Monday, July 30, 2007

Price per minute

Here is an interesting tidbit from DailyKos:

Wrap your head around this one. The estimated cost of the war and occupation in Iraq for 2007 is $140,000 per minute. And who do you think is paying the bill?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pigeon vs. crow

The photos at Everything is Permuted are consistently outstanding. The photographer chronicles the lives of a family of foxes that have visited his backyard for years, but he also turns his camera everywhere, capturing stunning moments like this fight between a pigeon and a crow. When you have a moment to relax, treat yourself.

Baby birds and elephants

Scientific American posted an article today dispelling the myth that baby birds and other little critters that have strayed or fallen from their nest
will be rejected by their parents if touched by humans. The good news is: THEY WON'T BE REJECTED BY THEIR PARENTS! You can safely return a fallen fledging to its home. Just be very careful to not disturb the nest. Parents do find that upsetting and may move everyone, including the returned baby, but not without great trouble. I wish I'd known this when I was kid. I still remember agonizing over downed baby birds that died because we didn't put them back in the nest. All those sad, shoe box beds, digging worm, soaking bread in water only to find the poor thing dead by morning.

Okay then. For my proxy amends, I voted for the Elephant Sanctuary again. There's only 3 days left to help them win the $100,000. In case you're wondering if the Sanctuary makes proper use of their funds, they get top rating from Charity Navigator. Be sure and vote everyday!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Off road trailer report

Don wanted to see some photos of the off-road trailer that's been Lee's back yard project since last summer so here they are...

Off road rig with crank up tent and trailer

We didn't want to isolate on the shake-down trip we went to that rare Nevada campsite that actually has picnic tables, latrines and, caramba, other people. For the most part, everything checked out just fine but he still has to work on making it easier to refill the tank from the extra gas cans. You can't see them in this photo but, besides the two on the tongue, there are two more cans inside the trailer along with lots-o-water, kitchen supplies etc.The super-siphon is very cool and worked fine externally but wasn't long enough to reach from the cans inside the trailer.

Off road in Nevada

The REI screen house is also new. It is a fucking wilderness palace. The flies could only dream of puking on us and our food as we sat within enjoying scrumptious camp feasts.

Off road in Nevada

We used to think we were camping in the lap of luxury when the tent was on top of the jeep. However, we couldn't drive to a nearby area without breaking everything down and taking it all with us and oops, no screen house! How did we ever get along?

Nevada wilderness

It's a big improvement with the tent on the detachable trailer along with all extra gear and water and, of course, the airy palace which awaits our return after a day of poking around the Great Basin. Finally we have a base camp for extended exploration.

Nevada camping

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Love among the sunflowers

The Day

We're home and I'm exhausted. Along with camping and the wedding, I've had the flu for the last week and a half... high fever, trembling, chills, sweats, head and muscle ache. When we got to the motel in Portland I rested most of the time in hopes of being able to attend the wedding in a reasonable condition, although I would have gone on a stretcher if necessary. Family members dropped by but I stayed in bed. The day before the wedding I was so miserable I went to emergency room. They took chest x-rays. My lungs were okay. They told me I had the flu ... yes, thank you ... drink lots of water, rest ... okay then ... but they gave me Tessalon Perles. Besides being a cool name they actually helped. By the next day, I was up and ready for the big day.

The wedding was perfect. The bride was beautiful. The groom was handsome. The yard, the thousands of sunflowers planted for the occasion, family, friends, food and music, all wonderful. It didn't even rain. Clark's dog Edison wore a bow tie and Asia's dog Cairo looked lovely in her huge white bow. As the sun set and as the sunflower forest faded from view, the thousands of tiny lights strung through the orchard for the occasion came on adding an extra touch of magic to an already magical day.

The Sunflower Kingdom after dark.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Honeymoon in hurricane season

I just got a call from the honeymooners. Blue skies, perfect temperatures and, other than the bride sobbing her heart out this morning over Edison the dog's losing battle with cancer (he was at the wedding in fine spirits, wearing his shiny black bow tie, eating heart shaped cookies and occasionally strolling out to mingle with the crowd) the tensions of the last few months are wafting away like jungle steam. At the moment they're in Old San Juan, soon to fly to the beautiful, romantic island of Culebra. photos I know I'm being silly about Tropical Storm Dalila, but a mama's got to keep an eye on things, eh? Anyway, here's the latest from Weather Underground:

These factors should limit significant
strengthening in the short-term and
ultimately result in weakening beyond
48 hours. Dalila will begin to encounter
cooler waters after 48 hours.

And this from Dive Global:

Although hurricanes can develop any time of the year in Puerto Rico, the season is generally considered to be from July to November, with September the most likely month. Island folklore has it this way:

June, too soon
July, pass by
August, we must
Remember September
October, all over.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Wedding sketch

I can't go into detail about The Wedding. I'd get into big trouble with my daughter if I did that. You'll have to wait until after the honeymoon and she's back at the keyboard, ten days to a couple of weeks from now but I can't help saying one tiny thing. The Day was, in every way, Perfect.

Currently, the happy couple is honeymooning in Puerto Rico. Haven't been there but I'm sure it's wonderful. However, now that the pre-wedding trauma is over I, for one, am on post-wedding storm watch. Tropical Storm Dalila is just off Mexico's west coast. I'm not totally freaking out because we were in the Yucatan during Hurricane Wilma and, although ultimately Gamma was just one too many, we never felt that threatened. Keep a good thought with me?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Outta here

We're off to Oregon. My baby girl is getting married this weekend! Sorry. Photos and videos story from the trip will have to wait. I have a bad case of the flu.

Hasta la vista.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Earth dreaming sky
We're back from our shake down trip in the Nevada interior. I'm exhausted. Facing the bitter, sad history of the land, the animals, suspended, crumbling into the vastness, emptied me. Oh yes. It was also invigorating and wonderful. There are a few bugs to still work out but, tor the most part, the new gear worked just fine. It was very different having a base camp instead of changing locations every couple of days. We took on too much, drove to many miles trying to cover too much territory. From now on, with a base camp, we can limit ourselves to a radius and get into the details. We did hike about half way up from the floor of the basin to the Alta Toquima snowman, but didn't make it to the top. Not on the agenda this time, thank the gods.

I took several photos and a few videos. As soon as they are ready, I'll post a few. At the moment, I'm moving pretty slow. Nice to be back but the desert hangs over my head like a vulture reminding me that these towns, these comforts forced upon it are, like everything and everyone that has tried establishing itself in this land, passing.

In a couple of days, we leave for Portland and The Wedding.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hasta la vista

We're leaving in the morning for a four day shake-down camping trip to the middle of Nevada. Time to try out the off road trailer Lee built. We'll skirt the northern boundary of Area 51 for a bit before turning north into the Alta Toquima wilderness. That's where, a few Julys ago, I was lucky enough to photograph the famous, highly elusive Alta Toquima snowman. So, take care. Don't burn down the house. Vote for the Elephant Sanctuary (thanks Asia!) and save my place at the Busy Bee.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vote for Elephants!


Okay, this is going to require a bit of dedication but you can do it. This month, please vote every day you possibly can for the Elephant Sanctuary. It's a vote for elephants. I know that's asking a lot but the voting lasts for the whole month. Yes, its a clever way to get traffic to the ReZoom site but the prize is $100,000 donated to the winning charity. What the hell? It's a just a click. Come on. You can do it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

War costs: 12 Billion a month

Bush blog

In case you haven't heard, this reich wing war is costing us 12, that's TWELVE - BILLION - DOLLARS A - MONTH. For this we can all thank our very own American Idol, The Decider.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Flowin' with the flow

A funny thing happened after I did that I Ching reading the other day. First off, I let go of the whole 5th Friday thing and felt instant relief. That's not so amazing in itself. Letting go of any blocked energy generally has that effect. I had been at the cafe for a couple of hours by then but, except for a few minutes when I first arrived, June was too busy to talk. Free of it all, I started packing up my computer, preparing to leave. After all, I don't need a big event to read a little poetry. There's always Jen's open mic, or I can read in Reno or set something up for myself in Carson City and it doesn't have to be on a 5th Friday or any "special" day. I turned around and June was there saying, "I only have 5 minutes". We had a great talk, at least 15 minutes. She suggested I keep my mind and the night open. Scale it down. Maybe have more open mic spots. Just do a reading. Whatever. Cancel the day of the show if I don't think it's going well. After all, that's Comma Coffee. Do it and see what happens. Or don't.

I'm always one for starting small, working with what is, so I can get down with that. Pause in the jangled rush of the day. That's why I like Comma Coffee in the first place. So that's it. I'm hangin' with it. No decision at the moment. Goin' with the flow. But I did let Mr. Lee know that, as he makes camping plans for what's left of the summer, I've got my eye on that date.

Bird Park, Sunday morning

As I've mentioned before, Minverva and her companion are not the only old birds that frequent the Bird Park but I have been watching them the longest. Minerva was quite the champion last year when she drove off a Magpie hassling a flock of smaller birds trying to eat at the feeder. This spring, I was shocked to see how much she aged over the winter.

Another old bird showed up here this morning, a small black one. Even its legs were spindly and that's saying something as all bird's legs are spindly anyway. Like the other old birds that come here, she had the ragged feathers, tottering gate and was just generally the worse for wear. I like to think that any old bird that finds its way to the Bird Park must be especially delighted knowing what a hard place the desert can be. The young ones who come here right out the egg have no idea.

Minerva and her companion with the wild feather sticking out of one of her wings just left. I tried capturing a little video of them for your viewing pleasure but, although they don't mind me watching them from my window, the second I raised my camera, off they went. Birds.

Bird Park, Sunday morning

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Mirrors and oracles

I don't leave important decisions up to oracles anymore than I leave them to the face looking back at me from the mirror but I do use both to study what I already see. So, while sitting here at Comma Coffee, I consulted the I Ching about what is the correct path for me to take regarding 5th Friday at this time and got

Return: Not far and returning without respecting aversion. Good fortune.

changing to

Removal: Removing something. Before this is doine it is not practical to make plans.

All which is to say that letting it go at this time feels right. Like tossing a coin, it's how one feels about the toss, not the yes or no attached to a particular side, that one needs to pay attention to. Sometimes a timely retreat is the best way forward.

Impeach Cheney


More Bob Geiger cartoons here.

Have some fun!

It takes a second.

Sign the petition here.

Poe's law

Sadly true. Poe's law from the Urban Dictionary:

"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

Friday, July 6, 2007

5th Friday photos & slideshow

Comma Coffee before the show

Here are a few quick and dirty shots of the 5th Friday performance we hosted at Comma Coffee the other night. There was a good turnout. Four Ash Canyon poets (they were wonderful) read during the open mike segments. The music was good. There was dance, drama, poetry, weird fiction, comedy. Pete the dog, one of the audience members, sat up and watched Scot Sarni's rendition of Hamlet, the only non original work in the show, but slept through most everything else.

Every time I turned around, Lucky Pierre was sitting somewhere else.

Sound techs Krystina & Hal Caywood and Mr. Lee.

Rita Geil, Mistress of Ceremonies.

Susan Botich

Asha reading Anna Sadhorse from Reddog Review #3.

Monsieur La Chance, Lucky Pierry, Pete the Dog, Hal the sound guy.

Dave Fritz

Scot Sarni as Hamlet. He did his own music during the 2nd half.

Ellen Hopkins, Lindsey Stoeberl, Roman Valenzuela, Zach Trippiedi reading from Impulse.

Susan Priest as Palisades

Ellen Hopkins and Haley Bennett reading from Crank.

Over all, the show went fairly well. I mixed a track for my reading. It worked out pretty good so I may do more in the future. It was great seeing my long time friend Barbara. To my delight, she was at the Comma when I got there the night of the performance. She made a point to drop in for the show on her way home to Arizona. Perhaps the biggest surprise was how much June Joplin, the proprietor of Comma Coffee, liked the show. Afterwards she emphatically encouraged us to go on but at this point, it doesn't look like we'll be doing another show. Too many personality clashes putting it together. It got to be a big drag. Anyway, glad we did it. Glad it's done.

Barbara, Pete the Dog, Lucky Pierre, Monsieur La Chance

Barbara posted a slideshow from 5th Friday on her blog. Check it out.

Malisa, Comma Coffee barista

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Guest post - Brandon

Brandon has had several digital incarnations since I first started reading him, among them being One Child Left Behind. I grow dependent on favorite writers so I was dismayed and disoriented when he suddenly pulled the plug on his blog. It's a terrible thing to do to your readers. It's like going out one starry midnight to revel in the beauty and joy of the heavens and seeing that, since the night before, one of your favorite constellations has vanished ... poof! ... It's NOT RIGHT!!! Several fine writers who make up my cosmos have done that and I HATE IT!!! You know who you are.

We who are left behind to lament the emptiness have one consolation. Blogging is addicting and happily very hard to kick so I was delighted, but not entirely surprised, to see that eventually Brandon resurfaced at The Blog Formerly Known as One Child Left Behind, from which he ventures out to do guest posts.

As the muses would have it, today Brandon is my guest here at this lonely outpost along the language barrier. I am honored. Here is the piece he wrote exclusively for this world that does not yet exist. Thanks Brandon and happy Independence Day!

oh oh oh
I like fishing next to this mountain alder, 'cause he chose a pretty view over a hale and hearty existence, disregarded the hidden costs of prime real estate, and even now the bottom leaves are yellowed in the cherry of spring, the roots bared by rising waters, doing his best salty mangrove. He's like an old refugee, managed to elbow his way to the front of the breadline, only to be knocked down by the crowd, watch the sacks of grain go by overhead, rise with fists.

This shore is littered with the trunks of trees that peeked too far over the edge, peaked too soon after a few years, piqued the interest of too many birds now nipping at the buds that sprout too far into the lake. The uppermost branches, once home to tanagers and flickers now occupy basement apartments for sand shrimp and mosquito hawks. I like this stupid old tree, the choice he made, give him a playful shove with my shoulder, like when we were kids, and we'd play along the highway and we all knew someone would push another kid out into traffic, the throughway, thoroughfare, arteries, et cetera, but no one would ever get hurt. A car might blare a horn and a boy would get a taste of the kind of mortality this alder's got no interest in. Don't push the trees, I think.

I don't begrudge this tree his real estate, nor do I fear his short time. I fret over confinement, my need to perch atop a hill and see the remnants of friends from faraway, to bear the harsh weather, to crack beneath the growing sun, to battle the erosion of the dirt between my toes, to stretch my arms throughout my space and offer my hands to the shrikes, the wee hawks confined to their sparrow bodies, that they might rend lizards upon my thorns, long after the barbed wire fences have rusted away.

When I find my spot, the seed I will plant will be a hawthorn, crooked and pale, with a vista over all the space I cannot seem to live without. I think I could stack 1,000 of those days on top of me and I wouldn't notice the added weight, how lightly I flow through the atmosphere, and oh. oh. I can remember learning to float on my back in those moments, winning the equilibrium that keeps naught but your lips above the crest of water, so close to breaking its bonds with your skin, flowing into your mouth. The sun was so hot in those days. Your toes would dip just below the thermal layer, feel the cold retained by the milfoil, force you to suck in a bit more air and rise. And rise. And rise.

You would hardly miss a thing, and have all of 700 years not to do so.

- Brandon

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Soft on treason

Olbermann's Worst Person in the World award

President Bush, poster boy for the reich-wing GOP, commuted Scotter Libby's jail time. Naturally. The guy is soft on treason. It's a traitors of a feather stick together kind of thing. I am disgusted but, of course, not surprised. Bush considers himself a man deserving of all privilege and he especially loves his presidential privilege, and why not? It cost his dad a bundle and he's the only kid on his block who has it. Well, that's not quite true. There is the little matter of Dick Cheney's stick up his ass. Anyway, the gang can't have one of their own rotting in prison now can they? Makes the whole lot look bad.

I have to admit that during the real estate bubble that is currently collapsing around our ears, looks like the best deal had was the Bu$h family's purchase of the White House.

Monday, July 2, 2007

July afternoon

Life in a tea kettle.

This is a busy month. My daughter's upcoming wedding holds the spotlight. It is now 20 days and counting until the grand event! It's going to be really lovely.

We're staying home over the 4th (too crowded everywhere) but before the wedding, if we can, we're going to take a short run to see how the new off road trailer that has been Lee's backyard project since last summer, shakes out.

This photo, life in a tea kettle, is from a camping trip we took a couple of years ago. Lovely trees, eh? You'd never know it but this verdant riparian hideaway is very close to Area 51, so I'm including this little video by Chinodavis as compliment. Enjoy the mystery.

As close to Area 51 as you will ever get

Sunday, July 1, 2007

NICO 60/40

This is clip of Nico singing somewhere in New York in the early '80's (thanks Jose) and is a painfully sad footnote to her heroin addiction.

NICO 60/40

5th Friday report

I haven't had time to do a recap of our 5th Friday performance at Comma Coffee but my long time friend MSB of from the first chakra, who surprised the hell out of me by showing up for the event from Arizona, did a very nice review on her blog. I'll post some of my photos later but at the moment I'm still running to catch up with my life, pre-5th Friday. She also posted a slide show of the event here.


Where can I see the film?


According to, the facts
in Michael Moore's latest film mostly check out.

"As Americans continue to spend $2 trillion a year on health care, everyone agrees on one point: Things need to change, and it will take more than a movie to figure out how to get there."

A. Chris Gajilan, CNN

Complete article here.