Saturday, October 1, 2022

Fwd: Today, tommorrow and Sunday - Hidden Studios art tour

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bill Kirby <>
Date: Sat, Oct 1, 2022 at 3:54 PM
Subject: Fwd: Today, tommorrow and Sunday - Hidden Studios art tour

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bill Kirby <>
Date: Sat, Oct 1, 2022 at 3:50 PM
Subject: Fwd: Today, tommorrow and Sunday - Hidden Studios art tour

We just got home from driving all over to the art studios linked.  We are tired and happy.  We are going out for dinner.  Bill

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bill Kirby <>
Date: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 9:44 AM
Subject: Fwd: Today, tommorrow and Sunday - Hidden Studios art tour

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bill Kirby <>
Date: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 9:07 AM
Subject: Today, tommorrow and Sunday - Hidden Studios art tour

Lynn and I have gone on this drive yourself tour several years running.  It's good.   Bill


Friday, September 30, 2022

Silent spread

I changed after reading some of The Blue Zones Kitchens by Dan Buettner, about what long-lived people eat.  There is always the ongoing argument about eating meat versus not eating meat.  Then, you can expand to include other animal products such as milk and its products and eggs.  That book changed my long-standing aim for day-to-day variety in what I eat.  There is a breakfast cereal, Heritage Flakes, that I like.  It is a mixture (variety again) of several grains, it is tasty and it holds up well in milk.  

Recently, I visited the Marshfield, WI Wastewater Facility.  One of the things they told us was that they have a robot that can crawl through their pipes and show them how they look and what if anything is blocking the flow.  As I pour milk into my morning bowl of cereal, I am impressed at how intelligently the milk finds and fills every nook and angle and cranny and tunnel and tunnelette the flakes, the banana slices and the blueberries have formed.  I wonder if there is a market for a small electronic robot that can crawl through the nooks and tunnels and transmit to my monitor a live image of how the flow of milk looks as it quietly takes over the little landscape.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thanks, covid

I think anything that affects many people is going to have mixed positives and negatives. From the standpoint of an elderly man with limited knowledge, an aspect of American life in general that distorts US views of reality is general "push" and "gung-ho-ness".  A high school or college football game, a street demonstration, the upcoming election - many issues and activities exemplify efforts to cheer, inspire, create enthusiasm.  There is nothing wrong with cheer and enthusiasm but careful thinking is a good tool, also.  It seems that nearly every aspect of life can be viewed as an opportunity to try harder, apply one's self more completely, etc.  

Along comes a tiny virus and it causes trouble for people.  We have physicians, specialists and scientists who know about such little things and they advise us that an infected human can transmit by breathing and uninfected humans can get infected by breathing.  We can't give up breathing for 15 minutes, most of us can't give it up for 5 minutes.  So, a natural solution is to stop congregating.  Sports, theaters, restaurants, and most work places are natural congregating places.  But we have computers, internet, digital banking, and phones and tablets that allow for all sorts of activities.  We have delivery trucks and no-contact business conducted in many ways.  

Suddenly, attendance is an option, not a requirement.  True, we have social drives and we enjoy a beer in the company of friends.  But covid has given us a pause.  We have a moment to think about our typical routine critically and sometimes, we find we are in the mood to try something different.  We do like seeing each other.  We like having the chance to make a few comments in a side conversation while a speaker makes a presentation. But we have a chance, almost a requirement, to look at what we are doing and consider it carefully.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Secrets and unknowns

At my age, as much as secrets and unknowns matter, there is also the matter of forgottens.  I am interested in how often the matter of secrets comes up.  It seems that individuals, groups, governments, bosses, employees, husbands, wives, teens are forever trying to keep certain things secret.  Since knowledge, understandings and opinions are constantly changing, what was a secret worth keeping hidden can become out-of-date, obsolete, unimportant and no longer correct or relevant.

To make things more complicated, what is relevant depends on the subject in question, one's focus.  Way deep down, many things are related, connected in some way.  It might seem that my shoe size is not relevant to the question of what Shakespeare did and did not actually compose.  However, in today's world, it is not just lawyers and philosophers who discuss, re-cast, toss around questions and subjects.  We have large groups of students from high school through college and on into graduate school that are required to probe and experiment, argue and wonder, 

test and conclude all sorts of questions and mysteries, from very old (thousands of years) to very new (the riots in Iran and the proposals and counter-proposals in legislatures and halls of debate everywhere).

I am interested in the matter of secrets people want to keep and how they work at keeping them.  I am also interested in the armies of probers, thinkers, experimenters and evidence catalogers that we have at work today as opposed to the number of such there were active, say, 200 or 300 years ago.  It is not just people and motivations, either.  There are tools that change things today that did not exist a few decades back.  Don't forget the amateur and professional writers and inquirers, the group we can roughly call "the media."  As seekers of advanced degrees are, members of 'the media' also want to reveal, sensationalize, provoke and manipulate us to the right, to the left, to the center, etc.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Want a piece of my mind?

Many days, it takes longer and more effort to decide on a topic for a blog post than to write something.  I don't want to be too repetitive or too lecturing.  I usually jot down five prompts during the hours between 6 AM and about 2 PM.  Some days, something comes to mind that really grabs me and I have a strong sense that that something would be good for the day's post.  But some days, there are many possibilities but nothing stands out strongly.  

I read the local paper's headlines and the comics each day.  Some days nothing seemed funny but today several did.  I admire the imagination that shows in the paper's comics and in the weekly New Yorker cartoons.  Today, Mr. Dithers, Dagwood's boss, offered to call a mechanic and "give him a piece of my mind."  Dagwood thanked his boss but declined the offer.  Mr. Dithers walked off disappointed.  "That's a shame.  I am really in the mood to give someone a piece of my mind."

I am a student and a fan of mind control, my mind.  I haven't tried weed or lots of alcohol but I like to use questioning, consideration and alternative mental postures regarding my mood, my mind and my life.  I like the idea that some days, older men are rather loaded to unload, often for deep reasons and from deep motivations that are not apparent to them.  I am a practitioner of meditation and self-interrogation and I like the idea that some days self-examination is especially needed. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Diddling well

A small pack of lady knitters descended on our house today and took my wife away for a few days.  The whole operation was cleverly planned and executed.  I am hoping to get her back.  

So far, I have kept occupied by filling out forms for a required health care change.  I needed advice and got some from a friend.  Then, I called into the government office involved.  First and second times, I just got a busy signal.  Today is the first day of the allowed change period.  Later, I tried again.  Got a recorded offer to put my name and number on a list for calling back.  Took the offer.  About an hour later, got a call back.  Great!  But, while waiting for an actual advisor, the cordless phone battery died.  Tried again.  Made it.  What better way to keep productive?

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Emerging times and themes

Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College.  A friend mentioned her as a valuable source of ideas and comments.  She writes a free newsletter each day that focuses on the news and the date of the previous day.  She sees and thinks things I know little about and I find that every once in a while, I am glad I took the time to read her statements.

Because of climate change, greater understanding of human psychology and communication between different groups with different backgrounds and goals and just because of the passage of time, the world is constantly changing.  I thought Richardson's quote of a recent statement by the president of Kazakhstan, a large Asian country, seemed to be an indicator of the slow and steady unification of all humanity.  I realize we have a long way to go.

From Sept. 20, 2022  Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, Boston College historian:

As Russia staggers, countries that were formerly in its orbit are realigning with the movement toward liberal democracy. Today the president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, wrote an op-ed declaring, "There is simply no viable alternative to globalization, interdependence and the international rules-based order." So, he said, "we are doubling down on the liberal, international, open policies that have driven such a dramatic increase in standards of living around the world." He promised to decentralize and distribute power throughout Kazakhstan, strengthen parliament and local authorities, encourage political parties, and limit presidential terms, all to "move toward a new…model of a presidential republic with a stronger parliament and a more accountable government."

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