Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Because of the aspect ratio, this plays better on the youtube page. Doubleclick to view on youtube.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Octopus Appropriately in Bowl

Calamari has just been taken off the menu.  Octopus utilizes coconut shell.

PS: I just realized calamari is squid. But I'm still convinced not to eat the cousin of the octopus or the octopus.

Not All Business

You can't run a government like a business because people are not commodities.  And here's a little secret: they're not (primarily) consumers, either.  We have a social structure comprised of many smaller social structures and they require management and coordination, but there is so much more to human existance than the exchange of goods and services.  When you make people into commodities, when the market crashes, the people have the experience of being devalued.  What a cruel hoax.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sedementary Formations

I'm a romantic at heart, but deep down I'm a cynic.  The good news is: deeper down, I'm an idealist.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Precisely Why I Don't Care to Twit:

Miley Cyrus said it best:

"My reason [for shutting down Twitter] was because you write what you're doing at that moment, but at that moment, what you write is never what you're doing because you're too busy tweeting about it." (Quoted in Seventeen magazine, 2009)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

About Holiday Shopping

Sunday.  Post Thankgiving Sunday.  No Black-Friday for me; I'm not interested in shopping when everyone else goes.  Christmas is coming, yes, and shopping is a requirement because the only people who truly appreciate the need to make small pacts to forgo the expenses are the ones with no kids. 

But, as soon as the pre-holiday dread passes (usually mid-December), the holiday focus will shift to spending time with friends.  When the shopping fairy comes, I will go with her and shop during the dinner hour on weekdays.  That's the time to go - when everyone else is hungry you can get the jump on the lines.  Another piece of advice: avoid the mall.

Ho ho oh!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Water on the Moon, Tears on My Pillow




(Chairface Chippendale tried carving his name on the moon with a giant laser, but the Tick thwarted him.)



Nasa Finds Water on the Moon!  Great! That means we can have sewers and waterslides on it, too!

I read a play once, probably famous, written in the early stages of the Apollo Program, that explored the notion of the moon as a romantic symbol losing its mystique once humans set foot on it.  Well, this blast and discovery the moon is "something we can use!" blows the sweetness of romance completely outa the water!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ain't Gonna Study War No More

It's Veterans' Day.  The best way to honor our veterans is by ending war. Yes, the world has lots of bullies, and you gotta stand up to a bully, but killing?!  Come on.  Survival (and winning it all!) depends on our creating a more compassionate world so the concept of war can be relegated to History.  It could happen.  Imagine that.

For starters, get this song stuck in your head: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Down by the Riverside

Consider a humbling wit:  George Carlin: We Like War

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Feet Go to Eleven

Never buy shoes in a hurry.
It's better to wait, I'll report:
Never expect that your purchase, if hasty,
Won't be too tottering, too tight or too short.

Rushed on your way to an elsewhere
Should never be the circumstance to meet
Your steps to the world, your platforms of peace
The support and showcase for your feet.

Instead, take your time and go browsing,
Considering what you like best.
And if you are moved to an impulse
Step forward; History tells the rest.

I bought my shoes in a hurry.
They're handsome and pretty - heaven!
But in pain by day's end, Honesty insists
They be given to an actual size ten.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Health Care Reform

Dan Piraro makes a very good case for Healthcare reform.  You know him, Bizarro cartoon - well known, worldwide - why, he's famous and everything!  But if he gets sick, he's in a pickle - and not the sweet kind!

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Pummeling Allowed!

See, here's the problem:  police officers are not supposed to beat people up, no matter how mad they get.  I refer to this quote in the linked story:  "4 California Cops on Leave After Student Beating"

From the story:
"Siegel's attorney, Terry Bowman, says the video leaves out details that would show why the officers acted as they did."

This is always the defense.  And this is always the problem.  There is no justification for cops beating up suspects.  Reasons are irrelevant.  That's the point.  Apprehend, arrest if appropriate, but pummel?  Nope.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Sag is Old

Javier the Questioner asks why some men wear their pants so low, and why they don't just pull them up. As Jean and Shanta look on, Danielle shares some crucial historical knowledge about how the sagging movement was born and who was the instigator of this fashion statement.  (Best viewed directly from youtube for wide screen - click on the video twice).

Monday, October 05, 2009

It May Be a Fine Line, but I'm on the Clever Side of it!

So I'm not impressed by corporate hierarchy - I thought that made me a difficult employee; but it turns out I'm among the best!  Yay!  Vindication!

See LA Times book review: the Care and Feeding of Clever Employees.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Focus People! Focus!

LA Times: James Rainey thinks we're inundated with info and need critical thinking skills to engage us in the process of information culling, too: With Information Galore, We Need News Judgement.

There was a conference about it and everything! Maybe they were planning it while I was out swimming in the surf that day (see below: "In Which I Become Editor in Chief...").

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Which I Become the Editor in Chief of My Internet Use

Lately I've been craving a simpler life: in a typical week I'd go to work, spend time with friends enjoying conversation, music, go home at the end of a day and create or read or simply unwind – take life slow...

I was swimming in the ocean last week on a lovely summer day. I floated beyond the breakers where the call of electronics couldn't reach and like the slap of a wavelet to the side of my head it hit me: I do have this simple a life. So why do I feel so insistently edged in by preponderances of information constantly bombarding?

It's the internet!

As soon as I open the browser, and as fast as I can twitch my finger I can attach my attention to any sudden impulses that grab me. It's a contest/no-contest: my preconceived attention against the splashes and flashes vying to win me away from myself.

As I read the newspaper (on actual paper) this morning, it occurred to me to write a letter to the editor of the internet, “Dear Ed., My internet experience offers inconsistent content, too many snippets, and not enough focus!”

Newspapers are edited strategically by teams of professionals who have respect for story, history, social context, and a knack for fitting salient elements on the page (while leaving room for the ads). But left to my own devices, I'm all over the place! I need an *Editor in Chief!

I can’t just “**surf the web” anymore. I can't concern myself with every issue or take on every argument. I need to swim, dive, find treasures, come up for air and check my landmarks.

On the larger social level, the internet creates its own plea that we support education which includes emphasis on critical thinking skills. Case in point, those - and I hate to mention this odd phenomenon as I've been actively shunning it - but take the tea party people (please!). They react to snips and snatches of phrases (and spend lots of time making elaborate posters) but they lack understanding of history - as evidenced by their misunderstood eponymy.

A joy the internet brings is the gems I find without seeking and it's fun, but how can I use the richest information source humanity has known so far without getting waylaid? I don't need to know how many friends Ashton Kucher has or read the details of a study that says too much manure left in a pile will spontaneously combust! 1) I don't care; 2) it's so obvious! 2a) and fascinating! But I did like finding out Dan Piraro has a blog, to take some of the load off Ze Frank and my brother . (Don't even get me started on that blasted facebook).

Before opening the browser I must call an editorial meeting with myself and simply ask, "What is the purpose of this search?"

So I wrote my Letter to the Editor on a post-it and stuck it to my monitor so I can read it next time I go check my email.

Ah yes! Now I remember! That's why I went online tonight.

*For the sake of this piece I’m keeping the focus to the newspaper versus internet. Offer a publishing deal and I may do a book on the greater picture.

**2009: I read a Yahoo! news piece that said that expression is archaic already.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ask Danielle and Jean

Danielle answers Javier's questions about military fashion. Jean looks on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Loud Talkers of the Future

It's going to be a noisy world in the next few years, and in about thirty, all the old folks around the towns are going to be talking loudly. What is now considered a reasonable speaking volume will increase by about two thirds. Why? Earbuds, earphones, headphones, call 'em what you will. Up close, constant, insistent: the cilia can't rest.

An audiology specialist I know says two factory workers can work side by side for thirty years, one goes deaf, the other doesn't. Science isn't sure why. So, some people will keep their hearing no matter how bombarded their cochlei, but others? The half who maintain their hearing will still have to raise their voices for the ones who haven't.

How can I be so sure of this? It's already happening. How do I know? I hear them:

I hear them behind me at the store
I hear them in the restroom stalls
I hear them across the plaza square
I hear their echoes throughout the halls
Soft responses bring a wince of query
for what they sense but can't quite heary.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Touch of Green

Javier, Shanta, Danielle and I bring you things that are green. Thank you John Ryan for playing piano!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jacob Bronowski: Ascent of Man

I saw this first when Ze Frank posted it on his blog a couple of days ago. I like it so much I've put it on mine:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Heavily with Flight

Jetway cruisers now offline now are aware of the tempting asphalt the sun softening tarmac repudiating individuality for gravel into one heaping mass of on and on and on and as the jet lands scorching polynylon rubberized tire black streaking on the runway then up slightly for balance and again down to roll and thrusters reversing turbines slow to spin alternate to their prior forward heaving weight and momentum against gravity rush and pull to come to a complete stop before debarking the plane and the suitcases below and the satchels above still in place the passengers open the compartments, wait patiently and sometimes not so much but waiting nonetheless to pass the attendant some thanking the captain walking those hollow sounding steps through the portable tunnel the jetway now online now unaware of the past massive technological marvel so much as the next destination which may be business, pleasure, table or bed. But: they just actually flew.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dan Harris Bill Maher

I'm watching the TV news more lately because of the fires, and I keep seeing this newscaster who reminds me of someone. Dan Harris. Looks like... sounds a little like... who is it... who does he remind me of?

Oh, Bill Maher. Does anyone else get the same impression? (Yes, they do position their hands differently in relation to their heads).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who Needs a Printing Press when We Have Computers?

Did you know thousands of great literary works are in the public domain? And did you further know you can download them for free - and then read them?

Well they are, and you can, and you can. It's called "Project Gutenberg".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Value of "Each"

Check it out! You get eleven sandwiches and five salads - that's like, a few bags of food, and all you have to pay for all that stuff is $3.65! That's not just an every day value, it's practically a miracle - especially at Whole Foods! That place is pricey!

This ad was posted as-is on a website in August, 2009. I have not doctored it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Appendix: Safe Harbor for Healthy Bacteria

...among other helpful functions

I knew it! Turns out the Appendix is not extraneous!

It's like this realization: Early astronomers with brand new telescopes saw little blotches between the stars and planets in the night sky. The blotches were catalogued by Messier as "nebulous" meaning "clouds" as in "just nothing." He was looking for comets and these smudges were catalogued as, "What not to bother looking at."

Later, astronomers with better telescopes said, "We have a correction. Those blotches are galaxies."

In an infinite *universe, **conclusion is not absolute.

Of course the Appendix has a purpose. Otherwise, it wouldn't be there. Duh!

*As to the concept of the "multiverses", as "infinite" includes everything, so batches of verses are included in the edgeless everything.

**Yes, I know, neither is that one (or this) <--- or that! (ad infinitum).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Engineering Gluttony

I'm enjoying this book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler.

It's not a diet book, it's more about the neurology of our food desires and the food industry's engineering of our culture's gluttony. It is a good book (especially with a little ranch dressing...) If you follow this link to Amazon you will also find a four minute video of the author. It's inedible!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sampling from Ironic Times

This from Ironic Times.

U.S. Tops 153 Other Countries in Health Care

Only France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman, Austria, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Monaco, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Colombia, Sweden, Cyprus, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Morocco, Canada, Finland, Australia, Chile, Denmark, Dominica, Costa Rica rate higher.


Ironic Times is written & edited by Larry Arnstein, Matt Neuman and Lane Sarasohn. Many funny notions in your head may well have been generated by these guys - the quiet comedy writers who gesticulate effectively though not necessarily wildly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Visiting My Stuff (While Revisiting Father Junipero Serra)

My stuff is in storage and I felt the need to visit it, so I did. This is my journey and reflections along the way, about stuff, peace, toys, traffic, and gratitude. (The statement written on tile near the end of this video is at the Serra Retreat in the hills above Malibu.)



This is wide screen so it plays better if you doubleclick on the youtube link and play it from the youtube page.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"...*Could* Face Decline" ... ya THINK?!?

Enh, higher education just makes people ask too many questions anyway. LA Times: 07/31/09 California's Higher Education System Could Face Decline.

Higher education should never be only for the wealthy. California had a beautiful promise of affordable higher education for all who wanted it, and it has been whittled away by apathy. Note to the lovely citizens of this state: better to build schools, saves money on prisons.

Sand Cinema from Ukraine

Creativity like this restores my faith in humanity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Taxes are Good

People have come to equate "taxes" with "evil". The fact is without taxes we would not have roads, schools, prisons, a legal system that, at least in theory, is unbiased; killer-catchers, fire- fighters, parks, public beaches, air quality control, health inspectors for restaurants, running water, sewer systems, flood channels that keep the city from flooding every storm season, or someone to rescue you when you have perpetrated the terrible sin of making a nearly fatal mistake of any kind.

And if you are so unfortunate as to die for any reason, it's tax money that carries your body to a nice cool place where it won't rot on the street and disturb the neighbors. Taxes are good if well spent. Life is expensive. Payment should be fair, and there is much debate about the definition of fairness, but next time someone dismisses taxes as simply wrong or bad, consider providing ballast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KMET Reincarnated

I'm still mad at "the wave" for killing KMET in the late 80's. But KMET's been reincarnated as its old self, which also means it's open to new stuff and variety: http://www.thesoundla.com/ They stream live. (KSWD 100.3)

Back in the day, LA had two main rock stations. KLOS and KMET. KMET was way more groovy. KLOS was fine, but KMET had that extra welcoming vibe. It had that friendly feel that you get hanging out with your best friends at the cool after-party.

Then came the tsunami of mediocrity, "the wave": mellifluous meandering "new age" wind chimey faux jazz watered down ambient and simpy. Did I mention I'm still mad?

I suppose I can let it go now, turns out the good guys may have been down, but they were not out. Maybe they just swam along the shore long enough to get clear of the undertow to land on the shore a little further up the dial.

There is no Styrofoam here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wynton Ain't Hintin'

Listen to this for some motivation and validation for artistic and humanitarian impulses:

It's Wynton Marsalis' doing a commencement speech and this links to an mp3.

PS: It seems their server crashed tonight. If the above doesn't work, try this. Scroll down a little to where it says:

AUDIO: Listen to Wynton Marsalis's full commencement address as he intended to give on June 19, 2009.

The video is not as good - it was raining and he cut his presentation short.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

the plane dream



On a jet flight, the sound of engines is replaced by the poetry of dreams and the beauty of nature. Plus there's like, the key to almost everything in this thing.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Prop. 13: My Mother's Prediction is Now Upon Us

My mother is vindicated! 30 years ago, when CA Proposition 13 passed, as it was announced on the news, she stood, pointed at the TV and said, "This will be the undoing of the middle class and it's gonna kill the schools!"

She now profits from the law that kept her property taxes from skyrocketing as her home increased in value, but it gives a hollow satisfaction. So does the vindication.

Why won't conservatives see this kind of trouble coming? It's so obvious: if you don't pay taxes, you can't have stuff like schools, roads, police, firefighters, management of the city and its businesses... if you don't pay taxes, where does the money come from? Oh, wait: it doesn't.

Read this article in TIME online.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Uplifting Read

"...And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done."

The above is an excerpt from Paul Hawken's 2009 commencement address to the University of Portland. The full speech can be found here:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/05/23-2

...works for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MSWord: losing the underline that won't go away

Today I offer a handy MSWord tip. So: you're in MSWord and you hit the underscore key a few times in a row to create a handy break only a few characters wide, but the program imposes a big black horizontal line.

You try to delete the big black line but it is impervious to every effort. How do you get rid of that dagnabbid thing?!

Here's how:

Go to: Format> reveal formatting > seek, "Borders: Bottom" select "none"

Et non voila!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

Instant Karma

I've been meaning to point out the little irony that some bank is using this tune for a credit card ad campaign right now.



Question is: Who sold it to 'em, (and did they pay cash?)

"Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brother's
Everyone you meet."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama's ASU Speech

I've been waiting for this kind of message from a president of the United States like a sea turtle in the desert dreams of swimming freely in deep water, knowing she is neither tortoise nor shill.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tact

Overheard: "Lately it's getting so I can't even admit to people I'm conservative without being judged!"

Unspoken: "Ha ha ha ha! You ran the country into the ground! You need to be judged - and put to pasture!"

Said: "Oh..."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

To Leave a Story: The Deep Human Need

"Hidden Auschwitz Message Hailed as Rare Find"

"Dated Sept. 20, 1944, the note bears the names, camp numbers and hometowns of the seven prisoners — six Roman Catholics from Poland and one Jewish inmate from France. It says that all were between the ages of 18 and 20 and assigned to build an anti-aircraft bunker for camp commanders."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Estate of Real

See? I tol'ja banks were hoarding repossessed properties to keep prices artificially inflated! Tol'ja tol'ja told you! See, now the story's even in the LA Times.

That's it: I want my bailout money back - with interest! ...28% compounded daily - with late fees!

Gluts of houses rotting in the noon day sun, weeds four feet high, the stench of abandoned filth soaking into the floorboards, sour funk swimming pools teeming with mosquito larvae be damned!

How many bids can you get? SOLD to the man (or woman) in the - wait, I can't see the buyer at all; s/he's up in his skyscraper, or the beach house, or the cabin estate! There is merely a bid and another and another - the spiral is upward and out of control. And the cost of the thing still a bargain to the wealthy, trickles down to a landlord's paradise. Ah, real estate is still a good investment... we can rest assured.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hey Font Face!

Ever wonder if there's a story behind the Comic Sans font?

Everything has a story. There is nothing without a story. And you can quote me!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yaro Lale!

(Yah-ro Lah-lay) A new religious cult, perhaps, to help people face these tough economic times?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Guest Item: Flutter: the New Twitter

Turns out Twitter is too complex, uses too many characters, so now there's Flutter! I like this video so I have linked to it here. I do not know the people who made this video. Bt thy r clvr. wtch!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Cat in the Ceiling

A friend is looking to buy a house. I went with her and the real estate agent to see a few today. In one, which had been foreclosed upon while the residents were remodeling, there was a hole in the bathroom ceiling over the tub. I thought I saw insulation sticking out of the gap but the sunlight through the window showed it to be a cat's paw. On entering the house I'd noticed it smelled like cat urine and mice, but now I assessed the strength of the scent to be simply dead cat.

I called, "Here kitty kitty...?" but the paw didn't flinch. I thought to reach up and touch it but the thought of the feel of it, dusty and still, stopped me. The agent and my friend had left the room by now. I decided to choose to think of it as a long petrified cat corpse and moved on. The agent would tell the selling agent and procedures would take place.

We visited the back bedroom where the ceiling was falling in, spotted black with mold, and the back yard where an addition to the house had been started and now the skeleton of it, soaked by rain and dried in the sun, had begun to split, splinter and peel.

As we left the house I stopped by the bathroom again to see if the cat was still there.

The kitty was gone. Long live the cat!

Here we had an abandoned house, an abandoned dream, plans for the remodel taped to the living room wall "do not remove" stamped legal and permitted but now expired. The people who had been living here couldn't afford to keep the house, so the bank took possession of their asset which now rots among a glut of houses facing similar fates.

But, if, when foreclosure threatened, the bank had refinanced the house based on the constraints of the current economy and let the residents keep it at the reduced (i.e., "market") price, the owners would likely have been able to make the payments and the house would be a home to more than the mice and the cat and the fungus.

Does that simply make too much sense?

Here kitty kitty...?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Devil's Punchbowl


This is the Devil's Punchbowl. It is where three tectonic plates meet in California, on the San Andreas fault. More detail here.

Note the placement of the big ball boulder and the big sedimentary boulder. Earthquakes do neat things when considered from the vantage point of having no people around.

We went hiking there and as there was no earthquake at the time, we were not chewed up like so much taffy. It was a very good day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Creativity Continues

Artist in a tumult
and the hopeful consolers say,
"Life goes on..."

To this sort
the interpretation is of a sentence laborious
weighty and grave.

Artist in a tumult
reassurance is this:
"Creativity continues."

As the foil wrapper from the chocolate candy
magneted to the inside of my medicine cabinet reads:
"the best ideas come
when you think you've just run out of them."

Happiness is a dog that waits at your feet
ready jump into life as you do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Special Guest's Video: UFO Over Bermuda

UFO in Bermuda - apparently filmed by some international vacationers. Thanks to johnooo for this remarkable footage!

still don't see the attraction...

facebook seems to me
an individuated mob.

my note to AIG execs

MoveOn asked if I had a question to submit to the AIG execs. Here's my rhetorical:

How can you sleep, let alone eat, knowing how much damage you have done to the American people and the world with your greed? I have no further questions. Bonuses denied. Your assets, homes, down to the silverware, should be liquidated and the proceeds returned to the American taxpayers.

It is very clever the way they have assumed the position of having the right to give permission about anything. Where's Alcatraz when ya really need it?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Walking with a Shape Shifter

Went walking with a shape shifter
dog then lion then lamb
and then a cat, and after that
saw a diamond hologram.

Went walking with a shape shifter
impressed me to no end
then confused and then was gone
but loved by a consistent friend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

money is more expensive to the lower paid

Hospital administrator suggests cutting salaries at the top rather than laying off the lower paid employees. Wonderful indeed, but DUH!

The obvious solution to potential layoffs is for those with more financial flexibility (read: more money!) to take paycuts or yes, even forego their bonuses! It astonishes me that it took until 2009 for this idea to occur to a high level administrator. I'm glad it did, and I hope it becomes a trend. And if those who practice it are encouraged by getting their picture in the media, then how about making it a daily feature, see how long a list we can get? Have I said "duh!" yet? Tsk. DUH!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Phaze Book Commentary Deux

Real friends, true friends, friends with whom I have shared experience and time and realization and laughter and poignancy and sandwiches, keep asking me if I'm on facebook. I say, "nope."

From time to time I ask one of these real life actual genuine friends to show me what's so great about facebook. So far, nothing makes me want to be on the thing. So far, every mini-tour I've been on, "See!? It's great! You have these and this and look at this!" resonates nothing; it's the antithesis of thud and wow - white on white is all I see. But I also get a little sour tummy squirm, slight nausea when I look at the sterility of it, the vapid not much at all really of it substance-free virtuality.

This video by Julian Smith sums up my future complaints, that is, were I to join. I will wait for facebook to be over, just like I waited for the SUV's to go away.

If anyone wants to find me, I'm right here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Insteadedness

Decisive
with confidence
he steps to the world
drops his coat
and grabs the girl;
running along the shoreline
or into the woods
or along a city street
tangled with close-out sale goods,
there is magic when they're holding hands.

Together they have wit and charm
and a penchant for outsmarting harm.
But as easy as causing this wonderous scheme
is to leave it to the air, an evaporated dream.

To be brave, remember: however life works out
the biggest killer of them all
is a heart invested
in engaging doubt!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Flower Power

Here is some beautiful time lapse video of flowers blooming. Touched by Strangers. This has got to be good for the neurotransmitters. Om. I just found it. I don't know the people who made it. (Notice it is also viewable in HD).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What the Karmic Role of the Noise?

The occasional murmur
made in a small room
is muffled and softened
by a carpet of Berber.
But the thuds of the bass
and its slam drum companion
persistent unrepentant
negotiated for modicum of volume and vibration
but as yet, not really.
Condition: unchanged
but for her day and nightly chance to answer
my earnest plea for politenment.

What, amid her cacophony of narcissism,
can I listen for within the din?
What might I hear from the soft quiet of my soul
that might identify itself as my enlightenment?

What can I hear beyond the staccato in four/four
persistently pounding through the entirety of my floor/floor
resoundingly backbeating up my skeleton,
that will be the key to unlock the stalemate
which is her desire for freedom of expression
pitted against my need for freedom from compression?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Oh, There's Still Lots of Money!

"This year, advertisers are paying $100,000 a second to get their [Superbowl] commercials in front of your eyeballs." KDKA /CBS, Pittsburgh.

If advertisers can afford to spend this much for commercials, how can there be budget shortfalls forcing teacher lay-offs?

Oh, yeah, I forgot: it's every man for himself. Bloody Liberals and their "share the wealth" mentality, trying to educate people. Tsk! Pff!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Socialism: Definitions

Liberal definition of Socialism: "We want to share the wealth so that all people's basic needs are met."

Conservative definition of Socialism: "The poor people are gonna steal all their money back!!!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Nice Tree

We look at a few different trees and the daydreams amid their leaves:



Here it is on YouTube with the better aspect ratio.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

But for Plastic Bags

Too much waste and
too much garbage and
too many chemicals
and too much smoke.

Too much coal and
too much petroleum and
too many tons of it
and too much heat.

We try to stop the damage and
we try to make amends quick and
we try to reconsider
and not waste want.

And to bring it home to dinner now
We're using totes for groceries but
to take take out all the garbage I
never have any plastic bags!

Before in the time of my childhood
and my mother's and my grandma's
and the people throughout history
threw their garbage in the slew;

But now I tidy mine in plastic if
to keep the vermin out and also
keep the city cleaner and
improve the trash-man's route.

And what about the city codes and
what about the smell?
Do I buy plastic bags in boxes now and
tote them home as well?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Phase Book

So far I have over a dozen friends on Facebook, but I still don't have a Facebook page. My friends have launched a campaign, it seems, to get me to join. I am getting emails a plenty telling me I have been added as a friend by some very lovely people who indeed, are my friends!

They're charmingly persuasive in their persistence. Months ago I said I didn't want to join because the founder is a neo-conservative. I can only find the one article from the Guardian that tells about this, but I still have the creeping feeling Facebook is insidious.

Mark my words.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Money and the State of California: Consider Nero

Okay, somebody with accounting skill, I have an assignment for you:

1) Please research the salaries of executives and administrators employed by the state of California.

2) Determine the number of salaries over $100,000 a year (do not include benefits, only taxable gross pay).

3) Determine the number of salaries over $250,000 a year (following the same criteria as in item 2 above).

4) Hypothetically "take" $10,000 a year from the employees in item 2 and $20,000 a year from the employees in item 3.

5) Add up the dollar amounts from the "take". Multiply by 3 (as in "we could institute these cuts over a three year period.")

6) Acquire the number amount of the budget deficit faced by the state of California.

7) Compare the sum of the "take" with the deficit.

8) If the sum of the "take" is greater than the deficit, open a savings account for the state, change the hypothetical "take" to a real one, and sock the surplus money away for a rainy day.

9) If the sum of the "take" is less than the deficit, slash $30,000 a year from salaries above $250,000 a year and keep cutting by five-thousands toward $100,000 until the problem is solved.

10) Restructure state spending policies so that expense budgets do not depend on the previous year's spending; state departments should not be forced to spend money unnecessarily just so they can receive the same amount of funding in the following year.

Cutting state services, education and health care should never be considered as options. If Rome is burning, first: take away Nero's fiddle. Next: fight the fire with the biggest hoses.

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Bailout, Please: Magic Monday

The latest word on bailouts is that the porn industry is asking for one, too, to the tune of several billion. This is perfect. This is the reducto ad absurdum we've been waiting for. The oldest profession has something to teach us about business.

I must qualify here: I'm no fan of pornography, but I have to step back and admit a bit of appreciation for the positive aspects of the industry's knack for changing the world it inhabits, starting at the fringes. Take the Polaroid camera, for instance. Photos with no negatives meant all those guys who wanted to take naughty pictures on the sly - could! So the invention, being a hit with them, made it into the mainstream. And of course there is the groundswell of curiosity the industry evoked with regard to this lovely internet we have now.

But porno is without substance; it's all thrill with no sense of responsibility - compare it to economics and it is the heart of spending with no real money to back up the purchases.

Without a bailout, I don't believe the industry will go under, though doubtless it will go down. As with any industry, pornography has tangentials. While no one will truly suffer for the lack of titillating images, people do suffer when they lose their jobs - writers, graphic designers, photographers, models, prostitutes, printers, publishers, clerks, accountants, restaurants, grocery and drug stores in the area of the business offices and studios, FedEx, Ross Dress for Less - as the industry falters, everyone is touched. Every type of employee who would be effected by the dissolution of the big three US automakers would be equally disturbed by the dissemination of the porn industry.

But that's the thing: nobody can afford the economy falling apart. You can't. I can't. Everybody needs a bailout, but it seems only big industries are being considered. If Wall Street and US automakers are off the hook for their debts, then why do I still have to pay off my credit cards?

I say we rescue everybody! Let's just go all the way! Here's my plan:

Say, this coming Monday, within the space of an hour, all bets are off. Each individual citizen of the US who earns under $250,000 a year - poof! - credit card and student loan debts are gone. This magical event would come unannounced and would last just enough time to zero out all the accounts. Don't imagine it would take that long - it wouldn't. And don't buy it when the creditors say they'll need weeks to carry out the mission, that's just a trick to cahoot with the lawyers for workarounds. One hour: balances zero. One button. All debts go to zero.

Then, say, Tuesday, everyone who had credit zeroed out gets a free credit card with a 20% APR right there in the mail. No application, no fee, innocuous and plastic. This leads us into Fresh New Wednesday. After recovering from this stunning good fortune, most people will follow this train of thought: "I pay $300 a month on my card. I have a zero balance credit card. I can go buy a six hundred dollar thing!" They'll head out shopping and run those cards right back up. Goods and services will spike, the economy will boom, commerce will sing, interest money will flood the banks, everyone will get to play the money game again.

Within a few months, most people will be where they were the Sunday before Magic Monday, (reference the result of the business of the oldest profession) but the true lesson underscored by the proffers of the oldest profession is that unless you're smart enough to quit while you're ahead, cheap and easy can cost you.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

It is not 2008 as of midnight last night.
It is 2009.
A clock click, swift shift adjusting January brings
The year of the human in better accord with its world,
as we all promised
and swore, even!

Happy New Year!