Posted in Family, Social Issues, Writing

Weather Wether Whether

Definition of weather

1the state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness
2state or vicissitude of life or fortune
3disagreeable atmospheric conditions: such as
a rainstorm
b cold air with dampness
 to weather

in the direction from which the wind is blowing

Definition of wether

a male sheep castrated before sexual maturity; also a castrated male goat

Definition of whether

used as a function word usually with correlative or or with or whether to indicate (1) until the early 19th century a direct question involving alternatives; (2) an indirect question involving stated or implied alternatives 

  • decide whether he should agree or raise objections
  • wonderedwhether to stay

; (3) alternative conditions or possibilities

  • see me no more, whether he be dead or no
  •  —William Shakespeare
  • seated him next to her whether by accident or design
 whether or no or whether or not

in any case

  • they’ve only been married a very few weeks, whether or no
  •  —Thomas Hardy




Based on the above three words, the weather has been making it unsure whether we would finish staining the deck anytime soon. Thankfully, no wether was involved in the process.

The weather cooled down on Wednesday, so I sprinted through the second half of staining the second coat of red stain on the vertical boards, and then did a full first coat of clear stain on the horizontal boards.

Thursday the forecast called for cloudy skies, with rain starting around 4 p.m. So I got up and from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. put on the second coat of clear stain. The rain started at 9 a.m. Now it was whether the rain would wash that second coat off or not.  The stain was supposed to be resistent to rain after 4 hours, not 30 minutes.

Yet most of it stayed, enough that I mopped up the puddles Friday morning, let them dry, and had a third coat on by noon.

We had the deck furniture back out on the deck by  4 p.m., and at 7:30 p.m. began staining the underside (the people I talked to said you don’t do the underside, but the instructions on the stain can say, in small print, “for optimum performance, coat all accessible sides,” so I am going to follow my original gut to do the underside, since the stain company agrees with me.). At 8 p.m., after completing the underside of the one set of stairs, we started down the main deck.

I got about 5 feet along the first spacing between support braces, when I ran into something i couldn’t see, and a wasp flew by. I instantly backed up and called for Nathan to do the same. It took us awhile to locate it, but there were about  four wasps helping us locate the nest. We extricated our supplies, since the wasps were not interested in us, yet, and planned to come back after dark.

So the wasps determined whether or not we got much of the underside done. But we did spray that nest, and checked the rest of the deck to assure there weren’t any others.  The decks, and stairs, have been especially appealing to wasps this year.

So weather determined the timing and whether we got the deck staining complete. We have completed all necessary for immediate use and enjoyment, but whether we get the underside done anytime soon, to assure the longterm health of the deck, remains to be seen. Saturday is work, and over 95 degrees forecast.

Posted in Politics, Social Issues, Uncategorized

Don’t mess with Pinky and the Brain

Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world

They’re Pinky and The Brain 
Yes, Pinky and The Brain 
One is a genius 
The other’s insane. 
They’re laboratory mice 
Their genes have been spliced 
They’re dinky 
They’re Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain 
Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain 

Before each night is done 
Their plan will be unfurled 
By the dawning of the sun 
They’ll take over the world. 

They’re Pinky and The Brain 
Yes, Pinky and The Brain 
Their twilight campaign 
Is easy to explain. 
To prove their mousey worth 

They’ll overthrow the Earth 
They’re dinky 
They’re Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain 
Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain 

They always say not to discuss Religion and Politics at work, or in polite society. What they forgot to mention, is don’t malign a favorite cartoon character/cultural icon in public either.

Actually, now that I think about it, they can discuss their trash talk politics all they want, and malign anyone i’m for, and that won’t really get me.  But don’t misuse my cartoon heroes.

My example is someone who has not disguised his concern and disdain over Trump as president, so when he made the below post to his social media site, I knew it wasn’t intended as a compliment:

Trump and the Brain…”What’re we going to do tonight, Brain?

Now I could care less about what he is meaning to say about Trump, but how dare malign Pinky so!

I am sure he is thinking of the line in the theme song:

One is a genius 
The other’s insane. 

And is thinking that Pinky is the insane one. But the astute follower of the show knows that this is really less clear than you would think. Why Pinky himself, in an online interview, when asked which was which, the genius and the insane, said: “Well we all know the answer to that!”

Which really means that it isn’t as obvious  as it seems. Why do Brain’s schemes always crash, and Pinky’s almost succeed until Brain goofs them up? Sure, Brain has all the knowledge, but when you watch closely, Pinky is the one who really understands things.

So I decided to try to gently make them reflect on the positive nature of Pinky when I responded:

I am glad to see you are finally mellowing on Trump. To make him the likable, companionable, genius sidekick that saves the world from domination by an insane lunatic each night.

The reply was “umm”

Others followed his comment by saying the Brain was Russia. By that score, I would see Trump as the best friend of Russia that prevents them from taking over the world each night.  What a win-win political scenario!

No, you just can’t mess with, or try to twist Pinky and the Brain. Its like when the bully tried to pick a fight we me on the school bus back in fifth grade. He expected a quick fold on my part, not that the awkward windmilling, peaceful farm boy would put him quickly to tears. Neither did the bus driver, who was ready to let me get whooped, but not him.

Oh, its fun to talk politics, but don’t get yourself in a knot over them. While important, the metaphors of real life, like our cartoon heroes, are much more important to defend.


Posted in Social Issues

Yellow Deli: Beautiful ambiance and graciously nutritious food, but also a religious cult?

On our visit to Chattanooga recently we encountered the Yellow Deli. We enjoyed the food, the music, and the service received. The decor had Hebraic references, and the 24/5 opening schedule made us think of a Jewish background. It also had an influence that would remind us of the 60s hippie movement.

But we never thought it would be the controversial group the below article details;

Even so, here are some pictures of the decor that so enthralled us:

And here are some nighttime exteriors:


Posted in Family, Social Issues

Of dogs, toes and tempers

Today’s post starts with the perils of our dog, Rocky, who has been limping since we got home since the day we returned from LibertyCon. Since we worked all the days in between, we didn’t get him to the veterinarian until today.

The Vet said something was wrong with a right rear toe, and needed to x-ray, which also meant sedating him.  So we did so, and they confirmed a broken toe (the other options was cancer as a cause — fortunately ruled out), which means a splint for 4-8 weeks, and the “cone of shame” to keep him from worrying the splint/cast.

But he is already much better. Moving around more surely. He will probably be fully used to the splint about the time it gets to come off, and have to learn to walk all over again.


Rocky covers the dog and toes portion of the headline; the second part of the post will cover the toes and tempers part.

I was at Chickie’s and Pete’s at Ocean’s of Fun where I got to hear an (unfortunately) unique conversation: A guest was talking to an associate’s supervisor, with the associate there, to praise him for how well he handled a difficult guest — the difficult guest being the one giving the compliment. The guest realized afterwards, apparently, how unfair he had been to the associate while making his complaint. He complimented the associate for keeping his cool, for being the “better man” than the guest had been, and for walking away at the appropriate moment rather than turn the episode into something they both would have regretted.

The associate in question is part of the foods team, but as a part of the merchandise team I felt a sense of shared pride in our “one team” service well done, and I also felt good to know that so many young associates (this one was definitely a teen) were proving themselves capable of mature responsible actions through the opportunities presented to them through the amusement park.

That associate gave me good, pleasant service, at the register. But when my order was called up I realized my receipt tape showed three regular cutlets instead of  regular and one buffalo. But the associate bringing out the food very quickly understood my situation and had one converted to buffalo.

Perfection isn’t required, the ability to do a quality job and to solve when needed, are needed. How one handles fixing things is the key thing.

Posted in Social Issues

Sabbatical Update: Good Deed Punished

Well, the past week was the extreme of lack of schedule. All due to one person we attempted to help, and who we may have helped, or may have ultimately merely enabled.

I ran across this person as an acquaintance while out biking, developed a correspondence, and ended up months later helping him after he got out of the hospital. By this point he was also homeless.

When we took him in, originally for one night, ultimately for a couple of weeks, we entered a certain sort of looking-glass world. It sort of reminded me of a part of my upbringing: my parents were good friends with another couple, so periodically we would spend an evening at their place, or they at ours. Whenever we visited them, we did what their daughter wanted, because we were guests; whenever they visited us, we did what their daughter wanted, because she was the guest.  Thus it was with this homeless “friend”.

Our choice in everything, from food, music, etc., underwent the critique. No respect for the hours of the household. Up at all times of the night with TV and music. True, he did help resolve some technical issues with our TV smartcast, but everything was always his perspective. There was the constant mantra that people don’t listen to other people talk, i.e. I wasn’t listening to him, but things I had discussed with him three times he had no memory of (when it suited him), and if he said A today, tomorrow he asserted he has said B yesterday.

During the process of helping him out, we learned that he had bounced from one friend’s home to another after leaving the hospital, each one using him either for access to drugs or sex, and so were very clear to make it understood that our assistance was based on neither of these, or any other expected return from him. We also reiterated that he has not a charity case, that we were helping him develop his plan to get back to independence again.

And yet at the end, his own duplicity did him in.  We didn’t drive him out, he fled himself. He warned us against the danger of dealing with one of his old lovers, a drug dealer, and yet he was the one who called said lover over and over again, gave him his address. And when we tried to get them seated in a three-way conversation, it was our house guest who ran away, and the dangerous dealer who showed dignity, respect, and good ethics.

Not every one can be helped. Sometimes people have to crash and almost burn before they can realize their need to accept the assistance that can make them free.

Posted in Fitness, Social Issues, Uncategorized

Fitness Update: Viral Reboot

For those of you who.  are regular follwers of “Be Swift Be Precise” you will have notice a real oddity this past “long” weekend: The blog has gone postless for three days.

This breaks a string of unbroken posts for at least two years or longer. The reason, quite simply, relates to my physical fitness, yet also to many of the more subtle pieces of the fitness balance.

Wednesday evening I had an idea for the Thursday post, shot up a headline on my draft board, and didn’t get any farther. Tiredness and a slight chill sent me to bed early. Thursday, I got online, for work only, but didn’t hit anything personal. By the end of the day I was in a bout with a full viral assault that the doctor on Friday morning assured me wasn’t the flu, but the distinction didn’t really matter to me that much. I didn’t personally complete the Thursday post you saw — I dictated and my “stenographer” did the actual web access. Thus from Wednesday night until I came back up finally on Sunday afternoon, I was entirely devoid of web presence, given or received.

It might be a slight use of hyperbole to claim that I approached a sometimes hallucinatory state during times Thursday evening and Friday, but I did have very curious dreams, that brought up interesting correlations of data and personal history. Being disengaged from the net was probably a wise thing during this time, if I could have even thought enough to make the attempt to engage.

All this, of course, has occurred during a time when I am very busy with several new demanding projects happening all at the same time. So now that I have, practically speaking, lost almost an entire week’s forward progress of my life that I need to reacquire, I have to come to some triage decisions of how to make that happen.

For health, I cannot start out to fast. I said I came up on Sunday afternoon, but that doesn’t mean I emerged completely whole and hale. Until I have my full energy, I need to use only the energy that I currently have.

So, while I get some of the other pieces in place, it may be a week or two before I get back to the daily posting schedule. I don’t know whether the weekly feature days or the special topic days will emerge first — it may be mixture of the two depending on where the space and energy emerge — but the daily posting schedule will arise again.

For the other parts of my life: work obviously will slide right back into its regular slot; school will have to be fit in along the cracks, and found a way to get completed and caught up, since I started a week late and am now practically two weeks behind.

Church will be there, to attend, and to immerse in.

Somewhere I need to get my “personal” reading time in — which has almost exclusively been the book club book for the past couple years. Since I was offline, I tried reading the hard-copy book during my down time. My brain power could manage a measly 20-30 pages a day.

Everything done, in its time, with a buffer planned somewhere for more of the unexpected. The ride for the next couple of weeks and months could be interesting.

Posted in Education, Gonzaga University, Social Issues, Uncategorized

The Thesis

Since I began my Master’s degree in January 2014, I have spent a significant amount of time blogging about various classes and reading for my degree.

But I’ve taken a break from the program for almost a year, due to work considerations. Yet today, I am suddenly back in gear. Starting the class late, but aiming to finish it up by spring.

This is the capstone course: writing the Thesis. Despite all my preparations, I feel like I have no idea how to get it done, yet also feel confident that it can and will get done.

My catch-phrase I started at work is going to hold me in good standing here: “Let’s Pool Our Ignorance”.

So this weekend I will be writing up my 1 page initial proposal and see where that goes.