Sunday, March 15, 2009


The mind is a funny thing, the way it jumps around.

For years my wife had a screen saver of animated fish swimming around in an animated fish tank. Unfortunately, the gamma rays that are constantly bombarding us finally corrupted the code and caused her machine to operate in a less than optimum mode. In other words, it was messed up. Actually, I'm deliberately blaming the gamma rays although the real source of the contamination was probably Deb herself.

Now, calm down, I'm not accusing her of modifying the fish tank code. However, there is a decades long, well documented, voluminous case study of her mere presence affecting electronic devices. Her aura must be so electrically charged that the poor little electrons get all discombobulated. (Wow, spell check says that word is OK, how about that!). She can cause a computer to reboot simply by walking up to it. The thing starts yelling 'Proximity Alert' and shields go up.

But she felt better yesterday when we went to Home Depot to buy a Roman statue to place along one of her paths in the woods. As we were checking out the check-out lady was complaining that she has the same affliction. She's always being accused of demagnetizing people's credit cards and fouling up the electronic register. For some reason, Deb felt much better knowing that she was not alone in this crippling disease.

Back to my story, I was going to reinstall her fish tank program, but in the mean time, I started up the 'random picture display' screen saver until I could find the software. This is the option that goes to your My Pictures file and displays random pictures as a screen saver. I know, it makes no sense that Microsoft would name something so intuitively, but there you have it. The naming guys must have been having an off day, this name is not nearly as arcane as it should be.

Anyway, we liked it so much, we left it in place. We were seeing photographs we hadn't seen in years. "Hey, look at that!" "Hey!" One of the photos that flashed by a little while ago was from our genealogy trip a year and a half ago to England, Wales and Scotland. the photo was of a field in the Trossachs in Scotland and it struck me how lucky we were to have gotten to see it. We saw wonderful things at every turn on that trip, but this field really stuck with me. We were driving through the area on a day trip and there was one spot where a car could pull off so I stopped to take a photograph.

There was a little pathway that led through the bushes by the road to a hidden field beyond. So we had to go through. It wasn't a cultivated field, although it probably was at one time or another. With so much history, you can't escape reuse. But it was just grass now and you could hear the loch beyond. There was no one around, no buildings in sight and traffic noise had faded away. It could have been any time in the last four thousand years. No one was taking care of this place, it was just growing this way, just as you've read about it a hundred times and there we were!

And then we drove to the hometown of Rob Roy (Robert MacGregor) in Balquhidder Parish to visit the cemetery and say hello.

Here's what's left of his old church.

I don't know if you can read the inscription there, but it says MacGregor Despite Them. If you click on the photograph, it will enlarge. Boy, if that isn't Scotland!

Scotland has a motto "Nemo Me Impume Lacessit" which means literally "No One Assails Me with Impunity" but the modern colloquial translation is closer to "Don't F*** With Me".

Believe it!


Leah Kleylein said...

I just want to remind you of how COLD that water was in the Trossachs. There's cold, and then there's oh-my-god-how-is-it-that-this-isn't-ice-yet cold.

This was the latter.

debbie said...

I had an mental picture as soon as I started reading, then, voila, there were the pictures. What a great trip! So much fun.