--resumed drinking, with heavy lapping noises. I couldn't find any replacement batteries, so I flung the flashlight aside and put my miner's lamp on my head, made sure it worked, then switched it off to conserve the batteries. Then I sat for ages on my knees, facing the front of the tent, listening keenly, gripping my walking stick like a club, ready to beat back an attack, with my knife open and at hand as a last line of defense. The bears--animals, whatever they were--drank for perhaps twenty minutes more, then quietly departed the way they had come. It was a joyous moment, but I knew from my reading that they would be likely to return. I listened and listened, but the forest returned to silence and stayed there.

Eventually I loosened my grip on the walking stick and put on a sweater--pausing twice to examine the tiniest noises, dreading the sound of a revisit--and after a very long time got back into my sleeping bag for warmth. I lay there for a long time staring at total blackness and knew that never again would I sleep in the woods with a light heart.

And then, irresistibly and by degrees, I fell asleep.

~
gone fishing - penguin.jpeg
~

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

~
gone-fishing- moon.jpg
~

Mars Probe Finds Kittens

by Steve Martin
(an excerpt from Pure Drivel)

The newly arrived probe to Mars has returned irrefutable evidence that the red planet is populated with approximately 27 million 3-month-old kittens. These "kittens" do not give birth and do not die, but are locked in a state of eternal kittenhood. Of course, without further investigation, scientists are reluctant to call the chirpy little creatures kittens. "Just because they look like kittens and act like kittens is no reason to assume they are kittens," said one researcher. "A football is a brown thing that bounces around on grass, but it would be wrong to call it a puppy."

Scientists at first were skeptical that a kitten-type being could exist in the rare Martian atmosphere. As a test, two Earth kittens were put in a chamber that simulated the Martian air. The diary of this experiment is fascinating:

6:00 A.M.: Kittens appear to sleep.

7:02 A.M.: Kitten wakes, darts from one end of cage to another for no apparent reason.

7:14 A.M.: Kitten runs up wall of cage, leaps onto other kitten for no apparent reason.

7:22 A.M.: Kitten lies on back and punches other kitten for no apparent reason.

7:30 A.M.: Kitten leaps, stops, darts left, abruptly stops, climbs wall, clings for two seconds, falls on head, darts right for no apparent reason.

7:51 A.M.: Kitten parses first sentence of lead editorial in daily newspaper that is at the bottom of the chamber.

With the exception of the parsing, all behavior is typical of Earth kitten behavior. The parsing activity, which was done with a small ball-point pen, was an anomaly…

Modern kitten theory suggests several explanations for the kittens' existence on Mars. The first, put forward by Dr. Patricia Krieger of the Hey You Bub Institute, suggests that kittens occur both everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. In other words, we see evidence of kitten existence, but measuring their behavior is another matter. Just when the scientists point their instruments in a kitten's direction, it is gone, only to be found in another place, perhaps at the top of drapes. Another theory, put forward by Dr. Charles Wesler and his Uncle Ted, suggests that any universe where round things exist, from theoretical spheres to Ping-Pong balls, necessarily implies the existence of a Mover Kitten. The scientific world has responded by saying that the notion of the Mover Kitten is not a concern of legitimate research and should be relegated to the pseudoscientific world. The pseudoscientific world has responded by saying that it needs at least three endorsements from independent crackpots before anything can truly be called "pseudo."

Some have suggested that the hostility of the Martian climate should be enough to seriously set back the long-term prospects of any species. However, the weakness of Martian gravity is a bonus for felines. They are able to leap almost three times as high as they can on Earth. They can climb twice as far up a carpet-covered post, and a ball with a bell in it will roll almost three times as far. This is at least equal to the distance that a mature poodle can roll a ball with its nose.

Even though there could be a big market on Earth for eternal kittens, most scientists agree that the human race should not pursue a further involvement. There are those, however, who believe that having discovered the creatures, it is now our responsibility to "amuse" them. Dr. Enos Mowbrey and his wife/cousin, Jane, both researchers at the Chicago Junebug Institute for Animal Studies, argue that the kittens could be properly amused by four miles of ball string cut into fourteen-inch segments. The cost of such a venture would be:

Four miles of string: $135

Segmentation of string: $8

Manned Mars probe to deliver string and jiggle it: $6 trillion.

It is unfortunate that Dr. Mowbrey's work has been largely dismissed because of his inappropriate use of the term kitty cat.

The next time you look up at the heavens, know that mixed in the array of stars overhead is a pale-red dot called Mars, and on that planet are tiny creatures whose wee voices are about to be thunderously heard on this planet, a meow of intergalactic proportions.

~
~
Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
~
~
What’s on your mind today?
Arrow.png
Share
up
10 users have voted.

Comments

Anja Geitz's picture

How are you all doing today? Sunny skies here and a bit warm. Should be a perfect day for a road trip!

Here's where I'm headed:

gone fishing - temecula wine tasting_0.jpg
up
7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

QMS's picture

with kitty in costume riding the robovac.
Now it all makes sense. Wink

up
6 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

Always makes sense, right? You wanna know what makes even more sense? French cats talking on phones and riding in taxicabs. I added another video just below the roomba one. You don't have to thank me. It's what I do.

up
3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

This one is for all of the folks here who have predicted Bernie's campaign is over.

Bernie Sanders releases new plan to get corporate money out of our politics.

Holding up the small-donor campaign model his campaign has revolutionized as proof alternatives exist, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled an ambitious new plan to get "corporate money out of politics."

Link to Common Dreams article

Link to Bernie's campaign web site with full details

I hope someone with better communication skills than I will create a post about this plan.

Cheers!

up
14 users have voted.
Wally's picture

That poem sums up a lot:

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
up
8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Wally

And yes, it does fit who Bernie is, and does.

Good to see you. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

up
4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

for a probate matter, then to another county to hold a hearing for a juvenile who is in deep trouble, then to another county to answer a docket call for a couple of criminal cases. (Adults who are in deep trouble.)
And I will be wearing actual shoes, not the cheap plastic sandals I have worn for months.
The swelling from my snake bite is down enough that I can put an actual show on my left foot.
It's the little things...
Hope everyone is happy and well!

up
12 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@on the cusp

Yikes! That must've been a helluva story. Glad to hear you are on the mend. Sounds like you have a busy traveling day. Hope you've lined up some good tunes for the car ride.

Safe travels. Good to see you!

up
4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz the other. And there is a possibility it may always be.
But at least it is manageable.
It is not painful now, but a swelling foot (or other body part) in a tight shoe (or glove, stocking, underwear, or anything else)is uncomfortable and distracting. It makes staying focused hard to impossible.
I might frame my cheap plastic sandals that got me through all of this.

up
3 users have voted.

From Reuters via that radical hotbed, Fidelity Investments:Index funds invest trillions but rarely challenge management

The three fund firms, for instance, supported doubling the pay of the chief executive at California utility PG&E Corp ( PCG ) after its stock plummeted over potential liability from maintenance problems linked to California wildfires. The funds supported big pay packages for executives at beauty products company Coty Inc ( COTY )
- including nearly $500,000 for their children’s tuition - as the company struggled to digest its acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s beauty business. And all three cast pivotal votes against the proposed reform of splitting the CEO and chairman roles at General Electric Co ( GE ) after a decade of poor performance.

Lots more about how these huge investment companies cast votes against their investors interest. $500,000 tuition perk? Huge increases for failing companies?

up
10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

PG&E is going to be shutting off power to thousands of people in California for days because of the high winds. Be off line for the event and then more days to check to make sure the system is okay. How will people who have medical devices survive if they have no power to run their equipment? Lots of money that should have gone into safety went to dividends instead. And now they get to declare bankruptcy instead of paying people for ruining their lives. Look at how long it took for them to settle the SAN Bruno case where their gas lines killed 38 people and blew up their houses.

up
4 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg
DOUBLED the pay of the CEO whose negligence caused the disaster.
ATABOY! Kill those proles!

If your life depends on a medical device, have an emergency generator. I've got a nice whole house generator that cost like a furnace and an A?C together, but other people have simple gasoline powered small units in their garage. When power fails, flip the main breaker, go into the garage, plug the generator into the wall and pull the rip cord. Like I said, I have a fancier automatic switching system for the whole house with optional dipstick heater and battery warmer. You buy what you can afford. At 74 with asthma I can't afford to be without power when it's 100 degrees and raining nor when it's -20 with two foot drifts. California is a little more forgiving, climatewise than The Prarie State.

up
3 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

prefer Julian, but what the hey. Our next outing isn't until the 15th and is pretty local, just to get out of town and outside and maybe so some fall birding. Here's cheers for and to XR.

Lots to do so I'm up and running - have a good one.

up
6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Primarily because a friend of mine just bought a house there and a mutual friend here called me up yesterday and asked me if I wanted to take a drive down there to visit her. Wine tasting was suggested because my friends like to drink, and I like wine. Win/Win for the three of us.

We just finished a lovely brunch and are on our way to the Miramonte Winery. My first time at any vineyard actually. Should be interesting. Maybe I'll bring some cheese along. Heh, heh.

up
4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

Finally some relief from the relentless heat of the endless summer.

A lovely AM for strolling Trade Day. Bought some beautiful avocados and a couple of jicama. Also bought some metal art to hang somewhere on the new garden fence.

After finally getting a bit of rain (3/4"), I'm going to hook up my box scrape and touch up the roads, then swap back to the bushog and mow a bit...the road side and trails. The fields are beginning to show some wildflower color...the yellows, whites, and blues of mainly asters....so I'll leave them till after the frost. Managed to seed some ryegrass before the rain. So an active day, but the old '64 Ford 4000 tractor will do most of the work.

Hope you all have a nice day! Thanks for the OT. Do y'all spit out the wine you're tasting or do you get to actually drink it?

up
10 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Good question. While I do plan on drinking the wine, I don't know what anyone else plans on doing, but I have a guess. Since I think this tour is mostly geared for tourists rather than actual oenophiles, I think most of us will be drinking the wine.

Bottoms up!

up
3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz
if I ever wasted alcohol.

up
1 user has voted.

Good laugh this this morning. Have been to exercise class and now headed up to check on Aspen tree colors before they get blown away by the winds later this week. Weatherman is predicting 26 degrees Friday morning!
Doing a walk later this afternoon.

up
6 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Anja Geitz's picture

@jakkalbessie

It's in the high 80's here in Southern California and I wouldn't mind knocking off 10 degrees, so how about I give them to you?

A visit to see the Aspen tree colors sounds like a lovely afternoon. Enjoy!

So glad you got a laugh from the kitten posts. It's one of my favorite short essays, and my favorite video. Just for fun, I added another cat video right below the cat on a roomba one. The video is in French, but it doesn't take away from the silliness of cats pretending to be people. In fact, it just adds to the charm.

Good to see you Jakkalbessie!

P.S. I spoke with Christine in our wine department about featuring petite sirahs but we only have one. While it is an entirely different grape would you be interested in a Syrah/Shiraz tasting?

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz Syrah/shiraz works for me. Oh and forgot, congratulations on the win! Hope it was a wonderful day.

up
1 user has voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

up
5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Anja Geitz's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

I was hoping someone would continue the play on words Smile

up
3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

thanatokephaloides's picture

DO NOT -- repeat, DO NOT -- store your Marijuana in close proximity to actual Potpourri! The Cannabis will attract and retain essential oils from the Potpourri, and the resulting taste will be exactly identical to that derived from swallowing a mouthful of liquid perfume!

Sincerely,

"The Voice Of Experience"
.
.
Biggrin

up
6 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Anja Geitz's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Maybe you've discovered a new strain. Ha! Good to know.

Did you know there is an indica named "Obama Kush". I guess you could say he's been baked into the popular culture, eh?

up
2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Anja Geitz Is it marketed as a miraculous reliever of pain and refresher of mind, but if you actually use it you feel bombed all over, experience constant flashbacks to the bad drug experience you had just before, your left brain loses all motivation while your right brain is overwhelmed by irrational paranoia and yet you start to lose the ability to distinguish between the two, and by the time it's all over, you feel more depressed than you'd ever before thought possible?

up
4 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

Is it marketed as a miraculous reliever of pain and refresher of mind, but if you actually use it you feel bombed all over, experience constant flashbacks to the bad drug experience you had just before, your left brain loses all motivation while your right brain is overwhelmed by irrational paranoia and yet you start to lose the ability to distinguish between the two, and by the time it's all over, you feel more depressed than you'd ever before thought possible?

No, it countermands all those disappointments and restores your ability to beLIEve in Hope and Change.

It does this, of course, by absorbing 1000 times its weight in excess ....... reality.

Smile

up
3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Anja Geitz

Did you know there is an indica named "Obama Kush". I guess you could say he's been baked into the popular culture, eh?

Or those of us like me, who voted for "Hope and Change" and were disappointed, simply felt the need to get baked!

Wink

up
3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Good laugh this this morning. Have been to exercise class and now headed up to check on Aspen tree colors before they get blown away by the winds later this week. Weatherman is predicting 26 degrees Friday morning!
Doing a walk later this afternoon.

up
2 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

lotlizard's picture

@jakkalbessie  
You’d think after all this time … but no, Celsius versus Fahrenheit gets me yet again.

up
1 user has voted.
QMS's picture

tasting of patchouli reminds me of a funny episode in the far gone daze of yore.

Heady

Hope your wine adventure was fun!

up
3 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

absolutely delightful OT. (Hope you enjoyed the wine tasting/visit to winery.)

Especially, got a kick out of both the kitten videos. As someone who sporadically gets out a French immersion CD set (with little to show for it!), I particularly enjoyed the Telecom video.

Gorgeous artwork/photography--the tree is spectacularly beautiful.

Hope you, Pierre, Ziggy, and Zoe are all faring well! Pleasantry

Take care.

Mollie

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

up
2 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Glad to hear the stories and videos tickled your funny bone. As one animal lover to another, hard not to be amused by cats sitting around a table wearing neck ties and pink bows on their head! Smile

(I especially enjoyed the kitten who came out of the bathroom and said to the background sounds of a toilet flushing "ok now I'm ready for the meeting") HA!

The critters are doing well. Everyone in the house is on a diet except Pierre. Who gained the weight she lost (yay!) and who alternately gets canned tuna and/or baby food when I get home from work. Ziggy and Zoe are a lot more vocal since I changed their grain laden dry food for a healthier (and more expensive) protein rich dry food. Which they now get half of what I used to give them. Ziggy, who is 5 years old, is now overweight, and I have a feeling it was from the cheap dry food. But listening to him complain is a small price to pay for his health. Eventually he'll get used to less food and hopefully slim down. For now he'll have to settle for more belly rubs and kisses.

A new development on the Pierre front. She has taken to being walked on a leash around the garden, which delights me. She stops along the way and smells things, but right now her goal is to get back inside. My goal is to take her a little further out each time until she's ready to go to the park! I'm sure I'll get some odd looks, but I don't care. Pierre's well being is my main concern. Poor little thing has been through so much, I'm hoping that she'll come to enjoy the sights and smells of the park.

Hope all is well with you, Mr. M, and Kaity.

up
1 user has voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Anja Geitz

care, in the least, about what others might think. IMO, it should be considered cool to be able to walk one's kitten on a leash or lead. Hope she comes to really enjoy the walks. (Bet she will, once she gets acclimated to the concept.)

Doing fine, except, now, for reasons unknown to me, gotta bum right knee to go with my bum finger (cut). Guess that's called growing old.

Biggrin

Have a nice weekend!

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

up
1 user has voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.