Friday, August 29, 2008


Yes, Topiary is back, nicely trimmed and sporting a new stylish bovine 'do'.

Cow is still unpacking and will be back to blogging soon. Sorry about the delay!


Friday, August 15, 2008


Cow will be on a New Topiary Techniques Training Expedition for about a week.

See you all then!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Self esteem

Cow has been turning over this question of high self-esteem and low self-esteem since reading "Evil : inside human cruelty and violence" by Roy Baumeister.

Because it seems now those raising children are constantly advised to create high self-esteem. And for adults, their failings are often attributed to low self esteem.

Yet, most criminals have very high self esteem according to this book. They aren't wrong, the world is wrong, they think.

To this humble Cow, those with high self-esteem seem to want others and indeed the whole world to adapt to them, because, after all, they are great!

A wasted hour spent watching the auditions for American Idol showed high self-esteem in some contestants. Ones who, despite being terrible, refused to believe they weren't great. Many argued with the judges...and then left still believing they were great and the judges were wrong.

High self-esteem seems to mean that no correction, no matter how deserved, will be accepted. Because they have such high self-esteem they cannot believe they could possibly be wrong, and reject all evidence that might prove it.

Of course there should be a middle ground between high and low. Cow just thinks we're creating people who are Always Right and Do No Wrong with this concentration on self-esteem instead of, for instance, acquiring actual skills and abilities, discipline, willingness to be corrected and to learn.

Or maybe not. Wait! Cow, of course, is always right, so she's right about this too.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


You CAN find anything on the Internet.

Including photos of your home town, Birmingham, England, to print on half-million leaflets to mail around town.

Except, they used a photo of Birmingham, Alabama.

Cow doesn't know what is more interesting, that nobody looked at the leaflet and spotted the error, that only one person called about the error after receiving the leaflet, or that when the error was pointed out the City said it wasn't an error at all.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Cow remembers back before 1993 when the sources of knowledge were printed materials, friends, co-workers, paid consultants. Classes, studying. Knowledge was hard-won.

Now you can look up anything and get thousands of hits.

Cow wonders, will we all make better decisions now? Better informed, better researched, just better? From careers, to financial choices, to luuuuve, to Topiary Trim techniques...

Will everyone do everything better now?


Why I Like the Olympics

Cow quickly swimming some laps...

Yup, that's one lap. and another...Eventually...

(no Gold medals on the horizon for Cow)


Monday, August 11, 2008


Cow thinks the Olympic Opening Ceremony was the most stupendous thing she's ever seen.

Only wishes she could have been there in person.

Apparently youtube pulled it but really, it was 4 hours long, if they let people download it the site would probably keel over. At least that's what Cow is guessing. Maybe there are sinister forces at play.

Cow now toodling off to read all about it.


Friday, August 08, 2008


Cow thinks it's funny when there is something so big, so obvious, so importantly affecting everything...

yet, it's a forbidden topic. Off-limits.

There are so many examples of this, both at life and at work, Cow thinks it's a miracle anybody can function at all without bumping into it.

Photo courtesy of Enter the Octopus, linked at right.


Leave Packages Outside

Police raid mayor's home and kill his dogs

So, here's the deal. To ship marijuana by Federal Express dealers pick some names and addresses randomly, ship the packages there, and then come and pick up the package before the homeowner gets home.

But, the pick-up guy was late, and when the mayor got home he brought it from the front porch and put it on the table, unopened.

Enter sheriffs, who, without a warrant or even a knock, break in the door, tie up the grandmother, shoot the pets, leave the grandmother tied up on the floor next to the bodies of the dogs for four hours...

People are afraid of Big Government and unlimited police powers for good reason.

Topiary is sending the nicest condolence card she can find to the office address of Mayor Cheye Calvo, 5700 Berwyn Road, Berwyn Heights, MD 20740.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Nothing could be better than Touring Topiary Elephants to highlight the need for elephant help.


Monday, August 04, 2008


Cow carefully watched the weather on Saturday. The forecast was for a very hot 100-degree day with 20% chance of rain.

Saturday night, torrential storms blew through and continued into Sunday, complete with flood warnings and the high reached 80, though there was a nice breeze in the afternoon and it was 78.

Sunday evening, weathermen recapped the story. Was there one word about how they had missed not only the torrential storm, but the temperature (by 20 degrees!)

It's not that Cow minds them being wrong. It's just that she does wonder how they could be so very, very wrong, considering they have all that radar and doppler and everything.


Mad over Men

Cow spent far too many hours over the weekend watching "Mad Men", the series about Madison Avenue advertising executives in the 1960's.

Cow was quite taken with this show and it's most talented cast, especially Vincent Kartheiser.

When she was done watching it, she watched it all again with the audio commentaries. That's how good it was.