Thursday, August 18, 2016

Oddities, England

The antlers were in all the mirrors. If anyone wants large mirrors, the antique shop in Ashford, Surry, has Many. It was hard to see the mirrors, for all the odd treasures.

The building used to be a pub. The largest room has two skylights, which enabled Jesus to fit up among the chandeliers (and to have a nice lighting effect on his head, too):

A mystery I'm pondering, rather than looking up.

James says "cabbage" is not a term for the operation of a taxi service, but it does look like a gear-shift knob. And another of them seems to have a door knob as handle. I'll look it up when there's a lull, someday, maybe.

This seemed to be Indian workmanship, on thin metal attached to/around a wooden horse. Pretty wonderful, but impractical to own outside of the local area.

This was interesting:

In the left breast pocket of that Levi jacket were two little bullets. I didn't photograph them, or some of my friends could surely have named them. I did look up the organization on that upper patch, and write to the editor of their magazine, saying that if there's someone near, they might want to go there and get it (with some directions about where in the shop, and where the shop is). Said maybe don't mention the bullets, when purchasing. So he wrote right back and invited me to a round-up in a couple of weeks. I will be RIGHT NEAR THERE, three days before. It's a group of people interested in U.S. history from 1700 on, mostly Western history. It would have been fun to be there, but the round-up is near The Wash (which I had never heard of it until playing "Articulate" with Adam, Meredith and Julie a few nights ago), and I will be in Brighton.
British Westerners' Association

Shops like this one are as good as museums for me. I can take photos, touch things, ask questions, and if something is really wonderful, I could potentially take it home—at least as far as Julie's house, if not to Albuquerque.

Outside was a beautiful old pump, and these are not all the cool things, but they're a representative sample of a thousand things. Carved chests and wooden buckets might get their own post.

Monday, August 01, 2016

The problem with "being supportive"

I'm moving this here so I can find it again, and so it might be read in a more leisurely way than people tend to read on facebook. I wrote it July 4, 2016:

Bad advice.
Sometimes "support" is the same as very bad advice.
Come on people, we are all doing the best that we can.
You—stressed parent—are doing a great job no matter what, and this is why:
1. No one knows your child better than you
. . . .
You are the perfect parent for your child. You are the expert. Trust yourself.
2. Our kids are going to survive.
. . . .
They are going to be okay—and so are you.
3. We’re all supposed to be doing it differently.

That's from a longer blog post called "3 Things all Parents Need to Hear."

But those things aren't helpful, and they're not true in all cases. Let's not share scare stories, but each of you could think of a scare story—just one, don't inventory all the sad things you know—about a child who didn't survive, about a parent who wasn't ANY kind of expert, who should NOT be trusted.

Anyone who soothes an irresponsible, neglectful, or abusive parent is contributing to that neglect and abuse.
ARE all kids eventually okay? No.

Is it okay to soothe the parents of kids who were neglected and abused?
The author of that blog post thinks so. The 144 people who shared it thought so.

I don't think so.

I'm NOT saying everyone should become unschoolers. Many people should not even consider unschooling. Unschooling's not easy.

What I'm saying is that it's better to encourage other parents to be conscious and careful, patient and kind, than to spread nonsense like everything's the same and no one else can say you could possibly do better.

The writing wasn't considering the kids' point of view. If a child thinks a parent could do better, shouldn't that matter? But this was just parents assuring parents that there is no such thing as half-assed, no such thing as bad parenting. All parenting is equal and all children will survive and be fine.

People who would prefer that message to actual ideas that could help should probably leave this group and find "support" for just whatever, because it is definitely out there.

End of the quote.
I have a couple of pages on my website about "support." One (the second link below) is a random generator of more and more worthless support. The other has those messages in a different format, with commentary following.

Please don't coo and soothe another adult who is harming a child.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

With Erika, visiting Holly

Blue Heron Brewery in Rinconada. Those three doors face East, South and West—so not such a large room as the panorama makes it seem. It was nice to see Holly working. Right after this, other people started coming in.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Serendipity and that

These days Joyce Fetteroll has a small group of witnesses and perhaps assistants, for a book she and Danny are working on. She's bringing (alphabetically) a word and we make up definitions, and when she tells us the real one, we use it in a sentence. There's art involved, and humor, too.

Today she had defined "latrinalia"

I wrote:
Just the other day Holly quoted me the traditional "If you sprinkle while you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie."

I asked if she knew of the equivalent one for men's rooms. She did not.

We aim to please.
You aim too, please.

At a roadside candle outlet in North Carolina or Virginia, on a road trip with a friend of mine many years ago, I chose one of several toilet stalls. While sitting, I read "I love Keith Dodd" in someone else's handwriting. Someone else's Keith Dodd, no doubt. Quite a great coincidence.

Including Joyce's deposit of a word meaning bathroom writings just a few days after Holly and I talked about that a bit, I've had three of them this week.

Because I bought some things from China and Holly was here when they arrived, I told her about the government-subsidized postage and China's 20 years or so of moving toward capitalism. She and Keith brought a bottle of mead they bought because a friend's brother owns the company. It was good. I couldn't remember his name and when I did, I googled and found his dad, who was an atomic researcher and I didn't know so much cool stuff about him. In an interview about early atomic research in Los Alamos, he was asked about a co-worker who had moved to China. He said she was disappointed about China's eventual movement away from communism and toward capitalism.

Yesterday at lunch, Keith was asking what I knew about labyrinths in churches. I did know some, and a friend of ours designed and oversaw installation of an outdoors one at a church not far from us. Later that day I turned on the Sherlock Holmes audible book I'm listening to, and the word labyrinth popped up.  

There's a word for that—words or factoids popping up—but I don't remember it. It's one of the many magically fun things in life.

And I posted that somewhere and someone gave me the word, and then...
I can't remember where it was provided, or who.

Gargoyle and an airplane

June 29, 2011, I put this on facebook. So it will be a race between whether this blog platform will last longer than facebook's photos do.

Water spout—not a fancy gargoyle. Look up above in the sky, though. This I caught on purpose, but I've had some accidental catches nearly as cool as this. This is the roof parapet at Henbury Parish Church, in Bristol, where I also got to play the pipe organ. The caretaker pressed me to do that. I played it as though it were a piano,because my feet don't play organ and I couldn't figure out how to turn on the lower keyboard, but I did it! I played something I didn't know, in 6/8, with only two harmony lines at any one time. Coool.

Same place, same day, Alison's boys showed me the "King of the Castle" song/game, which I have on video somewhere and should add here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Throw-away views

This photo isn't new. Summer, 2013. I was looking for a photo of a chain of office for a discussion about the word "Whiffler," and ended up looking through photos I took in Chichester when I was there with Joyce Fetteroll, Julie Daniel and Adam Daniel. It's always hard for me to say what I love about England, but this is an example of it. This was the view from the window of the women's room in a restaurant, in Chichester.

The roof lines, the building materials, things added, clues to things having been chopped off, or repaired, or modernized, different kinds of roof tiles and panels and treatments... Candid, "back stage," not spruced up for tourists. :-)

Inside the room:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nice description of the David Bowie letter

A Sean Kelley in London sweetly informed me about a post today at that describes the letter David Bowie sent me very nicely:
Great tales of David Bowie's good nature flooded out after his death too, but we've known about his letter to his first American fan since 2009, after it appeared on the excellent Letters of Note site.

It's a wonderful thing - a measured, charming, excited and poignant response, written in 1967, to a 14-year-old called Sandra Dodd from New Mexico, whose uncle had given her a promotional copy of Bowie's first album (he worked at a radio station).

"When I called in this, my manager's office, a few moments ago I was handed my very first American fan letter - and it was from you. I was so pleased that I had to sit down and type an immediate reply," Bowie begins, before answering questions Sandra had asked about his real name, birthday, height, and whether he'll ever visit America.

"Thank you for being so kind as to write to me and do please write again and let me know some more about yourself," the letter ends.
I love this: "measured, charming, excited and poignant."
It's the second item here, but I will point out again that he was not yet a famous musician when the letter was written.

The letter and notes on my site: