Monday, March 31, 2014

Folsom Prison Blues

I hope the network doesn't take this down. It's a great rendition of a great song---

---an old Australian folk song by Johnny Cash.

MaBloPoMo (Day 31: Spring Classic Duathlon, Portland, 03/29/2014)

I finished! I've been worrying about this for months and writing about it for awhile, and very intensely writing and worrying about it for a few days.

Waiting in the rain for the race to start
But I started, and finished, in the rain, thanks to the amazing support of my wonderful husband and my great trainer Derek and my wonderful supportive sisters (that link was to Laura's blog, and this one is to Ellen's) and this one is to our team page for the Huntsman 140, with Neva as our team captain and trainer)  and children.

Almost to the finish line
I almost didn't show up, because I hadn't trained as intensively as I wanted and planned to do. But I knew I would feel miserable if I didn't at least try.

After the race, I felt kind of horrible with muscle and joint pains, but I didn't feel miserable. Important distinction.

I did NOT go to the stake center for the women's broadcast that evening. I watched it at home, on my comfy couch. Which, I think, is ... OK.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 30: Crabs At Killiecrankie Bay)

One day we found millions of these crabs scuttling up from the water.
And when you got close to them, they started burrowing down...

into the sand, spiraling down in a clockwise motion.

Which says nothing about which way the toilets flush...

in Australia, because --- wait, do you really want to know

the details of that? I thought not.

Anyway, once you got over feeling how creepy these crabs were,

you appreciated them as one of Nature's works of art.








Saturday, March 29, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 29: More From Flinders)

I should be posting photos of three other grandchildren, the ones who have been here visiting the past week, but that will involve uploading the photos from the camera and going through them. And I still have a few more photos from Flinders Island. So I'll post those now, and the new ones sometime soon, like, probably sometime next week.








Friday, March 28, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 28: Fiction Friday: The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection)

Madame L here again, with another wonderful book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

In "The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection," said academy is not yet established. It's so far a glint in the eye of Mma Makutsa, who dreams that she will run the place with the assistance of Mr. Clovis Andersen, the author of "The Principles of Private Detection," the guidebook of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Of course she'll also employ her current boss, Mma Precious Ramotswe, to be her assistant, making tea for her and taking orders from her.

Mma Makutsa and her talking shoes are not only the comic relief in these novels, but also provide a counterpoint and several sub-plots to the main narrative.

Another set of sub-plots are provided by the mechanics who work for Mma Ramotswe's husband,  Rra J.L.B. Maketoni. And yet another set involve Mma Potokwane, the matron of an orphan farm who is always asking for money for the orphans.

Madame L loved everything about this novel. The narration is fun, the humor is subtle, the plot is intricate, and the characters are for the most part delightful.

What Madame L liked most about this story is that Mr. Clovis Andersen turns out to be a humble, not an ugly, American, who helps the ladies of the Ladies Detective Agency without taking advantage of their kindness or lording it over them.

Madame L recommends this book for anyone who loves to read about strong, but real, women who are solving problems and helping other people...and doing a little detecting on the side.

Madame L checked her copy out of the library, but it's available in bookstores as well as Amazon.com, where it's available, used, for as little as one cent. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 27: More Photos from Flinders Island)

We went fossicking on Flinders Island. Also, hiking, swimming, and exploring.

Lisa and Rigel, hiking to the best fossicking bay

This is how you fossick. It's a lot of hard work!

Dave and Saiph hiked and swam to the other side of the bay.

Saiph found a secret place in the rocks

Louise found some stickers and/or bugs on the hike.

Killiecrankie Mountain

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 26: Flinders Island)

An Australian guy at the airport who had spent a lot of time in the U.S. was surprised to hear that we were in Tasmania in the first place, and even more surprised to hear that we were on our way to Flinders Island. "Most Australians have never heard of Flinders Island, let alone been there," he said.

Their loss. What a beautiful place!






Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 25: Best Municipal Swimming Hole in the World)

Here, as I promised yesterday in my Training blog, are some photos I took at the amazing park and swimming hole at the Cataract Gorge in Launceston:

Dave jumps off the rocks into the gorge

Rigel gets ready to jump
Peacocks were roaming all over the place


This separates the swimming hole from the rest of the gorge

These three guys were the reason we went there

The place was full of beautiful flowers


Monday, March 24, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 24: Adagio in G Minor, Albinoni)

I heard this the other day and loved it so much I wanted to share it:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 23: Poor Milton!)

A certain unnamed male person in my family who works at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, had this experience in the men's bathroom at work. Here it is, in his own words, with the commentary, "You couldn't make something like this up and expect anyone to believe you."
While minding my own business, the outside door of the restroom opened and an older woman's voice said, "Milton! Are you still in there?"

I kept quiet, because there was no one else in the restroom. She called again, then came in.

"Milton, are you in here?"

"No, there is no Milton in here," I replied.

She came over to the toilet door and actually peered through the crack at me.

"You're not Milton!" she said loudly,

"No, I'm not Milton," I replied.

"Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!" she kept repeating as she walked back out of the men's room.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 22: Boulders)

Another great thing about our trip to Flinders Island was the wildlife. We saw wallabies everywhere. What are wallabies? They are like mini-kangaroos. They're very shy, and they're mostly out at night, in the early morning, and in the evening.

Our first night there, I woke up, still jet-lagged, in the middle of the night and looked out on the lawn of the rented house.  In the light of the half-moon, I saw about 10 or 11 boulders scattered around the place.



Boulders? I didn't remember seeing any decorative boulders when we'd arrived. I rubbed my eyes and went back to bed.



In the morning, the boulders were all in different places. Now it was light enough so I could see that these were wallabies, eliminating any need for a lawnmower on that large front lawn.





Aren't they cute? I met a woman at the airport as we were leaving, a wildlife rescue person, with a rescued wombat (I'll write about that later). She said most of the animals she cares for are young ones, brought when someone hits their mother  by accident at night.

I asked if she took care of wallabies much, since we'd seen so many of them as road-kill on the dirt roads between the town and our rented house. "No," she said. "I don't care for wallabies. Too delicate. You take care of them for months, and they up and die.

"I like these wombats. Much sturdier. Anyway,  wallabies are food."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Extra: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Check out this great doo-wop version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," by Jimmy Fallon with Billy Joel on the Tonight Show last night:


So, if I don't make my goal of a post every day of this month, maybe this will make up for one missing one. Or two or three. It's so much fun, so well done!

MaBloPoMo (Day 21: Fiction Friday: March 21, 2014: Learning to Fly)

Madame L here, with her usual (not always, unfortunately), review of a novel, short-story collection, poem, movie, TV show, and so on. This time it's a novel, "Learning to Fly," by April Henry. (Madame L mentioned this book in a post on her own blog last Sunday.)

Madame L recommends this book more strongly than most of the other books she has read lately. It has compelling characters, led by a high-school dropout named Free, and a thriller of a plot which grows right out of the characters' own needs and behaviors.

Free, given that name by her hippie parents, has to learn how to really get free. She has tried to free herself by rebelling against her parents' lifestyle, but she isn't accepted at school, so she has rebelled against school and all it represents, too. None of this has helped: she has ended up with a "boyfriend" who is closer to her parents' age than hers and who has another girlfriend on the side.

Finding out about the other girlfriend on the same day she finds out she's pregnant is the last straw, and she leaves. With a hitch-hiker, another young woman, she has picked up, she ends up in a dust-storm wrecks tens of cars and kills several people, including the hitchhiker and a young man who begs her to find a gym bag he's been carrying. But she's the one, not the hitchhiker, who is reported as dead.

So, with the hitchhiker's identity and the hundreds of thousands of dollars of drug money from that gym bag, she starts a new life. What could go wrong, right?

Nothing, until the sociopathic abuser of a husband of the hitchhiker and the man who was waiting for that money to be delivered find her.

No more spoilers! The book is so good because every character is believable. Every action taken by every one of them is plausible, and the outcome of all those actions flows naturally from them. When they converge in the exciting finale, it makes total sense.

And, best of all, Free does become, well, free. And strong and capable. Which she has deserved from the very beginning, and just had to earn for herself.

Madame L found this book in the library, but it's also available, used, at Amazon.com for prices as low as one red cent.

Madame L knew of the book only because she met the author, April Henry, who lives in Portland and is every bit as nice and personable as she appears in book-jacket photo. Frankly, Madame L thinks April Henry should now be rich a famous, rolling in dough from multiple movie deals.

In fact, Madame L does not understand why this book hasn't been made into a movie. Maybe it's because it's often categorized as a "Young Adult" novel. Maybe movie producers aren't aware that young women want to see movies, just as they want to see TV shows and read books, about young women like themselves, getting strong and conquering their fears and foes, instead of just the usual testosterone-flooded pap.

At any rate, Madame L is now going to read every other book she can find by this author, April Henry, and spread the word. Again, that name: April Henry. Remember it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 20: Learning to Surf)

And now for something a little more pleasant, and way fun.

While we were in Australia in January, I learned to surf. When we arrived at the airport on Flinders Island, the lady who does the car rentals mentioned they were having surfing classes in a couple of days. I was pretty nonchalant about it, but when I found out Dave had brought his wet suit so he could do some surfing, and realized it would probably fit me, I was rarin' to go.

So Dave went to the advanced class in the morning, and I took some photos of him. Amazing! He does headstands and all kinds of cool stuff on the board. Unfortunately, I only had my little baby bear camera with me, and none of the photos showed much.

But when I went back later in the day with Jeff and the mama bear camera with the papa bear telephoto, he took some photos of me.

So, this was my absolute first time in my whole life to go surfing.

I was in a class with about 12 little kids and one other adult, a woman in her 30's.

We started by warming up with a jog down the beach and back. Very invigorating, and helped get me feeling less nervous.

Then, still on the sand, we listened to a short safety lecture.

"What's the most dangerous thing on this beach?" asked our teacher. Someone thought it was the water, someone else thought it might be sharks. "The sun!" said our teacher. "So we always wear sunscreen, and we keep applying it throughout the day."



Then we each drew on the sand an oval with a line down the center, and lay face-down on this imaginary surfboard.

There, we practiced: Paddle, paddle, paddle, up, and stand! We did that a lot of times. Finally we grabbed a board and walked out into the water.

One of the teachers walked out next to me.
"You've never surfed before?" he asked.

"Only body-surfed," I said. "And I'm scared spitless."

He said, "No problem, we'll have you up in no time. Nothing to be scared of."

So, as you see in the photos, he waited for the right time, gave me a shove, cheered for me as I paddled, paddled, paddled, got up on one knee, and then stood up. And rode the wave all the way in to where I could just step off.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 19: Anti-Cancer Vaccine)

Wow, here's some good news in a world of mostly bad:

Some researchers have developed a cancer vaccine that has proved effective against advanced melanoma. According to the article, "The vaccine shrank tumors that were directly injected with the drug and tumors around the body that were not injected."

And they're doing this work at the University of Utah! From the online article, quoting one of the lead investigators, Dr. Robert Andtbacka:
"This indicates to us that we have activation of the immune system to fight these tumors at a distant site," Andtbacka said.

"This is a new generation of oncolytic immunotherapy where you're seeing very robust responses in injected lesions but also robust responses in non-injected lesions. This bodes well for the future for this product," added Andtbacka, an associate professor in the division of surgical oncology at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
I like to put pictures with these posts whenever I can, so I was thinking of putting a picture here of my face after any one of the three surgeries done to get the melanoma off my head. But, no, too gruesome to look at. Instead I will just say "Thank you!" to those people who do this life-saving work.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 18: Baby Elk in Mud Puddle)

This has been around for a long time, but I just found it and loved it, and hope you do, too:


Monday, March 17, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 17: Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Wearing green today? I am!

According to Wikipedia, this is how you say St. Patrick's Day in Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick." It's a public holiday not only in the Republic of Ireland and North Ireland, but also in Newfoundland, Labrador, and Montserrat.

The only other thing I have to say about St. Patrick's Day is that I'm glad I've got so much Irish blood, and proud of my Irish ancestors for surviving in a harsh climate, and proud of them for emigrating when they had the chance, and proud of them for what they accomplished and passed on.

Éirinn go Brách!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 16: Typoglycemia)

I just found this old email message from my daughter Val, with the subject: Don't delete this! Hang on, you can read it!
 
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately
cllaed Typoglycemia.  :-)

Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.
 
 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 15: Raised in Sterling, Virginia)

This comedian, Patton Oswalt, was raised in Sterling, Virginia. Actually, he was raised in Sugarland Run, Virginia. Ring a bell for anyone?

He's 45 years old, older than my kids, but I asked them anyway if they knew him. They didn't, but then we all reminisced about some of the people we knew back in the day, and what happened to them. 

Anyway, I saw him perform on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon the other night. (I mean, I recorded that and then watched it later.) That's how I knew he existed and has made it this far.

His act is funny, but I don't know why he has to keep using the f-word. Is this some requirement of contemporary comedy? Here it is, and remember I warned you about the f-word.


On The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he showed a plaque his brother had made for him, with his "resume" of jobs he'd worked before he went into comedy. YouTube, or NBC, keeps taking down clips people put up there of his performance, but I've found it in another place. You can go to this link and choose the episode you want, to watch for free (once).

(And find other shows you might want to watch, if you're willing to pay to subscribe.)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Re-trying Day 9 (My Mistress' Eyes)

I've tried writing sonnets. Once I looked closely at this poetic form which I took for granted and even disliked --- especially the iambic pentameter --- after "studying" it so many times through high school and college, I appreciated it more.

I used to think that Shakespeare et al. wrote poems that way because they talked that way. Yeah, that's right, I thought everyone in Elizabethan and Jacobean England talked in iambic pentameter and also rhymed a lot. What can I say? All that so-called "studying" --- having English teachers drone on and on and on about this form and that, and the beautiful meaning of the last couplet, blah blah blah blah, I guess I imagined a Shakespeare like the character in the movie "Shakespeare in Love," but boring, not the dashing figure of that movie.




Anyway, the one sonnet of Shakespeare's that I liked was this one, Sonnet 130, which you can find, along with lots of other great poems, on the Poets.org Web site:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
I liked, and still like, this sonnet because it turns all the romantic notions up-side-down, showing that love does not depend on some idealized characteristics; you can love someone who is less than perfect; and that person, and your love for each other, are in fact better than all those idealized romantic notions.

And look how the poet does it! --- my paraphrasing the meaning is so ploddingly trite compared to the way Shakespeare says it in the first place.

Which is why we read, and write, poetry, isn't it.


*****And here are the two comments posted by readers to that original post:


Blogger Laura said...
She isn't described as being pretty, is she? Good thing he loves her so much! At first I thought that if he really loved her that much he would gloss over all her physical imperfections and find ways to describe why he loves her, instead of "she's ugly, but I love her despite that." But I guess it's more effective to say that she's really kind of a dog and he STILL loves her. Yes, poetry is a fascinating thing.You can get away with saying things you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
March 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM
Delete
Blogger Jeff Wynn said...
Whew. Now I may understand how you can love someone who looks decrepit and smells odd. You must see something more there than he does. If so, please explain it to me sometime.

As the Ferenghi Battle-Captain said to Jen-Luc Piccard, "I'm all ears!"

;-)

Re-trying Day 12 (Venezuela)

Note: There was a line of text from another post running through here, so I've deleted the original of this post and put it back here. But now the line is just running through another post, at the same location on that page. So I'm going to delete the post that that line came from, and see if that makes it go away.

Meanwhile, here's what I had written on March 12, 2014:

I'm so appalled at what's happening in Venezuela. Some Venezuelan friends of ours tell us they can't find basics like chickens, rice, bread, even toilet paper. If they grow their own fruits and vegetables, which many of them do, and are able to barter with other people for some of the things they need, they are able to hang on.

But the annual rate of inflation of 56% is third highest in the world.

The New York Times reports that the situation may even turn out to be good for Maduro's evil dictatorship. This caraqueno journalist says the country is going mad, with no hope for anything like the Arab Spring:
The violence will continue, meanwhile, even if this wave of protests is crushed under soldiers’ boots. I can see that in the rage of drivers who encounter blockades on their way home; in the curses that even neighbors exchange; in the decaying control of municipal authorities; in the myriad reports on social media about assaults, arson, break-ins, vandalism. Crime and out-of-control inflation will make life harder for almost everyone. 

Venezuela has long been a country with no space for independent media, the rule of law or competitive politics. Now, it is also a country where thousands of protesters, absurdly, are taking orders via Twitter from a self-proclaimed prophet in Miami, Reinaldo dos Santos, who has announced Mr. Maduro’s fall. And it is a country where thousands of Chavistas are calling for jailing, exiling or disappearing the opponents of their repressive government. Venezuela isn’t undergoing a revolution. It is going mad.
I am praying for my friends who still live there. I can't do more---can't send care packages or even letters, because everything is opened and anything of value stolen. So I'm praying. 

MaBloPoMo (Day 14: Starlings)

I've probably posted something about this before, but I just got this link from my cousin Margaret and it's well worth watching again. I like this version best of all because it's accompanied by Pachelbel's Canon in D instead of some self-important naturalist's commentary:


Thursday, March 13, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 13: Translations)

In our poetry class the other night we were talking about translations. Our teacher said if you're a poet you can learn a lot by translating poetry. A good exercise, in fact, would be to translate a poem from one language to another, and then translate it back (or get someone else to translate it back, someone who hadn't seen the original), to see if the second translation was like the original.

By the way, that's one thing the first translators of the Book of Mormon from English to Spanish did, under President Brigham Young's direction: 
In a later conversation with President Young, Daniel was asked how he proposed “to prove to the satisfaction of the authorities of the Church [none of whom spoke Spanish] that the translation was correct.” Daniel offered this trial: they would select a book, Brother Trejo would translate a passage into Spanish, Daniel would take the Spanish translation and, without referring to the original book, translate it again into English. Brother Brigham accepted the trial... 
Along these lines, we've all heard of how the saying "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," translated into Russian and then back into English, becomes, "The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten."

So, all this is because I read a post by a Quebecois friend:

Moi sur le pancher de l'usine aujourd'hui, encore entrain de chercher mon pad de notes:
"c'est clair que je vais faire de l'alzheimer plus tard"
Quelques secondes plus tard... angoisse momentanné en pensant:
"Zut! À ce monment là je ne pourrai pas dire à tous 'je vous l'avais bien dit' car je ne me souviendrai pas que je l'avais dit"
I thought I was understanding most of it, but not all of it, and then I saw the "See Translation" button, and here's what it came up with:
Me on the plant today, pancher still looking for my pad of notes: "it is clear that I do Alzheimer's later" a few seconds later... anxiety momentanne thinking: "damn! "For this monment then I won't tell everyone 'I told you so well' because I will remember that I said"
So now I guess I didn't really understand at all...But probably better than that translation software did.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 11: Zach Vs. Barack)

It almost rhymes, doesn't it.

This supposed interview on Zach Galifianakis's "Between Two Ferns" is hilarious!


You can watch the whole "interview" at funnyordie.com. 

And here are 10 GIFs from the interview.


Monday, March 10, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 10: Another Sonnet)

So, here's one of the sonnets I wrote in a poetry workshop last year. Like all the poems I share on this blog, it's still in draft form. I don't know if I'll ever get it past the draft stage and finished. In fact, I doubt that will happen. But, as I wrote yesterday, just writing it and getting it this far was a great education. I was looking up at the stars when I started writing it.


Stories
The universe is larger than my mind
yet thinking lets me fit the stars inside:
The stars, and constellations that abide
in story where the heroes have to find

a villain, save their people, or unwind
the way within a labyrinth where there hides
a creature foul and ravenous, and decide
if it's worth saving, or with all its kind

it merits death, annihilation, or
to live in chains and suffering for its crimes,
live in our minds, imagination, for
our children to remember how it died.

And thus the stories in the sky survive
so we remember how to live and thrive.

 © Louise Wynn 2013

Saturday, March 8, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 8: This Simple Equation)

Our sister missionaries came over for dinner tonight, and, as usual, after we ate we sat around talking about life and how to be happy.

They mentioned this simple equation they heard from their mission president:

Goal + Persistence = Success

Wait, I'm pretty sure I don't have the exact words in there, but that's the general idea.

Another way to put it: You can't accomplish something worthwhile without a struggle, or:

Worthwhile Goal + Struggle = Accomplishment

Another way to put it: Obey the commandments, and endure to the end.

And so on and so on. Also, in place of those middle terms (persistence and struggle) we could put in some parentheses with expressions like (+Inspiration - Discouragement + Commitment) to express what we're talking about when we say "persistence" and "struggle."

This is a lot to think about.

Friday, March 7, 2014

He's Baaaack!

Yes, home again, with lots of rules and restrictions on what he can eat and what he can do.

The nurses told the doctor about his doing 15 push-ups last night outside his door, after he and I practically trotted up and down the hallway four times.

The doctor told him, with a smile, "We're being very strict about what you can do when we discharge you, because you don't seem to have much common sense."

He said, "There's apparently a negative correlation between education and common sense," and she agreed.

So he told everyone not to worry, his wife would make sure he followed the rules. When I heard that, I said, "Yeah, right, like I've ever been able to tell you anything."

So, please keep sending up those prayers for him to keep recovering. And thanks for all your kind thoughts and prayers, phone calls and texts and e-mail messages and comments on the blogs.

MaBloPoMo (Day 7: Fiction Friday: March 7, 2014: A Short Stay in Hell)

Madame L here, as usual on a Friday, still trying to figure out this book.

The narrator has a lot in common with the author, Steven L. Peck, an L.D.S. geologist and father, one of those good Mormons who goes to church, does his home teaching, spends time with his kids, loves his wife, and firmly believes that after this life is over he will end up in some kind of Heaven that will lead to his being eventually reunited with his wife for eternity and learning to become more like God.

Instead, the nameless narrator winds up in Hell. And what a hellish Hell it is: He, along with a few  other newly dead, is greeted by a demon in a room where they can see through a plate-glass window the inhabitants of a fiery sulfurous pit, moaning and screaming.

But, the demon tells them, that isn't the real Hell. That's just what Christians imagine, and he wonders aloud how they could believe in a God who would condemn anyone to an eternity of that suffering.

No, the demon says, the True Religion, Zoroastrianism, is what they should have believed in all along. And the Hell they are condemned to is a giant library, the Library of Babylon, to be precise, that same library that Jorge Luis Borges wrote about.

If you're interested in the Borges story, it's available online. Madame L has downloaded it but hasn't started to read it because, as her Dear Readers are well aware, life is short, and reading another story about Hell, or the Library of Babylon, is not one of the things Madame L wants to spend any time on, at least for this one day.

Back to "A Short Stay in Hell": The stay isn't really short. But what else can Madame L say? Nothing else without spoiling the book for her Dear Readers. Madame L got the book used from Amazon.com and would be happy to loan or give it to any of her Dear Readers who may want to read it. However, she warns you all, it's not an easy read. In fact, it's depressing as, well, as, you know, Hell.

(Aunt Louise is posting on Madame L's blog today. Check it out!)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

MaBloPoMo (Day 6: Spam)




Okay, I was looking for that original Monty Python sketch with the song that goes, "Spam, spam, spam..." and so on. But this is cool, isn't it. Much cooler than the spam comments I'm getting on a lot of my posts.


I mean, it's great to look at my weekly statistics and see that one of my favorite posts has had more readers lately. But then when I see the spam comments report and realize that at least some of those readers have found that post just so they can write some ridiculous comment, that's not so great.

Aha! I just found the original sketch. It's so funny! We used to eat spam a lot, ourselves, when I was a kid growing up. And I used to like it until I found out what it was made of.