‘Better weird than not at all’

I settled for a snap of the balloons because old guys taking snaps of children unrelated to them is mega-creepy.

One of the kids next door celebrated her sixth birthday yesterday.

There was a party of sorts in the cul-de-sac. Instead of hugs and kisses, she got social distancing and masks; in lieu of cake and the slicing thereof, we noshed on individual cupcakes in either chocolate or vanilla.

From the vantage point of someone who turned 6 in 1960, it seemed a strange way to mark the Great Leap Forward from kindergarten to first grade. Or it did until I recalled that when I reached this milestone Elvis was being discharged from the Army, a few thousand of his countrymen were heading off to Vietnam, and Francis Gary Powers was enjoying an unscheduled layover in the Soviet Union.

So, then, as now, there was lots of weirdness going on, and not just in your friendly neighborhood cul-de-sac, either.

“It may be weird, but better weird than not at all,” as a neighbor and I agreed.

A hummingbird had a bird’s-eye view of the party from her nest in a pine just off our driveway. According to Audubon New Mexico, the hummers lay two eggs a half inch long in nests the size of a walnut shell, and this one has done a fine job of camouflaging her tiny nursery. Herself and I saw the little nipper zip to the limb yesterday as we were leaving for a bike ride; I took a closer squint and spotted the nest.

It takes a bit of squinting to find this hummer guarding the kids.

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19 Responses to “‘Better weird than not at all’”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    PO’G: Who’s the dapper kiddo in the top right corner? Just kiddin’!! 🙂
    Re nostalgia: As Mark Twain allegedly said: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
    Beautiful photos, elegant themes, life is good! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      My parents may have been impressed by the size of that noggin, but turns out it was more of a U-Store-It than a supercomputer. There’s all manner of useless shite stacked up in there now.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    That is cool. I’m thinking the little ones are missing Aunt and Uncle O’Grady. Hope you had a nice ride.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, we see the squirts regularly across the walls separating our compounds, and when they’re playing in the cul-de-sac on their bicycles and scooters. And there is a small space reserved for them under the ornamental plum in our backyard. The eldest is creating a “nature center” there when mom and dad permit.

  3. Dale Says:

    Good on you for finding a hummer’s nest, they do not advertise them.

    I fear that many osprey and eagle nests were blown apart during two recent windstorms in the Chesapeake region.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Lucky to be a hummingbird and miss all this drama eh?

    What little I recall from the K to 1 transition was struggling to learn to tie my shoes, being given the Third Degree for having a different name than my mom, changing schools from the West to the East side in Buffalo, and worrying about WW III during duck and cover drills. But the human race will not end with a bang but with a virus, eh?

    Happy Birthday to the tyke!

    • JD Dallager Says:

      Khal: Aaah yes, the old duck and cover drills. I often wonder now what anyone over the age of 15 then thought about those (I was 6 and it was more fun than English).
      Were they a placebo that allowed everyone to feel like they were actively contributing to being prepared? How effective would they have been if a nuc was within 50 miles? After you recovered from under your desk, what were you supposed to do? Etc.
      The themes to “pacify” and engage the public in life and death times are hopefully based upon substance over stye, eh? 🙂
      And, just to stir the pot, would our US response have been different if this were not an election year? Who knows; but, would love to hear your thoughts.

      • Shawn dans les Gorges Says:

        I wish it could have been the case but I don’t believe it would have mattered if the virus would have afflicted us in a non-election year. Our il-leader would still be as inept in whatever the heck he thinks he’s doing (although he’s good at just f**ing things up). But I believe the initial flacid response and lack of adequate supply of materials to needed areas was poor planning by more than just an un-president. By nature I believe that politics would have (is) affected that issue no matter what.

        Along with better pandemic preparation for the future that we are learning, is the ethical viewpoint on who and how we will treat those afflicted with a disease. A lesson yet to understand is will we put a price on a person’s life for the good of the economy, or will we realize that we can re-start our economy after we have applied good science findings and sincere care for all lives.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          If you look at the numbers nationwide, you find that people over 65 are 25% or less of the cases but over 75% of the fatalities. We are expendable, except those on the right side of the velvet rope. Poor with no health insurance you say? Go hug a tree.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I don’t think the election year had much influence on this president or his lackeys in the Senate. This seems to be driven more by continual narcissism and ideology than either fact or electoral politics. If I were a GOP leader right now I’d worry about the senate flipping. But I am an utter idiot when it comes to political prognostication. And as someone’s wife says, people are stupid.

        O’G and I are three months apart in the delivery room. I punched out of the womb in January and he in March. Funny but what I remember even more than the duck and cover drills was a TV showing of Orwell’s 1984 in its first 1956 movie incarnation. I was sitting in my stepfather’s parent’s flat, which was safer than my mom and stepdad’s flat, and that flick came on and I was transfixed at first by the nuclear tests incorporated into the beginning of the film and then the story plot about totalitarianism.

        I was a precocious kid, much to the annoyance of my teachers. They kicked me out of the school library in the fourth grade because I kept reading stuff like Orwell and Shirer when I should have been reading kid stuff. A fourth grader was not supposed to be reading a history of the Third Reich. I was weird. I guess not much has changed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I did kindergarten to grade one in Canada, so I was in my second year of learning conversational French.

      It’s no wonder I wound up a stateless weirdo, bereft of hometown, a citizen of the world. We moved from Glen Burnie, Md., to Falls Church, Va., to Ottawa, Ontario, to San Antonio, Texas, to Colorado Springs, Colo., all before I made it to ninth grade. I was always the new kid in school, trying to decipher the local social structure and adopt a useful protective coloration.

      We didn’t start the duck-and-cover thing until elementary school on Randolph AFB, as I recall. But then I was less concerned about commie nukes than I was about the local rednecks who demanded to know whether I was a Yankee or a Confederate.

      As regards our present leaderlessness, the timing is unfortunate, but we were headed here eventually. When one of the two major political parties proclaims that government is the problem, not a solution, and sets about dismantling it, we shouldn’t be surprised when it works about as well as a rusty Ford Pinto on blocks in a trailer park weed patch.

      Fuel for the fire (got to go to the fire metaphor after that Pinto reference) is that a whole bunch of people have been left behind or cast aside in our vulture-capitalist society, and they know it. They are suffering and want it to stop, but they pulled the wrong tool from the pegboard for their DIY project.

      If there’s a bright side to any of this is that we got a complete dipshit fool for our first real run at a national dictatorship, and maybe we’ve all learned a little sumpin’-sumpin’ about the fragility of our society, the cracks, blind spots, and loopholes in our form of government, and our dependence upon one another.

      But the jury’s still out on that.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Back when I was finishing grad school and had no common sense and even less money, I took possession of a “free” Ford Pinto of the exploding variety being dumped by one of the departmental technicians (he never did the recall, if there was one) that had a worn out camshaft. So you could tell I was in the neighborhood by the clanging of the valves. I once took it to Buffalo in a blizzard and noted part way that the fastback shape of the car made it a great snowdrift, covering the tail lights. Talk about a twofer.

        Being somewhat centrist, I have that feeling of a soldier with a sprained ankle stuck in no-man’s land at the Somme. On the right, they are trying to destroy all of the parts of government that moderate a free enterprise system and reduce it all to vulture capitalism and on the left, they are trying expand government on the assumption that Uncle Sam Knows Best. Small wonder folks are throwing in the towel, having little confidence in either General Motors or Uncle Sam.

        What we really need is .the funniest joke in the world. Let’s just get it over with.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Hee, and also haw. We were just watching that last night. Terry Jones as the Tommy on the proving ground had the best death in that one. I expect given a choice, he would’ve preferred it to the one he eventually got for real.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Was fun watching this as a little kid.

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