Hare today…gone tomorrow

IMG_4242Somebunny is eating my flowers…

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Summer in full bloom

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It’s amazing what summer brings. Beauty is as close as your own back yard…

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Things that go boom a headache for pet owners

I’ve been in a drought the last couple weeks. I have been neglecting feeding my blog. I can use the excuse of writer’s block, being busy, or consumed by other things.

However, the last couple days have gotten me fired up. I’d like to vent…share…commiserate.

First of all, let me be clear about one thing. I love the Fourth of July holiday and all it stands for. The grand experiment that is the United States of America began with a band of upstarts who dared to envision a better society and a better government. Now, 237 years later, the United States is noisy, it’s messy, and it’s chaotic. But it’s like no other country on earth. And that’s a good thing.

There’s nothing like sharing the holiday with friends and relatives. Picnicking, cookouts, excursions to the beach are all a part of the magic of this holiday that comes right as summer reaches it zenith.

Top it all off with a professionally staged fireworks display – an awe-inspiring visual and sonic cacophony of splendor. That puts the exclamation point on a perfect holiday.

What I have a problem with are the random fireworks displays in my neighborhood. They occur unscheduled, at any time of the day or night, without rhyme or reason.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen what these senseless outbursts have done to my dogs. They have sent them cowering under the bed, running around looking for shelter with tails between their legs, and shaking uncontrollably for hours on end.

If this gratuitous noise has this effect on my pets, I wonder about:

–The parent trying to get their infant to sleep through the night
–The senior citizen with a hearing aid
–The shift-worker trying to get some rest
–The elderly individual living alone
–The chronically ill neighbor who is home-bound
–The veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome

I live in Indiana, where fireworks laws are reputed to be among some of the loosest in the nation. I don’t know whether what I’ve been experiencing is legal, illegal, or somewhere in between. And frankly, I don’t care. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right or sensible.

I wonder how these self—proclaimed pyrotechnics experts would feel if someone pulled into their driveway in the middle of the night and started blasting a car stereo. With no forewarning…with no indication of how long it might last…with no regard for anyone else.

There are many other reasons to argue that fireworks, when used, should be handled by professionals only. I’m not about to tackle those arguments.

However, it’s plain as day to me that indiscriminate fireworks blasting over the holidays flies in the face of common decency and respect for others. People need to tone it down a bit for the common good of all! I don’t need the rockets’ red glare in my back yard.

I began this article at 6:30 a.m., the morning of July 5. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go find my morkie. I thought the worst had passed, but a fresh blast just sent him scurrying off and I need to comfort him.

Let’s all celebrate our Independence by taking a little more time to consider the rights of others…

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Freshly Friday

This gallery contains 5 photos.

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Nature Speaks For Itself


Those who know me may be surprised to hear me say, “Sometimes, fewer words are better.” In today’s post, I thought I’d let nature speak for itself. From my back yard.

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Chillin’


Chillin'

Cooper and Isobelle

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Why Precision in Communications Matters


Being a words guy, I’m chagrined when I receive business communications with misspellings, or when someone uses an incorrect word or phrase to convey a message or idea.

When I was young, I believed that most people communicated with precision.  This got me in trouble in 10th grade Biology Class.  We were studying snakes, and Mr. V., who was a great teacher, gave us a written assignment to complete.  I was a decent student in biology, but several questions had me flummoxed.  They referred to a “blake snake.”   I had studied garter snakes, green snakes, king snakes, cobras, boa constrictors, pythons, snakes in the trees and snakes in the water.  But a “blake snake?” I was mystified.  I scoured the textbook looking for any reference to this elusive creature. My teenage angst grew as several precious hours of my youth flew by. Finally, with the help of a friend, I figured out that Mr. V.’s knowledge of spelling did not equal his knowledge of natural science. It was a lot easier to answer the questions when I knew that the elusive serpent was, in fact, an ordinary black snake.

My futile search for the blake snake had left me rattled…

In the late 70’s I worked at Carl Fischer Music on South Wabash in Chicago.  Carl Fischer was famous for being a purveyor of sheet music and music books. We had anything and everything ever published – stashed somewhere among four floors and a basement in an old building on South Wabash Avenue – if you could find it.  Musicians and aspiring musicians from all over the country, as well as music stores, band directors and choral teachers ordered their music from us.

To keep track of the tens of thousands of titles was quite a feat.  This was complicated when we received hand-written orders. Deciphering the customer’s intent was a mystery. (Maybe there’s a series idea there – “Sheet Music Detectives” on the History Channel!)

Some errors were frequently repeated and easy to spot, such as the request for  “Furry Lice” for Piano.  Now I doubt that anyone really wanted tiny insects dancing on their piano keys – certainly Beethoven wasn’t trying to conjure up that mental image when he composed “Für Elise.”  And though it did amuse me, I have to admit that it bugged me as well.

A curious request came in one day for the “Ševčík School of Bowling Technique.”  With it came visions of an Itzhak Perlman wannabe, violin in hand, trying for a 7/10 split at the local lanes.  Although our veteran staff remained unbowed by the egregious error, I was glad that I didn’t have to fiddle with this particular order.

So yes, precision, articulation, and spelling all matter in communications. Nonetheless, I’m older and wiser now, and have resigned myself to the fact that a close friend of mine is sure to have another good “ideal” any day now.  But I promise you this. When the next person tells me he has “prostrate” problems, I will refuse to take that news lying down!

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