Thursday, October 31, 2013

The hiding tree hand of Halloween

A photo taking by my son Conan shows a lurking tree hand ready to grab unsuspecting trick or treaters.

Have a happy and scary Halloween.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Zombies and Horror Stories

Have you wondered lately, as I have, why there is a plethora of app games and movies about zombies, ghosts, conjuring’s of spirits, vampire horror movies and the like.

The younger crowd seems to be mesmerized by these works of fiction. I have trouble finding  redeeming social value anywhere.

One time, years ago, a teacher said to my class that more people would attend a public hanging than they will a public wedding. I didn’t think that was true at the time for I had a youthful Pollyanna view of life, but now many decades and life experiences later, I do think it’s true, not because I have lost my positive perspective, but because I’ve realized each of us creates who and what it is we are. We do so by the choices we make and the thoughts we think.

By nature, human beings seem to be attracted to the bizarre, to the weird, to the aberrations of life that personify the scary and mayhem of imagination.

We are attracted to the opposite of what we say we want. Peace, tranquility, pleasant thoughts and surroundings, and even good news.

Throughout the years of my television news career many broadcasters in various markets have tried to put good news into a daily newscast thinking that ratings would improve. Not so!

Eventually, since the dollar drives the content of any broadcast, the newscast goes back to what is unpleasantly referred to as, “blood and guts” stories and ratings do increase.

What I have come to do in my later years is to self-censor the junk I let into my life. I choose to find the experiences and the entertainment that enhance the appreciation of living rather than diminish it with fictional fear and the dragons of illusion.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World Series of Spitting

I’ve posted this blog a number of times because spitting needs to be stopped in major league baseball. I was always taught that spitting was unsanitary, unhealthy and a filthy habit. The only time it was acceptable was when a bug flew in my mouth or I got hit in the mouth while playing a game or just fooling around and you had spit blood. Spitting was never done in polite society.

Over the last few days I’ve been watching the world series and spitting is rampant. During the season in just one game I stopped counting at over two hundred spits by the players and that was only in the early innings. At first I thought the only one who doesn’t spit is the catcher because he has a mask on, but then I saw one lift the mask, spit and go back to signaling his pitcher.

I know this is gross, but can you imagine the collective accumulation of saliva in the dirt around home plate and the other bases and especially in the dugout. I’d hate to be the guy who has to swab the dugout floor after a game. And I’d hate to be the catcher who has to look at that stuff in the dirt and then catch a ball that’s bounced in a glob of body fluid. Yea, I know it’s gross, but look at what it teaches our Little Leagues.

Major League Baseball is big, big business. They bill themselves as wholesome family entertainment; they promote high moral and ethical standards among the players, yet baseball is one of the few sports where spitting is constant and the camera always seems to have a close-up of the player in the act.

It seems to me Major League Baseball could suggest and encourage its players to be a little more courteous to the fans who watch on television.

Spitting is a habit and habits can be eliminated with conscience effort.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves
©2013 Rolland G. Smith

I now know why we call them leaves;
Too soon they pass when frosted thieves
Lure their greens to reds and golds
In colors soft and dazzling bolds.

Leaves drop from age and seasons’s breeze
To land on lawns by shrubs and trees.
They drift in circles to the ground
Arriving with a crinkling sound.

O' leaves of bush and trees, behold!
Your service lasts despite the cold,
You quilt a warmth for creatures low
Beneath the ground, before the snow.

Some leaves will float to lawns serene
Where children's smiles can then be seen
Waiting for the rake and pile
To leap upon or lie awhile.

But soon the crispy leaves and flake
Are raked in rows for match to make
A smoldered flame and spire smoke-
Incense of honor to the oak.

The barren trees stand naked, strong,
To slice the winds of winter’s throng.
They lean and bend from fridged blow,
And snap and crack both to and fro.

I know there is a message here,
When trees with leaves at end of year
Do molt their husks of color’s sheen
For winter’s season to be seen.

The trees and man must be alike,
In time we shed an aging haik.
What's left for each, both pure, pristine
Is spirit life that can’t be seen.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bachmann's Biblical Prediction

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was a guest on a Christian  radio talk show a few days ago. She reportedly said the biblical  end times are here.

Here is how the political satire website, “pardon the pundit” told the story. It was written by Matt Rock. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the story. I did not hear the radio program or see the CNN follow-up.

“Never far from controversy, outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told a Christian radio show over the weekend that the apocalypse is nigh, and that we're on the cusp of experiencing the end times. Her evidence? A claim, devoid of facts, that President Barack Obama “waived a ban on arming terrorists,” and that he's “paying to give arms to terrorists, including Al-Qaeda.”

On Wednesday, Bachmann took a chance to clarify her apocalypse prophecy, after a CNN anchor asked her if she really meant Armageddon was upon us, pointing out that her initial claim was a bit hazy, packed with biblical talk about leaves and fig trees.

“What I'm saying is, smoke 'em if you got 'em... smoke 'em if the liberals haven't already taken your cigarettes away,” Bachmann explained. “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be returning for the faithful soon. The rapture is upon us. The faithful will get beamed up to Heaven, and the liberals and gays... I mean, the `unfaithful'... they'll need to prove themselves worthy as the planet is overwhelmed by demon dogs and hell snakes and twerking.”

The anchor asked Bachmann how she knows the “end times” are upon us. “That's simple. Barack Obama is in the White House. He's the antichrist. He fits the bill. He's charismatic, the liberals worship him, and Obamacare is the mark of the beast.”

“You know, I read on an internet blog -- that makes it true, for sure -- that Obama wants to implant Americans with microchips that kill us off if we don't sign up for Obamacare or if we get too old, so the death panels have an easier time taking us out,” Bachmann continued. “Obama shut down the government by refusing to defund Obamacare, which makes it entirely his fault. And why shut down the government? So the army can't stop Satan from ripping the Earth open and flooding the United States with hellfire, or worse, gay hellfire, which is like regular hellfire, only it makes you really uncomfortable when you have to see it kissing other hellfire.”

Bachmann was then asked if she could predict the date when Armageddon would occur. “I'm not sure about the exact date. All I know is, I'm leaving office at the end of my term so I can build my apocalypse bunker. It has a retractable roof, though, so Jesus can rapture me into Heaven. I'm totally going to Heaven when it happens, of course. I mean, come on, I'm Michele Bachmann!””

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Inevitable

I often wonder about the process of death and dying. I know, to some, this is a morbid subject, but endings happen to all at some point.

I was reminded of my continuing thoughts on the matter the other day as I did a U-turn on a road near my home. I spotted a young deer carcass on a grass strip. A car apparently had hit it. It must have just happened for I turn around on this street several times a day to avoid a dangerous left hand turn. The deer was in a peaceful repose and I hoped that that’s the way it passed from animal life.

I probably watched this young one from the time she was a fawn. I see families of deer in a lower meadow below my windows and a high deck on the rear of my home.

I was saddened by the image thinking it was probably my wild neighbor friend. I will call the town supervisor and let them know of my find. As they do with all large road kill carrion they will come and dispose of the body where its odor will be the least offensive.

In some small way there is a similar sadness when I watch the fall breezes prune the maples and oaks surrounding my home or the frost kill the potted flowers and plants in my garden. Life is life no matter where you find it.

I suppose it’s different when a life is vegitation and the other is flesh and blood, but it’s always a sadness to see any life go despite its festive fall color or the peaceful looking, but closed eyes of a small doe.

I believe there is no death, just a passage from one sentient awareness to another; for the time being, that works for me.
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