Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Garden Ornaments

Cee Neuner: This week our topic is celebrating Metal of any type.

Since it is such a beautiful day, more like summer, self went around her backyard, taking pictures of metal garden ornaments. Without further ado:

Her newest garden ornament: Tibetan wind chimes, purchased last summer from Growing Grounds in downtown San Luis Obispo, right across from the San Luis Obispo mission.

Her oldest: the pig watering can, which has seen better days.

In her hanging planter, a bird built a nest.

The metal crocodile on the wall of the shed reminds her of Bacolod, Dear Departed Dad’s hometown. Her grandfather opened the first zoo in the Visayas, and one of the zoo animals was a crocodile that lived to a very great age. When it finally died, her cousins had it stuffed. Don’t know which cousin kept the stuffed crocodile. She should find out.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Law #19 of The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene: Know Who You Are Dealing With

This book came highly recommended by her relatives in Bacolod. The author is/was a Harvard prof, the publisher is Penguin, and it’s been out quite a long time (Copyright: 1998).

She hasn’t read it cover to cover, she just picks it up at random moments. Tonight, the law she is reading about is Law # 19: KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH. DO NOT OFFEND THE WRONG PERSON.

Interpretation of the Law:

  • Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some men are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor or their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous. Never reject them with an insult unless you know them better; you may be dealing with a GENGHIS KHAN.

DUN DUN DUN

Stay tuned.

SquareOdds #10: Prague Castle

Self has been on three trips with her niece, Irene, each one organized by her niece. Self is so grateful. She’s not the best at organizing. With Irene, self has visited Florence, Paris, and Prague.

Prague was our last trip together, in May 2019. Irene found a guide to take us around Prague Castle. As usual, self was drawn to details such as these small carvings on the gates guarding the entrance to a cathedral: from the super-realistic to the mythic, all on the same gate!

Thank you to Becky at Life of B for hosting SquareOdds! The Squares Challenge is always a lot of fun.

John M’Cullough, Raised by the Delawares

In July 1756, a Delaware war party abducted John M’Cullough from western Pennsylvania “to replace a dead kinsman.” He was ritually “dunked” in the Allegheny River (he said he was “nearly drowned”) by way of purification, and was told he was “then an Indian.” He was eight.

Seven years later, when his birth father tracked him down, he “wept bitterly.”

M’Cullough’s father tied him atop a horse and headed for Pittsburgh, but that night the boy slipped his cords and escaped back to the Delawares.

Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution, p. 48

Back to Reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the verse translation by Simon Armitage

Self is reading three books at the moment: My Heart, by Semzedin Mehmehdinovic (which she is hugely enjoying — it’s her first ever book by a Bosnian writer); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, by Rebecca Donner (about Donner’s great-great-aunt, Mildred Harnack)

She reads according to her mood. This morning, the mood is verse:

The Green Knight:

I’m clothed for peace, not kitted out for conflict.
But if you’re half as honorable as I’ve heard folk say
you’ll gracefully grant me this game which I ask for
by right.

The Birthday Boys, p. 49

Beryl Bainbridge chooses to tell the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed expedition to the south pole in first person, and places each chapter in the mind of a different crew member. Self thinks/remembers that the whole lot die, so this is quite a depressing book to be reading right now. She read it for the first time about 20 years ago, and it’s only now that bits and pieces are coming back to her. Such as: the farewell letters written by the men as they were dying on the ice. The diary of Robert Falcon Scott.

Chapter One (June 1910) is narrated by Petty Officer Edgar (Taff) Evans, whose voice has a certain air of stoicism. Evans describes things like how low the boat, the Terra Nova, sits in the water. How the boat was procured (on the cheap). How the expedition received extravagant attention from the press (Oh the irony). How the voyage is projected to take three years. How the Petty Officer knows not all the crew will make it.

The general impression left by Chapter One is that Scott cut corners. Most of Chapter One is engaged with Scott’s fundraising efforts, and how the amount raised didn’t seem to be quite enough. All these details will no doubt have tragic consequences. Scott was charismatic, but he was talking through his arse, the boat was pretty rickety, etc He’d already made one expedition to the Antarctic, which only made him more ambitious.

Chapter Two is related by Dr. Edward (Uncle Bill) Wilson, who is given to detached observation. For example:

  • The scenery was magnificent; abrupt precipices, wooded hills and crags, tumbling waters and a paradise of mosses, ferns and pink belladonna lilies. One moment the air was polluted with the odour of the black til (Oreodaphne foetens), so named because of its awful smell, and the next filled with the delicious scent of the beautiful lilly of the valley tree (Clethra arborea).

citysonnet colors and letters photo challenge: 28 November 2021

The color for 28 November is ORCHID.

Self does not have an orchid (or anything blooming that’s close to the color that’s on citysonnet’s November Challenge page.

Nevertheless, she does have a cousin who wore an orchid-colored top on a drive to Big Sur two weeks ago! Her shades even match her top!

Backstory: Best When Introduced Slowly

Here it comes in Chapter 3 of The Killing Hills:

  • Before gathering walnuts, his grandfather raked through the brush with a long stick to frighten away the snakes. Most bites were on the hand and foot. It was the same with people, Papaw had said. Mick didn’t understand this until clearing rooms in Iraq and three comrades were shot in the hand by the enemy.

The Million-Dollar Question

Manny Bloch’s cross-examination of David Greenglass, Ethel’s younger brother (bear in mind Bloch’s experience in court was settling small bakery contract disputes, and he was up against a very wily and very slippery Roy Cohn, David’s lawyer)

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy, pp. 141 – 142

“You realize the possible death penalty in the event that Ethel is convicted by this jury, do you not?”

Repeating the question, Bloch asked: “And you bear affection for her?”

“I do.”

“This moment?”

“At this moment.”

“And yesterday?”

“And yesterday.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Past Squares 2: Prague, May 2019

This is only self’s third round of participation in Life of B’s Squares Challenge, so instead of choosing favorites from her previous rounds, in April and July 2021, she’ll focus on past trips. She used to be quite the traveler! Everything came to a screeching halt in 2020.

May 2019: Self’s niece was going to Prague and asked if she wanted to come along. Self had never been to Prague. Of course she wanted to come along!

Dinner the first night was in the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. All the surrounding buildings were lit. The view was stunning! The next day, at Prague Castle, we stumbled on a wedding photo shoot. Self was able to squeeze off a quick candid photo.

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