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    Wolf ........... I always love to read your posts. They really hit home for me.
    And thank you for for giving us those very interesting youtube links. I can't
    imagine how you find them.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2018
    Thank you George. I've always been an explorer. When I was a younger man I relied on my university library to hunt books down for me and the good people at two bookstores in downtown Toronto. I still have some finely bound books I really couldn't afford but had no other way of reading them. It sometimes took months to get my hands on the answer to questions. Now it takes seconds and I rarely get 'hard copy' which saves a lot of trees.

    When we look at times before ours, we are freed from the burden of our own egos and needs stomping on everything with interpretation. Instead we can just look at it like we're in a movie theatre. It is a lesson in objectivity when we absorb that Americans (for example) went to war with each other, went to electric lighting and electricity (wall sockets were the original 'plug and play'), out of the horse and into cars, out of wooden paddle wheelers into iron steamships, out of photography and into moving pictures, and through the suffragette movement turning women from property to legally recognized citizens, and from cavalry to tanks - all in the half of your lifetime just before your lifetime started.

    I stretched a bit. The civil war ended some 60 years before you were born but the point is true. When you were born some 60% of homes in the USA had electricity. Now California is once again leading the way with it's initiative that new homes must be equipped with solar panels. That's one of the just over the horizon changes coming. The power grid and how it works will end. Distributed power grids are coming. Solar panels keep getting better and cheaper and are not coming because of global warming, but because getting power directly from the sun locally and distributing surpluses and shortfalls is what makes sense.

    As we speak, literally thousands of people are working on deciphering the human genome. We have it sequenced fairly accurately but that's like owning a flying saucer without a clue how it works. We are coming to (I'll use) Down Syndrome among thousands of others. Down Syndrome is caused by having a third copy of chromosome 21 which occurs randomly in some one in a thousand babies. It's one of the quirks in human DNA.

    Designer babies are coming and there isn't anything that's going to stop it because there are many serious diseases and conditions that will be preventable just as we then face the moral implications of improving our children. We always fear the Pandora's Box we now open but we never fear the Pandora's Boxes we have already opened like electricity, the combustion engine, heavier than air flight (impossible!!), or flush toilets.

    It's part of life experience to interpret our times through ourselves. It's wired right into being. Young men drive too aggressively and take too many chances, middle aged men tend to be more objective with what's going on around their moving vehicle, and old men tend to become fixated on what the person behind them is doing.

    History is littered with written diatribes about the slothful and out-of-control youth and how the world is doomed by the inept who come after us. For thousands of years men have said this - as they got older. Yet throughout all that time one thing has always been true. It is always modern times. As I've said, there is only one time and that is now. That was true when God first said, "ok, here we go" and popped the cork on this universe. Nice work too.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2018

    So, here is something this old man learned this year. We probably don't even see a small percentage of the existing universe, partly because the light hasn't reached us yet and partly because when you get far enough away, that light is never going to reach us over the life of the universe, but mostly because the part we do see is relatively flat in a physics sense - which is like being on the earth and seeing it to be flat. We have no idea what shape the universe overall takes.

    Just this week I learned what the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite has been up to. It's been taking unprecedented details about the position, motion, and brightness of the stars in our milky way galaxy. It has just released the data on another 1.3 billion stars. The result is a stellar atlas of undreamed of detail. There is one area so thick with stars, it looks like grains of icing sugar poured onto a sheet of black paper. They release the data to the world to use as they wish. Their first release was in 2016 and was much smaller than this one. That data is still generating an average of two scientific papers a day two years later. This new data released a few weeks ago is going to create an avalanche of new knowledge. There are more releases to come as the world turns fuzzy, generalized assumptions into an actual, three dimensional star map of what's actually there.

    Here is a show aired on February 8, 1956. The guest was the last living witness to Abraham Lincoln being assassinated. He was in the theatre and was five years old at the time, having been taken as a treat. When John Wilkes Booth jumped off the balcony and hurt his leg, he worried whether anyone was going to help the poor man who had fallen. Notice in the clip that the host is smoking and that the amount a guest who puzzled the contestants stood to win a total of $80.

    We think so awkwardly about time. We think of the past as history or memory but it isn't. It's just the imperfect documentation of now then. If there is time, then the time is always the same - it is now; otherwise, there isn't anything at all. Time and space aren't bound together. They are aspects of the same, one thing.

    I wrote you a long essay on seeing the ineffable mastery and vitality of God in the periodic table, and how it proves how the creator of the universe uses very sound and simple ideas like to just keep adding one electron to make almost the same stuff have entirely different properties that then react differently with each other and then react differently within families and then combine differently together to form more complex things. Like 11-17. Or 6. Or 7, Or 8.

    Table salt is Sodium Chloride. Sodium has 11 electrons. Chloride has 17. Carbon has 6 electrons, Nitrogen has 7. Oxygen has 8. You've heard of 911, well 811 is water. Oxygen (8) combined with two hydrogen (1). Both highly flammable BTW. The sun is fusing hydrogen into helium (2). That's what fusion power means. You fuse a hydrogen atom into an atom that already has more electrons. The sun can only do that up to Iron (26 electrons) . After that it takes more power than the sun can produce. That's how you know for certain that the copper in your blood comes from far, far away.

    I've Got A Secret, February 08, 1956

    (actually a recording of now happening then)

    If you think this is interesting, try imagining those who will be watching this 200 years in the future. It will be now then too.
    Now Wolf ............ You've done it again.
    You have overloaded my little brain with
    countless, unbelievable things to think about.
    ..........You certainly have a way of summing
    up everything in this crazy universe that we
    are lining in .............
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018 edited
    Buckle up buttercup 'cause you ain't old yet.

    -btw, he just had another birthday a couple of weeks ago. You can add three more years on.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2018
    It's sixty degrees in a soft, steady rain with some breezes. The people that work don't get a summery day, but I have all the windows wide open and days like this can take me back to places like the massive porch at the summer house of the Mathers on the Ottonabee river.

    You can find Mather's Corners on a map of Ontario. I knew Harold Mather, who's grandfather complained about John MacDonald coming through with his whiskey wagons drumming up votes whenever there was an election. Harold was the father of one of my friends and at 80 years old, he would fell a tree single handedly, strip it after a couple of years, and with the help of some horses and a 'get-a-long' would drag it down to the house, open up the side of the house, and slip it in to replace a roof beam. No electricity. No big group of guys - just an unbelievable knowledge of how things were done.

    The water came from a spring in the woods higher up. It made unbelievable coffee. We sometimes pulled picnic tables together and fed 20-30 people. Once in a while we sat in that long, screened in porch and listened to concerts given by friends who played and their friends who came along to play. And sometimes, it rained all day and people were sitting around the massive fireplace talking or off in the kitchen cabin talking - and I had that porch all to myself.

    The Mathers lived in Mather's Corners just a few miles away, and sometimes Dianne and I rented the place for a week in the summer. We would make breakfast on the propane stove and use the propane fridge and then spend the day lazing around the rambling wooden house or go down to the dock and set out lounges stored in the boathouse and go swimming and watch the boats go by. It was on the Trent waterway and huge boats would go by on their way to the great lakes or places like Lake Champlain.

    I've painted that place a few times. It's in the background of the three friends painting and that's the boathouse behind them. It's on the Wolf Krause Flickr site although that site is in dreadful disrepair. Dianne is the one in the middle, Rita is on the right who died of cancer a few years ago, and Jennifer is the one on the left. Those two were unforgivable with Alzheimer's but I gave Jennifer that painting anyway so she could remember her two friends.

    Some would say all those things are gone, but this is just a different time. In this time I'm sitting here looking out at a similar rainy day with my coffee and I'm learning about Manazuru, a small town in Japan on the coast. I accepted the invitation to come along and have a look, and I'm glad I did. Some things do pass by, but not as many as await my arrival.

    Journeys in Japan - Manazuru
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2018
    This is the first time in many years that I regret that fall has arrived and that summer is over. I realize that means it's now spring in the southern hemisphere and that summer is on the way but that doesn't help me. Two years ago it was almost comforting that the cold weather was coming and we all would be staying indoors (where I was already bunkered in).

    This weekend plastered on the front page of the arts section was a full colour, huge picture of Carol Burnett. She's coming to town soon and I actually put that picture aside and looked at it several times. She's 85 years old and has at least one unbelievably gifted surgeon. Lot's of famous people (there's a good example of Americans leaving the 'u' in), get plastic surgery done where I watched Jane Fonda just a few days ago talking about her One Fair Wage initiative and her face and neck looked great but, as is so often the case, her hands told a different story. Not so on Carol Burnett who had her hands up in the large picture and they looked like 35 year old hands. I'm certain that thousands of people are looking at her picture thinking they want to know who that surgeon is.

    Personally I'm not vain enough to get my face cut up to look younger than I actually do and I don't accept that "my fans expect it" or any variant of that holds any water. In my mind plastic surgery falls in the same category as tattoos and piercing. Many of the people who oppose piercing of eyebrows also approve piercing of earlobes. That kind of thinking is from the school of 'whatever was right when I grew up is right' which includes that other things are wrong. Thank goodness for the next generations whose brilliant idea is often to do something they're parents aren't doing.

    Take hats. Right up until the first world war it was mandatory to wear a hat. If you went out as an adult male without a hat on you would be told in no uncertain terms that you were not a decent human being or worse. After WWI wearing a hat was optional and after WWII almost nobody wore a hat. Then came baseball caps nowhere near baseball diamonds but no swing back to you MUST wear a hat outside. Nobody questions these things in modern times which is a joke because it's ALWAYS modern times. In 1878, 1878 was modern times. In 1978, 1978 was modern times. Ditto 1751 when all men wore tights. Nobody cares about these things in the revolving door of modern times.

    I don't care that much either. Understanding the past for me is part of understanding the present. The reason for populist governments is the ending of the post WWII boom period which explains why Trump and our Ford and Brexit and Italy and even Sweden and the Netherlands now. Eastern societies and African societies aren't going through this because they didn't go through the post war boom either.

    Trade, however, has always been around. It goes back into pre-recorded history. It's the reason the American continents were found. There have always been tariffs of one sort or another. It was common practice that trade routes going through someone's land meant that those people got a cut.

    It's also part of the reason that the post war boom was extended. Reducing or removing trade barriers caused trade (and ship building) to boom. Unfortunately that made multi national corporations much more viable and their main brilliant ideas were to move manufacturing to poorer countries and when wages rose there, to move again. The other big idea was to recognize their revenues in countries that had the lowest tax rates.

    That brings up the main reason for the end of the post war boom. Childbirth. Once medicine and diet were developed enough almost all children made it and so there was no reason to have six to eight children anymore. That happened at the same time that a good life for the average worker became viable in a sustained way. That led to 2 - 3 children and not having any wasn't a stigma that you were barren anymore - it became an acceptable life choice.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2018

    Two point two. That's the magic number. If the average pair of citizens has 2.2 children then the population is slowly growing. No western (white) society is doing that anymore. I may well be the first person to tell you bluntly that the white population on the planet is shrinking and will continue to shrink and not just because of the baby boomer bulge which is all those servicemen coming home from the war, but because white people are no longer replacing themselves.

    That soup of current events strongly suggests that whoever replaces President Trump will be a populist. The common theme in populism is 'us-them' where us are the victims and them are the perpetrators. That tends to run alongside the theme that the old days were better and going back to them will make things right again. The historic evidence of that working anywhere, ever is zero.

    That's in major part due to the fact that human beings are as terrible at addressing shrinkage as they are completely fixated on 'growth'. We're hunter-gatherers where no amount is enough because you never know and getting that out of our wiring takes tens of thousands of years - so not that useful right now.

    It's Japan that is out in front. They won't let anybody in and their citizens are aging and the young aren't having anywhere near enough children. The population of Japan is dropping like a stone while they're in a closed box of their own making. They are the test case of shrinkage where please don't call them white, but they went through exactly the same baby boom as no other eastern country did.

    Finally, every country that wrote about their own future at any point in time has almost always been wrong. Unforeseen things happened as they always do which changed things. That's what's going to happen now too. Nobody knows.

    Except some. My uncle in Dearborn Michigan was a CPA and he argued somewhere around 1963 that global corporations were the scourge of the future. There weren't any at the that time but he was right and I know that because I was listening. Global corporations are stateless and it's free trade and global supply chains that created them. But liberalism has had it's long run in it's cozy period of long growth - and it's precisely trade barriers that are going to pull in those stateless behemoths and force them to land somewhere. The main story of the next few decades is learning to manage shrinkage though and tariffs and all the rest are just players in that theme.

    To a considerable degree watching Brexit where Britain is leaving the EU, is the test case to watch. They're doing a populist face plant to make Britain great again because it's much easier to reject what exists than it is to replace it with something better. They are going to hit the drop dead date with no plan in place and while the EU will likely dither with that because dither is what Europe does - Britain is going to be a good teacher for all the rest what happens when reacting is your only plan. That drop dead date is this March and they haven't even agreed on how to deal with the customs stops that will immediately have to happen at the Chunnel (the tunnel connecting them used by about 4.2 million trucks and cars and trains a year or 12,000 a day). That traffic used to just pass through. Now it all has to be stopped with passports shown and questions answered. No booths, no customs officers, no plan, six months left.

    If you're bored and looking for something to follow, start paying more attention to Brexit this winter. It's a show worth watching and it's loaded with lessons for everybody else. It's the first example of the changes coming just as Canada will be when it doesn't sign on to the USA-Mexico NAFTA replacement. The next step will be for the US to declare that NAFTA is ended which gives us some time to prepare in what might be called the second example of changes coming. I'm not worried. The USA had a trade surplus with us so our trade deficit gets better and our currency will adjust (go down) just as the British Pound will adjust. Trade and trade disputes are quite constant in history. It's post war booms lasting a lifetime that aren't. So, some things to watch.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2018
    To George:

    It was president Kennedy who saved the earth from burning up. Not by going to the moon which was his reaction to the deep shock that Sputnik caused where it became clear that the Russians could not be allowed to control the space above the USA. But by creating NASA which many bitterly opposed because it cost a staggering fortune.

    It was the two famous photographs that opened the path - Earthrise and The Big Blue Marble. When the ruinous cost of putting men up there was shut down, it was the unmanned study of the other bodies in our system that became NASA's mandate. That led to new types of instrumentation to study them from space and that led to studying the earth itself with that same instrumentation.

    It was that work, by the NASA Kennedy caused to be created, that discovered that the ozone at both poles was rapidly disappearing to the point where both poles had ozone 'holes'. Ozone is ciritical in protecting lifeforms on the surface because that layer deflected the vast majority of harmful UV rays that pound the earth every second.

    It became absolutely clear that CFC's used in hairspray and air conditioners and every which thing was obliterating the ozone layer. A single CFC molecule can break up thousands of ozone molecules. That resulted in the Montreal accord which is the only document signed by every single country on the planet. The only reason is because there were other molecules we could use and so we did.

    Had that chain of events not happened starting with Sputnik, there would have been no NASA studying the earth from space and the use of CFC's would have continued where conservative estimates are that earth would be unlivable by 2060. Instead we are charting that the ozone layer is recovering measurably and returning to normal.

    Those ozone holes are directly involved in the melting going on at the caps and one might reasonably guess that having this direct causal knowledge would have a similar reaction to the fact that even though Carbon Dioxide is only about 3% of the atomosphere, it is another trigger molecule that has an extremely outsized affect when you pour billions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere every year. Every ice core taken documents the industrial revolution accurately.

    This time, however, the world is not dominated by a single power with that kind of might and will - might yes, will no. The problem is that everything we do creates carbon dioxide where every single average car produces 20 pounds of it per mile driven. Let alone the power plants we use to drive our industries. Producing CO2 is the lifeblood of what we do and even need now and so it is being met by disbelief and denial and reluctance to destroy our way of life to save the planet from becoming inhabitable. We even have a reference planet - Venus where CO2 ran away naturally because it is one third closer to the sun.

    It's a syllogism in physical philosphy that the most dangerous time for any species that harnesses global powers is when they have unleased some of it's enourmous powers without understanding fully the effects and without understanding the combinations of effects. As an example, Antarctica alone is releasing trillions of tons of fresh water into the oceans every day. That will change the currents of the planet for millions of years in ways that are almost completely unknown. The Gulf Stream alone altering will change the habitability of most of europe dramatically.

    To date the planet is playing with carbon tax and declaring oneself a climate change denier or believer. Coal plants are shutting down and solar power is coming along but these are like single houses in megacities. Instead one of the questions we can ask ourselves is, will we ourselves live long enough to see the first category six hurricane because that is coming. The oceans are warming and by now most people know that it is travelling over warm water that feeds a hurricane's strength.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2018 edited

    It's been like this naturally. At one time the Sahara Desert was tropical and more recently Britain was part of mainland Europe where all of Doggerland is now underwater. That was just ten thousand years ago where we mark some six thousand years of recorded history. Polar bears are adapted brown bears and the coral reefs of the world have come and gone and returned for millenniums. Parts of Los Angeles will eventually be next to San Francisco and most mountain tops everywhere have the sea shells to prove that those peaks were once underwater.

    It's too bad that we think of people who look beyond their own lives and needs as 'visionary'. Kennedy knew he couldn't let Russia dominate space and he was right. Saving the planet from burning up was never on his mind and neither was placing any importance on putting men on the moon in and of itself. It was to dominate space and it is that incredible network of information gathering instrumentation that is measuring almost everything these days, that is our best hope of finally galvanizing humanity into grasping that CO2 is on a runaway tragectory which is a fact that has to eventually be dealt with just as CFC's were.

    These are all facts that can be confirmed with investigation where facts are like gravity in which personal belief does not enter. The sea shells are there and the fossil evidence is there in the Sahara and the CFC story is well documented and the steady climb in temperatures has been measured for over a century. It's not a fact that this will continue until humanity does galvanize - that's going to be a true statement nevertheless because without change continuance leads to inevitability.

    There are no depleted fish stocks there are only overfishermen. Canada is a prime example of human viewpoint. When Cartier came over the Grand Banks were so full of fish the water seemed alive. When Canadian overfishermen kept pulling out less and smaller and less and smaller fish, they blamed the government. That's part of the issue with individualism versus sufficiency.

    It's not great corn flakes reading and yet this very kind of thing is mathematically certain to be happening so rarely in a universe where just the seen parts number in the many trillions of stars, that it must be happening all the time where life, when it gets a foothold, has so much energy and capability that splitting the atom isn't actually that hard because there is only one set of rules (which) applies everywhere.

    Finally, I'll tell you one of the fundamental things many life forms may have. It's symmetry, where you can run an imaginary line down the center of any creature even partially developed in complexity and you will find extensive evidence of symmetry. We don't have two eyes - we have opposing eyes down a symmetrical line. Ditto limbs and ears and nostrils and skeletal structure. Within that is specialization such as our organs where the two lungs are on one side and the one heart with two sets of opposing chambers is on one side and things like glands or the brain may have no symmetry because they're specialized.

    That is one possible repetitive aspect to life forms and yet there are so many variations of lifeforms on this one planet with common ancestory, that the field is wide open. It's likely though that any life forms that advance do so in groups. We may think in terms of tribalism, but ants and bees have similar roles dedicated to the hive or the queen. Whatever else, when you look at pictures of the stars or even the stars themselves, it's mathematically probable that you are looking at schmucks on some other rock grappling with their own local concerns like battling what they define as 'them' for the life giving nutrient that is divinely their own.

    I've never read a paper on the individualism of insects although I'm sure they exist. We continue to attribute individualism to self awareness while we watch every mammal everywhere display their individualism without self awareness as we think of it. Every cat and dog and sheep and pig and horse and what have you have their own personality and their own sense of self. I've been asked whether I'm not concerned about all of this and my answer is that the universe is specifically and thoroughly designed so that it doesn't matter what happens in any single area. Even Andromeda and The Milky Way hurtling towards each other isn't any concern except locally.

    Which takes me to some very good advice I once heard. Think globally, act locally. It's that first part that is still a hurdle before the adolescence of humankind. Still, fear concentrates the mind wonderfully, and continuance leads to inevitability. We're not serious enough about this yet but the evidence suggests we will be.

    It's been a pleasure George to take you somewhere and I hope it still is.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2018 edited
    (mental note to self - no emojis)
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2018 edited
    I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto.

    The well tanned from the deep south were a talented bunch. At least when it comes to music where out of that hard life came jazz, blues, and rock & roll. Robert Johnson of Crossroads fame made one of the early recordings which was highly unsual for a black man, and on it he used the phrase Rolling Stone and did two of the songs The Rolling Stones later made famous.

    Rock & Roll has a direct line through Elvis Presley who was at first widely banned from radio stations as being black. When it became clear he just sounded that way, Elvis paved the way for mainstream rock & roll and for the blues. Muddy Waters and a host of others had been around for a long time. It was Elvis that opened the door for them to a wider and (much) whiter audience. Ella FItzgerald and Ray Charles and a host of others came through the blues door. Jazz took a longer time since it's still a fringe kind of sound.

    It was through that conduit that Britain learned about the black music that originated along the shores above the Florida panhandle. Cutting edge radio stations were playing Elvis and everyone that came from that including the original music like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Record stores there started stocking their discs and that roared back in the British wave of music that hit North America in the 1960's.

    When Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys heard Sargent Pepper by the Beatles he stayed in his room for a year where popular culture remembers John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd forcing him to finally come out. That's where the surf sound quite popular then, gave way to the curvy wave of black music which flowed up from the deep south through Elvis over to Britain and back again.

    There are a million stories there including Woodstock and Ram Jet who did a song called Black Betty which was attacked as racist until it was pointed out that it was homage to Leadbelly who wrote and did that song in 1939. Much of the oldest music at the roots of so much of the music that followed was lost. They didn't make records much down there back then and played for pennies at the ramshackle places they gathered to play and drink and of course dance.

    After the civil war sizable numbers came north to places like Chicago and New York. The famous Cotton Club is an early place many have heard of. Chicago wasn't just jiving with Al Capone; it was a vibrant blues and jazz city back in the twenties and right through the fifties. That's when Elvis became the conduit for black music into white mainstream and Blueberry Hill became Blue Blue Blue, Blue Christmas.

    Here's a song that I feel sits nicely right in the middle of rock & roll, country, folk, and blues. It's by Blind Faith played live by Eric Clapton and sung by Steve Winwood at the Crossroads (mind that name from Robert Johnson) Guitar Festival in 2007. It's called Can't Find My Way Home and every note is steeped in the history I just told.

    Can't Find My Way Home, Blind Faith, 1969
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2018
    Hi Wolf, I finally got around to copying this to listen. Crossroads and Eric Clapton are among my favorite things. This is really nice. I love watching people like this playing the guitar together. And, “Can’t fine my way home” is a theme in my daily life just now.
    Thanks for this.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2018
    Hey bhv, good to hear from you.

    Two years ago I would arrive at the supermarket to an empty parking lot and discover it was easter sunday and realize it was April or September. Now I get up knowing what day it is, what's coming up, and what recently happened. I could call that depression or grief or whatever words I like, but I don't worry about that or get stuck on words the way literalists do.

    I can kick around why or how things happened or didn't - and I do kick all those things around because they're the stuff that is me. I'm the only one of the planet who can kick those things around because I'm the only one of the planet who lived them. My wife, DIanne, lived her story with her thoughts and even though I was in a lot of those stories - I never lived her life nor saw through her eyes or her feelings. Our lives are uniquely our own.

    There are a number of things that helped, allowing me to climb out of the cliff my poor car decided to plunge over. One of them was ignoring the constant advice to 'get back into life' or 'move forward', which meant take on the sort of form we had all been recognizably in. Marry someone else basically. Without understanding it fully, I wanted to give myself a chance to be me first and I am so very glad I did that. This is what I want and (like so many things) it's rarely a straight road to either good things or bad ones.

    Another thing that helped was having music I like, and while I never turn on the radio and rarely play music, when I do it means a lot to me. I have stereo speakers widely spaced on my US Army oak table and they can really belt it out when the mood takes hold. Even my coffee keeps time vibrating and I can feel the music right through the 100 lb table. If the phone rings I can't hear it and if it's summer, I have to shut the windows first. Sometimes you let it cut loose and when you do it's great to have music that can take you there.

    Eric Clapton and Tina Turner, live playing Tearing Us Apart
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2018 edited
    That’s a good one too. Look how young they are. My brother and I went out on Dune Road (Hamptons Beach Party houses). I should have been blasting “LAYLA” on the radio!
    Sometimes I’ve been wishing someone could help me with this —- whatever “this” is. But I agree I am the only one on the planet who can kick these things around. The intensity of the pain is surprising me. There are people who want me to visit and do things. Thankfully they aren’t pushy. I need to spread these things out. I need a lot of alone time. And the flexibility to leave if overwhelmed.
    I am using music quite a bit. Transferring my favorite albums to mp3. I finally did Boz Skaggs Silk Degrees before my trip. But most of the time it is quiet here. It hasn’t been quiet here for a very long time. I like that an awful lot.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2019 edited
    First of all, eighty percent of internet users browse using Google Chrome. If you do, then you have icons along the lower, right play bar that likely include:

    cc in a white box which turns on closed captions - the words show up on screen

    settings - a six petaled round cookie emblem which opens your settings

    miniplayer - a rectangle with a white small square inside the corner which opens "view in tiny mode" - a little like 'picture in picture' where you can watch something else but have this playing in the corner (click on that picture to return to your previous state)

    theatre/default - a rectangle second from the right. That increases the size of the picture and replaces the white list usually on the right with black areas like your TV does so that nothing is distracting the viewer

    full screen mode - the picture size increases to full screen. If that is too fuzzy try seeing if you can go up one in quality mode with your 'settings' button discussed above.

    edit- when you're watching something and want to pause, hit the space bar tab. If that doesn't pause it, click on the picture once anywhere which will pause it, and now the space bar pause/unpause will work.


    And secondly, just let this wash over you. Preferably in theatre mode but who cares?
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2019 edited
    That’s awesome! So much fun. “JUST WATCH”
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2019
    This is a story in two parts George. It's a peek inside the life of someone else who's going through their own devastating experiences and it's an insight into the truth which is that the world is always full of good and bad where everybody struggles to find their way. Yet the world is littered with people who help others and that's just as important as what the crazies are doing now.

    In this first 8 minute video, scan the horizon and notice the mountain ranges all around them. It will become apparent where this is in the second video.

    Homemade Off Road Electric Wheelchair by JerryRigEverything

    She is Cambry Kaylor. She gave a short talk a couple of years ago and this is it. It packs some emotional punch when she tells her story but her message is Hope Works.

    Living Beyond "What If?" by Cambry Kaylor
    Mormon Channel

    Thanks for those links to Cambry Kaylor's wonderful story.
    She found for herself what we are all looking for .... HAPPINESS ....
    Even though it came about in a very unexpected way.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2019
    George, this one I consider a marvel. It's beautiful, it's sad, and is full of wonders and the joy of life (if I remember correctly).

    Prunella Scales is a name not that many know. She was a well regarded British actress probably best known playing the wife of Basil on Fawlty Towers. She has Alzheimer's and even though they talk about it openly, this isn't about Alzheimer's. It's an invitation to join this long standing couple exploring the canals of England on a narrowboat.

    England is littered with canals and locks connecting them. They fell into disuse because of the railroad there just as the Erie canal and others did. But many of the canals have been revived and are maintained, and the old narrowboats that hauled coal and lumber and all kinds of things, have been converted to live-aboard boats where cruising the canals is a national pastime now.

    It's not terribly sharp at 360p, but it's very well done and well photographed and I found it very enjoyable. They've done more of them where you'll likely see the 4 episodes so far. They've just come back from Egypt and are still at it as of last month.

    It's just like Fawlty Towers, or the canals themselves, or this episode now; they are not our personal stories but we are invited along, and just as in our own personal stories, once we have been there, then we are always there in our memories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

    Great Canal Journeys Episode 1
    Travelogue with Timothy West and Prunella Scales

    - the M4 and M25 are highways
    -high street means main street, where the shops are
    -the toe path is the path along the canal that horses used to lug the boats along
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2019
    It's snowing. Now I told it not to, but, it's dumber than a bag of hammers and wouldn't know it's beehind from a hole in the ground. This stuff is coming from Chicago I know it because my Raptors are there tonight tearing a new orifice into the United Center the windy city can howl through.

    Chicago. The same place some forty years ago that Jake and Elwood walked into a run down cafe trying to reunite The Blues Brothers because the penquin (the nun) told them the orphanage they grew up in was going to have to be shut down unless some miracle raised a lot of cash really fast. So, just like Andy Rooney (not exactly) they decided to get the band together and have a great time to solve all the world's problems (not exactly)

    He went with them of course. So did the sax player. I always wished I'd had enough time in the scene to order a polish sausage and a blatz beer, but that wasn't on offer. Things like that happen all the time in places like Chicago or almost anywhere - even outside Oogluk's goat cheese Yurt stall way outside outside of outer Mongolia.

    Anyways. Some time later they held their concert to raise the money, being chased by the entire Illinois police force, and just barely managed to get the mortgage money to the bank on time to stop the foreclosure of the orphanage on their 'mission from God' - and when they told the penquin (the nun) who ran it and raised them, she hit them repeatedly with the ruler. It's what she did.

    Sometimes life is like an azure peacock waltzing in the garden with the flamingos and the swans - and sometimes it's a scorcher of a day with your triple scoop ice cream down for the count in the hot sand with barely a lick. One day you're serving in some god forsaken hole in Alaska with a war on and five minutes later you're in the old age home on a salt restricted diet waiting for God. Thanks for playing.

    The secret is not to get bitter when the engines flame out, break off, and fall away. Put on the Raybans and play along because the best thing about this crazy rock is that, along with the crazy, life loves the funny bits. Five minutes after someone invents the photocopier, someone sits on it and sends their genitalia out into the wild blue yonder.

    It doesn't matter what culture it is or what millenium it is because today's bitcoin craze is yesterday's tulip craze and if it's not the evil spirits and it's not the witch and it's not the volcano god then it's vampires and aliens and outrageous hats for everybody and ridiculous costumes all around.

    Now we've found extensive water on Mars and water on the moon. It's ice, but that's not a problem. So the USA is going back to the moon and what's his name is making reusable rockets that work to go to Mars, and we're going because that's what we do.

    And one day, maybe two or three hundred years from now, someone is going to click on a clip like this one on Mars, and go into that cafe in Chicago and watch Aretha singing and dancing and think about Chicago back then just like you and I just did. You can bank on that.

    Last thought. The crew aboard the ISS know that India is having an election. The lights are on. The government in power leans on the electric companies to mostly do their jobs so the populace is happier when they vote. The ISS will also know when the election is over because the power companies will have gone back to their usual efficiency. It's a funny planet. There's no denying it.

    As old as I am, I'm so happy that I can still think. At least I think I can. And I want to thank you again for giving me some great things to think about. I watch those very interesting videos about stuff in this world that I never even dreamed existed, And read what you have to say them. Then sometimes I go to Wikipedia to learn even more.

    I have some family and email friends who send me links to what they are interested in, but what is interesting for me is why they would be interested in those links. I know that we are all different and have no control over what we think about this crazy world we're living in but I certainly enjoy your thoughts about it.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2019
    I'm taking a break from my jumbled mess of distinguishing having a depression from being in a depressing situation by bothering you, you lucky man. I write every day now filling hundreds of pages of gobbledeegook I'll never read again in the same way a person might work at building furniture for years without producing a single piece of furniture. As what's his face famously said "it's the going that's the thing", or some inane comment like that.

    "How can you possibly take yourself so seriously?" That's what I want to ask often. "How do you manage to stay 'in character'?" That's what I really want to know. One minute I'm a budding artist getting the reflection just right and the next I'm a monkey with a stick in my hand smearing colors on a piece of cardboard. I've sold numerous paintings you know. Those poor people. I did one once for a friend knowing how much he missed his old beagle. It was a shock part way through that I wasn't just painting a dog that looked like a beagle; I was painting a beagle that looked like Gemma. No Gemma, no point.

    What Beaglishness makes Gemma look like Gemma as opposed to anything else doglike? That's a question few people have asked themselves - let alone wrestled with for weeks. It turns out there are answers to that question and he gushes that it's his most prized possession. I did solve it finally, but the deed is that I looked into his soul to find a deep thing to repay him in kind for standing by me when millions wouldn't. The mutt had nothing to do with it except that it was the object the monkey with the stick picked to try and bring his memory to life.

    I do go on about the universe I know, but it is all true in the same way that gravity is true. You don't have to bother with it if you don't want, but it still rules your life. Older people get reminded of that when they bend over sometimes. It's not the weight - it's the mass which amounts to the same thing on this planet which nobody needs to care about either. Just put on the tinfoil hat and pretend the neutrinos aren't going through you and the entire earth without hitting a thing because solid matter is mostly empty space.

    What does that matter? It doesn't. The main thing on this planet is to have faith in whatever balderdash is currently playing. God save the queen! They died for centuries over that and what did they get? An old lady wearing pastels carefully doing nothing except keeping the throne from her horse's ass of a son. That would be Charles who makes the phrase 'boorish oaf' look good in comparison. He gave up Diana for an elk. Enough said.

    It wasn't Charles Darwin we can thank for evolution either. It was Alfred Wallace. Charles had written his book years earlier and never published it knowing it was a firestorm. It might never have seen the light of day except Alfred Wallace also went as a naturalist aboard a ship that also went to many places such as the Galapagos Islands since that was a time when people were becoming fascinated about the varieties of species. He also got the idea of natural selection and he also wrote a book about it which he showed to Charles Darwin asking for him to read it. That forced Darwin's hand who showed Wallace the book he'd written numerous years earlier and then published it. Thus lighting the firestorm that continues to this day.

    It's all terribly, terribly important. That's the main thing to remember. Not that everything is the Haiti of it's day. Every few years a hurricane blows through their wretched state making everyone very concerned for their welfare. For about two weeks. Then it's on to whatever balderdash is currently du jour. My sister has phoned me for two years now every time the DOW crashes. I pointed out every time that the DOW is exactly in the same state around 25,000 points which is a bit rich already but not an excuse for the insatiable to get a moment's rest. That's why it's called news and not called information. The whole point is to show you commercials anyway. How many car/truck/SUV commercials did you see today?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2019

    "George. I'm over here." Remind you of anything? God, I love that story. That reminds me about The Turkey Letters. It was interesting how the letters showed a different speech pattern that reflected how people thought back then. Not drastically different but noticeably. By the time you get to Chaucer, you need a translator just to understand the words. Now you have two meanings - the original and the interpretation.

    These dichotomies are everywhere. They're illustrated in getting through any given day in that Sunny place you live in now (sorry I forget the name). They're illustrated in bravery and fear being two sides of a single coin. They're even demonstrated by the fact that my favourite character and my most loathed character are both played by a single actor.

    I get that everyone has different tastes and I make no qualitative judgements about that. I can't stand Mr Bean and I absolutely love Blackadder. Blackadder is back shelf stuff. Not as deep as Black Books but deeper than Jane And The Dragon. It's the levels where literati wannabees like me hang out looking for stuff like the Jewish Baths on Fire Island or (in the video age) the place where geology was born.

    Blackadder was a short series years ago done in Elizabethian England, then the Age Of Enlightenment, and then World War One - all for no particular reason whatsoever. It was foppish drivel that quite rightfully never made it into the popluar domain. Except it had Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson (my subject), Colin Firth, and Sir Tony Robinson and is littered with outrageously funny bits. At least to me it is. The best thing in life is love but right behind that and a close second is the funny bits.

    Don't mention MacBeth - Blackadder

    The costumes are painstakingly accurate. As I said, it's a very stange planet. If you think it's overdone try researching The Scottish Play and find out.

    One day in the nineteenth century James Hutton went for a walk along Siccar Point and noticed the unconformity in the rocks that had to mean great upheavals over a long time must have happened to make that cliff such a blend of different rocks going in different directions in different layers.

    Siccar Point - the birthplace of modern geology
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2019 edited
    It's a stunning sunset outside my window. A band of bright pink on the horizon liine behind the line of black, leafless trees and tall evergreens. Above that a ribbon of deep purple which is a band of clouds lit from behind while the bright pink below and the less intense pinkish red above is open sky.

    To the south are some tall clouds coming in sketched in dull, pastel reds and purples. The sky has long moved from robin's egg to stainless steel blue above me where the last rays of the sun are already setting north of, or to the right of my window. On winter solstice it sets just above my left speaker just about where those clouds to the south right now start.

    My honey locust is leafless too and it's gnarled, dark trunk and branches break up the scene where I can see the two morning doves outlined on the big lateral branch as they often are once it's spring. They like sunsets apparently and are obviously fond of each other.

    I'm waiting for the moon to come around. The Isreali space ship meant to soft land on the moon today crashed. They have another one and will try again. The Japanese did manage to make a dent in that asteroid they're chasing right now. And that image of a black hole they managed to get was released this week, and black holes apparently look like a crispy creme donut where the actual black hole is the missing center.

    This day also marks the launch of the second big rocket by SpaceX. They put the first one up over a year ago. This time both boosters landed back on the pad side by each and the main booster (for the first time) landed safely on the barge out in the Atlantic which has now been given a name. That barge is now named Of Course I Still Love You. These are the people that put that red convertible up there in space with the dummy behind the wheel. The reference is that even though the main booster rocket has NEVER ONCE landed on that barge before today, of course I still love you.

    It's busy times out in space and I for one hope very much that I will be around to see the launch of the James Webb telescope which will replace the Hubble and which has so much more power and instrumentation that the pictures are bound to be stunning and the information is bound to give our understanding of this breath taking universe another step forward.

    In 1054 AD a chinese astronomer recorded a new star. It was the first supernova known to be recorded by human beings. Supernovas are where our heavy elements come from because they explode with such tremendous power. Betelgeuse is set to go supernova. It's just 430 light years away. With a little luck we won't be in the way. Then maybe two thousand years from now we'll have a picture of it becoming another nebula in our milky way.

    The Crab Nebula photographed by Hubble


    Very quickly stars come in a variety of mostly a dozen forms. Earth is a G star which is pretty stable and has a lifespan of around 5-10 billion years. Some aren't like Betelgeuse which has a lifespan in the hundreds of millions of years if memory serves. In some ways supernova stars populate the less interesting but more long lived stars with more interesting elements - like the copper in our blood for example.
    I'm like Wolf--watching nature all the time--fascinated by outer space and our exploration of it--a connoisseur of sunsets. I'm outside so much with the dog and always looking to see what birds and animals I can see--always hoping for something a little unusual. Yesterday two barred owls were hooting at each other through the day. I looked and looked, but could not see them--I am wondering what they were doing hooting and hoo-ing during the daylight hours. Mating season perhaps? It is a rainy morning--not too cold. I have the sliding doors open to the dawn freshness--am looking out onto the hill and the woods. No deer this morning, at least not yet. I just drank a good cup of coffee and have supper already started in the slow cooker. Life is good.

    I knew there was some reason I posted what I wrote above. I came back seven hours later to add that that few minutes first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee and a connection to nature was a big help in getting me through the Alzheimers years. Often in that last four months when I was up night and day--and lived in leggings, Uggs, and a hoodie 24/7--that quick early morning break--whether I had been in bed or had been up all night--was what held me together.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2019
    Here's an interesting trip through 1940's colorized photographs. People like American Pickers would salivate at the signs and cars and pretty much everything.

    Colorized photos of American life, about 8 minutes
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2019
    Volkswagen, ein deutches auto. If you want to sound German you pronounce that Folksvaagen. The great benefit of being fluent in several languages is mostly that you get to appreciate what a complete hash translations often are. Now that whole generations have grown up with Germany being one of the european leaders all playing nice, nobody cares about what happened in history, let alone know what a Folksvaagen is (the original not the Passat).

    That's a freeing development when your parents were Nazi's (not your parents - mine) which became abundantly clear when I attended my nephew Dan's wedding, where he was marrying his true love Dan, they both wore tuxedos, both had beards, and none of the 200 friends (all under 35) cared in the least -or knew hardly anything at all about WW2, let alone caring that Germans were the enemy. Movies like Inglorious Basterds were made by our generations - not theirs.

    That's like western movies. When we grew up the wild west had ended just slightly after 1900 which was when the real Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid left for Bolivia. Movies really only came into their own in the 1930's. Now only the occasional artsy western film gets made like the Coen brothers recent one and 'cowboys and indians' has become racist.

    I've lived long enough to watch what I was taught and what I experienced become history. Even the baby boomers are on the decline, having dominated western politics for a long time, we are well into our retirement era which started in 2011. That's 1945 plus one year to get home and pregnant, plus 65. The oldest possible baby boomer is 74 years old. Within 20 years 'baby boomer' will become history just like cowboys and indians.

    I've lived long enough to see that everything commonplace now is the science fiction of previous generations. Catscans, solar panels, driverless cars, high speed electric trains, talking appliances, drone planes, cloud computing, cashless society, and space stations are all the science fiction of our youth.

    All of those are the canal systems, railroads, cars, electric lights, flush toilets, and refigerators of our grandparents. Modern times. Same experience, different generation. It just takes a couple of generations now to turn modern times into ancient history.

    The greatest potential change is the cellphone camera/video invention which marks the end of history as everyone knew it - the victors spinning the story. Our first real record started around the time of Abraham Lincoln of whom we have numerous photographs. Future generations will be able to look up and listen to the Gettysburg address because everybody there will have recorded it and uploaded it.

    The next generation to come may well have lived all it's life with an active moonbase. Roof tiles will become solar collectors. Potentially harmful gene combinations will be edited out and eventually genes will be redesigned. There's no telling what future generations will do and that should concern us as much as previous generations who knew it was degenerate to go outside without a hat on.

    Deka TV commercial for investors. "Now you can make money where other people pay it out." It's actually the shuffle dance being used to sell. That's why he's dancing in the mall being given money instead of paying.


    I hope you're still out there George, even though you've been saying you're tired and ready. If not, you will always be missed.
    Wolf ......

    I still visit here every day even though I have nothing to offer.
    I feel close to all the care-givers here and enjoy reading every post.
    At age 98 I can't do much, but am thankful for what I ca still do.
    I got a bang out of your story with your high school crush and
    hope you continue........ Old, Old, GeorgieBoy
    • CommentAuthoraaa
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2019
    Well said Wolf, dh and I often discuss things, especially as we watch old TV program or read through magazines. I was still in school when Queen Elizabeth 11 took the throne and my entire class went to our house to watch the coronation. We were the only ones close who had a TV. Now she is 93. I laugh when we go to an antique store and they are selling things I used when I was first married, LOL. Of course many of those things have come to be popular again. My granddaughter will use nothing but cast iron, whisks are a big thing. Something jogged my memory in the grocery store yesterday of the bags of margarine my Mother used to buy at the store. It was basically white and had a capsule in it that you squeezed till it broke and the yellow coloring came out, then you squeezed the bag till it was butter yellow :) That was my job, squeezing the margarine. Not sure why we did that since my grandparents milked and I know my grandmother separated the cream and made butter. Then fall was the time to butcher the hogs, don't see much of that any more but someone someplace must do it, since we buy pork in the store. Big industry farms maybe?

    I buy raw milk from a local farm, they have Guernseys so lots of butterfat. I usually skim most of the cream and have occasionally make butter, it's good but not worth the time these days. We have so much to do -- I read that all our labor saving devices actually have ending up costing us by resulting in having more to do. A lot of truth in that.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2019
    George. Good to hear from you. Allow me then to write an essay arguing that the universe must be intentionally designed.

    Oakridge, they did that with margarine because the butter lobby was powerful enough to insist that margarine not look like butter. If you wanted it to look like butter, you had to mix it at home yourself. It's not butter anyways. It's salted butter that most people eat. That made margarine people add salt too. That's a lot like the recent dash for every fast food joint to offer meatless burgers. I can't wait for the future trend of advertising that "our burgers have real meat'. It was never a beefburger anyways, it was a hamburger. Guess what was inside that? Ham. That's similar to Chinese food most of which Chinese people wouldn't recognize. Or Italian food where veal parmesan isn't even a word in Italian and pizza with cheese stuffed in the crust would be alien.

    The thing I like about the fact that all men wore hats outdoors at the turn of the century is that when you stop and absorb that they really did believe that it was an abomination to go outside without a proper hat on, you gain an insight into how extremely differently the different generations thought. They really did believe that burning people at the stake was the only way to free their souls from the possession by the devil - epilepsy for example. But that wasn't reality then. Freeing their souls from damnation was. The nuances of what was reality throughout the generations are so extreme, where from about 1850 backwards, behavior was far more rigid and defined than it has been starting in the industrial age, that time travelers would be spotted as aliens in an instant because all of their mannerisms would give them away - and I mean all of them.
    • CommentAuthoraaa
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2019
    I did not know that Wolf. Sounds a lot like the milk industry
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2019
    George, the designed universe thing I talked about became way too complicated. I've done this instead.

    The human condition.

    The surest way to truly appreciate what we have is to lose what we have. What that was time and again doesn't matter. When unwanted changes come we are distraught and once we adapt to those changes the issue never existed.

    When my parents were together they bickered and argued regularly. When my father died my mother lived in his shrine. When the husband of one close couples friends died of cancer he became a saint. When he was alive, she was at him half the time. I talked to both my mother and my friend about it and they were certain no such thing had occurred.

    When my best friend overplayed his hand at work (quite recklessly), he never got over how much they hurt him - no mention and no memory of his causing that. When I tell my sister a story about our father that shows he was human, she becomes angry and calls it lies because he hit our mother. Yet my nephews told stories of pretending they were asleep when their father hid in their room trying to escape her blows.

    When our own lives seemed so hard, and our friends and family couldn't bear to enter the doomed madness, the world became alien and our friends became despicable. When an old high school friend reached out to say hello, my closure to new relationships sailed out the window and I envisioned her moving in.

    Now my vision is acting up and guess what? I suddenly want the life I've been struggling in - just let my vision settle back to normal. And if it does, and some time passes, I'm not going to care squat about that and go right back to seeing myself struggling.

    I saw this years ago after my wife passed and I came across my old journals from my twenties and into my thirties, and reading them discovered a very self absorbed person who's thoughts bore little resemblance to the plateau I'd put our relationship on after she passed.

    All of this falls perfectly into the stories I've been reading that the courts are coming to understand that eye witness accounts are often wrong because memory is a living thing that readily changes facts over time. That is causing many jurisdictions to institute a policy that the police showing the lineup to the witness now have no idea who the suspect in that lineup is.

    What's ridiculous about all this is that it's completely common for people to suffer from what they see themselves struggling against now, and not only disregard, but obliterate what they no longer struggle against. It's also ridiculous that it's virtually universal that when anyone has this common reaction pointed out to them - they are annoyed. That includes me.

    Do I have any useful insights to share about this? Yes. Knowing the facts about life being like this isn't going to change anything. It's both our nature and useful to adapt our outlook to our current situation - and the constant there is that we are struggling against the slings and arrows of whatever fortune we see. That's the only normal there is.

    So is anybody happy? Yes. Those who see themselves as fortunate without any need to remind themselves of why. In fact, why is completely and utterly irrelevant. If we think we're happy then we are, and if we think we're not then we aren't. We might have good moments or good days, but we return to our current outlook. That works the other way too. We might have some bad things happen but when they're past, we return to our current outlook.

    Where thinking like this might be useful is when we go through traumatic, life changing events such as every reader here is. I'll use a 27 year old male as an example, who spent every single moment developing their basketball skills and made it to the NBA - where the half life of the average player is two years, and just a few years later that player has an injury that prevents them from recovering enough to play - and everything they've lived for is gone.

    Everyone is telling them how their whole life is ahead of them and they can do other things, but the real truth is that everything they lived for is gone, and nothing they do will bring that back.

    And the point in all this is that it takes time to recover from body blows such as these, and it takes time to get our feet on the ground and function better in the fundamental changes, but what really takes time to come around is our natural state outlook. That's not because of any failing on our part. It's just a truth about these kinds of things.
    Wolf .....
    ....... It's difficult for me to keep up with everything that's going on in your febrile brain but I like the challenge you give to me. I think it's great that you have found this outlet for all your creativity and a place to express your opinion of the very interesting life you have lived.
    ...... Do you ever think about what you and Dianne would be doing right now and what your life would be like without going through that dementia trip? Would your thoughts about "The human condition" be any different?
    …… I often wonder what life would be like for me if I still had my Dear Helen.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2019

    I do spend time sometimes wondering what it would be like today having Dianne here. I mean the real Dianne who never had dementia, but got old along with me. I don't believe my thoughts about human outlook would be different because they're observational. I see that nearly everywhere people act from how they see themselves now.

    I also understand that if Dianne never had dementia, she would be living in the knowledge that her tribe had been decimated. We had three different couples friends that were lifelong relationships, and in every one of those, one of them died - all before Dianne but after she lost her tangible connection to ideas like that.

    It's well known in insurance actuarial tables that there is a period around 60 where there is a spike in the number of deaths. It's also known that after 65, there is a lull until the low 70's. I didn't just lose Dianne in that window, I lost four other friends who also died then. We are all now pushing 70, but everybody who made it through 65 is still here.

    So if Wolf & Dianne were still here, Dianne would have lost all the friendships that mattered to her so much except for one couple. She would have gone through a great deal of sadness she was spared from, even though I would be much happier today having her with me.

    Having said that, I think it's a testament to love and value that I try to hold the memory of her as her, and not as the victim of that disease. I try to remember that she had me as whatever rock she could fathom, even though I did not then have her.

    As to an outlet, I have many of those again where for some time I had none except for perhaps this place. Joan's site is special to me because it sustained me at my lowest ebb and it is where I first found my mature identity and voice. I've come to value what I believe after losing what I feel.

    I believe that my life and what I've learned has prepared me to be genuine and contributory to the rest of life in my own small ways, and that belief and action is opening up many channels to contribute in. I'm learning that neither the artist nor the medium have anything to do with the meaning.

    Yesterday, I received a card from a great-nephew who said he was sorry I couldn't attend his wedding in Alberta. He used an entire page to express his thanks for the numerous things I taught him, recounting some of them. Whether it's your own Stanford connection, or the woman from high school with a collection of degrees, the writers of articles I contacted, or the lady next door I took time to explain why her art is good - I get validation consistently that I should continue to try to help show people things, because it might not matter, but it also might.

    For example, in a single 30 minute walk, by being aware of what's beneath me, I spare the lives of countless bugs and ants that are on a collision course with the bottom of my shoe with almost no effort or awareness I'm doing that when I'm walking with someone else. They don't thank me or boost my ego - but they're life and that's the real point.

    On a different note, one of the leaders of the world recently conjectured buying Greenland. When that was ridiculed, he was called infantile for reacting to the Danish. The Alaska purchase was equally ridiculed in it's day. Yet if that had not been done, you would not have been stationed there, and your life would have been something else.

    Finally, I'm as infantile as anyone and I value that too because peace will come soon enough and in it's own time, but being you is a gift and knowing that you are is a richness that is available to all who can open themselves to it.

    And lastly, in answer to the question is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all - if that were a valid question, the answer is that it would be better never to have been at all.
    • CommentAuthoraaa
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2019
    Wolf, I can't believe I read that right. With all the memories of your life with your Dianne, and we know there were many wonderful ones - would you really have given that up to be spared watching her lose herself to AZ?

    I hope I misread that last sentence.

    Even though my husband can't remember the times I talk about, I do, and he'll smile. In my head, and heart, we are still the same couple who did some wonderful, crazy things that memories are made of. Not today, and not for a long time, but the memories are real and I wouldn't give them up for anything. Sometimes that's all that keeps me going.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2019

    I understood that line was something Bill Shakespeare wrote and in responding to you and looking up the exact wording, I learned that it was Alfred Lord Tennyson who wrote that - which goes to show why staying humble is the only way to go. I even had the tense wrong but I also just learned it's a very common mistake people make.

    The actual line from Tennyson's poem is "tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". Which means my comment about it is nonsense because neither Alfred nor William were asking that as a question. I learn every day.

    My intent was to say that if anyone was asking that question seriously, they might as well skip ahead to the end where if love is a thing to be avoided because of the pain of losing that, then why live at all?

    I would never give up my time with Dianne to be spared the incredible pain of watching her lose herself to Alzheimer's.
    • CommentAuthoraaa
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2019
    Glad we got that cleared up, LOL. You had me worried for a minute :)

    There is an old poem, which I can't remember, but the essence was of a woman who never took a chance so there was no need to bury her because she had never really lived.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2019
    With the wildfires in California being such a growing issue after several years of a growing number of them, it's easy to focus on that as the signal of global warming. The people in Florida which is virtually flat and nearly at sea level know that the water is rising but only so far by a few inches. The houses in Ft Lauderdale which have been there for fifty years aren't sand bagging or selling in droves. You have to live there to really know what is changing.

    CO2 is now at 400 ppm (parts per million) which is a tiny amount but CO2 is a trigger trace element in a similar way that salt is a tiny component of food, but it's a trigger trace element and changes things far above the tiny amount (compared to the amount of food) that makes it way too salty.

    Weather is always local. The experience of climate is just as local. I'm regularly talking to people fifty miles away and their weather is often different. I've been in a snow storm while they have sun, and they've been in a thunderstorm while I have sun. That's because in my locale the wind dominantly comes in two directions. For simplicity, it comes from Oklahoma or from Lake Superior. If it's Oklahoma, our weather can easily be different, if it's from Superior, I'm getting what they're getting an hour or two before they do. Around here, when the wind is coming from direct south or from the east, we're likely in for a storm.

    In my town, halloween marks the end of the leaves. There may still be some green on bushes, but the trees are either yellow, orange, red, or barren. We're right on schedule. This year we got so much rain that my lawn never went yellow as the lawns around here do in the dog days of summer. No one here waters their lawn. In 13 years, I haven't seen a single sprinkler. In Toronto, on Lake Ontario, everyone did and yet the great lakes are overflowing. The great lakes from Thunder Bay to Chicago to Montreal and Cleveland, are seeing their levels rising. That has nothing to do with sea level rise. The entire fresh water great lakes chain drains through the St Lawrence down to sea level.

    This local effect can be seen on a larger scale in comparing the west coast with the interior. The winds come off the Pacific because wind is generally dominated by the direction of the earth's spin. The mountain chains along the west coast tend to cause rain to drop their moisture when they rise over them. That's why the west coast tends to be wetter than the dry interior. The wind crossing the interior tends to have little moisture in it because it left that on the west coast.

    According to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska - California is officially free of drought after more than seven years of being in a drought. Some of these latest fires are PG&E incompetence in maintaining it's power lines sufficiently free from local growth. California's rainy season started in October and goes through to April. Annual rainfall is expected to return to normal this year for the first time in numerous years.

    As for glaciers melting, try and understand that just 13,000 years ago New York was under something around a mile of ice. Canada, except for the west coast and a bit of the prairies was one giant glacier. All of that ice has been melting for a long time and that is many more times the glaciers that have melted than the little that was left to melt in this very recent awareness.

    The scale of time might be better understood when we think of Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago where the ice age would have been melting for 11,000 years, or the beginnings of Sumeria (the garden of Eden by the Euphrates - bible page one) some 5,000 years ago where the ice age would have been melting for just 8,000 years. Or further back to Doggerland, the land between France and England that was thriving a few thousand years before that but which is now all under water called the English Channel and the North Sea.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2019

    One of the first signs of CO2 rise is already becoming apparent. Hurricanes spawn off the coast of Africa and because of the earth's rotation, spin towards the Americas. The oceans are like a twisted conveyor belt of currents where the parts of the Gulf Stream ocean current that sinks off the coast of europe, will not see the light of day again for many thousands of years. It's not the oceans that are changing yet, it's the surface of the oceans that are changing. They're getting warmer in the shallow Carribean and off the continental plate on the USA's southern east coast. That's fuel for hurricanes who soak up moisture from the oceans surface as they pass. The warmer the water, the more powerful the hurricane. And with the water levels high, the greater the storm surges.

    I suspect most people alive today will be seeing the first Level Six hurricane in history because I expect those waters to keep getting warmer. For the same reason I expect we're just years away from storm surges on the east coast becoming seriously damaging beyond what has been experienced so far. Hurricanes are a hair trigger event because they feed off the immediate effects of us plowing CO2 into the atmosphere. That's true of Typhoons as well which are really hurricanes in a different area of the planet.

    We haven't seen the effects of CO2 yet. We're shocking the systems because CO2 itself is a hair trigger component even though it's such a tiny part of the water ecosystem. It's only showing up so far in storms, storm surges, and outsized changes in percipitation in some areas. California is not one of those. It was in a drought for years and, if science is right, has just begun it's normal rainy season patterns again.

    I believe you are a religious man. You won't see this written in any bible (yet) but somehow and very fortunately, humans have discovered the main answer at the same time they're still slow on the uptake as to how serious this is. We can't walk away from our cars and use of energy; but, we can and will convert everything to electric and run the vast majority of that from solar panels. Electric vehicles only exhaust water. Cars are already there and just getting more efficient. Canada now has a string of electric recharge stations across most of the country. It's all in it's infancy but it's proven already to work.

    Electric trucks, electric cars, electric trains, electric factories. California has a chance of ending up in the lead. You triple the price of electric power over ten years while forcing the electric grid to become distributed (energy flows both ways and is stored in many smaller stations - the power company does not make money from selling energy, it charges to build and maintain the grid). Next you offer serious subsidies for solar conversion including surcharges for delivering power all stepped over ten years. That will spawn a solar industry and result in ninety percent of buildings being self sufficient. Net surplus is sold to industry which can't put up enough solar panels to cover energy need.

    Imagine storms where power doesn't go out because every building is it's own battery and all vehicles exhaust water without heat and there is a steady migration to electrically powered industry - and you have virtually stopped adding CO2 to the atmosphere. That is only a matter of time where necessity meets will. That's a wrenchingly huge thing to undertake, but that such a feasible solution has come into existence at this same time can virtually be seen as a miracle.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2019 edited

    It's the south east coast that is the harbinger of climate change to North America. I can almost guarantee that because of speed of effect. And solar doesn't solve this - it just ends the death spiral continuing to increase CO2 is. I doubt I will live long enough to see the massive water pipelines being built. The great lakes are overflowing while the south and west are parched. That's not an anomaly. That's climate change and we're going to live with that for at least hundreds and probably thousands of years. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Like the immovable object that meets the irresistable force, humanity is going to continue to dither until sufficient cause meets effect. That makes perfect sense because the work to change is massive and sufficient cause is quite certainly on the way. We may go through 500 ppm before then which is a lot like kicking the planet; but, all things come in their time and the solar vision I laid out is certain because it's the only sufficient road.

    Finally, Trudeau was re-elected in Canada recently which I'm sure made global headlines. One of the things he said was that he would plant 2 billion trees. Well...where are they?

    I have no idea how or why life on this rock came up with the idea of creating self awareness in an ape with opposable thumbs. Didn't life know that ape would get into no end of things? It certainly is interesting though. And much more interesting than dinosaurs. Big didn't work. All they do is eat all day to find enough energy to move around. Instead a testosterone driven know-it-all is monkeying around with splitting atoms and going to the next planet. It's just another day in the universe. Make that one more spin of the earth.

    I hope you're well George.