Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summertime Salmagundi

Back again on Tuesday. Time for meat, beer and colorful explosions.

Finally it feels like we're at the doorstep of high summer. Professional weather-watchers say it'll be pushing 100° F. here in northern Illinois tomorrow, and I say it's about time. Naturally, it won't last. This isn't South Texas.

What's the collective for dragonflies? Swarm, maybe, but that isn't very interesting. Other insects get collectives such as army, cloud, flutter, intrusion (cockroaches), plague and scourge, among others. One source suggests a "dazzle" or "levitation" of dragonflies. Not bad. The question comes to mind because dragonflies are in force now, seemingly more than in other years. Dragonflies arc and dive by day; fireflies make their traces in the twilight.

Saw an ad for the new Captain America movie recently, which was the first I'd heard of it. At least he seems to be fighting cartoon Nazis, his proper function, but it made me wonder: haven't there been enough movie adaptations of super-hero yarns already? Haven't they all been done? Guess not. This cartoon still offers the possibility of a gritty, live-action reboot. Or this one.

Received ten dollar coins from a bank teller not long ago. I was glad to see that the presidential series has gotten around to Andrew Johnson and U.S. Grant. I can't find a citation for it right now, but I seem to remember that, when asked why he'd run for president, he said, "I needed a job." Apocryphal, maybe, but a likable quote.

Somehow I'm in possession of a little pamphlet produced by a well-known sect -- known for their aversion to blood transfusions, for one thing -- entitled "All Suffering SOON TO END!" I can't say that I've actually read all of it, but I did note a money quote: "Soon God will intervene in human affairs by destroying this entire unsatisfactory system of things," meaning, it seems, all the works of man.

But that's not why I like it. The cover features a painting of a happy man and woman in the foreground, sitting next to a collection of pumpkins and big apples in a field of flowers. In background is a mountain, some pine trees, some fall-foliage trees, a house and a couple of horses, one with a rider. Right behind the man and woman is a moose. A huge bull moose with huge antlers.

Look at the painting long enough and it seems that the moose, not the happy couple, is the focus of the image. What's going on here? Does the moose have some significance in this religion that most of us don't know about? If so, I'd think more highly of them for it.

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