Dogs and Walkers Walking Dogs


As my octogenarianism grows into its fifth year, my mind continues to wonder as I wander.
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Crows have been on my mind but it went elsewhere. Well, not exactly – I did mention my observations of crows while on walks.
On past saunters, 1I could have used ‘walk’ but I remember a teacher saying I should use a variety of words meaning generally the same thing. a dog behind a six-foot cedar fence barked. It did the first week on our route, the two days last week, yesterday and again today. I gave some attention to the reliability of the fasteners securing the wooden boards to something behind. Would or could the dog, or perhaps dogs, behind the fence charge a gap and attempt to have my leg for lunch? Would I have to go on Judge Judy for a settlement? Just a fleeting thought.

Farther along the walk, a dog has barked from inside a house (like the Yorkie in the comic strip “Grand Avenue”). I met that dog at a garage sale last summer. Then it barked while standing inside the garage on a slack leash. No lunging from that one. Just a response to a human in its territory. What would the one behind the fence do with a stranger in its self-assigned territory? I know dogs have the bark response to instill doubt in the mind of any who might cross the imaginary line. So be it! I’m not going to do more than walk by and let the dog bark.

Another dog I saw and have seen before lives behind a chain-link fence. It appears agile enough to jump over but seldom runs toward it while barking. Its companion dog just stands and watches.

I saw five leashed dogs and four walkers walking them. One was probably being trained. It barked back at chain-link dog. Its walker made a motion, it stopped barking, and it went to an observing hunkered down position. At another motion, the canine trainee almost sprang to sitting at attention. There was a second snapping of fingers and the trainee stood. Dog and master walked away even while chain-link dog woofed a few more times. Don’t know if trainee dog looked back – I was going the other direction.

A lady who looked to be dressed more for a dog show than for walking on the street appeared from a side-street with a pair of Greyhounds. They also looked to be dressed for show with matching blankets on their backs. Neither made a sound.

One lady jogged behind a Pitbull. Its guttural sound inspired me to slow my pace until it and human were well ahead of me.

The other person I saw was being pulled by a large mutt. I asked, “Who’s walking whom?”

She said, “This is building up my arms more than my legs.” Then they were gone.
Oh, the crows don’t seem to show fear of the dogs. They just fly up until the dogs pass and settle back to their eating or whatever is on their morning agenda.


Corn starting update:2Not that I really believe anyone really cares.

If the seeds disappear from the garage window, I’ll quit for the year! Not!


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Of Crows




Our neighborhood, thus where my wife and I walk, isn’t infested by crows, but there’s enough continuous crow activity to be noticed. I’ve seen Murders of crows, but most of the time I see them in groups of three. [Yes, three crows can be a Murder!]
Crow watching is usually in my back yard, so I don’t concentrate on crow activity while we walk, but what they do isn’t just background either.
Crows seem to be like cats – no one can tell them what to do.
Crows seem to be like dogs – they claim territory and loudly let other beings know when that their claimed territory is being approached.
Crows seem to be like sharks – they’ll eat anything.
Crows seem to be like fraternity brothers or sorority sisters – they stick together.
Crows seem to be quite assertive, even to the level of aggressive bullying – I’ve seen them in groups of three, chasing a lone hawk. Wonder if they’ll chase an owl or eagle? Don’t they know raptors can kill even larger critters with talons and beak.
Crows seem to have military like organization of duties – one appears to stand apart as if on sentry duty while the other two eat – rotation of duty seem almost as if scheduled. Fairly often I see a pair of them chasing a squirrel away from a buried nut or other goody in my back yard while one watches from the fence.
Crows can’t kill a squirrel or other small animal on their own, so they take positions and chase a squirrel into the street as a vehicle approaches. [A Murder of crows murders a squirrel?] I’ve never seen a crow kill anything to eat except a worm or grub from a lawn after rain or a recent watering. This morning I saw six crows (note the second multiple of three) pulling apart the body of a small animal, probably a squirrel, well smashed on the street. Those guys must have been really hungry – there wasn’t a visible lookout.
I didn’t take it personally when they ate my corn seeds. I just consider that’s what they do alone or team up with others in their Murder. Considering my planting, It’s my job to out cleaver them, not theirs to change natural behavior.
I have to admit, however, I have thought about the murder of a Murder.
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Nothing to See Here


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In respect to specific blogging goals and based on non-professional clinical observations in parallel with a constant flow of effective information modified by a social media flow of ineffective information which is further complicated by a primary interrelation between system and subsystem technologies, requires considerable opinion analysis and trade-off studies, thus adding overriding performance constraints to arrive at the evolution of concept specifications over a given time period, and in this regard, must be integrated with the format design, based on language-engineering vocabulary imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority for blogging.1If you read aloud, you are authorized a deep breath.
That didn’t learn me nothing! How about you?
Having not completely and only partially met the criteria above, I think I’ll just continue my randomness.
Oh, that’s what I said last time I posted. How random is that? No need to answer – I talk to myself.


Corn starting update:
I built a screen cage to cover the paper egg cartons in which I start my corn.
The next morning, I checked the dampness of the soil and every seed was gone. Was I Gaslighted or did the crows team up and lift the cage?
Well, I’ve seen a Murder work as a team to strip bark off some un-barked firewood and fly the strips to wherever this year’s nest is being built. I have no doubts about their cunningness to pry up one end of the lightweight cage, remove seeds and drop the cage back in place.


I say here and now – the critters will not get the best of me!

FYI: I’ve not been gaslighted!


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Change of Direction


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Shortly before posting my school series, I gave considerable thought to expressing opinions, agreeing with, or posing arguments against views of others.
Some seem to expect Octogenarians to judgements about nearly everything, and I’ve heard it said that people of a certain age without opinions about a topic just make up something. Then I started thinking seriously about whether or not the aforethought was a good idea.
So then, how does an octogenarian change direction? It depends on the octogenarian’s internal and openly discussed consideration of clinical observations based on a constant flow of effective information or a constant flow of ineffective information as well as the independent functional principle used to maximize the probability of impactive change and minimizes the emotional cost and time required for considerable differences analysis and trade-off studies to arrive at a significant implementation of the transformation(s).

Having met the criteria above, I think I’ll just continue my randomness which includes posting frequency.


Most years I use paper egg cartons to start my corn. I had several dozen in my lean-to and after several days checked the dampness of the soil. I noticed a dimple in nearly each place I had put a corn seed. I checked and each seed I had planted was gone.

I know these birds are involved in a Murder, but it never occurred to me that they be involved in a Robbery.


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No Title


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No title, you question. Well, one might think it was an auto fill or something like that from the software. It’s not. I did and I’m glad! 1 As said in at least one Perry Mason episode.

The title of a _____ is supposed to give a clue about content or at least spike a browser’s curiosity. Or it could be something that makes a reader think/say, “Why that title? I read it as…” I’m guilty of putting a title into the same vein as you can’t tell a book by its cover. I have a copy of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman with only her name on the cover. The dust jacket, however, has a picture of a tree and approaching train on tracks converging to a horizon. I know from where ‘go set a watchman’ comes, but who might that title interest without having heard of Harper Lee or her To Kill a Mockingbird?

Titling is tricky, or so I’ve been told. However, I say without malice aforethought that titles for work by well-known writers are nearly irrelevant. One would expect a good story, no matter what the title, from _____.

Designing covers for and Nescient Decoy, Echoes of Nam, and Iniquities of The Fathers was a challenge to match titles and backgrounds.

In retrospect, I believe my covers would help sales if the books were on a bookstore shelf instead of online. But promotion of one’s work is an issue much broader than a good title and cover.

As one thought leads to another, and my mind tends to do that, I wanted to make some comments about promotion. I’ve read several blogs about promoting work, and most end with a sales pitch for a paid program to help. Several years ago, when I was looking for an agent for the first version of Echoes of Nam, I included my age thinking it would bring some credibility to the topic of the book. I wasn’t too surprised at the agent’s saying something like, “At your age, you might not have the energy to travel to promote your work, so I can’t commit to representing it.” Wish I had saved the e-mail for an exact quote.

My non-family validation came from several Nam Vets, but mostly from this one from Ray LePoidevin 2Not the man from Australia as shown on “Find a Grave” site.

“Even though a work of fiction, in ECHOES OF NAM, John Benson does a superb job in articulating the mental and physical pain, confusion and suffering that many survivors of war deal with daily. Even as a combat vet, this story has affected the way I look at homelessness among veterans. While the V.A. has come a long way in dealing with PTSD and other disorders facing our soldiers, sadly there are many who still “slip through the cracks.” For that reason alone, this could be a true story.”

Ray authored his own Vietnam experience in Alternate Route: One Man’s Journey Through the Fog of PTSD.


Did you notice my change of title for this site?
I feel that it better represents me and how I tend to think.3Self-analysis, not opinion from a professional. And my SEO went up 3 points.
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