Updates from October, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , creativity, depression, , , , , mental health, original sin, , ,   


    Countless studies have shown that people who suffer from depression have more accurate world views than nondepressed people. Depressed people do not nurture the cheering illusion that they can control the course of their lives. And they understand, all too acutely, the basic conditions of existence: that their lifespan is just a brief blip in the cold sweep of history, that suffering is real and ongoing, that they and all the people they love are going to die. That outlook is known as depressive realism. Depressed people might be unhappy, but–when it comes to these big-picture, existential matters–they are generally more right than the rest of us. –Kathryn Schulz, author of BEING WRONG

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The National Institute of Mental Health lists six forms of depressive disorder/depression: major depression, persistent depressive disorder, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness). NOT listed is Depressive realism.

    I have never given much thought to depression (in the listed sense), probably because no one I’ve known (that I’m aware of) suffered from depression. However, the Schulz quotation strikes a chord because I’ve “suffered” from realism for years (since I’ve been free of inherited Catholicism), but without becoming depressed as a result….though heaven knows I have good reason to be (and perhaps should be), given that I “understand, all too acutely,” the reality Schulz cites. Why am I not (by N.I.M.H. standards) depressed? Why isn’t everyone depressed?

    There are palliatives available before depression might come into play — for some, there is no shortage of such catholicons as drugs, alcoholism, power addiction, and yes, religion, to hold the wolf of reality at bay or serve as “the cheering illusion” that all’s well that ends well. Who knows, maybe all does end well, after all….but, given the mean time in the meantime, you could’ve fooled me. Life seems to imitate a product designed and built (sooner or later) to fail, but am I depressed? No….and, I take it, neither are you. Why not?

    Well, it’s not as if life were an unmitigated disaster, that’s why — at least, not for most of us. The half-full part of the glass, I wouldn’t miss for the world. Even if our futures get short shrift, if our talents go under-appreciated, if we see ignorance, arrogance and greed thrive — even if love goes south — was it not “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” No matter what is terribly wrong with the world (thanks to both the Creator, if any, and the created), we see in small children not original sin, but original innocence (perhaps our original innocence), the sheer joy of being alive, the promise of hope….and we hope to God or Fate that their promise doesn’t go up in smoke.

    After due consideration, my take-away from all of this is that if we really want to get it right, do not go gentle into that good night*; there is a more challenging way: depressive realism. Think about it. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.*

    *from the poem by Dylan Thomas



    • Mél@nie 5:22 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression is a real illness(disease), unfortunately… completely different from sad(down) “seasons” like blues or spleen that we all experience now and then… what we call in French “le mal de vivre” = the difficulty of living…

      • * *

      I love Dylan Thomas poems… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:33 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the translation of that four-word expression – somehow it sounds much better in French than in English. 🙂 Sometimes I wish I hadn’t let my high school French fall by the wayside – such a beautiful language!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mél@nie 4:25 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          avec plaisir! 🙂 btw, we’re proud of our American son-in-law who is fluent in French after almost 18 months over here… he’s considered kinda “an intellectual”(LOL!) by his American folks… 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 5:50 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Don says Kathryn Schulz suffered from Depression. Most Depression goes untreated as most people who suffer from it have no awareness of it. The only time people seek treatment is when they can’t function. If you’re able to get up, do your ADLs and got to work well most people figure they’re okay. But they’re not. Dr. Don is convinced that all Alcoholism and Drug use is caused by people self medicating their mental illness. Just remember that Dr. Don is unlicensed in all 50 States and anywhere else for that matter. And, he only takes cash so most people don’t listen to him. What can we say other than quel dommage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:08 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        After having read Kathryn Schulz’s book, I have to say that I’m on the same page in almost every respect….so much so that if she suffered from depression, I highly recommend it (or at least what grew out of it) for the rest of us. As for the rest of what Dr. Don says, I defer to his greater knowledge of the subject (of actual depression); his analysis seems on the money (cash only).

        Quel dommage, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:00 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not only a member of the depressive reality group, I’m the president! 😉
      Great post! I am trying to cancel my membership to this club, I’ve deleted my TV, stopped listening to radio, but reality keeps creeping in. On the outside, no one knows about my secret club status. I guess I popped the cork on that now. 😃

      Liked by 2 people

      • Joseph Nebus 10:23 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose they just keep losing your cancellation notice at the depressive reality club. Figures that would keep going wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:11 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that! But your secret is safe with me – I won’t tell a soul. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jane 5:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I can certainly relate to the quote and your own thoughts on this. I am prone to depressive realism. I also tend to be someone who soaks up the feelings of those around me. It is difficult for me not to see the pain of others and want to relieve it. My therapy for depressive realism is spending time in nature and also being proactive when I can. So if I can see a way I can help to improve something or give relief to someone, I give it my best shot. Nature is a soothing drug for me though. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:12 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        And I, in turn, can relate to your comment, Jane (in fact, I’m starting to think we might be related). Seriously, though, spending time in nature has done wonders for me as well, and giving relief to someone can be encapsulated in one word: empathy (politicians, take note!).

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:36 am on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever I feel the drab side of life pressing in, I take comfort in the thought that anything that ever happened to anyone else could happen to me, but most of it won’t. Then I have a beer.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:26 pm on October 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        An admirable philosophy, indeed. Some people might say it would be better to pray, but beer does just as much good and contributes more to the economy. Besides, you can’t drink prayer while watching football.


    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depression can definitely give people great insights. I’m thinking Hemingway here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten 3:33 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Except that he shot himself … one ‘insight’ he may have gotten wrong?


      • Mél@nie 4:28 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, I love Hemingway’s works and he loved… France! 🙂 btw, Ernest’s medical record was publicly released in 1991 and it did confirm his diagnosis: hemochromatosis – an incurable genetic disease that causes physical damage, severe psychiatric and neurological disorders, which might explain suicides in the Hemingway family: his father, his brother, his sister…


        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:23 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink

          I can highly recommend taking time to click on & read Mel@nie’s post (above) to anyone with even a moderate interest in Hemingway. I read it when first posted, and found it fascinating!


    • mistermuse 7:15 pm on November 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your mention of Hemingway led me to check for other notables who are “presumed to have had depression” (according to Wikipedia). Among those on the list are Woody Allen, Hans Christian Andersen, Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks fame), Barbara Bush, Truman Capote, Ray Charles, Winston Churchill, Joseph Conrad, Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Charles Dickens, Bob Dylan, Wm. Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Audrey Hepburn, Franz Kafka, Stephen King, David Letterman, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, Michelangelo, Marilyn Monroe, Bill Murray….and that’s just the first half of the alphabet, which for some reason doesn’t include Don Frankel and mistermuse. Maybe if we tell Wikipedia how depressed we are that we’re not on the list, they’ll include us.

      Liked by 1 person

    • literaryeyes 1:03 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Depressive realism isn’t a mental illness. It may be a sign of health, and so is Positive realism, which you write about. They’ve got to be balanced. Depression is a serious, sometimes fatal disease, and very painful to experience. As someone who’s been through Major Depression, I say, count me out of the fan club!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:42 pm on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In hindsight, the last sentence of the first paragraph (after the opening quote) of my post probably should have included the words (“, and properly so,”) after “NOT listed” to make it clear that Depressive realism not only isn’t on the list, but doesn’t belong on the list. However, since you agree that Depressive realism is a sign of health, I don’t quite get why you (or Midwestern Plant Girl, for that matter) would want out of the club! 🙂 In any case, as someone who’s been through Major Depression, perhaps if would be helpful to others to relate here (or on your own blog) HOW you got through it, unless it’s too painful to re-visit. Be that as it may, may I extend sincere congratulations (if that’s the right word) for having done so.


    • linnetmoss 6:30 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m reminded of the Oxford don who when asked whether his atheism wasn’t terribly depressing, observed that he was looking forward to a good lunch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:29 am on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….not unlike arekhill1 (eleven comments ago) having a beer.


    • RMW 12:10 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t wish to make light of anybody else’s debilitating illness but I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression (whatever that is) on at least three occasions… I refuse to take medication as artificial happiness doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve learned that dragging myself out the door and walking as far as my legs will take me is a great antidote. But other times I sit with it and let it do its thing… you can learn a lot about yourself. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either, but over-indulging can definitely make it worse. For me it’s a matter of balancing the good with the bad… I know that wheel will be turning and the sun will come out at some point… and you can’t have the day without the night!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:52 pm on November 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I feel as if I have a better understanding of depression since writing this post, thanks to yours and previous responses. I sometimes wonder why I don’t fall into depression (knock wood), given that I have a pretty fatalistic attitude toward life, but maybe that itself is the reason. When you don’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses, what you see is the reality you’re not surprised to see, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. I suppose that makes me a cynic, but at least I’m a cynic with a sense of humor. 😦 🙂


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , breweries, Carrie Nation, , , German immigrants, , , , Ohio River, , Rhine, , Wie schade! (What a pity!)   


    If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything happens there ten years later. –attributed to Mark Twain, perhaps apocryphally

    As a native Cincinnatian who began this blog in Jan. 2009, I think it’s high time that I compose a post (com-post, for short?) about my home town….but do the math: ten years have yet to pass, so I’m actually more than three years ahead of “Cincinnati time” with this humorous (humus-rich?) travelblog.  Further more, it is my fondest hope that by the time I’ve finished de-composing this tour de farce, you will know every bit as much about Cincinnati as you do now (as, I hope, will I).

    Cincinnati, for the benefit of the geographically challenged, is located in Ohio on the Ohio, not to mention under the Ohio — on occasions like the Great Flood of  January-February 1937. I can bear witness to this, as I was 3 1/2 months old at the time and remember thinking the second-story-level deluge I found myself awash in was one bitch of an ice-cold bath/where the hell did my rubber ducky float off to (my language skills were rather advanced for my age).

    Incidentally, some so-called experts are skeptical that Mark Twain (like Yogi Berra a century later) said what he said, but I am not….skeptical, that is. I am mistermuse, and I say the above quote is just the kind of thing Twain might say after spending months working as a printer in Cincinnati from late 1856 to April 1857, printing news that happened in 1846-47. Imagine his shock after leaving Cincinnati for New Orleans on April 15, 1857 to find that the world had aged ten years in less than six months.

    But enough about me. It may interest you to know that Twain’s jaded opinion of Cincinnati was not shared by other famous personages of yesteryear. Here are just a few of the two examples I found who found Cincinnati to be the fairest of flowers in America’s bouquet:

    Cincinnati is a beautiful city; cheerful, thriving and animated. I have not often seen a place that commends itself so favourably and pleasantly to a stranger at the first glance as this does. –Charles Dickens, 1842

    The most beautiful inland city in America. -Winston Churchill, 1932

    You may be vondering vhy this post about Zinzinnati is so titled. Vell, after the town vas founded in the late 1700s and settled by Revolutionary Var veterans and pioneers, the first large influx of immigrants vas Germans. Reminded of their native Rhine Valley by the Ohio River Valley, the vord spread back to der homeland, bringing increasing numbers of Germans by der thousands. D. J. Kenny writes in ILLUSTRATED CINCINNATI:

    One has no sooner entered the districts of the city lying beyond Court Street, than he finds himself in another atmosphere — a foreign land. The people are Germans, their very gossip is German. They cook their food by German recipes, and sit long over their foaming beer, ever and again shaking it ’round their glass with that peculiar motion which none but a German can impart to the beverage he loves.

    To this day, that district is known as “Over-the-Rhine,” but sadly, a city vhich vas once second only to Milwaukee as the beer capital of America, gave up almost all its breweries (including The Burger Brewing Company, whose slogan vas Vas you efer in Zinzinnati?). To explain what happened, I quote Greg Noble and Lucy May in this except from their post titled Cincinnati’s rise and fall as a brewery town:

    Back in 1902, when Carrie Nation was busting up saloons with the swings of her ax during the temperance crusade, she arrived in Cincinnati determined to leave her mark in splintered bar tops and broken windows. But Carrie glanced up and down Vine Street, started counting the 136 saloons on that one street alone, and fled in retreat without taking one swing.. She later confessed that she “would have dropped from exhaustion” in the first block.

    That was the golden era of beer and breweries in Cincinnati. For decades before and after the turn of the 20th century, Cincinnati was one of the beer-drinkingest, beer-brewingest cities in America. Big local breweries established a rich, proud heritage — only to meet their demise in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. How did that happen?

    To use a baseball analogy, think of it as the Cardinals and Brewers spending so much on player salaries that the Reds couldn’t compete. The brewing giants — notably St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch, Milwaukee’s Miller and others — out-spent, out-produced and out-marketed Cincinnati’s breweries and eventually overcame local brand loyalty.

    I could go on, but my eyes are out of focus from crying in my beer thinking about this. Wie schade!



    • Joseph Nebus 12:15 am on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was briefly in Cincinnati last year! My love and I were doing an amusement park tour and we took in Coney Island, and its semi-daughter park of Kings Island. Both great parks, but the most stunning thing was the giant pole of times that Coney Island was flooded. Again and again and again and again. You can understand why they gave up on having an amusement park there, and it’s amazing the amusement park regrew anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:38 am on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I have fond memories of the old Coney Island as a boy in the 1940s when the most fun way to get there was by the “Island Queen” steamboat (which exploded and burned in 1947) from the public landing in downtown Cincinnati, upriver (east) about ten miles to “The Most Beautiful All-Day Summer Resort in America” (so-called in an 1880s ad when it was known as OHIO GROVE – THE CONEY ISLAND OF THE WEST). Within a few years after the park opened in June 1886, the original name was dropped, and it was called simply CONEY ISLAND until Taft Broadcasting, its new owners, closed it in 1971 and opened Kings Island northeast of town in April 1972.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Joseph Nebus 10:11 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink

          I’ve heard of the steamboat, and when we visited we paid particular attention to visiting the lighthouse and entry gate from that point. It’s a pity that during the park’s closure the wooden roller coaster was torn down; that looks to have been a great ride. But then any wooden roller coaster is worth a ride.

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 11:06 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink

          Coney Island had at least two roller coasters when I was a boy: Wild Cat and the Shooting Star. At least one was wooden – maybe both, I don’t remember.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Joseph Nebus 5:36 pm on October 27, 2015 Permalink

          The Roller Coaster Database record for Coney Island Cincinnati reports that both Wild Cat and Shooting Star were wooden roller coasters.

          Sadly they only have two pictures of Shooting Star, and none of Wild Cat. But Shooting Star looks great.

          Roller Coaster Database does list the steel Wild Mouse roller coaster as closing “1969 or earlier”. If you’ve got a reliable memory of riding, or at least seeing it, sometime in that decade you might be able to help them pin down its operations.

          Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:20 pm on October 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        As luck would have it, the only CINCINNATI HISTORICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN I own (actually a 1/4 inch thick paperback book dated Summer 1971) contains an article titled “Coney Island: Say Goodbye” with many old photos including two of roller coasters (one unnamed). The unnamed coaster is shown in the 1937 flood and is probably either the Wild Cat or Shooting Star. The other photo is of “The Little Dipper roller coaster, predecessor of the famous Wild Cat and the Shooting Star.” Judging by how the ladies riding the coaster are dressed, I’m guessing the photo dates from the 1920s or early 1930s (before I was born).

        As I recall, the Wild Mouse was a smaller coaster for children and the less adventurous, which included me. After taking one ride on one of the two large coasters (I don’t recall which one), I vowed “never again” (though I wasn’t a big roller coaster fan to begin with, and I don’t think I rode the Wild Mouse more than once or twice).

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:34 am on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beer, Cincinnati and myself have a history together. Back in my college years, a friend and I hitchhiked out there to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his parents. Naturally we wanted to go out and party the night before the turkey, and the liquor laws of the state of Ohio, back when the liquor laws of states were a pastiche of interesting and sometimes conflicting requirements before they were replaced by today’s numbingly uniform drinking regulations, permitted drinkers between the ages of 18 and 21 to be served only “3.2” beer, so-called because that was the maximum percentage of alcohol it was permitted to contain. It was difficult to get drunk on the stuff, but we managed anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:38 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I hope you guys didn’t prevail upon the turkey to be your designated driver, because after doing you and your friend that favor, it wouldn’t have been very nice to eat him the next day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:38 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Vaz you d’are Charlie? Well you can answer that question in the affirmative as you vas. Next time I have a drink which should be after diner and not so long from now, I will drink to Cincinnati. I’m guessing that the City is named after Cincinnatus Roman General and Emperor.


    • mistermuse 8:59 pm on October 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Don, about the city being named after Cincinnatus. It was originally called Losantiville when first settled in 1788, but was renamed Cincinnati in 1790 by the governor of the Northwest Territory….or at least that’s what I hear, because I vaz not dere.

      Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 2:08 am on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Nope, I’m not much wiser, but I was entertained and I guess that’s why you visit blogs. 🙂 I love the city’s name. It’s like a big sticky icing bun 🙂 I have a picture in my mind of a lift perched up on a cliff, but I bet that’s not Cincinnati, is it? Maybe Pittsburgh? Ah well- I tried!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:35 am on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As it happens, you’ve come to the right place to ask about Cincinnati compared to Pittsburgh, because when I was about seven years old, my mom & dad moved to Pittsburgh, and fortunately, they remembered to take me along. We only stayed a year and a half, but I’ve been back several times. Both cities had several lifts (actually they’re called inclines), but Pittsburgh had the good sense to preserve a few of theirs, and they’re now beautifully restored tourist attractions and a real treat to ride, with beautiful views of the city. But the powers-that-be in Cincinnati had no such foresight, and the Mt. Adams Incline, the Price Hill Incline and several others are all gone, and all that remain are memories of them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:31 am on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Losantivlle eh. Seems then that the French got there first but then got kicked out as they did in a whole lot of places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:57 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, it seems that the name Losantiville was pieced together in 1788 from 3 languages (Latin, Greek & French) by John Filson, who (in the process of surveying the land) was killed for his troubles by Shawnee warriors. As a history lover, you may be interested in the details:

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie 10:37 am on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      vel, I vaz not dere eider… 🙂 and it’s not on my list… c’est grave, Docteur Muse?… 😉

      • * *

      btw, excellent post… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 4:15 pm on October 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Merci, Mel@nie….btw, please forgive my friend Don for his little dig at the French (above), but that leads me to wonder how sensitive are the French to the not-uncommon view of Americans that the French would rather make love than war (to put it politely)? Perhaps I should ask your forgiveness, as well, for broaching such a sensitive subject! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mél@nie 5:35 am on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        forgiveness granted, Sir! 🙂 à propos, I do confirm about the French who don’t “practice” that fake(hypocrite!) Anglo-Saxon “puritanism”… 😉

        • * *

        I’ve been used to the Americans’ French-bashing for years… 🙂 do you remember “freedom fries” instead of “French fries” after the French Gov refused to join the US & “the coalition of shame” to invade and to occupy Iraq – ILLEGALLY?!… they opened Pandora’s box and 12 years later, over 150 000 dead civilians, the whole Middle East has turned into a general chaos… 😦 thanks to the infernal trio: wbush, cheney & rumsfeld(NO capitals!) who lied to the American people about the wmd, etc… saying they didn’t give a damn(I also put it politely!) on France and Germany which are just “old Europe”?!… hellooo!!! their ancestors came to America from… Africa or Australia?!… – rhetorical question, of course! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 5:09 pm on October 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Pardonnez moi Mel@nie. Pardonnez moi. I don’t mean to slight the French. They were among the earliest of European settlers that came to America.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley 5:14 pm on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a native, but I live in Cincinnati now. And the breweries are making a roaring come-back, btw; it’s the fastest growing craft beer region in the country!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:04 am on April 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Are you still in Cincinnati, Mitch? If so, where? I am officially in an area called Coreyville (just over the line), having moved “down the street” from the official Gaslight District. I did know the craft beer reputation, but I never learned to like beer, so the many types available at the Cheers Bar down the street (where everybody knows my dog’s name!) are totally wasted on me.

        How about you, Muse? My part of Cincinnati had flash flood warnings, but other than a lot of noise and great deal of water, we didn’t get the torrential downpour you described on the post I just read.
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:49 pm on April 20, 2017 Permalink

          I live outside the city, but have a Cincinnati zip code. According to an article a few days ago in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Metropolitan Sewer District called it a 50- to 100-year rain event, but apparently some areas got a lot more than others.


    • mistermuse 5:43 pm on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Periodically I see an article in the paper about a new micro-brewery or craft beer business, but I didn’t know “it’s the fastest growing craft beer region in the country!” I suppose I haven’t paid a lot of attention because I’m not the beer drinker I used to be, but I appreciate the information/comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:45 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Being wrong, , denial, , growing, , , , , right and wrong, , To err is human   


    To err is human, but it feels divine. –Mae West

    To err is human – to blame it on a computer is even more so. –Robert Orben

    To err is human; to blame someone else is politics. –Hubert Humphrey

    To err is human, but when the eraser wears out before the pencil, you’re overdoing it. –-Josh Jenkins

    I recently chanced upon a book titled BEING WRONG — which, of course, is a concept completely foreign to where I’m coming from (and I’m not even a politician) — but I decided to read the book anyway in the hope of learning why other people are so prone to being wrong.

    It turns out that people are often wrong because they’re human….an attribute I was fairly certain that I possess (naturally, I can’t speak for some of the elephants and jackasses in Congress), so to be sure, I checked my birth certificate. Sure enough, “human” was written in the space after where it says “Genus” (or maybe it says “Genius” — the small print is hard to read). In any case, birth certificates don’t lie (I don’t care what Tea Party Republicans say). Make no mistake: mistermuse IS human — and possibly a genius as well, which could account for my never being wrong.

    Now that that’s settled, let us turn to BEING WRONG, the book. Written by Kathryn Schulz, journalist, writer and “wrongologist,” this book should be required reading for anyone who thinks they’re always right, because (says Schulz) “the need to be always right simply keeps us from growing.” I can take that to heart (though my stomach may not be so easily deterred), and so can anyone at the point of “realizing halfway through an argument that you are mistaken, or halfway through a lifetime that you were wrong about your faith, your politics, yourself, your loved one, or your life’s work.”

    But. of course, many people never (says I) “get” to that halfway point….and even if they do, refuse to admit — even to themselves — that they could be mistaken about anything (think Donald Trump, the poster child for this type, who, unlike yours truly, doesn’t have the excuse of being born a genius). You don’t really want to be like Donald Trump, do you? You do want much food for thought, don’t you? Then read this book….or at least, for starters, give its author a listen:

    (but will it be the end, for long,
    of my denying BEING RONG?)

    • Midwestern Plant Girl 2:26 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I may have an out here.. I’m blood type O- 👽


    • mistermuse 5:14 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I understand that hospitals love the “universal” blood type O Negative — or, as I call it, O minus. Unfortunately, I am cursed with blood type G enius — nobody loves or understands me. 😦


    • arekhill1 9:45 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever my SO realizes she is wrong in the middle of an argument, she says “You’re stupid for even arguing about this,” which nicely changes the subject to our relative intelligence. This is an admirable technique, but I can’t use it because I am not allowed to question her intelligence. I usually have to start a grease fire in the kitchen or spill a drink on her Kindle to escape the dispute.


      • mistermuse 12:51 pm on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I haven’t yet finished reading Kathryn Schulz’s BEING WRONG, so it will be interesting to see if, by the end, she addresses such battles of the sexes. Like you, Ricardo, I’ve always found them to be no-win disputes, despite the fact that I’m always right. Seeing as how the book was written by a woman, I’m not getting my hopes up….but these things never last, so I’m prepared to keep the big picture in mind.


    • Don Frankel 10:22 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, I listened to her very attentively and I realized something… she’s wrong.


      • mistermuse 1:04 pm on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        You mean like the title of her book? But who knew Being Wrong could be so interesting!


    • Mél@nie 11:15 am on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum est…” = to err is human; to persist [in committing such errors] is diabolical…(Seneca the Younger) btw, dunno anyone who would like to be like wigged(wiggy) Donny… 😉 last but not least: his wife’s name is Melania!!! 🙂


    • mistermuse 1:19 pm on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And their child’s name is Barron, which, as they say, certainly goes with the territory.

      I too once thought The Donald is wigged, but reader (& Trump’s fellow New Yorker) Don Frankel previously advised that that’s his real hair. So it’s really true that you can’t judge a look by it’s cover. 🙂


    • BroadBlogs 1:57 am on October 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes! I’ll have to remember some of them.


    • mistermuse 6:26 am on October 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s another quote I considered but didn’t use, because it doesn’t start with “To err is human”:

      “Things are seldom what they seem: that’s why people mistake education for intelligence, wealth for happiness, and sex for love.” –Evan Esar


    • restlessjo 12:54 pm on October 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think I’ll stick with Mae 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:46 pm on October 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the comment, and Mae the spirit be with you. 🙂


    • moorezart 4:29 pm on October 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent post….AND blog!


    • mistermuse 6:22 pm on October 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks. I checked your blog and like your photography….not to mention your self-description, THE ARTFUL BLOGGER, which gives it a nice little “Twist.” 🙂


  • mistermuse 12:05 am on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , early color film, Henry David Thoreau, , John James Audubon, John Muir, national parks, naturalists, , , Theodore Roosevelt,   


    You’ve heard of Charles Darwin. Also, concordantly, Henry David Thoreau. If you’re really into national parks, naturally you’re familiar with John Muir (“Father of the National Parks”). If you have an avian fixation, you’re birds-of-a-feather with John James Audubon, world famous ornithologist and painter of our feathered friends.  But I suspect that the name of John Burroughs probably drew a blank when you saw it in my last post.

    Fame is fickle. In his day, Burroughs (1837-1921) was as well known as any of the above naturalists who remain well remembered today. But, according to biographer Edward Renehan, he was more “a literary naturalist” than a scientific one, which (along with his rejection of religious orthodoxy) may account somewhat for his fading into relative obscurity.  Whatever the case, Burroughs, who was a contemporary of Thoreau and Audubon, a good friend of Muir (as well as of Walt Whitman and Theodore Roosevelt), and has been called “America’s Darwin,” has been left in their shadow. More’s the pity.

    The last of his many books was ACCEPTING THE UNIVERSE (1920), from whence the quote in my 9/20 post. Other quotes I like from Burroughs’ works include these:

    Nature is not moral. There is no moral law until it is born of human intercourse. The law of the jungle begins and ends in the jungle; when we translate it into human affairs, we must take the cruelty of the jungle out of it, and read it in terms of beneficent competition. Man is the jungle humanized.

    The greatest of human achievements and the most precious is that of the creative artist. In words, in color, in sounds, in forms, man comes closest to emulating the Creative Energy itself. It seems as if the pleasure and the purpose of the Creative Energy were endless invention.

    How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.

    Only a living tree drops its fruit or its leaves; only a growing man drops his outgrown opinions.

    I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I close with a curio: a 1919 prizmacolor film of “a day in the life of John Burroughs,” which ends with words wise in the ways of what really matters:

    • arekhill1 12:04 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am already campaigning for Darwin Day as a national holiday for rationalists. They should put this guy on a postage stamp, at least. Thanks for bringing him to our attention Sr. Muse

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 1:37 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      An excellent suggestion, Ricardo. Now that America has the “FOREVER” postage stamp, we have a stamp fit for making up to Mr. Burroughs for his country’s forgetfulness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 4:08 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You never know Muse. Sometimes these type of people come back into vogue. Naturalists might become the subject of some documentary or movie. Hey almost no one had heard of Scott Joplin until that movie The Sting. Till then Muse, you keep them alive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Among Ken Burns’ many great documentaries was THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (in which John Muir was a major figure), so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to do one on naturalists.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike 8:24 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gifford Pinchot, flawed though he was, created the conservation ethic. He found the way not to wreck the economy of man while at the same time not clearing all the forest in the process.

      He did however oppose Muir a few times and his view was economic only as he didn’t value preservation for the sake of beauty; his biggest flaw in my opinion. Though likely viewed as an enemy by some contemporary conservationists, Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt did help to get the ball rolling in the process of creating National Parks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:12 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out. I agree with your opinion of Pinchot’s biggest flaw, but, as they say today, whatever works!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:10 am on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , life journey, , , roots, time and distance, , woods   


    Go in our woods and witness the varying fortunes of the trees. How many are diseased or dying at the top or decaying at the root. How many have been mutilated by the fall of other trees. In fact, the fortunes of individual trees are much like those of men and women. –John Burroughs, naturalist, ACCEPTING THE UNIVERSE


    We see roots
    surge through dirt
    in time-lapse photography
    seed to distance
    in mere moments

    but trees understand
    this above all
    as a long
    journey of attachment
    living with the

    vagaries of fate
    knowing that where
    they are now
    is one with
    where now began…..

    • Don Frankel 4:37 am on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good one Muse, good one. They get to know more than we do.

      But you know I have to ask this. You had to know. If you were a tree what kind of a tree would you be?


    • mistermuse 6:32 am on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I suspect that trees know more than we do because they’re more grounded….which might lead yew to think I would be a pun tree (a palm tree that can’t pronounce it’s name correctly), but as a practically life-long Ohioan, I should probably choose loyalty over punditree, and be a Buckeye tree.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:49 am on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I thought you would be a Pundittree. Me, I’m an Oak.


      • mistermuse 12:20 pm on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        One thing about being an Oak — you can count on being loved by squirrels (at least, as long as you keep makin’ with the acorns).


    • arekhill1 10:01 am on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Me, I’d rather be a vine–grow fast, get around and maybe get in some strangling on the side.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:25 pm on September 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It might be hard to get away with the strangling part — people might hear it on the grapevine that you did it.

      Liked by 4 people

  • mistermuse 12:43 am on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , proverb,   


    Man is learning all his life and yet he dies in ignorance. –Yugoslav proverb

    Most of us never get it.
    It’s not as if we run out of time.
    Had Methuselah lived a thousand nine hundred sixty nine years,
    could he have handled more than he feared not to believe?
    If what you want to see is what you “get” — if you don’t
    know what you don’t know — what is there to be learned?
    The answer, my friend, is growin’ in the womb….
    the surreal promise of perpetuity born in real time.


    • arekhill1 10:31 am on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      All I’ve learned for sure in my years, Sr. Muse, is that anything that ever happened to anybody else can happen to you. If that’s not it, I admit I don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 12:57 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Each generation does seem to get better!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:01 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Let’s just say that the poem is my take on the Yugoslav proverb which preceded it….but sometimes things get lost in translation. In a certain sense, my philosophical/observations-on-life poems are like my humor/jokes: if they have to be explained, they leave one scratching one’s head (not unlike the effect on me of the ways of thinking/believing that I observe and write about).


    • Osyth 1:07 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not scratching my head … I love this. Wisdom, wit and cynisism combine to make a wholly truthful poem 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:07 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well BroadBlogs, I’d just say that if that’s true, a substantial portion of each succeeding generation hasn’t gotten the word!


    • mistermuse 1:11 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Osyth. I cheerfully admit to being a cynic, and will take your word for the wisdom and wit parts.


      • Osyth 1:18 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Wit and wisdom are purely in the eyes and ears of the receiver. Those that believe they are wise are generally deluded 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 3:54 am on September 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      We think we learn so much. We even build great structures to show how much but in the end it really isn’t much at all.

      Perhaps we’re at our best when questioning or as Shakespeare put “in apprehension how like a God.”


    • mistermuse 6:58 am on September 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You got that right, Don. We ARE at our best when questioning. Unfortunately, many politicians seem to think they’re at their best when absolutely certain, when steam-rolling anyone and anything that gets in their way, and when shooting down reasonable questioning of their uncompromising assertions instead of working to find solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

    • natuurfreak 3:51 pm on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for visiting my blog.I find here wise words to think over.


    • mistermuse 4:12 pm on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You are very welcome….and thank you in return for your comment.


  • mistermuse 12:02 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barbara Tuchman, Bermuda Triangle, , , , , , Scrabble, , The Guns of August,   


    Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to find a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, stalled trains, shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening –on a lucky day– without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena.
    Barbara Tuchman, author of The Guns of August (1962 Pulitzer Prize winner)
    ………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..

    I chose the above tongue-in-cheek quote to serve as the introduction to this pun-in-cheek post because….well, because the post’s title had come to me as wordplay based on the title of Tuchman’s book, and I thought the quote would connect the dots….

    Now that the dots are taken care of, let us turn to the pun, which, it’s alleged, is mightier than the sword….as long as you don’t get the point. Hahahahaha. The pun has been defined as a short quip followed by a long groan (which is punderstandable if you get the point, assuming it has a point, which would seem to be the point, otherwise what is the point?). It’s all very punfusing.

    But enough about whatever that was about. Here are more killer puns (not mine, you’ll be pleased to know) for your edification. If you don’t suffer from edification, take them for anything that ails you.They’re guaranteed to cure every ill known to man. If you’re a woman, take them anyway, just in case you come in contact with man. Why take chances?

    What do sea monsters eat for lunch? Fish and ships.

    I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.

    Having sex in an elevator is wrong on so many levels.

    What do the Bermuda Triangle and sexy women have in common? They both swallow a lot of seamen.

    I told some jokes about the unemployed, but none of them worked.

    Thank God for nipples. Without them, boobs would be pointless. 

    I accidentally swallowed some Scrabble tiles. My next crap could spell disaster.

    Vagina jokes aren’t funny. Period.

    Thieves broke into my house and stole everything except my soap, towels and deodorant. Dirty bastards.

    I couldn’t figure out how to fasten my seatbelt. Then it clicked!

    People who say they suffer from constipation are full of shit.

    I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory, when all I did was take a day off.

    Speaking of taking a day off, I’m off for the next five days. I leave you with this disclaimer: I assume you are a groan-up and therefore I am NOT RESPUNSIBLE for any side effects, sound effects, after effects or any other effects resulting from reading this post, with the exception of an irresistible urge to send me money (diamonds and gold also accepted).







    • Melanie (DoesItEvenMatterWhoIReallyAm?) 4:01 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Those were good for a rather painful giggle! 😘 💖

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:15 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I appreciate your reaction. It beats that of the reaction to the person who invented Zero: “Thanks for nothing!” 😦 🙂


    • arekhill1 9:33 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I hope your next crap spells quotidian, Sr. Muse. It would be less painful and get you more points.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:44 am on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Fortunately I was quoting someone else’s pun, but if I ever swallow any Scrabble tiles, I’ll shit – I mean shoot – for something even less painful, but still points-rich….like maybe letters that spell L-A-X-I-T-I-V-E.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 4:54 pm on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply



    • mistermuse 9:14 pm on August 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Who am I to disagree with so brilliantly perceptive an evaluation (I’d say more, but I’ve already had a few drinks too many).


    • Mél@nie 8:39 am on August 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      EXCELLENT puns, mille merci, Monsieur Muse! 🙂


    • mistermuse 10:46 am on August 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It seems we both agree with Oscar Levant: “A pun is the lowest form of humor….when you don’t think of it first.” 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mél@nie 12:17 pm on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        yep… 🙂 I learn lots of interesting “stuff” from your posts, Sir… I’m serious, grateful and thankful!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bette A. Stevens 8:36 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well done! 🙂


    • mistermuse 8:50 pm on August 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I tried to make it medium rare, but I guess I overdid it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 3:19 am on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That which we call a pun by any other name would still be funny.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:56 am on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      We could call a pun a-muse-thing. I don’t know if it would still be funny, but I’m for anything that might make people think of mistermuse (well, ALMOST anything).

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:24 am on September 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I just realized that some may consider one of my post’s puns: Bermuda Triangle/sexy women both swallow a lot of seamen, tasteless. Sorry about that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 5:41 pm on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply



      • mistermuse 8:55 pm on August 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Having already said “Sorry about that,” and since those “killer puns” weren’t mine to begin with, I don’t know that further pun-ishment is warranted (though I could probably come up with even ba-da-bumpier ones, if I put what’s left of my mind to it).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Invisibly Me 8:07 am on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      These made me chuckle!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 7:52 pm on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoin your thyme aweigh.
      And – always good to be reminded of one of the great books of all time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 8:44 am on August 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      This is a hoot! Thanks. Needed a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • equipsblog 3:53 pm on August 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Four groan ups. Arghhhhh.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , opinion polls, , public opinion, , there was no there there, Warren Buffett   


    In 1934 Gertrude Stein was on a book tour of her native America after 30 years living abroad in Paris. After arriving in San Francisco, she decided to take a ferry across the bay to Oakland to visit her childhood farm and the house she grew up in on 13th Avenue, but when she got there, she found the farm gone and the house razed. She wrote:

    ….there was no there there…. Ah, Thirteenth Avenue was the same it was shabby and overgrown…. Not of course the house, the house the big house and the big garden and the eucalyptus trees and the rose hedge naturally were not there any longer existing, what was the use…

    You may think it strange, but the words “there was no there there” conjured up a fantasy-picture, a vision in my mind, of an imaginary scene wherein a latter-day Gertrude Stein went looking for Donald Trump decades after they had been childhood friends, only to find that the boy she’d known had not merely been raised but razed, and there was no there there….

    If you’ve ever given much thought to why people turn out as they do, perhaps the above whimsy may not seem so strange after all. Obviously, we’re not all destined to become men and women of unbounded fulfillment (however that may be defined), but was Stein looking for a man grown so full of himself, so far removed from there, what was the use? How does a man who would be king — or at least President — become almost a caricature, a pretender, if you will, to the prone, meaning those prone to embrace simple answers to complex issues/prone to settle for simplistic bombast over substance? His bandwagon may have many jumpers-on, but, to quote Warren Buffet, A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

    Humor and satire being my preferred manner of dealing with the theater of the absurd, I seldom write seriously about politics/politicians….but, with The Donald, seriously:  Where is the substance? Is there a there there?

    In the end, it matters not, Trump deriders. You’ve heard of snake oil. Deal with it!


    • arekhill1 1:00 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      At least the man has courage, Sr. Muse. I have seen pictures of the candidate in a baseball cap. Anybody who would plop a baseball cap over the engineering feat that is The Donald’s hair must have that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:05 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Or in other words, there may be no there there, but there’s hair there. There you go.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:35 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hair today, gone tomorrow (if America’s lucky, nomination-wise).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 2:41 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So Gertrude Stein used it first eh. Well that’s like the line. “I’ll be back.” That is attributed to Arhnuld. I’m watching that old John Ford Western Fort Apache and John Wayne as Captain York rides out to save Colonel Thursday/Henry Fonda but before he charges off he says. “I’ll be back.”

      Besides, the Clintons use that line all the time. Usually about the scandalous charges leveled against them but who knew they were quoting Old Gertie?

      Hey how’s about. “Hair is hair, is hair”? But everyone shouldn’t get too excited about leading in the polls. It’s not the same as actually getting votes.


    • mistermuse 3:22 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’re right about leading in the polls now, Don. When the field of 17 candidates eventually narrows down to 3 or 4, 20% isn’t going to seem that impressive even if he doesn’t slip below that level by then.


    • Don Frankel 3:54 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Like I said about him somewhere I forget but it’s that he’s big, he’s orange and he says outrageous things. Hell I write about him because he’s in the news. Who wants to write about Lindsay Graham?


    • mistermuse 6:09 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, Lindsay Graham is probably one of the more sensible Republicans in the field, but you’re right – who cares?

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 5:07 pm on August 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      He probably ran just to get attention and was surprised by how well he did. But he’ll probably never get more than 1/9 of the US vote.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:02 pm on August 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Some say they like Trump because he says what he thinks. Well, any idiot can say what he thinks. By that standard, any idiot is qualified to be President.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:45 am on August 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Merci, Mel@nie! Having not yet heard the news this morning, I very much appreciate your link to the story about the “American heroes in France!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • pjlazos 8:05 pm on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love it! You must have tremendous fun writing this blog. Good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:33 pm on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. Writing this blog IS a lot of fun, but also takes a lot of thought and time….but then, that’s usually the price to be paid to create something worthwhile. If it were easy, it would be hard to feel much satisfaction.


    • JosieHolford 5:53 pm on July 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A rose is a rose is a rose but the marmalade moron is a mirage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:12 pm on July 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’d say he’s more of a joke, Josie — both as a President and a human being — but the joke is on us, and not a bit funny.


    • barkinginthedark 6:57 pm on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      even less than there there. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:04 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: doctrine, dog days, dogma, , , , Isaac Asimov, karma, , , , time flies when you're having fun,   


    Here it is, the afternoon of August five, and my spirits have taken a dive. In my last post, I let it be known that frequent publication was becoming an over-extended labor of love, and I’d need to pare down my postings to one every five days, starting today.

    Little did I realize at the time that August 5 is WORK LIKE A DOG DAY. So much for taking it easy just as I try to ease into a more liberating schedule. The bright spot, however, is that August 5 looks to be a temporary glitch, offset, as fate would have it, by August 10 (LAZY DAY) and August 15 (RELAXATION DAY)….or,  MAKE-UP FOR AUGUST 5 DAY and PHONE-IT-IN DAY, as I call it. That’s a pun, in case you weren’t paying attention.

    Meanwhile, if I must work like a dog today, the post that suggests itself is about dogs. Problem is, I haven’t had a dog since I was a boy, and frankly, I don’t have much interest in writing about some other man’s best friend, or even dogs in general. So, if it’s OK with you (and even if it isn’t), I’m going to write instead about a pet peeve of mine which, in its own way, is even more of a dog: dogma.

    My dog-eared dictionary defines dogma doubly as a declamation of doctrines deemed true by a religious sect, and/or as an assertion of beliefs or unproven principles proclaimed to be absolute truth. Well, I suppose every dogma must have its day, but unfortunately, no dogma is satisfied with so limited a lifespan. Come to think of it, neither is this post — it needs to live five days, or I’m barking up the wrong tree with my new schedule. It therefore behooves me to call upon some dead wags and wits whose quotes on the subject survive them, and will hopefully survive being posted here:

    Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma. –George Carlin

    On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and all others, , and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on that arena, I should only add to the number of Bedlamites. –Thomas Jefferson

    Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. –G.K. Chesterton

    Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book and creed and dogma, the world cannot be free. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute and despise each other. –Robert Ingersoll

    So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then, because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe. –Issac Asimov

    Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. –Jacob Bronowski

    Believe those who are seeking truth. Doubt those who find it. –Andre Gide

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Enough. That does it until August 10 (LAZY DAY), when, I dare say, the effort that goes into my post will be considerably less dogged. If five days away seems far off, remember this:

    Time’s fun when you’re having flies. –Kermit the Frog



    • arekhill1 12:11 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As the wise man once said, “Everybody has to believe in something, and I believe I’ll have another beer.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:37 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        That is true wisdom indeed, Ricardo. In fact, I believe I’ll drink to that.


    • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 1:46 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What an excellent post with perfect quotes! Carlin was such an intelligent and observant soul. Take it easy my friend, rest up, and I’ll “see you” again in 5 days! Xoxo Melanie

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:45 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Did you notice that even his name – CARlin – went perfectly with his quote? Now that’s what I call karma! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 4:06 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink

          Yes! It’s awesome!


    • Don Frankel 3:31 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is apropos as these are the Dog Days of Summer. Now I’m working on another theory, a rather involved and of course all encompassing theory of everything a la Stephan Hawking type thingy and it’s Everyone Got Paid. But it’s too complex to explain in this space or even in my mind, so it may never see the light of day.


    • mistermuse 3:55 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Personally, I like Kermit the Frog’s theory: just take it as it comes.


    • mistermuse 7:42 pm on August 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, perhaps if a dog ate something that didn’t agree with him (like maybe a frog), he might turn green. And if he ate it for lunch, it could be a Dog Day Afternoon. And if it’s a Dog Day Afternoon, I think we’ve seen that movie before.


  • mistermuse 4:48 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , On the Origin of Species,   


    I was very unwilling to give up my belief…. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. —Charles Darwin

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I have on occasion speculated that if I weren’t a deist, I would without doubt (or more accurately, with doubt) be an agnostic. For me, atheism is a non-starter; I cannot rule out possibilities beyond the point where mere mortals have the capability to ascertain. For me, the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is humility: we’re limited humans. Even if you and I don’t believe in the ‘revealed’ God, why fall into the trap of conflating man’s invented God (religion) with the fact of creation and thus the plausibility of a creator, divorced and absent though He (It) may be from what He (It) hath wrought?

    These thoughts were in the back (but not too far back) of my mind as I was reading CHARLES DARWIN – A SCIENTIFIC BIOGRAPHY by the late Sir Gavin de Beer, a British scientist and author of many books on zoology, embryology, genetics, etc. I’d come upon this old book while library-browsing, and realized that, while we all know what Darwin was famous for, do we really know Charles Darwin, the man? What was he like, and what did he believe at various points in his life as his thinking evolved (pun intended)?

    Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in getting to know Darwin is that he was “The man who struggled with his own ideas” (BBC website), keeping silent for 20 years before going public with his painstaking research, and describing his writing On the Origin of Species as “like confessing a murder.” Its publication in 1859 represents “one man’s struggle with the most radical idea of all time — the idea that humans shared a common ancestor with apes.”

    Darwin was born of Christian parents in 1809 at Shrewsbury, England, the son of a successful physician and a mother who died when Charles was eight years old, after which (quoting de Beer) “his home upbringing devolved largely on his elder sisters to whom, in spite of their persistent fault-finding, he was ever grateful for instilling in him the spirit of humanity.” Additionally, his grandfathers were important Enlightenment figures: Josiah Wedgewood, anti-slavery campaigner, and Erasmus Darwin, a doctor who ‘wrote the book’ (ZOONOMIA) on the radical idea that one species could transmute into another.

    Darwin’s father wished him to become a doctor, but after realizing that his son had an aversion to practicing medicine, he (quoting de Beer) “proposed that he [Charles] take holy orders in the Church of England. Indeed, at this time in his life, he felt so convinced of the truth of his religion” that he accepted. But after three years of studies at Christ’s College, he considered the time “wasted. His greatest pleasure was collecting beetles for the sheer joy of collecting.” After meeting men of distinction in botany and other fields, he studied geology and read books “from which he derived a zeal to travel and study natural history.”

    A set of fortuitous happenings led to a position as a neophyte naturalist on the HMS Beagle, which set sail from England in Dec. 1831, not to return until October 1836….five years of meticulous observations, collecting specimens and exhaustive exploration too lengthy to detail here, but which began a new chapter in the history of science.

    Years later, “The result of his experiences was that (says de Beer quoting Darwin) My theology is a simple muddle; I cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet I can see no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of design of any kind, in the details….the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wonderful universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know from whence it came. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. The safest conclusion seems to me that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect.”

    “Darwin never felt any but the most friendly and charitable feelings for those who differed from him in matters of religion, provided that they were honest. This is amply confirmed from both sides. Rev. J. Brodie Innis wrote to Darwin, We often differed, but you are one of those rare mortals from whom one can differ and yet feel no shade of animosity, and that is a thing of which I should feel very proud if anyone could say it of me. Darwin’s description of their relations was equally generous: Innis and I have been fast friends for thirty years, and we never thoroughly agreed on any subject but once, and then we stared hard at each other, and thought one of us must be very ill.”

    And now I feel I know Charles Darwin, the man.

    P.S. My thanks to Richard Cahill, whose July 23rd post “God, Man and Donald Trump” inadvertently suggested my title for this post after I thought better of my original (or more accurately, less original) title.



    • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 5:02 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very cool! I like this post as both an Anthropologist and an Agnostic! Very well written! ♡ Melanie

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mél@nie 10:06 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        excellent, indeed, so same here, Melanie… 🙂 btw, I’m Mélanie from Toulouse, France… 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 10:07 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink

          Hi! How fun to say hello around the world to another Melanie!!!!


        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 10:08 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink

          Oh by the way I am in Salem, Oregon, USA


    • mistermuse 6:24 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! You are the (even better) female equivalent of a gentleman and a scholar 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:26 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m basically an agnostic but choose to err on the side of belief in a higher power simply because I feel more empowered when I do, And the world seems more magical.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:40 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not so sure that we fall on different sides of the deist/agnostic comparison – your belief in “a higher power” sounds similar to me being an agnostic if I weren’t a deist. Perhaps it somewhat depends on one’s definition of deist. As I understand it, no deist believes in a revealed God, but some may believe in the efficacy of prayer and/or even an afterlife. Personally, I believe prayers are useless and a possible afterlife is “beyond the scope of man’s intellect” (to quote Darwin).


    • Don Frankel 4:54 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Who else can I have these conversations with? We’ve been on this subject on and off for the last few years. I’ve realized something about you and Richard and other people I know, their religious upbringing seems to almost have been traumatic. In that, someone or someones tried to brow beat all of you into believing. I was brow beaten into non-believing. Makes me wonder why people get so excited about it all. Or should I use the term stimulated? Mental illness ran rampant in my family.

      What most people don’t want to realize is we just can’t know. We are stuck with these pathetic little things we call minds. We can’t see or hear things that are happening around us all the time. We can perceive just so much and understand it seems, less.

      Darwin is a prime example of how we are at our best when asking questions and at our worst when we assume we know all about something, we can’t possibly know.


    • mistermuse 6:53 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your upbringing strikes me as a prime example of that old saying to the effect that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Perhaps I am another example, though under different circumstances (my parents divorced when I was 12 and from that point I grew up without a father; looking back, I see that as the beginning of a traumatic period, though I didn’t understand it at the time). Anyway, I’m glad to have gotten to ‘know’ Darwin, because I didn’t realize the anguish he went through in evolving into the man he became – a man I can thoroughly empathize with and relate to.


    • arekhill1 10:33 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      While I appreciate anybody paying attention to me, if there is an afterlife, Darwin must be fuming in it for being mentioned in the same breath as Trump, Sr. Muse.


    • mistermuse 12:21 pm on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No doubt that’s true, Ricardo….plus, the fact that The Donald represents a major step backward on the evolutionary ladder would seem to raise questions about The Theory. Darwin can’t be too happy about that, either.

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:35 pm on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I never saw this post in my Reader – some posts have been appearing lower down among ones I have already read.
      I’m glad I came to have a look at your Blog and find this very interesting essay on Darwin. I think it is hard nowadays to imagine just how difficult it was for Darwin to accept his own theory and present it to a narrow-minded world. I got his Origin of the Species out of the library once. It is a massive work, both literally and figuratively.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:32 am on July 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s an excellent point about Darwin….and it seems that “narrow-minded world” will ever be with us. In the past 100 years, we’ve seen everything from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the present violence and barbarity of religious fundamentalism. Not much evolution in that world.


    • M. Talmage Moorehead 10:49 pm on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “For me, the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is humility…”

      That’s brilliant! I love it. Thank you.


      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:58 am on August 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I “humbly” (working on the more realistic “semi-humbly,” but evolution is a slow process) accept your judgment. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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