Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Canada 150 +

Not Toronto... not even Canada...
but a wishful O Canada!

Our Toronto weather has been anything but celebratory. Cold and wet. Fortunately David (of Kate & David) recently posted this perfect day at New Jersey's Wildwood Crest beach. We're celebrating Canada's 150th birthday today and I'm hoping this image will find a way to attract some Summer and some sun, at least in our hearts. After all, we're ready to get warm so we can start complaining about the heat!

The Barenaked Ladies are performing at Nathan Phillips Square (in front of Toronto's City Hall). Buffy St.Marie, too. There'll be others of course. In fact the whole weekend is to be filled with events marking Canadian Confederation and flying the glorious Canadian flag created by that iconic designer I used to work for, Don Watt.

How can you not want this one for your desktop all month long??? Grab a higher resolution version from the link to the right.

Happy Canada 150 +

If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June 2017

The soul of humanity...

So much appears on Kickstarter that is creative and fun. The Anka Cooperative project creates beauty and community... plus self-sustaining lives for thousands of Syrian refugee women. I participated with only a small contribution and received this image of a glorious rug made by such women who live in refugee camps in Turkey.

Here's their website: Anka Cooperative
Here's a video.

Go explore and see what Hope can look like... and rejoice with me in this triumph of connection.
Their Kickstarter campaign is over, but there's still opportunity to help.

If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

It's the 4th of May.... and you know what that means

!. Rattle your light sabres today: 

 What sound does light make?
2. Libate for liberty tomorrow:

 Muchas cervezas y margaritas y salsas y tacos y enchiladas!
3. Be prepared for the aftermath! 

 What would Yoda do?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

May 2017

May is all about becoming...

Hopeful anticipation becomes raucous joy.
Tentative buds become pungent flowers.
Little blue eggs become chirping robins.
Puffy parkas become itsy-bitsy
Teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikinis.
At last!

My friend
Timothy Phillips is welcoming this Beltane
By wending his way through northwestern Spain,
Walking his third Camino de Santiago!
As in his book, My Camino Walk,
His current almost-daily blog tells of his journey:
His many, many day-to-day steps
Over landscapes filled with new
Glorious vistas at every turn,
And his intrepid musings on the
Intricate connections within the soul of living.

And his images! So much that is breathtaking...
While giving ample pause to breathe.
Witness here his view of the approaching May Day
Near a small place called
Vilariño de Conso

I invite each of you to create
Your own Camino within each day this month.
Walk and wonder...
Meander and muse...
Amble and amaze yourself
With discoveries both
Mundane and profound. 

Bask in the joy of being YOU!
If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course

Friday, March 31, 2017

Apr 2017

I submit precious memory in defiance of dull...

In like a lamb?
Seems like it was,
Though it was a tough call
Maybe an angry lamb
Being chased by a lion?
The interim brought
More wailing winter winds and sneaky snow
And skies forever grey.
We were fooled for a couple of days
And a few foolhardy lads even
Ventured out in shorts!
Not I, of course:
Neither a lad nor that kind of foolhardy.
But I did leave boots and parka behind
In favour of a light jacket and
Actual shoes.

Today an early morning lion
Brought us more snow...
That then turned into rain...
And now fog and a dense drizzle
Continue into the night...
Making NASA's spot-the-station notice
A moo point.
Clouds mean I can't see it anyhow.
Neither can Joey's cow.

Sun in Florence.
No lions. No lambs. Just
Sustaining memory
Of cobblestones
And gnocchi and gelato
And family and two Davids.
And sunshine.

Ah. There’s hope
For us all.
N’est-ce pas?
Tis good we can remember.
If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day 2017

Yes, it's that time again...

Look up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane! It's a circle:
Its circumference divided by its diameter!
Oh my!
For lots of good ways to celebrate
Go here!
If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mar 2017

Manhattan here, Manhattan there,
Manhattan musings everywhere...

I’m calling this guy El Ladrón.
He’s a Heermann’s Gull
But he doesn’t care.
He’s hanging here at Manhattan Beach
With Kate & David, who are
Freshly back from Baja California
Where they watched whales,
Lazed on the beach and ate
Vast quantities of scrumptious food.
El Ladrón is returning from Baja BC
And is on his way further south
To some very private Mexican islands
In search of some cute girl gulls.
As he swoops and zooms,
He’s always on the lookout for
A Brown Pelican, watching as it
Swoops and dives, then
El Ladrón steals its bounty from its
Very ample beak.
El Ladrón, after all, means Thief.
Of course, he’ll be happy to steal
Human treats, too. He’s not so picky…
Just incredibly fast and sneaky.

And he has incredibly cute feet.

As El Ladrón wings his way south,
Kate and David wing their own way
Home to their sky pod on Manhattan Ave,
On a tall NJ cliff that overlooks
The Manhattan Island we all know.

Or do we?

All these Manhattans prompt me
To wonder how that name came about
In the first place. Seems though
There’s no definitive “first place.”

In 1609 Henry Hudson plied the seas
And mapped the coast around the mouth
Of the river that now bears his name.
Somebody labelled two places with two words
That are each sort of like Manhattan, but not
Manhattan, but not like in two different spellings.
And the two places are
On opposite sides of said river.

Walt Whitman was the first to use the name
Manhattan in print. The name’s meaning, though,
Is delightfully strewn with opinions
Now deemed as spurious
As old Henry’s first map labels.
“Island of many hills”
Gave way to “Place where
We became intoxicated,”
Put forth as evidence
That the island’s vendors
Became drunk on the Dutch buyers’ spirits.

Seems though, both are myths
On all historical, geographical,
And etymological fronts.

Enter our hero, Albert Anthony,
Né Shiikwáhkwunund, “Lone Pine”
In the Munsee (Delaware) language
The language of the original inhabitants
Of the whole Hudson Valley region…
Including Manhattan Island.

In 1884 Anthony was
Part of a delegation from
Six Nations Reserve…
And along with three chiefs
Gave an interview that said:

Our traditions affirm
that at the period
of the discovery of America,
our Nation resided
on the Island of New York.
We call that island Man- -h -tonh,
The place where timber is procured
For bows and arrows…
At the lower end of the island
was a grove of hickory trees
of peculiar strength and toughness.
Our fathers held this timber
in high esteem
as material for constructing
bows, war-clubs, etc.

From this prized stand of hickory
To a lone buttonwood tree,
Manhattan's greenery has defined
How the known nations interact
With themselves and each other.
From tools for both hunting
And warfare to the trading of shares,
Often profiting from warfare,
But always in dreams of filling the tables
Of the poor as well as the rich.

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

But, then, that's yet another story, eh?

If this isn't nice, what is?
              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course: