Published May 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel


Nineteen elementary school children and two adults in Texas were killed Tuesday by an adolescent with a gun after shooting his grandmother.

Welcome to America?  Where is love, compassion, empathy, care, conscience?  My journalism professor Buddy Davis at the University of Florida used to frequently refer to the milk of human kindness.  It has been souring rapidly.  The Age of Aquarious didn’t blossom as hoped for.   A U.S. Representative has called on the “dark MAGA” to respond. to his defeat.

What went wrong is now less important than what to do about it.  The Climate Change may humble us, but at what cost?  What has the obscene scrambling for booty cost us?

A young boy teaches his little brother the art of lying while his parents feed the embers of distrust.  It’s my understanding that we continue to be born with the same potential, although down the road our forced appearance on the scene may be increasingly resented.

I tuck away my fleeting suspicion that a great sense of masculine inadequacy feeds the attraction for guns.

The remedy is unclear.  Any hopeful solutions?



Published May 22, 2022 by Nan Mykel


In my next life I want to be a fungus.

Fungi are more like animals than plants,

Distinctively in a kingdom all their own.

Some form the largest organization on earth*,

But others are microscopic, too tiny to see.

As a fungus I could be almost everywhere:

As spores in the air, in food, on our skin,

And underneath the soil we all walk upon.


As a truffle  I’d be a culinary delicacy.

As yeast I would be highly prized for

Making beer and bread, wine and cheese.

As mold I’d be a medicine or a poison.

As a mushroom I’d cause hallucinations,

Or glow in the dark as a bioluminescent,

Or mesh with hyphae* to become mycelium*,

Already in use as a bioconstruction material.


Best of all, I’d be part of the Wood Wide Web*

That vast underground fungal information highway

That allows trees and plants and fungi to interconnect

And to symbolically aid or lethally harm each other.

As a fungus I’d push thinkers to consider more deeply

The astonishingly intimate interdependence of all things.

Nothing on earth is autonomous, able to stand alone.

Nothing exists by itself. Everything connects to everything.

Felix Gagliano  March 2021


***I swear, no connection between this poem (or the following) and any money-making scheme (shudder):

*The largest living organism is a fungus!  A honey mushroom called Armillaria solidipes in Oregon was found to be over  2,000 years old and growing through the soil in a forest to cover 9 square kilometers  (over 1,000 rugby fields).

*The Wood Wide Web: Millions of species of fungi and bacteria swap nutrients between soil and the roots of trees, forming a vast, interconnected web of organisms throughout the woods.  It is also called the Mycorrhizal network.

These networks can transport carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, water, defense compounds, and chemicals from plant to plant.  Trees linking to the fungal network can assist their neighbors by sharing nutrients and information, warn about enemies such as insect attack–or sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxic chemicals through the network.

For a  superb look of the expanding fields of mycology (the study of fungi)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               see: Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures (Random House, 2020), by British mycologist Merlin Sheldrake.

Sheldrake uses these key terms:

Mycorrhizae: a mutual symbiotic association between a fungus and a tree or plant.  The plant makes organic molecules such as sugars by photosynthesis and supplies them to the fungus, and the fungus supplies to the plant water and mineral nutrients, such as phosphorus, taken from the soil.

*Hypha (plural,  hyphae): each of the branching filaments that make up the mycelium of a fungus.

*Mycellium: the mass or network of branched, tubular filaments (hyphae)  of fungi.

Sheldrake let his book on mushrooms be devoured by mushrooms and then he ate those mushrooms.  Thereby eating his own words!

He notes (p.225): “Fungi might make mushrooms, but first they must unmake something else.  Now that this book is made I can hand it over to fungi to unmake. I’ll dampen a copy and seed it with Pleurotus myceliumWhen it has eaten its way through the words and pages and endpapers and sprouted oyster mushrooms from the covers, I will eat them.”

He mashed up another copy of his book , added a yeast and fermented it into a beer which he then drank, thereby closing the circuit.

Thanks to friend Felix for permission to share his poem and reflections.



what being without internet feelslike

Published May 20, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Lonely. Cut off. Going on 2 weeks without FRONTIER as an internet provider and carrier of my landline means being isolated — away from my blog and other friends. Probably my tv too, but I haven’t had the heart for that. (I’m still without FRONTIER–my daughter came from Atlanta and hooked me up to a downtown Athens internet at the Donkey Cafe.) Thank you, Donkey: hee haw. I missed you all. Oujr only other choice is Spectrum which I dropped due to poor service.


Published May 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Fruit flies sure don’t!  Nerve cells in their olfactory hairs on their antenna enable them to pick up odors up to 4 miles away.  (Flies don’t have noses).

(MMnnn, someone on the next block is cooking peach cobbler.)

Mother Nature tends to some things, like how is a good fly going to smell?  Kinda wish she’d tend to certain other things, too….


Published May 7, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Doug Shivley stepped onto the porch of the duplex and keyed in the front door. His dad was on a long haul for the bottling company, and he did not have to worry about his mom, who’d left them three years ago. He eased off his ball cap and leaned forward into the front hall mirror to check his forehead. He should have used a gun, but he had no way of knowing she was a he and a fighter…. or at least a kind of a he.

He swayed. Maybe he was drunk. Suddenly losing strength, he headed for the bathroom, grabbed a towel and climbed into the tub. He didn’t want to have to explain blood to his dad. He would have to beg off summer session finals and lie low. Bitch!  He could not go to the Emergency Room for treatment due to fear of being collared. He smiled grimly. The bitch can’t go to the ER, either! Damn conniving bitch man!


2 b continued?


Published May 1, 2022 by Nan Mykel





(SORRY– no clue in the photo.  Just a cute photo.)


A Transgender Civil War Veteran

See  more on Wikipedia, but for now know that Little Al Cashier was a Transgender Civil War veteran.  She worked as a farmhand as well as performing odd jobs in Saunemin, Illinois.  Albert Cashier can be found on records of the town payroll.  Her employer there, Joshua Chesebro, built a one-room house for her.  For over forty years she worked as a chuch janitor, cemetery worker, and street lamplighter.  Because she lived as a man, she was able to vote in elections and later claimed a veteran’s pension under the name Albert Cashier.  Birth name was Jennie Irene Hodgers….


Published May 1, 2022 by Nan Mykel


The man with the power.

What power ?

The power of Hoodoo!


          YOU DO!

What did I do?  What did I do!

From rage to silliness.  As Dr. Rex says, “DISCLAIMER: I do not own these images or post  and have no intention of taking credit [or blame] for them “


Published April 30, 2022 by Nan Mykel

An article in the Chicago Tribune by Kaitlin Miller reported various extant laws in place the day following January 6, 2021.  This list should probably be at all our fingertips:

What is treason?

Treason can broadly mean betrayal or treachery, but it is a federal crime — and the only crime expressly defined by the Constitution. Treason only applies to American citizens and can be committed by “levying war” against the U.S. or by giving American enemies “aid and comfort.” Both of these crimes require concrete action as well as an intent to betray the nation, according to the National Constitution Center. There have only been a few treason prosecutions in American history, and there has only been one person indicted for treason since 1954 and the last time someone was convicted was in 1952.

What is sedition?

Sedition is a federal crime that falls short of the offense of treason. While the crime of treason requires action, sedition is any conspiracy to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States. This includes preventing, hindering or delaying the execution of any law of the United States or seizing, taking or possessing any property of the United States. Merely advocating for the use of force does not qualify as sedition as it is most likely protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

What is a coup?

A coup is the sudden removal or displacement of authority that takes place outside the bounds of the law. So impeachment, which is a constitutional process for removing the president from office, is not a coup. Coup is short for the French term “coup d’etat,” which means overthrowing the government. Advocating for the overthrow of the government is a federal crime that includes advocating, abetting, advising or the necessity of overthrowing or destroying the U.S. government by force or violence, or by the assassination of any government officials. It also applies to anyone organizing, joining or affiliating with a group that encourages overthrowing the government

What legally qualifies as domestic terrorism?

The 2001 Patriot Act expanded the government’s definition of terrorism to cover domestic, as opposed to international, terrorism. Under the U.S. code, domestic terrorism is defined as violent acts that are committed within the U.S. and are a violation of federal or state criminal laws that are intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. The FBI characterizes domestic terrorism as violent extremism meant to further ideological goals stemming from political, religious, social, racial or environmental influences.

What is a failed state?

A failed state is when a government is unable to perform its basic functions such as education, security or governance, often due to civil war, crime, corruption or poverty. When a state is unable to control its people and resources or protect fundamental human rights, its citizens and the international community view its power as illegitimate. Examples of failed states include Afghanistan, Somalia and Sierra Leone.

What is a banana republic?

What makes a civil war?

A civil war is not simply violent conflict breaking out within a country. Civil wars take place between a state and one or more organized non-state actors within the state’s territory. These actors can be seeking either government control or succession and autonomy from the government. This is different from states fighting other states and from violence from non-state actors such as terrorists. Modern civil wars look quite different from America’s Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865.

What constitutes voter fraud?

Voter fraud is a federal election crime in which someone knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a state of a fair and impartially conducted election process. This includes producing and submitting voter registration applications as well as producing, casting or tabulating ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious or fraudulent. This could be registering for someone who has died or casting a vote for someone who has moved. Voter fraud and suppression were rampant in the 19th and early 20th century, however, modern instances of fraud in America are very rare.

What do anarchists believe?

Anarchism is the belief that society should have no government, laws, police or any other authority. According to the FBI, this belief is perfectly legal and the majority of American anarchists are non-violent and non-criminal when advocating for their beliefs. Only anarchist extremism, which does involve violence and criminal acts, is considered a domestic terrorism threat.

What is fascism?

There is no universally accepted definition of fascism, but this political movement or kind of regime is typically characterized by an autocratic or dictatorial leader, extreme militaristic nationalism, fetishization of masculinity and youth, contempt for electoral democracy, forcible suppression of opposition and exaltation of the nation above the individual. The term was coined by Europe’s first fascist leader, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and the movement caught on in other European countries like Spain, France and Nazi Germany and later spread internationally to Argentina. Recently, the term has been commonly misused to criticize any kind of far-right or violent group.

SPOILER: Too Grumpy to Read

Published April 29, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Why do I post it, then?  Just to get it off my chest. 

If you skip reading this you won’t get it all over

your chest, either.

The little feller above is trying to hide from reality,

just like us.  





I wonder how many folks in the United States still believe something was fishy about 911?

I just learned the editor of our town’s externally owned local weekly  newspaper has been fired for not wanting to carry a huge, misleading advertisement for an outfit known by others to be a scam.

I just saw a video of an Ohio legislator urging that raped children in no way should be allowed to abort but to give the foetus a chance to live and maybe cure cancer. … It’s so easy to find these sources on Google and I’m discouraged and you’re not reading this anyway so I’m not going to credit them all, only to say that I live in Athens, Ohio.

An op ed piece from the July 14, 2021  local weekly news reminds us that when Pesident Nixon first launched his crusade against drugs, he called for more treatment and rehabilitation, but he quickly realized being “tough on crime” was better for him politically (as it has been reported Trump switched his own  belief in “choice” until he was advised to switch positions for political expediency.  “As Nixon’s White House Advisor John Erlichman explained to journalist Dan Baum years later, “By getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminaliing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.  We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs?  Of course we did.”

In my state you have to be 21 and older and lawfully able to carry a gun  and then you may carry it concealed without any background check or training or permit.  A major gun lobbyist wrote the speech for the two Ohio legislators to read in proposing the House Bill 227 to the House Government Oversight Committee.  When  gun lobbyist Chris Dorr was asked, he said in a text message that he “maybe/probably” wrote the the speech, but he couldn’t remember for sure.” (Ohio Capitol Journal) by Jake Zuckerman)

A man vaguely connected with Medicare (I’m partly deaf) contacted me by phone at home about the Single Care pharmacy card, and said the one I use at a national chain store is a scam.  (I had read that Medicare won’t ever call you at home). Now I don’t know which is the scam, but one of them is lying, like everyone else seems to be….

Robert Reich  @RBReich :  Zuckerberg owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Elon Musk owns Twitter. When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication,  it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.
Shame on Ohio!  My Non Sweet Home:  A News Letter to the Editor April 13, 2022:  “HB 616 Is a disaster for everyone – …With this bill, the legislature is stating that we are anti-LGBTQ, racist,and more. As a proud transgender and queer man who recently moved to this great state, I should NOT have to fear personal violence running errands, discrimination in employment or healthcare, and especially ILLEGAL discrimination from state legislators who are out of touch and out of date when it comes to science.”
The following is so unspeakable that it makes me want to barf:  Ron DeSantis…DeSantis — who’s working hard to out-trump Trump — has found a new target in his escalating culture war: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  That’s why Florida’s department of education announced in the ominously triumphant press release titled “Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students,” that they were rejecting 54 of 132 math textbooks publishers had submitted for their consideration. Why? Because the books: “… were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics – the most in Florida’s history. Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics. What is SEL exactly? According to the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the non-profit educational foundation that developed the SEL framework, it is intended to help students “develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” SEL emphasizes five basic competencies: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship building.”
HOW WAS THAT AGAIN?  In Florida it’s now not allowable to teach school children self-awareness, serlf-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship building?  No surprise but it’s more than sad that anyone could/would blatantly object to letting their children know about (shhh)…empathy and other humane skills.  Are any other parents in the United States other than Mr. and Mrs. DeSantis concerned about their children learning empathy?  Oh, I forgot about Mr. and Mrs. Trump…


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