Sure, I believe as strongly in coincidence as anyone does.
Who among us would doubt that the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines, and the Wall Street Journal, can… and did…suddenly have computer failures at the same time?
Wow–that is SOME “computer glitch!”
The FBI spokesman who was mentioning various possibilities that the FBI was investigating in its search to discover what had happened, and where responsibility may have laid, said something to the effect that it could have been someone…parties unknown…exploring their assumed hacker skills just to see if major infrastructure components could be manipulated–and what would happen.
As it was, despite the three-and-a-half hour pause in NYSE trading, and the concurrent grounding of all United Airline traffic, and interference with the Wall Street Journal publishing procedures–there has not yet been speculation beyond the mild and somewhat timid “computer glitch” explanation.
Then there is also the remarkable “coincidence” involved in the Charleston, South Carolina, church killings. One question that gives me pause, is to wonder how the gunman, Dylann Roof, managed to choose a church that had a prominent reputation AND just happened to be headed by a United States Senator. Question Two: what would have been the internet new coverage if the tragic event had played out in a backwater town someplace with the victims having been local church-goers, otherwise unremarkable in their anonymity.
Furthermore, how serendipitous is the existence of a series of photos of the shooter, Roof, who burst forth on the international stage literally wearing the Confederate Flag, and posing with a wicked looking gun in what appears to be an ordinary-appearing bedroom. This all begs the question: WHO took those photos, and if the shots are “selfies,” taken by the subject himself with an automatic shutter camera–WHY? It seems that friends and acquaintances of Dylann Roof, who apparently never raised any red flags concerning his opinions or thoughts on race issues or otherwise, would have noticed some weird thinking on his part.
There’s more that appears to point to a really remarkable chain of events stemming from the terrible shootings in Charleston. Almost immediately the emphasis turned to the events surrounding the removal of the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina state house… pole and all… within relatively short period of time. One more point is that now the FBI has discovered that there was a “glitch” in the gun law, which should have prevented Roof from being able to purchase the gun. The gun sales owner had the legal option to issue the permit to Roof without waiting for the permit approval from the FBI. They are now reporting a paradox: that the permit never should have been issued–but the existing law was followed properly by the dealer.
All this cause-and-effect in the sequence of these news features is very convenient…they just happen to lead to detail fodder for building arguments for or against existing laws–both for and against gun control for example.
It is hard to believe this flow of news components to fit nicely into current campaign topics is pure coincidence.
A Tall Tale, told in jest, on a sort of a “dare.”
The mail carrier arrives in her little truck about one p.m. We have a big mailbox, which will hold good-sized packages along with lots of regular mail, which sits out by the road. Except for watching on-coming traffic, which I avoid by standing behind and to the side of the box.
Sometimes our mail-lady is off, and another carrier fills in for her. The substitute whips up to the box, jerks it open, and tosses the mail inside. There is often a letter intended for someone else, a neighbor or down-the-road addressee. The sub can be as late as six p.m., and is rarely here earlier than noon.
So when I heard the mail truck at about 10:30, with its distinctive motor sound, from the kitchen where I was making pancakes for breakfast, and had just served myself a tall stack of pancakes– it encouraged me to run out to see what treasures the mail carrier was depositing in my mailbox.
Dashing out the front door, completely forgetting the bluejay who was concerned about her nest, which she had built in a tree near the porch. We could hear the baby birds chirping, but I had forgotten them on my haste to get to the mailbox.
The bird, apparently surprised and quite agitated, did a bombing run over my head, diving and squawking as bluejays will do. I did avoid the bird, which returned to her nest when I had passed.
When I got to the mailbox, I saw that the lazy substitute had decided to just hang the rather large package by its string, from the flag meant to indicate the presence of out-going mail.
It had started to rain, and when I got to the package the ink which had been used for addressing the package had a few drops of rain which had smeared the address, causing the black ink to smudge, and when I extricated the package from the flag, I managed to get black ink on my hands, and on my clothing.
As I dashed back to the house, the bluejay squawked loudly but did not bother to threaten me with its dive-bombing technique.
I could hear Bob, our Irish setter, barking inside the house, and as I entered the kitchen the cat, Trinket, jumped off of the table…knocked over the plate which was holding my stack of pancakes, and accidentally tracked syrup all over the table and when she jumped off the table the whole thing crashed to the floor: the dog, the cat, the plate, the syrup bottle, the pancakes spread with butter and syrup…and the sticky sweet syrup blended unpleasantly with the running ink from the package.
What a mess! And guess what–there was no mail, only the package.
[Day 14, Writing101. Write about a word on page 29 of the nearest book.]
The nearest book is on a shelf over my left shoulder. It is on a shelf with a book on Tai Chi, Laughing, and one on the Tarot. The one I touched first is called Ribbon Basics, by Mary Jo Hiney & Joy Anckner. It is a book on needlework. The word that jumps out at me, on page 29, is: DIAGRAM.
Let me say that I love needlework almost as much as I love writing.
The difference, now that I think about it, in Writing and Needlework is related– and in some ways reaches a similar goal, which is expression of myself. In writing all that is really needed is a pencil and paper, or a computer keyboard or equivalent. Written material flows from deep within me, as with any writer…it stems from a memory or a correlation or a spark of a word or phrase, or picture.
When it comes to needlework of any kind, my original ideas are few and far between. Faced with a blank piece of fabric I have no idea where to begin. Add a variety of colored thread or yarn, I might be able to produce a very simple piece of art, limited to a geometric design or a stick-figure outline. A simple flower-like design could be in storage in my brain, but when it comes to free-form art creation that just isn’t in my talent box.
So what is needed for someone like me to produce a work of art that could approach gift-quality, would require a DIAGRAM. In my instruction book at hand, the authors have created wonderfully beautiful wall-hangings and pictures, bouquets fashioned with deftness of hands and creativity that could only be genetic in artistic accomplishment.
Sure, I could create something that would approach a piece of needlework that could be acceptable…say to my mother or a beloved aunt…who would cherish it as something that had been created by Me. The worth of it would be sentimental, or possibly it could have some intrinsic value if I used gold thread on precious antique velvet. It would never be a collectors’ item, or be displayed in a museum…unless the maker were famous for some other pursuit–not for embroidery skills or working with ribbon.
The Diagrams in this book are intricate and precise, and the results breath-taking in their beauty even on the printed page.
To draw an analogy here, I suppose one could draw a parallel with Life–perhaps an opposite effect. Life does not come with a diagram, with colors and spaces all mapped out to fill in various stages of living skills. Life evolves spontaneously, with guidance and influence–to be sure–but the finshed product (or perhaps I should better say the “work in progress” can not be set out in a diagram as can be a needlepoint picture.
[Day 14 Writing101, Make a List]
My son’s boss makes a list every morning of the things he has to do that day. I don’t, but I should.
Oh, I make lists … all kinds of lists. They are even arranged in outline form, with headings, sub-headings, and points– sometimes even categories under the points, and so on. Lists are good, but my problem is that usually “the list is the thing,” and it becomes it’s own goal.
A simple list is handy for a quickie plan for picking up just a few specific things in the grocery store, with no extras– rush through the store with the grocery cart, preferably alone…kids can divert one from the plan, and husbands are even worse. In theory this pick-up-a-few-things shopping trip is good: it saves money, avoids filling up the cart with spur-of-the-moment items, and saves a lot of time. In practice, however, this method can have the opposite effect–dashing around the store searching for certain things can eat up more time than a brisk-browse up and down the aisles; forgetting to buy needed supplies because they aren’t on the list; and can actually cost more per item because there is no time to comparison-shop.
Sometimes a list can actually help to remember the three items that are the reason for the trip. A simple list: (Underwear, Crescent Rolls, New Hammer) for example, can be useful if it is written on a scrap of paper and carried in a shirt pocket…and can be accomplished in one giant box store like–well, you know. These diverse items can be found in completely separate areas of the store, and there are a myriad of wally-wonders in between that are calling out shoppers’ names.
Some lists are more cryptic puzzles than actual prompts. This is especially true of lists of ideas for topics for my blog. I have flashes of brilliant insight often, which can be turned into fodder for the page–if I can remember it. My poor old brain is pretty much packed full, and it is necessary to start erasing information to make room for new.
Here is my list for today.
Write blog post. Sort out desk top. (Put away, goodwill, trash.) Call to cancel cable. Work on cleaning garage. Get ready for contractors to tear out ceilings. Call same and hassle them about schedule. Read email. Send out book orders. Read Commons blog. Read some other blogs. Write another post. Feed the cats.
I LOVED flying. I even liked airports, whether the reason was actually going somewhere myself, a trip with a husband, or even just providing transportation for someone else. The atmosphere of the terminal was always exciting, with people walking fast or almost running down the concourse to make a flight. Dragging or pushing carry-on bags and packages, some carrying sleeping children.
My very first flight was when I was 19 or 20, destination Valdosta, Georgia, to visit a boyfriend stationed there with his Air Force squadron, on active reserve manuevers. The flight only took a couple of hours. I forget what kind of aircraft it was, but my seat mate was a Catholic priest, a fact from which I took great comfort. I was scared silly by the time the plane landed, and very happy to find my fighter-pilot friend waiting at the edge of the tarmac.
Having survived my maiden flight, so to speak, it would be a few years before my next flight…back to the states via a Military Air Transportation Service (MATS) plane. My trip over to Germany two years earlier was SO much fun that I was looking forward to the return voyage across the Atlantic Ocean by ship. It was a converted troop ship, partially transformed into a military version of a luxury liner.
On the nine-day cruise bound for German port of Bremerhaven, from New York, I shared a small cabin with two other army wives and their two-year-olds. The babies were in little steel cribs, and I had one of the top bunks. I spent every possible minute on deck, watching the ocean…except when it was my meal setting. I sat at a big round table with seven other passengers, mostly army officers and wives traveling alone, as I was.
I was keenly disappointed when we flew back to New York on the MATS flight…on the plane, which did not have windows at each row of seats, so my only glimpse of the ocean was through a small window I passed on the way to the lavatory. It was a very uncomfortable flight for me, as I was seven months pregnant.
[Next post will discuss some of the people encountered on airplanes…entitled “Fools in Flight.” The featured characters include ME in the title role once or twice.]
[DAY 5 — entry for Writing 101]
A note I found on a path in a crowded park, half buried in mud, almost invisible due to age. It doesn’t say much of anything, but it sends chills down my spine. The meaning is ambiguous. Suspicious person that I am, I decide that the best way to make the note known to its intended recipient–is to publish it in my blog.
CALL ME TODAY — OR PAY
Yep, I now have 54 posts on SOMETIMES. Not sure how many themes have been tried out on this blog. A lot. Note: the new theme, called SAGA, is new too (at least to me) and this version of SOMETIMES is RAW, folks… no colors, no background, no header ….no nothing. Except my good old posts ranging from astute to nonsensical–all 54 of them! Don’t worry though…no good theme goes untouched! I will get to it soon. Please let me know what you think… I’m such a copy cat.
While reading up on some of my favorite blogs a little while ago one of the bloggers mentioned Wyoming. https://lifeandmagicinwyoming.wordpress.com/ I looked at the gorgeous photos and immediately a line from a song, or rather a phrase from the song, which ended with: “…you know that Wyoming will be your new home…” popped into my head.
With the melody running through my mind, searching my memory banks for the rest of the song, I mentally tried on at least two other folk music ditties, but when I looked up the lyrics at [http://metrolyrics.com/ ] neither included any reference to Wyoming.
I erroneously recalled a mention of the city of Laredo. Following that lead through Google I came up with the old cowboy song ,,.“Streets of Laredo” sometimes called “The Cowboy’s Lament.” Nope, not about Wyoming.
Then I recalled a song I always liked from the 1970s….. “Oh, do you remember Sweet Betsy from Pike?” Betsy was the gal who “… crossed the big mountain with her lover, Ike.” The melody sort of fit, but they didn’t end up in Wyoming either.
Finally it came to me, the song I wanted was “Git along Little Dogies.”…yippee aye ky oh…” (or words to that effect.) It was indeed the young calves who were being taken via cattle drive to their new home in Wyoming.
Glad that was settled or I would have been frantically searching for hours.
These great songs have been performed over a good many years by artists such as Burl Ives, Johnny Cash, and The Weavers.
I will not sing for you, readers, because the only fans of my singing are my cats–who love my rendition of the good old tune sung in Waltz dance time.
“Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde,
and the band played on….
he’d whirl cross the floor with the girl he adored,
and the band played on…
he’d get so excited he nearly ignited…
the poor girl would shake with alarm…
he married the girl with the strawberry curl–
and the band played on!”
Speaking of writing in the first person, I have struggled with this for years. It is really annoying to have to re-write when composing an email to a friend. The I-did-this, and I-did that, gets old and needs to be repaired grammatically. However…that might get pretty boring and contrived.
Sorry to be the grammar police, but that is my nature. It has always pained me to find a glaring error in a serious piece of work–NOT to say a typo, although too many typing mistakes (i.e. hitting the wrong key) questions one’s ability) –but a word that is misused or misspelled out of ignorance. A painful misuse of the language is not necessarily due to ignorance…I myself spelled “receive” with the i and e reversed, until a copywriter sent me a kind reminder (“hey-dummy, it’s I before E except after C…) and yes, I was there the day the teacher taught the rule. So now I always pause in my typing (keyboarding) and recite the rule in my brain…. I before E except after C. I before E except after C….
I was well along in grad school when someone corrected my pronounciation of “amphitheater” and my son and daughter-in-law informed me of how to say “Pythagoras” the right way. Well, in my defense, those old Greeks had a lot of names that defied pronounciation in English.
Another thing, althought I once aspired to be a linguist, I became a Historian instead. Linguistics has always fascinated me, though. Back in my freshman year of high school I studied Latin, and that one-semester course has proven to be one of the most valuable sources of background knowledge for me in my future (actually, past) endeavors of life. To this day I can recite from the text: “Britain est insula.” Pretty good, huh?
Using the right word at the right time is part of fluency in any language. English is a bad example, to me, because it is nearly impossible to master without a lot of memorization. Spanish has been relatively easy for me although it is very hard for an advanced adult to learn a second language. I can read fairly well, but speaking is another sotry. Now French–yikes! I needed a second foreign language credit, so chose French For Reading Proficiency. My Spanish helped greatly, as did the semester of basic Latin long ago. But when it came to the final exam, I was lucky to eke out a C. The instructor told me that my translations were beautiful, but I was too slow and did not do enough in the allotted time. I can explain that: French is packed with nuances and specific meanings, and I admit to taking an inordinate amount of test time to browse the dictionary (which was allowed.) So my translation was good, but I wasn’t fast enough…or to put it another way, the goal was a rough translation, not necessarily accuracy.
The only other C on my transcript was in Geology. They tricked me on identifying the rocks. (Another story.)
So anyway, it would have been cumbersome and awkward to try to write the foregoing piece without resorting to the first person…. me, myself, and I.
I did edit this yarn…and there were some really dumb mistakes. Not in the typing, but in using the wrong word, being vague, and getting carried away with aside comments. The grammar police really need to be careful of how they word things!
It did give me some blog ideas for another time though… 🙂