Woody Allen interviews the evangelist


This must have been taped in the 70’s, I’m guessing. My Grandmother adored the evangelist Billy Graham, watched him on TV and purchased many of his books. His words were very important to her. I am astounded at the charm, friendliness and humor both these men present and offer to each other. It’s a very fun clip and a wee bit of history. I would wager that these days this style of respectful tone and banter is rare in what is now a very polarized conversation.

Busy bees

Bee on rhubarbCalling forth all the white blossoms you can handle. One of the big, ancient rhubarb plants was blooming wildly the other day and the bees were very occupied. Look at this little guy; did he make it home with that load? The rhubarb plant is out in the field and not one we use on too much. I’m not sure how it even came to be there. I mean, you can only use so much rhubarb. Its productivity surpasses even that of some zucchini plants. Our friend used to haul an old shopping cart out to her garden in the summers and wheel back a cart load of zucchinis from her garden, heaped full. I’m not sure what she did with it all. There is point where you cannot even give it away and everyone tends to lock their car doors during zucchini season. Anyway, these bees reminded me of that Simpson’s episode where Principal Skinner was involved with his woman friend in the utility closet at the school. One of the little students who happened to be Hindu and caught them in there commented: “They both had as many arms as Vishnu and they were all very busy.”

Deep lab to unlock neutrinos

Scientists studying those subatomic particles called neutrinos want to build a lab underground.  The Seattle Times reports there are four locations in competition for the lab to be built near their communities and one of those sites is not far away in Washington state underneath a ski area at Cowboy Mountain by Steven’s Pass.  The advocates for the Cowboy Mountain site propose using an existing tunnel built in the 1920’s and widen it.  Oh, and they’ll also have to install a rail system to haul away the extra dirt. However, the other leading contender for the project is in Lead, South Dakota. Those residents hold annual Neutrino Days, are very keen on the lab and have gathered big money to invite the project to Lead.  Most locations vying for the opportunity to have the lab built in their backyard already sport huge, gaping holes like abandoned mines dug into the landscape. Those big dugouts could provide the depth which the neutrino project needs.  If only they can get rid of all that bothersome water seepage in the bottom of the mine.

“After the UW-led team twice appeared to be knocked out of contention, it now finds itself in the final stretch of a yearslong competition among four sites competing to build one of the world’s deepest underground laboratories. The aim is to unlock the mysteries of an elusive subatomic particle called a neutrino. Scientists say the deeper they go underground, the better they can shield sensitive measuring equipment from the sun’s interfering rays. Research on the neutrino, Haxton said, could “change our understanding of everything from the Big Bang onward.” At stake is up to $300 million in National Science Foundation (NSF) funds to build the lab and $300 million to conduct the first round of experiments — not to mention bragging rights for any discoveries.”

Best camping so far

We spent part of our long weekend visiting my parents. Their backyard proves to be the best spot for setting up a temporary home. Not that they don’t have room and a bed for us most of the time. We knew the lakes and campgrounds all over our part of Montana would be crowded with boaters and holiday folks so we chose to stay in a quiet nook surrounded by gorgeous trees (including a blue spruce which has grown to gigantic heights planted by Matthew and me several days before our wedding. We were married on this place outside in early July the day after snow had fallen on the surrounding hills and mountains. It was 46 degrees but we forged ahead with the outdoor wedding anyway.) When we got up Sunday morning the song birds had been chorusing loudly for hours and the hummingbirds dove at us like tiny missiles as soon as we emerged from the camper – as if I am some kind of threat. I mean, geeze, I can’t even see you coming but watch out. It sounded and felt very personal. Do you suppose they were all hyped up on sugar?

As some of you know Matthew replaced the floor in our Tehanu. Or, little dragon ref. Ursula Le Guin. Matthew also replaced the faucet/ pump in the tiny kitchen sink. Now we need to replace the front window. As we drove home from Great Falls a couple weeks ago we ran into a driving rain which found its way into several leaky gaskets around the windows plus the cracks which were there when we bought the Scamp. We had water coming in several places much to our dismay. She isn’t quite water proof enough for our vacation to the ocean. We are considering buying the new window ourselves and having someone else install it. A new window is $40 from Scamp. We could buy a sheet of shatter-proof Lexan and cut it to fit for less money and buy it locally. No more rock damage driving down the road; sounds like a deal to me. Oh yes, and then after the window replacement Tehanu gets new curtains which I will probably sew myself. Hmm, or I might commission my friend the textile wonder artist to make them…

Scamp camp best of

[tags]Scamp,front window replacement,Scamp repairs[/tags]

Iris, just Iris

If we don’t capture a moment of beauty today and absorb it fully, completely; lost in marveling for a minute, transcending our burdens briefly, how would we ever take another step into tomorrow?

Iris at Proctor

In Brazil they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.
Marlene Dietrich

Art photos of Mars

Victoria CraterIf you admire great photographs of far, distant places then you will enjoy these arty pics at NASA. Wouldn’t Ansel Adams have done a flip seeing these images? Or perhaps he would assume it was all trick photography, or double exposures – so singular are they. These photos definitely show a unique perspective and offer fresh creative material for the earthly eye even though the Mars Global Surveyor is managing the shutter. (Or the Odyssey, et al.) One of the most compelling attractions about images from another planet is that they are (for the most part) unfettered by our own, weighty human affairs. Psychologically, it’s a visual vacation. We see these photos and all that terrestrial stuff vanishes for a few seconds. We are weightless and free and there is so much more beyond us. We sense either pure science wonder or sweet imagination, hopefully both, when catching a glimpse of those strange, removed landscapes. The photos of our own galaxy stun us into awe, collected via the Hubble Space Telescope. We are beamed way beyond our fragile imaginations. Our artistic desires are flamed by these avant-garde post cards from Mars. It’s liberating, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s … whew, a long ways. {Thumbnail is of Victoria Crater, Mars.} My thanks to the Sci Guy.

Living memories

Yellow leopardIt is hard to believe this Leopard’s Bane is so vibrant in May. The plant is from my Mother’s garden and was one of the first to bloom this month. We both admired its blinding yellows this weekend as we stood out in the warm sunshine. The colors made my eyes ache. Nature is so gifted in presenting contrasting hues. I am prompted to remember how our lives mirror this theme of contrast in nature — we all exist in a world of living and of passing away. Perhaps in so admiring nature’s gifts we can more easily accept the reality that sometimes loss is a tax we pay for love.  The contrasts of love and loss blend together in our lives unavoidably no matter who we are.  It is a theme, a life thread connecting all of us.  I look at this photo and remember all the people who I am missing but who are all still in my heart. May light perpetual shine upon them; as the sun shines, as the rain falls on us all.

“The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another’s existence. Sue Ebaugh 

Moyers addressing graduates of SMU

“My young friends, you are not leaving here in ordinary times. The ancient Greeks had a word for a moment like this. They called it “kairos.” Euripedes describes kairos as the moment when “the one who seizes the helm of fate, forces fortune.” As I was coming here to Dallas today to ask what you are going to do to make the most of your life, I thought: Please God, let me be looking in the face of some young man or woman who is going to transcend the normal arc of life, who is going one day to break through, inspire us, challenge us, and call forth from us the greatness of spirit that in our best moments have fired the world’s imagination. You know the spirit of which I speak. Memorable ideas sprang from it: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”…“created equal”… “government of, by, and for the people”…“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”…“I have a dream.” Those were transformational epochs in American politics, brought forth by the founding patriots who won our independence, by Lincoln and his Lieutenants who saved the Union, by Franklin Roosevelt who saved capitalism and democracy, and by Martin Luther King, martyred in the struggle for equal rights. These moments would have been lost if left to transactional politics—the traditional politics of “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” But moral leadership transcended the realities at hand and changed the course of our history.”

Read the entire commencement May 19th  address by Bill Moyers.

Thanks, Marti.

Genius 12 year old drummer Tony Royster

We have a really good drummer in the house, but I was blown away by this twelve year old. Polyrhythms are his second language. If this video doesn’t get you moving on a Sunday evening, then I’m not sure what will. Sit back and be amazed at what people are capable of sometimes. Notice when he switches hand grip styles on the drum sticks during a half-beat.