Blushes of Warmth: Some Randomness Today

150 Hits in One Day!

Wow. We got nearly 150 hits in one day yesterday! That’s not even an achievement in the world of real blogging (i.e. for profit or political advantage), but it’s a major development in the little world of Wakdjunkaga’s Blog, nearly doubling all the views so far. I’m quite pleased, although I have to admit the obvious advertising I tried on Facebook yesterday afternoon clearly paid off and therefore proves lessons about shameless self-promotion I would rather not acknowledge.

Regardless, thanks all, for taking the time from real life to visit my little realm of musings and maunderings. Please, follow the lead of my distant friend Sharon (who actually bothered to comment yesterday—fantastic!) and tell all your friends. I would actually enjoy being forced to consider what it’s like to write for an audience of more than one (or two or three).

 

 

 

 

another cold day in Iowa (notice the plant I call “zazu grass” to the left)

Still Cold Here…

looking west from the office (sorry about the screen—again)

I just decided on the title of this piece, and I wish it referred to the temperature outdoors (or here in the little office Janet decided last late winter we were going to create from our third bedroom). It’s still below zero out there with a noticeable breeze shoving and tugging at the neighbors’ little stand of zazu grass and the tips of the lilac bush just outside my west window. Since the office sits on the northwest corner of our house—featuring the irritating view of Gasser True Value and Fareway’s backsides; my, how I miss the old field and the cows—it’s probably only about 55 in here. Even with my defingered gloves cloaking my palms and (up to the first knuckle) fingers, the keyboard is cold to the touch today. And we’re looking forward to more snow already—heading in Wednesday night into Thursday, supposedly four to eight inches. I am beginning to be very glad that Janet suggested we buy a new snowblower…

Ah, well, Iowa in winter. Probably you will all be reading about shoveling and snowblowing adventures later this week. All the news broadcasts last night were jubilantly (weather people are a strange breed) demonstrating that Minnesota and Iowa had the coldest air in the nation flowing directly south from Hudson’s Bay at us—a dark purple trace directly down the body of Minnesota, widening over Iowa. Officially, winter’s just begun, too.

Limitations of Our Electronic Reality

Speaking of nature, I called the neighbors’ planting “zazu grass”—a term I acquired orally from Janet (so I’m just guessing at the spelling), but trying to search that word on Google and Yahoo gave me no results—except for the Lion King hornbill , a California hair salon and roadhouse, and an Alabama restaurant. Yahoo suggested I try “Yahoo Answers,” but that route also ended in frustration and The Lion King. Wikipedia (as I had predicted to myself) was even more worthless, being even more mired in popular culture and teenagers’ preoccupations than the internet at large (meaning only The Lion King). The Encylopaedia Britannica site, being so veddy veddy British, predictably had nothing on either “zazu” or “zazu graass.”

There’s food for thought here. Are we growing too dependent on a source of information that actually restricts the amount of information we can receive to elements from popular culture only? I mentioned in revising my personal profile for this site yesterday that I have a novel about François Villon baking. Internet research on fifteenth century Paris is remarkably limited in its results (even in French—more or less unreadable to me), whereas various books I own (and many more cited as references in those books’ bibliographies) provide much more. But fifteenth century Paris is not particularly part of popular culture, even with a Disneyfication of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The internet feels, especially with multiple thousands—sometimes millions—of hits resulting from any search, that it has unlimited resources of information online. But so often it turns out to be the same stuff reported in often the very same words from site to site. Or the paranoid expostulations of politically psychotic conspiracy addicts…

Looking for Your Help

Here’s the plant. What is it? What would you call it?

Perhaps more on all that later. For right now, my frustration about having the right word for this plant made me think that having a visual search engine would be useful. (I know that Google and some others are working on just that. Even my iPhoto program tries to create a database of faces from all the photos I load on the computer.) And then I realized that if I had some readers, perhaps I could draw on your knowledge to identify what I was looking at. Examine the picture and let me know, if you know. Possibly the real value of the internet is the digital communities we are forging into existence by our use of computerized communications.

I just learned yesterday that if you click on the photos in WordPress blogs, you can see the full image in its true size (which means to me that I don’t have to keep working so hard at the placement and sizing of pictures from now on). It also means that you can click on the “zazu grass” image to see the plant somewhat larger, and hopefully that enhancement will help your identification.

This seems a kind of a cheat as an entry for today, but I really have been thinking about the weather and the information unavailable via the internet.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.


6 thoughts on “Blushes of Warmth: Some Randomness Today

  1. It’s an ornamental grass of some sort…very difficult to determine which kind in its wintered state. Could be miscanthus, which is what I believe we have in our yard. I take it that the plant came with the house?

  2. Thanks, Kathee! A quick search makes that seem likely except for the tropical nature of that plant. —I think they planted it last summer or even the summer before.

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