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The New Government Playbook: Paint by Number Politics

June 16th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Playbook

Hmmm, will we all too soon find ourselves saying: “This sounds oddly familiar. Where have I heard it before?”

I promise this will be my last post on the provincial election. I have one more thing to get off my chest.

I am convinced that there is a playbook that every newly elected government follows faithfully. In the case of the provincial Conservatives who just swept to power, I predict the following sequence of communications verbatim from the New Government Playbook.

One Month In: We’ve had a preliminary look at the provincial books and what we found is disturbing. The (insert name of previous party in power) were not being honest with us. We need some time to see how bad things really are.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Two Months In: We’ve done a deeper dive into the books. The province’s finances are a mess. Thank goodness you kicked out (insert name of previous party in power). You can rely on us to fix the problem, but it might take a while. Regrettably, it might affect the timelines for the promises we made.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Three Months In: We’ve completed a full audit of the provincial books. The situation is far worse than we thought. (Insert number) years of (insert name of previous party in power) mismanagement has taken a huge toll. We will fix the problem, but it can’t be done overnight. We’re going to have to put some of our plans on hold.

Shame on you, (insert name of previous premier)!

18 Months In: Thank you for being patient while we deal with the financial mess we inherited from (insert name of previous party in power). We’re on the right path. But it would be irresponsible of us to move forward with (insert promises you intend to renege in). We promised you we would balance the budget by (insert date) and that is our top priority.

24 Months In: Our plan is working. We’re wrestling the province’s financial woes under control. Be patient with us. We know you’re disappointed that we haven’t been able to deliver on all our promises. Tough decisions had to be made and we’re committed to seeing them through.

 Final Year of Mandate at Most Opportune Time: Our plan is working. Thank you for being patient with us while we put the finances in order. We’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. We need another term in office to complete the work.

Be prepared for paint by number politics for the next four years. The only thing more certain than death and taxes is the New Government Playbook.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Bread and Circuses – The Aftermath of the Provincial Election

June 9th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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politics-of-deception

Hmmm, was the most telling aspect of the provincial election the fact that it was a victory of rhetoric over truth?

Now that the dust has settled, we need to take a look at what went down in the election and what we can learn from it.

Lesson 1: Political experience is now detrimental to a candidate’s chances. The public, disenchanted by politician’s behaviours, now favours the common man – untested and unsullied by time in the political trenches.

Doug Ford fit the bill perfectly. He has only one term as a city councillor to his credit. He fell short in the Toronto mayoralty race but regrouped and was the dark horse winner in the Conservative party leadership race. Now the political rookie is Premier.

Lesson: The most powerful tool in an election campaign is a simple, unequivocal message powerfully and repeatedly delivered. Sadly, it does not matter if the data to back up the message is flawed, lacking, or missing altogether.

Lesson: There is a different ethical code – or perhaps a total lack on one – when it comes to election advertising. The gloves were off like never before in this campaign. The bile and vitriol that jumped off our television screens would result in slander charges in any other situation.

Lesson: Increasingly, people cast their votes on the basis of what, or who, they do not want. Election candidates spend more time digging up dirt on their opponents and mud-flinging than on proclaiming what they will do – and regrettably that is rewarded.

Lesson: Voter apathy is at a dangerous level. The numbers of people who do not vote is as worrisome as the numbers who vote against rather than for. This election had the highest voter turnout since 1999 when Mike Harris won a second term. But that high water mark is still only 58% of eligible voters.

Lesson: One person’s decision can affect a party’s future. Liberal Liz Sandals elected not to run this time in her Guelph riding. That decision opened the door for Green Party leader Mike Schreiner who became the first Green Party candidate to hold a seat in parliament.

Considering that the Liberals fell one agonizing seat short of the minimum number required for official party status, Sandal’s decision to step aside could have been the difference-maker in that fall from grace for the Conservatives.

Aside: I would bet my last dollar that Liberal insiders are scrutinizing the riding by riding results looking for a riding where the Liberal candidate finished second by a small margin so they can call for a Hail Mary recount in the hopes of clawing back that one all-important seat.

Have you heard of the bread and circuses metaphor? It refers to the satisfaction of shallow or immediate desires of the populace at the expense of good policy. I fear that is what this election boiled down to in the final analysis. Will we spend the next four years paying the price?

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Hunting Muskie Preview: Inside the Mind of Huck Fryman

June 2nd, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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abstract fire on black background in orange and yellow colors

Special post: A glimpse into the mind of Huck Fryman – protagonist in the story Incorrigible in Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage. The story itself is narrated in the third person perspective. But here we’ll let Huck speak for himself as the story begins.

Goddamn, worn out hip. Hurts like hell all the time now. They’ve been telling me for years that I need a hip replacement. Not going to happen. You’ll never get me inside one of those godforsaken hospitals. I got by for 80 years and then some with this hip. It’ll do me until they plant me in the ground.

 Can’t for the life of me remember what I came out to the barn to get. My memory ain’t worth a pinch of coon shit, these days. It comes and goes on its own damn schedule. Even forgot that I kept my fence pliers in the hollow fencepost back when I was still working the farm. The boys thought it was flat out stupid. But I always knew where to find them.

 Goddamn shed door is open! How many times have I told Vera to keep the door closed to keep the coons out? Or is it her who keeps telling me? Hell if I can remember which. Okay, sit down slowly… Jesus, that hurts! … There’s the mouse going for the crackers I leave out for it.

 “Huckleberry, I’ve told you a thousand times, you shouldn’t feed the mice.”

 “I swear, Vera, you make less noise than a feather in a wind storm. After 60 years you’d think I’d hear you coming.”

 “Don’t go changing the subject on me. I’m wise to your wily ways.”

 “Ever seen one in the house? No, because they know this is where the food is. There’s a method in my madness. And for the love of Lucifer, for 60 years you’ve called me Huck. Now out of the blessed blue I’m Huckleberry?”

 “Time was you’d be tickled pink if I called you that.”

 “Well, no more. I’m Huck and leave it at that.”

 “You’ll always be Huckleberry to me.”

 “Have it your way. I’m not of a mind to argue.”

 Why her voice sounds different now, after all these years, I can’t figure out. Kind of hollow-like and faraway. Am I losing my damn hearing now? Probably. Next thing they’ll be after me to get hearing aids. No way I’m putting out good money for something like that.

 Everyone thinks I’m weird spending all my time out here – with my motors and all these stacks of newspapers. Crazy old motor man. Couple of bricks short of a load. They don’t understand that this place is my sanctuary. Here everything still makes sense. Anywhere else I feel gloomy and confused like I’ve lost something all-fired important. But I can’t remember what it is I’ve lost.

Want to hear the rest of Huck’s tragic story? Get yourself online and order Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet!

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Intricate Mathematics of Elections: One Vote Does Matter

May 26th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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elections

Hmmm, is there such a thing as political algebra? Could it be the best motivation for us to cast our vote?

I voted in the advance poll for the provincial election today. I had made up my mind and liked the idea of avoiding the lineups late in the afternoon on Election Day. Nothing any of the candidates can say was going to change my mind.

Honestly, leading up to Election Day I am inclined to avoid the news reports on the latest promises from the candidates. The closer we get to the election, the more elaborate the promises become. Promises made in the stretch run are very often the first ones to be broken.

Now I can sit back and view the remainder of the race dispassionately. I can also permit myself to take a peek now and then at the news reports without rolling my eyes in annoyance.

Right now I am looking at the Ontario Votes 2018 Poll Tracker website. It shows the PCs and the Conservatives in a virtual dead height with 36% support while the Liberals are fading fast and have fallen to 21% support.

So if the election was held today, it would be an exciting race to the wire. Right? Well, apparently not. The top line percentages are an aggregate figure from across all ridings and can be misleading. In fact, they are a rather unprecise indicator. The experts say that the current figures translate to the following outcome and even allow for the possibility of a PC majority:

Between 45 and 81 seats for the PCs

Between 39 and 65 seats for the NDP

Between 3 and 22 seats for the Liberals

Election analysis is, it seems, a rather imprecise science. (I wish I was allowed that degree of right or wrong latitude at work! It would lower my stress level considerably.) But the major factor at play at the moment is that the PCs have a better distribution of support across the province.

So, it is not simply a case of how the pluses and minuses add up. Where the pluses and minuses land geographically has everything to do with the eventual result. Feels like high school algebra all over again… Ah, I may be on to something! Let us explore that connection.

Algebra is defined as the part of mathematics in which letters and other symbols are used to represent numbers and quantities in formulae and equations. I never could get the hang of algebra in high school. Frankly, the definition itself stills give me a headache.

But perhaps there is such a thing as political algebra. The election battle is a complex, algebraic formula which allows for several different scenarios depending on which letters align with which symbols to recalculate the equation. The formula changes more often than we imagine.

My small role in determining the outcome is completed. But those of you who think it really does not matter where your X lands, remember that political algebra means your one vote could change the equation. Your vote does matter and it is worth the effort.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Behold: A Rare Gift of Immaculate Tranquility

May 19th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Tranquility

Hmmm, how many chances do we get in a lifetime to experience perfect peace?

An integral attraction of the hobby of birdwatching is the drive to see how many species you can record in a day, in a season or in a year. But I repeatedly try to convince myself that the experience should not be about numbers. It should be about enjoying being in the embrace of nature and counteracting the maddening pace of modern life.

Regretfully, I do not often achieve that hallowed state of mind. But for a few hours one day this week I found the sweet spot. I was taking a rest day from rising before dawn to catch the migrating birds at their most active time. Confession: At the age of 60, I no longer have the energy to go full bore for a solid week.

It was a picture perfect spring day. Full, unblemished sunshine beneath cerulean skies. Warm but just shy of hot. Breezy but a notch below windy. Much too delightful a day to stay indoors. So at noon I relented, jumped in the car and headed to a nearby conservation area.

It quickly became apparent that it was a slow day in the ebb and flow of the spring migration. And perhaps that was a gift. An inner voice rose up whispering: slow down, breathe deeply, cut loose the weight of expectation.

And for once, I listened. Resisting the urge to cover as much ground as possible in the hopes of a big day count, I strolled along the trails, quieting my mind and becoming one with nature. If I had not done so, I might have missed so much.

The stylish Great-crested Flycatcher, which for some time I heard calling – wheep! wheep! – from afar. It came to rest uncharacteristically on a limb beside the trail. Perching in the exact right pose for me to admire the cinnamon-dusted wings and tail, soft gray breast and burnished yellow belly.

The always arresting Canada Warbler that carefully picked its way through the thicket just off the lakeside trail. Showing off its sun-infused yellow underbelly, the chic necklace of short black stripes and its distinctive yellow spectacles.

The dipped-in-blueberry Indigo Bunting which took up residence for an afternoon in the single flowering tree in a brushy woodland meadow. A flash of emphatic blue flitting about with youthful indulgence amidst the spring leaves and snow-white flowers.

The trio of Ruddy Ducks drifting effortlessly at the narrow end of the lake. Their rusty red, chubby bodies contrasted against the black head caps and audacious white cheek patches. Cocking their spiky tails now and then for effect.

For a couple of hours, I was able to gear down, hush the restlessness and enter into the serenity of the placid lake and the spring woodland. I entered and existed within a metaphorical bubble of immaculate tranquility. A gift so rare and so elusive, I could not decline.

These exquisite moments happen so rarely they must be cherished. For all too soon, they are gone and lost to all but the realm of memory.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere a (Red, Blue or Orange) Sign

May 12th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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elections

Hmmm, can decorum survive the month-long storm of rhetoric that lies ahead?

Here we are again in Ontario in the midst of an election campaign. Candidate signs are popping up like Dandelions on front lawns in my neighbourhood. Like a creeping vine, they quickly migrate to fences and any other structure that will hold them. The primary colours of political parties assault our eyes at every turn.

It calls to mind the lyrics of the popular Five Man Electrical Band song “Signs”:

Signs, signs

Everywhere a sign

Blocking out the scenery

Breaking my mind

Do this, don’t do that

Can’t you read the signs?

Change the last two lines to Vote for me, not for him / Can’t you read my signs? and it becomes the election theme song. It would not surprise me at all if a few people vote purely on the basis of who has the most signs – or perhaps even as arbitrary a criteria as “Which sign did I see last before I entered the polling station?”.

Party leaders are as usual doing their best to polarize our choices. They stake out positions and hammer away at them incessantly right up to election day.

Kathleen Wynn, who only survived the last election because of Tim Hudak’s slash-and-burn platform, is playing the Doug Ford is the Canadian Donald Trump card and ducking for cover whenever her government’s record of scandals is thrown in her face.

Doug Ford is proof that success in politics is more about opportunism and good timing than anything else. With only one term as a city councillor to his credit, he grabbed the Conservative leadership when the sexual harassment tsunami took down Patrick Brown. He is hoping to ride the Common Man, I’m for the Little Guy bandwagon all the way to the provincial legislature.

Andrea Horvath, to no one’s surprise, is playing both ends against the middle and portraying herself as the only reasonable candidate. Her main message seems to be: We need change after Wynn’s reign of shame, but for shame if you vote for Doug Ford.

And poor, Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is struggling to get noticed at all amidst the storm of rhetoric between the big three party leaders. I will admit that I had to do a Google search for “Provincial Green Party Leader” to find his name.

For the next month, we will be locked into the double-edged, sign-of-the-times metaphor as the party leaders duke it out on the political battlefield. Make no mistake about it. It is a war and there will be casualties – most notably the once cherished concept of decorum.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Random Act of Metaphor: Wind Storm

May 5th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Wind-Storm

Hmmm, was Friday’s wind storm a wakeup call?

If you live in the GTA as I do, you experienced the wind storm late yesterday afternoon and evening. If you live elsewhere, let me explain that this was the kind of wind that uproots trees, rips shingles off roofs, drives horizontal rain and rips down electrical wires.

For those of you with a scientific bent, wind gusts here hit 110 kilometres per hour. Let us put that into perspective. The Beaufort Wind Force Scale is a measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea. The scale extends from 1 to 12.

On the Beaufort Scale, 110 kilometres per hour is midway between 10Whole Gale which translates to very high waves with overhanding crests and 11Violent Storm which translates to exceptionally high waves in which small and medium sized ships might be for a long time lost to view behind the waves. It is only one step below category 12 – Hurricane Force.

It occurs to me that the wind storm we experienced yesterday could be interpreted as Mother Nature telling us that she is royally pissed. We have not taken particularly good care of the planet with which we have been entrusted. We are paying the price for excessive greenhouse gas emissions and denuded forests among other problems.

We are starting to become acclimatized (pardon the pun) to extreme weather events. Perhaps we should not be so complacent. Yesterday’s violent wind storm may just have been a random act of metaphor by to warn us that we are teetering on the edge of disaster.

Mother Nature can be a benevolent and endearing friend. But she can also be a powerful and violent enemy when she feels threatened. We would do well to stay on her good side.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Birds of a Feather in My Annual Rite of Spring

April 27th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will you indulge me as I visualize my annual Pickering shoreline tour?

It pains me to concede that we are approaching the end of April and my spring birdwatching has not gotten out of the starting gate for various reasons beyond my control. Photos posted on Facebook, of migrants passing through the area, has been like salt in the wound.

Come hell or high water, I will set out this weekend for my first full day in the field. The itinerary for the day is etched in my brain. (All photos courtesy of Google Images.)

Bird - Golden-crowned Kinglet

I will breathe a deep sigh of contentment as I step out of my car in the parking lot of Petticoat Creek Conservation Area. The high-pitched see-see-see chatter of hyperactive Golden-Crowned Kinglets and springs-here! mating call of Black-capped Chickadees will greet me.

I will head straight for the valley and veer left onto the half-hidden trail that shadows the creek. It is a sure bet that industrious Brown Creepers will be spiraling up tree trunks. Odds are good that the wheezy, bubbly call of a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher will add itself to the mix.

Bird - Red-bellied Woodpecker

If luck prevails, the churr churr churr of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker will catch my ear and I will locate this handsome species in the trees on the ridge. Fighting through the brambles to reach the return trail may just pay off with a glimpse at a Rufous-sided Towhee in the brush.

Back on the road I will follow the shoreline and make a stop of Frenchman’s Bay. A scan of the bay should turn up a raft of or two of ducks including Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks and a few Scaup – a sneak preview of the bevy of waterfowl awaiting me later in the day..

Next stop is Hydro Park – not always a hotspot but still a stop I would not miss. The nasal ank-ank-ank of a White-breasted Nuthatch will greet me in the small woodlot. Perhaps the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of my spring will turn up there. I might even luck into a late Tundra Swan hanging out in the marsh.

Bird - Wood Ducks

Duffin’s Creek is next on the itinerary. I will head straight for them back pond where a cornucopia of waterfowl awaits: Mallards, Buffleheads, Ring-necks, Mergansers (all three), Northern Shovelors, Gadwalls, a Wigeon or two –dare I hope for a Eurasian?, Pie-billed Grebes and even gaudily clad Wood Ducks tucked in by the ban..

Before I move on, I will take the trail through the overgrown field and no doubt turn up a tail-wagging Hermit Thrush. Perhaps the musical trill of an early Pine Warbler will drift done from high overhead.

Last stop for the day is a right turn down Halls Road to the look-up points on Cranberry Marsh. It never fails to fatten up my waterfowl day list with Blue-winged Teals, Trumpeter Swans, Great Blue Herons, head-bobbing Coots and, if my run of luck holds, a few Ruddy Ducks.

I have done this excursion countless times but never tire of it. It starts the timer on the influx of migrants that will surge through in waves in the glorious month of May. Birds of a feather takes on new meaning when I indulge myself in this annual rite of spring that feeds my soul after riding out an especially long and stubborn winter.

~  Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

 

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“The Hum” – Fact, Fiction or Somewhere In-Between

April 21st, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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The Hum

Hmmm, could writers exist in a world without the unexplainable?

This week’s episode of the TV series Criminal Minds had a storyline built around a mystery known as The Hum. The Hum is a phenomenon arising from reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming – resembling the sound of a distant diesel engine idling – that is apparently audible only to certain people.

Continuing reports of The Hum have come from the UK, the United States (in particular the New Mexico city of Taos) and even from Windsor, Canada. It can be quite disturbing to those who are unfortunate enough to experience it and it has been linked to several suicides.

As you might expect, there is skepticism from many whether this physical sound actually exists. Many believe it is always traceable to a specific mechanical source. In some cases, this has been proven to be true.

Some experts in the field have suggested a diagnosis of tinnitus – a disturbance of the auditory system generated internally by the auditory and nervous system. Others attribute it to spontaneous otoacoustic emissions which are noises that the human ear generates on its own.

In the case of the West Seattle Hum, researchers suggested it could be the mating call of the Midshipman Fish. This particular explanation certainly seems like a stretch. The bottom line is that reports of The Hum persist that cannot be effectively explained away.

Why does this phenomenon intrigue? Is it because I happen to have an aversion to unwanted noise? When I first moved into the townhouse I now call home, a loud tapping noise in the wall behind the kitchen cupboards drove me crazy for seven months. My landlord finally tracked it to a noisy pipe expanding and contracting in heat and cold.

I suspect my intrigue goes deeper than that and arises from opposing forces in my psyche. There is a part of me that needs to always be in control and always have an answer. On the other hand, the curious side of me, which drives me to write, is frightened by the notion of a world without the unexplainable.

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I see the world through the lens of metaphor. The unexplainable is where metaphors do their best work. They give us a prism to peer through that takes concepts we have trouble wrapping our minds around and re-envisions them in a way that makes sense and comforts us.

And since I am after all the self-proclaimed Metaphor Guy, mysteries like The Hum (with profuse apologies to those afflicted by it) can be the spice of life and the leaping off point for my muse.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Finding a Glimmer of Perspective on a Bad Luck Weekend

April 14th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Freezing Rain

Hmmm, a little perspective goes a long way when life is taking pot shots at us.

I am staring out the window at the freezing rain which is belying the fact that it is officially Spring. We are halfway through April and Spring has only made one of two very brief appearances. It is the very definition of frustration for an avid birdwatcher. Not that I would have done much even with good weather as my temperamental back is in a bad mood.

I know I should not turn to the online headlines to lighten my mood. But against better judgement I do and the result seems to align with the weather.

U.S., British and French forces strike Syria with 100 missiles. Surprise, surprise, President Donald Trump says mission accomplished.

Mum’s Gruesome Discovery after She Left Kids with Family Nanny. No thank you, I would rather not know about that discovery.

Nazi Legacy Found in Norwegian Trees. My fertile mind could go a dozen different ways, if I let it, speculating on that tidbit.

Highway to Hell: The Worst Traffic Jams in History. I have been in at least one of those. I do not need a reminder.

Ottawa Man Catches Fire after Smoking Near Oxygen. Well, that definitely is a worse weekend than I am having.

Kim Held Khloe’s Legs During Birth. Oh hell! I should have stopped at the burning man. I did not need to hear the latest fake news about the publicity hungry Kardashians.

So what does one do when life thwarts our desires? Cursing Fortuna, the Greek God of fortune and the personification of luck, brings a certain satisfaction, but only briefly. No liquor in the house, so no means of drowning my frustrations.

But here is a thought. My bad back weekend coincides with a bad weather weekend. There is a kind of upside-down luck there. It would have been more frustrating to be sidelined and staring out at a glorious, made to order spring day.

It really does come down to a question of perspective. I can curse Fortuna for picking on me. Or I can thank her for getting two bad luck birds with one stone.

Spring will eventually arrive and my back will come around after a few chiro treatments. And the Kardashians? This too shall pass. They will eventually grow old, their plastic surgery enhanced faces will age, the news headlines will pass them by and, if there is justice, they will all be plagued by bad backs.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

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