Saturday, April 18, 2015


 Here is the latest in the mysterious ongoing adventure of a girl child and her not always entirely faithful canine companion. It could well be said of him: "I'm a good dog, but sometimes I do bad things." I'm still not sure where this journey is headed - time will tell.. or maybe not.

Meanwhile, I found myself reading some mystery novels by Oakley Hall about his only mildly fictionalized version of Ambrose Bierce, a writer very famous in 19th century America who lived through several battles in the Civil War. The experience left him somewhat jaded. In 1914, in his early 70s, Ambrose Bierce went to Mexico to participate in Pancho Villa's revolution, a journey from which he never returned.

The first chapters of the books I read all began with quotes from Ambrose Bierce's 'Devil's Dictionary'. I thought you might enjoy reading a few of them:

“Apologize: To lay the foundation for a future offence.”

“Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.”

“Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum -- "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.”

“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”

“Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.”

“Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.”

“Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”

“Inhumanity, n. One of the signal and characteristic qualities of humanity.”

“Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”

“Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man — who has no gills.”

“Patience – A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.”

“Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.”

“Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.”

“Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.”

“Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”

Good wishes to all until next time,
and yes, not only is the snow going fast, but yesterday I saw the first stinkweed flower of spring. Although they may not be as beautiful as snowdrops and crocus, they were a welcome sight.


marja-leena said...

Wonderful quotes, so funny and wise! You really find such treasures.

Lovely artwork, Susan, with such a brave adventurous little girl, ignoring the temptations held out by the creatures, though Dog is not too sure.

Yay, spring is finally on its way, none too soon for all you suffering Haligonians!

susan said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the Ambrose Bierce quotes, Marja-Leena, and the picture too. I liked the idea enough that I made a second attempt to get this one done. I think the dog is growing to like these guys but the little girl still doesn't see them.

Yes! Finally it's spring and the grass in the park is beginning to green even while there's still snow on the wooded hillsides.

Should Fish More said...

Damn, almost wish you'd not done that to the dog. The dad of two daughters, both at or near middle age, I don't see girls as most do. My turned out great, both are what could be called great people, great women, a credit to their gender. But, I'm a bit unpleasant when it comes to girls and being taken advantage of....
Dog, that girl need either support, or perhaps help. You better be there.

susan said...

Not to worry, Mike, the dog isn't sinister, nor are the dragons. It's simply that he can see them while the girl still can't. There's an adventure going on and deeds that must be done. She is well up for the challenge - just like those marvelous young women who are your daughters (and granddaughter).

Should Fish More said...

Yeah,, I don't worry, I dream. My current nightmare for the last decade or so is a variation on one of the g'kids or the youngest dau climbing up on the outside structure of a 90 story building in Seattle....
I understand adventures, and I applaud them for one and all of our kids.

Tom said...

Ouch! But a funny, if near the mark, vocabulary.

susan said...

I don't think the Space Needle is quite that tall, but I do remember finding out the wait for an elevator was more than 3 hours and thought climbing it would be faster.

susan said...

He definitely fit his own definition of a cynic, but he was also one who spoke truth to power - never a comfortable choice.

gfid said...

Off she goes!

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
Your latest delightful illustration underpins what I presume will be a mysterious ongoing adventure of that energetic imaginative young lass and her generally good, but more importantly always faithful canine companion. Oakley Hall sounds like an erudite writer and I found the quotes from the somewhat jaded Ambrose Bierce's 'Devil's Dictionary', suitably cutting (ouch also, indeed) yet highly engaging and at times of course amusing. Hats off for spring as it approaches. We are setting out tomorrow for a few days in the tiny country town of Chiltern (population about 1000), before winter sets in.
Best wishes

susan said...

*%# dog! Where's he off to now? :)

susan said...

Hi Lindsay
Happy to know you're enjoying the bits of the mystery adventure as it appears. None of us know where it's going (or what lead the dog is following), but we're having fun on the way.
I hope you and your wife enjoy your holiday. It's always hard to imagine it being winter there when summer's here. Of course, you don't get snow - so there is that.
All the best

L'Adelaide said...

i left a comment on that wonderful drawing and had it disappear as i hit publish... sigh... i get tired especially when i finally settle down at about 2am. anyway i wanted to say h ello, my friend. i love your little painting, the child keeps herself so busy and her protectors never leave her side. I love that about your work.

L'Adelaide said...

yes, it did it again and i just let it go.... had to add this: xxooxoxoxoxox

off to another dentist tomorrow... 2 more infections, if you can believe it and you probably can. my time this year has been spent prone. ugh...

susan said...

I'm happy you're enjoying these, Linda. I've been wondering lately about my seeming inability to draw and paint darkness. Could my balance be off by that much? Yes, probably by that and more :)

I'm so very sorry about the continued dental problems. I do understand - I really do.