Friday, October 30, 2015

Second to Thicke

My Cat Thicke

Because I am an artist, and a blogger, and on several social media sites I Google well. But Thicke leads me in likes. Paws down. And my photographs of Thicke do very well on several photographic pages I participate in. He certainly has fan appeal. Wondering if he should be my logo. Should I take advantage of him being my unofficial studio cat and make it formal.

Yesterday I attended a workshop on how to put my business on the map. Yes, I Google well, even Google image well, but Google maps has trouble locating me. Evidently it also has a great deal of trouble locating a lot of others in my neck of the woods. Literally. But would they zero in on my location if I listed it as the home of Thicke?

Tag words or labels help your posts, be they photos or blogs, score high in Google ratings. I use New Mexico a lot. But I am wondering as I am trying to put Binford-Bell Studio on Google and the map should I be using Thicke as a tag word?

You got my spots right?

In the workshop yesterday one of my table mates had used her dog's name to set up her Google site originally. She decided to change it to her name and Google won't without verification. They are sending a post card. I have to wonder if they are sending it to her or her dog?

I keep telling myself it is not all about Thicke. My photographs of Thicke, and numerous other animals, are stellar. In my capacity as pet sitter (don't quit your day job) I often capture my charges in memorable moments. They will run and hide from even their owner's smart phones but ham it up in front of my DSLR with long lens. Maybe I should just go into pet photography.

So Thicke's name is in the labels on this blog. Let's see how that scores as a tag. I promise to not have my feelings hurt.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Out of Sync

Out of Sync

I have been feeling out of sync this summer. I blamed it at first on just being too busy with things out of my comfort zone. And figured it was just a matter of scheduling my life better; paying more attention to my physical and emotional self.

Doing those things seemed to take entire too much time. And money. And they also got me overly involved with things like teeth and numbers on cholesterol and blood pressure and calories and sodium. If schedules are tight to begin with then something has to go. One area I almost immediately noticed was art. Even time with my camera ebbed. Since painting and photography are my means to Zen then I was defeating my purpose of paying more attention to my emotional self.

But then I began asking myself if all the syncopation was internal. We are part of the universe and certainly our communities and when both are on wobble it is natural to be effected. Some conflagration occurs on the heels of change. Change can be good but it can also be very unsettling. It can create chaos. In yourself and your friends and things you depend on to provide stability.

The year my father died I suffered a series of accidents of fortunately a minor nature but clustered together. A counselor told me it was a sign I needed to stop and take time off. Take time to mourn for my father and find my emotional balance. Emotional imbalance can cause physical imbalance.

If Mercury in retrograde can cause accidents and miscommunication then certainly retrograde in our emotional lives can too. Getting back in balance is not as easy as cutting back on salt or eating more fiber or being sure you show up for all your dental checkups.

Nothing a two week vacation, no medical or dental appointments,  and a half million dollars would not instantly make better.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Modest Proposal

Holidays are traditions long observed and in a lot of cases very out dated. Take Thanksgiving, for instance. Yes, take it away. Christmas decorations have generally been up for almost a month by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. It is recognized as officially the beginning of Christmas buying and nothing more. Few of us are thankful for much beyond the sales, a day or four off work, and football games. I am not even wild about Turkey. Stuffing yes, turkey no. And in a country dedicated to separation of church and state a holiday that includes praying seems a contradiction.

Speaking of contradictions, consider Columbus Day. An Italian that sailed for Spain and never actually made the shores of what is now the United States. And had he, then he would have simply claimed it for Spain. A couple other nationalities made it first we have now determined. And that is if you do not count the three waves of the earliest immigrants to our shores. Note: nobody is indigenous. But I guess you could say that for much of the world if we all originated in the Garden of Eden and out-migrated because it got crowded. Current belief is Eden was in Africa possibly around Kenya.

There is a trend afoot to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's day. That gets those of Hispanic heritage a bit upset. They forget he was Italian. I say we just wipe the holiday off the calendar as a bad idea to begin with. And if we must have a federal holiday in October than let's make it Halloween. It is really very American in that the pumpkins were grown here. Before that in Ireland they carved out turnips to be lanterns. It would appease the Hispanics who are losing Columbus Day as All Souls Day is kin. The merchants would be thrilled no end because currently Halloween is the second biggest single marketing event. It is beat out only by Christmas.

The fundamental Christians might not be thrilled because of the supposed overtones of devil worship. But if we confine court house displays to just pumpkins and harvest scenes I do not see the issue. And a feast with pumpkin pie would make up for losing Thanksgiving.

So with those changes we are only one Federal holiday down. Ten is the magic number. I say we put a Dog Day in August which has no holidays but is known for the dog days of summer. We can all get behind taking our dogs to the park for a picnic. And if the cat people get upset we can make it Dog and Cat Day. We do love our fur kids.

My next campaign: Let's get rid of Day Light Savings time.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Faulty Logic

Shooting for the Moon

At sometime in my life I was introduced to logic. Maybe more than once. Lewis Carroll, under his real name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson supposedly invented the logic puzzle. But Einstein got credit for the famous Zebra Logic puzzle that Dodgson did. His writings under his pen name of Lewis Carroll are laced with logic and illogic, riddles and unanswered riddles like "Why is the Raven like a writing desk?" The mere question assumes it is. And the answer?

"Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!" Frankly, always liked it not having an answer. Or Poe wrote on both seemed logical.

Logic is the offspring of the Greek syllogism. All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, Therefore, Socrates is mortal. Syllogisms are the core of deductive reasoning or top down reasoning. The conclusion is valid only if the premises are valid or true. But there are valid arguments and sound arguments. It all swings on the validity or soundness of the premises.

Everyone who eats carrots is a quarterback.
John eats carrots.
Therefore, John is a quarterback.

A current example could be:

Everyone who owns a gun kills people
John owns a gun
Therefore, John will kill people.

Can we solve the problem of John being a quarterback killer by eliminating carrots or guns?

If you took the time to look at the Zebra Logic Puzzle you noted that there are often tons more premises than two. And each premise has to be tested to be proved valid and sound. Another premise we might add to the last syllogism is all mass shooters are white males in their twenties. So will jailing all white males in their twenties end all mass shootings? Will taking all guns away from everyone (even those not white males in their twenties) solve the problem? And another premise to add is the use of psychotropic drugs by young white males in their twenties. And by almost all mass shooters? Or another premise to be considered: Twenties are when young white men first exhibit schizoid signs. Or the premise nobody considers: Gun control does not control guns.

Who is up for the challenge? Get your girds drawn and your premises defined and tested.

I lived in the brainy wing of my college dorm. We played bridge and toyed with philosophical arguments and logic puzzles constantly. And to this day I find myself annoyed with the fast conclusions news anchors and politicians reach. It is a wonder I even watch the news. And even weirder that I stay on Facebook.

Not it is easier to determine if a conclusion is not sound than to find the flaw in the logic.