Cause and effect

A record number of salmon were killed in the Klamath River in Northern California, and the administration refuses to acknowledge that the cause was water diverted to help farmers in Southern Oregon. Though the administration was warned that to divert the water would result in death to salmon who use the river for spawning, the administration trotted out its tame team of politically friendly scientists to say there is no cause and effect relationship between less water and fish dying.

These are probably the same scientists who say that there is no global warming, though today’s temperature in this region is 20 degrees warmer than normal for the first week of October, and massive droughts impact on those parts of the world that aren’t being drowned by unprecedented flooding.


Stubbornly letting go

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Loren Webster writes compellingly, wonderfully, about the virtues of stubbornness:

More importantly, stubbornness got me through Vietnam. Unlike most of my fellow soldiers, I had few illusions about that war, but my stubbornness and unwillingness to give in to my feelings of despair got me through my tour there. I was determined to stay alive, and if that meant never taking a drink, never smoking anything stronger than a cigarette and experiencing the whole hell that it was while stone-cold-sober because that gave me the best chance of coming out alive, that’s what I would do. Stuck in a platoon that was dramatically understaffed with sergeants and experienced soldiers, I felt it necessary to assume responsibilities that aged me long before I should have been. Sheer stubbornness got me through that war without enduring psychological problems and allowed me to deal with the hostility I met in the “liberal” groups I ran with when I returned home.

I see a stubborn streak in all of the webloggers whose writing I enjoy on a daily basis. I sometimes wonder if this strength to hold one’s ground is the reason why I do like their writing, regardless of what they write about.

I am not a stubborn person. There are a few universal truths I hold on to with fierce grip: protection of the environment, a great dislike of war in any form, a disgust of hypocrisy, the importance of treating fairly with one another, and a love and appreciation of beauty no matter its form. However, outside of these philosophical generalizations, I hold on to very little else with any great strength.

You only have to look at how many times I’ve moved to see this. From Kettle Falls to Seattle to Salt Lake City to Seattle to Yakima to Phoenix to Yakima to Ellensburg to Seattle to Portland to Vermont to Boston to San Francisco, and finally here to St. Louis. And I don’t have even the excuse of being in the military to provide reason for my restlessness.

I also let go of people, as easily as I let go of places. The slightest hint that I have no place among the people I’m with, and I walk away. It’s in my nature to let go before being let go. Yet none of us have a place within any group that isn’t of our own making. Rather than walking away so easily, perhaps I should have held on, but found a different grip.

Technology Weblogging

The beauty of change

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

It would seem that Google has changed its algorithms and webloggers no longer dominate. I checked my own name, Shelley, and found I’m an ignominious second pager now. Still, we webloggers are facing this algorithmic demotion in stride, with humor, and wit.

However, the only way to know Google’s algorithmic change’s true effect, is to run a test. Searching on poem change, I find:

Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root:
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they.

Elizabeth Barret Browning, Change upon Change

You would have liked
Who I could have been,
But he died with the rest of my dreams.
I could have changed this,
But I tried too hard…
…I tried.

Paul Graves, Change

I made a deal with God
a few years ago
and told him
“This is it!
until the end of this year
I return the money
if they give me too much,
from then on
I feel free to keep it.”

Moshe Benarroch, Change

Returning home

I left home when I was young, at old age I returned home,

I still had the hometown accent, though my hair had turned grey.

I met the hometown children who knew me not,

Laughingly the children ask me, where I was from.

He Zhi Zhang 659AD to 744AD – A Tang Poem

i cannot feel my skin right now. if i pinch myself, it does not hurt. if i embed my fingernails in my arm, i cannot feel it. only my fingers can feel the pressure of digging into my arm. if i cross my right leg over my left leg, only my right leg can feel anything. if i cross them the other way, only my left leg can feel. right now, there is a tiny itch on my right leg. when i scratch it, i can no longer feel my leg. it therefore no longer itches. theoretically all i would have to do to stop the itching would be to put my elbow on my leg. but then if i moved my right leg, i would feel it again without feeling my elbow. this would only be useful if i had an itch on my elbow.

crushing a bird :: pocket change


No, Google seems to work fine. Just fine