Genealogy and ballistics

My wife has developed a keen interest in family history. She has been telling me things about my family, parts of which she has so far traced back to the early 17th century, that I had not known previously.
For example, the reason that I am here today is not because my ancestors were big heroes during the Revolutionary War, but because they were good at running away.
There was a father and two sons. The father was arrested by British military, escaped and built a new house somewhere else because after he ran away they burned down his old house.
The older of the two sons, he was in his twenties, also ran away when he and his 17 year old brother were arrested. He later built a house on the site of the one that had been burned down.
His younger brother does not seem to have escaped, and his branch of the family tree appears to end there.
So basically, I am here because of running.
My uncle, a direct descendant of those guys, was athletic all his life. When we played softball in the field between our houses, he was pretty good. As was his sister. My sister too.
My uncle had a good throwing arm.
For example: Once he was up on a ladder picking pears in the field, and I was down on the ground pestering him. I was a little kid. I don’t remember what I was doing, probably throwing pears up at him, because when he got tired of it he gave me a head start and I dashed across the field to my house.
It was about ten miles, IIRC. Incredibly far, at any rate, for a little kid. Maybe fifty meters. Maybe less. I ran and ran and ran. I started to laugh when I reached the edge of the field, figuring I was safe so far from my uncle up on his ladder.
But in the instant before I ducked under the electric fence to run through the trees into my house, a big rotten pear hit me in the small of the back. It was a perfect shot. It got me right where my pants met my t-shirt. The pear had the right consistency – rotten yet firm enough to survive such a long throw at a velocity so great that half went down my buttcrack, and the other half went up my back all the way to my shoulder blades.
I ran crying to my mother, out of shock more than pain.
My uncle showed up seconds later, explaining and laughing at the same time.
My mother laughed too.
Everybody laughed but me.

Now the weekend is coming

Life has been terribly interesting. I made potato salad and barbecued hamburgers for Gamma’s birthday, my wife’s parents came over for the event.
The cat has been distant.
I went to the barber and had my beard trimmed; I decided to do that after drinking a Sodazitron (soda water with lemon juice) and getting only soda because my moustache filtered out all the Zitron. Now that everything is trimmed it’s easier to eat in general, and the barber gave me Jameson while I waited. (I generally try to get to the barber early for this reason).
I went to an electronics supply shop for the first time and bought some transistors and stuff.
How to buy electronics supplies:

  • Go to the information desk
  • Give the guy your diagram and say, does this mean anything to you? Because I have no idea. I’m building a device to make irritating sounds. Do you have all this stuff?
  • He will then check and have all but one thing and that costs 23 cents at some place online. He will box up everything else and give it to you.
  • “Do you have circuit boards too?” you ask.
  • He will point to the next aisle and say, Over there under the sign that says ‘Circuit Boards’
  • You wonder how you will be able to figure out what is a transistor and what is something else, when you look at all the little parts.

That’s it. That’s how easy it is.
The electronics shop also had the batteries for an old camera that are said to be hard to find? Dunno. Anyway they had them.

It’s raining out.
I saw a guy crash a motorcycle this morning. He passed me in the rain in the Vienna Woods, then nicked an oncoming car less than a minute later and laid it down. I stopped my car and turned on the blinkers and helped move the motorcycle out of the street, and the broken off motorcycle pieces. The guy seemed okay, he could stand and walk. Shook up, of course. Someone else was taking pictures, someone was calling the cops, or an ambulance. I wasn’t an actual witness to the actual accident so I left after that.

Now the weekend is coming.

90 is the new 70 or something

So we were invited to Tante Hermi’s 90th birthday party and I joked, Oh this is gonna be LIT but the joke was on me because it was.
At least relatively lit. Lit-er than I expected.
Plenty lit for me.
It was held in a Serb restaurant in Vienna, for one thing, so before the evening was too far along even the vegetarians were eating meat, the red wine was very heavy and good and eventually there was a lot of schnapps. Tante Hermi apparently invited only charming, fun relatives and when the band (guitar, bass, accordion, violin) showed up she was one of the first to start dancing and one of the last to stop.
I was a designated driver so I stayed rather sober.
And I couldn’t understand much because tinnitus etc.
But I still enjoyed myself and watching Tante Hermi get down *really* gave me a more positive view of getting old.

This morning I was glad I don’t have a cow

So this morning I was doing the cat-cow asana and like most mornings when I do it one of the cats (Daisy) jumped onto my back and rode me while I did it.

Part of me wants to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ rescue possum

This morning between eating cereal and “doing yoga” with a black and white cat on my back I watched two videos that impressed me: one was of a large dog catching large salmon in a river and the other was of a rescue possum.
The dog impressed me because here was a dog earning its keep and then some. He waded into the water and carried salmon back out, placed them on the shore and returned for more salmon. I wonder what the limit is for dog-caught salmon.
The possum impressed me because it was the first clean possum I had ever seen, and it was just very cute in its little red sweater, although the scene where a small child cuddles the possum disturbed me some because isn’t that ultimately dangerous? Children have sharp teeth.
Has the idea of rescue always been popular? Is this a new trend or has it always been around?
Rescue dogs, rescue pets.
Wild animals should be wild. With the possum, okay, she was rescued as an infant and I suppose it would be impossible for most people to rehabilitate a possum enough for it to be released into the wild and survive so they get a pass.
But there is something else rescue-related that disturbs me: the idea that seems to be most common among older people i.e. adults that we will be rescued from this untenable situation we have gotten ourselves into by uncritically accepting the status quo, or critically yet passively and fatalistically accepting it.
Mueller will save us from Trump.
AOC will save us from the right.
Greta Thunberg will save us from climate change.
All they can do is point the way. We are not off the hook work-wise.
All our lives, most of us have been to a greater or lesser extent complicit in a system that has resulted in the present situation: catastrophic climate change, mass extinction, democratic failure, slavery, etc.
Either we, ourselves, work to affect change, or we don’t.
Either way we deserve what we get.
Sorry for ranting.

The first rule of peanut club

A man is walking to the store on his lunch break. Because he has run out of peanuts, he takes the only street where the crows don’t know him yet.
Two crows (one hooded, one regular) land in the grass next to the street and watch him expectantly.
Man: Fuck.
Man: This was my secret street, dudes.
Man: You guys are like a block away from your territory. Were you watching from your tree or something?
Man: I’m really sorry, but I’m all out of peanuts today.
Hooded crow: The first rule of Peanut Club is, always have peanuts.

So I bought a bag of peanuts, still in the shell, because that gives the crows something to do, cracking the nuts.
But they were nowhere to be found when I got back.
So I filled my pockets today on my lunch break and walked down their street and they showed up.
I tossed a peanut to the hooded crow, which is about 40% larger than the black crow, at least in this case, and it caught it before it hit the ground.
“Hey, nice catch,” I said.
They got a couple more nuts each, then a different, larger, black crow got a few.
Sometimes I give them more than they can hold at once to see how they solve that. They can hold 2 easy, sometimes 3 with a little time spent arranging the peanuts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one hold 4 at once.
The first two crows opened and ate their nuts on the spot. The larger crow, who might be new to this, carried his peanuts to some scaffolding around a house across the street and ate them there.

Davos limerick I saw on Twitter

Posted by in Metamorphosism

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