Sustainable Corruption

Terrorist preaches to the empty pews.Yesterday Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad was treated to the diplomatic version of “Talk to the Hand.” Playing to a house of empty seats, Mr. Ahmadinejad preached on a variation of the Islamofascist theme of Muslim supremacy, Iranian style.

Last we heard, the US was not going to honor this thug’s visa. What with the breathless 24/7 Katrina coverage, Ahmadinejad must have somehow slipped by the Customs agents while they watched nonstop death-and-doom New Orleans. Or maybe the State Department weenied out again.

This whole affair would be disturbing except for one thing: the UN — corrupt and degraded beyond any possible salvage — has rendered itself irrelevant. When you think of the UN, think of a bunch of decrepit eunuchs singing “Stouthearted Men.”

Having John Bolton holding down the Fort on First Avenue is George Bush’s greatest joke. The perfect subterfuge, it lulls everyone into thinking the Administration gives a damn about what goes on at Turtle Bay. Bolton is a man of integrity set down in a cesspool, a “diplomat” who has said that he would like the top ten stories of his bailiwick done away with. Just the man for the job of watchdog. Sheepdog. Guard dog.

And what is he guarding, precisely? Why, nothing. That’s the beauty of the whole thing. Sending Bolton sends the message that we care about the UN, and we want the best possible person in there, taking care of business.

With that sleight of hand, we can now simply ignore the UN. Sure, the President will show up for speeches and will make all the proper noises at the appropriate time, but the reality is that we will ignore the whole dog and pony show while maintaining the polite fiction of paying attention. A kind of “listening between bathroom breaks” attention.

That’s why we need Kofi Annan in charge. Or, rather, we need not to waste energy on having him removed. As Mark Steyn says,

     …if, as I do, you believe 90 per cent of UN ‘reforms’ are likely to be either meaningless or actively harmful, a discredited and damaged secretary-general clinging to office is as good as it’s likely to get — short of promoting Didier Bourguet, the UN staffer in Congo and the Central African Republic charged with running a paedophile ring. A UN that refuses to hold Kofi Annan to account will be harder to pass off as a UN that represents the world’s ‘moral authority’, in Clare Short’s blissfully surreal characterisation.

You see, there is no cure for the UN. It can’t be reformed, regrouped, or ever made into anything resembling an effective bureaucracy (pardon the oxymoron).

So let’s keep Kofi:

     What’s important to understand is that Mr Annan’s ramshackle UN of humanitarian money-launderers, peacekeeper-rapists and a human rights commission that looks like a lifetime-achievement awards ceremony for the world’s torturers is not a momentary aberration. Nor can it be corrected by bureaucratic reforms designed to ensure that the failed budget oversight committee will henceforth be policed by a budget oversight committee oversight committee. The oil-for-food fiasco is the UN, the predictable spawn of its utopian fantasies and fetid realities. If Saddam grasped this more clearly than Clare Short or Polly Toynbee, well, that’s why he is — was — an A-list dictator and they’re not.

Wasn’t that easy? The UN done and dispensed with. Crossed off your to-do list. Now we can get on with the job of building strong alliances with our real friends, the ones in the Anglosphere.

Sail on, Kofi. Sail on.

Hat Tip: Jihad Watch.

The Votes Are In

Watcher's CouncilThe Council winner this week was the Sundries Shack for his well-placed sarcasm re the British Muslims’ feelings of exclusion because they’re not being included in the Holocaust memorial for the Jews murdered in WWII.

Pardon me??? Muslims were in which prison camps where? Not that Hitler wouldn’t have gotten around to them eventually — those dark skins and un-Aryan noses would’ve spelled their doom had ol’ Mustachio stayed around long enough. Fortunately for these “snivelers” the Brits cooked his bacon falafel, allowing them the continuing freedom to whine about their lot.

The fact that this post won is encouraging: it means there’s a general dismissal of the Religion of the Hypersensitive.

Doc Sanity’s second place post on regression is a nice riff on the inestimable Thomas Sowell. Highly recommended.

Gates tied for second place with the doc. I think it was the cool picture of Jabbar that did it. Does anyone know how that kid is doing?

On the non-Council side, Bill Whittle’s Tribes walked away with first place, amassing five votes. A slight demur here: as brilliant as this essay is — after all, Gates’ comments on Mr. Whittle’s ideas won second place in the Council submissions — it’s a bit unbalanced to put up a mega-watt quasar against us mortal folk. Kind of took up all the wattage in the joint.

So, in the name of balance here, second and third places both got one vote each and deserve your attention. Ace of Spades has a send-up of the Roberts hearings. Hilarious and wicked. The Bernoulli Effect fisks a whiner from Michael Moore. As he says,

     Moore’s juvenile sarcasm is anything but constructive; but as with all of those on the Left, that wasn’t his goal in the first place.

Go see it all at the Watcher’s Place. And thank him while you’re there.

Babysit This!

Some people got stranded by the hurricane, and some people got shafted. Barbara Roberts’ family managed to do both.

Chris Hardin and Tina Roberts traveled from Missouri to New Orleans on a weekend business trip. Maternal grandma Barbara Roberts was enlisted to babysit for Trisana, her 18-month old granddaughter.

Along came Katrina. The couple was stuck in a New Orleans hotel, with all flights cancelled.

     “There was a Category 5 hurricane with a bull’s-eye on our butts, so we called Barb and said we didn’t know when we would be coming home,” said Hardin, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. “We truly didn’t know what would happen down there.”
With no other relatives in the area to take care of the child, Roberts said she had no choice but to call work on Aug. 29, the day the hurricane hit, and tell her boss that she would be missing a few days.

By the time the couple returned home, Grandma had used up all her time off from work, and then some. When she called in to explain the situation, she was told on the phone that she was fired.

     Hardin said his mother-in-law’s firing was “absolutely unethical.”
“People speak of family values, and I don’t see what’s a more central family value than a grandmother stepping up in this sort of situation,” he said.
“I sit here trying to imagine what kind of world it would be if grandmothers didn’t make that decision.”

Barbara Roberts had been employed by Positronic Industries, whose website states that they are “a manufacturer of high performance, high reliability connectors.” Judging by the pictures on their site, they make the back of your computer.

Well, it looks like they’ve learned to make some new connections. Could it be that all the publicity has had a salutary effect on the company? In any case, Ms. Roberts has her job on the assembly line back.

Gates of Vienna has obtained the rough draft of Positronic’s press release:

     The nation has never before experienced a disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina. The effects of this tragedy caught us with our pants down were more far-reaching than could have ever been imagined.
This event has caused Positronic Industries to recognize that it is up to its eyeballs in merde its employee policies are inadequate when dealing with unfavorable press disasters.
We regret the difficulties this has caused our PR office Barbara Roberts and her family. An offer of re-employment was extended to her and she has accepted in lieu of suing us into bankruptcy.
Positronic Industries is now in the process of covering its ass creating a company wide disaster policy.

I wonder how much vacation she’ll get next year?

Watch Out, Oz!

Me go BOOM now.We get a lot of referrals from search engines at Gates of Vienna for word combinations like “how to make a bomb”, “make bomb jihad”, etc. The frequency of such hits intensified after Dymphna posted on the topic, and I expect we’ll get even more after today.

But I had to warn my fellow racist Islamophobic infidel crusaders Down Under: this afternoon an enterprising individual in Australia, using the ISP, found his way to us by googling for “i want join jihad and make bombs at home.”

Better watch out for this fellow if he ever leaves home…

Coming Back to Life…Part Way

Thanks to everyone who wished me well following my fall from grace. I am now recovered enough to sit in front of this screen for short periods, though I’m still using the ‘sick’ bed the Baron set up for me in the laundry room since it means fewer steps to the computer, the kitchen and the bathroom.

Back in the old days, one could make meaning out of pain by “offering it up for the souls in Purgatory.” Now that Purgatory has been dispensed with, one must simply endure it and that makes the whole thing more impersonal and therefore harder. Sometimes I do miss “the power of the fire and the beads” of my childhood faith. Fortunately, movies like Sixth Sense come along sometimes and I get to indulge my intuition that there must be some interval of wandering after death.

The Baron’s grandmother died suddenly of a heart attack. She was at the dinner table and simply keeled over. Grandma Belle was a rather forbidding figure to the young Baron; she had great moral authority in the family and was one of those old-fashioned southern matriarchs. Did only southern women get named “Belle”? I never heard the name while I lived up north but it’s not uncommon here, especially for women of her generation.

After Grandma Belle died, Grandpop eventually remarried. His new wife was a widow also and it was understood that when Grandpop died she would remain living in the house until her death. Which is what happened; after she died the house then reverted to the Baron’s family and his aunt and uncle eventually retired there. Family members go to Grandpop’s to visit sometimes.

On several occasions there have been disturbing experiences.

The first one I heard of was from Shelagh, many years ago. She came out of the bedroom to which she had been assigned during our visit and told me she wasn’t going to sleep in that room. There was a woman in there who didn’t want her in the place. Poor Shelagh had more experiences with the thin places in life than she ever wanted.

The second incident happened with the Baron’s niece. She, too, felt the presence of a woman who was unhappy. Nicki, always more practical, airily dismissed her night visitor.

The third occurrence was with the Baron himself. He woke one night to ‘see’ Grandma Belle at the foot of the bed. She seemed her old forbidding self and was agitatedly folding laundry. Gradually the apparition faded and the Baron went back to sleep.

Shoot. All the times I’ve slept there and she never visited me. I have an idea it’s because we’re so much alike. I know that in the afterlife I shall be forced to fold all the laundry I’ve let moulder in the basket in my time, having to return it to the dryer again to remove the wrinkles caused by sitting so long. Either that, or I’ll scare the bejayzus out of someone sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack because there my ghostly remains will be, distractedly cleaning out the refrigerator. I don’t think the Powers That Be will accept my excuse, which is that I believe there is a Laundry Fairy. What happens is that if you leave the darn pile sitting there long enough, she’ll show up and take care of it for you — including putting all of the clothing away. The fact that no one has ever shown up to do this little chore doesn’t shake my underlying hope that she’s merely been delayed and will arrive any day now.

At any rate, thanks to all of you for your thoughtful notes. It’s comforting to be remembered.

“Appeasing the Critics”

That’s the snarky headline over a story from a Pennsylvania newspaper regarding the controversial memorial design for Flight 93, which fell to the earth in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11.

As we have maintained, words matter. Whether the designer of the site, Paul Murdoch, unwittingly chose a crescent shape to memorialize the forty people who died at the hands of Islamic fanatics is not the issue. What matters is the effect of his choice of words for the symbolism behind his design. Peter Drucker was right: “communication is the act of the recipient.”

It speaks to the naiveté of the group — family members, “design professionals,” and people from the community — that they and Mr. Murdoch seem taken aback by the criticism of the memorial so inaptly named “The Crescent of Embrace.”

Consider this: suppose that instead of a crescent shape, the design proposal consisted of two straight roads which intersected at the point of Flight 93’s impact. Suppose further that the design had been christened (so to speak) “The Cross of Embrace”? Which critics do you think would have to be appeased for that symbolism?

Here’s a solution that will appease some and raise further objections by others: change the design so that if follows more closely the shape of an arc rather than a crescent. It would entail reducing the angle by which the arc is subtended from the center of the circle. In other words, flatten out the crescent so it looks more bow-shaped. This could still be made to follow “the curving land form” Mr. Murdoch says he was incorporating into his design.

Everything else could remain the same, except for those two changes —

1. Make the shape look more like an arc;
2. Call it “The Arc of Embrace.”

Stephen Vincent was right when he said “words matter.” In fact, either they are crucial bonds or they are dividing lines.

And if they don’t matter, well then — just put in two roads and call it “The Cross.”

The Stakes in Europe

Longtime commenter DP111 — who comments on Gates of Vienna, Fjordman, Little Green Footballs, and other blogs, but has no blog of his own that I know of — is featured today in a post on Fjordman. His remarks are worth reproducing in full; I have edited them for typos. DP111 is British (I think), and the European perspective on the Great Islamic Jihad is a valuable one:

     The long-term goal — and we shouldn’t be squeamish about stating this — is to encourage mass apostasy among Muslims. Apostasy in the widest sense — that is, Muslims either leave Islam or leave infidel lands. The question is how do we arrive at this point rapidly enough and before the demographic imperative leaves no choice for either us, or for potential apostate Muslims. In the first instance, deporting illegal aliens, particularly Muslims, then following it by deporting those who advocate terrorism, will deplete the Islamic base in the West to a sufficient degree, that it is unable to facilitate jihadism in the West as easily.
As Islam is mainly a profit motive political ideology, masquerading as a religion, the pressures on Muslims to change their ideology must also be based on a profit-cum-political basis. Islam has no real philosophical base, and as such, is immune to arguments based on morality or ethics. Thus deportation of the advocates of Islamisation, terror etc will start to demoralise the Islamic base. continues the Islamic base. A number of Muslims will leave of their own accord, or will leave Islam, as they see no future for themselves or their children in a modern society.
What I’m getting here is that we have to give Muslims some incentive to either leave Islam or leave infidel lands. They are unlikely to do either, if what they see is the continuing Islamisation of the West. Why would anyone in their right minds, wish to join what is perceived as the losing side? This to be followed by an insistence that the rules that define a liberal secular democracy have to be adhered to. For instance
1.   The electrically amplified calls of the muezzin are an invasion of the public square as well as an affront to other faiths.
2.   Wearing clothes that signify the oppression of women is a symbol of acceptance of slavery as legitimate. Totally unacceptable.
3.   Teaching Islam in public schools is not acceptable, as the texts violate several; cherished values of the West.
What is being proposed here are certain ideas, none are racist or Islamophobic, bigoted or anti-religious. They are just what defines Western civilisation i.e. rule of law, separation of church and state, equality of sexes etc. As I pointed out, 9/11 and others such massacres were chastisement delivered to the Western donkey to make it move in the right direction. It is the stick and carrots approach. In essence, this what I’m proposing – stick and carrots approach. Generally works. The basic impulse of Islam is to expand into Infidel territory. The territory is not just physical but spiritual and intellectual. Unable to do so, it will collapse quite quickly in historic terms, and thus release the 1.2 billion souls in its enslavement. What more can one ask for.
The other great thing of this approach is, that we are will not be untrue to our own ideas of who and what we are.

Winning Council Entries for September 9th

Watcher's Council Continuing to stand in for Dymphna during her incapacity, I present the most recent results for the Watcher of Weasels, this time for the Sept. 9th voting.

The widely-acclaimed Council winner was Katrina: Response Timeline by Right Wing Nut House.

The winning non-Council post was a wry but serious piece by Varifrank, 10 Things I learned From Hurricane Katrina..

All of the voting results are available at the Watcher’s site.

Dymphna and the Ladder of Doom

Or, Who Gives a Fig?

The anthropophagous fig tree.I told Dymphna that her loyal readers deserve an update on her condition, so she has given me her permission to issue a progress report.

Her knee is much better; she is off the crutches now and hobbling around. The doctor wants to get an X-ray of her back to check for a possible compression fracture of a vertebra, but so far she is resisting. Right now she is suffering from the debilitating side effects of hydrocodone, and is resting. Earlier she managed to rouse herself long enough to comment on Belmont Club.

At the right you can see the ladder and the fig tree that are responsible for her distress. One of the malicious ripe figs is circled in red.

Dymphna is unwilling to leave those figs to their own devices, and insists that I must mount an expedition to resume where she left off. Given the baleful reputation of the site, I am loath to do so. But I am nothing if not an obedient husband, and am looking around for a good sherpa and some bottled oxygen…

Council Winners for September 2nd

Watcher's CouncilDymphna’s incapacity has prevented her from keeping up with her posts for the Watcher of Weasels, so I am helping out.

For the September 2nd vote, Dr. Sanity had the winning Council post with A Nation that Stands for Nothing Deserves a Media that Believes in Nothing.

The winning non-Council post was a very fine piece, Gates of Fire by Michael Yon.

All of the posts make good reading, and I recommend that you stop by the Watcher and take a look.

Loosening the Tongue

In a previous post, Tormented by Ten Thousand Hells, I discussed the part that excessive bureaucracy has played in the failure to respond to emergency situations. No new ground is being plowed here; the meme is bouncing back and forth all through the blogosphere. For example, last week the Coyote Blog said,

     A few days ago I had thoughts on top-down vs. bottom-up approaches to hurricane relief. After watching the relief effort over the last couple of days, I am more convinced than ever that part of the problem (but certainly not all of it) with the relief effort is the technocratic top-down “stay-in-control” focus of its leadership… Technocrats value process over results, order and predictability over achievement. More important than having problems fixed is having an ordered process, having everything and everyone under control. In this context, you can imagine their revulsion at the thought of having private citizens running around on their own in the disaster area trying to help people. We don’t know where they are! We don’t know what they are doing! They are not part of our process! Its too chaotic! Its not under control!

And in the comments thread on a different Gates of Vienna post, commenter “who, me?” said,

     One angle on this that’s really important is that the first job of government in crisis is to LEAVE ROOM for self-organization of intelligent volunteers turning on a dime… How to structure the kind of 21st-Century Emergent Design demonstrated by these young men, while using the strength and wealth and power of government?

In this ongoing conversation, the most compelling topic concerns the possible emergence of an alternative to bureaucratic organization in political structures. The ideas are already in the air; our job is to give voice to them. Or, as Walt Whitman said,

     I do not say these things for a dollar or to fill up the time while I wait for a boat,
(It is you talking just as much as myself, I act as the tongue of you,
Tied in your mouth, in mine it begins to be loosen’d.)

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Walt WhitmanA bureaucracy is a specific example of a hierarchical information structure. These structures are widespread in natural systems, and confer advantage by collecting, channeling, and consolidating information up the the layers of hierarchy, and then distributing information and instructions downwards. A nervous system is an obvious example, with the sensory nerves collecting the raw information and the brain issuing instructions at the top of hierarchy.

Such a system can become larger within a given context than its non-hierarchical alternatives, which is why bureaucratic systems have supplanted their rivals in all existing human societies. But there are natural limits to the advantage of hierarchical enlargement. For example, the nervous system of the brontosaurus was too large to react effectively to stimuli throughout the gigantic animal, necessitating a subsidiary brain in the its hindquarters. When a political bureacracy becomes too swollen, it is ripe for overthrow; however, when it is overthrown it is usually supplanted by a more effective bureaucracy. The sack of Rome by non-bureaucratic barbarians is an exception; a more common model might be the Soviet takeover of Russia’s non-communist neighbors.

The paradigm of hierarchical organizations is the brain, processing information from the lower levels and issuing orders to its subordinates. Yet the brain itself is not hierarchically organized. Regions of the brain are associated with specific functions, but within these large areas information is stored and retrieved holographically. The memory of Aunt Gertrude’s birthday party cannot be excised from your cerebral cortex; there is no microscopically delimited area of your brain where it is stored. The information about it is distributed holographically, and damage to that part of your brain only degrades its quality, effectively reducing the image resolution. The color of the birthday cake becomes uniform, and the pattern on the decorative bunting is simplified, but the memory of that day will remain with you until the lights in your mind are extinguished.

Storage and retrieval of information in the brain are accomplished by association, so that multiple pathways of access are maintained. Cutting off a branch removes an entire section from a hierarchy, but the neurons of the brain simply find alternate pathways around damage, behaving like routers in a computer network. Repeated associations can even cause physical changes in the brain, with the neurons involved growing additional dendrites to increase their contact with one another.

The parallels with the internet are obvious: when a meme emerges in the blogosphere, it spreads rapidly through associated sites until many thousand versions of it exist simultaneously. People roused to action by the meme add links to their blogroll, thus extending new dendrites through the system. Removing a blogger or group of bloggers from the system does not significantly affect the evolution of the meme, since the holographic process depends only on the integral functioning of the entire system.

The blogosphere does have a BlogFather in Glenn Reynolds and a Boss Lizard in Charles Johnson, but it’s not as if we get up every morning and check our email for their instructions — though plenty of people on the loony left believe we do. Suppose that, on the day Rathergate broke, Charles Johnson had been down with West Nile Virus or the Power Line boys had failed to pay their bill and been cut off by their ISP — what would have happened? The National Guard Memo would still have been discredited, and Dan Rather would still have have been dethroned; the information would have flowed in different channels and different people would have played the decisive roles, but the same overall process would have formed.

The denouement to Rathergate is the best illustration of an emerging rival to hierarchical structures. The mainstream media provide a vivid example of a hierarchy, one that has become more swollen and top-heavy over the past 50 years with the elimination of their rivals by newspapers in major cities and the domination of television news by a few networks. News was what the New York Times and CBS said was news, and that was that. Anything else simply would never be allowed to come to the audience’s attention.

But, with the maturation of PC networks and other advanced methods of communication, an alternative to this legacy system has developed. A robust, rapidly-changing, flexible means of generating and distributing information has run rings around the old rigid hierarchical structures. For the first time since the Bronze Age there are ways of organizing information that can compete successfully against hierarchical systems.

Political hierarchies supplanted the old horizontally organized networks found in family, village, clan, and tribe. These archaic informal systems of obtaining and spreading information were faster and more effective on a small scale, but could not compete against the vast legions of soldiers and bureaucrats fielded by kings and emeperors. The blogosphere, however, is like a village writ large. For the first time in 6,000 years, an informal network can mobilize effectively across an entire continent, or even the planet.

An important note is that Al Qaeda is already using the internet effectively, fielding decentralized networks across the globe without a central command structure; Osama bin Laden is only its symbolic leader. The new forms will emerge without regard to morality, and can be used for good or evil.

The political implications of this development are profound, and are unprecendented in recorded history. What are the potential forms which non-hierarchical political structures might assume? What decisions might we ordinary bloggers make that would affect the shape of the emerging structure?

And what theoretical disciplines can be developed to support the emerging structures? I am old and my mind, alas, is no longer supple enough to attempt such tasks.

So I call on all you young folks out there (that is, people aged 35 or under). Mathematicians, Systems Analysts, Network Engineers, IT Professionals of all stripes: how to develop a rigorous theory to describe what is coming into being?

Because it is happening, you know. Whether we will it or not, everything is going to change, and you will be part of it. What will it look like?

To return to Mr. Whitman:

     I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

Are We Are Idiots, Or What?

CNN currently has up one of those typical tendentious are-you-still-beating-your-wife online opinion polls. They’ve left out an additional choice — an essential one, in the opinion of Gates of Vienna:

Should President Bush have been on the ground in New Orleans sooner?
This is a stupid question

What do you think the results of our poll would be?

Mnemonic Device

We Will Never Forget

On September 11th, 2001, something happened, but I don’t quite remember what it was.

Were there some planes that crashed into buildings? Were there fires? And didn’t some people die? I can’t remember…

For a little while the TV showed me some pictures… And then… I didn’t see them anymore, so I forgot them.

If I concentrate really hard I seem to remember people jumping from burning buildings.

The images were too disturbing. I was told they were “divisive.” What if I kept seeing them? I would become enraged and take it out on an oppressed ethnic group. I might question the value of our unique multicultural society, the one that tolerates and respects diversity. So I didn’t see the images anymore… and I forgot.

There were images that were appropriate for ordinary people like me, so I was shown them instead.

Pictures of hooded men standing with wires attached to them, of leashed naked men being taunted. There were photos of men with women’s underwear on their heads. Terrible things were being done to these men; their religion was disrespected and they were kept up past their bedtimes. Sometimes they had to listen to loud pop music.

Terrible, terrible things were done, and I saw those images over and over again until they were seared — seared — in my memory.

I forgot the other images.

The images of Americans suffering and dying for no reason: I forgot them.

The images of brave firemen and policemen entering burning buildings to face certain death: I forgot them.

The valiant soldiers who fought on my behalf to prevent more innocent people from being killed: I forgot them.

Oh, I do remember a bad man reading about a pet goat while people suffered, a bad man who sent psychopaths to kill kite-flying children in a faraway country of which I know little*. I remember that image well.

But I can’t seem to recall a planeload of ordinary Americans who decided to fight back, knowing by then that they were going to die. Nor do I remember their microscopic fragments scattered across the green fields of Pennsylvania.

When I try to remember that beautiful fall day and those frightened children and their mothers in a jetliner rushing towards the side of a skyscraper… I just can’t.

Please help me remember. Should I tie a string around my finger? Write a note to myself?

Help me not to forget.

*In 1938, as he prepared to abandon Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said dismissively, “This is a faraway country of which we know little.”

UPDATE: Here are some excellent 9-11 memorials worth a look, by Michelle Malkin, Bill Quick, and CUANAS (multiple posts with photos; start at the top and keep scrolling).

Posting Will Be Light-Headed (Again!)

Just like Tiny Tim...Today has been an interesting day. This afternoon, while I was working here at the computer, Dymphna, the Baroness Bodissey, went outside to pick figs from the big tree by the side porch.

A while later our enormous cat Moe came meowing back to see me, rubbing my legs and acting like he does when he is hungry (which is always). I ignored him for a while, but then he meowed plaintively and trotted from the room, as if he were Lassie trying to lead me to Timmy.

At that moment I heard a muffled screaming coming from the side door. It turned out that Dymphna, foolishly descending the stepladder with both hands full of figs, had lost her balance and fallen. She caught her leg in the ladder and wrenched her knee, as well as hurting her hip and her elbow. She was unable to get up.

MoeShe lay on the ground and yelled for me for a while, to no avail. Every time she yelled, Moe (who was anxiously watching her from the storm door) would meow. Finally, she kept yelling while she painfully crawled to the steps and up to the side door. Evidently it became too much for poor Moe, so he came to get me. At that moment she was able to open the door, and I heard her.

To make a long story short, I was able to get her into the house and make her comfortable while we debated whether to go to the emergency room (35 miles away) or try to make it through to Monday. She determined that there was nothing broken, and we have a pair of crutches and a chair on wheels to help her move around when she has to.

So now she is resting, as comfortably as can be expected, with the help of hydrocodone. As soon as she can crawl to the keyboard she will resume blogging and commenting. Meanwhile, keep her in your prayers.

Until then, I will try to hold this spot for her…