Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Flickerings and Fridaku Fascinations

© ScienceDaily

What a great week of exploration emotionally and professionally. The weather has been fantastic and very agreeable to getting outside and trapesing around. The hint of Spring looms dauntingly just above our bulging to-do-lists and a long-courted love affair with Home Depot, Lowes and HGTV. The renewal of Spring brings many opportunities for collective enrichment and family gatherings. What a great time of the year.

Despite being slammed at work; I have managed to learn some new InDesign and Photoshop tricks! Its obvious to me that I am happiest exploring and learning new things. Luckily I have an environment that allows such freedoms and liberties. Despite self-inflicted prisons, the freedoms just beyond my reach or cadence are beautiful to marvel. Its ok if I dont get there today and far better that I remember to never completely yield to the idea that never is also possible. Armed with hot coffee, great chocolate snacks and wide-eyed defiance, I embrace the coming of the weekend.

As one ages, it is always noted of the things that were that arent now. St. Patty's Day marks the passing of a well-missed friend and fan, Alfred; my wife's father. Such times are awkward — do you point out the elephant in the room or just ignore him, hoping he walks quitely beyond? Nonetheless, I treasure memories. It lies there in the pages of memories of past moments where infinity is bookmarked if only for a finite moment as the generations trod onward into future chapters. We sat out back once in the setting sun as I remarked about the shadows cast by the dying day. He responded with a chuckle and noted that the reason we are all different is that there are too many things for one person to see or think about. In a society obsessed with youth; will we sacrifice the wisdom of age in the process? Will we discard the elderly for our vain ambitions? or discount them like some last year's Christmas toy left to hope for purchase at some Fred's or Dollar General or yardsale as someone else's problem?

A great weekend lies ahead. If we lift our eyes and our hearts, we will encounter someone needing our smiles and encouragements just centered in our paths. Hopefully we will neither be too busy or self absorbed to pass along such a glittering treasure. The cohort, Andy has been faithfully banging out his photoblogs and haikus much to my pleasure. It really is the people around us that hold us up from sinking in the mire of self/vanity. Sharing laughter and never taking ouselves too seriously might just be a saving grace.

©Andrew Stanfield

Wooden Guardsmen

Sentinal looming,
Tall, old and mighty—guarding;
Fallen soldiers' rest.


Orange Warm Hunger

Orange, warm glowing,
Making bronze damp skin glisten;
Hungry for more flesh.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday Free'rs: Liberty of the Bugs

Spontaneous Quote: You cannot buy wisdom at the drugstore; only prevention....©maximusdoom 2011

The media is piping with things people are talking about. Needless-to-say, the watercooler is empty. As a kid I always wondered if I would listen to someone who knew more than I did or if I would listen to me if I came back from the future to give me some insight. Obviously I cannot truthfully answer that; only speculate. Our morning was a fluster of conversations. In all of them existed some content that would lend itself to several blogs from each topic. BYU is the easy one; but not as easy as Charlie Sheen — which is too easy; so I'll pass.

The other end of the box. Every now and then you see a roach big enough to rid you of any transportation expenses should you strap youself to them like a cowboy or rope them to the back, front or bottom of your vehicle. Today was one of those such days. I saw a cohort get up suddenly out of the corner of my eye. I see his mouth moving as he rolls up a magazine. With my iPOD deep in Prince classics; I dismiss as an extended bathroom embarkment and keep working on my layout. Then he comes back to his desk still looking somewhere ahead. Removing one earplug, I hear instructions to look ahead. As some of you know, I HATE bugs; particularly ones that might crawl or land on my face or chase me. There it was. A bionic roach half the size of our convertible VW Beetle. He appeared to have the power of flight as well. After some scrambling and mobilization, an office of 4 men; really 3 cause I was only going to be taking pictures, came up with the plans of removal.

The pensive recycler Andy decided to use a long box. To my horror, his great plan was to capture and release! Whatever happened to all the great lessons in history — kill them all! In his most statuesque Statue of Liberty pose, he does not use the closed end of the box to crush the guts out of the behemoth but the open end to capture. Of course it was on the ceiling. Of course it made a run for it. Of course it never occurred to him to smash it with the closed end. YES, Im a smasher! I not only kill them for this life but any possible ones after this one. In fact, you can work up quite a sweat stomping a good bug. I know some spiders, snakes and bugs are good for us; but I dont waste time interviewing them to find out. He who hesitates is lost.

Apparently I will refresh some memories about survivors and what to do with them.

Real Life
The Alamo, The Battle of Thermopylae, and several other Last Stands where the defenders were so effective (and/or annoying) that the victorious attackers finished off whatever survivors, wounded, or captured noncombatants they got their hands on afterward.

The Massacre of Glencoe was ordered by King William of Orange with the line:
"You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the McDonalds (sic) of Glenco (sic), and put all to the sword under seventy".
The part about leaving those over 70 was not mercy; in those days it was rare to find anyone much over 50 and the understanding was that anyone 70 or over would probably die on their own without someone to provide care for them.
This is frequently applied by a force that manages to defeat one much larger than them - they can't maintain so many prisoners, so the logical thing to do is to kill them all.

Famously happened during the Albigensian Crusade against Catharism in southern France. Asked by a soldier how to tell the difference between Cathar heretics and good Catholics, the Papal legate Arnaud Amalric replied:
"Kill them all. The Lord will recognize his own."
Though it's debatable if he said any such a thing, as there doesn't seem to be any record of him saying those words until about 50 years afterwards.

Arguably the result of any protracted siege in history. The soldiers, after watching their mates getting killed in various horrific fashions over a period of weeks or months, work out their frustrations on the defenders and civilians inside.
The Jolly Roger. In real life, the Jolly Roger was a good thing (assuming you were being attacked by pirates), as it meant that the pirates would accept prisoners. However, a blood red flag meant "death to all".
Both flags and their respective meaning are used in the flashback segment of the Tintin book The Secret Of The Unicorn.
In Roman Conflicts, once the battering ram was deployed, it was the signal that no prisoners would be taken, even as slaves. The Rome episode The Ram Has Touched The Wall explains this.

To extend the explanation: when a (Roman) army approached a hostile city and the city surrendered before arrival, the city's inhabitants and possessions were sacrosanct, and there would be no (official) looting or pillaging. If the city held out, but surrendered before the siege engines were in place, the citizens who fought (those of fighting age) were taken as slaves and the city looted, but no (official) rape or other destruction would take place. If the siege continued to the full, and the city overrun, the invaders could do as they pleased, and the commanders either looked the other way or actively encouraged their troops. This even applied to Roman cities, such as those on Sicily, after they rebelled. There are accounts of Legionaries who expressed the hope that the city would not surrender, so they could get some good looting and rape in.

The city of Carthage was completely destroyed by the Romans at the climax of the Third Carthaginian War. The Carthaginian citizens were either slaughtered or captured as slaves; none were spared.

Roman deserters were always killed if captured by Rome. There were accounts of ex-Roman soldiers at Carthage building a great bonfire in the Basilica before it fell, and leaping into the flames to avoid mandatory crucifixion for their desertion.

Shown in Spartacus: Blood and Sand: The Thracians who deserted the Roman forces were killed or taken into slavery, along with those of their villages.
The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Well that's a lot said in very little. Yes, opinions are like ...; everybody's got one. Like the release of said gasses; weighing before the release is paramount.

..and what is Friday without a couple of good haikus as a send off. Perhaps good is being presumptuous of me. Today's subject is one I hold near and dear; bubble baths! It is invaluable for creatives to revive themselves by escaping and harmonizing the internal energies. Failure to do so always results in the most conflicting of emotional and collateral of damages.

bubbles to the rescue

Photo from adnamaotupac

Fridakus — haikus on Friday

Below the Chaos
Deep breath in, breath out;
Hot bubble bath, smooth jazz, rain;
Stressless incense burns.

Bubble Talk
Popping bubbles shhhh,
Burying me in warm pleasure,
Unity and peace.

Self Therapy
Rain, jazz and bubbles
Alone, candles, insence, bath
One person, one soul.