Sampson napping on his favorite rug

Sampson napping on  his favorite rug
happy, happy, happy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why Write A Blog?

You probably have guessed, at this point, that, among other things, I also am a philosopher. I post to this blog when the spirit moves me to write – relatively often. As my regular readers know, I’m not shy about airing my opinions and sharing my experiences with a wide audience.

Often, we see people who send comments, especially inflammatory comments, in response to widely-read, online newspaper articles. Hiding behind an ego-stroking fake name, a pseudonym, it is easy for them to hurl insults back and forth, as no one knows who they are. I always use my own name, in the interests of accountability and credibility. That’s my old-school training, I guess, but it lets me and others know that my feelings and opinions are authentically mine. And that's why I write a blog.

U.S. Wolves & the Endangered Species List –

Here is a copy of my letter, recently postal-mailed to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. My letter seeks to keep the wolf protected, as ranchers already have the legal right to kill any wolf who may bother said rancher’s cattle. Please note that our Secretary of the Interior is a senator from Colorado, where there is significant special interest effort to lobby against the wolf. I sent a similar letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to overturn the Salazar decision. If you would like to protect the wolves from widespread and indiscriminate destruction (including pups and expectant mothers), please consider writing on their behalf.

Here is my letter:

Secretary Ken Salazar
U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

In order to avoid a disastrous and barbaric mass destruction of U.S. wolves, please withdraw the plan to remove the protected status from this historically persecuted animal. Please conduct the rigorous kind of scientific review that President Obama has championed on other environmental and ethical issues in the past, rather than implementing the Bush-administration’s concept of wolf-killing, sadly so typical of that administration’s catering to special-interest lobbyists and of the smorgasbord of colossal damage for which it is responsible.

I well remember the sincerity, care, and insight with which President Obama voted on environmental and humane legislation while he was in the Senate. I am aware that our country is currently trying to solve a myriad of major problems – problems largely created by the previous administration – but we must not take our eyes off other important situations, such as the survival of the U.S. wolf. The last time wolves lost their protection, 110 of them were riddled with bullets within 120 days. I implore you to preserve what we still have left of our country’s environmental and natural heritage.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


Clara M. Landau, Ph.D.


The “Dance, Dance, Dance” Link –

The post title is mine, not the dance troupe's. I came across this link recently. It’s great fun to watch, again and again.

The info about it says it is a commercial that was shot at the Liverpool Street Subway Station in London on January 15th. Only the dancers knew what was to happen; the general public didn't have a clue what was about to unfold. The link is on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM.

Enjoy!


Pre-storm –

There was one such time recently; it lasted between two and four minutes, during which the wind rose in the dramatic crescendo of waves and swirls that prefaces rain. It whistled in little howling voices and pushed us around on our porch balcony. It pulled my hair outward and upward. Dixie Lee’s ears blew backward and were close against her head. Small tree branches snapped and flew around before landing on the balcony floor and the ground below. We were too excited to go indoors, in too much wonderment to hide.

I swear we both morphed (at least in spirit) into wild beasts, with our fur ruffled and rippling, all senses at the ready, standing on our craggy cliff, our faces forward in the currents of wind and energy.

You probably can tell that I’m excited and energized by storms and weather phenomena and sometimes I seek them out, but this one came calling at my address. Dixie Lee and I stayed on the porch balcony until the danger point was nigh, at which time we ducked indoors and listened to the rain on the metal roof.


Song Population –

I wonder if there are millions or even billions of songs that have been composed and are still known throughout the world. Just closing my eyes for a few minutes and letting that mental ticker-tape of song titles travel across my mind makes me realize the incalculable amount of creative energy that has gone into song writing through the ages. I’ve contributed majorly, even disproportionately to the song population (if we were to imagine for a moment that everyone had a permit to give birth to two songs). Fortunately, the realm of artistic creativity doesn’t work that way!

And, to sum up on a kinda-sorta frivolous note: Two song titles popped up in my head, as dueling opposites of each other ... at opposite ends of the music spectrum in the world of cover songs (songs composed by other people); they are "Who Let The Dogs Out?" and "Let’s Build A Stairway To The Stars." Think of these as bookends to the vast library of songs out there in the world, and you may smile!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Journey To The Park in Threesome –

Today my daughter, the lovely Shara, drove down from Maggie Valley, NC to visit with me. I’m always ecstatic when she comes because we get a chance to girl-talk, shop, sip cups of tea, and go to lunch. We did those things today. And – we decided to drive to the park and do some walking. We didn’t want to disappoint Dixie Lee, my dog (see photographs of), so decided to take her along with us. The only wrinkle in the plan was the need to fit an 80-pound dog who is accustomed to riding with a seat belt wrapped around her, along with Shara and me, in the 2-seater cab of my truck. I was the driver; Shara had to wedge herself in the middle of the seat of the vehicle, somehow co-existing with a five-speed floor-shift. It was a comic and amusing ride, really a lot of fun. Our walk was great and there were a number of other people in the park with their dogs. When we ran out of steam, we carefully loaded ourselves back into my truck and drove back home. Along the way, Shara athletically managed to snap a picture of herself with my cell phone, next to Dixie Lee, who, by that time, was slightly drooling. What a great day that came to an end too soon, as always, as the hands of the clock spun around. And, as always, I waved goodbye and shed tears, as I watched Shara’s car drive out of sight on her journey home.

Predatory –

I’ve recently been told, in carefully chosen, delicate terms, that I am ... er, hmm, well ... seeking to entice a troubled, struggling man onto an erring path; the concept was articulated to me by said individual. Gosh ... I was told that he "can feel the tension" and needs to "distance" himself! Well, that certainly was unexpected, but I have thought of a rebuttal of sorts: Should it not be in my nature to fix my sight on the quarry? After all, I’m the Lady Wolf, not the Lady Deer or the Lady Salamander! My ego is tempted to flex its muscle and smirk "Sorry you just can’t deal with it' (it being that quietly elusive temptress quality that I find myself momentarily wishing to possess)! :)


Oak Leaf Friday –

Yesterday I spent the entire day clearing out oak leaves that had covered my flower beds, wedged themselves between, over, and under the gazillion rocks that border the walkway and garden, carpeted the front lawn, and tangled themselves intricately in the branches of my shrubs. Did I neglect to do leaf removal in the autumn? No, it had been thoroughly done by a handyman leaf service in November and again in January. Do I have oak trees? No, but the large yard perched on an incline across the street has oak trees. Why am I writing about this? Just to vent, I guess. The people who live there watch ever so gleefully each year as tons of oak leaves swirl, dance, and gust from their yard into their neighbors’ yards, those adjoining and those that are here on the downslope across the roadway. I’ve seen the oak owners strolling around their yard, winking at the brown, crispy leaves and waving "bon voyage". The "plus" is (and this is really a stretch but I was determined to find a plus) in finding that sometimes the bogged-down leaves have insulated a tender plant or an interesting caterpillar from the winter cold.

One Year Anniversary!

It’s been one year since computer Clarence III was vacuumed and bit the dust and replacement computer, Dexter March, came on the scene. They are both HPs. Clarence has since been repaired, I’m happy to say, and joins Dexter in celebration :)

The March Of The Seasons!

Spring is definitely in the air. My song "Spring Is In The Air" is on my "Is She Calling You?" CD. It’s light classical and I will put it up on my website for the next few months.

“Requiem For Animals” – Gift Offering

"Requiem For Animals" is my new classical music piece that I am offering to non-profit animal advocacy organizations as a gift. Use it as a film score, education tool, documentary background. Hear it on my website, which will soon be moved to www.claralandau.com on the link entitled "Passion & Compassion". If you like what you hear and want a CD of the song, contact me and I’ll send you one, absolutely free.