Caveat: Tree #1703 “Bye, sun”

This tree waved at the departing sun.


A busy day at the store. Trips to the bank and city hall, organizing paperwork. Trying to complete a full-store inventory.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4.5km; retailing, 9hr]

Caveat: the dogs go on with their doggy life

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

- W. H. Auden (British poet, 1907-1973)

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Caveat: Tree #1701 “Barnacle Day”

This tree existed.


Today I spent a major portion of the day scraping barnacles off the bottom of Arthur’s boat. Arthur tried to help but he didn’t really do much.

It’s not perfect, but good enough to put into storage for the winter. Here’s an effort to compare “before and after” on the debarnaclization project – it doesn’t show up very well but the right side in the picture below is already scraped.


It’s easier to see on the back of the boat.


CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km; barnacle-scraping, 5hr]

Caveat: Tree #1700 “Jeep”

This tree remained unaware of my newly acquired junker vehicle.


I bought a junker vehicle yesterday. A Jeep. Doing so was a kind of “chess move” in my battle of wills with Arthur over his wanting to drive. By making clear that the Tahoe is his car, and that I’m borrowing it, I’m hoping he’ll back off on his ambitions. So I’ve explained I bought the jeep in order to have a “backup car” here, but it also means that if he insists, I have an alternate route to town. Anyway he can feel that I haven’t taken his car away from him. I’m somewhat confident that it will be like the situation with his boat: by telling him he’s free to take it on his own, anytime he wants, I believe he’ll feel okay about the situation and never avail himself of the “right,” so to speak.

I got a CT Scan this morning, part of the annual post-cancer wellness check. It’s the first scan I’ve gotten since returning to the US. Hopefully everything’s fine – I’ll find out results at some future point. I realized as I lay there that it was the first time I had a CT scan where the attending technician spoke to me in English. It was a bit weird. in my mind, I was expecting the instructions to be in Korean. [UPDATE, a few days later: The results came back fully negative. No new cancer.]

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km;]

Caveat: Tree #1699 “Waiting”

This tree is probably still in South Korea. I took this picture in September, 2010, in the northwest suburbs of Seoul where I was visiting a friend.


“Thinking is, or ought to be, a coolness and a calmness; and our poor hearts throb, and our poor brains beat too much for that.” – Herman Melville (in Moby-Dick)

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 5km; retailing, 4hr]

Caveat: Tree #1698 “In an anthropomorphized manner”

This tree expected the sun to set, in an anthropomorphized manner.

A dirt road in Southeast Alaska with trees lining either side, and the setting sun touching the tops of a few

I had a very stressful day.

This was due to a conversation with Arthur, this morning, at airport after seeing his brother Alan off. We had driven into town for the early flight at Klawock Airport, and I’m sure that in Arthur’s reasoning, it would have been helpful for him to drop me and for him to come get me from work later – saving me a trip out to the house to drop him off and come back. He was just trying to be helpful, at first, and forgetting (as he so often does) his disabilities, or the years elapsed since their onset.

Arthur: I can drive. I’ll drop you at your work in town and come back later to pick you up.

Me: You haven’t driven in 4 years. I’m not really comfortable with you driving.

Arthur: I can drive fine.

Me: I told you before, you’re free to drive, but I don’t want to ride with you. I don’t feel safe.

Arthur: (blank look)

Me: Four years ago, when we were driving to town, we had an incident where basically you seemed you forgot you were driving. You were trying to multitask, digging around in your pocket, and we went into a ditch slightly. I got scared. I told you I didn’t want to ride with you when you were driving after that.

Arthur: I don’t remember that happening.

Me: I’ve told you about it many times since then, but yes, you’ve forgotten. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Arthur: (a confrontational look, right at me) I think you’re making that up.

Me: Why would I make that up? What reason?

Arthur: (Angrily) I don’t know!

Anyway, I think with all the guests we’ve had over the past several weeks, this broader social context has “stirred Arthur up,” in the sense that he’s suddenly feeling more constrained by his lifestyle than his usual pattern of disregard and lethargy. I also think with my recent increased responsibilities at the store (and his financial loan) has got him feeling more “entitled” at some level to concessions on my part. In principal, this makes sense.

I understand where this is coming from, but frankly it terrifies me. Although this is maybe the third time he’s directly accused me of making up a memory of something that happened as a way to thwart what he expects to happen, this is the first time it’s been about such a serious subject – the previous times were about whether we’d watched a certain TV show episode before, or bought something or not at the store. I’m not sure how to handle this. Especially in the context of the other stuff happening right now.

Later, after I cooled off some, I tried to talk about it more. But he then he kept wanting to change the subject. He did say at one point “I want more access to the car.”

I reiterated what I’d told him before: “I won’t tie you down and prevent you from driving, but I won’t ride with you. And with what’s happening with the store, I realize you have less access to the car than usual.”

So now I’m thinking – maybe I need to buy a car. Just so he has the car sitting there in the driveway, to assuage his sense of abstract liberty – I suspect strongly that he won’t actually use it. That would be the same as with the boat: I’ve told him many times that he’s free to go out on his own in his boat, too – how can I prohibit that? I only reiterate that I think it’s not safe. And he’s never done. Perhaps he’d do the same with the car, sitting in the driveway?

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

Caveat: Tree #1696 “Redwood redux”

This tree is a dawn redwood (metasequoia) that I got in the mail. I had two of these two years ago, but they failed to flourish (which is to say, they went to the great compost heap in the sky). I am going to try again – this time, I think I’ll not put them out in the damp until they’ve had a year to establish themselves as indoor plants first.


CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km; retailing, 6hr]

Caveat: Dehiscing of inscrutable / energies


Before light’s encroaching
Beams, across wavelengths
Of glints, in between yawning
Protocols of waking,
The cocks strike a redundant
Choked by their own sensitve
Yodelling spree, muted by
Spittle of outstretched, moaning
Clouds, frayed and piqued by
The lusts of flying machines,
Hours stretch on rubber’s speed.
The rain is a common spiv, holding
On the crests of soaking waves
Upon night’s purloined
On the roof, the rain pelts
With energy, hunting the
Fire-caked degree of heat,
Insufferable to the dictates
Of yelling protests.
Faint mirrors of earliness hang
Loose on frescoes of heaven, peeking
Through serrated drapes above
Window panes. And these, like neighing,
Spavined horses, wake
Memories of puking slumber...
And the hours of dimmed contours
Stretched. And the lilt from the
Pluvial melody humbles the
Insomnia monody, drummed
Into the silence of fastened hedonism.
No sunrise within the grey
Patterns of veiled clouds...
Cocks’ crows, subsumed within
This muffled protocols, become
Distant trumpets of varieties,
Preening themselves of the usage
Of establishing culture.
Allah, Allah, Allah! ! !
The presence became fixed!
At the very hour of the cocks’ choir,
When piddling gathers the froth of
First waking with the grogginess
Of drunken dreams, the muezzin
Reads out the laws....
From the jungle chambers, elated
Spirits from pricked ears and
Rising furs soothe the voice,
Arched, raised and powered
Even to the birth of essences and
Dehiscing of inscrutable
Energies of efflorescences.
Allah, Allah, Allah!

– Nkwachukwu Ogbuagu (Nigerian poet, b. 1968)
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Caveat: Tree #1694 “The boat”

This tree was by a boat.

A small, somewhat decrepit-looking sport-fishing boat strapped onto a trailer near the shore, with a tree farther away on the right

Art, Allan and I drove up to the north end of the island, on a sight-seeing tour. We went to a village called Whale Pass. We didn’t pass any whales, though. We saw this boat, a float-plane dock, a “city hall” (?) and “clinic” – all closed. I was reminded of some of the end-of-the-road towns I saw in Chilean Patagonia, with no commerce and just some wooden houses and a few public services type buildings but nothing happening. It rained most of the time, though the sun peaked out as we drove back south, at one point.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km; driving 200km]

Caveat: Tree #1693 “Under a lively sky”

This tree glowered under a lively sky.


I had a day of bureaucracy and bureaucracy-adjacent events. I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning (post-cancer annual wellness check-up – 10 years!). I am dealing with a lot of stuff for the gift store (more on that later). I had to renew my driver’s license at the bustling Craig DMV (I wasn’t LATE – I had until midnight, today, the woman said). Et cetera.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km;]

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