The Sechny-Schneider Thanksgiving, 2017

Some scenes from our Thanksgiving, courtesy of friend and prolific photographer Lisa Nagy Isaacson:

Some of the food:
While we mostly drank champagne/mimosas, we also test-tasted this not-at-all-bad “Covfefe” wine Our niece Emily with Wayne’s sister Judy.My brother Bobby with one of his oldest friends from the neighborhood, Saul Isaacson.Mike and Emily, slaving away in the kitchen.

Mike and his mother, Mary.

Saul and Judy perusing, as far as I recall, DIckens.

Saul and his wife (and now our family photo archivist, as I told her) Lisa.

Wayne and I melting into the couch.  Those plush ‘drumsticks’ you see in the foreground were actually Thanksgiving-themed ‘party’ headgear, which we were forced to wear for a photograph later, and which I will NOT post here (or anywhere else!)

Several (many many) Mimosas later, after some wonderful NY cheesecake over which some of us drizzled a maple/cream/pecan sauce, Wayne and I headed home to our hungry kitties.  It was an enjoyable visit that, now that we’ve gotten more used to the newer ‘family and friends’ dynamics, we’re looking forward to more and more each holiday.

I hope that all of our Zoo family and friends enjoyed just as comfortable – and tasty! – Thanksgiving.

The Watering Hole: Saturday, October 15th, 2016: KITTENS!

I was going to title this “ALL-PUSSY EDITION”, but it might have attracted the wrong crowd. Heh.

Wayne and I have just added two kittens, sisters, to our family. No names yet, but it’s only been about ten days since we got them, and I’m observing their behavior/personality traits for clues as they settle in. They made themselves at home within the first day or two, and while Wayne and I find them highly entertaining and completely adorable, the rest of our kids are not so amused. The older four, Missy, Buster, Fitzgerald and Cecilia, are happy to have the bonus of Kitten Chow (and even though I started out feeding the little ones separately, in the other side of the house, the others quickly sniffed it out anyway), but otherwise avoid them at all costs. Squiggy, on the other hand…

Squiggy's a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy’s a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy, about two years old now, is a big boy and loves to play, especially “fetch”. We’ve always had lots of toys around for him, often stockpiled for when he goes after a thrown toy but comes back empty-mouthed, yet still asking for another throw. With the exception of the occasional spontaneous outburst of play on the part of our older ‘girls’, Squiggy has had most of the toys pretty much to himself. He has his “favorite” toys, his “okay-I’ll-play-with this-one-until-you-find-me-one-of-my-favorites” toys, and the “I’m-just-gonna-let-that-one-go-by-while-looking-bored” toys. Whatever he thought of them before, the two invaders now consider all of the toys to be theirs. Not even Squiggy’s favorites have been spared, and, although he seems simply fascinated by their antics at times, and sometimes joins in when the two girls are running full-tilt through the house, he is all-too-often bemused, bothered, befuddled and bewildered. We’re trying to make sure that he and the others get their previously-normal share of attention and loving, but, as I said, the older ones currently prefer to steer clear. We’ll all adjust eventually, they just don’t know that yet.

No more prologue is necessary, so here they are:

It's tempting to name her

It’s tempting to name her “Blaze”.

Her blaze has stripes.

Her blaze has stripes.

I only got one picture of this little girl's face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

I only got one picture of this little girl’s face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

Here's a nice back view of the lighter one's markings.

Here’s a nice back view of the lighter one’s markings.

“She likes to wash.”
That’s Wayne’s hand, for the record.

And one last one – Sorry, but I couldn’t help making this shot into a political meme:nastyorangemanwearingroadkillgrabswha3

This is our daily Open Thread – don’t forget to sprinkle some compliments in amongst your comments!

Also, too, any and all suggestions for names will be welcome.

The Watering Hole; Friday May 13 2016; The Meaning of Life

Take all away from me, but leave me Ecstasy,
And I am richer then than all my Fellow Men . . .

In today’s human world,  the sad reality is that all that really counts is money, both the acquisition and the possession thereof — the more the better — all without any concern whatsoever for anything else, the earth and everything on it included. As a consequence, one need not look far to find massive evidences of human-directed destruction and contamination of virtually every aspect of the planetary environment from air to land to water to everything between, including virtually any and all life forms, humans included.

We (humans) are not all like that, thankfully. In fact, large numbers of “us” find infinitely more pleasure and purpose in hanging out with and observing critters who have zero interest in money or wealth; they don’t even know, much less care, what money is. No reason to know, because, after all, when your corner(s) of the world provide everything needed to make life meaningful, what would be the purpose of Money? It has no meaning to the talented, to the self-sufficient, to the gifted; it only has meaning to those who have no talent, no gift, no self-sufficiency, to those who can find no real meaning in life itself.

Below are eight photos — each and all from 2016 — which portray the genuine Meaning Of Life, a meaning which seems to, with every passing year, elude ever more humans, most especially those whose sole interests are Money, and Politics, and the presumed Power that comes along for the ride. But “Meaning” does NOT elude these critters!

The first four are of some local Colorado Front Range Canadian Geese including this year’s crop of goslings. I managed to get them to “pose” for me earlier this week, on May 9, when the little ones were roughly three weeks out of the egg. Already they’re out exploring the world — under the close watch of their moms and dads, of course — and already are more aware of legitimate survival techniques than the great bulk of humans of most any age. And they don’t have/need either a bank account or a gun, even!

May 9 2016 goose family 2244

May 9 2016 two goslings 2249

May 9 2016 goose family on water 2263

May 9 2016 goose family on water 2260

Next are four photos of one of this year’s family of Sonoran Desert Great Horned Owls, courtesy of Arizona Naturalist and Photographer Denny Green, longtime friend and resident of Tempe, AZ. These feathered folk typically nest in Giant Saguaro Cacti which are, I’m sure, one of the planet’s safest domiciles.

Great Horned Owl X7A9326

Great Horned Owl chicks X7A9009

Great Horned Owl chicks X7A8960

Great Horned Owl family X7A9511

Speaking of close-knit families! As for money, who needs it!

******

Finally, a bonus shot, this one from Thursday May 12:

May 12 2016 Gosling 2279

Money and wealth, polytics, power — Bah Humbug!

Ill it becometh me to dwell so wealthily
When at my very Door are those possessing more,
In abject poverty –
(Emily Dickinson)

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Friday January 29 2016; The Birds

Today I’ve decided to switch from politics to something interesting. My old College bud, Denny Green, has evolved to become, in his retirement, a dedicated nature/wildlife photographer. He recently visited a place in New Mexico called the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, a refuge considered to be parcel to that “national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.” It is clearly a haven for wild birds, a haven which I would consider comparable in design and purpose to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon — but since this post is politics-free, I won’t even mention that place up there.

Anyway, here are some selected early ‘winter’ photos, taken by Denny Green at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in western New Mexico. They are of the waterfowl most prevalent at the time, i.e. Sandhill Cranes and two varieties of Snow Geese.

–And to bird-lover Ebb, wherever you might be, enjoy!!–

Sandhill Cranes, sunrise, at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

Bosque del Apache Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane

Ross’s Geese, Bosque del Apache

Snow Geese, mating pair

Meanwhile, back in Arizona, some rare ducks popped up late last month at a secluded pond not far from the greater-Phoenix metro area. The first fellow has shown up — alone –each of the last two years. Where he comes from and where he goes, no one knows.

Eurasian Wigeon

American Wigeons, mating pair

Finally, this ‘Red Head Duck’ mating pair, also from a secluded pond in Maricopa County Arizona.

Red Head Ducks, mating pair

So there you have it: waterfowl from a National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, also some relatively rare ducks from an isolated pond in otherwise human-crowded Maricopa County, Arizona.

Some say cattle (and guns) are more important; I disagree.

All photos ©Denny Green, Tempe Arizona.

OPEN THREAD

 

The Watering Hole; Thursday January 21 2016; Narcissistic Fascism, AKA GOP

There’s a new GOP monster out there,
One that’s emerging from the Narcissistic-Fascist
Ice core that is its heritage, and this day has become:
Trump-Cruz — drip-drip.

Q for America: Whereto from here?

Without doubt, one of the most disturbing aspects of 2016’s Republican Presidential campaign is that its two “leaders” at this point — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz — are politically FAR to the right of that mystical (and poorly defined) boundary that separates American Conservatism from classic European Fascism. Add to that Trump’s indelible and definable narcissistic megalomania — and Cruz’s hyper-religious-anti-government obsession — and what emerges is a potential horror show the world has not seen since, say, 1939.

Number one (currently) in that horror show is the (supposed) billionaire and real estate mogul from New York, Donald Trump. Anyone not brain-dead who’s watched even a video clip from most any of Trump’s campaign appearances cannot help but notice that among all of his myriad undercurrents, two stand tall and proud: Egomania and Narcissism — either one of which could well demand of him, should he become President, some potentially untoward consequences.

A Neuroscientist explains: Trump has a mental disorder that makes him a dangerous world leader

According to a number of top U.S. psychologists, like Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardener, Donald Trump is a “textbook” narcissist. In fact, he fits the profile so well that clinical psychologist George Simon told Vanity Fair, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.” This puts Trump in the same category as a number of infamous dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Saddam Hussein. And although there are narcissists out there who entertain us, innovate, or create great art, when a narcissist is given immense power over people’s lives, they can behave much differently. As the 2016 presidential election grows nearer we must ask ourselves, if elected president would Donald Trump act on the behalf of the will of the people, or would he behave more like a dictator—silencing any dissenting voices, perpetually refusing to compromise, and being oppressive to certain groups? . . . (highlights mine)

Ah, the potential products of Narcissism? Good question. Brings to mind a quote:

The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion,
but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.

And then there’s this, the other side of that same coin:

Ted Cruz’s obsession to destroy America

So far during his candidacy, Ted Cruz has said that if he should become President, he will (at the very least) . . .

  • Move the U.S. Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s “once and eternal” capital.
  • Shutter the Commerce Department in order to promote free trade and “close the congressional cookie jar.”
  • Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “. . . and the alphabet soup of regulators.”
  • Abolish the Departments of Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Rip to shreds the Iran Nuclear Deal on his first day in office, because “it represents a pattern we’ve seen in the Obama administration over and over again of negotiating with terrorists.”
  • Utterly destroyISIS. “Carpet-bomb them into oblivion” until the “sand can glow in the dark.”
  • Repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act and then “pass common-sense health-care reform that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable and keeps government from getting in between us and our doctors.”
  • Rescind President Obama’s executive orders, esp. those on immigration and gun control. “Those executive orders are not worth the paper they’re printed on because when you live by the pen, you die by the pen, and my pen has got an eraser.”
  • Bar (Muslim) refugees from Syria, allow Christian immigrants only.
  • Ban Sanctuary Cities, because “Not only are these sanctuary policies an affront to rule of law; they are extremely dangerous.” Sanctuary. Dangerous. Papiere bitte the only solution?

Cruz also advocates a budget-busting flat tax, the elimination of payroll taxes and, of course, ipso facto, the eradication of Social Security and Medicare. He also plans to freeze the hiring of civilian government employees and to eliminate the president’s authority to restrict exports of fossil fuels. Because, you know, MONEY!

Ted Cruz obviously fits the radical far-right wing conservative definition of Leader. He may not be the full narcissist that his poll companion — Trump — has proven himself to be, but Cruz remains, as they say, ‘close enough for government work’ to that “leadership” pinnacle. But — mix ’em both together and here’s what will likely follow:

The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty
to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve
and defend those basic principles upon which our nation has been built.
It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and
the family as the basis of national life. Turbulent instincts must be
replaced by a national discipline as the guiding principle
of our national life.

Grrrrrrrrrr !!!!

GOP + Trump + Cruz ⇒ Narcissistic Fascism, AKA GOP

Oh, and lest we forget their defining model:
they clearly belong to and derive from that historical
Narcissistic Fascist,
a.k.a.

A. Hitler.

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Friday December 4 2015; Shade, and Sun

Had I not seen the Sun
I could have borne the shade . . .
(Emily Dickinson)

First, the shade — and yes, it’s hard to bear sometimes:

I’ll be brief. “Brief” seems a blessing, actually, once you read the following contributions by right wing and evangelical (assuming there’s a difference) nutcases. Best advice is to just hang on, it’ll all be over. And soon!

OK, so here goes nuttin’ — eight nuttin’s, actually:

(caution: recommend Saran wrap over your keyboard  before proceeding)

Ted Nugent: Time To ‘Cleanse This Country’ Of Liberals Who Want Everyone ‘Bending Over And Taking It In The Ass’

Erik Rush: Obama Wants Billions To Die To Curb The World Population

E.W. Jackson: Black Lives Matter Is ‘Demonic’

Mike Huckabee Ties Syrian Refugee Issue To San Bernardino Shooting

Glenn Beck: Obama Is Either Delusional Or ‘The Dumbest Son-Of-A-Bitch On The Planet’

Leading Dominionist Says Donald Trump Is A Modern-Day Lincoln Anointed By God

Trump’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry Isn’t Hurting Him. It’s Helping.

Ok, so there, in no particular order, were eight full doses of toxic waste. Glad we’re done with that part. And now, prepare yourself for several (eight, actually) breaths of really clean and fresh air! (And yes, it’s now OK to remove the no-longer-needed Saran Wrap from your keyboard).

Here’s an abbreviated glimpse of what can reasonably be called ‘November’, or maybe ‘Autumn in the Rockies.’ Note the absence of humans, also the absence of things named Trump, Cruz, Huckabee, Nugent, Beck, et al. No toxic waste, in other words. No garbage! So go ahead, feel free to just sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Nov 1 Autumn idyll Beckwith 2055November 1: a pair of Canadians ‘On Golden Pond’

11-2 buzzer in flowers cr 2073November 4: Busy bee working the local ‘Forget-Me-Not’ bonanza

11-3 Last Rose 2076November 7: ‘The Last Rose of’ . . . Autumn

Nov 25 Sunset 2091November 25: The lull — and the SKY! — before the storm

Nov 30 Greenhorn 2110November 29: Same mountain, clear skies (finally!) and LOTS of snow

Dec 1 Snow bunny 2118November 30: Little feller checking out his fresh white world

To close it out, here are two more from a similarly memorable November past:

Nov 2, 2009: Front Range lake reflection (inverted)

November 29, 2009: Thanksgiving (morning) backyard Guest

OK, so that’s it. Two worlds, both available, both accessible, amazingly different. One’s peaceful, the other nerve-wracking. Why is that? Why is the human world so indelibly messed up? Has it always been that way?

William Wordsworth once asked pretty much the same questions, then answered them in just a few words when he wrote, in his poem Lines Written In Early Spring:

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Who, besides political or evangelical hacks, could ever find argument with that? Yeah, I know, there’s not space enough or time enough to list them all. Wouldn’t do any good anyway.

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