Another Monday

What kind of a program makes statements about the human condition like, “war is the only thing we understand”. I tried watching Altered Carbon, a series on Netflix, focused on violence, portraying violence as the only way of the world. That violence exists I do not argue, but it is not all, and I doubt it ever will be. I do see though, that for some humans, it is all they see, or want to see. Why are there so many fatalistic themes in entertainment at this juncture in human history. Is someone(s) trying to bring the acceptance of violence into the lives of the young? Television and movies began to change in the 90s, when I first began to notice the theme of intolerance, contempt for others, and violence seeping into media entertainment. Now much of what is on offer on Netflix and Prime Video is either violent, or portrays ruthless ambition, almost glorifying these aspects of human nature. It is disturbing.

I guess the thinking is, what is the harm in it, it is only entertainment. Until you start thinking about the escalation of mass shootings in the US, by young people, and then it is difficult to believe there is no connection at all, between the portrayals of reality, and the reality that is developing.

I will be watching something other than Altered Carbon.

The morning began with bright sunshine streaming through the windows. Soon after daylight had established itself, the clouds rolled in. Late in the morning, snowflakes fell. There weren’t enough of them to accumulate, they all melted as soon as they reached the earth. The clouds continue to track the sky, allowing the sun to peek through from time to time.

The list of things I wanted to get done today was apparently too ambitious for reality. One of the projects involves setting up the sewing machine. Mist cottage is small, there is one table, it is the only working surface. In order to setup the sewing machine I will need to completely clear off the table. Th items on the table need to be moved. The place, where the items on the table will be moved to, needed to be cleared. And so on, and so on. After getting to the point where I could clear the table, so much time had elapsed that it seemed a waste of time to setup the sewing machine for only an hour or so. It would be better to begin again in the morning, leaving the whole day to work on the project itself.

The rest of the day consisted of small chores, like unloading the dishwasher. Who could complain about unloading a dishwasher! Not I. The dishwasher is a much appreciated appliance around here, particularly since there is very limited counter space here at Mist Cottage.

And that is Monday, as another week begins.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 2 April 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.0°C
Dew point: -3.7°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: S 26 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.”
Samuel Butler
1835 – 1902

Blanket/Afghan

Another hot one out there today! I am happily and comfortably ensconced on my easy chair, content with my crochet project. I finally decided to create the whole blanket/afghan using the Suzette Stitch, which is a stitch that is created with a foundation chain in multiples of two, which simplifies figuring out how to make the blanket. I decided on a width of 36 inches, then crocheted a foundation chain approximately 36 inches long. The only decisions left to make will be how long to make the blanket/afghan, and what border I would like to add when that length has been reached. Because I am using a yarn that changes colour, there will be only a few ends to sew in, where I have to start a new ball of yarn.

I like to listen to audio books, or “watch” videos while I am crocheting. The audio books are my favourite, and I can borrow them from the library online, so they are affordable and accessible without a car. We have Netflix and Prime Video, which offers enough variety between the two subscriptions to provide enough interesting viewing. Prime has mostly standard popular offerings, most of which I have seen elsewhere, and a lot of vapid crap, and violent crap that I won’t spend time with. Netflix has more variety, some unusual offerings. However, I know there is an inaccessible world of film out there, and I wish it were within my reach. I cannot subscribe to PBS or BBC programming, and I would if I could. I find the Canadian CBC offerings superficial, and provincial, perhaps because being a Canadian I am well aware of what life here is really like for many people, and how different that is from how life here is characterized by our national broadcasting organization. I cannot watch it without feeling disappointed.

Our Scarlet Runner beans are producing a bumper crop this year. The seeds are those saved from last years plants, pods left to mature and dry before removing the beans, which we planted this spring. Attila feels the harvest will slow down now, as he has left quite a few pods to mature for seed. He brought in a six quart basket of beans last night. We eat our fill of fresh beans, and blanch and freeze the rest for the winter. Our tomato plants are not producing a bumper crop, but the tomatoes are plentiful enough that I eat at least one every day. We have our fingers crossed that our squash matures before frost, we don’t have many, but the those that are there are huge. Attila has been picking dill seed, which he enjoys in his tuna salad. I don’t like dill. Attila also harvested one of our cabbages last night. It is quite small, so the whole cabbage was chopped and went into Attila’s favourite cabbage soup, to which he adds salt, so I cannot eat it. Food preparation is an ongoing project for us here at Mist Cottage. It keeps us very busy, as Attila is very fussy about what he eats, and I have extremely restricted choices when it comes to food.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

26°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 21 September 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 26.2°C
Dew point: 16.4°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: NNE 13 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”
Charles Bukowski
1920 – 1994

And so you have it. Women have been not just saving, but creating, one man at a time since time immemorial. They also create one woman at a time.
Bukowski’s formula can be approached by anyone and everyone… a little kindness and compassion reach further than we can see.

[I am always saddened by the use of “man” as representing all members of our species, even if it was the accepted usage of their time… wise people should have known better, rather than blindly accepting the social mores of the day.]

Beautiful Autumn

Early this morning I received a call asking me if I would like to work for three hours today, at a close location. I agreed and spent a lovely morning catching up with a woman I worked with when I first began working with the company.

The weather has been wonderful! The nights are cool, just the right temperature for sleeping soundly. The days are mildly warm and sunny.

Attila’s Fire Wood: Attila has been spending a few hours in the evenings, after he works a ten hour day, bringing firewood in from the back of the property.
2013FireWood

It has been a week of warm memories of a dear friend, Pat Logier, who passed away in 1996. One of Pat’s old friends contacted me, and it was so wonderful to connect with him again; it has been over twenty years since we last spoke. He let me know that another mutual friend had posted some youtube videos, of performances of Pat’s music at an event celebrating Pat’s life in 2005. Another musician who knew Pat also sent me a lovely message, sharing her warm memories, and expressing her sadness at his passing.

I ran into an article about Aboriginal Australian history, outlining the scientific findings that would place the culture as the oldest continuous culture on Earth. They must be doing something right! And they call the culture “primitive”. It has outlasted many other “highly developed” civilizations.

We found television viewing options were narrowing, offering primarily programs that used political intrigue, violence, end of the world type scenarios, and crime as their premise and appeal. I began to notice that these programs were having an effect on my dreaming patterns. I did not regards this as a positive side effect. Eventually, we cancelled our television delivery service.

When we cancelled our television service, we switched to Netflix. We found a lot of interesting programs, such as the Duchess of Duke Street. That program disappeared from the roster, as did many other fine programs. The New Arrivals have me wondering if we really want to continue with Netflix. The link to New Arrivals has a row of offerings called New Releases. So I created four categories for the new releases: political intrigue, violence and crime, end of the world, and other, for everything else. Then I looked at each of the programs in the New Releases row, and assigned them to one of the four categories.

Results
political intrigue: 6 (8%) (e.g. House of Cards, Damages)
violence and crime: 21 (28%) (e.g. Raise Hell, The Killing)
end of the world: 5 (7%) (e.g. Prometheus)
other: 43 (57%) (e.g. Life of Pi, The Sessions)
Total: 75 (100%)

Of the seventy-five programs listed on the New Releases row, 43% of them were about dishonesty (political intrigue), violence, crime, and social catastrophe. A significant proportion of the new releases on Netflix are about humans doing bad things. I, for one, am not entertained.

The remaining offerings, the other 57% were what I think of as neutral, ranging from goofy twenty something romances to dignity inspiring movies such as “The Sessions”. There were fewer than five that I would spend time watching.

Despite my feedback, I am still seeing the listed arrivals in the categories of horror movies, thrillers, action and adventure. These categories almost always show dark and threatening images with weapons. I have never watched any of these on Netflix, so why they continue to display these images on my profile is beyond my understanding. I fear it is because humans doing bad things is mostly what other people want to watch, and I am offered a popular and generic assortment of programs. And I wonder what that is doing to our collective psyche. I don’t think it could be good.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Friday 27 September 2013
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 20.4°C
Dewpoint: 10.7°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: SSE 9 km/h

Quote

“Aboriginal Australians are the oldest continuous culture on Earth, confirms a new genetic study. (Credit: Getty Images)”
Source: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/Aboriginal-Australians-the-oldest-culture-on-Earth.htm

Equinox Snow Squalls

Snow Squalls for the Vernal Equinox 2013
Vernalequinox2013

Today the sun shines directly on the equator. But it is not shining here. It isn’t shining anywhere in Canada today, from what I am reading on the weather media.

It is the first day of “spring”. We don’t mention that word here though. Today is called the “Equinox” at our house.

It has been snowing, snowing, snowing. Attila has been shovelling, shovelling, shovelling.

Yesterday the roads were very slippery with the snow. Today they are probably about the same, but I am not venturing forth to find out. Unless of course I suddenly get called in to work. That usually occurs early in the morning though, so it is becoming less likely as the day wears on.

It is supposed to snow like this for the rest of the week.

Still, we are slowly marching through March; more like trudging I feel.

Our finances are in a bit of an uproar. We live pretty close to the “line”, so any added luxury is going to have to be compensated for by giving up something else. In March we have have had to purchase new tires for the car, pay my professional fees, and we travelled to visit with Emmi, Otto and the Grandbabies. On our budget, all of these things are major expenses. So I am back to borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Attila does not mind this one bit. I, on the other hand, find this deeply stressful, always have. I go to great lengths to avoid this teetering type of financial situation, because I know and accept myself and my foibles.

For me, juggling finances is a lot like telling lies. One has to remember a lot of boring and unattractive information to maintain lies, and to juggle finances. No thank-you!

I had an interesting encounter on Facebook.

I found it very amusing that a stranger told me on Facebook:
“You sound like a Ferrenghi.”
This was in response to my statement about the nature of large corporate business strategies:
“Scale of operation and ownership are out of balance.”

Does he mean Ferringhi or Ferengi? Assumptions abound on Facebook.

Ferringhi: The name Batu Ferringhi itself attests historically to Penang’s brushes with several different foreign powers, including the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese. Some locals believe that the word Ferringhi was derived from a foreign language (perhaps Portuguese) which refers to ‘foreigners’.
Source: http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/batu%20ferringhi%20beach.html

Ferengi: The Ferengi /fəˈrɛŋɡi/ are a fictional extraterrestrial race from the Star Trek universe. They first appeared in “The Last Outpost”, the fifth episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, during which they made first contact with the United Federation of Planets in 2364 on the planet Delphi Ardu, though they had been mentioned in the series’ pilot, “Encounter at Farpoint”. They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle unwary customers into unfair deals. They are also known for their business acumen and for rampant misogyny, often forcing their women into the sex trade.[1] Notable Ferengi characters include Quark, Rom, Nog, Ishka, Zek, and Brunt, all of whom were featured prominently in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi

Hilarious, either way!

The exchange almost sounds like a Canadian parliamentary debate; personal adjectives being tossed about freely.

In my opinion, Facebook is largely useless as a medium for healthy social interaction. Although, it does provide the information that my friends are still alive and thriving. That is good news.

I just sent off a little note to my Mom in Florida. She wrote back saying: “I have ordered better weather for you. Should be starting soon. LOL”

I love my Mom’s sense of humour.

Another thing I love about my Mom is that she calls me “kid” and means it! I did not always appreciate being called a kid of course, no matter how much affection was involved; but when you are a senior citizen, this is wonderful!

Moving to another topic entirely, Attila and I are running out of viewing material on Netflix. We have watched most of the programs that interest us. Despite the feedback I provide to Netflix, the programs displayed for viewing at login are predominantly violence based. I have to know a film is already there to find it, the selection for browsing is terrible for our viewing preferences.

I keep telling Netflix I am not interested in violence/horror/war, and they keep displaying viewing options that are violence/horror/war based. The other issue we are having is that most of the new offerings are not in English. I do like seeing films from other cultures, in other languages; I do. I also like seeing films in English, my mother tongue, and one of the two official languages in Canada. Netflix is selling this service to Canadians; I think we should have predominantly English and French programs made available. Obviously Netflix does not agree with me.

Thank goodness April is on the way, making home entertainment a lot less appealing. Maybe we will cancel our account with Netflix, as we can’t find anything to watch anyway. I am always looking for alternatives. We like a lot of the programs offered by PBS from the USA for its integrity, and BBC from Britain for its sentimentality.

Attila came home for lunch today, he says the roads are clear, despite the continuous heavy snow “squall”. I thought squalls came and went, this snow fall just keeps on coming; I would have called it a “storm”. Attila will be busy shovelling snow tonight, he will also be borrowing a truck with plough to do the bulk of the heavy stuff.

Wow, our neighbour just ploughed our driveway!!!!! I thought maybe it was Attila, doing the job early, instead of after work. But it was our neighbour. I waved a thank-you through the open blind, at the front window. It was a wonderful thing for a neighbour to do.

And it is still snowing! About another foot has fallen since I took the picture above.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WARNING IN EFFECT
-4 °C
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: -3.7°C
Dewpoint: -4.7°C
Humidity: 93 %
Wind: WNW 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“Reason deceives us often; conscience never.”
Rousseau
1712-1778