Tuesday, June 27, 2017

MftNE: The Scooter

When I was a kid, I had a good buddy. We went hunting and fishing all the time. One spring he got a scooter. Not too big, but big enough to haul us around on the logging roads outside 'a' town. That summer we went hunting and fishing further back in the woods than ever.  He'd let me drive sometime. With the two of us on it the scooter couldn't go more than fifteen miles an hour on flat ground .  Faster going downhill.  I was driving that day, him behind me, we were headed for home going downhill on a blind curve. we didn't see the logging truck until the last second.

I ducked. My buddy didn't .  He didn't fare so well.  When I got out of the hospital I was like  a baby mom had to teach me everything for the first month or so.  Sometimes I think I got a bit of him still in me.

I told a few people that story.  What I don't tell folks; and don't tell my wife, the Judge, is I named my first son after that childhood hunting and fishing buddy.  The Judge thinks we named our kid after her father.  Ha!

Monday, June 26, 2017

TFBT: Quotes June 2017

 In What’s Up Doc? just before Judy rises from her bubble-bath like Aphrodite rising from the sea-foam, Howard says, “You bring havoc and chaos to everyone!”  Isn’t that just like Aphrodite?

“The stratagem of Odysseus in calling himself Outisno one’…it erases any previous claim to any kleos that the hero would have had before he entered the cave of the Cyclops.”  (A Sampling of Comments on the Odyssey Rhapsody 9, Gregory Nagy)

Fermi's Paradox; "Where is everybody?"

Hēraklēs, described here as autos ‘himself’, is in Olympus, together with the immortal gods and married to Hēbē, so that the vision of Hēraklēs that is seen in Hādēs is just that, an eidōlon ‘vision’,” A sampling of comments on the Odyssey Rhapsody 11 by Gregory Nagy 

“When (Odysseus and company) finally reach the sea again, from where they will navigate back to the island of Circe, this island is situated no longer in the Extreme West but in the Extreme East.. So, by implication, they will have navigated all the way around the worldA sampling of comments on Odyssey Rhapsody 11 by Gregory Nagy

"The oars toiled in a sluggish sea" Book 6 Aeneid

""The issue is not the guardian snake but the guardian snake's master."   Maya M

In today’s polarized climate of theism vs atheism" Matt Payne

ἔρξον ὅπως ἐθέλεις καί τοι φίλον ἔπλετο θυμῷ
Do as you wish and as was pleasing to your heart.

Amid the furor of an eclipse, recklessly trumpeted as discoveries in the adrenaline of the moment and preserved in the heat of desire, the felt urgency to make real what must be there.”  The Hunt for Vulcan  Thomas Levenson

I do not feign hypothese” Newton

Le Verrier had said go and look…there! And you will see…and someone searched…and everyone saw.”  The Hunt for Vulcan Thomas Levenson

Which is to say, merely a hugely difficult operation, instead of an impossible one.”  The Hunt for Vulcan Thomas Levenson

In current (Big Bang) theory, a particular kind of nothing called the false vaccuum.  False vacuums are regions of space-time that appear to be truly empty of phenomena, but through the effects of quantum mechanics can be populated, seemingly from nowhere by subatomic particles or energy fluctuations.”  (The Hunt for Vulcan Thomas Levenson)  Really?  This is 5000 years of scientific thought on the genesis of the universe?  Sounds a lot like Night arising from the chasm of Chaos, pregnant with the primordial forms of the universe.  Like the divine cow Audhumla in the bottomless abyss of Ginnungagap licking the universe into existence.  

"You are of more value than a flock of sparrows."  Matthew 10:31


MftNE: Picnic at Age Twelve

Memories from the NorthEast (MftNE):  Many things in my life I have chosen not to talk about. My counselor Susan says it is time to share.  Hence this series of blog-posts. Apologizes to all.

Well I never talk about this, but everyone else in my family does!  It was a church picnic.  I was twelve.  Elderly Mrs.  Lee sat to my right.  Her daughter across from her at the picnic table.  An older gentleman across from me.  My mom on my left and my aunt and grandmother beyond her at the end of the table.  Mom had been bragging me up and I got to admit I loved being the center of attention.  Everyone was asking me about all this stuff that I was really interested in.  So, after a moment the older guy across from me asks what I am going to study in college.  I hesitate.  Mom says, blurt it out.  I admitted I don’t plan on attending college.   

After a chorus of loud disapproving gasps, everyone has something to say.  Mrs. Lee sitting right next to me shares an alternative idea.  I am horrified.  My aunt and grandmother didn’t hear and want to know what she said.  The “gentleman” says “Mrs. Lee says if she doesn’t go to college she can become a stripper.”  Everyone laughed, even my mother.  I was mortified.  Miss Lee (five times my age) hiding her face from her mother with a cupped hand says to me in a stage whisper; “I am so embarrassed for you.”  I assured her that I could relate.  Rather than shaming the gathered elders it just made them laugh louder.

Right then and there I decided that if anyone asked if I was going to college I would say “Yes!”   I ended up saying it so long and so loud that it came true.     

MftNE: Gift from the Ex-Wife

I felt it coming on and called my wife (henceforth The Judge) to cut short her business trip and come home.  I was going to need her help.  

I forgot about the Monday morning conference call.  It was kind of a big deal.  A buddy of mine called my office looking for me after the call.  He was my counter-part on a neighboring forest.  Great guy; it’s weird to say, cause we are the same age, but he was a mentor to me. Saved my bacon a couple of times.  Always explaining the “Byzantine” intricacies of the organization I had recently joined. We spoke on the phone most every day.  I was really sick Monday and Tuesday.  Apparently he called the office several times Tuesday.  He left messages on the machine at home which I was too sick and too embarrassed to respond to.
Another message on the phone Wednesday morning first thing and then mid-morning there was a knock at the door.  It was a co-worker of mine.  I real bastard, I thought. My buddy had called him up explained that I’d missed an important meeting, hadn’t answered phone calls for three days and that he knew the Judge was away on business.  The “bastard” got up out of his chair and drove thirty minutes to my house, and now here he is with concern on his face and in his voice.  I assured him I was feeling better and that the Judge was home.  He made me promise to call my buddy and to call-in next time I was sick.  Not so much of a bastard after all.  

Still in my bathrobe I call my buddy.  Still real weak, I must have sounded pathetic as I lamely apologized.  Then I said the thing we had never talked about, “I have Hepatitis C.  I got it from the third wife, the one I told you about.”  I waited with bated breath for his response.  It went from frustration with me for not calling to concern.  He asked all the caring, careful questions I had hoped.  It was incurable back then.  He seemed okay with it.  As the conversation on that topic wound down I heard him take a breath.
I thought for sure he was going to lambast me for making them all worry. 

 “Third wife!  How many times you been married?”  Another conservation I hate having.  I hesitated and admitted that the Judge was my fifth wife.  Then I held my breath again. He chuckled.  A kindly, knowing, little laugh.  To my relief he said he knew me,  that he had other buddies (pilots mostly) how did the same thing.  That most people date for a couple of years waiting to see if it worked out, whereas guys like me marry a woman then wait a couple of years to see if it works out.  Then he laughed again.  

 I’d just shared two of my deepest darkest secrets and not only is my buddy okay with that, but he seems to understand and even make light of it.  I was never so relieved and happy in my life. At that moment I never loved another man so much in my life.  How much did I love him?  Two weeks later he was in town on business.   I called my buddy up late, said the Judge was snoring up a storm; shaking the whole house and asked if I could spend the night with him in his hotel room.  We never talked about that either.