Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I do not like the pigeon. I do not like the cat, either, but this winsome feline can be cute, at times---the conniving, manipulating ingrate. Not so with the pigeon. He is neither lovable nor attractive, interesting nor useful. Pigeons suck!

Rock Doves (Columba Livia), also known as pigeons, are really poor excuses for a bird. Pigeons are by all descriptions birds, but they don't like---or want--- to fly. They will fly only a few feet in order to escape an angry boot heading their way. They will immediately go back to the same spot from where they vacated, with no fear of being chased. They do not fear humans. Their flight is awkward and obviously forced, and always short. Evolution will in time take their wings away---you don't use 'em, you lose 'em. Their call is a strained "coo" from way back in their throat. It is neither pleasing nor melodic. It is as if they really don't wish to say anything. Evolution in time will silence them, I'm sure. They defecate the most disgusting, vile splatter---white in colour--- which is near impossible to scrape off easily. They also seem to consciously place this "drop" in the most noticeable of areas: on faces of our national hero's statues; on ornate bird feeders; on the prettiest American rose petal. Like the hateful, amateurish graffiti, they defile everything decent in this world.

They also are willing carriers of the avian flu, and are well pleased to pass it on. Pigeon are a scourge.

With that being said, I have a confession to make. I killed a pigeon! I did. Actually, I didn't mean to off the bird, it just happened. Here is the story.

A summer's day(this summer), on the patio; a bit of wine; good book; pretty, colourful, songbirds at the feeder and bird bath. A bit of heavenly peace in a Dominion backyard. My wife was busy digging away in her rose garden, when three pigeons flew into the yard and settled on the tree branch above the feeder. She immediately noticed them cautiously waiting for a change to shoo away the songbirds and take all of the seeds. She knew that trouble was afoot, for she also knew that my ire was rising and would not stand for such behaviour from these dirty beasts. She came over to me, gathering pots and such things ready to tackle the front flower beds. My wife looked at me knowing full well that I was not going to allow these damn pigeons sway in my yard. She suggested that maybe a good idea was for me to get my son's BB gun, shoot a BB near the detestable creatures on the branch, scaring them away while not alarming the pretty little birds already at the feeder. I thought it was a capital idea. She trotted off to the front flower beds, I went inside to retrieve my son's gun.

I use to be a good shot with a BB gun when I was a kid. Glass milk bottles were my favourite targets, although anything that moved was also in my sights. It actually felt kind of good to sight up a BB gun again. Just as a note: I don't hunt, nor do I like the idea of hunting, and I don't own any kind of gun except my son's air rifle, which he wrangled out of me many years ago.

I pumped enough air in the BB gun to propel that small pellet right out of Dominion. I aimed, and then remembered my son telling me that the sights were a tad off. I readjusted my aim, and concentrated on the branch near the pigeons. I pulled the trigger. I expected to hear a loud crack where the BB would hit the branch next to the birds, thus scaring them away. But what I saw horrified me. The pigeon on the left fell straight down on the ground, jerking a couple of times, and remaining limp. His buddy on the branch was looking at him with a curious, mystifying demeanour. All the colourful birds flew away, terrified. I said to myself,"Oh no!" I dropped the gun which caused the other pigeons to gingerly fly away, too, as if they finally came to grasp this new reality. I thought I saw them look at me as if to say that I crossed a line. Maybe I did.

I got a little upset, and went to find my wife who was working on the flower beds in the front of the house. She was unaware, of course, that there was a dramatic scene already played out in our backyard; that a violent death of a pigeon had taken place; that her husband was now a killer of pigeons. Oh murder most fowl!

I blurted out in a rather overly excited tone that the gun's sights were off, my son told me that, I didn't mean went on and on. I interspersed all this with, "Holy shit!". She stood up and looked at me straight in the eyes. The conversation went this way:

Wife: Calm down. Tell me what happened.
I explained the whole thing in a very hurried and frazzled fashion.
Wife: You weren't suppose to KILL the pigeons, just scare them.
Bernie: I know that! Geee. And only one is down.
W: Is it dead?
B: I don't know! The neighbours can't see this. They'll think I'm killing pigeons in the yard for sport. I'll be reported. They'll put it in the paper. Bernie the pigeon killer. Oh no. I'm a volunteer for the Bird Society, for god's sake....
W: God, will you relax?! Take me to the crime scene.
We walk around to the side of the house. There on the ground---very dead---lay the pigeon. We look down on it with curious eyes.
W: It's not moving.
B: No. (I kick it gently with my foot) Quite dead.
W: Nice shot.
B: Yeah, eh?
W: You seem to have broken it's neck. Right there, see?
B: Ahh, don't tell me that! Geez. What are we going to do? Should we rope off the area? You know, like CSI or something?
W: Where are you getting the WE? You did this, not I.
B: YOU told me to get the gun! It's all your fault.
W: Is it now? I've got work to do. (She heads back to the front flower bed)
B: Hang on! Hang on! Come on, you've got to help me. (I bend down to touch the deceased bird)
W: Don't touch it! Go in the house and get a pair of rubber gloves.
B: Right! (I retrieve the gloves, put them on, and snap them like the doctors do on the telly. I Turn to her and smile.) Should I do a rectal first? (laugh)
W: Maybe on yourself. Careful picking it up.
I pick up the defunct bird. It's head is all droopy, flopping about. I examine the gash in its neck.
B: What are we going to do with it?
W: Put it in the green bin.
B: You're kidding. I didn't see pigeon on the list of things that are allowed to go in the green bin. Is it biodegradable? Is it anyway toxic? Is it...
W: Put it in the bin!
B: Right.
I'm just about ready to drop this much dead pigeon into the bin with the potato peels, egg shells, soiled paper towels, and old leaves.
B: Do you want to say something first? I mean, you know, before...
W: Yeah. Get rid of that BB gun.
B: Yes, sure.

She goes back to her work on her roses. I return to the patio, sip some wine, sip some more, and look over at the now empty bird feeder and bird bath. I wonder what the remaining pigeons are saying to each other. I'm thinking that when a single pigeon flies in the yard and lands on that same branch. I look at him and don't know what to do. I'm thinking that maybe my wife needs some help with all those flowers and such. I go around to the front of the house to help her. It's safer there.

I don't have a book on pigeons, and would probably advise against it. I still don't like them.

Next: 60's and 70's great novels

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist".
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation." by Stephen Crane

Without sounding too much like John Lennon, I want to imagine many things about this world and consequently about life. Human life. You may agree or disagree---but that's the fun in it, isn't it? A list of books will be posted at the end. Here we go:

---that there really isn't any Supreme Being, or God, who made us and who is watching over us.
---that our belief in a god is only an illusion---a delusion---made up by us.
---that neither our little planet nor we humans are the center of the universe.
---that there is plenty of lifeforms in the universe besides those on Earth
---that we are the product of an evolutionary process that is still active today.
---that there is really no designed progression in evolution leading to humans---we are not the apex of evolution drive.
---that we just are.
---that everything in this universe is connected in some manner or another, including us.
---that morality is not connected to any religion---they don't have the market on morality.
---that evolution is not "survival of the fittest", per se---it's having the necessary equipment to live and thrive in this world.
---that our minds are truly amazing, and can be utilized for great things.
---that humans should put their trust in themselves, and not in any outside influence.
---that there is not a division between body and mind---that comes from the Greek philosophers.
---that god is in ourselves, we are gods. Didn't Christ say? The kingdom of heaven is within you.
---that there is no division between men and women. They are equal in all respects---something most religions don't adhere to.
---that we're here for a good time, not a long time---that's a song, isn't it?
---that the most important thing humans can do on this earth is to be good to one another.

I got to stop, I'm getting preachy. ugh. So, after hearing all that, don't you feel free? Don't you feel unburdened by outward constraints? Don't you feel like taking control of your life and not listen to all that crap out there? Some people find it difficult. But the thing is: what it all comes down to is predominately how you get through the day. There has to be a reason why you want to get out of bed in the morning. As long as it's not detrimental to other people, and you're not pushing it on other people, then whatever you believe, go for it. Basically, it's all the same.
But I would put emphases on yourself---there's no true answers out there. You have the power! David Suzuki says that, I think.

Books on these topics are: THE GOD DELUSION by Richard Dawkins, god is not great, by Christopher Hitchens, STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS by Daniel Gilbert, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH by Richard Dawkins, THE LIVING COSMOS by Chris Impey, LIFE'S SOLUTION by Morris Conway, abd so on.

Next: Novels from 1960/70

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LOST SYMBOL (God books cont.)

I just finished reading Dan Brown's THE LOST SYMBOL. It was actually a fun read, full of suspense, surprises, and lots of interesting information regarding the capitol buildings in Washington, DC---along with a bit of silliness, medeocre writing style, poorly defined characters, and outrageous claims. But like I said---fun.

My wife is very anxious to read it next, so I have a bit of fun myself. I---right out of the blue---start telling her about certain scenes or events that occured in the novel. She says, "NO!", and puts her hands over her ears. I then speak louder which makes her utter sounds like "da da da da da da da" in order to keep from hearing my spoilers. She says I'm mean, but I'm just trying to clearify specific---possibly difficult---passages in the novel which may cause her pause in reading them. That's all. I don't tell her this explanation for my annoying behaviour, mind you, because I would imagine THE LOST SYMBOL would be hard to swallow when it is shoved down my throat. I'm exaggerating, of course, my wife is not violent, but provocation successfully combats complaciency, does it not?

Anyways. There are a few things I want to say about the esoteric and highly interesting information Dan Brown brings up in his novel---he always does this. First the Masons: In my opinion, the masons have no more "important secrets" hidden away than my dear mother did in her recipe drawer while she was alive. This is all hogwash. The masons are a boy's club where men get dressed up in odd attire, do strange ritual procedures, and call themselves "brother". (Bro for short---just kidding). I've known a few masons. One fellow told me that when he travelled to California one summer, he was treated like a celebrity because the hotel clerk saw his mason's ring. The clerk was a fellow brother. There are perks; they do help each other out. (Note: You can buy a mason's ring at any pawn shop and do the same thing, but you have to know the hand signal.).

Egypt: It's truly amazing how much ancient Egypt has influenced the western world. Quite a few capital cities have some sort of Epyptian symbol or knock-off near their center. Also---and of note--- Chritianity borrowed heavely from the ancient Egyptian religion. Such things as the virgin birth, a son of god, resurrection, and so on. But the Egyptian connection with the secret mysteries doesn't really make these mysteries true. I find it difficult to believe that the wisdoms of ancient times---hidden from us for so many years--- could be so enlightening.

Your better off reading Charles Darwin, or anything on Quantum physics. This brings me back to my previous post. Regarding THE SECRET and it's message: In my opinion, I do think you can actually get what you want, but you have to work very hard with your whole concentration on the goal, and your attention to the details. But don't we all know this? I also think (in my life, anyway) that you will get what you want, but never when you most want it. Sometimes, the harder you try, the farther away it gets. When you give up trying, you get it. It all so Zenish; it's all so weird.

Books on Quantum physics I would definitely recommend are: THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS by Gary Zukav. This is an excellent book. He writes in such a way you don't have to have a science degree to understand the subject---as much a "understanding" means. This stuff twists your brain. Another book is QUANTUM INIGMA by Rosenblum and Kuttner. It's a book about Quantum physics and consciousness. This book gets into the realm of Laws of Attraction thing. It's excellent too.

Next: Dawkins and other folks

Monday, October 5, 2009


-----This post is going to stretch over a couple of entries divided into parts, if you will; mostly because it covers quite a few books, ideas, and explanations. We're getting right deep, eh.-----

There's a woman we know who believes that what she thinks actually affects her life; her immediate life; her future life; and even her prosperity. In other words, if she thinks and concentrates on good things, good things will happen to her. Conversely, bad thoughts, bad things happen. Therefore, every day was a battle for her because she struggled to keep the positive thoughts foremost in her mind, while desperately shunning the negative ones. This was particularly difficult on dismal, rainy days when her usual sparkling personality was dredging the depths---she falls hard and deep. This taxing of her emotions caused her mind to tangle into a knotted mess which issued in anxiety and later a troubling depression. This depression, mild as it was, caused more anxiety simply for the fact that she realized she could not bring into her life any form of good unless she actually felt positive. She was a mess. After talking to a close friend of hers, she consented to go to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. The shrink put her on a mild tranquilizer, and told her to join a quilting club and stop thinking so much. She did so, and feels much better now. And you should see her quilts! She's making money from them, and is quite happy.

THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne (oh dear). As you can guess, the SECRET is actually not a secret at all. It's quite old, going back about a hundred years or so, and probably longer than that. It's the old LAW OF ATTRACTION principle that's been popping its head up every so often, assuring people that their minds or state of awareness can indeed change their situation. It goes this way: Thoughts have an energy which attracts whatever it is the person is thinking. If you control this energy, you can get anything you want.

This pseudo-scientific Law of Attraction, which is no more than "positive thinking", has spawned many get-rich books. (it's odd that people who support this theory will turn it into a means to make money, as if that's the only thing worth striving for) Books such as: THINK AND GROW RICH by napoleon Hill, PROSPERITY THROUGH FORCE by Bruce MacLelland--"you are what you think, not what you think you are". Others are: THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH by Wallace D. Wattles, THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING by Beal, LOVE, MEDICINE AND MIRACLES by B.S. Siegel--here you can think yourself well. The list goes on and on, so this is no groundbreaking thought or theory presented to us by Ms. R. Byrne. Rhonda Byrne knew exactly what she was doing, which was making a boodle of money for herself, and she had a champion to her cause by the great one, Oprah, who apparently devoted two shows to this dubious seer and her concocted book.

Some Sociologists say that because of the decline of religion and a belief system in a higher power, people are testing out these strange new theories. They say that most people today are much better educated and far to astute to believe in unfounded myths about a supreme being in heaven, so look for other ways to express their spirituality. All the new "systems of thoughts and beliefs" that are coming down the pipes today are loosely based in Quantum Physics. Quantum Physics is that spooky branch of science where the laws of psychics seem to have turned upside down: everything is connected, things appear and disappear, one particle knows what another particle is doing, everything runs on probability. The most unusual of these strange occurrences is the one where the scientists ALWAYS sees the particular particle he/she WANTS to see. In other words, the particle materializes because the scientist wants to see it; when he doesn't want to see it, it's not there. Cool. In other words again, the scientist is actually bringing the particle into being, because he wants to see it. The new " religions" think that everyone can do the same---you want a million dollars, think about it. I don't think it's that easy. Scientists cringe.

I'm closing off for today; I'll continue on a few days from now. It's raining to beat the band out, and the north wind is blowing---that wind always unnerves me. My good wife is home, and we intend to take to bed and read for the whole day. I'm thinking I would like a pizza delivered right now, and if I think hard enough, maybe, just maybe one will appear......