Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

And in honor of this day, this scene from "Pirates of Penzance":

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hey Wynn Kids!

In Sunday school today, we were reading in 2 Nephi where Lehi is giving blessings and final words of advice to his children and grandchildren. Our teacher invited us to write what we might want to have our own children remember, our own last words, so to speak, as if we knew we were approaching death.

One sister said she had done this a few years ago when she had undergone some kind of cancer surgery and was thinking she might die: separate letters for each of her kids. Our wise teacher asked, "Would you write something different now?" The sister nodded emphatically.

The teacher handed out paper and pens so we could write some "final words." 

So, with the understanding that, if and when I ever think I might be dying, I might write different things than I wrote today---but also realizing that what I wrote today in class is the general message I will always want to give to my children and grandchildren and everyone else I love--- here's what I wrote:

Hey Wynn Kids!

One final reminder
After all we've said and done:
Pray every day before
The setting of the sun.

Open up your scriptures
And read every day.
And did I already mention?
Pray, and pray, and pray.

Your dad and I, we love you,
So in spite of our mistakes,
We want you to remember:
Love is what it takes

To be happy, which is all
Our Father wants for you.
So love each other, love
Everyone around you, and if you do,

You'll find the joy, go back to Him,
His home you're from, above,
Where we'll all live together
And grow in His love.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Volunteering at Audubon

Footbridge across Balch Creek
So, I've been to the orientation meeting and the full training, and I've had my first day of work as a volunteer, cleaning out leaves and branches from the flower beds.

Scarlet Waxy Cap mushrooms (I think)
I didn't win the lottery to work a regular shift at the Wildlife Care Center, but I've applied to be a seasonal worker on the "Feeding Baby Birds" shifts this spring, and I'll attend that training soon.

Meanwhile, what a beautiful place to wander around, whether you're working there or not.

(These photos were all taken with my cell phone....)

On our orientation hike, our leader told us these holes were made by pileated woodpeckers. She said these birds are so big they have to make two holes, for entering and exiting their nests, because they are too big to turn around inside.

The day I was doing yard work, I got to see Hazel, the Northern Spotted Owl resident at the sanctuary. Hazel is one of the "ed birds" (educational birds). She was being taken out for a morning walk by one of her handlers (another job I'd love to graduate to someday). Hazel isn't spotted all over because she has a skin condition that makes her new feathers come in white instead of their normal coloring.

Then, back home, I got to walk around "my" own beautiful Lacamas Lake.
It's rare to see white fluffy clouds in a blue sky around here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Definition of a Cynic

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”

H. L. Mencken
(No coffins here!)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays?

Doubts persist that William Shakespeare wrote the works that bear his name.G

Great question! Here's the transcript of a radio program on the subject. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. To me it makes a very convincing case that it was the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.

What's really crazy is that in 1987 three sitting justices of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Ear of Oxford V. Shakespeare. Here's an excerpt from the arguments put before the court at that time. From the transcript of the radio show:

In the following videotape, the attorney for Shakespeare expresses skepticism to Justice John Paul Stevens that a nobleman like Oxford would find it beneath him to sign his name to the plays.

Unidentified Man #1 (Attorney): The main Oxfordian argument, the one on which my learned friend relied, is that it was a matter of great shame to be revealed as the author of literary works.

Unidentified Man #2: It would mean to at least raise the question whether the queen who did a number of things that are difficult to explain. She's a person with certain idiosyncrasies and fond of secrecy and - perhaps if the monarch said, I don't want your authorship known, that would be the end of it as far what de Vere might do.

Unidentified Man #1: I would be the last to deny the idiosyncrasies of monarchy. 
Then, according to the radio show, "The justices did find for William Shakespeare, but later all three came to doubt their decision. A few years ago, Justice John Paul Stevens told the New York Times that if he had to choose today, quote, 'I'd say it definitely was Oxford.'"

Not that any verdict of the U.S. Supreme Court should be relied upon, for anything, including election results.

And there's this fact, pointed out by Harvard professor and Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt. He says that "...  the most powerful evidence of authorship is the simplest: that the name William Shakespeare appeared on some of the plays published during his lifetime." 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ballad of the Malheur Patriots

And, just for the heck of it, here's Stephen Colbert's take on "The Oregon Fail":

(If you know even one person who cares about the Malheur or who was involved with getting these people out of there, you have heard enough about these men and women to contradict every "patriotic" screed written by or for them.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

2016 Grammys: Uptown Funk (Of Course!)

Best song---and here is the SNL performance last November:

And of course here's the incredible treadmill-dancing Carson Dean blowing us all away to the song:

He has said this is the best cardio workout ever, and I believe it, even though he makes it look easy and he isn't even breathing hard.

Alexander Hamilton at the Grammys

Okay, what I was hoping for was the performance of the "Hamilton" cast at the Grammys, but I'll find that soon and post it, too.

(Heck no, I didn't watch the Grammys myself! I was/am busy having a life!)

Here's Lin-Manuel Miranda's acceptance speech:

Even at Heaven's Gate?