What a year

July 23, 2009

Been a real bear of a year so far, and that’s with things going about as well as I could hope.  It’s been pretty much as dry as I feared it would, after the heavy rains of early spring, to the point where a half-day of rain today is quite note-worthy.  I’m not sure what (if anything) this means, but it seems to be a very good year for hornets (the bald-faced or white-tailed or whatever they’re called variety).  First, a very large nest under the eaves near the front door of my Mother-in-law’s home, then a nest forming up under the eaves on the front of my house.  It seems unusual to get 2 hornet nests on houses with family connections to me in a period of weeks when the last time I had a personal contact with a hornet nest on a house was, what, about 35 years ago?  Wonder if this is just another piece of seemingly meaningful ‘patterned’ chance, or if it really does reflect some sort of weather-related condition.  Do hornets make nests on houses during dry years more than at other times?  Beats me.

On another note, I meant to write this before, but things have been desperate.  The other day I got reminded of how the eyes see what the mind wants to see – there was a big raptor gliding toward the hospital as I was walking along the hall o’ windows, so I stopped to look.  It was moderately high up, but it was pretty clearly a Bald Eagle (even though my mind kept asking “where are the fingers?  why are the wings a bit ‘v’ed up?  why isn’t the head bigger?”.  Well, it kept rising up until it was pretty high, and I turned around to chat with a colleague.  Looking back to point out this nice Bald Eagle, I was just in time to have it slide down the sky and close overhead, clearly showing all the obvious field marks of a Turkey Vulture to the point that I was simply unable to deny it.  Every single day there’s some news report of the Republican Party via some spokesman or other doing exactly this – loudly shouting that the moon is too made of green cheese; that Hitler was too a Communist; that President Obama was too born in Tahiti, or wherever it is this month.  I mean, I can understand the guys believing this who would rather be told what to think than to think for themselves, but where do these radio and TV hosts get off still pushing this insanity?  And the people in Congress who are spouting this – are they all insane?  Do they really imagine that this is all just a child’s game?  Every month it gets clearer and clearer that the US is falling into ruin even faster than I had anticipated the month before.  Rome was a city and an empire, but we seem to be collapsing even faster than they did; perhaps a country might be expected to go faster, but I always thought it would take longer.  Shoot, we didn’t even have an empire as big as the Dutch, let alone the British.  Well, the great experiment with Representative Democracy lasted almost 200 years in this country (I think in retrospect it ended sometime around the Nixon years).  I wonder how long the coming theocratic state will last?  I vaguely remember that ol’ fascist RAHeinlein writing something about this before he drifted into soft porn.  I’ll have to see what his prediction was.