Freebird

Bird And Flowers By David Jacobi

Do you remember when I

Brought the wounded bird

Into the house

You was so scared

And ran around

I took the bird out

Let it free

You was happy again

Mama

2011 By David Jacobi

Joker

A scene from Joker

I went to see the movie Joker in a small theater in a small town with my daughter on a beautiful October afternoon. I had read reviews that mentioned the right, the left, incels, mass shootings, dangerous movies, on and on. What I ended up viewing I have to admit left me a little dazed at the end, not quite sure what exactly I had just experienced. It reminded me of my reactions to Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter and, yes, certain Scorsese movies. Like those earlier films Joker is not an uplifting or inspirational film. No character is happy, content, or even just okay. Most everyone is miserable, which sets the overall mood of the movie. There is trash everywhere on the streets (due to a strike) and grime and dirt and darkness. Arthur Fleck lives in this hopeless world. His dreams continually fall through, every day he is humiliated, he fails at whatever he tries, and finally he decides to fight back after being assaulted yet again. Empowered by a handgun, he shoots first some harassers on the subway. His medication and therapy ended because of budget cuts, he begins to expand his killing fields to include almost everyone he knows. It is a transformation that one watches with gathering gloom and horror. Arthur becomes a killing machine, evolving from a depressed, lonely nobody into the dancing, homicidal maniac the Joker, one of the greatest comic book bad guys of all. Since show business loves handing out awards Joaquin Phoenix should be at the top of the list to receive something for his intense portrayal of Arthur/Joker. The movie is a stew of mental illness, desperation, violence, hopelessness, pathos, arrogance, faint hope, lost dreams, misery and more violence…with just a dash of humor. It is not a fun movie, but a fascinating one.

The Roundup

Yardlight By David Jacobi

GRIT “offers practical advice, product reviews, livestock guides, gardening, cooking and other do-it-yourself information, humor and the inspirational stories of folks who moved to the country and love it. Each issue covers topics related to country living, land management, wildlife, gardening, livestock or pets, skills and techniques, seasonal food, community, machinery or tools, and lifestyle events.”

Use GoWatchIt “to discover where the movies you want to see are available on the services you care about. Keep track of your movies and receive alerts when they become available. You can also see what your friends are watching, and plan a movie night. GoWatchIt brings you the movies of your choice the way you want to watch, whether in Theaters, on DVD or Blu-ray, Online or On Demand.”

The Black Vault is “the largest privately run online repository of declassified government documents anywhere in the world. With more than 2 MILLION pages of documents to read, on nearly every government secret imaginable, The Black Vault is known worldwide for getting down to the truth… and nothing but. Every document in this archive was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Begun in 1996, at the age of 15, John Greenewald, Jr., began hammering the U.S. Government with FOIA requests to obtain information. The Black Vault is the result of that more than two decade effort.”

FreeWill “is an award-winning social venture founded by graduate students at Stanford University in 2016, with the help and support of many of the world’s leading experts in law, design, and philanthropy.” Use the site to create your last will and testament for free.

The Harvest

The field to our east

The brisk fall winds have begun blowing and the first hard freeze of the season settled on us a week ago. We picked all of the bell peppers and the red and green tomatoes from the garden the day before the freeze. As I was picking them I noticed dozens of little yellow flowers on the tomato branches. If not for the weather change those plants could have gone on indefinitely. The day after the freeze the plants had obviously been killed, their branches drooping and leaves curled up. The tomatoes have been stored in the garage on a long table to ripen, if they will. We have talked about what to do with this huge bounty, and I think there will be plenty of fried green tomatoes, chili, spaghetti, goulash, homemade V8, roasted tomatoes, and anything else we can think of while they either ripen or rot. The freezer is already full, so the only other alternatives are canning or eating them. We have shared with family, neighbors and coworkers as well. Our first garden here on the acreage produced more tomatoes than we ever experienced in the city, and only seven plants were involved. The field crop harvest has finally started, but slowly. It has been a wet fall and the farmers must wait for the fields to dry out or to freeze. There have only been a few advantageous days so far when the fields become busy with harvesters, but otherwise the rain has kept them away. The sun is setting earlier at each days dusk, and the high temperatures are declining, giving a daily reminder of what is to come.

Website Review: Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings was created and is written by Maria Popova. From her About page she writes “I am a reader and writer, and I write about what I read here on Brain Pickings — my one-woman labor of love. It is an inquiry into what it means to live a decent, substantive, rewarding life, and a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — drawn from my extended marginalia on the search for meaning across literature, science, art, philosophy, and the various other tentacles of human thought and feeling.” I have been a subscriber to her newsletter for several years now, and it is a weekly highlight to read. Some articles focus on a single theme in depth, while other post’s can meander and skim on multiple subjects. Well worth checking out.

Homemade Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

We celebrated a birthday this weekend and my wife Shelly made a cheesecake as one of the desserts. Here she shares the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the crust use 1 ¾ c crushed graham crackers, 1/3 c melted butter, ¼ c sugar and ¼ tsp salt. Mix altogether and press into your springform pan. Bake for 10 min.

Cheesecake: 4 8oz pkg cream cheese room temp, 3 eggs room temp, 2 tsp vanilla, ½ c sour cream and 1 c sugar. Mix altogether but do not over mix. Pour on top of the graham cracker crust. Bake for 60-70 minutes until cheesecake is slightly browned and some cracks have formed. You can shut off the oven and let it cool.

My family’s favorite is to then add strawberry topping. I have used canned pie filling as well.

This time I used an 11 x 13 baking dish instead of the springform pan. This way I usually only bake for 55 min.

Enjoy!