Saturday, January 06, 2007

Flotsam And Jetsam


I spent most of yesterday whimpering on what I assumed might well be my deathbed. It wasn't, of course, or I would not be writing this right now. I don't know quite what ailed me, whether some kind of viral or bacterial vermin, but it came on suddenly, and was quite nasty. Thankfully it left nearly as quickly as it came. It's amazing, really, the body's recuperative powers. The ministrations of medicine help by suppressing this, or boosting that, but in the end, the body either heals itself, or it doesn't. And it usually does. Thing is, without the delicate balance most of us in the developed world enjoy of hygiene, nutrition, fitness and yes, medicine, we would likely spend our lives in the manner Hobbes described: poor, nasty, brutish and short. I was rasied in a place where water had to be boiled to be safe to drink; where horses would die in the street and be left for the vultures to take; where one of our neighbors gave birth to fifteen children, of which only one survived to adulthood; where worms and malaria were as common for children as they are rare today. In the end, I am humbly grateful that my kids don't have to face such a life, and I hope that someday all the children of God's Green Earth are able to live so.


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I am on Daddy-Duty this weekend, and usually that means the girls and I go 'On Adventures.' Yesterday I was lucky to even have been able to get out of bed, but today I felt much better. We three got up too late for any kind of breakfast, so we went downtown for an early lunch with Mrs. Muzzy. After lunch I gassed up the car and we headed out to Rogers, to Cabella's. I'd taken the girls there once before in the summer of 2006. This time I took some video and will splice together some of it into a short film of the place, and will post sometime next week. Anyway, it's an amazing place, the largest outdoor sporting outfitters type store I've ever seen. It doesn't sound like a terribly interesting place for kids, but they have huge open diorama-type exhibits of animals, ranging from arctic to desert, to mountain, to African. The taxidermy is quite good, and it's every bit as fascinating as the local Natural History Museum. Apparently every Cabella's store has slightly different exhibits, with the centerpiece being a huge man-made Conservation Mountain in the center of the store, and a large walk-thru aquarium. It's a very cool place. (Official photos and video here.)

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I was flipping thru channels on the TV and came upon a random episode of Monty Python. Amazing how the show has held up. It first aired in the US something like 35 years ago, and owed much the nuttiness of Goon Show. It was madcap-zany and yet literate in the extreme, and even contributed the word 'Spam' to the lexicon of the future Internet. It's still brilliant and funny as hades, all these years later.

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In my channel-surfing I also stumbled onto the late-night preaching of one Melissa Scott, the widow of Dr. Gene Scott. I had no idea that anything was left of the Scott empire, but it appears the young La Paster Scott - Dr. Gene's third wife was born in 1968, and was nearly forty years his junior - has been soldiering on in the pulpit. She is as beautiful as Gene was homely, but she lacks his style and charisma, and comes off, well, rather boring. Let's face it, no one but Dr. Scott knew for sure if he was really a nutcase or just crazy like a fox, but he always put on a great show. His comely widow mostly certainly does not.

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Cool: Season Six of 24 starts on Monday, January 14th.

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I was listening to a podcast this past week about verbal and nonverbal communication. The speaker stated that only 7% of communication between individuals happens thru words alone, and the rest is a combination of voice inflection and body language. Of course, I assume he meant face-to-face conversations, since the issue of nonverbals doesn't really enter into the world of chat or email. Okay, we *do* try to use emoticons and the like online, but they aren't necessarily true expressions of our nonverbal state. How many people are actually 'laughing out loud' when they type 'lol' in response to what someone just said in a chatroom? Anyway, whether online or off, effective communication is obviously not a simple thing. It's altogether too easy to project our own fears and joys, wants and needs, aspirations and agendas onto what other people say or do. And it's altogether too easy to assume another person has understood us just because they heard us. (Oh yeah, BTW, I found an Aussie magazine devoted to non-verbal writing: ASEMIC. ROTFL!)

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I have been a parking downtown alot in recent months but for years I parked on the periphery of downtown, took a bus in to work in the AM, and walked back to my car a couple of miles down 3rd Avenue and across the bridge. Last July I took a camera with me for a couple of those walks, and decided to chronicle my walk thru downtown Minneapolis that one summer evening. (I must say, the video is quite large, and YouTube doesn't seem to be able to serve it up very well. Let it load into your web browser before watching, but I may have to upload a much smaller version. Enjoy.)

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1 comment:

Jezzy said...

Well done with the video. Nice little commentary there. Cool. What a neat and clean looking city.