Thoughts

Whaz Up!?! Five Days Before Christmas!


Howdy y’all!

Last week was a tough week at Ye Olde Blogge, but it also marked a milestone! Instead of just disappearing, I made a short post explaining. In years past, I would just do nothing letting the stress of not posting add to the stress I was living with. Yeah, progress.

We missed some dates that I was looking forward to blogging about Missing these days was especially tragic because for weeks we’ve been belly aching about how empty the calendar is. Last week had lots of important dates:

  • The Sandy Hook Mass shooting anniversary was Tuesday 14 December. It was one of the most significant mass shootings we’ve ever endured as a community. I woulda been good to commemorate it on the blog. After all, mass shootings and gun violence is one of the raison d’être for Ye Olde Blogge, but we blew it.
  • Festivus Miracle Day was in a Festivus Miracle kinda way was also Tuesday 14 December. The whole Festivus Miracle thing (nine days before Festivus for those of you keeping track at home) coincided with social media trend of It’s another Biden Miracle! Honestly, I thought it sounded like something we could all have some fun with. But, we blew it.
  • Gianna Floyd’s birthday was Thursday 16 December. I remember being so moved by her testimony about her father’s, George Floyd’s, death that I immediately put it on the calendar and made plans to post about it on the day kinda like we marked Harris’ and Biden’s birthdays. We blew it.
  • Festivus Greeting card day was Friday 17 December. True, it is a day that I made up when I sent out Festivus greeting cards to any and all who caught my attention and made the sad mistake of letting me get ahold of their email, but still. I was determined to repeat it again this year. To our credit, we did get them out. Late, but out. Still counts as being blown, though. Okay. Half blown.
  • The anniversary of the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment was Saturday 18 December. You remember that one. It’s the one that outlawed slavery in 1865. So, it excepted convicts. Now you know (a) why it was important to blog about it and (b) why we have such a disproportion of Black people imprisoned. Blew that on, too.

By comparison, next week pales. It just has Festivus and Christmas. What a week to miss, but we were exhausted. We were so exhausted that we forgot about having scheduled the Whaz Up!?! post to be posted on Monday 13 December. It only had one link, so it wasn’t a blank post. A total loss. Still, kinda embarrassing.

In Forgetting His Laugh, friend of Ye Olde Blogge and Festivus card receiver, Charles David, wrote beautifully of the bittersweetness of grief and the heartache when you realize you’ve forgotten some details of those who have left us. The post moved me. I was glad to feature it in the Whaz Up!?! round up.

The Week’s Reading

Amazingly enough, we did have some time to read last week just not much from the blogosphere. Here are some of the interesting things we came across:

The Michael Beschloss and Jon Meacham Show

I love both of the presidential historians. They are such decent human beings who dearly love and respect the office, the Constitution, and our democracy. They have given so much insight and knowledge about the office and the people who have occupied it. I was happy to find Michael Beschloss interviewing Jon Meacham — really just chatting and shamelessly mugging for the audience the both of ’em — when the National Archives Foundation awarded Jon Meacham their Records of Achievement Award at their annual awards ceremony and gala. You could spend the next 42 minutes in worse ways. You won’t, though, will you? Because buffering.

Crows are Incredible; People are Assholes

We were delighted to find this article making the social media rounds including on Mock, Paper, Scissors. It’s a story about a lost crow showing up at an elementary school where it regaled the students with its rather extensive repertoire of remarks and profanity. That’s only part of the crows are incredible part.

The other part of crows are incredible — I mean this could be a Disney made-for-TV movie — the crow doesn’t just babble words, it uses its phrases appropriately like saying, Mom wake up! to wake up its owner and rescuer or Tonka, you go outside! to the family’s pet dog. That’s a smart bird! But, if it’s so smart, how’d it get lost?

Now, that is the people are assholes part of our story. The bird was rescued a couple of years ago and it just adopted its rescuing family hanging around its farm and waking up the mother and ordering the dog about. He’d go over to the neighborhood daycare to hang out with and presumably cuss around the kids there. She even knew when the daycae opened and the kids arrived. See? Smart! So, what happened?

Apparently, one of their neighbors captured the bird while the family was away on vacation and drove it over to a sanctuary where it was released into the wild. Jokes on those assholes, though. The bird recognized a family friend’s truck and followed it to the elementary school where it recognized a fifth grader. The kid tell’s her father, the father tells the family, and the crow phones home. Fuck those neighbors.

Go ahead and read the article. Tell us what you think is the most incredible aspect of the crow or how big of asshats those neighbors are.

Medscape, Obesity, Addiction, and Psychedelics

Several medical-related articles caught our eye through the magic of the Medscape email list — See? You should join ours. Honest you should. Right after you do, you should make a comment telling us which of the following was your favoritest article.

Everybody knows that I lost 30 kilos or 66 pounds since February 2020 going from 110 kg (240 lb) to 80 (175). My health is demonstrably better: my high blood pressure is more easily controlled by meds and my cholesterol is in the normal range. Of course, I worry about keeping it off and maintaining my weight, so these articles really caught my attention. And, I’ve been curious about the use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders for some time, so I added it, too:

  • The Obesity Risk Everyone Forgets: An opinion piece opining that there is a link between child abuse and child obesity. It does provide some good food for thought and changes the way you look at obese people.
  • The Biggest Loser: Physical Exertion Is Key to Keeping Weight Off: In studying the survivors of the TV show The Biggest Loser it was determined that the factor that separated those who kept their weight off from those who regained it was exercise. They hypothesize that calorie reduction is important to lose weight but exercise necessary for maintaining weight since the body’s metabolic rate lowers during rapid weight loss and doesn’t rebound.
  • The Biggest Loser: Weight-Loss Maintenance Should Be Focus: In a second article from that study notes that we focus on losing weight but not so much on maintaining the loss. It recommends that doctors include weight loss maintenance as part of their practice. Of course, those of us who have lost weight should, too.
  • Most Addiction Specialists Support Legalized Therapeutic Psychedelics: In a survey of addiction specialists, they favored legalizing psychedelics for treating mental health issues by a big margin. There is increasing evidence that psychedelics can make a big difference in addiction and other mental health disorders.

Friends of Ye Olde Blogge

We love to give back to those who have given to us by linking to us, commenting on our posts, or otherwise giving us encouragement. I wish I’d had more time to scroll through the blogs I follow, but it was just that kind of week.

  • Stocking stuffer: Robert gives us the perfect recommendation for that last-minute gift, the neo-noir novella, The Killing Holiday. Described as being filled with sex, cigarettes, and whiskey, it sounds absolutely compelling. Find out more at Of Cabbages and Kings.
  • How do you decide? There’s so much cray-cray in the news and Tengrain reports on it all in that ineffable sarcastic style he’s become known for over at Mock Paper Scissors, how do you decide which to highlight? I KNOW, you don’t! For a delightfully wicked palate cleanser, check out the latest in Bad Signs involving a little seasonal cheer badly juxtaposed. And in another little pick me up, he reviews Biden’s accomplishmentsIt’s ANOTHER Biden miracle! — and wants him to brag more about it. Okay, he’s reporting on Axios’ reporting, only adding much more value to the read.
  • Where are we? In his usual way, Ten Bears says the part out loud that we’re all thinking and then adds a fact or two that we just didn’t know when he juxtaposes the new military budget, the failure to launch on the Build Back Better Bill, and Time’s Disgusting Person of the Year. It’s worse than you thought. Check out all that’s on offer on Homeless on the High Desert.
  • A regularly occurring roundup: Burr Demings reviews all that you shoulda been reading but didn’t — guilty as charged — and thinking of all the witty commentary that you shoulda but couldn’t. Give it a read at his blog, Fair and Unbalanced.
  • Jesus always forgives: Scottie tells us all about an ex-gay that has had all the gays prayed away from him, his peener, and his hands, and wherever else the gays maybe hiding in him, but still can’t quite bring himself to quit doing all the gays things with all the gay mens. Lucky for him, (a) Jesus is the forgiving sort and (b) bigoted families still pay him to torture their gay children. There’s that and more good reading at Scottie’s Playtime.

That’s it for this week’s report! Remember to like, rate, share, comment, and subscribe on your way out!

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Image Attribution

“Merry Christmas” by Steve Rhodes is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

17 replies »

    • Howdy Ten!

      Those for who didn’t realize that Musk stole Tesla and came from wealth, it’s important to know, so when you take something from source a and combine it with something from source b can be really valuable.

      All I know is that I usually learn something when I visit the high desert.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

      • Dude, are we going to do Math? Cuz I do math in my sleep. Annoying, it is.

        Long been my contention we can’t begin to think until we can think in geological time, and there’s no better place to see it. I’ve run a few high desert rivers down the years – driftboat, kayak – mostly just to see it, and sadly once passed up the opportunity that’s starting to look like I’ll never have the opportunity to pass up again to float the Grand Canyon because I thought it would be too overwhelming (well, ok, I was short a few bucks but … whatever we got to tell ourselves).

        My theory about the “graves” in the pumice is gaining traction, but only because the shaking the cat-box theory is too …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten!

          I don’t know about math, but I thought we were beyond the Mr. Bears point in our online relationship. No, that doesn’t mean I want to see a picture of your junk.

          I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, but didn’t do the float. It’s pretty darn impressive, especially the geological revelations that seeing the layers can bring. Unfortunately, my recall of all that geological detail has long since passed the way of the dinosaur. Fortunately, my memory of the things we did there are still pretty fresh.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Like

    • Howdy Bob!

      Yeah. I think most people who’ve worked with trauma survivors already know or suspected. Having just lost a bunch of weight — I’m down another kilo and almost at my target — and worked with obese trauma survivors both as a mental health professional and as colleagues, the information on losing weight through calorie restriction and maintaining the lose through exercise was really important.

      I LOVE that crow story. Smart bird. I’ve seen it several places including “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!” But, man, what jerks the neighbors are.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

          • I actually have conversations with crows – just informed two of them in no uncertain terms to leave that squirrel’s nest alone. They cussed at me, but they left. In some circles they play a role not unlike that of the romanticized ‘muircan eagle, only a bit more esoteric (for lack of a better word – usually a real good idea to steer clear of anyone with a crow on their shoulder, more-so if they’re one-eyed).

            Kinda’ like coyote (pronounced kaiyote), a trickster, just looking out for themself.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Ten!

              As long as you follow your kai-yo’te with Super Genius, you’re good, in my book.

              Talking to crows reminds me of Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan for some reason. He’s been popping up in the media a lot more lately. I think someone published something about him recently or made a Netflix thing or something.

              Another species, though, that we should be thankful that they didn’t develop opposable thumbs.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Like

              • You were the last person I heard mention his name 😉 Yes, I have … first coupla’three books years ago, when it was a “thing”, and revisited years later (all of them by then) taking Native American Studies classes as electives in grad school. Interesting stuff, and as I recall he do a chapter on crows in the first or second book. I try to stay away from this one though, there’s been quite a bit of controversy about his work that as time has passed I can see. Though the idea that we have to change our way of seeing is not without merit.

                I might have to take that up with the (mensa) committee, wither or no to be offended, cuz all I know about that “super-genius” is he kept falling off cliffs, getting squished by rocks, run over by trains …

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  Sounds like all the super geniuses I’ve ever known. Just a little detached from reality and a little too confident in their own abilities.

                  Castaneda did have a chapter on crows in one of those books or at least mentioned them a lot. I too was taken with his books, especially the first few, but after a while I started thinking, could anyone really be doubting Don Juan after all this time with him? Every book seemed to turn upon him saying, Is Don Juan really doing this or is he tricking me somehow?

                  Still they were a lot of fun. I’d rather live in Don Juan’s world than ours.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Like

                  • The controversy is whither or no Juan Matus even existed, or if Castaneda were tricking us somehow.

                    Through my other readings down through the years I’m pretty ambivalent about it, that what he wrote about shamanism wasn’t necessarily inaccurate but that it may have been an embellishment is moot (in the generally accepted vernacular). I am often struck by the similarities to stuff attributed to old Chinese guys, and some not very trustworthy renditions of Yurpean pagan traditions. At this point in time I’m more interested in the doors we pass through than where they are or how we got to them.

                    You know, when I look into my hat, my chapeau, I find light gold colored silk and under a clear plastic cover a gold crown and in raised gold letters it reads … S T E T S O N

                    Sometimes a wear a suit. Well …

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Ten!

                      Did I really call you Bob in my last reply? Man, I’m losing it. Sorry about that.

                      After having read all, what nine books?, I figured Castaneda had made most of it up. The resemblance to anything coming out of Asia is more inline with the mythical-magical kung fu movies than anything else. I related most of it to my experience with Jungian dream interpretation. The more I immersed myself in Jung and his archetypes, the more Jungian my dreams became. When I stopped being so exposed to the literature, the less Jungian my dreams were. Another experience I relate it to is my study of Japanese medieval culture when I was a young man. One aspect I focused on was Haiku, the Japanese poetry form of a five syllable line, followed by a seven syllable line, and ending with a five syllable line. Of course, I started writing Haiku. I suppose everyone who studies the artform does. One day, I realized I was thinking in Haiku. I could express my every thought in arrangements of five-seven-five syllables.

                      What I’m saying is that our beliefs shape our perceptions as much as our perceptions, our beliefs. At the time I was reading Castaneda, I had a vision of appearing before the overspirit of Datura. It demanded a question from me. I was wholly unprepared. I had no question and fumbled around and eventually came up with something about the reasons for my parent’s divorce. Datura was disgusted with me and dismissed me immediately. Was that real? Was it made up? Was any of this similar to the process that Castaneda went through? I don’t know. Does it matter?

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Like

                    • When attributing to old Chinese guys I generally caveat “but that’s not where I heard it.”

                      Caveat that: I’ve only come to the reading of Zen late in life, and admit I am impressed with the Tzu’s, Lao and Sun (no relation, apparently) and the attendant, peripheral readings … the Romances, lol. Enough so that I find the notion that the Art is not of War but Peace to be of merit. Never-the-less …

                      I find the similarities acrost my readings and that which was handed down to me fascinating, but not so much as to go looking for my hands in my dreams.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Ten!

                      Zen Buddhism has a lot to offer us in our current iteration of the long running disaster that is the human experiment. Unfortunately, the powers of capitalism are arrayed against any attempt at non-desire and acceptance of our situation as it is. However, if we were all working towards giving up our desire for worldly goods, I imagine that the world would be a much better place.

                      I did find my hands in my dreams and seen myself in mirrors, too. Not much happened. At least, I never ascended to Nirvana or got to ride on a unicorn or sing Kumbaya or any of those promised benefits. I’m still the highly anxious and agitated asshole that I’ve always been… at least according to Ma Belle Femme.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Like

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