Filosofa Rants …

How long must this mess go on?

Filosofa's Word

Tonight I am on a rant.  I do know that what Trump actually does is more important than what he says, but … sometimes the two go hand-in-hand.  Now that a formal impeachment inquiry has been started, we fully expect him to go off the rails for the duration, and I’ve said before that he is even more dangerous when he feels threatened or cornered, as he surely must feel now.

Round and round it goes, where it stops no one knows

Ever since the news of the whistleblower was first hinted at, life for those of us who care about such things, has been rather like being in a high-speed blender … far too many goings-on to keep up with, far too many jaw-dropping moments.  And it just keeps getting crazier and crazier … I well remember the Watergate era, the resignation of President Richard Nixon … yes, I…

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First, a description of belties and other types of cattle, especially in Cumbria. Next, a book on offer by Jim Webster about the farm stock and working dogs on his farm. A review by a satisfied reader is included.

Jim Webster


The Belted Galloway is one of our traditional native breeds (although it was only formally established as a separate breed in 1921.) They’re tough cattle, and can live on poor quality pasture and can cope with unpleasant weather conditions. When I was a child, one of the farms in the village nearest to us had to do everything differently. While every other farm in the parish milked Friesian cattle and used the Hereford bull to serve those cows they didn’t want dairy heifers off, he milked Ayrshires and used a Belted Galloway bull instead of the Hereford. His livestock were no better behaved and no worse behaved than anybody else’s.
Yet our Vet was based north of us and covered a lot of the South-West of the Lake District, and had to deal with a lot of farms where they ran suckler herds. Fifty years ago, one of these herds…

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Leading by a nose

First, a description by Jim Webster of raising cows and their behavior when young. Next, a book by Jim on offer about a mystery featuring Tallis’ friend Benor the cartographer. A good review by a satisfied reader is included.

Jim Webster


One of the things you learn when working with cattle is that that they tend to lead with the nose. It’s obvious that scent is very important to them, and at the same time, if the nose is sniffing something, the eyes and ears are conveniently placed to study the object of interest as well. When you think about it, herbivores, being towards the bottom of the foodchain, tend to try and look in all directions simultaneously. It’s vitally important that they see what’s coming and there are no blind spots. Cows might seem to treat the rest of the world with casual disregard when they’re focused on you, but in reality, they still have a 300 degree field of vision because their eyes are at the side of the head. Terry Pratchett in fact took this and extrapolated it in one of his stories, with a bull whose head…

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Eat, Play, Swim & Sleep~

More beautiful polar bear photos taken by Cindy Knoke at Hudson’s Bay.

Works for me. I love doing all of these things, and this is what we saw polar bears doing, as they wait for the ice to freeze, so they can go hunt seals on Hudson Bay.

The cub is eating the spine with ribs attached of a mammal the bears killed and you can see the dark colored blood on the rocks from their kill site. There was also another critter here that mama and baby bear continuously growled at. Most likely another bear, but we never saw it hiding in the rocks.

Scientists disagree about whether Hudson Bay polar bears eat or hunt while they wait for the ice to freeze, but this cub has the blood on his paw to prove he does both!

We nearly missed this big bear swimming near our zodiac.

Here he is leaving the water.

And of course the play. We saw mamas…

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A Great Coastal City Evacuation

Photo Copyright: Na’ama Yehuda

Here we are again and this week we’re gathered near a long line on a rainy day. We’ve come together to discuss our original stories for the week. This is the Friday Fictioneer’s group. Our hostess for the gathering is the talented and gracious author and artist, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The challenge for each of us this week and every week is to write a story with no more than 100 words, not counting the title. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and be inspired by the picture prompt for the week. This week’s prompt was provided by Na’ama Yehuda. Thanks, Na’ama. To read the other stories by group members, just click on the link below, then on the smiling frog. Next, follow the given directions.

27 September 2019

Genre: Apocalyptic Sci-Fi

Word Count: 99 Words

A Great Coastal City Evacuation by P.S. Joshi


It was 2040. Rain began but didn’t stop. After two days, warnings for an evacuation began.

First, to leave by bus or private cars. Soon, the news carried a more ominous sign.

“People of New York City and other major coastal cities, ocean barriers are being breached. We’ll open them soon. On several docks, U.S. Navy ships are lining up for sea evacuation. Highways are jammed. Don’t go that way. We’re moving the present evacuation centers back for miles. Nearby airports are closing.”

Many staunch climate change deniers were forced to face the truth. Some panicked. It was expected.

Feeding the fishes

First, a highly amusing tale involving Tallis Steelyard’s friend Maljie, the Temple Warden of the Shrine of Aea in Port Naain and some fish. Next, another entertaining book on offer by Tallis’ friend Jim Webster containing other fishing stories. A review by a highly satisfied reader is included.

Tallis Steelyard

Feeding the fishes

It has to be said that I never heard this tale of Maljie’s past from the lady in person. This one I had from Laxey, the sub-Hierodeacon. It has to be confessed that like Temple Wardens, the various levels of the hierodeaconate are chosen not for their overwhelming spirituality, but because they are useful when it comes to hewing wood, drawing water, and intimidating the inappropriately rumbustious. Still, Laxey told me this story, shortly before he disappeared on a week-long silent retreat. Given that there may have been fasting involved, it could be that his superiors considered the exercise to be more penitential than spiritual.

This tale, if I understand Laxey aright, probably comes during the period after Maljie’s mother had inadvertently misplaced both husband and fortune. Because of this oversight on her part the family were forced to relocate to less salubrious surroundings. Notwithstanding the family’s failing fortunes, Maljie’s…

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An interview with Tallis Steelyard

First, a lively interview with Tallis Steelyard in which you learn a great deal about him. He also includes a romantic tale of his. There are also two books by his friend Jim Webster on offer. The first book gives helpful advice for writers and other stories. The second book is about a group of young ladies who cause a serious problem which is finally resolved. Reviews by satisfied readers are included.

Tallis Steelyard


It’s not often Tallis agrees to be interviewed, indeed he’s often somewhat reticent when it comes to answering questions about his past. Still on this occasion, perhaps because the wine was better than average or the company was such as to encourage loquacity, he seems to have opened up a little. Yet to be fair, even here, he manages to ensure we learn more about Virgilio and how he and the lady of his dreams eloped, than we do about Tallis himself.

The original was on that fine website,


 This week it is my pleasure to interview Tallis Steelyard. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers and share something about your life.


I am Tallis Steelyard, poet. I live in the remarkable metropolis of Port Naain where I make a precarious living writing works for my patrons, performing (and indeed organising their various soirees…

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Only in America

We know what needs to be done. Only in America.

Filosofa's Word

It’s September, and you know what that means!  Shorter days, cooler temperatures, the leaves on the trees starting to turn from green to vibrant gold, purple and red.  Pumpkins and apples, the smell of woodsmoke in the air, and … oh yes, those big yellow buses once again rumbling down the street – back to school! school-bus.pngYou won’t see a back-to-school ad like this in France, Germany, or the UK.  You won’t even see an ad like this in Syria or Afghanistan.  Only in America would you would ever see an advertisement like this one.

That was a Public Service Announcement by the Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-violence nonprofit founded by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012.  Raw, jaw-dropping, disturbing?  Yeah, it was meant to be.  Only in America.  What a claim to fame, eh?

This morning, I watched the neighborhood kids walking down the…

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A cosy dinner for three

First, a tale by Tallis Steelyard about a painting that caused two law firms to sue each other. Next, a book on offer by Jim Webster with various stories about Tallis and selling at a most reasonable price. A review by a pleased reader is included.


– by Jim Webster

+++I suppose that in one way, poets and painters have one specific thing in common. We sketch out the original work, then we work away at it until it is mostly finished. Finally comes the endless tweaking to get it just right. So if I mention that Julatine Sypent can be something of a perfectionist you can imagine that this latter part of the process takes some time.
+++This isn’t something that ordinarily matters. A twee cottage isn’t going to get bored if you sit painting it for a full week. On the other hand when he moved to portraits, some sitters grew restive. Still it wasn’t as if Julatine hid this aspect of his personality. Nobody who hired him to paint them could claim that it came as a surprise. Everybody in society knew that if you wanted your likeness painted by Julatine…

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