Monday, December 31, 2007

"Doing another BLOG post, Asha?"


I can't count how many times M. Lee has crept up behind me and said those words, in a very loud, slow voice. So yes. I am doing another blog post, this one on new year's eve.



The music box from a Christmas card we got this year has been playing in a trashcan in the garage for the last 36 hours. At this point, I'm betting that it will play all the way into the new year. As I refused to take a hammer to it, M. Lee insisted I reset the (humane PETA) mousetrap. He claims the music sounds like a bunch of mice having a big party and will attract mice that might be happening by. So okay, he'll leverage anything but I set the trap and, naturally, made a video, 2 minutes and 17 seconds of pure tipsy existential wonder and pathos. I dedicate this to my beloved SO. If it's not enough to set your sails for 2008 baby, lemme know. I also have a version that runs 21 minutes and 48 seconds.







Saturday, December 29, 2007

Xmas, there and back again

The magpies are dropping down into the yard this morning. They are the first to notice we are back from Oregon, we as in peanuts scattered freely on the ground and fresh water in the tubs. One is taking a drink right now. And now they have all ascended to the rooftop for a noisy debate. And now they are gone.


Oregon, eye of the beholder


Inside my mind


For such a non-traditional bunch, we had a surprisingly old-fashioned type xmas this year, with elders who were like logs in a roaring fire around which children, grandchildren and many loud and lively Norwegian and Croatian in-law/relatives and friends visiting from Europe gathered for warmth, fantastic feasts and merry times. And there were the good old friends, seen only briefly, but who leave a warm and lasting glow. And The New Puppy, born on the auspicious day of winter solstice, upon whom I am eager to rain goodies and puppets. But, perhaps sweetest of all, there was the son who, though never leaving Oregon, was the traveler from the greatest distance. After ten days of back to back here there and back again and again and again seeing everyone doing everything and topping the days off with nights around the game table we were full ready to go and felt lucky to get safely over the passes back through snow wind and slippery roads.


Game night


Road home


Red flares lying along the road behind Mt. Lassen warned us of what was almost certainly a fatal one car accident ahead, a black jeep, roof frame showing like the bones of a ruined building, body smashed, engine crumpled and crushed into the driver's empty seat, filling with snow. The ambulance was already gone, just cops and a road crew standing along the shoulder discussing how to remove what remained. As we drove by I looked to the placid snow-covered trees that the driver saw last and marveled at how detached, deceptively ordinary, and discrete they seemed, sentinels standing back just enough to make way for the road, as though promising safe passage through their midst.


Nevada, wide open


Good to be back in Nevada. We grabbed some food on the way home and today are laying low and staying warm. My text message quota is maxed out, I haven't caught up on the news, called anyone or even done my solstice/new year I Ching reading for the year ahead.


Happy New Year



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Winter Solstice



Hoary for Winter Solstice

Near the South Galactic Pole
beyond the universe of naked eye
between Cetus and Sculptor
Galaxy NGC 253
shimmers.
To its west
near the galactic equator and ecliptic intersection
the diffuse nebulae M20 and M8
stellar sphinx
guarding the winter solstice point of our sun
shimmer.
On my earth wild roses
perfume this afternoon’s rain.
On my earth
in the 21st century after Christ
after countless way-showers and seed-sowers
the only revolution left
is love.
asha

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lull before the storm

Pretty quiet night here tonight, a relief after the frantic last few days, mailing presents and cards. I ended up with a cold. And my office and the front room are in shambles. Except for in the shadows on the north side of things, last week's snow is gone but a big storm is due to hit the same day we leave for Oregon. Lovely. We have to cross Siskiyou Pass, according to truckers the worst on all of I-5. But it's the only way home. Got to sleep now. Must try to stay ahead of this cold. Mark your calendar. The winter solstice is this Saturday at 1:08 am EST (06:08 UT).


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cannibal goes vegetarian


You can file this one under "What Ever Happened To Ol' What's His Name?". Plus, there are a few interesting things to glean about life from this curious story, starting with the forbidden fact that humans taste like pigs. Or so says Armin Meiwes, the world's current most infamous cannibal. Or x-cannibal as he recently went vegetarian, but more about that later. I'd heard that before, about humans and pigs. It does add a little punch to the old line, "cooks my bacon" or however the saying goes. Being a vegetarian, I generally avoid meat references. For instance, I don't say, "I've got a beef with you", or a "bone to pick with you", but if I do and catch myself in time, I'll substitute the work "tofu" for "beef". Ends up odd in translation but what the hell? I"m not trying to impress anyone. And I never did like "bone to pick". I'm not sure I used that one, even as a meat eater.

I also avoid equating people with animals, unless it's complimentary to the animal, which it generally is not. But we humans draw a lot of power from animal references which, when you stop to think about it, pepper the language. Once, when M. Lee was negotiating the jeep along a desert "road" at about 5 miles an hour for hours, we made a list of some of the more common ones. Of course, if you are one of the ultra hip who read my old zine, Reddog Review, you've already seen it but this is the new, improved version.


Common animal/human references:

hen / hen pecked
buzzard
leech
cow
horse
snake
pig
chick / foxy
(hot babe, but "chick" also indicates
inferior standing as in chick to rooster
whereas "foxy" is without the baggage )
chum
(good except if you're the bait)
weasel
hawk
hawk-eyed / hawk-eye / ol' hawk-eye / eagle-eye
(cool)
bear / bull
(aside from being financial icons, can go either way)
bull-headed
worm
vulture
dog
cat
(cats are cool)
catty
(not cool)
monkey
gorilla
(not complimentary)
strong as a gorilla
(complimentary)
shark
(compliment if you're the one doing the eating,
not so if you're the one being eaten)
turkey
slug
sloth
pussy
pup / cub
(diminutive but generally indicates fondness)
filly
(see "chick")
sucker
hog
sow
chicken
amoeba
wolf / fox
(see "shark")
old fox
(admiration)
ass
jackass
hyena
moose
pigeon
squirrel
piss-ant
spider
loon
hippo
elephant
toad
shrimp
mole
beaver
(complimentary when "busy as",
not so as a sexual reference. )
rat
mouse
peacock
sheep
lamb
(complimentary when "gentle as",
definitely creepy reference to human sacrifice
and all other forms of religious servitude)
stallion
stud
buck
tiger
lion
(Studly)
wise owl / doe-like /doe-eyed / eagle eye
(complimentary)
deer in the headlights
old frog
lobster
whale
shrew / old shrew
parrot
clam
bat / old bat
goat / old goat
cold fish
goose / silly goose
queer bird / queer duck
spineless jellyfish
slippery as an eel
ferret out
sang like a canary
bats in the belfry
clam up
pig out
squirrelly
squirrel away
fish brain
coo-coo
horse’s ass
crow / old crow
My little chickadee

The list goes one. Add your own.


I suppose if you drink you may have a fondness for Old Crow, the feather of the old crow and all that, but I digress. My point is, we humans are in the habit of comparing ourselves favorably to everyone else, top o' the heap, pinnacle of evolution, God's kids enjoying "The Father's" permission to treat and eat everyone else any ol' way we want.

But back to Mr. Meiwes, the fellow who killed, filleted, froze and ate a chat room acquaintance, 42-year-old Bernd-Juergen Brandes who, it seems, responded to Meiwes' on-line post "Man seeking man willing to be killed and eaten", which apparently Mr. Brandes was. Meiwes, now in jail for life, has become a vegetarian because he objects to the grizzly factory farm slaughter house practices with are a true hell on earth. Since acquainting himself with the realities of animal's plight, Mr. Meiwes now finds "the whole idea of factory farming as distasteful" as his own crime was. He ought to know.

As a footnote, I find it interesting how much more humane German prisons are than American ones. Three months ago Meiwes was voted to head up the Green Party section in the maximum security jail in Kassel where he is serving his sentence. The group is made up of murderers, paedophiles and drug dealers and now has a cannibal as its leader. Meeting every Tuesday, they discusses tax, legal and environmental policies. Fancy anything like that happening in an American prison. The only "salvation" our poor mopes have is to join a gang and then enhance that status by becoming a member of the soul-snatching, blood-thirsty Army of Khrist. Anyway, Good for ol' Meiwes. It's never to late to have a change of heart.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel acceptance speech

This by way of Crooks and Liars: "Al Gore was in Oslo Norway, this morning with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pick up their Nobel Peace Prize. If you have a minute, his acceptance speech is really incredible. Video here.


Excerpts from Gore's speech:

"There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We need to go far, quickly."

"But unlike most other forms of pollution, CO2 is invisible, tasteless, and odorless -- which has helped keep the truth about what it is doing to our climate out of sight and out of mind. Moreover, the catastrophe now threatening us is unprecedented – and we often confuse the unprecedented with the improbable..”"





Just askin'


HERE IS THE QUESTION AS I SEE IT:

Can a spoiled frat boy, trust fund baby whose father bought him a degree at a prestigious university, dry drunk alcoholic/addict, draft dodging corporate shill for the self-entitled untouchables in his uber rich "Base" (his Masters), idiot liar, chiseling megalomaniac religious freak with the reverse Midas touch, Peter Pan loser, fascist puppet traitor successfully spearhead the destruction of the United States Constitution and American Bill of Rights while intelligent, well-informed, committed patriots stand by watching everything this country stands for get chopped up, melted down, twisted and retooled into a fascist machine run by and for the Corporate/Military Elite for the sole purpose of waging endless, preemptive war on the peoples of the world on the backs of the American people which drains, not only our economy but shackles us, and our children for generations to come, to endless war with its unbearable loss of life, crushing debt and searing shame before the world for our war crimes as, all the while they, insulated from the consequences, remain behind the scenes in their boardrooms and war rooms, enclaves, compounds, gated communities and posh international resorts protected by private, evangelical armies paid for by We the People, where they gorge themselves on the spoils of war and an environment laid at their feet by their proxy, the President of the United States, whose Congress, courts and spies collude to intimidate, suppress, control and silence We, the People, so that We give up our power and cower and surrender and hope to be passed over during the sweeps by relinquishing our Democracy, abandoning our freedoms and betraying, not only our own way of life, but life in general and our planet upon which we all depend, our conscience, our morals, and our God, if we have one and however we understand that, so that they can make of themselves Over Lords in their psychotic vision of a New World Order?

Just askin'.




Sunday, December 9, 2007

My robot


I, well ... we, have a robot. My, our, first. No, it's not a humanoid. Or a robotic dog. But I'm already attached and see it as more that a "mere machine". Can't help it. It's just what I do. Anyway, it's a Roomba. We tried it yesterday and we both ended up standing there, watching it scoot around the room. Very cool little bot. It did a great job. I want to paint it so that it looks like a ladybug or a frog. Probably a ladybug. It's sweet like a ladybug. I dunno but it's definitely got personality.



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas graveyard

Reno in December

Plonk and his girlfriend are cozied up by the pool this morning, she lounging in the tub and he nested in the grass next to her, cleaning his gray feathers and airing his under wings, making him look like a pigeon angel. Sorry, Internet. No Bird Park videos until the writer's strike is settled.

Casinos from Dreamer's Cafe

However, it being The Season, I will post this video I did yesterday. Christmas graveyard. If these trees could talk, what stories would they tell? Listen closely and you can catch moments of a woman and some old man crooning along with Bing. Reno Goodwill. Cheery as hell. Be prepared. It is the digital equivalent of a stale but very rummy rum soaked bit of fruit cake, the kind you might find at the bottom of an ornament box long after the fact.


Christmas graveyard

01:01




Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sorry, Internet. T. Strum throws down the pen

Naturally, we here at the Invisible Theatre support the writer's strike. Clearly, They are right and The Man is wrong. Writers deserve fair pay for their work. It's that simple. Otherwise I don't much care about what happens in TV land. Don't even have a set in the house. I watch Colbert and Stewart online. But yesterday when writers from the Colbert Report requested responses to their video Sorry, Internet, we were only to happy to oblige. The troope got together and decided that our decidedly not cuddly or adorable producer T. Strum, formerly known as The Shipping Squirrel, should do the honors so, after homage to the Muse, he threw down the pen. No more Bird Park videos until this thing is settled! Sorry, Internet.


Sorry, Internet. T. Strum throws down the pen
00:43


Ps. I am endlessly disturbed by the bad editing job. That damn hand. The cheezy freeware would not let me do a second edit on the clip. After a midnight brain lock I decided to post it as is. Since then I figured it out but, in solidarity with the strike, I am not going to fix it. The blame falls squarely on the padded shoulders of the greedy media moguls.



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nora: The Sequel

Remember Nora the musical cat genius? Well finally she returns in this new video duet. I love this cat.

Nora: the sequel.

04:08




Rove's last stand

The dictionary has no entries for the search string: Karl Rove's ivory tower of lies is built on quicksand. He faces a huge reckoning. It is not a question of if, but when. However, it assured me that the words Karl, Roves, ivory, tower, of, lies, is, built, on, quicksand, He, faces, a, huge, reckoning It, is, not, a, question, of, if, but, when are spelled correctly.



Poor Turd Blossom. He is supposed to be very smart but, even though the words are spelled right, he cannot comprehend them. What will it take?




Friday, November 30, 2007

Mr. W.

Here's an interesting little film that just kind of sneaks up on you.

Mr. W.




Friday sink hole



In case you haven't fallen into a gigantic, time sucking vortex yet today, click on over to Tori's pics and hurl yourself into the hole.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vote for Mr. Splashy Pants!

Greenpeace is currently holding a contest to name a whale they have adopted. Hurry! Go there and vote for Mister Splashy Pants!

-------

UPDATE: Because of the huge interest, Green Peace has decided to hold the competition open for an additional week. It will now end the 7th of December. Mister Splashy Pants has a big lead but if you don't want some other name to slip by unobserved as we wallow in complacency, get your friends to go over to Green Peace and vote too!





Found art

This from BlueGal, a page from her then 9 year old son's day planner, a perfect found art poem/meditation on the nature of time. Plus it's hilarious. And be sure to check out the quote from Unknown in the upper right hand corner.





Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beautiful MInd


Stephen Wiltshire did not speak his first words "pencil" and "paper" until he was 5. Yet, at 11 he drew a perfect aerial view of London after only one helicopter ride. Even the number of windows of all the major buildings was correct. ColourField Productions tested the "Living camera" in Rome. They flew him over the city, then asked him to draw a 5 1/2 yard panoramic picture of the city from memory in 3 days.


Beautiful Mind

05:22




Monday, November 26, 2007

Cats in bird land


Two cats have taken to hunting in the Bird Park. There have been others but these two are serious about it and have even divided up the territory, front and back. Of course, Clarence the Bastard (not pictured here) also comes around but that is mostly for his morning, afternoon and evening constitution. Battle lines are drawn.






AWS and new chestnuts for the holidays



As some of you hate political posts, I have adopted this new Advanced Warning System. Whenever you see Duck n Cover scram. But before you do, be a sport. Go vote for Mr. Splashy Pants.

Now that the light weights have gone, here's a handy little reference I found washed up on the beach today penned by George Lakoff at Rockridge Nation. Don't hesitate to put the ideas into your own words. At least I find the wording a little corny. Ya never know when one of these lines might come in handy over the holidays when you're talking to friends or relatives who accuse you of morphing into a "nut" because lately you sound like a damn liberal.

"Aw you liberals just hate America."

No. We love democracy and we want to return it to America.
You want a presidential dictator.
We love liberty and we want to return it to America.
You want to tap our phones.
We love equality and we want to return it to America.
You think some people are better than others.
We love honesty and we want to return it to America.
You love lobbyists and corruption.
We love fairness and we want to return it to America.
You want to oppress the powerless.
We love openness and we want to return it to America.
You love secrecy and hiding the facts.
We love nature's glory and we want to return it to America.
You love the profit that comes from destroying nature.
We love community and we want to return it to America.
You want everyone to fend for himself.
We love public education and we want to return it to America.
You want to destroy public education.
We love civilian control of the military and we want to return it to America.
You want to militarize America.
And on and on...

George Lakoff
The Rockridge Institute




Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blog back up



This morning I installed OpenOffice, an open source alternative to MS Word. I'll let you know how it goes. On principle alone, it's good to be free of Microsoft but apparently OpenOffice has a lot to offer writers so what the hell? Time to give it a shot. It appears I may be able to access my blog from the back end with a Linux application via OpenOffice Base and create a printable version of it. Seeing as how I waste so much time blogging, it would be nice to have it all in a continuous document I could edit and print. On the other hand, perhaps all that would enable me to do is wallow in a bigger sink hole.



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Simple truth



We're back. I'm depressed. So be it. Need I add "no big deal"? Overwhelmed. So it is. I will have to ride it out like other times. Not the last. I know enough to know that. All is suffering. The First Noble Truth. So say priests of the human world. But feelings do not begin and end with us. All are suffering.

I have nothing to complain about. In spite of myself, I have got it pretty good. In comparison, really good. Damn good. Yes, I am grateful. For lots of reasons. That doesn't mean I can't/won't be depressed. I am undisciplined and lack humility. But don't take all this to mean I am a practitioner of religion. I am not. That was in an earlier curve of the whorl, since passed. And don't take this to mean I do not have a spiritual life.

Night has brought a little relief. The blurry world outside my window now faded to black but for the orange street lamp blinking on and off one street away.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Tofurkey Day!

I'm in Oregon for the holiday, sitting on a nice, enclosed sun porch typing this. Not bad. I spent yesterday with my grandkids. They are with the other side of the family today. I'm fine with that. I hate holiday hubbub. I'll see them again tomorrow anyway. This afternoon M. Lee and I are having a nice vegetarian meal with parents and my oldest son, so it's all good. I hope, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, your day is also serene. But, if this year is your turn to have one of those memorably shitty holidays, I've had my share, try applying my magic POOF-Holiday-Be-Gone formula: It's not Thanksgiving. It's Thursday. (works on any holiday or occasion)



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wikileaks, truth unchained


Wikileaks. This is exciting. Well, exciting if you are interested in a truly free grassroots press dedicated to exposing the secrets, lies and video tape of oppressive regimes (including ours) and spanking the muzzled lap dog faux journalists supporting them. You know. All that stuff. Here's a bit from Wikileak's About page. See for yourself:

Should the press really be free?

In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government." We agree.
The ruling stated that "paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."
It's easy to perceive the connection between publication and the complaints people make about publication. But this generates a perception bias, because it overlooks the vastness of the invisible. It overlooks the unintended consequences of failing to publish and it overlooks all those who are emancipated by a climate of free speech. Such a climate is a motivating force for governments and corporations to act justly. If acting in a just manner is easier than acting in an unjust manner, most actions will be just.
Injustice concealed cannot be answered. Concealed plans for future injustice cannot be stopped until they are revealed by becoming a reality, which is too late. Administrative injustice, by definition affects many.
Government has ample avenues to restrict and abuse revelation, not limited to the full force of intelligence, law enforcement, and complicit media. Moves towards the democratization of revelation are strongly biased in favor of justice. Where democratized revelations are unjust they tend to affect isolated individuals, but where they are just, they affect systems of policy, planning and governance and through them the lives of all.
Europeans sometimes criticize the freedom of the press in the United States, pointing to a salacious mainstream media. But that is not democratized revelation, rather it is the discovery by accountants that is a lot cheaper to print celebratory gossip than it is to fund investigative journalists. Instead we point to the internet as a whole, which although not yet a vehicle of universal free revelation, is starting to approach it. Look at the resulting instances of, and momentum for, positive political change.
Wikileaks reveals, but is not limited to revelation. There are many existing avenues on the internet for revelation. What does not exist is a social movement emblazoning the virtues of ethical leaking. What does not exist is a universal, safe and easy means for leaking. What does not exist is a way to turn raw leaks into politically influential knowledge through the revolutionary collaborative analysis pioneered by wikipedia.
Sufficient leaking will bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality from their peoples. Daniel Ellsberg calls for it. Everyone knows it. We're doing it.

Comics forth coming. I promise.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sonoran coyote



M. Lee got home from San Carlos last night and things are slowly beginning to return to normal. It will take a few days. He's still bleary from the drive plus it takes a while to decompress, switch gears and pick up where you left off. He brought back some really cool gifts, things he found in the wild. They didn't only stay aboard when they boat camped. They snorkeled and spent time ashore exploring roadless areas of the desert few people ever see. So I got a bag full of perfect conch shells, their lovely bony spires still intact! Then a pouch of pottery shards, who knows how old, and great rocks with strange stories to tell. And once he gets all the photos turned right side up, we're going to have a picture show. Can't wait! But the jewel was this wonderful grinning coyote skull. A coyote from the Sonoran desert! I feel so honored considering, as I do, the coyote a mythical, mysterious and mystical creature.




Oh the irony!


Digg actually banned this Brave New Films video yesterday for “Inappropriate Content” then unbanned it today. The images were, after all, taken directly from Bill O'Reilly's show and other FOX prime time smut slots.

FOX News Porn

02:03

From Crooks and Liars.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Notes


I'm wondering what I might have to say to you. The man I overheard in the store telling someone on the phone that he was tired of being on pain medication, tired of being slow and dull. Or the fat woman in the next rack over bragging about big money real estate on her cell, her bleached white hair and strained white suit while rummaging through the discount goods jammed together in aisles so narrow empty sleeves catch and drag along behind. Or the younger obese woman leaning distractedly elbowing her grocery cart down the middle by the meat. Another woman at the grocery store trying to back her motorized shopping cart into its parking place like she's got something to prove, sausage thighs straining their stretch denim casings. My fellow citizens. The only one who dared make eye contact all day the guy strung out on pain meds, in the cammo pants and baseball cap, looking every bit like he'd give the distance a shot. For a moment I thought he might say something to me, put his question to somebody else for a change but no. A mechanical voice called me from the library tonight to inform me that my "materials are in". I don't remember which book it might be. I returned "Accordion Crimes" unfinished. Couldn't take two Proulx in a row. The brutality displayed like a nerve pulled out from under a tooth and left to writhe in the open air, punished because it is alive and can, therefore should, suffer. We get enough of that in daily life, don't we? "Suttree", the book I'm reading now is depressing enough. And these two coming not long after reading McCarthy's "The Road" makes the whole world seem hopeless. Dark into dark. My dreams, at least, are better these days after cutting back on the caffiend.



Sweet for bitters


As I posted several disturbing articles this week, here's pallet cleanser. Now I've got to get to work.




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Karl Rove - caught on tape


Wondering what Jason Alexander has been up to lately?


04:52


Roses, scars and traveler's return


M. Lee will be back late Friday night. Naturally they just got San Carlos all figured out, all the important things that is like who sells the best Flan. I use a capital there because Flan is holy. Besides the fact that I am definitely ready for him to come home, I think it's in their own best interest. Last night he and Greg were drunk from Flan and whipped cream. It can only get worse.

When they first got to San Carlos they went shopping in Guaymas, the next town over where the real markets are. He told me about a sad little carnival there and I made him promise he'd photograph it for me. So he made a special trip back there yesterday and took some pictures. I don't expect it to look like much. After all, it is a sad carnival but I'm always drawn to rundown places and things like that. In past lives I must have been an actor in a traveling theatre troupe or two.

As for the month of creative experimentation, I don't have much to show for it but I did make a little progress. At least as the time draws to a close, I am back to showering in the morning, something I'd gotten away from over the summer. It's hard working at home. And I am expanding the stage of the Invisible Theatre. But I haven't written much or done any comics. And only kept a couple clips of the poetry readings, although I did several. But I learned something about lighting and and which room has the best sound and that, if I'm going to be in front of the camera, I should probably comb my hair first.

Here are a couple of photos from the day. My hand is doing pretty good but I have to massage the scars as hard as I can stand 3-5 times a day. It helps break down the scare tissue. Stings like hell! If the body is a world made up of different countries, by the end of the day, the country known as the Right Hand is very annoyed with the country known as the Left Hand.


Right Hand telling the Left Hand to BACK OFF.



A rose
is a rose
is a rose
even when it's a rose bud.





Sunday, November 11, 2007

Teachers and learners

I've got an attitude. Perhaps you've noticed. I can't remember a time I didn't. Unfortunately I'd be lying to say I'm not a little proud of it even though I suspect swagger is inversely proportional to competence. I'll leave that to critics and historians. Anyway, my 'tude got me in trouble again yesterday. Not trouble as in suffering consequences from others but in that it's a filter, I nearly missed a good thing. Well what I think is a good thing. Luckily, someone challenged me and I could admit they were right. Tell me you'd be amazed to hear that it took years before I was able to consider that I might be wrong when I am so RIGHT. Anyway, as a result I found my new favorite site today. Here's a video from it which I hope you will enjoy as well.

Aside to M. Lee: This clip illustrates why I continue to post those rants you hate.

Animal Magnetism

03:24


Via Collateral News. Visit them.




Open mind, insert facts


I hate to interrupt your regular Sunday morning routine (or whatever day, week or year it might be that you are reading this). I hope you will be a good sport and indulge me for the next few minutes. There are several documentaries and papers on the subject available online (you can research that for yourself) but, after you read this intro, I want you to read the short article posted below. Other than the fact that a contradictory message has been embedded in the basement of our brains, set to repel this information and make it feel extremely tedious and unnecessary, even dangerous, the article is a quick and easy read. But I want you to be prepared. If you have the courage, for one second, to take this information seriously the feelings of displacement, powerlessness and disorientation could be enormous. Nothing you won't survive and, though it leaves you with questions rather than answers, in admitting that there is even a slight possibility that this information is true, it will leave you with a much more sober view of the the century. So I hope that for the next 2 or 3 minutes you will jam open the doors to your mind and plow forward.



Steel Ignores Jet Fuel

by Edward Mitchell

I am not a scientist, nor a physicist, nor structural engineer. I am a Boilermaker, Shipbuilder, and Blacksmith Forger. Union. Now a contractor on military facilities. I build steel storage tanks for jet fuel. A few years ago, a typhoon blew through, and I got to watch a Mobil AST, with 1,000,000 gallons of diesel in it, get hit with lightning. The grounding failed, and the million gallons blew up.

Well, for a diesel fire that is. It didn’t “blow up”. It simply caught fire, burned itself out after 4 days, blackened the steel. Catch that? One million gallons of diesel fuel, burned for 4 days, and didn’t melt a thing.

The tank, 1/4″-thick steel, never melted.

Yet the 47 HUGE box-section core columns, the main structural supports of the WTC towers, are said to have melted?

Stop, I’ll wet my britches laughing.

I’ve melted, welded, forged, bent, twisted, repaired, sheared, punched, formed, plated, blasted and coated just about every metal you see used commonly in industry and construction, for over 32 years. I’ve welded many a steel I-beam: purlin clips, joining plates, you name it.

Do you recall the explosion you see after the second plane hits the tower? What caused that?

It was the JP-8 [jet fuel] contained in the aircraft’s tanks.

Did you see that huge fireball? What was that?

It was the kerosene (JP-8 is nothing more than refined kerosene, the same stuff you use in your camping stove).

It burned OUTSIDE the towers!

How could this fuel then have reconstituted itself after exploding, and put itself back inside the building?

And then?

It ran down 90 floors to melt the “un-insulated I-beams”? What? “Shook” the insulation off by jet impact? Are you kidding me? When the jet hit, it did not even knock folks down in the building below it! What nonsense!

Because I KNOW the dimensions of a 14,000 gallon fuel tank. It’s about 11’x11’x11’ — About the size on one of the many small offices on the floor that got hit. That’s all. The size of one little office the size of a 11-foot-cube.

Let’s look at this another way: The volume of each of the towers was roughly 50 MILLION CUBIC FEET.

The volume of the fuel was a relatively insignificant 1,300 cubic feet, about 0.003 percent!

Yet, you would have me believe NOT my own eyes, that see an explosion of huge proportions caused by the impact of the jet plane, but rather a tale that says exploded fuel turned back into liquid form, and less than 14,000 gallons, a ridiculously small amount of fuel, ran 90 stories down the stairways (the stairwells the firefighters used to come up to see “small fires”) and caused the beams to melt because the impact “knocked off the insulation”.

I have only one reply to that: What about WTC 7. Not hit. there goes THAT THEORY.

Steel at higher temperatures may bend, but it NEVER melts or turns to dust. Never. No, not ever.

Say, how about this for an argument: From now on, Controlled Demolition, Inc. never needs to use sophisticated computer analysis on where to place the explosives, amounts, sequences…oh no. We can simply pour 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the basement, stand back, and watch a PERFECTLY SIMULATED controlled demolition. Right?






Saturday, November 10, 2007

Impeach Cheney


Bush photo op

Dennis Kucinich has it right. Cheney is determined to drag us into war with Iran. Apparently our only representative brave enough to do speak up, Kucinich introduced a motion of impeachment to stop this craven son of a bitch. Think the Iraq war is so insane that it can't happen again? Think again. Cheney is insane and insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. And if we stay silent about Iran, so are we. Why? Because what did we do during the run-up to the Iraq war? Kept our mouths shut.

Now the ball is in Senator John Conyers' hands. As Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, he is gatekeeper for Kucinich's motion to impeach this monster. And he is reluctant to push it forward. Now it's our turn to lift a finger to defend our embattled democracy, lucky us, from our oh_so_cozy_lives. Our task is simple. Make a phone call and say IMPEACH CHENEY. How hard is that? Call Conyers. Phone: 202-225-5126 / Fax: 202-225-0072

Kucinich Writes to Conyers
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2007-11-10 00:53. Congress | Impeachment

November 9, 2007
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Conyers

I am writing in support of H. Res. 799, the Articles of Impeachment which were referred to the committee relative to the Impeachment of the Vice President of the United States of America.

Recent reports indicate that the Vice President is attempting to shape the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to conform to his misperceptions about the threat Iran actually poses. Much like his deceptive efforts in the lead up to the Iraq war, the Vice President appears to be manipulating intelligence to conform to his beliefs.

If the reports are true, they add additional weight to the case for impeachment. I believe impeachment remains the only tool Congress has to prevent a war in Iran. This information relates directly to the Article III charges in the resolution. I urge your timely consideration.

Sincerely,

/s/

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress




Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yesterday's news






I had lunch at India Kabab yesterday. Warning: If you click on their link, adjust your speakers first. You'll be met with a blast of jaunty Indian movie music. India Kabab is my current favorite buffet in Reno. The food is good. I love dahl anyway plus I have an abiding fondness for tiny, downtown cafes. One of the other things to recommend India Kabab is the televisions tuned to a delightfully bad Bollywood MTV channel. The videos are so sentimental and impossibly romantic that they are the equivalent of Mexico's De Película Clásico, the 24 hour twilight zone of 30's - 50's era soaps. For me these things create a kind of global village hometown feel, but then I'm weird. But M. Lee is worse. On our last trip to Mexico, he so got deeply addicted to De Película that I seriously began to worry about him.


Flash back
Wednesday, November 23, 1870

I was in town for a follow-up appointment with the hand surgeon. (hand healing nicely, btw) He shares an office complex which houses an incredible collection of old Nevada photos rivaling any well endowed museum. I photographed this article while waiting in the exam room. It's from the front page of the 1870 Nevada State Journal. As it was framed, behind glass, hanging on a wall and a little too high for me to easily reach, the quality is poor, but, if you like language, history, politics, and/or schadenfreude, it's worth the trouble to read it. This story about the shooting of lawyer A.P. Crittenden by Mrs. Fair, the old harlet, has it all. I can only imagine what the writer would have to say about our current batch of rotten celeb religious politicos!






Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No fee writing contests thru December


More contests, including those with entrance fees, at Poets&Writers


Bear Star Press
Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bear Star Press is given annually for a poetry collection by a writer residing in a state west of the central time zone. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 65 pages with a $20 entry fee by November 30. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
(See Recent Winners.)
Bear Star Press, Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, 185 Hollow Oak Drive, Cohasset, CA 95973. (530) 891-0360. Beth Spencer, Editor.
www.bearstarpress.com


Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Literary Awards
Two prizes of $500 each are given annually for a book of fiction and a book of creative nonfiction written by an African American and published in the United States during the previous year. The awards, presented at the annual meeting of the American Library Association, honor original works of literature that depict the "cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora." Publishers may nominate books published in 2007 by December 31. There is no entry fee. E-mail for complete guidelines and the list of jurors to whom the books should be sent. (See Recent Winners.)
Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Literary Awards, 3003 Van Ness Street NW, W522, Washington, D.C. 20008. John Page, Awards Chair.
jpage@wrlc.org
www.bcala.org


Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation
Short Story Competition
A prize of $1,000 is given every three years for a short story that presents the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner and is based on a historic person or event. More than one winner may be chosen. Submit a short story of any length by November 30. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, Short Story Competition, 2500 North Palm Canyon Drive, #A4, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Arch Brown,
President.
www.aabbfoundation.org



Cintas Foundation
Fiction Fellowship
A fellowship of $15,000 will be given biennially for a fiction writer of Cuban descent to pursue a writing project. Cuban citizens, or writers with a Cuban parent or grandparent, who are not pursuing academic studies are eligible. Submit two copies of a fiction manuscript of up to 25 pages and two letters of recommendation by January 14, 2008. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for the required application and complete guidelines.
Cintas Foundation, Fiction Fellowship, c/o Dewey Ballantine, LLP, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2907, New York, NY 10019-6092.
www.cintasfoundation.org


Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Two prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that "contribute to society's understanding of racism or appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures." Submit five copies of a book published in 2007 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for the required application and complete guidelines. (See Recent Winners.)
Cleveland Foundation, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, 700 West Saint Clair Avenue, Suite 414, Cleveland, OH 44113. (216) 861-3810.
www.anisfield-wolf.org


Merton Institute for Contemplative Living
Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award
A prize of $500 and publication in Merton Seasonal is given annually for a single poem. Submit a poem of no more than 100 lines by December 31. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail,or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, 2117 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40206. (502) 899-1991. Vanessa Hurst, Assistant Director.
vhurst@mertoninstitute.org
www.mertoninstitute.org


University of Notre Dame Press
Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press is given biennially for a poetry collection by a Latino poet who has not yet published a book. Submit two copies of a manuscript of 50 to 100 pages by January 15, 2008. There is no entry fee. E-mail or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
University of Notre Dame Press, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Institute for Latino Studies, 230 McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Francisco Aragón, Director.
faragon@nd.edu
www.nd.edu/~latino/poetry_prize


Puffin Foundation
Artist Grants
Grants of $1,000 to $2,500 each are given annually to emerging poets, fic tion writers, creative nonfiction writers, and other artists "whose works due to their genre and/or social philosophy might have difficulty being aired." U.S. residents may submit an application form, project description, project goals, budget, biographical information, and either a small work sample or references by December 30. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE for the required application and complete guidelines.
Puffin Foundation, Artist Grants, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck, NJ 07666-4111. (201) 836-8923. Gladys Miller-Rosenstein, Executive Director.
puffingrant@mindspring.com
www.puffinfoundation.org


This entry has a $10 entry fee.
University of Southern California
Ann Stanford Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern California Review, the literary journal of USC's Master of Professional Writing Program, is given annually for a single poem. Submit three to five poems with a $10 entry fee, which includes a copy of Southern California Review, by December 31. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Fiction Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern California Review will be given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $10 entry fee, which includes a copy of Southern California Review, by December 31. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
University of Southern California, Master of Professional Writing Program, Southern California Review, 3501 Trousdale Parkway, Mark Taper Hall, THH 355J, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0355. (213) 740-3253. Annlee Ellingson, Editor in Chief.
scr@college.usc.edu
www.usc.edu/scr




Earth life



The birth/death rate here just reflects human life. I wonder what the numbers would be if, say, animals destined for the slaughterhouse were factored in.



Sunday, November 4, 2007

A good ol' girl


To: Cairo * From: Asia * July 10, 1995

Cairo - my Baby!

I love you
Bark Bark
meow (just kidding)
He he
Grrrowl
*Pat – Pat*
*Rub – Rub*

Take a flea bath

Go to the Lake

I MISS you ---

momma





November 4th, 2007 - 12:27 pm



I shouldn't be surprised. Her health had been failing, the latest a tumor under the eye. Last night, suddenly, she started hemorrhaging and it was clear that her time had come. Still I am stunned that how between yesterday and today, she is gone.




Actually, that's a smile. Even as a pup Cairo had
a wacky, wonderful smile but in the beginning I insisted
she wear this mask when my daughter brought her over.
I felt really bad about it but it was the only way to keep her
from consuming the house plants.




From a letter dated 7/18/95

Aside to CAIRO

I had a dream with you in it. It involved boats, of course, and tides and travel. Strange dream. I remember you running around exploring, doing your own thing. You weren't constantly by my side but whenever I called you, you came running with your tail wagging. I miss you so very much. Often, when I'm out walking, I look down and imagine you trotting alongside me with your fur shining and your tongue hanging out the side of your mouth.



I love you.

Momma



I was always trying to photograph that smile, but whenever she broke into it, she was also wiggling too fast to "capture" it. This was about as close as I ever got. In the next second, when she was in a full grin, she had already hopped and wiggled out of range. She greeted everyone with complete joy although every now and then somebody would freak out thinking she was being aggressive. I felt bad for both of them but especially Cairo because animals always pay the price for our ignorance. Sometimes I thought I should hang a sign from her collar saying, "SHE'S SMILING AT YOU, STUPID!"





She lived with all of us at different times,
and was always ready for a road trip
but loved her Momma best of all.






Waiting for someone, anyone, to join her for a walk



or toss her a snowball






Cairo and her Momma.





Eventually Asia sent me a dog nose mask, as its teeth were a bit like Cairo's in full grin. I took a photo of that mask this afternoon, after Cairo died. I didn't plan to blur the shot for some arty effect. The photograph just came out this way so finally I see. Cairo's smile could no more be "captured" than the twinkling of a star.






Another Dog's Death
in
Collected Poems, 1953-1993
by John Updike
Knopf

For days the good old bitch had been dying, her back
pinched down to the spine and arched to ease the pain,
her kidneys dry, her muzzle white. At last
I took a shovel into the woods and dug her grave
in preparation for the certain. She came along,
which I had not expected. Still, the children gone,
such expeditions were rare, and the dog,
spayed early, knew no nonhuman word for love.
She made her stiff legs trot and let her bent tail wag.
We found a spot we liked, where the pines met the
field.
The sun warmed her fur as she dozed and I dug;
I carved her a safe place while she protected me.
I measured her length with the shovel's long handle;
she perked in amusement, and sniffed the heaped-up
earth.
Back down at the house, she seemed friskier,
but gagged, eating. We called the vet a few days later.
They were old friends. She held up a paw, and he
injected a violet fluid. She swooned on the lawn;
we watched her breathing quickly slow and cease.
In a wheelbarrow up to the hole, her warm fur shone.




At the end, livin' the good life with grandpa.