Many of the ducks at Deering Oaks were wise to flee if I got anywhere close. Large beings… potential predators.
I watched some of the ducks fly from the hills to the water, gliding in as they landed, I guess using their legs as a source of friction to eventually stop.
According to Boreal Songbird Initiative, mallards (the “most abundant duck in the world”) are a member of the “dabbling duck group”— that is, they “feed by either tipping up or dabbling along the surface, capturing food and straining excess water through the lamellae (small boney tooth-like structures along the sides of its jaw).”
“When field feeding, Mallards generally feed around sunrise and again at sunset; however, in some instances, especially during a full moon, they will feed throughout the night. They will fly up to several kilometers to reach their feeding area, generally a crop field (e.g., corn, peas, barley).”
Friday the 16th was a full moon day… I thought I heard some voices or something outside the house when night fell. I couldn’t actually tell what the sounds were, to tell the truth. But back to the park… which wasn’t a crop field.
Last week of the season. More red leaves are showing up, and the temperatures are dropping with them, into the 40s F. At least where I live.
September 11 was not only the 15th anniversary for the worst day of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, it was also a day of debris at home. Powerful winds and thunderstorms. Dark skies during the day, and, for some odd reason, the ground was dry in the afternoon.
Most of the greens are still mostly green. Maybe not quite verdant now, but in the green range.
And the digital lens on the smartphone camera is still too sensitive.
The flowers at USM Portland are still vibrant.
Yes, after months of virtual solitude, I finally got off the property. The main impetus: uploading large files because I don’t have inexpensive broadband at home. Unfortunately, no one seemed to appreciate what I uploaded… countless hours of fixing up music to sound much better, and… sigh, I guess I did it for me alone, then. (It was game level music, but still…)
As always, Lizzi is quite eloquent with her words, as is the metaphor— taking on water and repairing our ship. …Of course, I would think, prior to repairs, the ship would be taken off the water, like grounding oneself, and even finding friends or relatives to visit, perhaps. All in collecting in light of stress, etc., but not to stress others out…
It can be hard finding that balance— how much help is needed from others in holding things together. Normally, it is up to us as individuals to take control, taking care and learning, for we naturally breathe on our own before we can do anything more.
Sometimes therapy can feel inadequate or “too professional.” We value our friends a lot, and sometimes we can feel like a drain on them. Our self-awareness is important in being human, but sometimes it can defeat the nature of things; we don’t think about breathing, we just do it. The thought that we need to be “complete” takes away from the journey.
I’ve been sinking for a while, if I’m honest. Probably since before I began this blog, a little over four years ago. Likely since childhood. Life works in ups and downs for us all, with a few peaceful patches, a surprisingly large number of dangerous squalls, and a handful of downright maelstroms. I’ve weathered them all. Just.
Add September 8 to the list of days I’ve held off sleep.
Sleep and exercise— what my therapist (or counselor, whichever; haven’t seen him in a long time) told me to work on… The sleep? Not only have I reverted— sleeping late in the morning, but to a degree I’ve stopped caring. (I should care.) Exercise? My exercise, for months, has rested (ha) entirely on the length of the driveway. (Repeatedly.) My bad sleeping habits are the larger problem to face because of the importance of a working schedule… and health. So I’ll write about my obstacles on sleep.
Not much interferes, actually. I don’t have any allergies. (My nose can be stuffed up, though.) Possible doom in the world doesn’t keep me up at night.
Comfort in thought has made me a bit lazy. My far away friend makes me happy just thinking about her, and… sometimes I spend too much time thinking about her. I finally got around to writing something on the matter… but getting my flawed writing to work properly is another matter.
Apart from medical issues (which interfere with being able to stay asleep), what ultimately keeps me from going to bed is lack of resolution. Sometimes I just have to see something through, even if I have no control. Accomplishing something in the day, catching up… and misunderstandings.
Oh, there’s nothing like the feeling you are losing your mind.
As anyone knows, it can be hard to convey tone in a written message. In my case, people can take a lack of eloquence in my normal written voice as something to be taken personally, and so I keep managing to scare or tire people away. People can be overly nice in refraining from asking questions, and I can be overly nice in accepting more distance. Assumptions run the risk of taking things for granted, so perhaps we should carve out space to be blunt, and shamelessly ask for the sake of clarity?
Nevertheless, sometimes there’s nothing you can do after something snowballs, except be clear and concise when someone… asks a question.
What kept me up all day Thursday was the Story Full of Sh*t (or SFS) that will impact Gary Johnson’s campaign, in good ways and bad. Even the quote “What is Aleppo?” is false. I’m so sick of the echo chamber, and yet I made the mistake of staying up over 24 hours total to see how many news outlets would care to accurately cover the story. Almost none did. …And to think, it originated with the kill-me-now-it’s-like-watching-paint-dry Morning Joe show.
The good news is that more people know about Johnson. The bad news is “What is Aleppo?” spread everywhere as if he had no clue about the on-going civil war in Syria. The latest chlorine gassing of civilians made it clear that Bashar Al-Assad doesn’t much care about the people outside the mainland, and the people who don’t much care about quality of information made jokes and memes about Johnson. Look at this pothead. (Gary stopped ‘using’ marijuana ages ago, as well as drinking, because it interfered with his athletics. FYI.) One “news” outlet asked: Are you smarter than Gary Johnson? And, Is Mitt Romney regretting his tweet? (Even a non-endorsement tweet in the reactive coverage was supposedly bad news.)
“I hope voters get to see former GOP Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on the debate stages this fall.” — Mitt Romney, Sep 7.
Libertarians were again called isolationists and ignorant on matters of foreign policy. It’s great in a civics class, but in real life… Yeah, in real life, civil libertarians have done a lot of thankless good in protecting the rights of Americans.
It is unfair to think that the Commander In Chief is supposed to know absolutely every name on the map or read every newspaper. We’re not hiring an Encyclopedia. The U.S. President does not assume all power nor all responsibility of information. The brain power in the room always consists of multiple people, where the Commander In Chief would ask his staff questions when necessary.
Today’s demands are met with questionable standards and hypocrisy, so is it any wonder that so many people have lost sense of things?
“I began my day by setting aside any doubt that I’m human.” —Johnson
The truth was made pretty clear on Your World w/ Neil Cavuto (where Neil has returned from vacation) that not only did Gary know about Syria, he kept going into policy on the matter. He was brief on saying the current administration exacerbated things, and stressed that matters of terrorism are very complex, adding that the void would be filled if one group was destroyed. (Tell me that’s not true.) And unlike most politicians, he honorably blamed no one but himself for his on-air mistake, early on.
But, as mentioned before, the facts don’t make the headlines; in the list of interests that drive a story to be covered and repeated, quality in truth can easily get lost.
“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” — proverb, “Spurgeon’s Gems”
Johnson actually asked “What is a Leppo?” But will corrections be made? What can we expect when The New York Times, in answering “What is Aleppo?”, had to correct itself twice? (They didn’t even get the capital of Syria right.)
Together, John Deere and Monsanto make up 86% of all equipment in the precision-planting sector, which would make the merger— John Deere’s plans to acquire Monsanto’s Precision Planting— a virtual monopoly. In other words, it would make arbitrary price hikes easy.
They claim the merger is necessary to “protect farmers.”
Yeah, greed may promote commerce, but it doesn’t protect anyone. …Oh, and “fudging” numbers too… Just wonderful.
(Note: comments are closed here; please visit TheBreakAway blog.)
September 7, 2016
The Securities and Exchange Commission has paid out the second largest settlement in U.S. history to a former Monsanto executive who blew the whistle on the biotech giant’s shady business dealings involving Roundup, a widely used herbicide containing glyphosate which was labeled a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization last spring.
The whistleblower’s identity is being kept secret, according to reports, presumably to protect the individual from the potential backlash of powerful industry groups.
The former Monsanto executive, who exposed “accounting improprieties” involving Roundup, has been awarded more than $22 million, according to CNBC.
“The award of $22,437,800 was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, according to the lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York, in a statement.”
Federal government accuses Monsanto of fudging sales numbers for weed killer
Schedules are moving, and the youngest have returned to school. There are only three weeks left of summer; the autumnal equinox will begin on the 22nd (10:21 a.m.) for the northern hemisphere. (14:21 UTC for the southern hemisphere.)
Winds are moving, and to the magnitude of hurricane force winds for the southeast. Florida was hit hard by Hermine— 100,000 still without power this morning. (The radar was a bit frightening too; the storm weather pretty much covered the state in whole! I frickin’ prayed, or attempted to, for Joelle’s safety.) And now it’s moving along the east coast… the Carolinas. In time, it may hit the northeast.
But right now, it’s just the last leg of the season here. Not much wind, and not much change in appearance; however, the colors of the wild raspberries are certainly different.
Upon observation, the ‘blackberries’ are looking more like blackened wild raspberries, though I’m not sure.
I managed to capture a dragonfly, but I couldn’t get the camera to focus. The featured image at the top was the best shot. (As always, click on an image to enlarge.)
It is during hectic and poorly represented times like these— difficult to recover from or difficult to cover in what to write, that it is important to find time to unwind and reflect on where we came from, and that no time in history is without flaws. Remember how wonderfully weird the ’90s were? I was there.
With events leading up, 2014 was a pivotal year and a new beginning (as far as new beginnings can go, anyway): China claimed a leading role in running the world economy; the Russian military invaded Ukraine; Janet Yellen became Federal Reserve chair; Robin Williams died— everyone that got to know him felt that… and still do; How I Met Your Mother and Jay Leno’s gig at the Tonight Show ended, and Silicon Valley began. I would even say that standards were noticeably better in some areas…
(Side note: I had a laugh with the wording— chair; Janet Yellen was the only woman in her class at Yale to receive a Ph.D in ’71; she came all that way to become… a chair. …Anyway.)
In January, with the effort to write a decoder for the sounds in old Macintosh ROMs (led by the interest in decoding CD/XA compression used by some of the sounds, which Apple never supported in software), I took on expanding the decoder to a mixing and playback library, and then on to high-precision graphics to improve upon the old. Long story short, the inspiration led to a whole system layer which was used to port a Mac-based video game project to an entirely different platform.
June was also the turning point in my non-code writing. A daydream inspired me to write down whole scenes, which led to a chapter, and another, and before I knew it I was writing a basic novel. Not the best piece of writing, of course, as it was the first elaborate story for someone in over his head. But, in getting deep into that well (along with some “situational” idea help from some well-written TV shows), what was brought out of me changed me. I gave up on things that were toxic, including some of my own crap.
And the visit.
Later that summer, just over two years ago this day, after informing aunt J about my living conditions, she came all the way from Colorado to visit me and my mother. The three of us had a bit of a three-day “vacation” from our daily lives, driving to the big L.L. Bean sites (and be sure to check out this article), a few restaurants, and a few other things. I was very awkward and reserved for the first day or so; she gave me a long hug from the very start, and I didn’t return one or even talk until midway of her temporary stay. I tried to write down as much as I could, but enough of what was discussed was private enough— not to mention lacking in whole— that it was easy to let blogging about it slide.
I have two of her photos— the ones of me and my mother in front of the big blue Red Sox shoe-mobile, above, and the brown one. But… those pictures are far from appealing (we are disconnected, worn-out people) nor do they help convey the “vacay.” (I did post one of them on Google+ … where it will probably only be seen by one person.)
Part of why I didn’t blog about the visit was because I didn’t have internet access at home since the ’90s. But thanks to aunt J (major thanks), I finally did, come November. I could finally have success in the attempt to join other social media sites. (I still don’t trust Facebook enough to bother trying again there.)
Faced with writer’s block and the opportunity to connect 24/7 with the blog, I gave up on the obviously fictional and incomplete “novel,” and went full-steam-ahead on social media. With my priorities and sleep patterns disintegrating (not to mention pains of conscience from misunderstandings online), by fall of 2015 I was so burned out that a new medical problem emerged…
But 2014 was a year of change, one with notable death and life, with flaws, like any other time.
So, a few things. And no photos (except the lead) because most of the subjects have been elusive, or… well, un-publishable.
Tuesday night, during my walk for the day, I spotted one of the neighborhood cats in the greens. It looked back at me as I shined my flashlight on it— a flashlight with weak batteries, so a dim light on its face. During one later pass, the cat was in the path; I couldn’t help but approach it, slowly, having to complete the path, whereupon it got scared and bolted off into the woods.
The next day was a bit strange, and I’m not sure if the cat was involved. Remember the chipmunk I mentioned in a previous post? Well, I may have found it— or had— in the backyard… on its side, moving only because of the insects beneath it; in other words, deceased. Not a disturbing picture at that stage, but definitely not a picture that’s going up here.
It only got stranger that night. Glenn Beck appeared on MSNBC… live. I won’t go into that ball of stress… it was just unusual.
I contemplated making a long voice message in response to my far away friend, who as it turns out didn’t respond within the week because she was overwhelmed in work, among other things. I made the decision to do the recording… and at the point it was past 11 p.m.
To fill you in, on past matters, briefly, making a phone call wasn’t possible because of the mobile network she had— not being able to call locals, so the next best thing was to make voice recordings. When absolutely necessary, anyway.
Problem is… I am bad at speaking as myself. I’m bad at speaking in general, sometimes losing train of thought mid-sentence, but into a mic, and outside, at night? I could get paid as a voice actor the way I can bend my voice, but… as myself and quiet, it came out a mumble… as usual. And not a “cool” mumble as with Elliot on Mr. Robot (even though that show has become rather dull). The content of the message… it was awful, despite preparation— some preparation. “Wing it,” I cannot. So that message is not getting sent. I would have to transcribe it for clarity, which defeats the point of a voice message.
It approached the definition of precarious being outside before the turn of midnight. The stars were out, the crickets were at full volume, and I had used the screen of the smart phone as a light— no “torch,” as they call it in the U.K. But it was not particularly safe toward the end. And what ended the message: There was some kind of barking in the woods, only mere yards away, but not a dog. Maybe a raccoon, and I think definitely, maybe rabid. Okay, there have been no reports of rabid animals, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
I amplified that portion of the MP3 recording so you can hear it clearly:
Yeah, I returned to the house.
…A house that began to rot four years ago.
…And now, it appears as if aunt J. has given up on me, relinquishing everything onto my mother— someone who, after barely doing anything, doesn’t follow through on the ideas she sells… She doesn’t even remember a written deal she made and I accepted.
Okay, so I’m opening up my depressing circumstances again (and technically it’s more than a few things beyond this point). Sue me. I’m alone in all of this.
I know we all are sometimes undervalued and left to ask questions, not always knowing what to ask, but in my case… Am I not like an animal in the dark?
I know I’m not rabid, ha. But there is definitely darkness, even during the day. An alien in the neighborhood, where I might as well be some stray animal. I’m subject to learn in a vacuum living here. Aunt J. said in 2014, something along the lines of, you a champion, someone who will fight for you. Of course, she made it a matter of disability… to have the public pay for my help. No further help from family… whatever family that’s left.
I’m certainly not an animal if I can speak spoken languages and do square roots in my head. Still, not much of what I say is going to get across anywhere— and doubly right now; the people behind the MERLIN Project say information does not pass well long-term around one’s birthday and six months away from that— biannually. In my case, that’s early March and September.
(I was also going to link to the Wikipedia page for physicist George Hart for more on MERLIN, but the page had critical opinions stated as fact— and for a long time. I did my best clearing up the page, but the vandals out there can be so pervasive that my changes may just get undone. Also, my revisions or wording might not be clear enough or meet standards, so there’s only the win in trying and contributing.)
Right now, I should expect a lot of silence, and making big decisions will fail later on. I should be taking care of things at home, and of myself, and frickin’ sleeping. My teeth and gums are in a concerning state, my right ankle is warped, and my neck is messed up. …But those things cost money to deal with, and I should have a job. It runs in circles.
In my willingness to fight the darkness… as absurd as that gets… I got cocky again. Online, I recently gave advice to people left and right— the kind of advice that makes me— or anyone else— go oh, God… I wrote that. And my far away friend, overwhelmed, certainly doesn’t need essays in the form of emails from me right now.
With my words, trying to make change right now is like barking in the woods.
Then again, ‘right now’… is so small in the grand picture of forever… this darkness that never ends. I’m very much like an animal… on a leash, trapped in my head. …Then again, that could be considered insulting to animals. Who am I to complain when the smallest of creatures must traverse long distances for food? They run circles around me. They reproduce, and I probably won’t… regardless of how much I want a family.
Animals aren’t bothered with human trappings and emotions and judgment… Even the animal people on Penny Dreadful embrace their instincts, and act, whereas I am… reserved in my dreadful absence of support.
—Okay, enough of that. I should get some more air.
Time has run quickly this summer. The whole year has moved so fast, especially the last four months. Something of it being emotionally short for me… Fewer unique memories to link the timeline together, and less interaction overall.
On the second Wednesday this month, WordPress notified me with that little trophy, that this blog has been up for four years. Which made it all the more ridiculous when I saw that the blog had gotten zero views in 48 hours. …It reminds me of the potential quantity over quality of adding posts just for the sake of the Congratulations, you hit another 100 milestone. (This blog has also reached 400 in count, by the way.😉 )
So… zero. And not the first time. …Write “like no one is reading,” indeed. Okay, enough blog navel-gazing.
2016 is quite a different year— much different. Sometimes it has been in my face this year how messy real life is. And I’m not talking merely of people baring their souls without makeup or “graphic content.” I’ve seen some the limits of the world at large and small, and what it is to be human, and how natural it is. Some of it’s beautiful. But it is all very, very messy.
Still, I don’t have nearly enough of the picture. We’re all limited by our perceptions… But, for me— as the last time I’ve been off the property was maybe two months ago— the view is like impressions from afar.. I practically missed all of 2016.
That isn’t to say I’m alone in the practice of being absent. There are times I’ve gone to twitter and found the most recent posting was several months ago… Life goes on. But it hits me, being so out of the loop, and so out of life.
I used to write things down. I used to get up, and live. I used to dream.
This year, I feel broken. I put too much weight on being useful, and people have gone silent. I’m so dependent. I tried to get back into the loop— or “re-loop,” but it feels futile. There isn’t much ‘relating,’ and not much to say on my end because nothing much is happening on my end. And now it’s the 20th of August.
Time could blur in 2012, but still there was life. Notable things happened in 2012. Success may have been a pipe dream, but there was life. Now I can’t help but think everything is dying. …Technically, I’d be right in a way— none of us are immortal. We are born; we grow, peak, surrender and die. But the culture… not looking good.
I miss sleep… proper sleep. I’m forgetting things like never before— missing count of the passes in my walks, distracted by the “talks” in my head… ruminating, probably suppressing serious thought and memory for a bit of emotional comfort. …Of course, I can’t help but feel things that bring a smile to my face or heart when I think about one person in particular— whose appearance entering the year made 2016 unique. …And now she’s even farther away, geographically… going silent again, where I begin to think about what might have happened… trying not to worry. She’s her own person, but… it can be hard to let go of someone you love.
Another slow day in a slow year, and I find myself rereading… backlogged emails on missed social media and old messages from a deleted account… emojis, broken pictures and the truncated text of email notifications. And despite supposed good times, my broken contributions remind me of how empty and damaged I am as a person. That isn’t at all to say the other is ‘perfect.’ Everyone lies— even your friends, at least to be nice. …Feeling used doesn’t feel nice. (Hypothetically speaking.)
…It’s been four years, and I still don’t quite have a voice. So I kind of blew up, the first Saturday of August. No use pretending things are alright.
Some connections are all but gone, replaced with holes dug in not speaking up. Trying not to harm or offend, or sound self-absorbed, the word count can go up significantly… cut down to virtual grunts… “Distractions” deleted, questions left unasked, and conversations are left in an awkward position. Things just left there. It’s awful. It can even feel as if devaluing the other person, when the purpose was to protect or respect them. Of course, part of editing is getting rid of inaccurate statements… which makes me sound like a liar that I even typed the words in the first place.
Add the perception of absence when someone is unable to speak (properly)… One or both people assume that they aren’t there or are uninterested… it can feel like a communication death spiral— where the connection is perpetually lost.
Silence really can be like a cancer. I never had anyone to talk to— not really— in-depth and uncensored… which makes my ‘experience’ easily overwhelming. That’s why I’m damaged, ultimately. An example of someone who wasn’t lucky enough to have people in his life, friendly or not. Forget loneliness— the absence of others can make you feel worthless.
…It works both ways, of course. I’m not special. I’ve come across people that have found themselves “unworthy” or “dying inside.” I can empathize, first hand. You know you can talk to me, I would think. But I say nothing, unable to articulate “the right words.” Would it benefit him if I spoke up?She turned down talking to me before; why would she talk now? …I’m too toxic. I’m too immature. I keep to myself, partly out of “respect.”
…Anyway. It’s been four years on WordPress. I don’t even want to begin to think about another four… so much backlog of words. I’m surprised I’ve survived this far.😉
…And to anyone reading this who feels horribly alone: you can talk to me.