Zuihitsu

(...)

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » May 4th, 2019, 1:15 pm

Yet another damp, raw, gray day - it's been nearly two weeks since we've seen the sun, and it could be another before this stationary front gets a move on. I still walk the dog, but it's become more of an obligation than a pleasure.

The efts love this weather, though...
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...I rescue them from the road whenever I see them, gently picking them up by the base of their tails and dropping them into the wet leaf litter. I expect the hunting is better there for them, too. When my daughter was little, she used to gather them on wet days and bring them inside, where she'd build houses for them out of Lincoln Logs. When she tired of that, she'd bring them back outside and return each from where she thought she'd found them.

There was a hawk sitting on a dead branch when we got to the top of the hill this morning. Got within maybe 20 feet of him. He took no notice of us - seemed instead to be scanning the field, on whose far side a raven was squawking from the top of a white birch. I wonder if the raven was aware of the hawk, or just broadcasting his ownership of the tree to the world. Maybe he didn't realize he was probably too big for the hawk to bother with, and was posturing and blustering, just daring the hawk to try something. The hawk didn't seem to care either way.

Crows are interesting, and goddamned smart. I've seen them scarfing roadkill, unfazed by 18-wheelers roaring by because they've learned that breakdown lanes are a safe zone. They just hop off to one side whenever someone approaches, and resume dining once they've passed. They used to forage in noisy herds outside my office window, where I watched one repeatedly use the same tree stump as an anvil to crack open nuts.

I'd like to meet a crow.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » May 6th, 2019, 1:28 pm

First sun in almost two weeks - two weeks of cold, gray, fog and drizzle. I awaken today as if from a coma, wheeled by my nurses out onto the patio to bask under an amazingly blue sky. Six weeks downstream of the vernal equinox, this is the same sun we see six weeks upstream of the autumnal equinox. This is the sun of mid-August. The air itself is only 60 degrees, but as yet unsoftened by foliage, this sun's emanations are more than adequate to warm the stony New England soil.

Heard the year's first ovenbird yesterday. The chipping sparrows and titmice have been trilling their rites of fertility for a while now, joined recently by the phoebes and cardinals, and I've heard towhees calling from the the far edge of Bill's field - but the ovenbird, that's a harbinger of Summer.

The black flies are just starting to emerge, but there's enough breeze to keep them (mostly) out of my eyes. It dances with the white pines, who ripple and gently sway with it. A soldier beetle descends from somewhere, like a Huey coming in to a helipad, and lands on my bare arm. Hello, my friend. Happy Spring to you too. The jumping spider I frightened into hiding when I sat here has timidly re-emerged and sits warily on the arm of my chair a few inches away. And a fine morn to you, too, Miss.

Tomorrow the clouds are due to return, bringing with them the likelihood of yet more rain. But that's tomorrow.

This is Today.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » May 20th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Early last week I accidentally jammed a finger, hard, against a rough plank door, and it's hurt ever since. A dark line has appeared along the inner edge of the nail on my left ring finger, and the fingertip itself is excruciatingly sensitive to touch. Feels like an ingrown nail, and wakes me up at night. I've been applying an OTC topical antibiotic, but it hasn't done much to reduce the swelling. Yesterday afternoon I happened to look at the fingertip head-on - and saw what looked like the end of a splinter under the nail. I tried fishing it out with a pair of needle-nosed tweezers, but couldn't get a grip on it.

So today I drove to the walk-in clinic in Keene to call in the big guns. The NP looked the injury over and tried grabbing onto the thing, but only succeeded in pulling out a few bits of callous. But when she burst a pocket of pus, she realized there WAS no splinter - so my original guess that the injury had been caused by the nail's edge itself was correct. It had gotten infected, so she milked it out, issued me a prescription for sulfa, & sent me home with instructions on caring for the wound. The relief brought by popping that finger-zit was immediate. I'm typing this with all 10 digits, pain-free. Awesome.

The dog had his annual checkup last week, and mirabile dictu, his relentless scavenging of wild animal scat has given him intestinal parasites - so HE'S on a sulfa drug, too. How convenient - if I run out, maybe I can just filch one of his.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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judih
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by judih » May 20th, 2019, 10:48 pm

true pals
on the road adventures
and mis-adventures

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » May 29th, 2019, 11:22 am

Despite the prolonged chill - or maybe because of it - the mosquitoes have made their annual reappearance. They make the 100-ft walk to the mailbox and back a blood-letting experience, and they follow me back inside no matter how quickly I shut the door behind me. While I'm at the computer they'll appear out of nowhere to circle my head, looking for a landing spot. I'll try swatting them between my palms while they're in mid-flight, but I never seem to connect. How can anything that moves so slowly be so damned hard to catch??

I heard an owl sometime during the wee hours of the morning. If it were warmer, I'd have left the windows open and the Tascam on the nightstand, so I could capture the sound. Soon enough, I suppose.

I just watched "The Martian" again, and again marveled at how much of the science they got right. The windstorm was a little hokey, but the orbital mechanics was spot on. And I had to smile when Watney resurrected the ASCII code.... in glorious hexadecimal!
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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the mingo
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by the mingo » June 15th, 2019, 11:37 am

And I had to smile when Watney resurrected the ASCII code.... in glorious hexadecimal!
Rocket Roy in the Real World !

You're a strange man, Roy - now I gotta get on my bike & going before the rain builds in - can't believe it's the middle of June with the June daisies coming on and we are still getting soaked on a regular basis -
Doll, you may have found a place of rest but I'm still on the trail.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » June 15th, 2019, 12:43 pm

the mingo wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 11:37 am
can't believe it's the middle of June with the June daisies coming on and we are still getting soaked on a regular basis -
After a miserable 4 or 5 weeks, last week was actually quite nice around here - but it looks like several more days of North Sea weather on the way. Mid-June and I'm still wearing long-sleeved flannel shirts.

the mingo wrote:
June 15th, 2019, 11:37 am
You're a strange man, Roy
Ha! Tolja!
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » June 21st, 2019, 12:30 pm

We try to make sense of this Place we find ourselves in by working out its bits and pieces. We break down the big problems into smaller ones we hope will be more tractable. Thus we have inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, surface chemistry, biochemistry, polymer chemistry... astrophysics, particle physics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics, quantum physics... fluid mechanics, orbital mechanics, biomechanics... thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, magnetodynamics... entomology, herpetology, ornithology, icthyology... And then, leaping over big gaps of ignorance, we try to stitch all these narrow, widely separated little bits of knowledge, these partial understandings of small localized phenomena, into a coherent whole. It's not unlike a forensic paleontologist trying to reconstruct a complete skeleton from a few teeth and finger bones.

Or like trying to build a working car from parts of different makes & models from all over the world. ("Y'know, this alternator runs fine, but only in a 1959 DKW...")
Last edited by sasha on June 22nd, 2019, 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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the mingo
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by the mingo » June 21st, 2019, 10:05 pm

Midsummer's day -"Play that funky music, white boy"
Doll, you may have found a place of rest but I'm still on the trail.

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the mingo
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by the mingo » June 21st, 2019, 10:16 pm

A poem is a swamp with a beaver lodge in the middle and geese come to build their nests on it. If you don't agree than you know different shit than I know. But when the geese have raised their young they will leave the nest empty behind no matter who knows what. Knowing where the swamp is helps. Knowing what the swamp is even better.

Sometimes it's like trying to remember things about a dream other times it's following the debris field ~

~ are we still flickering? ~
Doll, you may have found a place of rest but I'm still on the trail.

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the mingo
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by the mingo » June 21st, 2019, 10:19 pm

I think the most frightening image in Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" is the one of the teacher dead on the schoolhouse steps,
her body savaged, her eyes pecked out.
That image just keeps going down and down and down into the subconscious, finding new depths.
Doll, you may have found a place of rest but I'm still on the trail.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » June 22nd, 2019, 4:50 pm

the mingo wrote:
June 21st, 2019, 10:19 pm
I think the most frightening image in Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" is the one of the teacher dead on the schoolhouse steps,
her body savaged, her eyes pecked out.
That image just keeps going down and down and down into the subconscious, finding new depths.
I saw that movie at the local Bijou when I was 12 or 13, and that scene haunts me to this day - the silence, shock cuts moving in close...... Hitchcock was a master, but dayum..... (for some reason, my memory pictures her inside her house)

The final seconds of "Psycho" are pretty potent, too - Anthony Perkins' evil grin morphing into a skull just as the film fades to black.....
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » August 11th, 2019, 5:04 pm

A few weeks ago, Senor PuppyPants and I were walking our favorite segment of the Cheshire Rail Trail, from Templeton Turnpike in Fitzwilliam south towards the Massachusetts border. This segment starts out as a great curving arc to the southeast, crossing a snowmobile bridge and a granite arch bridge over Scott Brook before continuing arrow straight to the state line. Because the trail is used not only by other hikers, but by cyclists, ATVs, and equestrians - and one of my biggest nightmares is having him cause a rider to be thrown - I keep him leashed until I can see far enough ahead to assure we're alone.

His first act after being unhooked is usually to go for a quick swim in the brook; but on this occasion, he took off into the woods with an intensity of purpose I've learned to be wary of. I followed him in, and caught sight of him rolling in something. Per usual, he'd taken his ears off the hook and paid no heed to my calls. When I got close enough to get his attention, his back, shoulders, and the top of his head were covered with a nasty, greenish-black gunk that didn't exactly smell like shit, nor like something longishly-dead, but like an unholy blend of the two. Once home, it took 20 minutes of scrubbing to get him clean, and even then I could faintly smell it over the next few days whenever he got wet.

Since then I've kept him leashed until we were past that point. Until today - I figured whatever it was had self-composted, and that he'd probably forgotten about it anyway. Wrong on both counts. It wasn't as pungent, but it was just as revolting. And here I thought my IQ outranked his. Three counts.

I still don't know what that stuff is.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » August 15th, 2019, 1:42 pm

Our morning walk takes us to the top of a moderately steep hill, whence we must turn either right or left - right to go to the lake, left to the state line. Lately we've been going left, because once the road peters out, I can unleash him and he gets to run free for a mile before returning to the pavement. This morning, though, our way was blocked by what looked like a large standard poodle, running free in someone's yard. So we doubled back, intending to go to the lake instead. But before we got there, we were met by another loose dog guarding his human's territory.

I figured we'd probably covered a mile so far (the bare minimum for a decent walk), so rather grumpily decided to head for home. We rounded the corner 150 feet or so from the T-intersection - where a black bear stood in the middle of the road. In the distance, the poodle was sounding the alarm. Fortunately, Kane was still leashed. We stopped dead.

Kane isn't a barker - his reaction upon meeting another human, dog, or any livestock is to greet and play. But he must have sensed that this was different - he stopped dead, growled, and gave a single bark. I followed suit: "Git, bear, git!" and slowly advanced. "G'wan, git out, bear, git!"

Probably stifling a yawn, bear did indeed git, ambling casually off into the field adjacent the road. By the time we reached the spot, he was nowhere in sight. Still, I cast the occasional glance over my shoulder as we descended the hill. Just in case, mind you.
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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sasha
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Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » August 21st, 2019, 6:32 am

What's with all these dreams I've been having lately about old girlfriends? And panic theatrical productions? And road trips? And is there really such a word as "hentious"?

I've never been able to burp on command, make my armpit fart, talk like Donald Duck, or whistle with my fingers. But I can imitate some birds (like crows), and once called in a pair of Canada geese to within a few yards of me. So there's that.

The dog's behavior has changed subtly over the last few months. Before, when he thought I'd spent enough time at the computer, he'd goad me into a game of chase and keep away. He still initiates these sessions - but now they quickly settle into quiet time on the bed, with me watching him quietly playing with his toys by himself. He's less prone to go AWOL on our unleashed walks, and seems to know that when he comes back unbidden, he gets a treat.

He's also gotten more vocal - "talking" & whining when he licks my face.

I guess we all mellow with age.....
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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