All necessary translations have been made .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... There was a soft knock at my front door, so I opened it without hesitation, but I saw no one until my gaze dropped to knee-level where to my amazement I saw an alien. The freaky little visitor padded in stockinged feet across my gleaming hardwood living room floor, and settled onto my moiré antique silk-upholstered sofa, actually a davenport for which I had paid a small fortune many years ago and had kept in perfect condition so that it briefly occurred to me, even within my sudden mental tumult, to hope that my visitor was not sticky or otherwise begrimed as it placed its strange posterior upon my treasu

Longing for the stars...

I do not know why it is so much fun for me to create science fiction scenarios, but I do know that it is grand to continue humanity’s long tradition of longing for the stars. Someday, someone will get there, and I hope I am still here to see it. Caption: Pictorial Schematic Of Our Landing Fleet’s Destination, by Annmarie Throckmorton 2017.

The Sorry Edge Of Town.

Our family always lived in a different state from my maternal grandparents, so the only glimpses that I had of my maternal grandmother were when we visited in Illinois. She had pale blue eyes, fine red curly hair, clear skin with freckles, and was of average height for a woman at the time. She probably had a good figure hidden under her girth. She moved easily, but she did not move often. She favored bright, floral dresses and always look crisp and clean. As a child, I remember being impressed, scandalized, and confused by her peep-toed shoes because my mother disapproved of them but my grandmother flaunted them to her. When my maternal grandmother grew old her legs became very swollen

Bittersweet Orange Marmalade Memories.

Please pardon my crudity, “Crap, I have crepey skin.” There are fine lines on my neck and inside of my elbows. What would I expect at almost seventy? Am I looking too closely? Probably. Just like every other mortal soul who has ever lived, for all of my life I have felt that I was immortal, having not yet experienced the alternative, it seemed that this healthy little animal body would never die on me. In fact, I had so much vitality, so much sanguinity, that throughout my adulthood I donated my surplus, pints of blood to the American Red Cross on a fairly regular basis. Then in my sixties I passed out after giving blood, I tried one more time and passed out again. My long-time friend

Title: Blue Christmas Parallax

My late father used to say, “Try to be happy.” which was wise and good advise. Merry Christmas! Caption: Blue Christmas Parallax by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.

Kamchatka volcanoes send Christmas snow to Bloomington, Illinois, USA.

Last night I played the Sims FreePlay mobile game on my Kindle, until four-thirty this morning. I was down to the wire on time, trying to get a snow chalet for my SimsTown. I had played for several days trying to accomplish it, with multiple timers going so that I could move the multiple Sims characters’ activities forward, while I actually lived my own life. But, nooo, Electronic Arts (now Fire Monkeys) timed me out just before I completed the last task. In compensation, the game gave me ten sparkly gold Life Style Diamonds (a lot) "For Your Troubles", like I was serving staff to the gods. Ugh, that is all part of the game addiction process, they know what they are doing. However, I

Beautiful Maui and the Road to Hana.

It is said that the road to Hana is the most beautiful in the world. I never found out, being deterred by the “617 curves, 54 one-lane bridges, tropical rainforests, bamboo jungles, waterfalls, tropical streams and pools, and spectacular cliffs”. Frankly, according to the map, Hana is located at the business end of Haleakalā volcano, and by that time in my Hawaiian vacation I had seen enough of volcanoes. After a few tight curves around steep cliffs, I turned my little rental car around the other way and went looking for a botanical garden. I wanted to see a collection of Hawaiian flora all in one place, with name plates and maybe even descriptions, to learn more about the beautiful plant

In The Eye Of A Whale.

My experience had been lost in the minutia of thousands of days gone by, but this was no ordinary occurrence. While posting my memories of touring the Hawaiian islands twenty years ago, I suddenly remembered gazing into the eye of a massive whale. It was swimming on its side below me, curling along under the second-story bow of an excursion boat, off the coast of the Hawaiian islands. A guide called out, “AVAST (STOP is the modern equivalent), there’s a whale off the bow.” Everyone rushed to the bow railing. Fifty or more of us hung over the rail as the sleek, powerful body paused below to gaze up at us. With my usual good travel fortune, I was directly above its eye, down into which I

Today is the Winter Solstice, 2017.

On the midwinter day, during which daylight is shortest and nighttime is longest, I used to curl up in my papasan chair after work with a library book and a cup of honeyed tea, but that was half a century ago, before my back injuries and before computers. Today on this midwinter day, I am contentedly retired to bed with my bed wedge pillow set, drinking honeyed tea, reading an eBook on my Kindle, and intermittently playing my Sims FreePlay mobile game. This morning I bought a third Sims horse for my Sims stable, I am building a Sims restaurant, my Sims toddler is ready to have a birthday, and I have twenty-some Sims characters planting potatoes for Simoleons to pay for it all. What a stra

The real meaning of “Aloha” in Hawaiian is Love, Peace, and Compassion.

I took a red-eye flight departing the Midwest at night to arrive in Honolulu on the main island of Hawaii bright and early, twelve hours later. I knew that I could sleep on the plane. For reasons lost in time, my plane was diverted on weary peregrinations up and down the west coast of the continental United States. I think that I recall a middle-of-the-night transfer to a different plane where all passengers were herded like sleepy toddlers from one plane across the runway tarmac to another plane with flight attendants running our luggage along side of us, but that may have been a bizarre dream. Ultimately I arrived in Hawaii at 3:00 AM in the middle of a subsequent night. As part of my

Helicopter Pilot Whose Specialty Was Flying Over Volcanoes!

I said, “Gee, that isn’t much of a lava flow.” To which the helicopter pilot replied, “Oh, you want a closer view, let’s hang sideways!” And he proceeded to sling the helicopter into a sideways tilt, swooping down over the glowing red eye of magma, which was suddenly much, much larger and stinkier. The British passenger in the back, screamed. I glanced back and he was clinging in a rictus of fear to the top far side of the passenger compartment. I felt sorry for him, I really did, but I had no control over the pilot, or my own fate at the moment, so I ignored my own fear, hung down in my seatbelts over the glowing red eye of magma flowing under the dark crust of the volcano vent, and co

Buck-gallup in Haleakalā

I looked into the tough, young horse tour guide’s grimy, blond unshaved face, and asked, “If the volcano erupts will you make sure that we all get out safely?” His eyes shifted away, he snorted with a sneer, but he said nothing. I was worried about the hefty oriental couple who inexplicably wore flowing yellow plastic rain ponchos for our ride into the Haleakalā volcano caldera. Horses spook when things fly around them, that is just what they do. I was surprised that the guide let them ride wearing ponchos, especially as there was zero chance of rain on that day, high up above the clouds, on top of Haleakalā volcano. Our tour guide led our descent into Haleakalā, everyone else strung out

...within sniffing distance of a volcano...

Caption: Happy Face In The Pacific Ocean. —photograph by Annmarie Throckmorton, Hawaii 1998. The photographs tell one story of my exploration of Hawaiian volcanoes, the other story is that as long as I was within sulfur sniffing distance of a volcano it evoked primal terror in me. I persevered with my usual strategy: weigh the odds, if they are favorable and if I really value the experience, do it once quickly and savor the moment forever. I checked into a brimstone-and-rotten-eggs room at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Lodge, 1 Crater Rim Dr, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 · (808) 985-6000. The lodge was perched above the rim of Kīlauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the w

The Great King Kamehameha of Hawaii (1756-1819)

Until I wrote this blog post today, I did not know that my girlfriend Michio’s name is typically a male name. Pronounced mee-chee-oh, it means "man with strength of three thousand" in Japanese. I wonder why she had a male name? I knew Michio and her Italian-American husband when they lived in Normal, Illinois (sister city to Bloomington, Illinois), but they moved back to Hawaii a few years ago. Her husband had very serious health problems, and Michio was his sole care-giver, may she have all the strength that she needs. Michio and her husband encouraged me to play video games on their Wii console, and I liked it so much that I bought one. I became particularly enchanted with the Ninten

Artists In Hawaii—1998

As is my habit, during my solo drive-about in the State of Hawaii I stopped and spoke with people here and there along the way. In two weeks, I spoke with maybe a hundred people: old, young, local, tourist, friendly, and reserved. Here are photographs of several artists, one of my favorite kinds of person, that I met in Hawaii. It has been twenty years so I hope they do not mind being posted in my blog. I want to say that I enjoyed their company. These are all working artists, so if you like their work, give them a call! Caption: Annmarie Throckmorton Toward End Of My Hawaiian Trip. —selfie, Hawaii, 1989. Caption: Artist Carves Wooden Tiki. —photograph by Annmarie Throckmorton, Hawai

Green Sea Turtles (endangered)

Toward the end of 1998, I was in Hawaii doing a winter drive-about on five of the islands, Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, and Kauai; when I heard that there was a beach where green sea turtles* came in to shore to rest. I hurried over to the other side of the island, the north rainy side, to see the turtles. At that rainy beach I saw several of one of the largest species of turtles in the world, laying heavily on the sharp, black sand, just inside the surf zone, as if they could not drag themselves one flipper further. I had expected a barrier to protect them, perhaps even a fee to see them, but there they were, just lying there on the beach in apparent exhaustion, heads down. I saw also tha

Aloha Hawaii!

Long ago my paternal grandmother had matter-of-factly told me that I would not enjoy Hawaii, “Don’t waste money going there, it’s too expensive. They didn’t like me and they won’t like you because you are white.” After she passed decades later, I still wanted to see the fiftieth state in the union (1959). I have an easier way with people, and I had such romantic notions about it from the movies and from James A. Michener’s thick, classical book, Hawaii. I had also read a lot of history about the Hawaiian islands; and about the multitude of other countries around the vast pacific rim. I wanted first-hand perspective. In 1998, when I was ready to go to Hawaii, it was winter and my travel

“In the spirit of Christ...the greatest care and love...”

OSF HealthCare was founded in 1880, by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. It now includes eleven hospitals, two colleges of nursing, and two long-term care facilities. It includes my healthcare providers, OSF-St. Joseph Hospital and OSF-Fort Jesse Family Medicine. OSF HealthCare’s revenue in 2014 was $6.90 billion USD. “In the spirit of Christ and the example of Francis of Assisi, the Mission of OSF HealthCare is to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the Gift of Life.” My impression is that the medical profession has not been exclusively a healing profession for a long time, in the 21st century they seem to be in the business of colle


I put my name, myself to my best effort at truth, this other one does not. His name started with an “S” and ended with morose, and when he grew older, stronger, smarter, richer, he set the world against itself to ease his pain. It seems to me that this old man must hate Caucasians for what he saw some do during the German/European Holocaust of Jews (the systematic killing of more than 11 million people, including over 6 million Jews and 1.5 million children, 1933-1945); he hates Jews because it happened to them; and he hates himself for witnessing it. Therefore, as a deeply self-hated man there is nothing he is above doing. He so despises himself that he can and does anything, including hi

Maintaining Miscellaneous Mammals

So...if a kitten is dear and a puppy is darling, why not feel tenderness for fragile, timid rodents and the ilk? Must we beat, bait, and trap them? If we eradicated infectious disease such as plague, pox, and whatnot from wild populations of miscellaneous mammals such as deer, bats, mice, and their predators, there would be no threat, no regret, and we would be that much closer to a peaceable kingdom on earth, of which we are stewards. And, we would have a clean, healthy stock of wildlife available to both eco-tourists and human hunters. Why not? This kind of wildlands maintenance program would provide good, fresh air jobs for forest rangers, researchers, and technical staff. Please. C

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