Clairvoyant: (adj) having or exhibiting an ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.

If I were to go to the barn and stand around the pig pen and postulate over what the hog behind the fence might do next, it certainly could be considered clairvoyant.

“The animal will oink, followed by wallowing in the mud and then grunting, begging for food,” I might say.

You might stand back in great wonder when the pig fulfilled my prophesy.

Sometimes we have to learn the difference between clairvoyant and discernment. You can feel free to debate whether certain individuals have a deeper insight into reality which could not possibly have been achieved by natural means–or you can come to the conclusion that the more each of us learns to discern how things work, how people function and the common sense of Mother Nature, the more we may appear to be divinely inspired.

For instance, noticing that one of your fellow-workers enters the building without speaking a word and the next thing you hear is a loud noise from his office as he throws his things on the desk…

Well, being able, at that point, to grab a cup of coffee, take it back to him and implore, “Is there anything I can do for you? Are you having a tough day?”

This is not clairvoyant. It’s observant.

It is contingent on each member of the human tribe to keep eyes, ears and even nostrils available, to sense the feeling in a room, alluding to the signs of coming trouble. Otherwise we will start complaining that God did not send us a prophet or prophetess to warn us of these horrible future events.

What God and Mother Nature send our way are inklings, tinglings and visuals of trouble that is beginning to unfold.

He that hath a brain

Let him notice what’s insane.

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-cide: (combining form) denoting a person or substance that kills.

Sitting here leisurely in my comfortable chair being allowed the luxury of thought, I am suddenly and completely overwhelmed with the futility of killing.

I don’t know why it struck me that way this morning. I didn’t have any trouble eating my breakfast sausage, which certainly required the life
of a pig (or was it a turkey?)

But overall, I am bewildered.

It seems to me that as long as we live in a world where an insult from our neighbor causes us to close down communication, and further intimidation coming from this newly found enemy pushes us to contemplate violence, won’t we always just be two steps away from murder–especially when those portions of life which are supposed to soften our hearts–moments like spirituality–are mysteriously fueled by feuds and sensations of supremacy? What will ever drag us away from the “killing fields?”

I shall not continue sharing much more because I fear that I’m waxing eloquent instead of relevant.

Are there people, creatures, causes, nations or even religions that deserve to be eliminated?

I don’t know.

I guess, this morning, all I’m telling you is, I sure as hell don’t want to be the one to de-“cide.”



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Bounce: (v) to move quickly up, back, or away from a surface after hitting it; to rebound

Junior high football had just finished. I was trying to figure out if I should try out for the basketball team.Dictionary B

I looked horrible stuffed into shorts.

But I loved basketball–at least, I thought I did.

Being very accomplished at playing the classic games, PIG and HORSE, I was pretty sure I could be stunning on the court and score many points, granting my team victory and acquiring the attention of all the cheerleaders.

So I took the leap (although I have to tell you that leaping has little to do with it.)

I found that basketball has a lot to do with bouncing.

  • First, bouncing the ball, which is referred to as dribbling–because it really doesn’t matter how well you shoot at the basket if you can’t bounce the ball to the location where shooting is practical.
  • Then there’s the running–back and forth, with little rest in between.
  • The shooting, now being accomplished with lungs only half-full of air.
  • Then there’s jumping to get the ball back and rebound it on those numerous occasions when the goal is missed.
  • Finally, running again–or is it bouncing?

Well, in basketball you can’t do one without the other.

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Bacon: (n) cured meat from the back of a pig.Dictionary B

Bacon is the religion of the fast food industry:

  • It is the communion which is needfully placed on the menu of every item.
  • It is the salvation for pink-slime hamburgers which would be rejected by the masses if standing alone.
  • It is the heaven we seek in pursuit of artery clogging and eternal life.

I have never seen a time in my life when bacon is so important to everyone. It’s the flavor, the crunch, the aftertaste, the texture, the sweetness, the saltiness and the fact that eating it is considered to be naughty that draws us deep into the hind quarters of the pig, for pleasure.

I am not immune.

It’s just that at my age, and being a male, I must opt for turkey bacon and convince myself that it resembles the “pig-out” product.

Of course, it does not.

Turkey bacon can perhaps slightly fool the taste buds, but when you pull it from the skillet or the microwave, there is that ever-present fragrance … of Thanksgiving morning.

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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Afoul: (adv.) into conflict or difficulty with. e.g. she ran afoul of her boss.

I think I would be upset if I were a chicken.

I know the word isn’t spelled the same–but normally if the word “foul” is used without a football field  nearby, one gets the image of a “clucker.”

But as I think about it, other animals suffer from us humans characterizing them in a negative light. Because even though your local hen has to live under the subjugation of the term “afoul,” the cow has to cringe every time we say we have “a beef” with someone. Not to mention when we scream at an adversary, “That’s bull!”

Likewise, if someone is acting shady or dishonest, we refer to him or her as a “weasel.” Or if they’ve succeeded in weaseling us and pulling the wool over our eyes (there’s another one!) we say they’ve “out-foxed us.”

The pig becomes the symbol for obesity by being “a porker.”

And men are often referred to as “dogs” in a very derogatory sense–even though we believe the creature to be a best friend.

But I think the chicken suffers the most with “afoul,” don’t you?

So not to become some sort of PETA zealot, I do feel empathy for my fellow-earth-creatures who are unable to speak for themselves and express their displeasure over our characterizations.

After all, we also insult amphibians sitting on their lily pads by referring to our death as “croaking.”


Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Act: (v.) 1. take action; do something 2. perform a fictional role in a play, movie or television production.

I was very proud of myself.

I had taken a position as a professor at a very, very small college–a position I was neither qualified nor prepared for in any way. Yet I was determined to do a good job.

I was asked to teach a class on drama. I thought the best way to instruct in drama was to write a three-act play and involve my students in the process of discovering the craft through the execution of an actual production.

To make sure that it would have some community appeal so we could sell tickets, I brought in a ringer. She was a lovely actress I had met a couple of years earlier , who had toured in one of my shows. She was delightful. She agreed to come in and work with the novices, and joined me as we went into rehearsals.

It was touch and go. I suppose, using a barnyard analogy, that it would be similar to trying to convince  a pig to lay a daily egg.

Yet after about a month’s worth of struggling interchanges, we were ready for opening night. The cast was nervous and so was my dear professional. She was wondering where they were going to fall apart–where she would need to step in to cover lines and bobbles. To make it even more interesting, the critic from the local daily paper had appeared to review the show.

Everything went splendidly throughout Act I, when all of a sudden, my intelligent and well-versed actress freaked out, skipped the entire second act, moving directly into the third act of the production, leaving her fellow-performers a bit baffled and the audience absent a good bit of plot development.

It was even more comical the next day when the review came out and the title read, College Play Gains Credibility in Third Act.

Certainly made possible by the fact that we were absent a second act.

I learned a lot that night–that life is never about what we THINK is going to go wrong, but rather, what chooses to go wrong without us ever thinking about it.

And like Shakespeare told us, all the world is a stage and we are actors in the forum.

So don’t be in a hurry.

  • Enjoy Act I.
  • Understand you will need Act II for development,
  • And don’t rush into Act III because you are anxious for the happy ending.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abet: v.  encourage or assist (someone) to do something wrong–in particular, to commit a crime or other offense.

I don’t think we appreciate enough how powerful it is to do things halfway. Matter of fact, I’ve heard people in casual conversation criticize or even put down that amount of concerted effort.

Isn’t doing things halfway at least acknowledging that something should be done?? Even though you ended up not buying enough gas for the trip or packing enough tuna salad sandwiches (with just enough Miracle Whip…)

So now that I know the definition of abet, I am going to make a commitment (halfway as it is) to merely AID without abetting.

I have been as guilty as the next one, to both aid and abet. That means I’ve been willing to assist in projects, but also use lies, deceit and various other forms of chicanery to cover up the true actions transpiring.

This dictionary definition has convicted me of all my abetting. I will no longer cover up–just offer assistance to my calamitous and often-comical stumbling brothers and sisters.

So if you plan on shooting your pet pig, and are making an exit out of town to escape the trailing  police force from PETA, you can feel free to stop off at my house, and I will give you a baloney sandwich–to go. But I have absolutely no intention, from this point on, of hiding you in my basement and pretending I know nothing about your hog slaughter.

Now, I realize that’s halfway. But it just seems cruel to remove abetting from people AND suddenly to yank aiding at the same time.

So you will continue to receive sympathy from me, but I will no longer participate in hiding you out in my closet, safe from those who come to track you down.

Well, I suppose if you were Anne Frank … you could still use my attic.