The other side.

There was a big Halloween Dance downtown tonight.  Do you know why the skeleton couldn’t go?………

He had no body to take!


Arrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhh…….  but wait.  There’s more.  Seriously.


Well.  Halloween.

There is a great deal involved in the evolution of this holiday.  So much history lies within.

The whole shebang got started a kabillion years ago.   Actually, the Ancient Origins of Halloween are 2,000 years old.  But I like to say “kabillion.”

So… it goes back to the old Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in… or sah-win). These folks lived up around Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.

Those folks like to celebrate their new year on November 1.  (Again, the festival of Samhain.) For them… the day marked the end of summer and that great big harvest.   It also meant the beginning of the dark,  and very despicable cold winter.  It was a time of year that was often associated with human death.

Those whacky Celts believed that on the night before the new year….. the thin boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.

SOOOOOO……. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain.  And this would be the time when the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

Not only did those creepy ghosts come back… they would cause all sorts of trouble…. and they would damage the crops. The Celts also thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.  I like a good Druid from time to time.

Fortune-telling Druids speaking to ghosts.  Now THAT is a PARTY.  And….. for a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world…. these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

That is how this hot mess got started.  Oh, some think those Celts were primitive, slow, primordal, and a bit on the dense side…. for believing in such tripe.

So let us fast forward 2,000 years.

Now we celebrate Halloween in a much more sophisticated manner, being the evolved and highly intellectual people that we are.

We spend kabillions of dollars on costumes of past presidents, Scooby Doo, horror-movie characters, and Smurfs.  We don these costumes proudly.  We enter competitions to see who looks the most ridiculous.

As if that wasn’t enough.  We purchase mass quantities of shrunken candy bars, which we dispense to strangers on the street.  Yes.  And we sugar-up our kids to no end… after dressing them up in ridiculous costumes as well.  Not to mention our poor, unsuspecting pets.  We put our Greyhounds in Cheerleading outfits, and our Dacshunds in hotdog garb.

We go to parties and bob for apples in community-slobber filled water, consume too much spiked Cider.  Just when gourds thought the world was good…. we take to the streets and smash pumpkins.

Yes.  We are smart humans.  Scientific. Advanced.  Goofballs.

I love Halloween.  It brings out the Pugsley in me.  And the Wednesday.


Finally.  For the photo above…..   I hired a ghost photographer. The spirit was willing but the flash was weak.

What do we believe?

Everyone, in America, is talking about Sandy.  I think.

And well they should.

The Storm of the Century, they say.  Yet…. we keep having them back to back… as of late.

Tonight on the news, they said…. “Get used to it.  This is going to be the norm.”


Yet we continue to ignore our Planet.  Our Mother Earth.
She keeps yelling at us.  Louder and louder.

How much will it take before we get it?
Could it be too late?  How many times are we going to turn a deaf ear?
Or…. is there no such thing as damage to our planet?  There is a wide debate about this, you know.

But I ask.  Will we be able to explain this ignorance to our grand children… or great grand children?  How do explain things to them… like how bananas used to taste… or what green grass felt like under bare feet?  How do you explain the sight of a butterfly…. fluttering its wings on the fragile petal of a daisy?  When the breezes used to blow gently?  How?

Bless those who suffer through it tonight.  Bless them.

“The first duty of love is to listen.” – Paul Tillich

What isn’t there.

Sometimes…..   what isn’t really there….. is.

I think about this sort of thing.   A shadow is…. basically…. the absence of light.   It is that  crazy dark area produced when a body comes between the source of light and an area of surface.   Whacky.  It is cast.

And.  A reflection is the “throwing back” by a body or surface of light…..  without absorbing it.  It doesn’t cast… I guess it… emits.

So a shadow comes from blocking a light source, a reflection comes from the bouncing of light of one source and on to another.

Shadows get a bad wrap if you ask me.  People think they are “shady” and “mysterious” and “dark”….  uhhhhh.. …  .. welllllll…. I guess they are all those things.  But they aren’t evil or bad.  Shadows are simply misunderstood.  AND… look at the bright side:  They don’t blind you like some reflections can.

You have to really look…. to see the great details in shadows.  Oh, but they are there.

And once your eyes adjust, and you finally see it… really see it…. then you know.  Just like the shadow knows…  you have it too.


“Where there is much light, the shadow is deep” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Very close veins.

Certainly, this is the most considerable thing I have ever come to realize:

No one, has ever experienced anything…..  anything at all…. that wasn’t part of single moment emerging.  Every moment, and instance, unfolds unto itself.  And that is how we experience life.

We don’t do things five minutes from now.  And we surely don’t do them two weeks ago.  We are doing, what we are doing, right now.   Here.  In this very minute.

So for me, that means my life’s only challenge is dealing with the single moment I am having right now.

If only I could learn this.  And remember it.

Intellectually, this concept is quite fundamental.   It sounds easy enough to understand….. but…. is it?  You see, emotionally, spiritually, even physically, this becomes the intertwined, one-moment-depends-on-the-next-BIG-MESS that I make of it.  Twist it all up in to tiny knots… ..  … .. …. is just what I do.  (And do it well.)

It seems I am constantly trying to solve my entire life.  Worrying about things that may never occur…. battling problems that aren’t actually happening.   I try to keep it all in line, and control it.

Yet, the single, present moment, is really my only point of contact with life.  Simply, that is all there is.

Why can’t I get that?

In the middle of the forest, is a tiny speck…… on a little vein, on a leaf….  of a tree.

“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Brilliant

Beauty. And the Beast.

Travel.  By definition, it means to make a journey, typically of some length or abroad.  People love to travel… or so they say.  They spend a lot of time and money on traveling.   They go to places unknown… like Dollyworld, and SantaLand, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

They say that travel “broadens your horizons” and “expands the mind.”  It makes the world a “smaller” place.

Ahhh.  But I am a bit of a Home Body.  There is SO much to see and do… at home.

Believe It…. or Not.  I contend that travel can make Little Monsters of us at times.


Or… it could just be me.  But I am certain of this…….

Oh, but it is good to be home.


“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes


“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

What a day it was.



Sometimes, I enjoy looking back.  If I ever get that Time Machine finished, I might like to visit the past…. to see what things were REALLY like.  You see…… my brother and I are currently building one of those TIME traveling contraptions.  The trouble is, we can’t decide what color to paint it, or if we are going to charge for carry-on luggage or not.  So, we are in a holding pattern in production.

Anyway.  Looking back.  Any year would be interesting.

Take 1923 in particular.  What a year THAT was.  Politically, Warren G. Harding, a Republican, held the Office of President.  He died that year…. in office…. of…. well…. it has never been conclusively decided.   Harding’s term of office was the shortest of any 20th-century U.S. President.

Harding’s sudden death  has led to some theories that he had could have been poisoned….. or…. committed suicide.

(Suicide appears unlikely, since Harding was planning for a second term election.)

Rumors of poisoning were brought on by a convicted criminal, former Ohio Gang member, and detective…. named Gaston Means.

Old Gaston was hired by Mrs. Harding to investigate Warren and his mistress.  This guy…. this Detective Means…. suggested that Mrs. Harding had poisoned her husband. Mrs. Harding’s refusal to allow an autopsy on President Harding only added to the speculation.  So…. who will ever know, really?

Anyway, the rest of 1923 was interesting all the way around.  The Hollywood Sign went up.  Yankee Stadium opened its doors.  Roy and Walt Disney founded The Walt Disney company. TIME Magazine published its first issue.  And… Rainbow Trout… the gay fish… is introduced into the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

These were some big things to celebrate.  But you had to do it with out drinking…. legally.  You see… Prohibition was in the thick of the whole thing.  (1919 through 1933).  No wonder the Great Depression started in 1930. People were depressed.

Yep.  Lots of noteworthy events.  On this date in particular, in Dayton, Ohio….. a very young and scared woman, named Regina Freda, gave birth to a happy baby named Lucille Rita Rose.

Little Lucy.  My Mom.  I am very thankful for that day.  Extremely grateful.  For Grandma Regina, and Grandpa Bernard, and their baby girl Lucy.  The greatest event of that year… in my opinion.

Happy Birthday Mom.  I love you.

How do you know….what.

The longer I am on this earth, the more intrigued I am, with the great and mysterious ways of this planet.

As it turns out, I don’t know Jack.  In fact… I don’t know a whole lot of Jacks.

But here we are….. with….. so many places to explore.  Of course, traveling brings this out in a person.

And today, I am reminded of just that.

The unexplained.  The baffling.  The inexplicable.

Some of them are so momentous and profound.

Easter Island.  The Fantastic Creatures of Angkor.  Stonehenge.  The Sphinx, and The Great Pyramids.

While others are…. peculiar…… odd….. bizarre.

Downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Certain Political Candidates.  Lime Jell-o.

You know. Like I said before.  I don’t know Jack.   And I don’t think he knows me.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

The Cellar

Sometimes I lose faith in large segments of the human race.  You know.  It happens at those times when I hear comments from the likes of Richard Mourdock , the Indiana Republican running for Senate.  But not only his comment.  No.  The outpouring of “support” which follows simply makes it worse.

I feel despair.  Anguish.

So…. to cheer me up…. a walk on the lighter side.

Once there was a King who was loved by all of his subjects, especially because of the hunting excursions he shared with them. As will happen, one day he died and his eldest son took the throne. Now this new king was an animal-lover to the core, and immediately outlawed all forms of hunting and fishing. His subjects accepted this for only a short time before they ousted him.

This is a truly significant event, because it’s the first time a reign was called on account of the game.

The Secret.


“Yeah, Frances.  What is it?”

“Why do people do the things they do?  Sometimes humans don’t seem so smart…”

“Well France. Truth be told, we are not.  Not most humans.  I think all of us are trying to figure out the Secret of Life.  But some of us do it better than others….”

“Oh.  I see.”


“Yeah, Pol.  What is it?”

“Do you know the Secret of Life?”


“Well  c’mon then, France.  What is it?”

“It is different for me than it is for you.  Everyone has a spectacular and unique purpose.  And that…. my friend … …. is the secret.”


 “Secrets are made to be found out with time.” – Charles Sanford


Walk this way.

When you see this… you say… “Hedge Apple.”

When Ollie, our little ADHD Dog sees this, she says… “Where on God’s Green Earth did all these tennis balls come from.   Tennis ball. Tennis ball.  Tennis ball.”

Ahh.  And there it is.  “Perspective.”

We each have a different one, this thing we call perspective.
Webster says it is a particular attitude toward something… a way of regarding something….. OR…. a point of view.

A point of view.

I for one am glad we are all not like one another.  I think this adds a great dimension to life.  It gives us a chance to learn, AND it gives us a chance to help others learn.

Now here is another definition of perspective.  Two people are standing on a street.   A large bus is coming in their direction.  The bus is travling ever so quickly.  One person is on the sidewalk, and the other is standing in the direct path of the bus.

Two different perspectives.

If I were the person on the sidewalk, I might try to get the other individual to look at the bus from MY perspective.   Not that their point of view is completely wrong, but in a moment, there will be a scene of irreversible damage and ruination, as a result.

I would do this…. not only so that the other person may find a safe haven, but also so that I, personally, do not have to be a part of the mass destruction which is about to take place.

A vantage point can make a world of difference.

So goes our nation.  So goes our world.

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” – Friedrich Nietzsche