I’m a Hufflepuff

So there!

Image result for hufflepuff traits

I have come to accept that I’m a Hufflepuff through and through. I’m good with that, why wouldn’t I be?

I didn’t want to take the sorting quiz in the first place, but my wife and all my friends had, so I consented to be sorted, even though I have a natural dislike of being profiled. I’d read all the Harry Potter books and seen all the movies that had been released up to that time. I knew about the houses and pretty much knew that I wouldn’t find a place in Slytherin house, but I didn’t know which of the others I’d fit, nor did I care. Anyways… Bud (that’s what I call my wife, Rose) asked the questions and I dutifully answered them. When it was over, she pressed the finish button (or something) and,Voila, Hufflepuff! Not that it mattered or anything, but I thought about the questions and the answers I gave. I came to the conclusion that it was the question asking, ‘John, Paul, George or Ringo. Choose one.’, that tipped the balance. I chose George. So there you have it. The funny thing is, most of my friends figured that’s where I’d end up, though a few, including my Bud, were a little surprised that I didn’t end up in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Hufflepuff fits and that’s fine with me.

When I look at what I’ve written in the last few years, I find that much of it concerns issues of fairness, justice and injustice, trying to understand motivations and appreciating the nuggets of good that are often drowning in a sea of contention. I have been angry, introspective, and defiant. I have also been hopeful, full of wonder, appreciative even if a little melancholy at times. Yup, Hufflepuff.

As I said before, I don’t like being profiled, even though that’s pretty much what happened when I was sorted, so… here’s a little defiance to those who expect me to conform.

 "F" off 

why are you trying
to put me in a box that
i don't fit into

who are you to pass judgement
on the person that i am

As a point of reference, this was inspired by an interview I heard where the interviewer couldn’t understand the choice a person made. He assumed, based on characteristics including age, gender, education, employment, marital status, income, etc., that the person should have chosen otherwise. He sounded baffled and a little indignant about it, all because of his suppositions (prejudices would fit also). His presumptions made me a little indignant.

Up or Down?

There are many unresolved questions floating in the aether.

Intelligent design or Random chance? Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Hamburger or Hot Dog? Ketchup or Catsup? Up or Down?

It was the last quandary listed that was the subject at the bus garage yesterday. There are two restrooms for us to use as needed. Both are spacious, single occupancy affairs that are used by all. Both are treated quite well by the considerate staff. A debate arose over the post use position of the seat, up or down. The opinion held by the ladies was overwhelmingly in favor of the down position. The gentleman were less opinionated about the position of the seat and as all of them are married, generally agreed with the ladies and didn’t offer any real convincing arguments in opposition. I wisely kept my mouth shut. My mind, however, played out the debate. It went something like this.

Gentlemen: We put the seat up so we don’t foul it, we dislike dirty seats as much as you.

Ladies: That’s all well and good, just put it back down after you’re done. We don’t want to sit on the cold (and dirty) porcelain.

Note: My wife uses this same argument on the rare occasions that I forget to put the seat down at home. Usually the language is more coarse.

Gentlemen: Sometimes we forget, besides, you’ve got two good hands, you can put it down. By the way, who doesn’t check the seat before sitting?

Ladies: A mostly nonpublishable response concerning the accuracy of short barrels and small bores that basically says,’Take better aim buster and clean up after yourself!’

Another note: I totally agree with that with the ladies here!

Gentlemen: Hey, we’re just trying to show a little respect, pardon us for being considerate.

As you can see, the gentlemen lost after the first round and signed their death warrant in the second. I guess men are no good at debates. Still the question remains for you to ponder, Up or Down?

And now for another.I call this;

Dead or Alive

No one thought to ask
Schrodinger's cat how it felt
about the damn box

Thank you and good night!

Thanksgiving on my mind

For most of last week I was thinking about Thanksgiving. I had a column that was due on 10/28 for a local paper. They wanted a sportsman’s point of view on hunting traditions and how they tie to Thanksgiving traditions for their upcoming holiday magazine. I said to myself, “Self, this is gonna be a cinch!”, and then told the editor that I would have the column ready by the deadline. It turned out to be much more difficult than I expected.

They wanted the column and a picture to fit on a single page, so the word count was only 750 words. Simple…not! It’s hard to propose, support and conclude a comparison in so few words. I must have made at least eight false starts, dead ending after a few hundred words. I was frustrated because I couldn’t steer the story in the direction that I wanted it to go. Then it hit me, I was trying to force it! When I finally got that through my thick skull, I threw out everything that I’d written up to that point, started fresh, and let the story follow it’s own course. It’s been submitted, enthusiastically approved and will be in Saratoga Today‘s ‘Simply Saratoga’ holiday edition.

Now that I can think about what I want to, I’m still thinking about Thanksgiving. Specifically, I’m thinking about a movie that is one of my favorites. The movie is ‘Pieces of April‘. It’s funny and tragic and powerful in a very human way. I don’t have an extensive list of must see movies. The few that are on my list span a very wide spectrum. ‘Pieces of April’ is a top contender. Please see the movie.

Since we’re on the topic, what is your favorite Thanksgiving movie, if you have one that is. I’m always looking for a good flick.

PS. I read a post on Ebony and Crows that set me on my heels. It was candid and raw and took a lot of bravery on her part to post. I think we have all looked in the mirror and not liked the reflection. It’s easy not to look into mirrors. It’s not easy to change the reflection in the mirror, but we can, just as she is doing.


a bitter wind moans
cold rain falls from leaden sky
sorrow paints the world

dead leaves are scattered like the
ashes of my blasted heart

Fear not friends, I saw a great prompt on Ragtag daily prompt. I was working on some pieces that I want to use in a story and this one was brewing. The word prompt,’Blast’, helped it to gel. This isn’t going to a feel good story but it won’t be entirely black, if I can convince my daughter to help with some of her mad artistic skills, that is.

The image is from gofullcircle.co

Old dog, new tricks

So, there’s this person I know, who never swallowed the bait offered by those trolling cyberspace for hits. He was pretty adamant about not wanting to have a ‘presence’ that could be searched and then be pestered by those who found it. He prefers conversations to be face to face or voice to voice. He’s not a proficient typist so it takes him a long time to say what he wants to say. He complains that by the time he finishes typing, he has typed something completely different than what he started type. He’s really old fashioned about computer stuff, and while he acknowledges the usefulness and utility of computers, he grouses constantly about the lack of, and the degradation of human connectedness (not sure if that’s a proper word, but that never stopped him from using words that fit) he perceives is happening. He remembers a debate he had with a friend, way back when he was in junior high (do they still call it that anymore?). It went something like this;

Other person – Computers are going to make life so much easier. They will be able to run our homes and cars and stuff.

Person I know – Computers are great and all, but I don’t think they should run our lives like that.

Other person – They will make our lives easier and we will have more free time to do the things we want.

Person I know – I don’t think so.

Anyway, the person I know still thinks he won that debate. However he has found a new use for the computer he has. He has discovered an amazing bunch of people using his piece of newfangled tech. He is constantly surprised, amazed, and overwhelmed by the talent and intelligence of the people he’s found and finding. Heck, he’s just getting started. Still, he wonders if he will flame out and hopes he won’t.

Geez, he sounds a lot like me. By the way, ‘Old’ is just a figure of speech.

This is for all of you, thank you.

To You
I’ve always kept my feelings close
And been afraid to show too much
For fear of ridicule or reproach
I kept my words chained inside
Speak I was told, you’ve much to say
So, I did though I don’t think I spoke well
For years my words fell on deaf ears
For years what I wrote simply darkened the page
And then I found you.
I leap and you catch me
I scream and you hear me
You don’t ridicule me for showing too much
You show me how to release my words
By your own brilliant example
You let me feel

Other Light

Image result for iceland aurora borealis
i speed to you
a mote of cosmic essence
little more than nothing at all
to bring you sunlight
and shine for a moment
in the northern sky


Keeping it short today. I saw the weekend writing prompt and this came out. Hope you enjoy.

This is where it began

And now, here we are.

This is where I live and work. Some of you may be having a conniption, well maybe that’s too strong a word. Perhaps you’re concerned that I’m giving up too much information by revealing where I live. Here’s how I see it. If you’re in the area and you want to meet, look me up and we’ll have a coffee. If you’re in the area and you want to do me mischief, look me up, we’ll meet and maybe you’ll decide to take me up on a coffee instead. I’m not hard to find, but I’ll keep my address to myself for now.

Today marks the 242nd. anniversary of the British surrender after their loss in the Battle of Saratoga. You can’t walk through Schuylerville without treading on history or bumping into historical markers. While this battle did not win the war, it was the ‘Turning Point’ of the Revolutionary war and the beginning of the end of British rule over the colonies. Not everyone wanted to break from the King, but enough people had the courage to stand up and fight to win their freedom. Win they did, after years of struggle. We gained our independence and got a brilliant Constitution and Bill of Rights that affirmed our freedoms. Enough with the history lesson, I’m not a historian and if I got anything wrong, feel free to correct me.

I think a lot about what’s going on in our nation today. I don’t know everything that’s going on politically and I don’t trust what I’m being told is the truth, no matter which side of the aisle it comes from. I feel as though we only matter to the politicians in as far as they can claim us to be on their side and extract tax dollars to promote their own agenda. I think I know how the colonists felt when they made their declaration.

So, here’s a little of the unforeseen in Unforsenities.

Open Letter

You treat me with contempt
when you lie to me
when you think you know better than me
when you dismiss my opinion
my beliefs
my wants
my needs
in favor of your own.

You treat me with contempt
when you characterize me
or share the same experiences as me.
You decide what's best for me
without my consent or agreement
because it suits your goals
your ambitions
your desire to compel me
to live
according to your design.
You meddle and you aught not!

You treat me with contempt
because you ignore me
make assumptions about me
think you know me
and what's best for me.

You treat me with contempt
when you expect me to be inattentive
to your self service
your posturing
and pontificating.

You treat me with contempt, and it makes me angry. You must STOP!

Things don’t need to be this way.

Poetry by numbers

I’m no math whiz as far as whizzes go, but I can hold my own in most things mathematical and scientifical. Just don’t require me to do calculus or I’ll go all F of X on your *. (I don’t know how to type the Fx function properly so maybe I’m not half as whizzy as I thought I was.)

Anyway, I like numbers just fine and I like sequences. I also like making up words that make sense even if you can’t use them in Scrabble. Getting back to numbers, there’s this thing called the Fibonacci Sequence that goes like this; 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34…… you can figure out the next number by adding the last two numbers listed. It can go on for ever! It’s way more interesting if you look it up on Wiki.

Anyway, again, one of the first bloggers to like my posts is yaskhan https://yassy66.wordpress.com/. She wrote a poem using the Fibonacci sequence. I was intrigued, I followed and decided to write one myself. Hers was Haiku-ish in that she used a syllabic count. I probably would have done the same, but I didn’t remember until I was seven lines in, so I stayed with it the turned it back around. You know, there and back like Bilbo ‘n crew. I roughed it out while in the woods last week and made it presentable today.

Rustlings         10/8/19 to 10/15/19

among oak
shag bark hickory
sugar maple cherry white pine
silent witness to the rustlings of woodland creatures
both great and small squirrels barking wood frogs chirping chipmunks scurrying insects buzzing
the background whine of rubber on asphalt as travelers rush to their distant destination a counterpoint to the whisper of nature
i watch and listen by the old stone wall and the elbow tree that together marked a field's edge in days long past where now a forest grows and dry leaves litter the ground
thinking about why i'm here not the little here or the big here but the middle here what drew me here
let the philosophers puzzle out why we're here the big here that is
i know why i'm here in this place
i'm hunting deer and peace
i found peace
wait what

In case you’re wondering, it was a squirrel!

I just looked at the preview and saw how it would post, I didn’t mean to make you work.Thank you for your indulgence.


Home again
in the woods
where I grew up
built my first campfire
got lost when I was young
get lost now that I'm older.
I got in trouble for that fire
the clinging wood smoke smell
gave me away.
You just wait until your father gets home.
I hid under the covers
wishing for sleep to take me
to tomorrow
away from the spanking I expected
but did not receive.
A stern talking to
and my self imposed dread
were penance enough.
And now
forty five or more years later
I sit at the scene of my crime

Funny what stays with you.