Friday, August 31, 2007


I wonder if there are any documented instances of curiosity killing a cat.

Here’s a good story, discussed on the Australia version of Mythbusters. If you touch a toad, you'll get warts. False. Warts are caused by a virus, which are usually species specific. Almost all viruses that infect frogs do not have the correct receptors to infect humans as well. That’s good. One less thing to worry about. I always worried that those lonely girls who kissed frogs in the futile attempt to find something anything better in life would get sick. I can put that concern aside, too.

I had a picture come to me. Still not sure what it means. I think it was a dream. I was awake, but I dream while awake sometimes. I was sitting on the end of a pier fishing in the ocean. I have fished or walked on several coasts in the US, and have walked the ocean’s beaches in a few different countries. One thing I always do is orient myself to understand what I am facing, albeit at great distances. This seemed to me to be the panhandle of Florida, a place I have never been. I was picturing the touristy side of Mexico in front of me.

I was reeling in my line. A youthful man was somewhere behind me. I had not paid specific attention to him, as people came and went but pretty much left me alone. I do recall nodding a wordless hello now and then – tip-of-the-hat type of thing.

As I reeled my line, this younger fresh-faced guy was becoming excited. “What do you think you have?” He was all atwitter. I said nothing but concentrated on my line. He seemed to understand my need to focus. I wasn’t focusing, I was just reeling. Didn’t much care for conversation. It was clear that he was an in-lander not used to local practice, and had for some reason been given a day pass from his custodians.

I brought my line out of the water. “Wowwee!” he said, “neato! What kind of fish is that? Must be 5 or 6 pounds, hunh?” I said nothing.

“What did you use for bait?” he asked.

I turned toward him. “I didn’t. This is the bait.”

That’s it. Still processing.

I was in Philadelphia today working with my old co-workers on an accreditation doc I wrote for them. It was nice to see them. I got some time to chat and catch up, albeit briefly. I wanted to spend some more time socializing but the environment isn’t conducive to it. There’s a palatable power structure that simply needs to be honored. I don’t mind it at all.

It was funny to watch the dynamic present itself again and it immerse in it without losing a beat. I got to see some past students. They all asked if I was coming back. It was weird to say, “no.” One girl I saw is graduating next term. I remember teaching her for her first two or three terms. Very focused on studies. Wrote well. For some reason I think she’ll be a cop. I hope she is safe. I worry about such things.

I have five trips in the next nine weeks. Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, and Florida. Going to be busy. Will be time for another trip to the women’s shelter afterward to drop off my booty of toiletries. I love collecting them. It is silly how much money is wasted in hotels.

The weather is changing so quickly. Cool nights are already here. I want to go to a cider mill this fall with my twin. I have pleasant memories as a kid of stopping at Northup’s Cider Mill in La Plume, PA. The building was still there when last I drove past a few years ago, but it is no longer in use. I remember seeing it closed and unused that fall. I stopped the car and peered into the window. It was clearly done. I recalled being in a bar somewhere years before – Scranton, Factoryville, Clarks’ Summit, I forget. One of the grandson’s was there. We talked about the mixture of apples, and how the later cider was best. He said how hard it was to get field help. I knew lots of illegals from my federal criminal work and assured him if he could lend me a truck, I could fill it with day laborers.

Some periods of time are harder than others. It is not measured by length.

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