Synchronistic Search Query

I got a search query for a “JKearns 02 UFO” from a Hungarian Military Defense Institute. Thought that was funny because I don’t think I’ve ever had a search query for Kearns hit my blog. And thought it was funny since the new book I’m working on begins with a UFO sighting. But what made it particularly interesting was then a few hours later a Canadian woman wrote me who is a jkearns, she having stumbled on my art and wanting to make contact as she’s an artist as well.

The word of the day is "Zombified"

So this evening I for some reason thought about how it had been a while since I’d had one of those coincidental moments with H.o.p. where something I’m thinking will pop out of his mouth.

Earlier today I wrote on the blog how I was feeling “zombified”. It’s not a normal part of my vocabulary. I just happened to use it.

Several hours later H.o.p. is sitting there playing on the computer and he says, “What does zombified mean?” He doesn’t read the blog so I asked him why. He said he’d seen it on a game and was wondering, then showed me the end game screen of the Power Puff girls game he’d just been playing, which read, “You’ve been zombified!”

Not much of a coincidence but it’s still funny that “zombified” is the world he elected to ask me about.

I guess zombified is the word of the day.

The strange small things in life

The world is a funny place. A few days ago, for the first time in two decades, it occurred to me to try to recollect what my kindergarten teacher’s name was. I hadn’t thought about it in nearly twenty years and at first I thought oh I’ll never remember, then after a few minutes it finally came back that her name was Koenig.

This evening I get an email from a woman who was expressing appreciation for a website of mine. Her name? Koenig. Not since my kindergarten teacher have I had any dealings with a person named Koenig.

Children may like ghost stories but not the inexplicable–at least H.o.p. doesn’t

My plans had been to write about watching “Twister” with H.o.p. earlier tonight.

Insomnia without my computer programs and files isn’t a whole hell of a lot of fun. Usually, if I can’t sleep, I get up and work some then go back to bed. That not being an option the past ten days, I finally started cutting on the television and thus ended up watching, amongst other things, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “A Night at the Roxbury”.

Well, I only watched “A Night at the Roxbury” in part because it was so bad and boring that I fell asleep during it.

Tonight I woke up and unable to get back to sleep I lay there thinking about “Twister” (I don’t know why, I just did) and decided to pass a few minutes blogging on it on my own computer which is kind of back in my possession and kind of half not. At the moment most of it is missing (memory and files) but should be back to normal sometime tomorrow.

Anyway, I get up and come in and sit down in my chair and am thinking for a little while.

And I felt someone nudge the back of my chair.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep and get up then H.o.p. will wake up and he won’t say anything when he comes in, he will just brush the back of my chair and I’ll turn about and there he is and I’ll say he needs to get back to bed and he’ll say he needs a bedtime snack.

So I turn around but there’s no H.o.p. standing there. And the feel of the back of my chair having been nudged by someone was so strong that I couldn’t shrug it off, couldn’t shake it, became rather unsettled and finally had to get up and go over and cut on the lamp.

The floor hadn’t shook. Nothing like that. It had just been the back of my chair.

I may have been as susceptible to being unsettled because I’d already thought something odd enough earlier that I’d mentioned it to Marty.

When you cut off the kitchen florescent light, our electrical set-up here is such that you can hear it through H.o.p.’s speakers. For some reason you can’t hear it through my speakers, but you can through H.o.p.’s, a loud scratchy pop electrical noise. Has always been this way here. Whatever. Electrical quirk and we’ve got surge protection on his and whatever is going on electrically seems never to have hurt it.

But, earlier tonight, I’m walking into the bedroom to put something up and the moment I walk into the room there was the same scratchy pop electrical sound. And I couldn’t figure out what it came from. The television was off. The radio was off. Where did that sound come from? Impossible to figure it out and yet I heard it. But I’m one of those people around whom electrical appliances do seem to behave oddly so for me that happening falls in that category, not in the “odd” box, but in the “oh yeah that happens sometimes” box. I’d mentioned it to Marty to see if he knew what might have been the cause then not thought about it again afterwards.

There have been a few instances of things around here where I have wondered if I heard something, was at the point of deciding I’d not heard it, then H.o.p. will say, “Did you hear that?” At least twice we have been sitting in here and heard something loud, as if it was in the room, but never could figure out what the noise might have been. Each time I have thought, “Well, maybe I didn’t hear it after all,” and then H.o.p. will say, “What was that?”

H.o.p. has told me in the past that this place is haunted. I’ve always thought it was haunted in the way that an old apartment building is haunted by the sounds, say, of a dog playing with a ball on the wood floor in the apartment above. And there have been numerous instances where H.o.p. has said, “Ghosts!” and I’ve assured him, no, that instead that was a sound that came from upstairs because it was obviously a dog with its ball upstairs or someone walking or the radiant heater making noise. I’m a skeptic in general about hauntings and think usually there’s going to be some rational explanation.

Then about two months ago, Marty and I had opted to sleep in H.o.p.’s room because he’d fallen asleep in ours, and we both heard and saw his door shake like he was on the other side trying to open it and Marty opened the door for him. But there was no H.o.p. Marty went to check and H.o.p. was still sound asleep in our room. But we had both heard and seen ithe door shaken in the way it would be if someone was trying to open it. And it was bizarre enough that we got up and didn’t go back to bed for a couple of hours. We never could figure it out.

It wasn’t just the apartment building “settling”. There wasn’t an earthquake (and I’ve felt several small ones and it’s quite different). It really did seem someone was at the other side shaking the door a couple of times trying to open it.

When it happened it reminded me of a sound I’d heard not long after we moved in the building, maybe within the first month or two. It was late at night, I was unable to sleep and was at the computer. The light in the living room was off. And it sounded like a door or someone or something up there, I couldn’t figure out what. I wondered briefly if there was someone trying to get in the apartment. I got up and looked into the living room just to make sure H.o.p. wasn’t up. He wasn’t. I never did get to sleep that night. And in the morning when Marty got up, when he went up front he found, up where I’d heard the sound (which I’d not mentioned to him) a large puddle of water sitting there in the middle of the floor behind the sofa. We were never able to explain it either. The radiant ceiling heater for the living room is nearby and after three years (no other incidents) I’m still not absolutely sure it wasn’t the source, but Marty examined it at the time and insisted it wasn’t. I examined it too and could find nothing to indicate that the radiant heater was the source, and was convinced enough that it wasn’t that I even examined the front door, wondering if somehow water had entered through there? But there was no way possible for that to have happened.

Which, by the way, has nothing to do with the problem leak currently in our bathroom, which is next to the bathtub and does have to do with a pipe in there.

No, this puddle happened within a foot from the front door. Just happened. Nothing else was wet. No trail of wet. Nothing. No splashes or drops. Just a puddle of water. But since the radiant heater is nearby I’m still placing my bet on it probably having been the source, as it is the only reasonable explanation. And though it has never happened since and though there was no sign of the water having come from the heater and though Marty insists it had not come from the heater.

This is a very quiet building. No sheet rock. All good hard plaster. You can sometimes hear the upstairs neighbors walking around but the sound is pretty muted. You don’t hear doors opening and closing upstairs. You can hear doors opening and closing sometimes from out in the hall and the sounds are obvious and distinguishable.

Anyway, H.o.p. has been telling me that the apartment is haunted but I’ve always passed it off as the kind of imaginings you have as a child where there are monsters in the closet or under your bed. He doesn’t like to sleep in his room, and it’s only been in the past couple of months that he’s told me, a couple of times, because, “It’s haunted” and I’ve always thought it was because he was hearing apartment noises. He hasn’t insisted on it. He’s just mentioned it a few times in the same tone of voice he’d use for telling me he wanted some water. If he sees an ant around here then he yells, “Mom, I saw an ant!” (see an ant here and usually it’s followed by a swarm coming in through the back door so there’s reason for alarm) but there’s been no yelling about ghosts. Still, we don’t make him sleep in his room–right now he now normally beds on one of the living room futons and sometimes in our room with us or we’ll sleep in the living room. It’s all pretty flexible since it’s all futons around here. But occasionally I will try to get him accustomed to his room and will again suggest he try sleeping there and go in and lie down with him until he goes to sleep. I did the same a couple of nights ago. Got him settled and cut off the light and lay down with him. He said, “I don’t like this room, it’s haunted.” I said what made him think that and he pointed around and said, “Ghosts,” then said, “Eyes.” When he’s brought up the idea of seeing ghosts before, I’ve explained to him that sometimes we see things that aren’t there, especially in the dark. I assumed this time he was talking about his stuffed animals on his bookcase and I said no those are just your stuffed toy animal friends. We lay there a minute and then I realized he was quietly crying and that he really was afraid. I’d had no idea–couldn’t tell by the sound of his voice. So I got his stuffed toy dragon that he sleeps with and played with it like a puppet and had the dragon tell him all about his stuffed animal friends, reminding him how much fun he has with them and how much he loves them and they love him, talking about every single one of them and the good times they’ve had together. He started smiling and fell asleep and the next morning when he got up he proudly said he had not been afraid at all after his dragon had talked him to sleep.

Well, that took care of that, I’d thought and felt rather pleased with things that the dragon did the trick and that his fears abated.

And here I am, a couple of nights later, freaked out and cutting on the lamp because I felt something bump my chair.

It’s not like I was sitting here thinking about ghosts or all this. No, instead I had been sitting here thinking about “Twister” and how I would have hated it if watching it by myself and would have cut it off, but watching it with an excited and enthralled eight-year-old made for an enjoyable evening.

Do I “feel” the place is haunted? No. I do feel H.o.p.’s got those eight-year-old fears of closet monsters going on that many kids have. We’ve talked a lot about that. I’ve not just brushed them off. But now that I think about it, the few things we’ve been unable to explain, I wonder how I can continue justifying telling H.o.p., “No, it’s nothing.” Because there have been a few things that we simply can’t explain.

Someone please explain this for me

Weird thing just happened (at least it’s weird to me, in my book) and I wish someone would explain it for me. I was neatening up around here and noticed on a corner table (plastic) a small wadded up piece of tape covered with lint. I picked it up and screamed (yeah) and dropped it because it was so warm that it was almost hot. And one just doesn’t pick up a piece of trash and expect it to be so warm as to be almost hot, thus the astonished screech. I felt the table, felt all around it and nothing was warm. The room is air conditioned and everthing else in here is relatively cool to the touch. Marty came in and picked up the tape I’d just dropped, commented it was still warm, but as he held it the heat rapidly dissipated within a couple of seconds and was gone.

Can someone explain this for me?

Update: A commentor wondered if it had come unstuck from a lightbulb and floated down. No, the nearest lighting fixture is a ceiling one about 7 feet away. The tape wad, though small, was heavy enough it would have dropped right to the ground.

I probably should further note this was an old wad of plain scotch tape and that I wasn’t doing anything like vacuuming. There’s also nothing electronic nearby either except for the recharger for a cell phone that is located on a bookshelf about 8 inches behind which was not being used and was cool to the touch. I’d not been moving around anything that was heated or electronic that it could have come unstuck from and fallen to the table. The table had not been used at least that day and no one had been around it.

Yeah, I know, silly, stupid mystery but I’d love to figure this out.

2nd update: Shakespeare’s Sister wondered about static electricity and I had wondered last night if there wasn’t something similar to do with radio waves going on but could the charge produced by a small wad of old tape be that intense? I did find the below on the internet on scotch tape producing radio waves. There was no visible sparking of the tape and it wasn’t adhered to the table. The only thing adhered to the tape was the lint. I didn’t pull the tape off anything. There was no metal involved. As noted above, the table it was resting on was plastic.

3.5 How does scotch tape work?
Believe it or not, this is a subject under research. It is believed that, when
the adhesive touches the plastic tape below it, both surfaces become elec-
trically charged because one material steals electrons from the other. If the
adhesive steals electrons, then the adhesive will have more electrons than
protons (net negative charge), and the plastic tape will have fewer electrons
than protons (net positive charge.) Note that no friction was involved!
”Static electricity” in this case is also known as ”contact electrification”,
and friction is not a requirement. When the two surfaces become oppositely
charged, the electrical charges remain close together, therefor the spool of
tape remains neutral (the tape contains an equal number of positive and
negative charges.) However, when you peel the tape off of the spool, you
SEPARATE the adhesive from the tape below it, and this separates the
regions of opposite charge. A high voltage appears between the positive and
negative charges, and this causes a ”discharge” or spark to appear that is
sometimes visible. The separated charges leap together through the air, and
as with any spark, this creates light.
The sparking will only discharge the tape partially, and the piece of tape
will remain charged, as will the surface of the tape remaining on the spool.
If you peel two strips of tape from the spool, then hold them near each other,
they will repel each other (because alike charges repel, and unlike charges
TRY THIS EXPERIMENT: take a long piece of tape and stick it to
a painted metal surface, such as a filing cabinet or a refrigerator. Take a
small AM radio, turn the volume up, then tune it between two stations so
you hear no signals except static. Hold the radio near the tape, then peel
the tape from the metal. You will hear a crackling noise from the radio.
Those sparks from the tape are creating radio waves and your small radio can hear them.


Stupid lost skills department

I’m wondering tonight about idiosyncratic skills people pick up naturally and what might belong or have belonged to some individuals reading.

The second place Marty and I lived after we were married was a second floor in a house that had a screened porch. We had no air conditioning of course, the house was ancient in the downtown residential area that was at that point dead. The screened porch looked over the old broad street split with a median and during the warm months I wrote and we ate on the front porch. And a strange thing happened. Somehow, without giving any thought to it at all, within a couple of months I suddenly realized I was able to identify almost any car by its headlights and tail lights, but in particular its tail lights. I’ve no idea how it happened. Later, when we were on the road, I’d entertain the band with this skill which even to me was a trifle bizarre, that I didn’t know anything about cars but I could tell from a distance, by the lights, what one was. This was in the late 70s and by the early 80s all the cars on the road were Japanese and my talent was lost. But it was an entertaining skill while I had it, and was amusing way to pass time on the road. People would at first bet I could only identify a few and then would stop betting because I somehow knew what every car was. There may be a number of other people who could do this with American cars but we happened not to know any and others were always amused. But then one is easily amused on the road.

Continue reading Stupid lost skills department

Wonderings on something I know little about

I’ve been reading these Egyptian love poems which seem to me to not be just love poems, though I could be wrong. In the 9th poem given from a selection of fragments, the lover enters the river to cross to his “sister” on the far side, a crocodile waiting in the shallows.

The introduction reads, “Love songs or poems are probably found in every culture…Although they appear to be spontaneous outbursts of young people, they are thought to be the deliberate works of literary artists.” And these poems do seem very simple and straightforward, or at least the translation lends them that air. But reading the first I was caught up with thoughts on generations upon generations of individuals singing of nearly the same experience, of the peculiar nature of continuity and rebirth by virtue alone of resemblance of deep emotion and experience, was carried into those thoughts which went on for a while and it occurred to me that it wasn’t by accident, that it was the intention of the poems. “Yes, these are good,” I thought, but was also thinking that these are not just love poems. Each one carried the words abroad the personal, without losing a dramatic intimacy. And it was the 9th poem that made me feel I was right on that, considering the symbolism of the crocodile, revered and feared, Sobek the god of fertility and rebirth, as one who originated the life-bringing Nile. But these are fragments collected from three different sources in a translation by Miriam Lichtheim, so it’s her voice one is hearing also that perhaps lends an air of sameness to them, as if they could be by the same author. And I wonder if the selection presented, the 9 poems, are as given in the book from which they’re taken. If Lichtheim had so ordered them, and if she had a purpose in arranging these poems as she did so that the 9th concerns the crossing of the river and the crocodile.

Beautiful poems. Perhaps Osiris and Isis.

My heart bounds in its place
Like the red fish in its pond

Never mind the seeming semi-erotic nature of the red fish (the red fish makes an appearance in other love poems), I am wondering what is this fish? The breeding of goldfish for enjoyment (though first in temples) comes from China but this gives the idea of a red fish kept for pleasure. Egyptians kept fish but did they have a red fish like the goldfish? I read about the Oxyrhynchus and its importance but I’ve not found any pictures of it as a red fish.

And what is the saam-plant which appears in one of the poems.

Saam-plants here summon us

I do a search and find only that saam in Egyptian means toxic. Oh, wait, I read elsewhere that wormwood is perhaps mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings as saam.

So, I’m a little confused on the saam-plants. Any relationship with the word soma?

Whoowhoo–Oh, brother, now she’s writing about chemtrails?

(Note: I’ve updated with a higher magnification.)

Whoowho–now she’s writing about chemtrails? No I’m not and I put a question mark because I don’t know what this is and am wondering if someone can tell me.

So, we were near the end of the trip. We’d crossed the mighty Mississippi. Not a cloud in the sky. In Arizona, my mother had been talking to me about chemtrails, which I’ve read of but haven’t paid any attention to them. But the meme was planted and by now I was taking photos of trucks, being without anything to do and not feeling like reading, and when I looked up and saw an assumed contrail in the clear blue sky I snapped a shot just for the hell of it.

It is, upon zooming in, however, not a contrail. And the plane couldn’t be seeding clouds as there were no clouds and it’s far far far too high to be a crop duster. Besides which the effluent is entirely dissociated from the plane by intervening objects. As one can see there is the plane, a red thing below it to the rear and below that to the rear are the twin effluents, one of which appears to be preceded by a dark object. But there is definitely a red object between.

Anyway, I’m just curious what the plane is up to and I’m supposing that there is an easy “Oh, okay” explanation that someone will be able to offer.

Update: It’s been suggested this could be a plane refueling another, so I thought I’d put in a higher magnification to show why I don’t believe it is.

The original digital photo, the one at the top of the post, at 300 dpi an inch, was 2288 by 1712 pixels, or 7.627 by 5.707 inches. I blew it up to 16000 dpi by 11972 dpi at 300 dpi an inch, which was 53.333 inches by 39.907. Then cropped and reduced to 72 dpi for web viewing.

Maybe they’re dragging a purple-pink dino Barney blimp along for a joy ride, though that still doesn’t explain further below and a good bit behind the two staggered contrail thingies, one preceded by it seems a dark object.

Somebody please tell me what it is!

Update 2: Neil (comments below) suggests that high contrast may reveal v-shaped harness. I’ve upped the contrast in order to show more clearly what he may be talking about. It’s hard to say what may be color anomalies but there may be a v-shaped harness.

Amaryllis eyes


Took a digi snapshot last night of our amaryllis for family. The “eyes” effect is actually just an accidental trick of light and shadow, the white being the wall behind the flower. Still, quite something. I looked around on the web at other photos of amaryllis and didn’t come across anything even vaguely similar. Was having a couple of weeks ago a conversation with a photographer friend about how our brains are configured to look for patterns in things and perhaps especially facial features. Click for slightly larger view.