Today is National Reading Out Loud Day!

Thank you David, for passing on the idea!

businessman-yelling-his-cell-phone-angry-over-white-background-39579148For some time my iphone has been churlish; it no longer puts out sound. I see Pandora,  itunes, and my podcasts ‘moving along’  but no sound comes forth. This irksome phenomena goes on and off, apparently on a whim; I see no patterns or triggers other than techno-capriciousness. Last Saturday the good-folks at Apple wiped it clean and resurrected it hoping all would be well. Alas, despite rising Phoenix-like this did not remedy the problem.  The saleslady hinted my phone is considered ancient even though I bought it in 2011. If the resurrection spell didn’t work it was probably a sign from the techno-gods I should get a a replacement.

Nothing gets me obstreperous quite like the notion of having to buy a new and expensive piece of technology. I recall my rotary phone lasted for decades, so why does the cellphone go kaput after a mere four years!?  The late Mr. Case must have had sinister intentions viz. don’t make anything long-lasting or people won’t continually buy.

Whatever the cause, if I want a phone that consistently plays music I better start looking at getting a new one.

I can go with a version slightly more advanced than my #4 viz. #5 or I can go with the ‘state of the art” which is “6”.  I am one of those weirdo-types who actually uses his cellphone to call people* ; the‘6” is too big in my opinion and it doesn’t fit nicely into my pockets.  Then there is the price – I was told nearly $700.  Ouch.  This feels like highway robbery.

I recognize what is happening here; it happens frequently. I wish I had a term for it. Let me borrow the word “snert”. *  In a snert state, I have the terrible realization I am facing the inevitable – a Hobson’s choice, but I won’t gracefully succumb. Rather, I waste time, and avoid and remonstrate only to ‘give in’ and finally do it. In the next phase of ‘snert’, I fuss about how the new-fangled thing is ‘just too much’.  The subsequent phases:

I slowly get used to it

I begin to use it regularly

I forget about the predecessor.

I secretly wonder how on earth did I function without it.

“Snerts” occured when I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of CDs, cellphones, laptops, The Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program, ipods, and voting Democrat. As the Vogons say “Resistance is futile”.   I reckon I will get a #6.  I just hope the blasted thing lasts at least a few years long before the dastards at Apple.com come out with #7 and short-circuit my #6 to repeat the purchase cycle.

There are only so many “snerts” I swallow in a year.

 

* This made me look even more antediluvian in the eyes of the Apple staff, who all look like they are still going through puberty.

** Snert, by the way, is a Dutch pea soup. It’s quite lovely, really.

4725291926_ladder_answer_3_xlargeWith guests arriving this week the house is being scoured from top to bottom.  Windows are being washed, which requires the folded aluminum ladder to be erected indoors and hauled around the house. No matter where I walk lo! it is there, challenging me like the Black Knight ‘none shall pass”. I am continually walking under this 7ft ‘A”. I have amassed an amazing amount of bad luck doing this, if you believe that sort of thing.  I am not a superstitious person so I am not worried.*  I had a black cat for over 15 years which didn’t do me or the cat any harm. On occasion I find Someone’s shoes on the counter which I heard sometime is terribly foreboding.  Sometimes when putting on my boxers I put the wrong foot through the wrong side which I am told is a harbinger of doom. By some standards it is amazing I am still alive.

I know two highly superstitious people; one is an atheist and the other is a devout Protestant. I find both cases fascinating for the former (in theory) doesn’t believe in spiritual forces and the latter seems to be making a nod towards pagan beliefs.

All the superstitions I can recall are ‘negative’ viz. if I do something bad luck will ensue. If there are any positive ones I can’t think of them. On new years day we eat black eyed peas even though neither one of us much care for them. This isn’t to promote good luck but to prevent bad luck if we don’t.  Happily I can’t remember most of them. It’s raining today and I have opened my umbrella inside the house to let it dry. I’ve been doing this for years until someone pointed out how bad luck this is. I continue to open umbrellas but now I get a small pang of anxiety to do so.

I’ve been wracking my brains to come up with some superstition I believe but my mind is drawing a blank. Spo-fans are welcome to tell me their favorite superstitions. I could use some good ones to counteract all the ladder activity.

* On the other hand if I should drop dead this week you have the smug satisfaction to say “I told him so!”.

It’s another “I made a shirt and I am showing it off’ entry….

Although this time I made two of them more of less at the same time.
The first is an ersatz tarot card fabric. I made it for a friend who is coming to town this week:

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I hope he likes it. The ‘purist’ in me finds the pseudo-cards not to my taste.

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I realize I’ve been making a lot of shirts for others. The ratio of gift-shirts to “keepers” is predominately the former. So I made this gecko shirt for myself:

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It is how I like them: bright, colourful, and bold – like my men.

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Now – I must finish the ‘orange’ shirt for Sandy G. in faraway Australia, the rusty/red for Raven (the dear!), and two little fairy shirts for my nieces Princess-Goddess and Warrior-Queen who come a-visiting in April.

Office

This week I was twice reminded about the relationship of sacrifice and wisdom.

Patient A was failing (again) to loose weight. “I guess I am afraid of success” she grinned. I replied no, she wasn’t afraid of success; she was afraid of work. She wasn’t willing to do the steps necessary to obtain her goal.*

Patient B announced he wasn’t going to apply for medical school after all as he figured the time and energy it would cost him made it ‘not worth it’; he didn’t want to ‘waste his 20s’ going to school while his friends were traveling and partying through theirs.

Both cases reminded me (as I reminded them) obtaining anything of true value requires work- not only work, but sacrifice.  Any skilled musician knows it takes a lot of practice time to become proficient at an instrument. Athletes train long and hard, giving up lots of things in order to obtain their goals.

When it come to Wisdom the sacrifices are often even more profound.  I recently read some Norse sagas about Odin. Odin had to give up an eye in order to drink from the well of Wisdom. He exchanged physical vision for inner-vision. Not only did he gain Knowledge but the discernment to utilize it.  Whenever we grow, something is lost; wisdom has its price, whether time, money, relationships, or (usually) giving up something to get something new.

These two patients reflect the modern notion if it hard then it is not worth it.

Ancients knew if something was of worth, then it will be hard.

* Get to the gym, stop buying and eating junk, and monitor her portions to start with. a

I am one of the many who are sad today upon hearing the death of Mr. Spock AKA Leonard Nimoy. In honor of his passing I thought I would reprint this entry. I don’t normally put up ‘re-runs’. I found it fascinating (pun intended) to reread this and realize I would edit it. I left it untouched. I added some comments at the end……

Archetypes are not fixed entities. As cultures evolve, new archetypes appear. Classical Jungians argue the new ones are only versions of the traditional archetypes. But modern archetypes and complexes appeal to the current psychology. People know immediately what I mean when I mention such modern archetypes as:

 

The Yuppie

The Computer Geek

The Terrorist

The Bully

 

An archetype I find useful is The Spock Complex, based on the character from Star Trek. Jung would have called this complex an overcompensated ‘Thinking” complex. Whatever the name; this complex is about too much thinking and not enough feeling.

 

For those who don’t know Mr. Spock, he was on Star Trek. He was the advisor to Captain Kirk AKA the Ego who took in information and made the decisions. Spock was from the planet Vulcan. On Vulcan, Vulcans cast out all their emotions to function on logic alone.

 

The Spock complex is mostly seen in men who have learned to suppress their emotions lest they be labeled frail or unmanly.  We all know people who have a large Mr. Spock complex – they are the ‘thinkers’ and don’t have emotional reactions. They seem to be without feelings; they can be ‘the cold fish’.

 

Like any complex, The Spock Complex can become ‘bloated’ with energy and take over as the ego.

The positive attributes of this complex makes for good engineers, surgeons, and scientists. On the negative, Spock types don’t make good lovers or parents. They are not ‘people persons.’

 

Keep in mind Vulcans don’t lack feeling; they merely suppress them. Spock was no different. Mr. Spock was really half-Vulcan. His mother was an Earth woman, who had all the feelings of a human being.  He had the additional complexity that he didn’t belong to either tribe. He doesn’t quite fit in with Earth people; he is apart from his home planet of Vulcan.

 

His constant vigilance towards emotions and his search for identity make him an appealing modern archetype.

Addendum:

I now know what makes Spock/the archetype even richer and more complex (pun intended) than what I wrote here is his humanity.  He was on The Journey, trying to make meaning of his Life and the literal Universe while trying to balance his two backgrounds of Human/feeling and Vulcan/thinking. I was recently reminded when we obtain Wisdom it is costly, sometimes terribly so. The Star Trek movies highlighted all of this more than the TV series. He did not falter despite countless trials and losses. I am grateful to Mr. Nimoy for providing me this Archetype so we too may live as long as possible and prosper in the process. 

 

Every once in a while the good folks at WordPress inform me somebody new is following my blog. I am grateful of course for anybody following my scribblings and musing. However the announcement is usually along the line of “Dicky Purdy along with 108 others are now following your blog”, which makes me giddy. When I sit down to type out my tidbits I now feel 108 sets of eyes upon me. I feel compelled to “put out” as it were. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is in a swivet over my recent entries for being too short, too lurid, or too gravitas. There is no pleasing them.

Recently I had a patient tell me she was addicted to shopping and the way she described it sure fit the model. She would resist the craving to shop only to succumb, experience euphoria and ‘crash’ into depression and guilt with a vow ‘never again’. She stated shopping would make her salivate and flushed; the rush was positively orgasmic. Lucky her, I thought. She didn’t mean groceries but clothes. Shopping for clothes is a very tedious task in my view. Many of my patient regularly get panic attacks waiting in line at the check out and I don’t blame them. I have myself come close to madness in department stores to the point I could barely restrain myself from knocking over the display cases. I recently tried buying a new suit and couldn’t find anyone to help me. This is called the “Urspo paradox”: if I am ‘just looking’ I am mobbed by staff but if I am earnest to buy something hell could freeze over before one puts in an appearance. In Costco I encounter a myriad of salesladies wanting to sell me various foodstuffs but none seem qualified to tell me where is the ramen.

Smaller shops are quieter and the customer/salesperson ratio more pleasant but I tend to buy something out of guilt and obligation. Sometimes I come out with something I had no interest in having in the first place but it gives me a careful satisfaction I may never have to go shopping there again.

Note: This satirical entry almost didn’t make it past The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections for they were quite remonstrative it was going to be interpreted literally or seriously thus destroying the blog’s (their) G-rating and reputation. I tried to explain it was all nonsense. Alas this did not assuage or appease. For a bunch of Vikings they can be quite prudish. A compromise was reached: I am to tell you this is all fictional and nonsensical and please don’t write in as I don’t mean any of it. 

I hope that satisfies everyone.

 

Today at the gym I realized my fellow gym-rats have gone butch. The physiques up until recently have all been the types seen in the ‘before’ photos of weight-loss infomercials. To my amazement some time in the past month or so they have all metamorphosed into mesomorphs.  Normally between sets I woolgather or read CNN; I keep to myself. Now I can scarcely keep my eyes in their sockets let alone on the text. I pretend I am Margaret Meade among the Bantus observing tribal behaviors in order to cover up the fact I am basically a wicked old screw with a bad case of satyriasis.

All the same, the pulchritude of these fine young lads* is amazing. What is most noteworthy are the callipygian components of the weightlifters. I have taken upon myself to make a serious study of these people and what they are doing to enhance their backsides. For scientific research sake, I am most grateful the fashion of nasty baggy boxer shorts down past the kneecaps is on its way out and Richard Simmons style short shorts are returning, for the latter make for better and more accurate inspections to see if squats, lunges, and step ups are being done properly and in good form. If I am caught in my furtive attempts to gather data I can explain I was admiring their form and assessing their technique.**

I think like a scientist and I was trained as a physician. This means I seldom miss anything when it comes to observing the couture of human form – and all is objective, especially with that red headed man who did the most riveting bend overs and dead lifts. I suspect he could crack a walnut with those cheeks.

I was on the stretching mat doing side planks watching things from , directly surveying a man who was doing the following:

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I saw this once in an adult film although the man in the photograph doesn’t seem to be doing it the quite same way.

I can’t wait to return on Thursday to see if my theories and observations stand the test of time.  I need a lot more data. Meanwhile I leave you this educational photo to make sure when you are squatting down you tighten your gluteals and thrust them back properly.

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* Well they seem young to me; nowadays at my age this is a pretty safe bet.

** Talk about poetry in motion and blinding them with science!

I started writing a half hour ago an entry most erudite about cognition bias and how this effects our judgment when it comes to making decisions and drawing conclusions but I got too tired to complete it. Perhaps some other day.  I feel obliged to write something even though I can scarcely keep apart my eyelids.

As I compose I am watching “Fantastic Planet” , which if I wasn’t half asleep I’d be flabbergasted.  For something set into the far distant future it looks quite dated. It’s psychedelic. I suppose every generation gets the science fiction it needs – or deserves. A few days ago I glanced on TV a programme set in ancient Greece but clearly 21st century in attitude and hair style. My favorite sci-fi was made in the 70s where the aliens and space men wear bellbottoms and have sideburns and afros.  Groovy. I prefer reading science-fiction for it allows me my own imagination to do the work.

I suppose there is more on this topic but it’s too late to write any more. I will expand on things anon….

February (it is said) was made the shortest month as it is no fun. Everybody I know in blog-land seems to be down in the dumps if not downright disconsolate.  Death, ill health, and bad weather are all to blame. I feel for those who are freezing in faraway lands, cooped up in their homes, and struggling with tenebrous times. No fun, this. As if in solidarity it has clouded over here and we are supposed to get rain tomorrow, with below-average temperatures. So much for sitting out outdoors and feeling smug.

The sewing machine is making rumbles portending a nervous breakdown and I don’t blame it. I’ve been sewing more than usual on a few shirts at a time, which is not my wont. I figured if I turned it off and do something else for a while it might be more willing to cooperate at completing at least the most pressing shirt (pun intended) for the recipient is coming to visit next week – or is it this week? Spring is the time to visit Phoenix before it become unbearably too hot for Die Auslanders.   I’ve got to be more on top of who is down for a visit to the Spo-house B&B. I have a vague recall there are at least three registered visitors and two brothers (with their families). I do hope I haven’t double booked. On top of them, I’m trying to entice a few others to visit with prospects of warmer temps, brighter days, and an unlimited bar (no rubbish either).

Last Friday the summer skidoos were solidified for theatre festivals that require buying tickets now before the good seats are gone. This year’s trek to Canada will include Ottawa where I can get a Capitol Tim-bit and proper poutine.

But that is a long time away. We still have February to wade through. I don’t see anything interesting on the calendar happening this week other than gym time provided it is not inimical to my back which is only recently returned to within-normal-limits.

Last week a patient told me the best bet at beating boredom is to set fire to some public building but I don’t think I will. I am told by Fox News to avoid such liberal rubbish.

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