Category Archives: Humor

Chickens, bravery and bagpipes . . . not the Scottish ones

I had no idea there are so many kinds of bagpipes . . . pretty much one for every European nation, and even a Chinese version . . . the ones in the music of this video are Romanian.

I picked this video for a few reasons. One is that the pictures remind very much of some of the pictures of some of my now-deceased family – my grandparents – they really worked the land. Their stories are heartwarming, funny, inspiring, sometimes so very sad, and sometimes maddening.

They were not gypsies, except perhaps on the occasional Saturday night! I don’t know if the people in this picture were gypsies either – when is a group of gypsies no longer gypsies?

The other reason I chose this clip is because it also reminds me of a brief mention of a wonderfully humorous gypsy folk tale. I mention it in my novel, and no matter how I classify it, the story is about love – both mine and the gypsy tale!

I’ll only mention how the tale begins. Apparently there was a young man who was completely smitten by a certain gypsy girl, but she taunted him terribly. The story is all about his laughable quests to gain her favor, and the first of these is to fetch her a chicken, but not just any chicken!

And so it goes . . . I really can’t tell you more than that here . . . the games we play for love!

I’m kind of surprised that even today there are those who are wary of gypsies, though I apologize here because the term has as many variations as the bagpipes – probably many more!

All I can say is where would Cirque du Soleil be without them first? And even in this video, there must be something of love? I hope so . . . .

Thank you for risking so much!

Other People’s Stuff

A picture of a twig

This is another unfinished piece…it’s based on a variation of a leaf.

Normally I don’t comment on other people’s blogs, nor do I publish a list of favorites, who I follow and so on. That’s totally because I’m worried about leaving someone out by omission. Some days its tempting to single out those who can really strike a nerve, but I’d rather focus on the positives . . . so hopefully I won’t “make the wrong mistake” as Yogi Berra said.

I’m really just getting the hang of Pinterest. I spend most of my time related to that site looking for original pins, as opposed to simply repinning. However, there are a small number of pinners that I’m following, and some or all of them also have blogs. I’m not going to comment on the blogs here, just the Pinterest boards.

If you haven’t spent much time there – or if you think it’s somehow less than blogging – I think you might re-think that if you visit Julie Green’s page. It is fascinating to explore, an intellectual and visual treat . . . the kind where you stop watching the time, so be careful!

Here’s the link, and I hope you check it out for yourself: Julie Green on Pinterest

I’m learning how busy the world of Twitter is, though it has been all pleasant surprises, kind of “rapid-fire” so it’s hard to keep up. I still have much to learn over there, but aside from that, there are some people over there. One guy, @PhilTorcivia , is amazing because of his constant and pretty consistent stream of humorous one-liners. For example, “I told my girlfriend she’d drawn her eyebrows too high. She looked surprised.” I’m not surprised that he has over 64,000 followers.

For all the authors out there, I also came across some named Jane Friedman, but I can’t remember how I came upon her first – Twitter, blog, Pinterest or somewhere else. What I do know is that wherever I come across her, I learn something new and important when it comes to writing and publishing. If you’re looking for book reviews, that’s not what she does, but for tons of great information, resources, and opportunities, I suggest starting with her home page: Jane Friedman’s Home Page

There are many other kudos I’d like to send out, and will over time. There are some bloggers that have made an extra impression lately, including Jackie Jones, especially for her wonderfully honest and great photographs of the Caribbean on her blog. She keeps apologizing for this and that photography, but I’d never have noticed without her mentioning them – they’re imperfections make them all the more intriguing and endearing: Jackie Jones’ Caribbean Photos – the little stories add to the charm.

Finally, thank to Jill Paterson for your tips on writing that all-important blurb, as well for being a friend on Goodreads: Jill Paterson’s Blog

Piece of Cake

It’s about time something was done about this.

The Government of New South Wales has decided to clamp down on what social scientists are claiming is a phenomenon on the verge of getting out of control.

Apparently the feminists in the province have successfully defended their right to decide for themselves in terms of whether their sexual orgasm is real or not; their right to falsify their own climax has passed the third reading and will soon become law.

In her oral defense, the champion of the cause, Mona Lottz, cited the famous case of Kramer vs. Kramer, and after that hearing the assembled members succumbed, stating that their decision is a landmark victory for women, and that it was time to give the issue a rest. Apparently three female members – backbenchers – were heard to howl upon the handing down ceremony.

To appease the male members, and also quoting Kramer vs. Kramer, men now have the same legal right, however this applies only when they are alone, and certainly not in public.

The scientists were ecstatic, claiming that these decisions will now alleviate the pressure caused by a related problem of both men and women claiming that they feel they are not getting enough sleep.

Legislators agreed, and now the house rests – A Fake Confession


Can you tell the difference?

Getting From A to B

Computer networking seems to be quite a popular topic in WordPress, but let me rephrase that…social networking seems to be a very popular topic.

I’ve been very impressed and amused by those who have woke up to what is somehow destined to be a failure in some important respects. I say failure because the long distance exchange of messages done with machines will never be the same as direct, fully human interaction. I would hope that we can all be thankful and appreciative of this truth. And I’m happy for those who have found happiness with others through the use of technology…good for them.

It seems I have a knack for looking at our culture differently than most. Perhaps it is because of the reading I’ve done over the years, but certainly not in totality. I only mention this because of one author and book in particular. The book is Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshal McLuhan. It’s one of those books where every time you read it, or even part of it, you learn something new as well as you can understand the world around you from a different perspective.

A Good Synopsis of “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”

If it were up to me I’d make it required reading at some point, perhaps even in high school, especially when mass media is so dominant in our culture. But then I’d also make the same requirement of the basic principles of logical reasoning. This may seem like an odd statement coming from an artist, but then I’m not really an artist, I’m a person who has a passion for doing art. There is a huge difference between the noun and the verb, between the object and the process.

The process always seems nice than the object, the journey between A and B.

I’ve always admired so much of what Einstein said, so many great quotes, such as, “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination can take you everywhere.” It seems then, in order to make sense of life in this day and age, a great deal of both is necessary if one is to think and to wonder. I do a lot of both.

I know many will say that that  just living is better than so much thinking, and I can completely relate to that, and so many happy times happened just living. For me this is not that time though. I think a lot about what is natural and about what isn’t and it does seem to come down to machines versus nature, and much of humanity seems stuck in between.

To get back to this issue of computer networking, I’d like to put in the broader context of machines. The mechanization has happened at a very rapid and accelerated pace over the last 100 years or so, and we have collectively made ourselves dependent on machines in so many ways and to such large extents and extensions, the extensions of man.

I could go on at great lengths to explain the implications of this in great detail, but I’d prefer to at least try to make my point with a few statements. For example, now and then the issue of the world being overpopulated comes up. Yet no one ever addresses the issue of the population of machines. The world has gone from about 2 billion to 7 billion people in my lifetime; I don’t have the resources to even begin to calculate what that growth is in terms of machine population. Since many people form emotional attachments to their machines, even love, it is appropriate to use the term population.

Some wars and a great deal of media attention is placed on the issue of energy, mostly oil and gas. And yet not that long ago such reliance wasn’t there. When you think about it though, we don’t need oil and gas. Our machines need it and we now need our machines.

A Great Deal of Food For Thought

In the context of computers and pretty much every mechanical communication medium, including all kinds of presses and our educational system, the reliance on electricity is even greater than that of oil and gas. Yes, electricity is dependent on machines.

And yet we call of this a ‘process of evolution’ and we’re taught about natural selection. However, so much of humanity now seems so very different than anything that I see in nature. There I can see more balance, even kindness, more of what I used to see in people, and I wonder whether we will find a way to return to a more natural life form.

Something is missing and machines won’t help us find it. This is why I’m not surprised at an undercurrent of rebellion and disappointment in what is called social networking. Perhaps a nice first step is to realize that no matter how you brand it, the phone is just a phone.

By the way, in terms of that educational system and required reading, I’d also include something to do with love…I think it might just make a good replacement for much of history.

And so because of the absence of my humor in this blog, I don’t mind borrowing a little bit of nice humor from an old television show, partly to remind you that I don’t think it’s all bad. I’m a firm believer that there is always something good out there, but then what do I know?

I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About

A More Than Golden Silence

Music and silence…combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.

The words above aren’t my words though I recently had the pleasure of sharing them with someone who seemed to need to hear them. Her name is Brenda and I had a conversation with her a few weeks ago, after not being in touch for about 3 months. She was telling me about a presentation she had the next day, part of her training in an MFA program. With her background in marketing I’m sure this would normally be excited about this speaking opportunity, but given her current bout of laryngitis, she was pretty stressed out.

As she’s telling me of her dilemma I sent her this wonderful quote that I’d come across awhile ago. While I knew she would appreciate the beauty of it, I was surprised by how much the words seemed to alleviate her stress.

In my art I often refer to what I describe as a curious blending in nature, and it’s in this context that I think of this remark on silence and music. It is the “silence that is full of music” which is most intriguing, as if at times there is this mysterious child at play…the muse? It feels like this child is very much a part of one of my favorite pictures, Forever Dancing, a spirit that also seems to be forever young.

There must be something of love in it all too. It reminds me of a very special picture called Muse-ic by a kind artist named Pat Erickson. In the way she describes it, I know what she calls a picture is very much an outcome of love. So here is the picture, including such gentle notes…Muse-ic

So thank you Pat for saying so much in silence, and for putting it to music.

This quote also reminds of a rather unusual and wonderful evening of music performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. What made it unusual was that there was a silent movie playing at the same time, on a screen at the back of the stage. The movie was Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times which was done in 1936, some nine years after sound had come to the cinema. Apparently he resisted the use of human voices all this time. This film was to be his last screen appearance. The concert was held in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the day of his birth. I didn’t know until that night that Chaplin also wrote music!

So there you have it, more music in silence, so to speak.

Finally, I like to add a little humor or music to my blogs, but usually at the end. So if you think of my blog as a meal, then you can think of these additions as your dessert…Dinner Roles

Oh, and I almost forgot to reference the quote from the beginning of this blog. It comes from a man many of us are very familiar with though have never heard from…his name is Marcel Marceau.